V's Take

Dear V: My love don’t cost a thing… or does it?

Dear V,

My boyfriend and I have been together for three years now, and he really loves me and all, but every time my birthday, Christmas or
Valentine’s Day comes around, he doesn’t do anything special for me or get me a really nice gift. He either gets me something small or okay, but it’s always way after the fact and doesn’t make me feel special at all. This really hurts my feelings and I’ve told him so, but nothing has changed. His usual excuse is that he doesn’t have any money. The worse part is that he just got his younger sister an expensive present and got her something really nice last Christmas too. Yet, he doesn’t find any money to get me something nice. Am I being petty or wrong for feeling so ignored and unloved? I hate feeling like this, but it really hurts. Please tell me if I am being overly petty, or if this is not ok.

Sincerely,

Unloved?

Dear Unloved,

It’s completely normal to feel this way, after all, gifts can be a sign of affection (or in his case a lack thereof), but I doubt this is
any reason to be concerned or feel bad for yourself. Clearly if you’ve been together for three years, he must care about you a lot,
regardless of how much money he spends on you.

You mentioned you’ve spoken to him about this, but maybe you need to rephrase what you said in a way he’ll better understand. Don’t make it sound as though you wish he would buy you nice things. Not only does it make you look like a gold digger, but it’s just rude. Instead, just
stress how much you’d like him to show his affection. You know he loves you, but it’d be nice if he made it just a tad more visible
sometimes. You can even suggest gift ideas that don’t cost a lot of money. There are tons of things guys can do on the cheap that will
still make you smile: a romantic picnic, a mix tape with special songs he thinks you’d like, a movie night at home with your favorite flick.
Make sure he understands it’s not about the money, it’s just about him showing he cares.

Another word of advice: don’t compare yourself to his family. No matter how much he loves you, you’ll never share the bond that he does
with his siblings (and why would you want to? Gross.) For all you know, his mom might hound him every year to get his sister something
nice, or may have even lent him the money. You don’t want him to feel forced to drop cash on you.

It seems as though your main concern is the feeling you get when he doesn’t give you something nice, and hopefully my advice will help
with that. If the issue is more that you want him to spend a lot of money on you, don’t know what to tell you. He only has so much money
to give, and he shouldn’t feel obligated to spend it all on you. I guess you could help him find a better job, but If you really feel the
need to receive lavish gifts for every holiday, maybe your best bet is a different boyfriend.

Best,

V.

April 22, 2010

Reporters

V

Advice Columnist


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