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What to do if your boyfriend doesn’t buy you gifts or take you on dates

Published on Feb 24, 2021

Reader Question: Hi, my name is Pallavi and I am from India! I read your articles and follow your Loveawake dating site blog and I think its super cool! Well, I have a problem. I have been dating my guy for over two years now. And in these two years, he hasn’t gifted me a thing. Every time I would ask him, he would say that he doesn’t have money. But when it comes to being with his friends, he always has money! Also we rarely go out on good dates! Even when it’s a special occasion, we go to the nearby eating outlet! It’s not a date! I don’t want him to be all romantic and give me gifts all the time. But when it’s a special occasion like our anniversary or my birthday, at least then I expect him to make an effort and make the day worth remembering for me. He had an ex-girlfriend and he was very serious about her. And he used to gift her a lot of things. I am not comparing myself to her, but I am just comparing my boyfriend’s attitude towards his ex. And i hate it! Also whenever we have a fight and I keep down the phone, he never calls back and says that he just doesn’t love fighting so he doesn’t call me. I feel very bad about it! Please help!!! Pallavi

<div>Kate Says:</div>

<div>Dear Pallavi, I’m so glad you asked this question!  It’s such a common issue and I have no doubt that a lot of women will be able to relate to your confusion, so thanks for putting yourself out there!  I get that this question is not about materialistic wants.  Your desire to commemorate special occasions and relationship milestones with some tangible markers is completely normal, sweet, and deserves to be satisfied. Clearly, your boyfriend disagrees.  Here’s some news you’re probably not going to love to hear:  People pretty much always find the time and money (or at the very least the credit!) for the things they really want.  When you are with a partner that consistently withholds from you, whether the withholding be in the form of gifts, an honest exchange of feelings, sexual pleasure, whatever it is —LEAVE. When should you do this? —IMMEDIATELY. You already told this guy how you feel about this issue, to which he responded with nothing.  If you stay, you are sending the message to this person (and worse, to yourself) that it’s ok to treat you below the bare minimum. You are saying that you’re not special enough to be celebrated.  You are saying that you are a person who does nothing about feeling deeply unsatisfied.  Are you okay with these messages? Just as I mentioned earlier, people always find the time and money for what they really want, and you’re no exception.  You can find the time to rationalize staying if you want to–I see women do it every day.  You can tell yourself that I don’t know the whole story, that I don’t understand how loyal/sweet/charming/whatever he is, that you changed your mind–you don’t really mind the lack of gifts so much after all.  You can also find the time to honor your intuition, to follow through on the impulse that made you reach out for support, to cultivate the conviction that you’d rather be alone for a little while than be with someone who doesn’t give you what you know you deserve.  I’m curious to see how you spend the next week of your time…keep me posted.</div>


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