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I measure his love the wrong way lately.

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I don't want to be so materialistic and needy and greedy and selfish.


This is the kind of stuff I can't tell people, and that's why I'm on here. This is what I really think deep inside, and it sounds sick, I know.


I don't know what's gotten into me, but I've been tossing and turning these feelings for a while now. I think I just need the right people to talk to about it, and I think this is the perfect place.


Particularly around this past Christmas, but never before this year have I let this kind of thing bother me-- I've always been really happy with any gift my boyfriend gives me. He wasn't feeling the gift giving for my birthday or for Valentine's day, so for my birthday he just got me flowers because I gave him "unrealistic ideas," like a ring! (which is kind of funny-- read on about that)

So our anniversary comes... he was kind of whatever about it this past year (7 years together now) and the year before that, but we always go out for a nice dinner and have a good time. But I was really upset he didn't even care to get me a gift still.

So come Christmas, he got me these really pretty diamond hoop earrings-- and he was like "I got them over a month ago" (before our anniversary. Supposedly.) And I like them a lot.


I was talking to this girl I work with about whether or not she thinks my boyfriend would like what I got him or not and she said "Yeah!! Of course!" and I just got him little things this year, but it was more quantity. The past years I've gotten him nicer things that cost more, kind of like how jewelry is to a girl. Keep in mind I'm in college and have NOOO money, but I do have a job. In previous years I've charged because I have wanted to get him really nice things to show how much I care.


She said something to me like "it shouldn't matter-- all throughout the year are gifts; whenever you go out to dinner, it's a gift, whenever either of you pays for something, it's a gift."

And so I felt better both ways about it... and then she comes in with a 1k necklace from her boyfriend of under 1 year... and I got these earrings that were like $150-ish after being with mine for 7 years. Anything he's gotten me has been around that amount-- a bracelet was I think $200-250-ish.


I feel like it measures how much he loves me. What BUGS ME TO NO END is that when he gave me the earrings, he actually TOLD me he was looking at rings (like a promise ring-- he called it a friendship ring though, and I looked it up on Google and it's another term for promise?) and he's like "I was looking at some rings, but one was like 1k with the insurance and it was too much... and then I saw this other one but I didn't really like it.



I have been asking myself, WHY does this matter to me? And really... I think I really do measure it because he is not an affectionate person, and I don't mind it because I just get hung up on other things to see that he cares. But I feel like when he doesn't care to give me a gift, or does and he's making pretty damn good money, then it bothers me.


But see, I don't know his full situation. His money definitely goes to other things like stock and 401k and those kinds of things. And then again, how do I not know if nowadays he's saving to get me a nice ring for you-know-what? I even ran that by him and he joked "Good, now I have an excuse!"


That is so terrible to say!



And I get hung up on other couples and what they do... like his sister and her boyfriend go away together, he bought her a dog, buys her expensive things... but they are a few years older and are really making money, you know?


I feel like I'd be surprised at how much he already does for me if I could just realize it... I just have that guilty feeling, and I feel selfish. I want to know what other people think, and I'm sure others have felt this way and hopefully gotten over it. I want to know how, too.




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I think you are focussing on costs because you are in fact missing other things that can't be replaced by all the money in the world.


Things like affection, that you mention in your post. But also like commitment. I think that you wouldn't have posted here if he would have bought you a promise ring that cost a small amount of money, even if they were half the prize of the earrings that he gave you.


The cliche is, it's the thought that counts. If you read the sticky, you know why I changed my nick to arwen. The evenstar that is now a permanent decoration of my neck, is beautiful. Absolutely. But the most beautiful aspect is what it represents, it's a symbol of eternal love. That makes it to the most special gift I ever got. I have no idea what he spent-- it's too much anyway because we have a relatively low income as researchers.


My jaw dropped when I read the amounts of dollars you are comparing-- even between $100- $250 is still a LOT of money to pay for gifts. Maybe my and my partners income is totally different, but as I said, I have a feeling that money is important because you seem not to feel the thought behind the gift. That may be because the thought is not there, or that it's there but you don't see it. That I can't judge.


Arwen (ilse)

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That is a lot of it too, is the thought... such as if it's not the thought then I get hung up on what it's worth now. But previously, just seeing how excited he was to give me past jewelry made me feel so happy. This year he tried to be surprising but I feel really critical about it.


If I had gotten a ring, any kind of ring at all, I absolutely would be satisfied... because I think that is the most sentimental gift I could ever get from him. He bought me rings in high school, but they were like $15- rings, but regardless of that, I didn't think much of them just because he didn't address them as anything... except one, was to have to show I'm taken and all that. But I was so much younger and took so many things for granted, and he's not that kind of person where he's romantic and sweet like that anymore. That hurts me a lot to have done that and to just think about it.


I feel like there's a lot of times where there's more to it than what I'm seeing.. I'm hoping this is one of those times I'm trying to figure out.

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You know, a feeling of not deserving deep down can stand in the way of receiving and perceiving love (and acts of love). You have been together for a very long time now, and with the ups and downs many relationships have. Maybe it's good for you to do some soulsearching now that it has gotten to this point.


You are now 21, he's a few years older, right? This means you've been together since you are 14. That is a period of major change, and still a period of probably more changes to come, as you will pursue a degree or start a serious career. Do you think it would help you at this point to seek some counselling and figure out how you feel about 1. yourself 2. your bf 3. how the relationship has been progressing over the past years?


Apart from this thing with the gifts, how would you answer the following questions:


* do you feel there is an equal amount of commitment in the relationship?

* do you feel your partner has the same idea of the future of the relationship? (i.e. living together, marriage, starting a family later on)

* what things he does make you happy and which things would make you happy that he doesn't do?



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I think your problems go far beyond what he spent on you or what he bought you. In your last post you compare to how sweet and romantic he used to be when you two were younger.


7 years with a high school sweetheart is a really long time, you guys have been together since 14-15?? I can relate a little bit, as I've been with mine since we were 17, and it makes you wonder sometimes about where the relationship will end up.


It sounds to me like he's just avoiding the "ring gift" period, wether it's a promise ring or any sort of ring at all. How old is he?


It's clearly you want a ring, not necessarily a diamond enagagement ring, but a ring to wear to hold a deeper meaning. Like it's one step behind engagement? Please correct me if I'm wrong...


7 years at your age is a LONG time to be with one person...Are you really happy with him? Do you see yourself with him in the future?


gifts i should be a pretty small reason to get so upset unless you are masking other problems/resentment with that...

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That is what I don't understand is the change... I have gone through so much change and am not the same person I was even 2 years ago, and even more years before that. He has changed in ways but not much I can tell, or at least not in a way that has effected me.

I think we do have the same goals, but he wants to talk about them more when we can actually do something about it. He wants to get a house together and then we'd be engaged... but I'm in college for one more year, my 4th and then I'm done. He wants to do those things but it's kind of where it is now until I'm out so we can do something about it.


And yes Vanilla, any kind of ring. It bothers me because couples so much younger and with relationships not nearly as long as ours have rings. But he gave me rings in high school...

With his affection, he was still never the big affectionate type. He was never romantic or anything, but he was just sweeter... he says it was because he was young, but with gifts I feel like that shows all those things, or should..

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he says it was because it was young? so what the older he gets the colder he becomes?


i havn't posted on this forum in a long time with all the moving back I had to do...but if I am correct is this the same guy you had many posts about before?


How old is he?


after 7 years, being so hesitant to even get you a promise ring should be something to think about...I see you're 21 naturally you're not jumping into building a family, but I don't see anything wrong with a promise ring. I don't get the rejection there...

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He is 22. He said he was looking at them but they were too expensive. One he was telling me about was $1,000. I think he thought I'd be happy to know he was looking at them but didn't get them? I asked him well then how much were these earrings? And he said those were expensive too, but my guess after looking at the Kay site is $200 ish the most.


I have no idea when it was that he said he was more affectionate because he was young, but I can understand because I'm not all mushy either. He probably said that to me a few years ago at the least but it's not something I talk to him about.

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I know I am late jumping in here...sorry Martha


I too agree with other posters that I think your feelings on this are more of a surface issue or resentment not for the gift itself, but because you have expectations of a commitment, and you are transferring that onto gifts.


You want a ring. You see it as a sign of a commitment, because right now you are feeling unsure about a lot of things in the relationship. If you were not feeling this way, and you were happy with how things are, my guess is you would not feel this resentment. Like arwen, my most prized gift from my partner is a small necklace I wear on my neck. It is simple, and to some would be odd...it is a small flat silver turtle on a silver chain that my boyfriend bought me. The reason it means so much to me personally is because it showed how much he really knew me, knowing that as a child for example I called myself turtle (I could not say my name!) but furthermore that I identify myself in many ways with them in a spiritual sense (this would require a long explanation on how the aboriginals view turtles to get into so I will leave it!). I bet it cost around no more than $30, but that is not the point of it - the point is the thought.


I think that you are looking for that security you feel unsure about in the gifts, and particularly are looking for something that "proves" it from his side.

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Why do I need to? I really think that's the biggest misconception out there, that people in long term relationships must know nothing. I've been around; we've broken up before, I know what's out there and I don't want it. I want him. There's lots of people who never even date anyone before they're 30 or older. It's not like being with him holds me back from living life. Being with him doesn't mean I'm in this dark room and know nothing outside of it.

There's tons of people who don't like to go out and party and have fun, but I do. And it doesn't mean they're missing out on life, unless they sit around and do nothing.

I seem to get a lot from this relationship in comparison to legitimately-- legitimately everyone I know in person who is in one.

I guess I just don't see the connection between being a little selfish and wanting to better understand it, to oops I've been with my boyfriend for too long.

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I guess I just don't see the connection between being a little selfish and wanting to better understand it, to oops I've been with my boyfriend for too long.


It's not a connection to being a little selfish that people are responding to. It's all your posts over 2 and a half years listing all the issues you have with this relationship.


You just never seem happy and content.

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I think you are looking for commitment, and see a ring as a sign of this, but you are also looking for self worth, as in if it's a BIG ring, then you really mean a lot to him...


but i do think you should evaluate very carefully whether you want to marry someone you already see as being cheap (or too tight with his money in relation to you)... after you are married, you will now wonder why he won't buy a bigger house, or a better car, or?? how people spend money is one of the biggest areas of conflict in a marriage, so you really need to talk to him about this... tell him you want a ring and why, and maybe even go shopping for it with him, lots of couples do that...


but if he spends a lot of money on himself, or you are a generous nature and he is not, then you might have money arguments when you really start trying to share money in a marriage...


tell him what you want, don't expect him to guess it, and if you want a guy who is really generous when it comes to spending money on you, then this guy just isn't that. if you love him and want to keep him, then you need to focus on his good qualities, and accept that big gifts are just not his priority, though he might love you a lot, he may not like to spend money on what he considers 'frivolous' items, but you don't...


that is a difference in values, that you might be able to negotiate, but you need to talk about it openly... most people who love you try to do things to please you, so make sure the real problem isn't that he really doesn't want to commit, though he talks about it, he is not backing it up...

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What would a ring PROVE, exactly?


What are you trying to avoid thinking about here, and covering up by this materialistic obsession..whats *really* bothering you?


I think it's about commitment and with a relationship of that length, Martha really needs to know where she stands.

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Yeah I'm hiding something, alright!


I think a ring would be sweet and a whole lot different from anything else. If it's not your cup of tea it doesn't mean it's something else.


It's weeks after Christmas and the hubub has died down; I'm not really concerned anymore. It's months away until anything else big comes up; he knows how I feel.

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