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getting what you want - guy views please!

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i recently was able to visit my boyfriend for a week and while i was there, it was valentine's day. i was excited because it was my first vday and i was hoping he'd buy me flowers and we'd do something special. i've been upset about it in the past thinking he doesn't care about doing romantic/thoughtful gestures towards me but now, i dunno. i think he's kinda clueless.


come vday, well, i hate to say it but i was a bit disappointed. i feel horrible for thinking it. this was my first vday ever and i wasn't looking for some grand gesture or what have you. just a little something that made me feel special and that he put some thought and planning into the day.


basically, while we were out for the day, he asked me if i wanted him to buy me flowers and a card. i didn't know what the hell to say. i didn't expect him to ask me, but i said "yes" to the flowers and said "i bought you a card" when he asked about a card. i picked out my own flowers which i found awkward, but i guess at least he tried.


he made me dinner that night which was nice. he had me set the table and such which i didn't really want to do, but i did it anyway.


the dinner was my vday gift and later than evening he gave me my card. it was a simple card saying that he hoped it was a nice vday and such. i gave him his card and he then said "aww, that's nice. i wish i had written more in your card." he opened his gift which was a scarf and a hat which he liked a lot.


he still was going to get me a late xmas gift and i had told him previously i wanted something girly, you know very cliche because i never get jewelry or just typical things like that. i had taken my computer over for him to install a newer operating system and he then said "i'm putting in my old ram and airport card and that will be your xmas present, ok?" not exactly what i had in mind, but i said it was ok. he is also a little worried about money because his job (contract) is ending in a few weeks.


anyway, i've come to the conclusion that he doesn't get it. that he really is clueless when it comes to knowing what i want. i've tried to tell him in the past which has turned into arguments and him saying that nothing he does is right. he's verbally very good about telling me he loves me and such which i appreciate greatly, i guess i just wanted him to get me flowers or a card without, well asking me. i wanted him to take care of everything and all i had to do was just sit back and relax and enjoy the day. but it didn't quite happen that way.


i've chosen to accept him for who he is now and not to get on him about how he doesn't do certain things for me because i don't think he understands. plus i think if i told him what i said here, that maybe vday wasn't all i had expected, that i didn't want to be asked about flowers and cards, he'd be hurt and upset or worse, it would cause and argument between us.


so what's the best way, for future reference, to get him to think a little more about, well what i would want? should i straight up tell him point blank? get my friend to tell him? send him an article about gifts to give your girlfriend? i need help.

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Honestly, you sound materialistic! I feel so sorry for the guy. You are making him give you gifts? I mean this should come from heart and not because you order it or you want it. Why are you with him? For the things he gives you or for the things he does for you to show you he cares. He is not in a good financial situation as his contract will finish soon and you are still rambling on about how little he gives you. He is trying his best:


he bought you a flower = in your eyes not good enough


he prepared you a dinner = in your eyes not good enough


he is concerned about your Xmas present = in your eyes not good enough


You are giving him scarf for Valentine's Day and you expect the same in return? Love is not about this. It's about giving something without expecting something back. You are too much consumed with money, money, money and he will see through you and he will not last long with you because this guy does not seem to be one of these guys, who will spoil you with gifts.


Either you accept what he gives you, you APPRECIATE it and you stop making him feel like he is not giving you enough or you leave him and find yourself a guy with money.


You are complaining he does not get it? He has tried his best. I don't get you to be honest. I mean you are not married and you expect so much from him. Why don't you show some concern for his job situation instead of calculating and counting how much gifts you are getting from him.

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oh and I forgot:


he got you a card = for you not enough!!!


You are making him feel so bad about himself. I mean he did everything right in my eyes. Ok, he did not have a flower ready for you but he is not your husband or fiance. I just think you are making out of Valentine's Day such an issue. There is a commercial meaning behind this day and you are confusing it with love.


I mean there are guys who would not even spend the minute with you on Valentine's day because it's not important to them or they would rather be with their friends, what would you do then? No flower, no card, no dinner than lady!

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I have just re-read your thread again and I cannot believe what I am reading here:


he made me dinner that night which was nice. he had me set the table and such which i didn't really want to do, but i did it anyway.



You did not want to set the table? I don't understand you honestly. You think that you are a princess and he will prepare everything for you? I mean you should have been excited about him cooking you a dinner and help him without even questioning it. I wonder if you say that you were staying at his place for a week, did you help him with something?


Honestly the guy must have felt awful. You are complaining that he did not do the things how you expected them to be done but do you realise how he must have felt? He made you pick up a flower. So what is the issue here? Did you at least give him a smile, a hug or thank you for that?


You say it was a simple card from him. Well, that must have been disappointing.


I mean girl come on! Give the guy some appreciation. I don't mean to be mean but it's just so sad reading this. Try to lower your expectations and hopefully everyone will be happy.

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I wouldnt go so far as to say that the motivation for her post is that she is materialistic. However, I think that you are expecting him to read your mind, everyone is different and your desire for him to do those cliche things is cultural programming. Not everybody is going to have the same experience in life and if you want something from your partner you have to communicate with him (even if that means a long talk and a detailed explanation of what you mean including feelings and purchases lol). You cannot just assume that another person understands the images in your head, that is the irony of being separate people, and that is what a relationship is all about communicating those images.


So I guess in my opinion, what is important is that you feel he is trying to make you feel special, and if there is something he can do to really complete that feeling due to details on your receiving end you should tell him. Some people are more compatible with these interests then others, but there is no reason to make it a sticking point in the relationship. What is romantic to him might just be more gritty and contextually different than your veiw, I know that is true for a lot of guys. So judge him by his intentions. Despite this if you are telling him what is important to you, you dont want to push it, you dont want to tell him that he SHOULD be doing these things. Just tell him what you like, as a natural part of conversation. Most people will wait until they are disappointed that their partner didnt "just know" and that is a mistake. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but change your own perceptions if you know whats inside is congruent with what you want. Good luck!

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I think the problem is since it was your first Valentine's Day, you had extremely high expectations and had been building up the idea of what it would be like. The problem is, he had no idea! Valentine's Day is not a huge deal to every person. He did acknowledge it and he celebrated it within his means right now, and I think you should appreciate that.


Also, why does it have to be all about you? I understand you were really excited, but it's Valentine's Day for him too. There's no reason why you should sit back and make him plan this perfect day. I don't see anything wrong with having you take one minute to set the table when he has made you this nice meal.


I think you need to look at what he does do for you and see his love behind that and see that as romantic. He just can't afford to go all out for you right now.

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Dont you know? Valentines day is a celebration of the woman in a relationship!! Just as christmas and anniversaries are also specifically to show the woman how much you care by doting on her


I agree, she needs to grow up. Its about working together and having fun no matter WHAT you do, not about cheap cliches like flowers and cards.


EDIT: He probably got you to pick out your own flower as he was scared nothing he chose would be good enough for you.

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Hey there,


I am not a guy but reading your post made me a cringe a bit. I hate to say this but you sound a bit materialistic and made this all about you. How is Valentine's Day only about the girl? It is about BOTH persons. BOTH persons are supposed to appreciate one another, show each other's love for one another and so forth.


He is low on money, man that is scarey. Having a contract end like that and knowing your job is about to end. Yikes. He is trying his best and he is doing things for you to show his love for you. May I ask, what do you do for him? Being in a relationship is about give and take. Right now, your boyfriend is in a precarious situation and it up to you to support him, to be there for him and make some sacrifices. There will come a time when the chips will fall for you and you will need his patience and understanding.


I am going to close my post with this....


Expectations are premediated resentments.

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Well, while I agree with everyone that it is all about intentions rather than presents, I do have some more charitable thoughts about this situation...

monkey1, have you ever seen anything by mama gena? This is a series of books, the most pertinent one is probably the owners and operators guide to men. It is all about expressing what you want and, at the same time, believing that you deserve it. For example, if you dream that a man will open a door for you, you must stop in front of the door and wait for him to do it. It's no use deciding that, well, he's making no effort, I'll just open it myself. In the same way, these books explain that guys simply need to be given the opportunity and the prodding to do something nice that makes you feel special, and they need to be told what that is first. And they are more than happy to do it when they KNOW what it is.

It seems to me that your problem is not about getting stuff, as never-too-late has said, but more that you want him to know YOU, to be so close to you that he knows WITHOUT being told, what you want. He sounds lovely; eager to please, i.e asking you what you want. The problem is, you want him to know already. It sounds like cheating, but you just have to tell him, and not punish him for not knowing what you want in advance.

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It sounds like you expect him to make up for the fact that it was your first V-day at age 24, etc. and that's simply not fair to him particularly since he is low on funds. If he shows he cares other than with not being a particular good gift giver (in your eyes) then the clueless gift giving is not part of a larger symptom of not caring/taking for granted. However, your expectations of him might be the symptom of your wanting a boyfriend mainly for the trinkets he can give you.

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I'm gonna pile on and say that if I ever prepared a dinner for someone (girlfriend or otherwise) and they pouted at the idea of maybe setting a table for two, I doubt I'd be inclined to do much of anything for them ever again.


For your sake I hope this guy is forgiving and will bear with you long enough that you can get your head straight and learn what's actually important in life.

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I completely agree with rabbitskin, i dont think she meant to be materialistic like some people have been saying, it was all about the expectations and wanting him to know what she wanted, and i have to tell you,

i've been guilty of that, but i have learned that if there is something i want my boyfriend to do for me, i should tell him first! because i remember last valentine's i was expecting this huge thing, since it was my first, and when i saw he didn't do anything special, i started hating on him, and getting into an argument about how he didn't care, but then i realized that the poor guy didn't even know i cared that much about the holiday, and he thought it was just commercial and all of that stuff.

You should be happy he was trying his best to please you, but if you really want something special, you should warn him about it, and tell him what you want, and i am sure he will more than gladly do it, because he does sound like a great guy =)

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I personally see where you are coming from. If I remember correctly from your other posts, you guys had not seen each other in two years, right? I can understand your wanting things to be very romantic, and disappointed that they weren't. Maybe your expectations about him sweeping you away were coming more from the fact that it was the first time you had seen each other in a while than from Valentine's Day? I was also thinking it might have something to do with all the anticipation that is built up in an LDR around the next time you will see the other person, versus the reality of seeing them and just being fit into their daily life and routine - I believe it can be rather anti-climactic.


So it seems to me like it's not that much about money, it's more about the "romance" factor. (I was kind of taken aback by your comment about setting the table, but maybe you meant that you were imagining him surprising you with a candlelit dinner at a beautiful table (movie-scene type of thing) ...). I too would be disappointed about someone giving me a computer drive for Xmas, because I have negative interest in that sort of thing - however I would not frown on a handmade little photo album or something else cheap. However I don't think this is a quality that you will be able to change, more something that you have to live with, while remembering that he has his own way of showing his appreciation.

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It is almost always a mistake to project what you want or would do for a partner on to what you expect from them. They have their own ideas.


To him: something for a computer may be the most romantic gift he could give. Not very imaginative but that is how he is.


So do you want him for what he is or for what you want him to be?


Be careful with your answer - he may want to change you into someone more like him.

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interesting responses.


i'm not really materialistic. i don't ask for purses, don't ask for a lot of stuff. i don't say "please buy me xxxx" i have never asked him to buy me something. i know it sounds like i'm saying it was the worst valentine's day ever. i just wanted a little element of surprise. i wish he could have said "i'm going to go do a little shopping. can i meet you here in say, 20 minutes?" i would have been happy with any flowers he picked or card because he put some thought into it on his own and without my help. really i was happy. i gushed about the flowers after i had them which he was glad about. and i was totally happy with the dinner. i told him how much i loved that he cooked dinner for me and such.


and it's not like i don't do anything for him. i send him cards and little gifts once in a while when we're apart to show i'm thinking of him and so on. i'm not buying him ipods or expensive stuff because i too and on a budget like he is. but i do little things like that because i love him, not because i'm always expecting something in return. it's not what i'm thinking when i'm writing him a card or sending him a box where wrote down all things i love about him. and while i was there, i cleaned the kitchen several times, made him tea, helped pay for gas, groceries, bus fare, dinner, paid for my doctor's visit and medicine (i got sick while i was there), etc and I didn't say "What are you going to do for me?" or expect anything in return. i was sick for half the trip and he completely took care of me which i was so grateful for.


sophie hit the nail on the head because i think it's more about the romance factor. as for settling the table, it was a split second thought, but it never once that day complained or didn't show i didn't appreciate what he had done for me. i could see on some level he may have been afraid of disappointing me, but i didn't sulk about anything to him.


i accept him for who he is, but i also think it's important to be aware of your partner's tastes and needs. and that maybe you get so comfortable around each other you forget that doing something romantic, vday or not, goes a long way. i try to pay attention to what he wants or talks about. like he recently lost all his cds and he loves music. so i decided to get him a gift certificate to the itunes music store which he liked a lot. i just wish that it was the other way around sometimes. like he complained the last time we saw each other that i didn't have a pic of us up in my room. he kept going on and on about it and i said "well, how about you print a pic of us and frame it and give it to me as a present for xmas or vday?" that costs less than $10 and i thought i'd be perfect. i point things out, but it doesn't quite register with him for some reason.


i think i just have to point blank tell him what i want next time xmas comes around or my birthday. i think the other issue is that he tends to think about what he'd like as a gift and then decide that i'm the same way and gives that to me instead, like the ram and airport card.


i dunno.

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I hear you but there is one thing that really struck me - do you honestly think you get credit for paying for your own medicine and doctor's visit? Shouldn't that be a given? I am harping on it only because it really leapt out at me and made me wonder about your expectations in a relationship.

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I hear you but there is one thing that really struck me - do you honestly think you get credit for paying for your own medicine and doctor's visit? Shouldn't that be a given? I am harping on it only because it really leapt out at me and made me wonder about your expectations in a relationship.


oh no. when i went to the doctor's i was going to pay with my debit card, but sadly, they didn't take it and only cash. i didn't have enough and luckily he had cash on hand for it. he paid for it and i thanked him and told him i'd treat him to dinner. he said he'd rather have the cash back and i said that was fine. if he wasn't worried about money, he said he would have paid for it, but i said i wouldn't have let him either way because i don't want to have that whole lending/giving me money on my mind. he's offered to give me money in the past before when i was strapped for cash and i've refused it. i don't want that kind of stuff hanging over my head. if we were married, well that'd be different.

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I'll agree that you have made two classic mistakes.


1) Expecting him to read your mind.

2) Not communicating how important valentines day is.


I'm personally very glad that I've been able to turn valentines day into a low-key thing. I hate the implication that I'm being judged based on one day, vs the other 364.


Monkey1, you are backpeddling a lot with regard to changing your statements. I don't think you are materialistic, but I can see how you might be high maintenance.


I can also see how he would be upset because its very hard to draw any other conclusion than "I tried, and I didn't do enough". Maybe he's learned that he should have at least a flower and a card ready in advance, but he is probably just as motivated to avoid negative consequences as he is to do something nice.


The contract ending part struck a chord with me. Contract work is nail-biting -- you could literally come in on monday and be told that you have to be gone by friday. If he is like most Americans, and has minimal or 0 savings, no emergency fund, debt, and lives paycheck to paycheck, he is probably quite a bit worried.

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Oddly enough, my best friend sent him an email about vday. i wish she hadn't because it was kind of weird. he mentioned it to me saying that she said she hoped he had something planned because i was looking forward to vday. and the impression he gave her and that i got from him was he had something planned. not to say dinner wasn't planned.


seriously, i was the one who made the suggestion about us making dinner together. i wanted something low key. i wanted us to spend time together at his place just enjoying each other's company. i didn't want us to go to some nice restaurant and spend lots of money. i wanted us to have a nice, low key intimate dinner which is what we had. that made me happy.


i also didn't snub my nose at the fact that dinner was my gift. that's fine. all i'm saying is that asking me about flowers and a card kind of took the element of surprise out of the equation. it would have been nice not to tell him. i don't know if he expected me to say "oh no, honey that's ok."


i guess the thing that i don't get here that folks are saying is that i'm materialistic or that i'm asking for too much. i thought it would have been nice if he just got the flowers and card on his own without asking me. i mean what, do i give him a list of flowers i like? i don't know.


i'm asking here is how CAN i communicate with him what i need/want without offending or making him feel bad? i don't want to cause an argument. this is why i posted my situation.

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I think I get what you are saying. And I think it's ok (not selfish, greedy or materialistic) that you want him to amp up his romance factor. After my parents got married, they were living somewhere extremely hot and were just sweating their tails off. So for their first anniversary, my father gave my mother an air conditioning unit. She cried. He was in dismay because he thought that's what she wanted because it was so hot, but he returned it and got her jewelry instead. LOL.


However, it seems like you dropped quite a few hints as to Valentine's Day, so I don't know what else you could do to make him more romantic. I still stand by what I said that this is something you will have to learn to live with - if you two stay together. You can always give him positive reinforcement when he does something very sweet for you - but you should also learn to appreciate his notion of romance and kindness (fixing a computer for you, etc ...). Maybe if you can process for yourself what his intentions are when he gives you a gift, you will feel a little more cared for. For example, when he asked you if you wanted flowers, maybe he wanted to make V-Day EXACTLY the way you imagined it, and that's why he asked. Kind of puts a new spin on things.


You also say that you know bringing this up will cause conflict - is that because you know that his intentions are every bit as sweet and romantic as you could expect them to be? If so, you should really re-think your expectations, ie get rid of them.


It does also sound like you might be a bit starved for affection - maybe you would not have the same expectations for V-Day and gifts if you two were not in a long distance relationship. Do you have any plans to move closer?

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ok i think you might be the only one that gets me, or kinda sees what i'm saying.


believe me, all i wanted most from him was some flowers and a card. i'm not fussy in that sense like other women are in that oh they want an expensive restaurant, expensive night at a hotel or a hot air balloon ride or something. we could have had finger foods for all i care.


we had a rocky year last year and i think because of the fact that neither of us had seen each other in a long, long time, and the fact that i was out of work (and depressed) for a good part of last year, i was trying to get some kind of closeness from him. in the beginning of our relationship, we never really sent each other anything and it didn't bother me or him at the time. i was cool with it. but i think the more we became involved with each other and developed stronger feelings, i got to the point where i wanted some romantic gesture. and if anyone has ever been in a ldr, you now how much any little thing means, even a card in the mail can totally make your day or even week.


i read the other thread Batya33 posted about actions vs words when it comes to relationships and some women say oh words mean more than actions to me or vice versa. i got the words going for me in the relationship, but i'm kind of not getting the actions very much which is important in a ldr.


i'm not saying that he failed and did a horrible job because he didn't. i got the flowers and the card i wanted, even if he did have to ask me. he could have NOT got me either and taken me to McDonalds for our meal.


for the most part, i've usually just received a card for xmas and my birthday. it's rare of if he sends me a card any other time of the year or a gift. and i have discussed it with him and it's usually turned into an argument in the end with both of us upset. i've decided to drop it because i don't know how to explain it anymore.


maybe it's totally retarded to think that someone is verbally very affectionate and loving would have no problem showing it in actions or being romantic. but then again, i think men and women have very different ideas on what's romantic and how you show your partner you love them.


seeing each other last november helped us and i think especially me feel more cared about. i needed the physical aspected of love. verbal can take you only so far in a ldr when you want something tangible. something that you can look at or tie meaning to that will help you get through not being together.


as for moving closer, we haven't yet discussed it since he's looking for a more stable position. that's currently up in the air. we've both had rough times since we've been together career and money wise so it's not like i don't get that he's struggling because i have too. but he's going to try, once he gets a job, to come out and visit for a while in april or may.

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I think the things that seems a little off to me with your issue is that you seem (based on what you have posted) to have an expectation about Valentine's, birthdays etc. that the effort he puts into these should be more than the effort you make i.e. planning the day, getting gifts, making dinner or booking a restaurant etc. and that your part is merely getting him a card and a gift. That may be a result of gender expectations but times have changed and people expect more balance in their relationships.


So perhaps you can change the way he deals with these celebrations by changing the way you deal with them. Perhaps next time you could do the planning and make the day special for him - in other words, show him by example what you want. That way, you can take turns being the one to plan the day and even maybe pay the larger share. Another time, you could make the plans together so that neither one bears the sole burden.

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Hey there,


I do understand where you are coming from. I did and felt the same way in my last relationship. I did all these nice things, little surprises, did all the housework, planned vacations, paid all the bills and so forth. All I wanted was for it to be reciprocated. And it rarely was. And when it was, it is because I had to hint around so much or I had to point it out. And then, it really was not as romantic since I had to spell it out for him. I just got tired of it and everything else about the relationship. There were other issues as well.


Whether you realize this or not, you want your boyfriend to be something he is not. In his eyes, he is being romantic and your eyes, he is not, or meeting your tastes and needs. You have talked to him over and over about this and nothing has changed, dropped hints, even spelled out matters. So, you can do one of two things, just accept his ways of being romantic or find someone else to be with. I hate to sound callous because I not trying to be but I really do not know what else to advise.


I wish you all the best and that everything works out.

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I completely understand what you're saying about the LDR thing. I'm in one too...and you really do cling to every little thing since you can't see your SO on a regular basis. It's really tough.


I think people have made a good point though about looking at this in a different way. Someone mentioned this in another thread and I learned about it in my couples therapy class, but there are five typical ways that people communicate love. These are: attention, touching, gifts/presents, acts of service, and words of recognition. Everyone has their own preference as to what they do and would like to receive. So while you show your love and expect to receive it in attention (I'm just guessing here), he shows his through acts of service (again, just assuming). If you look at it this way, it might help you see the love behind what he does, like sophie suggested. I think this could really help you through this situation.

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