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    • MXW
    • By MXW 8th Apr 18, 1:45 PM
    • 510Posts
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    MXW
    Birthday gift
    • #1
    • 8th Apr 18, 1:45 PM
    Birthday gift 8th Apr 18 at 1:45 PM
    Is it ok for your partner/boyfriend to tell you to go and buy yourself something for your birthday and they'll give you the money for it?

    This has just happened to me and I'm a bit upset by it as it's seems a bit impersonal, but I don't know if I'm overreacting.

    Thanks
Page 2
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 8th Apr 18, 6:19 PM
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    Pollycat
    My tastes are eclectic.
    I've been with my OH for going on 35 years and I know he would find it very difficult to buy me a gift.
    So - we compromise.
    I buy for me what I know I like for birthday & Christmas and he's happy that I'm happy.
    He did buy me a surprise gift this last Christmas.
    I was gobsmacked when he gave it to me (it was something that I'd seen and expressed an interest in months before Christmas) but it was such a shock that I cried.
    And he cried too (what a wuss )
    I texted all my friends and they were agog.

    So I do understand that not everybody is a great gift buyer.
    As Mojisola says, if it upsets you, talk to him about it.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 8th Apr 18, 7:56 PM
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    hazyjo
    It stresses my boyfriend out beyond belief picking me out a present - but I think that's partly due to him being bipolar. It's my birthday tomorrow(!) and we're just having a nice meal and drinks and a fabulous day. If I was with someone else, I'd want a present. Because I know him inside out, I don't mind! Definitely want a card though
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    • Tabbytabitha
    • By Tabbytabitha 8th Apr 18, 8:14 PM
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    Tabbytabitha
    It's a sign of immaturity and that he soon needs to be an ex partner/boyfriend until he grows up.
    Originally posted by martinthebandit
    My parents were happily married for over 50 years and my dad always did this - there's more to a relationship than giving presents.
    • Newly retired
    • By Newly retired 8th Apr 18, 9:10 PM
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    Newly retired
    I am really stuck when relatives ask me what I might like for birthday or Christmas. If someone comes up with something I like, I am delighted, but often I end up with something I donít want or donít like, especially if they donít exercise any thought.
    So I would prefer money rather than an unwanted gift.
    DH and I usually suggest something to each other, or actually buy it for the other to wrap and give. Sometimes we spot something during the year and get it, hoping we can find it when the time comes! By then, it is usually a surprise, as we have forgotten all about it.
    Glad you have talked about it.
    • LavenderBee
    • By LavenderBee 8th Apr 18, 9:45 PM
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    LavenderBee
    I had a boyfriend do this about 10 years ago, my second birthday with him and we were living together. £20 in a card with a note, and this is verbatim, "buy yourself something nice". I just knew he had forgotten and he'd quickly done it on the way home with a card from the newsagent. I was not impressed - I would rather he confessed that he'd forgotten as "get yourself something nice" felt patronising to me.

    10 years later I'm married (to a very different man, I might add!) and my lovely hubby does struggle with gifts. For last birthday and Christmas I said what I would like, hubs agrees, and I place the order myself (though I'm a practical girl and gifts are always practical - often benefiting the household). Like others suggest we tend to have something like a favourite takeaway, as a treat together, in lieu of any grander gift giving; it is a lot easier!
    • Mrs_Ryan
    • By Mrs_Ryan 8th Apr 18, 10:26 PM
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    Mrs_Ryan
    I always buy my own gifts and OH reimburses me. I am perfectly happy with that- he has mental health issues and struggles with things like that. Plus it means I never ever have an unwanted gift! Last Christmas I chose a half season ticket for the rugby and a £50 River Island gift voucher so I could go to the sales; the year before I chose a Michael Kors watch (I got a cracking bargain on it- something he wouldnt have done as I shopped around. Plus I got the one I wanted!) it works for us. Not for everyone granted but its not always a bad thing.
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    • nobile
    • By nobile 9th Apr 18, 12:53 AM
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    nobile
    Some people (ME!) are crap at buying gifts - I can have the whole year to plan for a birthday & a wedding anniversary gift & I still totally balls it up.

    So it's money in a card from me - has been for many years.
    • goodwithsaving
    • By goodwithsaving 9th Apr 18, 7:13 AM
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    goodwithsaving
    No, if somebody said to me I could go and get something and be reimbursed, I'd be thrilled. I never spoil myself so it'd be a treat! I prefer choosing something myself than having somebody choose for me.
    Every time you borrow money, youíre robbing your future self. ĖNathan W. Morris
    • takman
    • By takman 9th Apr 18, 9:43 AM
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    takman
    In the past i have taken my partner shopping, she has chosen what she wanted and then i have gone and paid for it. This usually involved going somewhere we didn't go very often and also having lunch/dinner; so a nice day out together.

    But I think telling someone to go out and buy something they want then paying them back is basically saying "i really can't be bothered". It's fine not knowing what to buy a partner but to not even want to go with them when they buy it you need to really think about if the relationship is working.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th Apr 18, 9:50 AM
    • 20,720 Posts
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    Pollycat
    In the past i have taken my partner shopping, she has chosen what she wanted and then i have gone and paid for it. This usually involved going somewhere we didn't go very often and also having lunch/dinner; so a nice day out together.

    But I think telling someone to go out and buy something they want then paying them back is basically saying "i really can't be bothered". It's fine not knowing what to buy a partner but to not even want to go with them when they buy it you need to really think about if the relationship is working.
    Originally posted by takman
    I wouldn't want my partner (of almost 35 years) going shopping with me. Not even to buy me a birthday, Christmas or anniversary present.
    And our relationship is working.

    Not everyone is the same.
    Your partner would possibly think your relationship isn't working because you don't want to go shopping with her to buy her a gift but it doesn't follow that everybody who thinks differently should query their relationship.
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 9th Apr 18, 10:24 AM
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    rach_k
    It wouldn't bother me, in fact I'd enjoy it. You could do as suggested and get him to come shopping with you, make an afternoon of it. (That may in fact convince him to buy for you in future, to get out of a shopping day!)

    Perhaps ask yourself why it upsets you. Is it because you've been conditioned to think people should give presents in a certain way and it only means the 'right' thing if they do it that way, or are you truly upset at the thought of choosing something for yourself? If it's the former, try to re-think it. It's a chance to choose exactly what you want, he does care enough to try at least and he wants to get it right. If you're truly upset at the idea of him not choosing something, why not help him out? Create a pinterest board of things you like or make an Amazon wish list!
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 9th Apr 18, 12:31 PM
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    BBH123
    My take on it is very simple


    Flowers, chocs money in a card and job done. At least that way you can choose something you'd like and lets face it we don't always want / need something at the time of a birthday and with money you can keep it until you do.


    I do have one little bugbear though in that I have a friend who every birthday she asks what I'd like, we arrange a meet and meal and then without fail she has clearly arrived at the shops earlier and bought something different, not wrapped it and no card, just hands over a carrier bag.


    Now that I do find a little disappointing.
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    • Faith177
    • By Faith177 9th Apr 18, 1:34 PM
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    Faith177
    It depends i have done this to my husband in the past because of two reasons he was away when he saw the item so i said get it and I'll give you the money or it has been a particular item he wants for his photography that I don't want to get wrong so get him to get it then i know its right
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    • Alikay
    • By Alikay 9th Apr 18, 1:50 PM
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    Alikay
    It wouldn't bother me in the slightest, but I'm very low maintenance, as is DH!
    • takman
    • By takman 9th Apr 18, 1:55 PM
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    takman
    I wouldn't want my partner (of almost 35 years) going shopping with me. Not even to buy me a birthday, Christmas or anniversary present.
    And our relationship is working.

    Not everyone is the same.
    Your partner would possibly think your relationship isn't working because you don't want to go shopping with her to buy her a gift but it doesn't follow that everybody who thinks differently should query their relationship.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    If your partner doesn't know what to get you and you wouldn't find the idea of going shopping together enjoyable then why not just agree not to get each other gifts in the future?.

    The best part of getting a gift is what you described in post #21, it's the feeling someone has cared enough to listen to what you wanted and put in the effort to go get it and wrap it up.

    Telling someone to get what they want and you will reimburse them is the least amount of effort you can put into a present. So my opinion is if you feel obligated to get a partner a present but don't want to put in any effort it doesn't sound like a very good relationship (not aimed at you, just a general comment).

    I should also add that if a some of the present were bought this way but at least one present was a surprise and bought by the person giving it then it would be a different scenario completely and that work's well as it adds to the surprise gift.

    But you have been with your partner longer than i have been alive so maybe i will change my mind when i get to where you are in life . (Which isn't an insult as that statement could be misinterpreted)
    Last edited by takman; 09-04-2018 at 2:16 PM.
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 9th Apr 18, 2:07 PM
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    NBLondon
    Difficult.... I can see it in a long-term relationship when you have run out of surprises. My father has been handing over the cash for 30 years! But even then you can discuss the choosing - ask for and offer hints. At the couple of years point, however, it looks like a cop-out.

    M'wife says I'm terribly difficult to buy for (and in some ways I am) even after 20+ years but would never just offer the money - it would be a case of let's go and choose together. So I picked out my new Kindle for Christmas but she surprised me with a case for it.

    Yesterday, mooching round House of Fraser, I saw a designer T-shirt that I thought she would like. I would have been hesitant about buying it without her - but she tried it, liked it and I paid there and then (OK - it was with competition winnings...). If I'd been on my own, I might have shown her it online and checked.
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    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th Apr 18, 4:36 PM
    • 20,720 Posts
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    Pollycat
    If your partner doesn't know what to get you and you wouldn't find the idea of going shopping together enjoyable then why not just agree not to get each other gifts in the future?.
    Originally posted by takman
    Because I like buying gifts for my partner and he'd feel upset if he didn't have anything to give me on my birthday, at Christmas or on our anniversary.
    It's not his fault that I'm very hard to buy for.
    I don't collect Pandora beads (or anything similar), I buy most of my clothes in charity shops.
    I like second-hand jewellery and spend quite a lot of time on ebay.
    He could sit on his PC 24 x 7 and still not be able to pinpoint that one piece that sets my heart racing.

    So why try to fix something that ain't broke?

    I have a friend who likes surprises.
    So her chap spends his time before her birthday and Christmas mooching round jewellers trying to find something she likes.
    And stresses about it.
    And sometimes she's been somewhat disappointed in the past as the gift isn't exactly to her taste.

    I really don't see the point of that at all.
    But if it's what she wants, then it's really none of my business.
    It doesn't make their relationship any better or stronger than ours.

    The best part of getting a gift is what you described in post #21, it's the feeling someone has cared enough to listen to what you wanted and put in the effort to go get it and wrap it up.
    Originally posted by takman
    It was something a friend showed us, secondhand, that I admired. He arranged to buy it when I went to the loo so didn't really have to go anywhere to get it.
    It's the only surprise he's bought me in 35 years.
    But that's not a problem for either of us.

    Telling someone to get what they want and you will reimburse them is the least amount of effort you can put into a present. So my opinion is if you feel obligated to get a partner a present but don't want to put in any effort it doesn't sound like a very good relationship (not aimed at you, just a general comment).

    I should also add that if a some of the present were bought this way but at least one present was a surprise and bought by the person giving it then it would be a different scenario completely and that work's well as it adds to the surprise gift.
    Originally posted by takman
    There is no reimbursement in our relationship. Our money is shared so it all comes out of the same pot.
    Actually, we are financially secure and tend to buy what we want whenever we feel like it so gifts for special occasions aren't really important to us.

    And obviously, I don't share your opinion about relationships.

    But you have been with your partner longer than i have been alive so maybe i will change my mind when i get to where you are in life . (Which isn't an insult as that statement could be misinterpreted)
    Originally posted by takman
    Then I can see why you don't necessarily understand my point of view.
    And maybe in time you'll learn that gift-buying is not up there on the list of what makes a good relationship.
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 9th Apr 18, 5:45 PM
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    Fireflyaway
    Well it could be he just couldn't be bothered and took the easy way out of it could be he genuinely wanted you to get something you like and didnt trust his own judgement. In the scheme of things it's not a big issue.
    • Doodles
    • By Doodles 9th Apr 18, 5:53 PM
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    Doodles
    If you are upset by it, you need to tell him.

    Some couples are ok with this, I don't think it's necessarily a right or wrong thing. But the thing here is that you personally don't like it.

    If he is struggling for ideas then give him a birthday list.
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    • maman
    • By maman 9th Apr 18, 10:15 PM
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    maman
    I agree with the posters who say there's no right way. What matters is how you feel about birthday gifts and that your partner didn't seem to understand. Hopefully he does now that you've explained but I do think you should help him out with a list or something for next year.

    DH and I can buy ourselves what we want with our own money and we certainly don't need 'stuff'.

    What I enjoy for my birthday is spending time together. This year we had a short break in Italy as it was a special one but ordinarily a day out or a meal or both suits us fine.
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