My Boyfriend Cleans My House But Has Never Bought Me A Gift
Should I be Ok With This?
My boyfriend never buys me anything, although he does pay for dinner when we go to the Olive Garden or when we go bowling or to the movies. Sometimes I pick up the check because I don’t’ think a man should pay all the time. But I read your your advice column about the woman who says she buys gifts for her guy and he hasn’t reciprocated. I got to thinking about my own situation. My man hasn’t bought me a single gift in the 4 years we’ve been together. We spend weekends and some nights during the week at my place. I figured it wasn’t really a big deal that he didn’t get me gifts for holidays or my birthday and things like that because he does take me dinner on my birthday and some holidays. I also think he does a lot for me, such as cleaning my bathroom and the cat’s litter boxes. He does our laundry. He even takes out the trash without being asked and he does the dishes when we eat in. Isn’t it sort of a gift when he waxed my wood furniture and now it shines like the day I bought it? So should I be ok with this and is it “gift” enough? Do tangible gifts tied up with a bow really matter that much?
How much of a romantic are you? This is not your knight in shining armor . this man is hardly better than an average roommate!
I hate to be crass about this but it comes right down to it is he as good in bed as he is with the cleaning products? If he is, and you’re not romantic, then keep him around, as long as he makes your life comfortable and better and he provides you with late night amusement without having to leave the house.
As I have said previously in many of our leatherandlaceadvice Q&A columns, gifts are to honor you as a person. The only good gifts come from the heart and are not forced.
Sadly, if this guy is still in his 20’s his parents have spoiled him rotten and it’s all about him. So he is really not marriage material for the next decade. If he can satisfy your libido for that long there’s hope for a relationship. Otherwise, if you are looking for romance, if you are looking for that someone to really connect with on an emotional level, as opposed to the shallow pool you’re currently swimming in, I would say since he is not really committed to you and don’t stop looking.
If you find someone you think you can like, dump the guy you’re with and start a new relationship clean, until such time
If you find someone you think you can like, dump the guy you’re with and start a new relationship clean, until such time enjoy a neat household and a warm bed.
Tina, I’ve read a lot of letters from readers in my decades of work online, but yours really surprised me.
Let’s start at the end of your letter: Yes, gifts do matter.
It isn’t the size of the gift, it’s the idea that he hasn’t ever brought you a single token of his esteem in all these years.
A card, some flowers, even a silly item from the dollar store item shows he’s thinking of you, and not just thinking that your cat box smells so he’ll empty it.
As I see it, if you can afford it you are better off with a cleaning lady to whom you don’t owe your heart or intimacy.
Do you really want a man who cleans your cat box and makes your furniture shine but won’t treat you properly as a lover should? For all we know, he is just a neat freak who can’t stand to be in your apartment unless it is as neat as a pin and as shiny as a new penny. He isn’t thinking of you when he cleans that cat box, he is thinking that he doesn’t like the stench of the cat box!
Ditto for all the other cleaning that you consider as “gifts.”
A man who does laundry, cleans up after himself, and empties the trash may be a rare gem, but if he doesn’t give you the love and care with even one grain of a romantic gesture he is either a fool or so dense he needs love coaching.
Maybe you are satisfied with this, but if you aren’t (and it appears you aren’t since you wrote to us), you need to speak up and tell him that you would really like him to show his esteem in different ways. Tell him what you want. Point out little things that don’t cost a lot that you would like and that would be easy for him to get for you. If he is perhaps afraid of what the symbolism might convey, avoid rings and things like that, just point out tech items or books, or just about anything that won’t freak him out. But then, if he doesn’t deliver even one of these things, you’ll know exactly where you really stand in his life and in his heart.