How to deal with an insensitive boy/girlfriend?

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  • This topic has 3 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Inky.
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    (^ particularly, a bf/gf that is less sensitive than you.)


    So I’m curious about how you deal with people like these.

    I have a boyfriend of less than a year. First months are NRE, lovey-dovey phase. Then came my birthday – I have friends and family I can celebrate it with, which is very pleasant. My colleagues at work gave me a surprise, my friends came along later and sent me gifts. It was very nice of them and I treasure these moments very much.

    Unfortunately because I am familiar with only this one way of celebrating, I got a tad bit confused when my boyfriend just sent me a text message saying a simple happy birthday wish. He took me out to a crowded diner.. with one of his friend, with whom he always talked to and thus I’m left practically alone when they’re conversing. We paid for our own decent set of food. No discussion whatsoever about my birthday. He basically didn’t prepare anything for my birthday. I confronted about this later that night with him, telling him I’m (unfortunately) quite sensitive to these kinds of things, and initially expected him to do more. He said he’s not used to celebrating birthdays and that it was such a trivial thing in his family. Okay, but I found out later that it was simply untrue: he brought a huge cake for his grandma’s birthday, showered her with love. He bought a cake and quite an expensive bag for her mother as a birthday gift. Ain’t that much of a difference either when he was celebrating his birthday last year. I asked him later on, did I do something wrong so as to receive a different treatment? He said no. And I believed him.

    So fast forward. He’s having his birthday, right. I took liberty of showing him how I celebrate and stayed over at his house. I gave him a cake and 3 gifts, most of which I designed/drew myself and it was all a drawing of himself (at least I know he liked the image of himself that much). He didn’t so much as look at the cake, put off the gift on his desk within a minute, then gave me a quick hug before going to bed, saying thank you. Well, I thought he was tired after a whole day of working, right? So I shrugged it off.

    Not until a week later I found out that he hasn’t even TOUCHED the cake OR the gifts. Sure he worked late until like 10-12 pm, but I was simply appalled by the fact that it couldn’t have taken him more than 5 minutes from one night, just to see what I made him, and he still didn’t do it. Did he forget about it? It made me feel like it wasn’t worth the effort and time. I couldn’t care less about the price – it’s the effort I’ve put into it that made me feel I’ve wasted several weeks. It made me feel like it has little to no value, at least compared to his work, his online game and social media. He lied to me afterwards, trying to cover-up for what’s clearly seen as a mistake, even by himself. I told no one about it because I didn’t want to “humiliate” him (or so he termed – he was so afraid of me snitching to people about the things he did) but now I just felt bizarre. I needed to know if people see this the way I see it, or I’m just too much of a snowflake at this point and I need to back off.

    Yesterday we got into a fight, because he didn’t reply to my chat early in the morning, only for me to find out he posted a story of him playing games during his work time later on. Is it me just exaggerating? Because prior to yesterday, these also had happened:

    • I have told him a week prior, that I’m going to watch a movie with a friend. Then when the day came, I turned my phone off  during the movie for 2 and a half hour. As soon as I turned it back on, I found out that he went into rage mode – didn’t reply to my messages anymore that night. (In comparison, he’s often late at replying my messages, to the point that I’ve experienced a day without him replying. I assumed he was busy working, or at least that’s what he told me anyway, so I thought he never needed the extra pressure from his girlfriend.)
    • He would immediately call me out whenever I’m not replying to his messages. One time in the morning, I woke up and saw his message on Whatsapp, then his DM on Instagram. I replied the DM first. Mostly contained memes to freshen up my mood. As I’m replying to his DM, he sent me a sarcastic message on Whatsapp, saying “Wow. My DM you replied immediately, but not here on Whatsapp? Amazing.” Mind you, the message in the Whatsapp before that was just a morning greeting, and immediately before that was my own message from the night before that he didn’t reply because he claimed that he fell asleep.
    • He insisted that whatever he gave me, I needed to wear every time. One of the things he gave me was a powerbank. Tried my best, but then came several days where I didn’t bring it because I felt like I could survive even without bringing the heavy contraption with me everywhere. He told me to “just throw it into the trash already – discard it if you didn’t need it.” (In comparison, I also gave him usable/disposable things but never pressured him into using them whatsoever. Even if I felt like he needed it for his own good, I still feel like it’s his rights anyway).
    • He borrowed a large sum of money from me and promised he would return it, at the very least, 2-3 months after. It passed without him returning any of the money. When I confronted him about it, he lied several times. When I called it out, he begged me to give him more time. That “more time” has also passed too.
    • I caught him lying several times about very minor things, and whenever I pointed it out, he would find a new alibi, and a new alibi, and a new alibi to strengthen his cover. They were very, very trivial. But I still don’t know whether it’s okay to put up with it or not. It’s as if his first defense mechanism is to make up a lie on the spot just so I could believe or forgive him.

    I know these are all very minor problems compared to what others might have experienced with their significant other. After all, I’ve been with him for a little less than a year. After all these things came up, I asked him in a joking manner, what was it that made him tick, was it something I did previously? Did I hurt him before, so severe that he made me feel this way? He said no. So all of these is not intended – it’s just the way he is. But I’m still curious about our (my) well-being, so I wanted to ask these:

    1. What would you do/say to your significant other if you were in the same situation?

    2. Is there anything I should do to better myself to face our relationship? Perhaps like “start having more faith in your bf” or “be kinder to him.”

    3. Should I preserve this the way it is, should I try to improve it, or should I discard it completely and start a new chapter?

    Thanks for reading this thread by the way. Damn it’s a long one.

    • This topic was modified 1 year ago by tinybuddha.
    • This topic was modified 1 year ago by Jamie.

    Oh and in regards about the birthday gifts I gave him:

    – The cake I gave him was decorated with words that say: “Happy Birthday Bibendum” (you can Google what Bibendum literally is, and that’s exactly how my boyfriend looks in terms of appearance. It was an inside joke for us – we treat it gleefully).

    – A week after his birthday, I asked about the taste of the cake and whether it is okay to re-purchase the same cake. He shrugged it off, then admitting he hadn’t even eaten it yet.

    – A week after his birthday, I saw him posting an Instagram story of receiving a birthday cake (that’s from me, still untouched) and receiving a gift (that’s from me also) but didn’t tag me, didn’t mention my name, didn’t put anything as a caption except this sentence in a joking manner: “What kind of cake is this?” (referring to the Bibendum joke I put)

    Whereas, in comparison, if his circle of friends gave him stuffs, he posted it in a wholehearted manner, with complete tags and face of the ones who gifted it.


    Not sure if this is a pattern for you; to be with men that disrespect you, are controlling, that lie, and steal from you (borrowing money and not paying it back).

    If you cannot recognize that these are not “minor” problems then please get professional help in order to recognize why you are choosing such men like this guy. If you think this is your “fault” then I advise you to examine why you would tolerate such treatment.  I see this as a self love, self esteem issue.

    Does that make sense?


    Hi Jamie,

    Wow, this guy sounds irritating!

    Why would you stick around with him to yet be disappointed for another year?

    I mean, if you do choose to stay, you could enlist your best friend to tell him, “Hey, we’re planning a surprise party for Jamie”. He’d be pressured to step up his game, but he might resent it.

    Is he embarrassed by you? (the social media tagging thing)

    Don’t expect your money back. That said, don’t lend him anymore money until his debts are paid.

    For his birthday have it more of an event with other people. Tell him birthdays are and will be made much of.

    Tell him you’re taking a break from your screen/social media. When he complains say “This (people getting offended) is exactly the reason why I’m taking a break”.

    And that advice is if you want to keep him. Do you?


    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Inky.
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