Relationships take work and compromise. Sometimes, one partner does most of that work and compromises, while the other lives live on easy mode.
It doesn’t matter how much the giver implores the taker to step up; they just don’t seem to get it.
That is, of course, until they get a taste of their own medicine.
One woman came to the internet to see if she was wrong after putting as much effort into her boyfriend’s birthday celebration as he put into hers.
His Usual Birthdays
The Original Poster (OP) said they’ve been together for a few years, and she usually puts a lot of thought into his birthday. They’re both 40, and they make similar salaries.
“For his birthday, I plan a nice dinner out (get reservations and babysitter) and then get him a nice gift,” she reported, adding that the nice gift was typically sports or concert tickets to something he enjoyed, along with a hotel stay in the area so they could make a mini trip out of the occasion.
Her Usual Birthdays
Her birthday is about a month before his, and he’s never gone through a similar effort for her. He doesn’t plan anything. Instead, he waits until she gets home from work on the day of and asks her where she wants to eat.
With no advance notice, she usually has to pick someplace kid-friendly. Her gift is usually a small, thoughtless item from Amazon.
She’s Fed Up
After yet another year with a substandard birthday celebration, OP gives up. She sold the concert tickets she had so thoughtfully gotten in advance, and when his big day arrived, she put in as much effort as he did.
She didn’t make reservations and waited until he got to work to ask him where he wanted to go. She got him a wallet and a tie, gifts similar to those he bequeathed her through the years.
Poor Boyfriend Doesn’t Get It
OP reported that her boyfriend looked confused by the gift. He even dared to express disappointment that they wouldn’t be taking a mini trip this year like they do every year.
OP retorted that she’s tired of putting so much thought and effort into his special day when he does so little for her in return, and she’s simply making things more equitable.
However, she’s starting to second guess herself, so she came to the internet to find out if she was wrong.
Have You Spoken To Him?
The internet’s top response is always “communicate!” OP admitted that she didn’t talk to him about this specific issue, but she has brought up the disparity of effort in different things numerous times throughout the relationship.
Not Wrong OP
Even without this new information, many said OP was justified in her behavior. The idea that you need to communicate when someone is taking advantage doesn’t make any sense.
Her boyfriend is 40 years old. He can see how much effort she puts into his birthday. He knows what he does for her. He doesn’t need someone to hold his hand and show him that he’s treating her poorly. He’s doing it because he doesn’t care.
“As long as his needs continue to be met and you stick around, it is very likely a partner will not be motivated to do better by you,” said one user.
Is OP Petty?
Some folks called OP petty and insisted she was playing games. Others scoffed at this notion.
“It’s weird that it’s seen as playing games when women return the same energy. It’s almost like it’s wrong to make so little effort for the ones you claim to love?” said one user.
“No, it’s not petty,” stated another. “Why should he get a trip when he only remembers your birthday when he gets home? He puts 0% effort into your birthday, [why] should you put in 100% effort for him?” they asked.
Relationships Take Effort
In a good relationship, both parties try to show how much they care. If that effort isn’t reciprocated, resentment will build.
We hope the boyfriend takes this lesson to heart and puts in more effort.