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Monday, April 9, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: Holy Day of Romantic Obligation

Posted by on Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 6:10 PM

My boyfriend and I are both 21 years old we've been going together for about 2 years now. We dont have a set date to celebrate our anniversary, so a couple months ago I bought the issue up and we settled on a date—April 6th—to celebrate our second anniversary. It is now April 9th and I heard absolutely nothing about our so called anniversary that just passed. Yeah, we both have hectic schedules with work and school. We are lucky to see each other once every couple of weeks. But that it's so hard to acknowledge a date that we both agreed on to celebrate "us" is simply confusing me. Should I just cut my losses and leave this relationship? Or is it possible that he just forgot? HELP!!!

She's Heartbroken In Toronto

My response after the jump...



I may not be the ideal advisor for you on this, SHIT, as I'm constitutionally incapable of remembering birthdays or anniversaries.

Fun fact: I met my husband at my favorite bar's 5th anniversary party. The poster for that party—complete with the date of the party spelled out in HUGE red letters—is hanging on the wall of our bedroom. Framed. On my side of the bed. That poster is literally one of the first things I see when I get out of bed... and I couldn't for the life of me tell you the date of my anniversary. Honestly. It's sometime in February... I think.

My personal experience with special dates leaves me inclined to believe that your stressed-out, overworked boyfriend simply forgot. Now you know him better than I do, SHIT, and if you think this guy would set a date and pretend to forget it just to cause you pain—if you think he's capable of being that malicious and sadistic—then you ought to DTMFA. But if you don't think he did this on purpose, if he's a nice guy who has generally treated you well over the last two years, then he's earned the benefit of the doubt: he forgot.

Frankly, SHIT, your letter makes it sounds less like you set "a date... to celebrate us'" and more like you conducted "a test... to see if he's paying attention." It also sounds like you set the date for the test—a date you set two months out—and then didn't bring it up again. If you wanted to celebrate your relationship, if you wanted to make sure your second anniversary was observed somehow, why didn't you remind him that April 6th was approaching and that it was important to you to celebrate?

And, excuse me, but you picked the date—or you convened the meeting where the date was selected—but you don't mention getting him a gift or a card, making dinner reservations yourself, sending flowers to his place of work, etc. Is it a straight thing to expect the person with the penis to do all of the work on a holy day of romantic obligation? Or just an anachronistic one? Either way, SHIT, an old-fashioned girl who believes that gifting/delighting/surprising on birthdays/anniversaries/V-Day is the man's job should remember that hinting/reminding/nagging in the run-up is the old-fashioned woman's job.


Comments (82) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
What he (Dan) said.

I also suck at remember birthdays and anniversaries. My brother (who is same) solved this for us all by inventing Happy No Reason Day. You celebrate it whenever you feel like it. It's great, and we celebrate it all the time, except when we don't, which no one in the family minds.

I highly recommend it, although people have to agree to it and not be stupidly passive-aggressive in expecting you to ALSO remember birthdays and anniversaries and holidays.

Happy No Reason Day, Dan!


Posted by Alice Dreger on April 9, 2012 at 6:15 PM · Report this
Yeah, I call bullshit on the idea that anniversary acknowledgement is a one-way gesture from man to woman. Grow up, letter writer.
Posted by Christy O on April 9, 2012 at 6:22 PM · Report this
AynSavoy 3
With you 100% of the way on this one.
Posted by AynSavoy on April 9, 2012 at 6:27 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 4
Anniversaries are only real when you've had some kind of ceremony anyway. Trying to make one out of your first date, ESPECIALLY when neither of you know the date that happened, is bullshit.

This is another one for the "grow up" file.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 9, 2012 at 6:28 PM · Report this
RIGHT ON. It sounds like this whole anniversary thing was decided upon because it's important to HER, not because they decided on it together. Seems to me it's her responsibility to do all the prep and planning for it, then.

Plus - a guy forgets one fake made-up anniversary (neither of them know the real one, so it apparently was not that memorable), and the LW is wondering if she should cut her losses? Jeeez!

Posted by genevieve on April 9, 2012 at 6:30 PM · Report this
What the heck?

Look, if you want to have an official date to celebrate the two of you, then you need to get married. Then there will be an official date he can look up in public records (possibly engraved on a ring attached to his body!), that everyone can agree on, and a tech savvy friend can program his calendar to remind him a week and a day before the big event. And then you can fight about him forgetting your anniversary, sure, though I wouldn't sweat it then either.

Until you get married, the day to celebrate the two of you is Valentine's Day. No, you don't get to designate a special day in March just to be different--you already know he's swamped.

If you're feeling lost in the shuffle, then it is reasonable to ask "Hey we need to reconnect, how about an all-Saturday outing to XX on April 6th?" It is not reasonable to try and create an anniversary. One you then ignore, Harry on a cracker.
Posted by IPJ on April 9, 2012 at 6:31 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 7
SHIT, it does sound like you set up the "anniversary" as a test and are upset that your BF flunked it. People are not fucking mind-readers. If something is important to you, you need to tell them, sometimes repeatedly.

In particular, SHIT, you need to learn the fine art of "reminding someone without looking like you're reminding someone." Like by saying "Hi honey, what do you want to do on Thursday for our anniversary?" Or "I'm feeling a little depressed about turning [AGE] next week." Just work the day into a regular line of conversation, like it's something you expect he already knows. If he already knows, he won't feel annoyed about your reminder, and if he doesn't, he'll be secretly glad you reminded him. And you get that anniversary event/gift you wanted. Everyone wins.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on April 9, 2012 at 6:32 PM · Report this
My only requirement is that my husband remember the week of my birthday, which is around a major holiday, so he's never missed it. He has forgotten our anniversary, but after 20 years and a child together, I assume he remembers that we're married.

He also brings me flowers for no reason, is awesome in bed, works his ass off to support his family, and loves and respects me. I consider all that a lot more important than a $3.99 pile of Blue Mountain schmaltz. But I'm low-maintenance that way.
Posted by Action Kate on April 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM · Report this
How does SHIT know that her boyfriend isn't thinking that she forgot the made-up anniversary?

Sounds like the date came and went without either party commenting on it.

Therefore, the made-up date was clearly not important to either party.

Why is this an issue?
Posted by Sathya on April 9, 2012 at 6:41 PM · Report this
Women are assumed to have the date remembering gene, but I've missed one of my kids' birthdays. Half hour into our phone conversation that day he's going "Mom, please, tell me you remember what day this is". And the conversation with my husband one anniversary... "No, seriously, what are the flowers for? The date? Yeah, is June 18th special? "
Posted by agony on April 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM · Report this
I'm with the "if there hasn't been a ceremony then don't celebrate it" group.
This sounds too much like high school (and jr high) when "couples" would "celebrate" their "one month anniversary". And have broken up within the next two months.
Has he remembered your birthday?

If this is really that important to you then sit him down and tell him CLEARLY that this is "REALLY IMPORTANT TO YOU".
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM · Report this
I think Dan dropped the ball on this one. I agree with his points, but wish he took the passive-aggressive approach. He should have emailed her back something along these lines...
SHIT - "It is now April 9th and I heard absolutely nothing about our so called anniversary that just passed."

Dan - "So when you wished him a happy anniversary on that date, he completely ignored you? He really is an inconsiderate douchebag."
I would love to have seen her response to that.

Posted by bwouns on April 9, 2012 at 6:53 PM · Report this
I guess some relationships can sustain the pressure of a day that's picked out of a hat for the express purpose of one partner lavishing love and attention on the other. As a straight woman I've had some good relationships, but never one like that. I'm much more interested in our everyday interactions making me feel loved than for it all to come on one big fat day once a year. If you don't feel loved more or less all the time, SHIT (or at least once or twice a week), then why are you in this relationship?
Posted by Prettybetsy on April 9, 2012 at 7:04 PM · Report this
I feel sorry for that guy. He's the one who should be looking to cut his losses.
Posted by Optimal Cynic on April 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM · Report this
Posted by JrzWrld on April 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM · Report this
fannerz 16
I've been with my guy for 5 years and I still tease him, "When's our anniversary?" He never gets it right. I am lucky if he gets the month right. He finally got an iphone and put it in there, so this May 25, we shall see if technology has saved us at last. I don't really take offense though, since he also does not remember his own birthday.
Posted by fannerz on April 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM · Report this
Note to LW's BF: Dump her. She's an annoying, self-absorbed brat. You can do better.
Posted by cxg on April 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM · Report this
Oh, for fuck's sake. She makes the rest of us women loo bad. We are not all crazy psycho bitches who set their men up to fail, regardless of what the evidence suggests.

IPJ @6--"possibly engraved on a ring attached to his body!". Hmmmmmm. I think your wedding ceremony was very different from mine....

Posted by catballou on April 9, 2012 at 7:29 PM · Report this
Sandiai 19
This letter is weird, and even a little disturbing. LW, men are not great at remembering dates (just a broad generalization here. Many exceptions, etc). Furthermore, their thinking is a bit more concrete (again with the generalizations). I've also noticed they don't remember conversations as well as women, either (for me and my bf, this stereotype is true to a ridiculous degree). So, to remember a made-up date for made-up reasons, that you just informed him of one day, is expecting a lot from your fella'. Also, like Dan said, why is it all on him? If this made-up date is so important to YOU, then you give him gifts and take him out, and tell him how happy you've been these (approximately) two years. I guarantee you he will start to think about April 6 as something special, if you make it special. But, please don't give him any more hoops to jump through; personally, I think love/commitment tests are mean.
Posted by Sandiai on April 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM · Report this
While SHIT is irritating, I wonder if it's entirely her fault. Who is teaching women this stuff? because she's not the only one to do this kind of testing.
Somewhere, for some unknown reason, someone started propagating the rumour that a man who forgets a date that a woman has arbitrarily decided to be important (birthday/anniversary/whatever) is a bad guy. Why are women choosing to believe it? Is it all a dastardly Hallmark plot?
Posted by Phil H on April 9, 2012 at 7:31 PM · Report this
There are real problems in the world, lady - stop trying to create more.
Posted by Hannah in Portland on April 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM · Report this
Letter Writer, don't dump him. But definitely stop the testing to see if he really loves you. Grown-ups don't do that. Thirteen year olds do that. What about enjoying the moment? What about enjoying what you have instead of leaving it up to him to "surprise" you or something on a made-up anniversary?
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on April 9, 2012 at 7:37 PM · Report this
"Who is teaching women this stuff?"


"Is it all a dastardly Hallmark plot?"

I *WISH* Hallmark had a "Happy Anniversary of the first day you gave me an orgasm!" card. I wouldn't have to use those stupid "friendship" cards all the time.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 9, 2012 at 8:02 PM · Report this
Not to mention that he has a few other women making the same demands of him (I'm extrapolating from the fact that they're young & they've been "going together" for two years but "are lucky to see each other once every couple of weeks.")
Posted by EricaP on April 9, 2012 at 8:12 PM · Report this
Sandiai 25
"the first day you gave me an orgasm!" card. Hahahahah!

I'm laughing pretty hard here. I would also add: "it's NOT the date you think it is" double haha
Posted by Sandiai on April 9, 2012 at 8:14 PM · Report this
Sandiai 26
@24. Yes, what is up with the minimal contact?
Posted by Sandiai on April 9, 2012 at 8:17 PM · Report this
I know when our wedding anniversary is, but I have no clue what our first date anniversary is. In August sometime. I think.

Rather than get in a twist about Celebrating the Sacred Day, consider whooping it up on the extended plan. Give gifts, go out, bring flowers, write love notes, etc for your anniversary week or month or whatever you decide. No one gets mad at anyone, which is more festive than the alternative. You celebrate for longer, which is also nice. You can skip the expensive day and go all out later, if your special day is Valentine's Day or Mother's Day or some other occasion when shops jack up prices. Best of all, your beloved gets the idea that you like being with him/her every day, not just the days on which that person passes the Test of Timeliness.
Posted by MN on April 9, 2012 at 8:19 PM · Report this
Woman gives man SHIT test, news at 11
Posted by Reader01 on April 9, 2012 at 8:22 PM · Report this
An interesting thought of Ms Erica's.

She should definitely cut his losses; he might not have time to dump her.

And it is not entirely a male thing - Helen Morgendorffer gave Jake a much better present for the one-year anniversary of their commitment ceremony than he gave her. If I had any business having an opinion about the big gender role battle, I'd shudder to think anyone ever thought that way. Fortunately, I have no need to know and less to care, which is just as well, as I lose enough sleep as it is.
Posted by vennominon on April 9, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
For the last four or five years, I only remembered that it was my own birthday when my mom called, sometimes 3 or 4 days later. I usually remember my husband's birthday (married 7 years now), but not always. He has never remembered mine. We are very happy.

[This reminds me - I need to send un-birthday presents to my nephews and nieces this week. Un-birthdays are so much easier to remember, and bring so much more joy.]
Posted by BABH on April 9, 2012 at 8:35 PM · Report this
BEG 31
Dear god, at 21, there's a lot to learn, not the least of which is to not sweat the fucking dates. I like the Happy No Reason Day - that's the best idea I've seen so far.
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on April 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM · Report this
In answer to her question, YES, she should leave the relationship. She's clearly too immature to be in one. Either that, or merely asking the question over an issue this small means she values it very little.
Posted by clashfan on April 9, 2012 at 9:00 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 33
My partner and I have been together more than 20 years.

I remember what month his birthday is, but almost never remember what day without asking him several times a few weeks prior.

We have no idea when we first got together, so we made up an anniversary, too. We were smarter than you were, though. We matched it to a major holiday. Otherwise we'd never remember it.

Finally, neither one of us is petty or passive-agressive. So if I'm feeling nostalgic or romantic, and want to make a special evening on our anniversary, I put on my big boy pants and use my words, and actually say something to him. "Honey, Sunday is our anniversary. Lets go out for a special dinner, okay?" Problem solved.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on April 9, 2012 at 9:12 PM · Report this
Greg 34
Dear letter writer,

Your feelings in this matter are entirely valid. They're also not that important. Don't you have something better to do with your time than manufacture drama in your relationship?
Posted by Greg on April 9, 2012 at 9:14 PM · Report this
We remember our anniversary by making it totally worth while. It is the only time of the year that is just for us and we exclude our kids. We don't come home that night and we don't feel guilty. As soon as it's over, we can't wait til next year. If it weren't so mutually fun and beneficial, neither of us would bother to remember and it would be an obligation if we did. SHIT's approach is shit, not sustainable, and -- I hope -- will drive off any self-respecting partner.
Posted by Funky Monkey on April 9, 2012 at 9:51 PM · Report this
Alanmt 36
What a passive aggressive little creature. Did she intend to create a date in which they both would "celebrate us" together? Cause it sounds like - given that she did nothing to mention the date, nothing to plan something for it, and did nothing for him - that what she really intended to do was create a date for him to celebrate her.

My gosh, who does that? I am guessing she is relatively inexperienced at relationships; this might be her first?

LW, here is some actual advice, and maybe a bit kinder than my first two paragraphs. Call him and say "Hey, our quote unquote anniversary is coming up next Monday - we did agre on the 16th, right? - and I would really like to have dinner together at ____ and sex you up afterwards til you are too sore to make it to the bathroom. But how about we do it on saturday night, instead? Would you mind, honey?"

Salvage his pride by not letting on that you know he forgot by changing the date, which also hides the fact that you actually remembered the real date and did nothing (which you should be very embarrassed about) and guarantee that the two of you the fun celebration you wanted all along.
Posted by Alanmt on April 9, 2012 at 9:54 PM · Report this
sirkowski 37
Bitches gonna bitch.
Posted by sirkowski on April 9, 2012 at 10:04 PM · Report this
Pathetic manipulation - I agree, LW invented a little "jump through my hoop if you love me" test for her boyfriend, then claims to be the injured party when he fails to perform. And yes, it's really glaringly obvious you consider that she does nothing at all on the date, other than sit there quietly waiting for him to make some dramatic gesture that she apparently is not required to make.
Posted by DF on April 9, 2012 at 10:11 PM · Report this
aureolaborealis 39
Maybe he'll remember the date he realized she was a worthless, manipulative little twizzle and got on with his life.
Posted by aureolaborealis on April 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM · Report this
seatackled 40
Please break up.
Posted by seatackled on April 9, 2012 at 10:25 PM · Report this
If having an anniversary wasn't important enough the first time around, who cares? If your first date was a significant event that you wanted to commemorate, you would have. Getting mad at him for forgetting an invented date seems silly.

When my fiance and I were about a month away from our "anniversary," he asked me if I had one, and I wasn't sure either, because we hung out all summer before our first "official" date, which was my birthday. So we decided on the date of the first time we slept together. But we really couldn't even remember the date, just that it was the Saturday of the weekend a friend came down to celebrate HIS birthday. So we picked that friend's birthday as an "anniversary." When it came around, Fiance's parents were visiting, so we couldn't celebrate. By the next year, we couldn't remember if we had chosen the friend's birthday or the day before as our date. I made a cake that said, "Happy fakeversary," and used it as an excuse to convince him that we needed to go out for dinner (he's frugal when it comes to going out).

Do I care if he remembers the exact date of our fakeversary? No, because he's loving every day and brings flowers for no reason. If he ever forgets our wedding anniversary, he better hope the couch is comfortable, but remembering an arbitrary date we picked because, frankly, we were too drunk the first time to remember what day it was or realize it would be significant? So not important.
Posted by J from Oregon on April 9, 2012 at 10:36 PM · Report this
love, love, love the last line.
Posted by natalie on April 9, 2012 at 10:38 PM · Report this
This shit is always amusing, yet really fucking annoying.

I have frequently suffered the wrath of women who "disrespected" by me because I forgot the anniversary of our first date, first fuck, first Tiramisu at the little place on the corner...

Meanwhile I treat them well, don't cheat, listen to their friend drama etc.

These situations make think of cats sitting around judging dogs. They would find the dogs problematic because they just don't seem able to act like a cat. Meanwhile, the dogs really like the cats and don't quite understand why the cats are always hostile. The dogs are being friendly, loving and playful after all...
Posted by Richard Cranium on April 9, 2012 at 10:39 PM · Report this
seandr 44
LW, as a man, I can assure you that if a guy lets the anniversary of when you met pass without celebration, he doesn't love you, you're not special to him, and he's probably just using you for sex.

All is not lost, however. You can still win his heart, but it's going to take months of passive aggressiveness and sexual withholding for him to realize just how lucky he is to have you. It might also help to isolate him from his friends and then subtly chip away at his vulnerabilities in order to bring his self-esteem down a notch.
Posted by seandr on April 9, 2012 at 11:16 PM · Report this
I call fake.
Posted by kersy on April 9, 2012 at 11:23 PM · Report this
Dang. just remembered that our 20th wedding anniversary was last month. We both forgot.
Posted by KCFrance on April 9, 2012 at 11:26 PM · Report this
What seandr said @44. Plus, if LW practices her passive-aggressiveness really seriously (hint: seandr gives you directions, little one), she can get herself truly dramatic divorces from her first and second husbands, which will inspire awesome amounts of sympathy from her girlfriends, especially if alcohol is involved. She'd just better hope they're not smart enough to require prenups.
Posted by Calpete on April 9, 2012 at 11:36 PM · Report this
Hopefully she will be less insane in five years or so.
Posted by Learned Hand on April 10, 2012 at 12:49 AM · Report this
Neptune 49

And super adorable that you have that poster framed! I love sentimental treasures like that.
Posted by Neptune on April 10, 2012 at 12:56 AM · Report this
I want to see that poster! Come on, why not?
Posted by houseoftrash on April 10, 2012 at 2:57 AM · Report this

At 21 lots of things look like the end of the world that ultimately are BIG signals to calm down!. Call up your BF, make a date and, at some point during the festivities, judge if he wants/needs to be with you enough to suit your needs. Repeat a couple of times, and then make your decision based upon "facts" and not fears.

Your early 20s are better spent getting ready for all the time you have ahead of you. Date to have fun, there will be plenty of time for drama later. You barely mention it, but being in college really should be your highest priority; opportunities come to us rarely enough and you're likely going to be paying for this one for a long time.

Posted by Married in MA on April 10, 2012 at 4:11 AM · Report this
samanthaf63 52
She sure was in a hurry to go for the "dump" response. Methinks there's something more than meets the eye (or was written).
Posted by samanthaf63 on April 10, 2012 at 5:27 AM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 53

Just for the record, we're not all la-la or ga-ga in TO (like SHIT).

If you've been together for about two years, then you would have celebrated each other's birthday at least once (and possibly Valentine's Day and Christmas). Did you make those occasions special For. Each. Other? If so, then you have nothing to complain about.

Waiting for your bf to fulfill your unspoken desires (apparently to be placed on a pedestal and worshipped on an arbitrary date) is total CRAP. Men aren't mind readers. Neither are women. You're not a teenager any longer, so please cut the fake drama and grow up.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on April 10, 2012 at 5:52 AM · Report this
geoz 54
"an old-fashioned girl who believes that gifting/delighting/surprising on birthdays/anniversaries/V-Day is the man's job should remember that hinting/reminding/nagging in the run-up is the old-fashioned woman's job."

If this isn't clear... I don't know what could be. Quit being a baby in your relationship.

Posted by geoz on April 10, 2012 at 5:52 AM · Report this
@44 Best comment ever!
Posted by Clayton on April 10, 2012 at 6:31 AM · Report this
Vince 56
Geezus I'm glad I'm single. This is such bullshit compared to what's really important. He's not going to change so you might as well get used to it now.
Posted by Vince on April 10, 2012 at 7:36 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 57
@ 55, that's true only if you have the same repressed resentments ol' seandr suffers. I think it's the bitterest comment ever, myself.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 10, 2012 at 7:41 AM · Report this
@23: Blank cards are your friends.
Posted by My Name Here on April 10, 2012 at 8:07 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 59
Yeah, two-way street. LW, if you woke him up April 6 with an extra-special anniversary blow-job or the like, and he ignored you after that, you have a case. Otherwise, STFU.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on April 10, 2012 at 8:12 AM · Report this
The Max 60
If you really want him to remember something, Remember Leonard Shelby (and Lisbeth Salander). Have it tattooed, preferably in blue ink, on the inside of his left forearm.
Posted by The Max on April 10, 2012 at 8:12 AM · Report this
Actually, Dan, it's:

Monday, January 23rd, 1995.

You missed it again.
Posted by Your husband on April 10, 2012 at 8:31 AM · Report this
I don't understand why women expect the men to do everything.
Posted by idaho on April 10, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
@62 Really? You don't understand? Derp?
Posted by kersy on April 10, 2012 at 9:31 AM · Report this
@43 A better metaphor would be that dogs expect cats to be dogs and refuse to acknowledge that they are not and keep harassing them about it until they get bit in the face.
It sucks that you dated people who were passive aggressive. Everyone has to deal with that at some point whether they are dating men or women, but to lump men together as happy and playful, never understanding why women are so hateful and mean, is ridiculous and telling. Perhaps your issue is you expect your partners to always think like you rather than recognizing they are not and play nice. My cat and dog do it, so can you.

Hopefully SHIT's boyfriend is more understanding. Every relationship needs a good talk on communication and expectations.
Posted by kersy on April 10, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 65
I hope you managed to get the boyfriend's email so you can send him a DTMFA message.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on April 10, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
I'm with 65. He needs to DTMFA ASAP.
Posted by Jamie in Pittsburgh on April 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
I have to agree with the majority here - this is passive-aggressive, immature BS. My girlfriend and I have been dating about two years but it evolved over time, with both of us denying it was a real relationship. For most of that time, we were friends with benefits, at best.

I tried recently to suggest that we come up with some arbitrary anniversary date because we really don't have one, but we couldn't figure out how to do it. Instead, we make random days special. The night we had that talk, I surprised her with a picnic dinner in the bedroom. It turned into the perfect night - but I couldn't tell you the date :)
Posted by daphne24 on April 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
I think she's 21, has been dating this guy long enough for the new to wear off, and is feeling insecure about his commitment to her. She's seeing all these other young, hot guys in her social circle who would lavish (and might be lavishing) more attention on her than her boyfriend. Of course, her boyfriend has no reason to pay that much attention to her. They're together and have been for two years! Perhaps his eye, too, has wandered.

I think she thinks she could trade up and wants him to show her why she shouldn't. So she's creating these tests for him to pass or fail, and since he's failing them, she feels disrespected and wants to dump him.

Which is probably for the best, because at 21 it's going to take quite a few more years for either of them to mature. What's sad is that in 10 years, she might look back on this relationship wishing she hadn't pushed him; and he might look back on it wishing he'd shown her more affection and commitment.
Posted by Gamebird on April 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
AFinch 69
ZOMG - I was gonna shout out a few here, but there is just SO MUCH WIN in the comments. I think @44 (with the necessary gloss @47) takes it. My SO got into the "celebrate the day of our first date anniversary every month" kick...I had to blow off a couple to put a halt to that. One downside of dating younger.
Posted by AFinch on April 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Alanmt 70

Nope. 43's analogy was good. Yours sucks.

What passive aggressive people need is not understanding from the significant others that they abuse with their anger management problems. What they need is to be told to knock it off enough times that they do knock it off, or that they get professional help to do so. And to be dumped, if nothing changes. Stop trying to enable this young woman in conduct and thinking which is not constructive and will harm her future relaitonships and her own happiness.
Posted by Alanmt on April 10, 2012 at 11:26 AM · Report this
Methinks the LW is a Bridezilla in training. . .
Posted by joybd on April 10, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
Break up with him. He doesn't deserve someone like you.
Posted by avast2006 on April 10, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 73
@72- Nicely done.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on April 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
BURN! Dan, 1002020349495, LW, 0.
Posted by Punkster on April 10, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
LW, since you don't see each other that often, maybe the relationship you're now "heartbroken" over doesn't really mean a damn thing to your "boyfriend," who's probably fucking somebody else at his school.
Posted by Deets on April 10, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Cory 76
Dan, that poster story is the cutest thing ever.
Posted by Cory on April 10, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
@matt @57 sorry mr. wet blanket seandr @44 is FULL of win, you are a humorless old windbag.
Posted by fixitman on April 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM · Report this
Geni 78
Schedule special anniversary sex of some sort - something you don't usually do - on the date. He'll remember.

I say that as a female-type person who never remembers dates. We quite deliberately got married on April Fools' Day so that we had a prayer of one of us remembering it.
Posted by Geni on April 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM · Report this
As a daughter, let me tell you now that on a *regular* basis (literally, 95% of the time, it's kind of crazy), my mother calls me by my youngest brother's name, and then my oldest brother's name, and then maybe my dad's, and then mine. And only if I correct her. I'm her only daughter and eldest child. I don't take it personally.

But yes, cut your losses and leave. You are too young to put up with a real human being.
Posted by Gloria on April 10, 2012 at 5:37 PM · Report this
This is just average male behavior. Not always fun to handle, but not worth dumping the guy, because any replacement male would do pretty much the same thing. Next time just ask ahead of time where he wants to go for dinner on your anniversery. Then, two days ahead of time remind him you're going to dinner there on your anniversery, b/c that gives him the 2-day oh-shit-I-forgot-to-get-a-gift warning that most average males would need. As long as he's a great guy otherwise, no need to replace him.
Posted by don't dump him on April 11, 2012 at 7:23 AM · Report this
John Horstman 81
Hmm, people are not mind-readers, SHIT. If you presented the anniversary thing as, "Let's set our anniversary for this day in a couple months. It's really important to me that you remember it and do something for me, because I'm feeling insecure about our relationship, and you remembering something that's important to me will be a good signal that you care enough about what I think and feel to make an effort," then you might have a case. If you simply thought the preceding but didn't actually say it, your boyfriend has no reason to think that it's that important, especially if you didn't do anything for him (it's both your anniversary). It's entirely possible that he's feeling like you don't care about him, since you set a date for your anniversary and then didn't do anything! Generally speaking, women are not expected to be the passive objects of action in relationships any more. You need to acknowledge and exercise your own agency, assert what you want (clearly, out loud), and stop waiting for men to read your mind and do things for you. It's not an effective strategy for getting what you want, unless what you want is to feel resentful and create manufactured reasons to complain about your romantic partner to other people.

I think the responses calling you crazy or stupid are out of line - I know there are cultural factors that socialize this kind of behavior and lead to many women (not just you) expecting men to simply know what's up without articulating it (it can certainly happen in the other direction, but it's much less common). But unless you can get past that, you're going to be disappointed and unhappy in most or all of your relationships. An old Savage Love acronym applies here: OYMSYP (…).
Posted by John Horstman on April 11, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Something about the following is buzzing around my temples like a mosquito: "Yeah, we both have hectic schedules with work and school. We are lucky to see each other once every couple of weeks."

It sounds suspiciously like they didn't even see each other on that date. Now here she is all mad at him for not making a big deal out of a date on which neither of them could quite manage to clear their schedules out enough to be in the same place at the same time.

Princess, you admit that you pulled that specific date out of your ass because you figured some date, any date, is better than no date, and now you are manufacturing controversy because he doesn't attach the same significance to that specific date that you think he ought to, based on your declaring it official in the midst of two hectic schedules. If that constitutes not loving you enough, you will NEVER find love.

Posted by avast2006 on April 11, 2012 at 7:35 PM · Report this

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