People always say 'it's the thought that counts' about gift giving. But that's not always as straightforward as it sounds. Someone can think their gift shows care and love, without fully realizing the message it's sending.
Intention versus impact is a major player in the gift-giving sphere, and it only gets more complicated in romantic relationships. Sometimes, something as simple as a misguided gift, can set off a chain of feelings about the relationship in general.
So me (28M) and my GF (30F) have been together for 8 years and we have been living together for 4 years. GF has always been the artsy type and always has some personal project going but she has the tendency to get lost in her own world. We celebrated my birthday last weekend and she ended up getting me a pencil lengthener.
I don't use pencils and the lengthener in question didn't even fit your typical No.2, it was purely for colored pencils, I also don't color. When she asked me if I liked it, I just quietly walked outside our home and tossed it in the trash. She was understandably upset and called me an AH for doing that claiming that I could have least tried it.
Here's the thing, she has been doing things like this ever since we started living together. She has been gifting me things that she likes and ultimately ends up using them. For example, last year she got a packet of Sailor Moon stickers. I don't watch Sailor Moon and she ended up using them all. She also gifted me a jewelry box one time.
I don't wear jewelry so guess who's been using it all this time. First world problems at its finest. So it's been a few days and she's still upset and has even got both of our parents to berate me for trashing the gift. She even admitted she knew I would hate it and was planning on using it after I 'calmed down' in a few days, a detail that she did share with others but I am still getting name called. Am I really the AH?
Edit: Nearly every comment says we need to talk about this. The thing is we have more than once. She admitted she does this because she wants something but decides to gift it to me to say 'I tried.' I asked if I gave her a wish list would that help and she said that she would never look and it and well she didn't when I made and sent one to her.
She on the other hand does have a wish list which I do get her stuff from and some of that stuff is actually expensive.
NTA. Seriously she is buying you gifts for herself. She makes a habit of this. Have you turned it around on her yet? For the next gift you give her, get her something you really want (and she won't want). When she gets pissed about that, explain that you thought that was how your relationship worked, since she buys things she wants when you get a gift.
OK. So everyone in this situation is the AH. Her for gifting you something she knows you won't use and disregarding your wishlist and you for just trashing the gift.
But overall- why are you in this toxic relationship?
NTA. She knows how you feel about this and does it anyway. In no way does this say she tried. Next time, take the gift, keep it but don't use it, then use it next time you give her a gift since you know she wants it. Better yet, give her a gift you want, then once she opens it and looks at it confused, grab it, say 'whoops! That's for me!' and give her her gift.
NTA. Normally throwing the gift out like that would be a really awful and mean thing to do, but considering her particular habit of gifting things that she wants to use, I'm not surprised you reacted that way. like omg, who does that 💀 is she not embarrassed?
Has this been going on the full 8 years? This isn't really a 'first world problem,' I mean this is just flat-out rude and selfish. I feel like this would be a dealbreaker for most people tbh. When it comes to gifts it's the thought that counts but she isn't even giving you that. I'd expect this behavior from middle schoolers but 30 is toooo old to be doing that.
People are commenting that you should do the same to her when it's her birthday but honestly idk why you should bother with that...idk how the relationship got this far to begin with honestly.
NTA and honestly, I’d consider ending a relationship with someone who admitted to my face that they don’t care enough to get me a gift they know I’ll like. That is just next level laziness, disrespect, and self-centeredness. The worst part is that she doesn’t even seem remorseful about it.
Clearly, OP and his girlfriend have some serious relational issues to work out if they want to salvage this at all.