When a 25-year-old woman, known as the Original Poster (OP), and her 35-year-old boyfriend embark on a celebratory week of birthdays and their anniversary, the festivities reveal stark differences in their approach to thoughtfulness and consideration. The boyfriend’s neglect during OP’s birthday, followed by her painstaking effort on his, paints a concerning picture of imbalance.
Time of Celebration
At the age of 25, OP finds herself in a three-year relationship with her 35-year-old boyfriend, with their birthdays and anniversary interestingly all occurring within the same week. They look forward to this week of fun every year.
A Promising Plan
To celebrate, they decide to surprise each other on their respective birthdays, planning a joint anniversary dinner as the grand finale. Agreeing to split the dinner’s cost, they confidently look forward to a week of joyous celebration.
A Birthday Gone Wrong
OP’s birthday is a disaster as her boyfriend seems more engrossed in his work emails than in spending quality time with her. He gifts her a pastry containing an ingredient she’s allergic to, displaying a clear disregard for her well-being. The day ends in disappointment when he leaves early for a football game, leaving OP to spend her special day alone.
The Following Conversation
The morning after, OP voices her disappointment, expressing how her birthday felt like a burden to him. In response, her boyfriend simply tells her he did his best and urges her to be grateful. With this response, he dismisses her feelings of neglect and instead turns the blame onto her.
A Different Approach
OP puts in great effort to make her boyfriend’s birthday special. She goes to great lengths to import specialty food and wine from his home country and prepares his favorite childhood meals. She even goes so far as to reach out to his grandmother for family recipes to replicate.
The Contrast of Birthdays
The contrast is striking: while her own birthday was botched, her boyfriend’s birthday is a resounding success. She found great joy in being intentional about what he would enjoy. She is left to hope that things improve for their anniversary.
The Anniversary Dinner
Their anniversary arrives, and OP harbors a hope that her boyfriend will cover the bill as an apology gesture for her birthday fiasco. When the bill comes, OP raises the question of splitting it. Her boyfriend’s response was to suggest she simply transfer him her share later so as not to embarrass him.
At the end of her rope, OP decides to confront the issue head-on. As the waitress comes over with the bill, OP insists on splitting it then and there. OP pays for the wine and her own meal, which amounts to 70% of the total bill, leaving her boyfriend to cover the rest.
As they leave the restaurant, her boyfriend expresses his anger and embarrassment. He accuses her of being a spoiled brat, tells her he can’t change the past, and suggests she needs to learn to let go of annoyances. At this moment, OP realizes the depth of his insensitivity and uncaring nature.
Fed up, OP tells him her issue isn’t about changing the past but his lack of remorse or effort to make up for her ruined birthday. She points out his greater concern for looking like a generous spender to the restaurant staff rather than genuinely caring for her feelings. She is starting to see the hypocrisy embedded in his actions.
He accuses her of being in the wrong, arguing that they had agreed to split the bill and she had no right to be annoyed. He continues to deflect the blame, overlooking the real problem at hand: his neglectful attitude and lack of empathy. The story concludes with OP questioning herself and her own attitude toward the situation.
A Different Perspective
OP reaches out to an online forum, and users are appalled by the boyfriend’s actions. They assure her that her feelings are valid and it was her boyfriend who was in the wrong. They help her see the repeated pattern of neglect and emotional manipulation.
A Hard Decision
OP is faced with a hard decision. She loves her boyfriend, but she also realizes that her emotional needs aren’t being met. She contemplates whether or not to continue with a relationship that causes her so much distress.
Was Purposefully Embarrassing Her Boyfriend Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “He showed you how much he values you. I could maybe excuse the work email, but to ignore you and watch football after dinner is inexcusable. His effort and bar is very low.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “The fact that he didn’t apologize and then expected you to just go along with his plans of making it look like he was paying for everything when you, in fact, were paying half of the meal is ridiculous. ”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “After three years, you would think your boyfriend knows what you are allergic to.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “So many things I could point out wrong with this guy, but just based on how he made you feel on your birthday, you should already know why you need to leave him.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.