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Q: Dear Karinna,
My boyfriend's birthday is the week before mine. He doesn't think birthdays are that important while I think they are a personal holiday. He didn't want anything from me, but he accepted gifts from his friends and coworkers.
Then, on my birthday, when I asked him what he got me, he was angry and said he didn't get me anything. He had just spent the weekend with me and felt like that was enough. I understand that "quality time" means a lot to him, but why didn't he do something special – or at least buy a card, like he did in years past? The only thing he did do was call to say Happy Birthday and come by after work that day.
Now he says he needs space because being around me all the time is too overwhelming at times. I feel that there is a barrier between us and everything has changed. Is this situation just immaturity on both our parts? What should I do?
– Feeling Unappreciated, S.
Your boyfriend's birthday brush-off and then his talk with you afterwards is communicating something loud and clear – your relationship is not as important to him as it once was.
Please listen to what he is really saying. He communicated that your relationship wasn't important by:
1. Not wanting a birthday gift from you. (Did not want to receive love from you.)
2. Accepting birthday gifts from his friends and coworkers. (Willing to receive love from others.) ?
3. Did not get you a gift for your birthday. (Did not want to give love to you in the way you wanted or needed it.) ?
4. Got angry when you asked him about it. (Did not respect or want to acknowledge your feelings.) ?
5. Did not even buy you a card like he had in past years. (Did not want to even acknowledge his love or fondness for you like he had in the past.) ?
6. After your birthday he let you know he needs space. (He is letting you know he is moving away.)
You are right! You are being under-appreciated. In fact, you are not being appreciated at all. Unfortunately for many people it is difficult to break up with someone when they know a significant event like a birthday is approaching, so they wait and make you both suffer through it. But once that is over, they begin to move towards more space, which is most often calling it quits.
I encourage you to confront the situation. His behavior is communicating to you that he is not available. The opportunity here is to acknowledge that he is pointing you in the direction that would be best for you, which is away from a lack of love and towards someone who doeswant to give, receive, honor and really be with you.
Karinna Kittles-Karsten is an internationally recognized love educator and keynote speaker on creating high quality LOVE in our personal relationships as well as global connectivity. She is author of the best-selling book, Intimate Wisdom, The Sacred Art of Love, and the creator/host of the popular DVD Sacred Love-Making. For more information visit www.sacredlove.com.