Dear Snarky – I Broke Up With My Boyfriend Because He Sucks at Giving Gifts

Dear Snarky,

I’ve just broken up with my boyfriend and now I’m having second thoughts. We started dating a year ago just before the pandemic and we really thrived when some of my friends relationships tanked.

The reason I broke up with him is because he pretty much failed Valentine’s Day. Due to COVID we did a romantic dinner at my condo. My boyfriend brought the steaks and two bottles of wine. The problem was he didn’t get me a gift. He showed up with some flowers but they were grocery store tulips from Whole Foods not even from a florist.

The whole night I was wondering when he was going to give me a gift and it never happened. I was devastated. When at the end of the night he asked me what was wrong I told him that my love language was gifts and I was heartbroken he didn’t give me one.

He said he thought the expensive wine and flowers were gifts and I told him no that the wine and flowers cost less than eating out at a really nice restaurant for Valentine’s Day.

We got in big fight and it ended with my boyfriend telling me that his love language is “women who aren’t freaks about Valentine’s Day” and that’s when I broke up with him.

Now I really miss him but my mom says I did the right thing “because a man that won’t spoil you on Valentine’s Day when you’re dating is a loser and will be a husband who forgets your birthday.”

(That said, he didn’t do such a great job with my birthday either.) But now I don’t know. I really miss him and before Valentine’s Day I thought he was the one. He’s got a great job, is super nice, funny, handsome and has helped me fix up my condo even tiling the bathroom and kitchen for me. Should I try to get back together?

Signed, Worst Valentine’s Day Ever

Dear Worst,

No, you should NOT try to get back together. Leave this poor man alone. Frankly, I think he deserves someone who isn’t going to judge him based solely on his Valentine’s Day “performance.”

(Full disclosure: I’ve written a couple times about how I’m not a sucker for Valentine’s Day so my advice is going to be harsh.)

A man who can tile a kitchen and bathroom in my book outweighs someone who can go on Amazon and get you a “Forever Love” heart necklace for $79.99. But that said if you’re someone who celebrates their birthday month and has a “love language” of gifts then this man is NEVER EVER going to be the one who will make you happy and I have no doubt you would make him miserable.

As for your mom she sounds like her love language is bitch. Good Lord give me strength! She’s a parent and one would think she would be telling you to focus less on a boyfriend’s gift giving skills and more on his positive attributes like full employment and kindness (and yes his ability to tile).

I’m hoping that for your sake you mature out of this whole ridiculous “gifts are my love language” B.S. because material goodies while great for a social media post aren’t going to bring you any real or lasting happiness. And if you do find a man who is all about the presents please realize the excessive gifts could be acting as camouflage to hid some serious flaws.  

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at 😉




20 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – I Broke Up With My Boyfriend Because He Sucks at Giving Gifts

  1. Leslie Wilson says:

    So..what did she buy for him?
    Harsh reality check. Once you are married to someone, any money spent on gifts comes directly out of your pocket too, as it is no longer available to go towards a shared mortgage, cars, children or vacations. Personally, I have found those to outweigh the value of material trinkets.

      • Jolene says:

        Oh, girl, you are an idiot! The guy is probably relieved to be out of a relationship with you!!! He brought the steaks, wine and flowers…and what did you provide? Besides a spoiled brat attitude! Lucky, lucky man to be free of you!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Spot on, Snarky! Evidently she values gifts (more expensive than a nice dinner out kind of gifts), more than him. He is lucky to be rid of her. Relationships take work, and, she shouldn’t have written him off because he didn’t understand her Love Language…those kind of relationship nuances take time to learn. If he doesn’t share your love language, how can she expect him to understand it? He’s sounds like quite a catch…for someone else…someone who doesn’t value gifts more than the relationship.

  3. Scott B says:

    My wife and I agreed not to buy each other cards. We’re hit and miss on that but I try to make sure it’s agreed in advance which way we’re going that year. 🙂 I bought flowers a few weeks before (because I hate forced flowers and would much rather surprise her). She made an incredible dinner for the family and I did the laundry, dishes, and scrubbed all the toilets. That’s our love language.

  4. AthenaC says:

    Oh my.

    I think she has received some very toxic ideas about relationships from her mother, and the sooner she can unlearn these things, the fewer people she will hurt, including herself. He went to a lot of effort to “spoil her” on Valentine’s Day, and a good partner will appreciate efforts made by the other partner rather than focus on what ELSE they wanted.

    Sounds like she’s realizing that she fouled up, and unfortunately I think this bridge has been torched for this relationship. She should instead take what she learned and resolve to treat future partners differently.

  5. Marla says:

    Yes he dodged a bullet if she cares more about gifts than memories. While cleaning out stuff during snowmaggeon week, my husband found a card I must have purchased years ago. He asked if I was going to give it to him in November. I asked what type of card it was…he said Anniversary. I said I wasn’t going to give it to him in November…because our Anniversary is in October! After 32 years together I will give him a pass since our first date was in November.

  6. Crankygal says:

    Yeah, that whole “love language” theory is little more than an excuse for some people to be materialistic dopes. I’m guessing the lucky bullet-dodging man’s love language might be “showing you care by doing nice or helpful things for the other person.”

      • Crankygal says:

        I blame this guy: “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” is a 1992 book by Gary Chapman.

        Several men I’ve worked with swore this approach was like being given a decoder ring to help figure out their significant other. Were I to use the theory, it would be to screen prospective significant others because I personally couldn’t tolerate someone who expected gifts from me as proof of my love.

  7. Rebel says:

    Unpopular opinion, I think there are times gifts can be important. I get upset when my awesome husband does absolute zero for an occasion. I do still hold a little grudge about my first mother’s day with a card from our stockpile scribbled with “foot massage.” And I actually prefer non-material gifts (tickets, night out, etc). What I really want is to see that some planning and effort went into it, which the boyfriend here did achieve. But if she’s going to go into the comparative costs of a night out vs wine & flowers? Yeah, boyfriend dodged a bullet!

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