Gift-giving is an act of love from the giver to the receiver. It’s also one of Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages, alongside acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, and physical touch.
Receiving a gift floods the brain with feel-good chemicals, like serotonin. You want to feel that serotonin high, but your boyfriend never buys you gifts. So, you feel upset, instead. You’re left wondering if you’ve done something wrong, or if your boyfriend doesn’t love you.The convention suggests that a man who loves you will buy you gifts. But did you know that everyone has a different way of expressing love? So, if you’re wondering why your boyfriend never buys you gifts, read on. We’ve listed 5 explanations for why he isn’t big on gifts, even though you are!
What Are Love Languages in a Relationship?
Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages theory explains how people have different love languages in relationships. If you’re fond of receiving frequent gifts, it could mean your love language is “gift-giving.” So, you should find a partner who prioritizes that.
Unfortunately, the current situation indicates a lack of romantic gifts in your life. You’re sitting here googling “why doesn’t my boyfriend buy me gifts?”, which suggests you’re unhappy in this relationship. As Chapman would say, your “love tank” is empty, because your boyfriend hasn’t filled it up with the type of love you want to receive.
For you, being loved by your boyfriend means receiving his gifts. But for him, showing love could mean something completely different. Most men are ‘acts of service’ type people, anyway. They may not always be as big on giving gifts as you want them to be.
Before diving into discussions with your boyfriend, you need to understand your love language. Are you certain it’s ‘gift–giving’, or are you only pushing for gifts because your friends said that’s how it ought to be? Remember, don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s. We all have different love languages in relationships. You need to focus on your love language and your partner’s, too. Nobody else’s opinion should matter.
Why Doesn’t My Boyfriend Buy Me Gifts?
If your love language is gift-giving, you likely expect the same from other people. Giving and receiving gifts makes you feel loved.
However, everyone experiences love in different ways. Gifts are only part of the package for most couples! Still, you keep asking yourself “my boyfriend doesn’t buy me gifts, so does he even love me?” Woah! That’s a powerful question. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here are five reasons why your boyfriend never buys you gifts:
1. He Expresses His Love in a Different Way
There are five love languages, and your boyfriend could have any of them. There’s only a 20% chance he’ll share your love language, so be patient with him!
If you’re looking for an answer to “why doesn’t my boyfriend buy me gifts?”, try finding out what love means to him, first! If you’re in a long-term relationship, you must have an idea of his love language already. If not, then just ask! Healthy communication is the way to go!
If your boyfriend doesn’t see gifts as an integral part of dating someone, you have your answer. The response to “why doesn’t my boyfriend buy me gifts?” is this: he just expresses love in a different way!
2. He Doesn’t Know What You Want – Tell Him!
Contrary to popular belief, boyfriends cannot read minds. It’s unfortunate, but true. So you’ll just have to tell him what you want, instead.
Maybe your boyfriend doesn’t give you gifts because he doesn’t know you want them. Try telling him what you want, but do it with kindness. For example, you can say “hey, I know you show love in all these other ways, and I love that. But, I feel most loved when I get little gifts, so can you try doing that for me, please? I want gifts from my boyfriend!”
Being direct is often better than being passive-aggressive or comparing your partner to other men. That’ll only hurt his feelings, and he’ll feel like he isn’t good enough for you. So, pad your critique with appreciation and allow him to be better for you!
Remember, there is nothing wrong with telling him openly and honestly about your expectations. If you choose to talk around your desires, you will accumulate anger at your partner. Sooner or later, he will become burnt out trying to please you and no longer want to invest in your relationship.
3. Your Relationship is not Balanced
Sometimes your boyfriend doesn’t buy you gifts because he feels that he’s no longer important to you. Perhaps he used to buy something for you or invested in your relationship in a different way but felt like you didn’t give him anything back. Even the most selfless and loving person gets frustrated if their efforts go unnoticed. In such a case your relationship is at risk of becoming one-sided.
For example, one partner keeps paying for everything, and their date takes it for granted. (I see them thinking something like, “You don’t need gifts, I am your gift!”). No matter how generous the partner is, if they don’t get anything in return, they will end up feeling like they are just a source of money. If this happens between you and your boyfriend, ask your partner what he would like to get from you. Perhaps he’s waiting for your investment in the relationship to fix the balance.
Maintaining a balance doesn’t mean that you should immediately give your boyfriend something of the same value in exchange for the thing he gives to you. It’s not about money at all.
Maintaining a balance doesn’t mean that you should immediately give your boyfriend something of the same value in exchange for the thing he gives to you. It’s not about money at all. The thing is, relationships are about teamwork. So, try appreciating your partner’s contribution and also make your own efforts. Maybe he needs your emotional support even more than you need gifts. A sudden reluctance to do anything for you may just be a marker that your boyfriend is burnt out and needs some extra TLC.
4. He Doesn’t Make Enough Money
Sometimes you don’t need to dive deep to solve a gift riddle. It might be that your boyfriend is trying to cope with financial problems right now. Although he wants, he can’t buy you what you want and is ashamed to tell you about it. Men are especially sensitive when it comes to financial well-being.
Start with a conversation. It is important to understand what both of you are ready to give to each other. I want to repeat the thought I wrote previously: the balance in the relationship is not a question of gift prices. It is much more about emotional support that fuels your love and gives you a great deal of inspiration to work on your relationship problems, including the financial ones.
5. He’s no Longer Into You
Sometimes the answer to the question “why doesn’t my boyfriend buy me gifts?” sounds like this: he’s just not into you anymore! I know it’s a bitter reality, but it’s worth considering.
However, gifts aren’t the only thing he’ll be holding back if he’s done with the relationship. If he’s lost feelings for you, he might start spending more time alone. He may not give you as much attention as he used to, and will radiate coldness when you’re close.
Of course, these could all be signs of depression, too. So, take in your partner’s context before jumping to conclusions. If he really has lost feelings for you, then you should have an adult conversation with him. If you feel it’s a different matter, ask him how he feels, and how you can support him.
All this being said, you shouldn’t have to beg for attention or gifts in a relationship. You can inform your partner about your expectations, without pressuring him too much, of course. But then the ball is in his court.
As his girlfriend, you should consider his financial situation, too. If you’re fond of fancy gifts, then you should reconsider your stance if your boyfriend is a young man with a fixed salary. It isn’t kind to demand hefty gifts, especially in this economy.
However, if you’re certain he can afford it, but doesn’t know what you want, try talking to him about it. If he makes an effort to accommodate you, you know he’s a keeper. But if he acts cold on purpose, there’s some hidden emotions that need to be addressed…even if it’s scary for you. You deserve someone who meets your emotional needs.
So, don’t avoid conversations. Talk to each other even when it seems extremely hard. Words are what help you express your feelings, understand the other’s, clarify a situation, or even save a seemingly doomed relationship.