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But Really, I Don’t Want Anything…

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Have you ever been with someone who has uttered those fateful words “Really, I don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day/my birthday/Christmas/pick-your-favorite”? Only to have them get mad when you take them at their word?

I know, this is all part of a game – he/she doesn’t really mean they don’t want anything; rather, they’re hoping that you’ll perform a Vulcan mind meld and be able to auto-magically determine what they actually do want, just without the whole telling you part. And I know it’s supposed to be romantic that your partner will just know you that well that you’ll be able to pick out the perfect gift from your soulmate connection.

I had an epiphany over the weekend. I was working at a client site where a young kid in the shop was talking about his first girlfriend. They had been dating for about eight months. The topic of conversation was what the involved people were going to do with their partners for Valentine’s Day. He said, “I’m not going to do anything; my girlfriend told me that she didn’t want anything for Valentine’s Day”.

After we all finished laughing and wiping the tears away from our faces, we explained to him the rules of the road. A suggestion was made to “go out and pick up some flowers and something small, then give it to her, saying ‘I know that you said you didn’t want anything, hon, but I just felt that someone like you needed a little something just for being special'”.

I, for one, am a bit tired of this routine. A few years ago, a woman that I was dating at the time told me that she didn’t want anything for Valentine’s Day. So, as we got ready for bed that night, she turned to me and said, “So, you really didn’t get me anything for Valentine’s Day?”

“Actually, no. I didn’t,” I responded. “Why ever not?” she asked of me, starting to get a little wound up (did I mention that we were starting to fight a lot during the preceding month?).

“Because you told me that you didn’t want anything. Apparently, I was foolish enough to think that you were telling me the truth. Had I known that you were lying to me, I would have chosen a different course of action.” Things went downhill from there.

I seem to recall saying “I just assumed that the same woman who tells me that she loves me every day wasn’t particularly going to lie to me. Silly f-in’ me.” As a side note, we broke up about two or three months later for unrelated reasons.

So, why do we do this? And I do mean we; I know men and women who say they don’t want anything when they really do. Is it some kind of attempt at demureness and modesty? What’s wrong with just being honest about what you want.

Try it with me: “Honey, I love you. If you want to get me something for Valentine’s Day, some flowers would be nice. Or some chocolates”. Or even something like “If you want to get me something on Feb 14, that’d be swell.” Heck, anything other than a blatant falsehood.

“I don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day.” Then don’t be surprised when you get exactly what you ask for.

Except you, snookums. I got you flowers just for being special.

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  • RJ

    My ex-gf used to pull this crap with me. So, I’d say, okay, fine. V-D is now officially NOT a holiday we will celebrate.

    Did I mention I’m still single? 😉

  • Heck – it seems I might be the only woman who meant the words “Don’t waste your money on this commercialized occasion.”

    We were planning to go out for dinner but then decided to stay home and watch 24 under a warm quilt.

    It is anyway tough remembering birthdays and anniversaries. Being rather forgetful by nature I have faced enough sullen reactions when I’d forget these occasions.

    And now these shitty card and floral industries have made my life more miserable by adding more ‘happy so and so days’.

  • Apparently, I was foolish enough to think that you were telling me the truth.

    The phrasing may be infelicitous, but the core is solid gold. There would be more “forever” relationships out there if people quit lying to each other.

    So ladies, if you mean “guess what I want instead of asking me,” say that, not “I don’t want anything.” And be prepared to get something less than you expected.

    And guys, I speak from experience when I say that a dream gift for most women is something (however simple) that arrives out of the blue.

  • gridsleep

    There is a simple solution. Avoid all personal relationships. Period.

  • Girly Girl

    I found this blog when searching google with the following criteria:

    “how to avoid celebrating valentines, without starting a fight”

    Last year just after we got engaged he asked me how I wanted to spend Valentines now that we were engaged? I told him that in my mind, it was a stupid card holiday, I didn’t want him spending a lot of money, I really didn’t need to be wined and dined, and if he wanted to get me something I really do prefer homemade cards and sentiments of any kind over anything he could buy for me. (He couldn’t believe me so we actually argued over what I said I wanted vs. what he believed I really wanted)

    I told him that I would make us a special dinner at home. Which I did and I made him some special romantic and sexy homemade valentines. I gave him a wonderful massage. He indeed made me a beautiful lacy homemade valentine but he still chose to sabotage and ruin the occasion for some reason. I ended up in tears because of his behavior. NOT because he didn’t spend any money on me.

    Last thing I want is a replay of last year’s sabotaging.

    So, just yesterday I talked to my sister-in-law on the phone, I told her, “I have no desire to go out and celebrate this dumb Valentines holiday. I don’t want any cards and I don’t want to be expected to give a sappy card either. I asked her how do I gracefully get out of it?”

    Over dinner last night he asked me, “Where are you taking me for Valentines?” I almost choked on the biscuit I was eating. I wasn’t prepared for that question.

    So the truth remains no matter who is paying I don’t want to celebrate. And of all things- I don’t want to pay for– it is to take him out for Valentines. I must have had a shocked look on my face so he said “oh” pause,” I guess it will be McDonalds.” To suggest McDonalds meant that he had read my face pretty accurately, because there isn’t a chance you would ever get me to eat at any fast food restaurant let alone celebrate in one.

    So With the attitude that all of you guys seem to have that we women are the dishonest ones– how do you get a guy to BELIEVE you mean it when You say that you really don’t want to celebrate Valentines? I do not want to pick a fight over this. I don’t want to hurt his feelings over this. But the fact remains the holiday is unimportant to me, nothing but a card holiday in my mind. And from all the guys I have ever known– they don’t really care about what the girl gets them it is about wooing her. So how do I get out of it?

    Am I wrong to believe that most guys hate the pressure of Valentines Day Celebrating? You guys who have commented don’t sound very thrilled over it. To me it appears that Valentine’s is a perfect ploy for a romantic date if you haven’t got the girl already but other than that it is just PRESSURE on you.

    So GUYS how do you REALLY feel when a girl says I don’t want anything for Valentines. Is there a moment of relief before your logic kicks in and tells you that she is lying? Or are you disappointed because you love the romance of the holiday?

  • christina

    i really dont want anything….

  • Alexis

    yeah but how about when you actually say “I plan on getting you something, please plan something to do that day and it’d be nice if you actually got me something” and he didn’t either plan or get me anything?

    Maybe he’s just a flipping asshole.

  • a girl

    One situation: she says she doesn’t want anything, he gets her flowers and says he just really wanted to get her something. She could be happy not because she actually hoped for them, but instead because its seems like a sign that he’s actually a sweet emotional guy.
    Another situation: she says she doesn’t want anything, and she really doesn’t. Not everyone who says this is lying.
    Lastly, it depends on the people. If she is anti-material and straightforward and knows you are too, that is much different than other situations. I think a lot of times its not so much lying, as one part of her doesn’t want a gift, but the part so influenced by society still expects something. Not to mention the romance of a surprise gift that she might unintentionally hope for.

  • I had a good laugh reading this story. I got to admit that I have gone through this. I also got mad at her for the lack of brain power that she exhibits. I need direct answer to questions and refuse to second guess someone.

    The misses has learned this over time and we now are in a relationship where we both are aware of what each other needs.

    These silly games of guess double guess are ones of immuturity and disapointment.

    Let them know from the beginning the rules of the game and you’ll do better. If they can’t understand that then ditch em cos their mental.

  • Jane Burns

    I really don’t want to order anything because I have enough stuff now. Thought you could enter without buying anything.