by Aaron Traister, REDBOOK
DEAR WHYS GUY:
My birthday is in January, and last year my boyfriend gave me a promise ring. We didn't celebrate Valentine's Day last year because of that (apparently). I eventually got over it, even though I bought him something for Valentine's Day.
This year, I unintentionally spent more on my boyfriend for Christmas than he spent on me. He kept saying he messed up at Christmas, but that I shouldn't worry because he had already planned for V-day this year. (On Christmas, he got me a bottle of wine that we had a few years ago for a special occasion, not knowing I had bought a bottle of the same wine for our Christmas dinner). Last week, V-day came up again in conversation. But this time he played dumb when I mentioned that he told me he already had something planned.
Could he have been lying the first time, or is he trying to throw me off? I don't want to over-spend on him for V-day if in the end he's going feel bad that he didn't do the same for me.
Related: The Real Reason Men Hate Valentine's Day
Firstly, it's a bad piece of luck that you drank the same wine for dinner that your boyfriend bought you for Christmas, but do you know how many men out there pay attention to little things like wine during special moments with their significant others?
Related: Dear Whys Guy: "Do Guys Believe in Finding One True Love?"
I don't remember anything about the details of the special moments I've had with Karel. For all I know she was wearing a meat-dress and drinking a forty of Olde English 800 when I asked her to marry me. I don't think she was, but who knows, maybe I should give it a shot next anniversary. "Karel, tonight, I celebrate my love for you... with a case of malt liquor."
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Seriously though, I couldn't conjure a present that represented that special moment (or most of the others) if I were given truth serum and put under heavy hypnosis.
So be thankful for what you have in your guy.
Related: The Most Original Way to End an Argument with Your Spouse
Secondly, I don't know what's gonna happen this Valentine's Day with your boyfriend (I bet he doesn't either), but I can guarantee you he's sweating bullets over February 14th as I write this. If you want to avoid situations like this in the future, set a spending limit on each other, or do something like make joint donations to your favorite charities-because suddenly you'll wake up one day with kids and a dog and too many cats and a fish and way too much stuff, and you'll realize you don't want anything else in your house to clean up or put away, so you might as well do something help someone else out. Come to think of it I don't even know where I'd put a case of Olde English 800.
Related: Valentine's Day Plans Generator
Need help decoding odd male behavior? Redbook columnist Aaron Traister, who lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two kids, is our resident male who is happy to answer any questions you might have about the mind of a man. Either leave your questions in the comments or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with Whys Guy in the subject. Letters, emails, and comments may be edited for clarity and length.
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