Holidays, Anniversaries, Birthdays, etc.

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theotherle
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07 Oct 2008, 10:44 pm

Are they important to you?

My boyfriend (he has AS, I don't) doesn't care for them and doesn't understand why I would either. It's become a minor problem lately. On Christmas and my birthday he chose nice gifts, but otherwise ignored them both (no phone calls, and we spent them both apart). I went out of my way for him on both, which he enjoyed, but didn't make the connection that I might as well. This was slightly disappointing for various reasons, but I reminded myself that it wasn't personal. However, when our one-year anniversary came round recently, I'd raised my hopes slightly, because he'd mentioned it a few days before and said that it was a day he wouldn't mind celebrating. I called him that day at the time we'd met a year previously, saying that I was glad we'd met/happy anniversary, and the reaction was basically "Oh...? Yeah. Happy day we met a year ago. Was going to do ___ though. Bye." Nearly a month later, he reminds me that it's our "2^25s anniversary of meeting" (yes, I am temped to laugh at this). He decided on his own to make this day our anniversary because he liked the number... not that he wanted to do anything other than mention it. I feel stuck. I try calmly explaining why celebrating a day might be worthwhile, but it almost always turns into an accusation that I'm planning for him to fail by not saying exactly what I want beforehand. I see his reasoning there, except that I don't want anything in particular, just thoughtfulness. I'm tired of thinking he's indifferent to me and then being treated as a conspiring monster when I try to figure out what's going on. I can deal with him not caring about "days on the calendar", as he calls them, but we're planning to spend the rest of our lives together and I can't help but think the future looks a little bleaker each time something else I'd thought we'd share is deemed worthless.

I don't know if this is typical... Do I just have to get over it, or is there a way to help him understand why these things matter to me?



Emoal6
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07 Oct 2008, 11:34 pm

I want you to visualize the calendar and every day thats important to you. Now I want you to understand why its important to you. I want you to remember those cherrished moments you keep.

Now imagine a life were those days were never any better than any other. I want you to imagine a life where you never learned how to care about a certain date or why. You never had a reason to. I fear this is the problem.

You're the only thing thats ever made him want to remember a day(he did remember it at first), but he still probably fights with the past that was never worthwhile. He also fights his obsessions/routines to give you the time you want. He most likely desperately wants to change his perspective but that is something he might not be able to until its too late.

As for advice, I'd say you talk to him and explain WHY those days are important TO YOU. Why you remember those days. Why you wish he could celebrate them WITH YOU. You want to care about him, you're going to have to teach him the meaning behind celebration. As far as he probably knows, that day is important, but its probably only because its important to you in his mind(much like christmas and valentine's and your birthday, maybe even his own birthday).

He may feel you want him to change too fast as well. In that case you say "babe I dont need you to change, I just want you to understand how important it is to me. Ive chosen you as my boyfriend because I love who you are, and that was the date I knew it."

I feel those words alone should be able to break any stone incasing his heart about days on a calendar. And understand it doesnt matter if thats exactly true! Love takes time but you gave him the time necessary because of that day, remember that.

With just those words you will have given him what he needs to enjoy a date on the calendar, instead of just seeing another day of another month, of another year, and so on.

If this doesnt work, I dont know what will, but i hope you find it. Love is worth fighting for, and never worth quiting on until the pain outweighs the love.



theotherle
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08 Oct 2008, 12:23 am

Emoal6,

Thanks! This helps a lot. I did try to explain that the anniversary was worthwhile because it's a day we'll always remember fondly... but not as well as you put it. I sort of get why the dates don't mean anything. All of those days in my past have been crap, and I've never even had a relationship last more than a month, so when I met him, I was really excited to share everything. Each time one of those events would come along and I'd wind up with the only person who I wanted around me, being the only person who couldn't be bothered. I'm mostly over it, but not really wanting to repeat this every year for the rest of my life.

Before anyone says that certain dates shouldn't be important because some random person says so, I agree completely. It's about being totally capable of doing something nice for your partner (as simple as calling them up) to recognize that the day might mean something to them (in my case, because I wished he was with me even more), and you've shown that you care. At worst, they'd smile and be glad to hear from you.



koadah
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08 Oct 2008, 6:46 am

I probably wouldn't remember my own birthday if other people didn't remind me. :)

I wouldn't know today's date with out checking it. So a date could easily slip by if I don't set up reminders.

I really don't know why people feel the need to 'do something' 'on my birthday' especially in midweek when everyone is tired from work and needs to be up early next day. I've put a stop to it. Doing stuff the next weekend just seems to make much more sense. Everyone is in a better mood and can stay as long as they like.

I do understand that commemorating events is important but will probably never understand why it has to be done on a specific day. Surely it is the event that is important rather than the specific date.

I don't really understand the present business either. I understand that someone might get a wonderful feeling from receiving a present, but why does it have to arrive on a given day. Presents from my brother usually arrive about six months late. ;)
The right thing 6 months late means more to me than something else on time.

And what is with 'surprises'? Surprise implies that I don't know anything about it. If I haven't explicitly said that I want something then I probably don't really want it. :)

I am wondering if it is more of bloke thing than an AS thing. The stereotype seems to be to just give Dad a pair of socks or a bottle of wine. Can't go wrong there. You don't have to put up with 'how much did that cost you?' 'could have got it cheaper on ebay' 'I've got one of those in the cupboard. Never used it' :)

I just think that NT blokes are just better at picking up the unspoken hints that 'you had better do something special on the day or else' :)

I'd say take no chances and say 'On my birthday/anniversary/holiday I'd like to do something special. So sort it'.