Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Angela Vaz

You’ve been dating for a while now.

And you love pampering him with gifts.

But he doesn’t reciprocate.

You’re wondering, “My boyfriend never buys me anything…” and you’re beginning to feel underappreciated.

What’s happening?

Is it time to call it quits?

I’ve been through a similar situation, and I’m here to help.

In this post, I want to talk about the possible reasons why your boyfriend isn’t buying you anything and I’ll guide you on what to do if any of these situations apply to you.

I am going to cover multiple situations, so if something doesn’t apply to you – feel free to skip it.

But before that really quick, get my free guide on how to really reset your life.

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1. He has no clue about the situation

he has no clue about the situation

When it comes to men and women, women are generally more emotionally intelligent.

We pick up on signs that men find difficult to do.

Some men are influenced heavily by women and they develop this trait with time.

But a lot of men are pretty oblivious when it comes to reading women and they often depend on the woman to tell them what they want.

Basically, your boyfriend isn’t a mind reader.

You have to tell him what to do.

Have you ever tried telling him that this is what you want?

Giving him gifts and expecting him to reciprocate isn’t the answer.

Men don’t usually read much into actions.

Let’s say you’re trying to give him signals by hinting at things you want or by giving him gifts so you expect him to get the message.

It may not work because when you give him a gift, he’ll see it as you giving him a gift.

He isn’t going to read into the situation and think that he needs to reciprocate.

He’ll simply appreciate the gift and go about on his way.

This isn’t a bad thing.

It’s just human nature.

So, if you feel your boyfriend loves you in every other way, then you owe it to him.

Tell him that you love gifts and you want him to give you something.

If he is clueless about what to give you, tell him what you want.

This brings me to my next point…

2. He doesn’t know what to buy you

he doesn't know what to buy you

I love gifts. And I love pampering my boyfriend with gifts.

But my boyfriend truly sucks when it comes to gift-giving.

He’s clueless.

He never knew what to get me.

He’d send me a message reminding me that my birthday is coming up and he’d ask me what I wanted.

Initially, when we were dating, I didn’t want him to go through all that trouble. So, I told him I didn’t want anything.

And when my birthday came, I was genuinely disappointed because he didn’t buy me anything

I realized that this was my mistake because he had merely followed my suggestion!

So, for Christmas, I sent him a list of Amazon links – a few books and limited edition socks.

He got me every single thing I wanted and never even opened the Amazon packaging.

A massive improvement from before, for sure.

That’s when I realized that both of us work so differently and it’s adorable.

After all this time dating, I now simply point to things when I love them and I tell him directly, “I want this cup. Right here. Buy it for me for my birthday.”

He takes this very seriously and there is no confusion – he gets me the thing I want for my birthday.

So, before you get upset, ask yourself if this is your situation.

Are you making it easy for your boyfriend to actually give you a gift?

Do you tell him what you want?

Please don’t give hints.

Men rarely understand or get hints. They prefer everything straight and direct.

They have very different methods of communication.

Tell them what you want and see if they are more open and ready to buy you something.

3. Your boyfriend’s love language isn’t gift-giving

your boyfriend's love language isn't gift giving

Gary Chapman who counseled several couples realized over time that every single person has a different love language.

He wrote a beautiful book that I recommend to every couple or person who wants to be in a relationship read.

There are 5 love languages:

  • Acts of service
  • Gift giving
  • Physical touch
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality time

Basically, everyone has a different love language – some have 2-3 or more.

If you are reading this post, chances are your love language might include gift-giving.

This means that you absolutely love it and feel loved when your partner gives you gifts.

But his love language might be very different from yours.

Perhaps he loves expressing his feelings to you by cuddling.

Or maybe he loves complimenting you and telling you that you are an awesome girlfriend.

Or maybe he loves spending time with you and connecting with you.

Or he could be one of those boyfriends who just prefers to pamper you by taking care of you.

In my case, my boyfriend loves taking care of me and giving me quality time. That’s how he expresses love.

However, I love physical touch and quality time.

Our love languages overlap and with enough time, we have been able to understand each other’s needs and adapt.

So, if your love language is gift-giving, but your boyfriend’s isn’t – then you need to talk to him and just come clean.

He cannot mindread and understand this on his own.

You’ll have to tell him yours and in turn, find out his.

This is how you build a beautiful relationship.

Through understanding, communication, and love.

4. He doesn’t have the money to buy you what you want

he doesn't have the money to buy you what you want

Before anyone gets into a relationship, I always tell them to make a list of what they want in a partner.

If financial stability is very important to you, you cannot make a relationship work with someone who doesn’t have that.

It’s not feasible.

Everyone has different needs and wants.

This is just how the world works.

If you love receiving gifts or going out for dinner, and it is something that you are not willing to compromise on, then you need a partner who is financially secure and has the means to give you that.

If your boyfriend is someone who is struggling to make ends meet or is not able to buy you things because of any of the following:

  • He is not financially stable
  • He has other priorities that are using up his funds
  • He is bad with money

Then you need to ask yourself whether this is something you are okay with.

Analyze the situation and find out all the details before you reach this step.

But if you can see that his financial situation is not improving and receiving gifts is something you require, then you need to make this decision.

If you feel you can go without gifts and instead be happy with another love language, then let it go.

Accept that he is not going to be able to give you gifts for a while or take you out for expensive dinners and make peace with it.

5. He is afraid of commitment

he is afraid of commitment

The four situations I’ve described above pertain to him actually caring for you.

However, if you have been newly dating, then it may not be too far-fetched to believe that he just doesn’t feel about you the way you feel about him.

Maybe he’s new to dating and doesn’t know how you feel about gifts.

Or he just doesn’t feel the relationship has reached a stage where you should be exchanging gifts.

Note his other mannerisms regarding how he treats you and see if this is the case.

  • Does he tell you how he feels often?
  • Is he open with you about his life?
  • Does he spend a lot of quality time with you?

When a relationship becomes serious for both partners, it’s usually when people step up and are more inclined to buy each other gifts.

If you are newly dating and it’s only been a few weeks, then chances are he is afraid of moving to the next step and is still slowly getting to know you.

He may like you a lot but he may just be very careful and not want to give you any wrong signs that you feel the relationship is more serious than it actually is.

When people get hurt in past relationships, they are usually very careful when they date.

They prefer taking their time getting to know the other person before they commit.

They could also have not been around healthy relationships growing up and this may cause them to move slowly even though they like you.

So, please talk to him if this is something that is eating at you.

Be honest – especially if your relationship is a few weeks old.

Ask him what’s on his mind and try to understand where he is coming from.

6. He wants to end the relationship

he wants to end the relationship

Sometimes, there’s more to a red flag.

Ask yourself if it’s the lack of gifts that’s bothering you or his total indifference.

Was he different earlier when you used to date in the beginning?

Was there a time when he actually tried to show you his love by giving you gifts?

Did he write poetry?

Did he do a lot to win you over?

Did he make an attempt to constantly woo you and take you out to dinner?

But as the years passed, it just slowly faded?

If it’s a slow fade, then he probably has just settled into the relationship and a simple conversation can revive that spark.

Talk to your partner and see if it’s just life taking over – sometimes it happens.

But if he suddenly out of the blue has become more reserved and stopped going out of the way to do nice things for you or buy you anything, then there may be a deeper issue at play.

A lot of men change when they want to end the relationship.

They usually become more aloof and reserved.

They stop spending time with their partner and become cold.

So, in this case, note all the other changes and see if it’s only the gifts that have stopped or if there is something more at play.

And my only suggestion is to talk to him.

Listen with an open mind and don’t assume he wants to break up unless he actually tells you.

Just listen.

7. He doesn’t value you anymore

he doesn't value you anymore

This is just one of the many signs that he doesn’t value you.

When my ex-husband started having an affair, he stopped doing a lot of things for me.

He slowly stopped treating me with kindness, and he was never around.

A lot of things started seeming off about him, and it just became the new norm so I didn’t think much of it.

He stopped respecting or valuing me.

And he began to walk all over me.

The decline of our relationship was slow but steady.

No amount of talking, kindness, and affection helped win him over.

And until I found out about the affair, nothing made sense.

So, ask yourself if your boyfriend values you.

  • Is he kind to you?
  • Does he go out of the way to make sure you are okay physically and mentally?
  • Does he help you when you are stuck with something?
  • Does he spend quality time with you?
  • Do you feel loved?

If the answer to all of these questions is a resounding no, then chances are you don’t have a man that really loves you.

And there is a good chance that your affections are not being returned.

In this case, I recommend talking to him to listen to what he says.

If you feel that he isn’t being genuine and things have not been okay for a long time, or he comes clean and tells you that things are not okay, then maybe you should consider ending the relationship.

Both of you might need to find more compatible partners.

You need a partner that shows you love.


If you love your boyfriend and are sure that he loves you in other ways, then don’t give up on the relationship.

Talk to him.

Please understand that it is very important to be open and honest with your partner.

That’s how a relationship is built.

You have to try.

After you’ve tried and seen no results or change, you can move on to re-evaluating the relationship.

But do not give up on the relationship unless you have communicated your needs and desires to your boyfriend.

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Angela is a 31 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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