Why not send former Kingston-resident Love Doctor your relationship queries? Use the form to submit your question(s).
I keep seeing perfect gifts to buy my ex-boyfriend for Christmas, but should I splash the cash on getting him a festive present?
We split up in July following five happy years together, but it was always a rollercoaster ride with disagreements, and the local lockdown was the final nail in the coffin for our relationship.
My heart is heavy because I really loved him, meaning that I’m not looking for his replacement. We both ignored each other’s birthdays in October and I often wonder if he is seeing someone new.
My home is laden with gifts from him (handbags, jewellery, watches etc), which keep reminding me of my ex-partner. Will I be even more sad if I decide to buy him a Christmas present and he doesn’t reciprocate?
Although my feelings for him remain, my emotions are all mixed up like drinking a Blue Mountain coffee at midnight!
Love Doctor’s Answer:
Time is the only healer for a relationship that has broken down, and as your ex-boyfriend is playing on your mind this means that mentally you are continuously re-evaluating where it all went wrong.
With the on-going coronavirus crisis ruining socialising, you have maybe tried to dip your toe back into the dating pond to no avail.
And with no one else able to give you that spark in your heart that your former partner created, you are finding yourself feeling despondent and upset – especially at the thought of spending your first Christmas apart from him.
Understandably you are worried about this scenario, yet neither of you made the effort for each other’s birthdays recently. The fact that so much of the marketing for Christmas is about buying gifts and playing happy families is most likely to have jolted your feelings and emotions. These marketing campaigns are meant to be aspirational, selling us the ‘dream’.
Your dream of being together forever failed to materialise for whatever reasons, and going over why the ‘rollercoaster’ relationship broke down will prove mentally exhausting unless you either meet someone new or get distracted with new interests/hobbies.
My advice to you is to realise that both birthdays were ignored by the pair of you, and to establish how you truly felt by that. Was it hurtful or was it relief that you have drawn a line under the relationship after five years together?
Christmas is always a conundrum, and the fact that you are contemplating buying him a present shows that you genuinely care. However, what will sending a gift achieve? Is it a token of love by you to say thank you for the beautiful memories? Or is it to try to win his heart back?
Either way you need to tread cautiously, because your gesture can be misconstrued. If it is a goodbye gift as a token of love then that is acceptable, unless of course he is romantically involved with someone and then a present is a definite no-go.
If your gesture is merely to try to get the ball rolling to attempt to rekindle your relationship then be careful, as you are playing with fire. It is very easy to get yourself tied up in the romantic notion of being with him for the start of the new year, beginning a new chapter together, but as you split up after five years then emotions will be raw and getting back together may not be for the right reasons.
My advice is that before you consider sending a gift you must try to find out whether he is single. This is not a tricky task, especially with social media platforms. If he is involved with someone new then you must forget all notions of sending a present as it will be mocked by his new partner and probably be destroyed by her. It would be better for you not to be portrayed like this by her, as it will only push your former partner further away from any potential reconciliation.
As for expecting a gift from him I wouldn’t hold your breath. He may have been generous in the past with presents, but you were in a loving relationship then and this is a totally different scenario.
It sounds as though you wish you could turn back time to iron out any problems in the partnership and believe that by sending a Christmas present will reignite your former loving relationship. Maybe you watched too many Disney movies during lockdown and want to believe in fairy-tale endings as ‘tis the season to be wary.
Yet should you believe that a grave mistake has been made between the two of you by splitting up in July, then you need to repair the damage. The best bet is for one of you to put out an olive branch to make contact and then for you to arrange to meet in person to discuss matters.
Seeing each other face-to-face could end in tears and leave your hearts in tatters, but on the other hand it could be the start of a blossoming romance and you could restart the relationship. You won’t really know until you meet as then you can determine if there remain fireworks.
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