If your birthday is approaching and you want to celebrate, you're probably finalizing social plans, confirming dinner reservations, and wondering what your partner has in store to celebrate you this year. But if your birthday finally arrives and — halfway through the day — you realize your boo hasn't even sent an “HBD” text, then it can feel pretty disheartening. But before you freak out wondering what it means if your partner forgets your birthday, keep in mind that their lack of birthday message could mean several different things… some of which have nothing to do with your actual relationship.
Your first thought if your partner forgets an important date may be that they don't care, but that's not necessarily always the case. Though it can seem hard to believe and a little clichéd, sometimes people miss really important dates or plans because they just have a lot on their mind. "Life can get in the way, and you aren't always going to be the first thing they think about," dating coach and relationship expert James Preece tells Elite Daily. "They might be worrying about something, so talk to them about this." Here’s how you should best handle things after your birthday slips your SO’s mind.
If Your Relationship Is New
If you two haven’t been dating long, then a forgotten birthday probably doesn’t point to a deeper issue in your relationship. "If you have just started dating, it's probably not a major issue," Preece says. "They might not have wanted to make too much of a fuss in case you thought they were overdoing it." And if the relationship is very new, then it’s possible your partner didn’t even realize it was your birthday, so you might want to give them the benefit of the doubt.
If They’re Apologetic
If you've been together for a while, and they forget, it's still not automatically a bad thing. "If this person is otherwise the perfect partner, caring, and sweet, and you feel loved, then let it go, and don't make a big deal out of it," Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, advises. "Especially if they are truly upset they forgot. Let them try to make it up to you." Yes, the fact that they forgot is annoying and may hurt your feelings, but if they show remorse and genuinely want to make it up to you, consider letting it go and accepting their apology.
If They Don’t Seem To Care
What matters more than forgetting your birthday is your partner’s reaction to realizing they forgot your birthday. If your partner shows no signs of feeling sorry and has no intention of making it better, it might be time to have a more serious conversation about where you fall on their list of priorities. “Everyone wants [and deserves] to feel loved and feel special, and if they fail to do this normally and on your birthday, this tells you all you need to know,” Trombetti says.
The light at the end of the dark birthday tunnel is that you and your partner can potentially work through it if you're really upset or hurt. "You just need to say how you have a need for someone to treat you special on your day and ask them why they forgot," Trombetti explains. "See what they say." It's very possible to understand how they could've forgotten, where they're coming from, and forgive them. If you sit down to have a constructive conversation, you can talk it out, she says.
An important thing to remember if your partner forgets your birthday is that, "everyone deserves one second chance," Preece points out. "But if you are giving them a chance, they have to absolutely make it up to you." You should feel loved and celebrated on your birthday, and every other day, but it's important to remember that your partner is human, and will make mistakes. So, if they're doing everything else right in your relationship, and they forget your birthday once, consider cutting them some slack and allow them to give you the birthday you truly deserve — even if it's a day late.
James Preece, dating coach and relationship expert
Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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