Every healthy relationship requires mutual caring to remain happy and successful.
This includes reciprocated emotions, but also shared responsibilities, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
But Redditor throwawaydrivingl7 wasn’t ready to accept that when his birthday came around.
Instead of listening when he received a gift that hinted at something his girlfriend needed from him, the Original Poster (OP) demanded a refund.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my girlfriend that I don’t like the gift she got me and asking for something else?”
The OP wasn’t interested in learning how to drive.
“My girlfriend (22 [Female]) and I (26 [Male]) have been together for almost 4 years and live together.”
“She has a stable career and has bought herself a car and was taught to drive in high school.”
“I was never taught to drive, and it’s not really necessary because I can UBER, take the bus, or my girlfriend can drive.”
“She’s offered before to teach me to drive, but I decline because I’m not really interested in learning because I don’t plan on getting a car since they’re a lot of money.”
This came up at the OP’s birthday.
“So, my birthday was yesterday and my girlfriend was really excited to give me my gift.”
“It was private driving lessons, which admittedly cost her several hundred dollars.”
“I was really offended because I don’t want to learn to drive.”
“She hyped the gift up like I’d love it, but I honestly hate it. It seems more like it’s for her because she wants me to learn to drive than it is for me.”
“I got really upset and disappointed when I opened it and she kept pushing to ask why I didn’t like it.”
“I told her again that I don’t care for driving and it seemed like a really impersonal gift, because I don’t even want my license or a car, so why would I want this?”
“I felt like she doesn’t even know me.”
“And she got really upset, so I suggested she return the lessons and get me something I would like better.”
His girlfriend was furious over his reaction.
“Now she’s calling me an AH and said the lessons are non-refundable and is really upset with me.”
“I don’t think I’m the AH because I’ve told her before that I don’t want to drive and I feel like she’s trying to change me.”
“So now she’s being immature and won’t drive me anywhere and tells me I can UBER if I want to go somewhere, even if it’s somewhere she was going to go already.”
“Like she went thrifting and to the grocery store without me (we always go together) and said if I really wanted to go that badly, I can UBER.”
“It’s not even like I ask her for rides ever, I just tag along if she’s already going somewhere. I get UBER rides to and from work and have a good job. So it’s pointless for me to even get a car or license.”
The OP insisted there was a double standard at work.
“When I told her that, she said that she’s tired of always being the driver and likes to be the passenger sometimes.”
“To me, it sounds like she gave me a gift that she wants.”
“Because if she hates being the driver so much, I suggested that I could get lessons for her birthday, not mine, and that upset her even more.”
“She said that isn’t a gift for her and she’d be upset if I got myself driving lessons for her birthday.”
“I told her basically, ‘See, so you’d be upset if I got you something that you think is for me for YOUR birthday,’ and she said yes.”
“So even though I explained to her that there’s a double standard, she’s still insisting that I’m the AH.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the girlfriend was clearly fed up by choosing to gift this.
“OP mentions he doesn’t drive because his girlfriend can drive him places. But then later says, ‘I don’t even ask her rides.’ She clearly gave him hints and full on direct suggestion by buying him lessons.”
“At this point it isn’t even between the lines. She is full on writing boldly that she wants him to grow up and learn to drive.”
“She is not being petty by not driving him. She is showing him how inconvenient it is not to know how to drive.”
“If he feels he doesn’t need to know, then she is un-inserting herself so he can get to his destinations with solutions he provided.”
“He’s being petty by saying this is for her and a gift she can pay for on her birthday. Like no, she is literally doing you a favor.”
“And the entitledness of him demanding a better gift. Like WTF (what the f**k)? Who do you think you are, OP?! I can assert you aren’t a great catch, especially if you can’t drive.”
“100% YTA, OP” – JKaldran
“She’s willing to spend hundreds of dollars to not be his ride 24/7.” – Tiggatiggatight
“The gift wasn’t driving lessons. The real gift was a clue.” – pkma2
“The gift was one more chance to redeem himself before she pulls the plug on this relationship.” – VisualCelery
Others agreed and said the relationship sounded incredibly imbalanced.
“I do NOT like driving. I have awful anxiety about it – almost all of the time we are going somewhere together, my boyfriend drives.”
“All that to say – I can drive, and I do. My boyfriend loves to drive, so it’s a win-win if we’re both going somewhere together.”
“But I am very aware that driving is an important skill that it is a big Ahole move to forever stick on someone else.”
“I understand not wanting to drive, I really do – but not even being able to contribute and being willfully ignorant of that burden makes you a bit of TA here.” – Recent-Day2384
“Reading him dismiss her desire not to always be the driver I was like, ‘Yeah. I can tell you can’t drive.'”
“I got my licence in my mid-30s because I live in a big city with good transportation, where car ownership is wildly expensive. I’d also been in several accidents as a passenger (including in buses and taxi cabs) and lost a family member to a car wreck. But my dad moved three hours away… So I learned.”
“And you find out there’s things you don’t know. You don’t know how it’s stressful to change lanes with no notice. You don’t know that you REALLY can’t see jaywalkers in black at night. You don’t know that it’s a very specific type of exhausting.”
“NEVER having a break — being the person carrying driving in a couple, always? That would suck. But he can’t know that because he doesn’t drive.”
“But it WOULD be nice if he took that into consideration — that he doesn’t know what it’s like for her. He only knows what it’s like for him — a person who just doesn’t want to do it, but somehow thinks everyone else is fine to do it for him.” – NarlaRT
Some also pointed out that everyone should at least know how to drive for emergencies.
“I can’t drive yet so whenever we do long journeys my partner is stuck behind the wheel for 4 or 5 hours total.”
“If we go to parties or nice events, he’s forced to be the default driver.”
“It’s not fair to my partner and it’s a s**tty position to be in. His grandmother never learned to drive and then his grandad got old and she was trapped at home. He fell and cracked his head and she couldn’t even drive him to the hospital.”
“Uber and bussing everywhere might be one thing but using your gf even if you never ask for lifts is selfish and unreasonable.” – MouseProud2040
“I know a guy who is going through cancer treatment and his girlfriend can’t or won’t drive. So his sick body has to ask for rides or take a bus so he can get to appointments.”
“I very much dislike his girlfriend for being so selfish (for other reasons besides not driving) and wonder why he is with her at all. She’s a child and takes on absolutely no responsibility for anything.”
“This p**ses me off. Take a moment and reflect on the reasons why your girlfriend wants you to be able to drive. YTA.” – Magradon79
While the OP thought his girlfriend was thoroughly out of line for giving driving lessons as a gift, the subReddit felt he was in need of a wakeup call.
Though a person doesn’t have to drive all the time, or even own a car, they should at least be able to operate a vehicle safely in case there’s an emergency or a loved one really needs them to share the load.