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PDA-Averse Woman Mortified After Boyfriend Throws Massive Surprise Anniversary Party

Sean Odell/Unsplash

Everyone has differing levels of comfort with public displays of affection, and one person’s idea of romantic can be another person’s idea of deeply embarrassing.

It was precisely this situation that found a PDA-averse woman on Reddit sparking conflict with her boyfriend after he made a grand public gesture for their anniversary.

She wasn’t sure about how she’d handled it, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by randomthrowacc12345 on the site, asked:

“AITA for getting mad at my boyfriend for his huge romantic gesture on our anniversary?”

She explained:

“(Throwaway b/c my bf knows my real acc)”

“its important to know that I keep to myself and I don’t like PDA or public spectacles, which everyone knows about me. My bf used to get upset at that, but we’ve worked thru it, so that’s not a focus of this story. I’m mentioning it for context so it’s clear I didn’t just spring on him.”

“My boyfriend (24m[ale]) ‘Matt’ and I (23f[emale]) just celebrated our first anniversary. We planned to go to a nice restaurant for dinner before going back to his place to spend more time together. The dinner was lovely, he got me flowers and we had a great time.”

“The problem is when we got back to his apartment. When we entered I was greeted by a ton of our friends (ppl I’m close with, acquaintances, and ppl I hardly know but he knows) plus my sisters, my parents, and his parents.”

“My heart dropped as soon as I walked in but Matt was beaming and he looked so proud and excited, so I put on a smile and started talking to ppl. The place was decorated looked romantic, fairy lights, balloons, wine, cheese platters- you get it. I could see how much effort he put into this, so despite how overwhelmed I felt I thanked him and tried to have fun.”

“But I kind of snapped when about 30 mins into it he called me to the front of the room and gave a 5 minute toast about our relationship/how much he loves me. Then, he pulled me in and kissed me for 30 seconds straight. I was mortified, but I didn’t want to embarrass him in front of all these people by telling him to stop.”

“Eventually I slipped away to another room and started crying. I was so overwhelmed and anxious, I just couldn’t take it anymore. My friend saw me leave the room and saw I looked upset so she followed me.”

“I explained why I was upset and she was understanding as she knows my stance on this kind of thing. She said she was surprised when Matt organized this party, but assumed I had agreed to it because Matt has been pretty good about my ‘quirks’.”

“Eventually Matt came looking for me and was shocked to see me crying. I told him how I felt and he got defensive, b/c he put a lot of time and money into this and I should be grateful. I got mad and we got into a fight.”

“I got mad and left w/ my friend. Apparently he told everyone to leave after that. Idk the specifics of what he said, but his friends and parents are telling me that I’m rude and ungrateful and he texted me that I ruined his anniversary.”

“My sister said I should’ve just sucked it up for one night. The thing is, I would’ve loved this whole plan had we just done it privately or even with a few people were both close to.”

“I feel bad b/c he put a lot of work into this and was so excited and I yelled at him and left. But I feel like he disrespected my boundaries. I might be the AH for making him look/feel bad.”

“TLDR my boyfriend threw me a surprise anniversary party even though I hate public romantic gestures so I got mad and left.”

Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And most people agreed that OP was well within her rights to feel the way she did.

“Oh my lord NTA. if this story is true it is your first anniversary? Of dating? This is the kind of thing you get for like a 20 year wedding anniversary. Your partner absolutely disregarded everything he knew about you and your comfort levels and went ahead and forced this spectacle on you anyway.”

“WFT. Again; you are NTA. I hope you find someone who actually respects you” –Curiousnaturejunk

“NTA I think the friend worded it right “his anniversary”. HIS. Not for you both. Just for him. He knew that all this would be to much for you but still he made your anni in a big show instead having letting it be a private event.”

“Know they blame you for ruining his night, but it was also your anni! And to say to suck it up for him… It is also your day and to be totally unhappy and near crying just because he want to be the big star?! No?!” –Sheeps_n_Birds

“Even if OP liked big parties like this, it would still be an AH move on the part of her bf. Because if I walked into a surprise like this on our anniversary, I would have thought a proposal was coming. Seriously, who does this for a dating anniversary? Weird boyfriends, that’s who!” –Dobby-is-my-hero

“NTA. OP, if your partner was terrified of sharks, and you arranged a huge, expensive vacation to dive with sharks, then acted hurt when he wasn’t happy about it, you’d be an A-H too.”

“This party wasn’t for you. It was for his ego or pride. I bet if you told your family and friends he specifically knew you’d hate something like that, they’d realize why it wasn’t “a nice gesture.” I’d rethink dating this man.” –Crystallz2000

Hopefully OP and her boyfriend can work this out.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.