If there’s one day a year anyone deserves to be the center of attention, it’s their birthday.
Their day to celebrate another turn around the sun means that they should make all final decisions as to how they spend their day.
While some people don’t pay much heed to their birthday and couldn’t care less if people remembered, others value the attention a birthday brings and don’t take kindly to being ignored or overlooked on their birthdays.
The girlfriend of ThrowawayRoma98 was throwing herself a fairly large party to celebrate her 21st birthday, which also happened to mark the occasion that the original poster (OP) met the majority of his girlfriend’s family.
As luck would have it, the OP discovered he had a great deal in common with the OP’s grandmother and spent the majority of his time at the party talking to her.
Something which his girlfriend did not appreciate in the end.
Wondering if he had done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole”, (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for mostly ignoring my girlfriend on her birthday?”
The OP explained why his girlfriend did not appreciate all the time he spent with her grandmother at her 21st birthday party.
“Yesterday we celebrated my(23 M[ale]) girlfriends(21 F[emale]) 21st birthday.”
“Her parents threw a big celebration party with all her friends and family.”
“For me personally, this was the first time I met anyone in her family with the exception of her parents.”
“It was also her first birthday I celebrated with her since we’ve been dating for about ~7 months.”
“Now, I am originally from Romania from a region called Maramures.”
“But I’ve been living abroad for 11 years now.”
“My gf mentioned at some point that one of her grandmothers was also from Romania but we didn’t discuss it in detail.”
“So yesterday I met my gf’s grandmother and what can I say.”
“I couldn’t believe how small the world was, not only was she Romanian but from the same county as me Maramures.”
“So we talked, and talked a lot.”
“She told me her life story.”
“We reminisced about baia mare.”
“I really enjoyed the conversation, especially talking in my native language.”
“And thats how i spent most of the party.”
“Of course when my gf asked me to take photos with her, or when the cake came I gave her my full attention.”
“But for the most part she spent time with her friends, dancing, drinking etc.”
“While I was just talking with her grandmother.”
“I didn’t pay it much mind.”
“But after the party was done she told me she felt neglected by me during her birthday.”
“And this morning she seems pissed of at me.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community was generally in agreement that neither the OP nor his girlfriend were in the wrong, and there were “No A**holes Here”.
Pretty much everyone agreed that the OP did nothing wrong by talking to his girlfriend’s grandmother, but also sympathized with his girlfriend, understanding why she might have wanted more attention from him on her birthday, and the OP should consider apologizing.
“NAH but apologize.”
“Tell her you got on so well with her grandmother you didn’t realize you were ignoring her and say you’re sorry for not giving her enough attention on her birthday.”
“I’m not saying you were wrong, but you inadvertently hurt your gf so just say you’re sorry and move on.”
“You could argue that you did nothing wrong but then you’re arguing and this is such a small misunderstanding of expectations (in a fairly new relationship), don’t make it into a big drama.”- 21stCenturyJanes
“I would think she’d be excited you connected so well with her grandmother.”
“Family approval makes relationships a lot easier.”
“That being said, you probably could have done a better job striking a balance between talking to her grandmother and hanging out with her during the party.”
“It’s hard to fault her based on your description of events.”- PJfanRI
“You connected with the matriarch of the family.”
“That will pay dividends down the road.”
“But it also sounds like you maybe ignored everyone at the party…including your girlfriend, because you got caught up with the grandmother.”
“So for now, just acknowledge that yes…you should have paid more attention to your girlfriend and the other party guests…and that you just got excited being able to speak your native language and talk to someone who grew up where you grew up.”
“Maybe then take her out for a second birthday….Nothing fancy.”
“Maybe just desert and a stroll around a park at sunset.”
“Something where you can just focus 100% of your attention on her and how you feel about her.”
“There are times to be defiant and tell your partner they are being immature or insecure….and there are times where you just accept that ‘yeah, I probably could have done a better job’.”
“I think this is one of those times where just acknowledging her feelings on the matter and letting her know you hear her and will do better in the future.”
“And then you do better.”
“For most people, that is all they want out of situations like this.”
“An acknowledgement that their feelings are valid and a respectful resolution to the issue.”
“Sadly, most people just can’t seem to do that.”
“Which is why so many relationships turn toxic.”
“This is just a situation you need to learn from.”
“I don’t think you are necessarily an AH here.”
“It is important to pay attention to the birthday person at any celebration but especially if you are their SO.”
“Another thing, it can be very difficult to stop 2 people in deep conversation so they may have been distressed but not confident enough to mention at the time to you.”
“Say you’re sorry and next event you will aim to spend more time focused on them.”
“I had a similar situation when dating someone, we went to a party and I saw a friend there who I hadn’t seen in like a decade, we used to play sports and hang out a lot in secondary school.”
“We spent a while catching up with each other and before we knew it turns out we had been speaking just ourselves over an hour.”
“This was despite me ignoring the hints from my partner that we should go and get another drink.”
“I apologized and we moved on.”- RsHoneyBadger
“It’s reasonable that she felt a bit neglected, especially since this was your first time to meet everyone and she was probably excited to take you around and introduce you to everyone.”
“You prioritised making a good connection with her grandmother, which is ultimately a good thing for the relationship to be close with the family.”
“This is probably something that a simple apology & explanation can solve.”- fresh-oxygen.
“You were understandably excited to talk to grandma.”
“Girlfriend knew your history and it should have occurred to her that you and grandma would want to talk.”
“However, your girlfriend was also understandably excited for a milestone birthday, and you knew it.”
“She’s probably wondering if she’s going to be ignored by you at every big event.”
“Neither of you behaved ideally, but I don’t believe there was actual malice or intent on either side.”
“You’re both pretty young and maybe a little self-centered (different from selfish), which is why I didn’t go with NTA or ESH.”
“Use this as a learning experience, and communicate better with your girlfriend.”-GodlessGoddess1968
“When I lived in France as a teenager and didn’t speak my native language for the better part of a year, I couldn’t believe how excited I got when I met someone from the UK and I could suddenly fully express myself with language again.”
“I’m not even from the UK so it’s not like we had a shared cultural background, just the literal fact of speaking my native language for a bit felt amazing.”
“So I totally understand why you got carried away and spent the whole party with grandma.”
“But you should definitely apologize, because it is kind of crappy to invite someone to your birthday party and have them ignore you—even unintentionally.”
“Just explain that you got carried away, maybe plan a special afternoon or dinner or whatever for just the two of you, and be more mindful in the future if you go to any more family events.”
“You didn’t do your gf any actual harm, so don’t grovel or let yourself feel guilty after you apologize.”- nefarious_planet
When people click, they click, which seems to have been what happened with the OP and his girlfriend’s grandmother.
Even so, though it’s clear there was no malice in his actions, the OP should have maybe considered paying more attention to his girlfriend on her special day.
After all, as he said that it was his first time meeting most of her family, there is every possibility that she wanted to show him off to everyone.
Not just her grandmother.