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I'm 28, and married, so i'll give you some advice. Mostly just how not to fuck up like I did when I was young like you. First off, when she says that she doesn't want a gift, or doesn't want to do anything, that is not true. She wants you to man up and plan something. If you guys aren't that serious and you want to break up anyway, this is a perfect out. Don't do shit for her birthday and she will get pissed and dump you like a sack of rocks. But if you like her you should do something that goes something like this:
Get her friends on board for a party like thing. Doesn't really matter what it is, just something that she likes or whatever. Lets say that everyone is meeting at susies house for a house party on saturday to celebrate your GF's bday and to get wasted. But, you don't just show up and bring her there, first you take her out to eat just you and her, make a reservation at somewhere classy, get her some stupid flowers, tell her how nice she looks, dress nice, act like you give a fuck. hold her hand, open the car door for her, pull out her chair, absolutely pay for the meal, encourage her to eat something expensive. Then you guys roll to the party together, one thing leads to another and bam, before you know it, everyone is drunk and.... BERFDAY SEX... BERFDAY SEX - for the win.
INB4 OP IS 40
Ummmmm no. You do not want to be "cute." Cute is cheap. Cute is childish. Cute is friend material. Think...FRIENDship bracelet. FRIENDzone. Just because one girl said it does not make it true. I would recommend a nice, classy, small gift. Get her a nice pair of sunglasses, nicer than she would normally get herself. Then make reservations at a nice restaurant where you two actually have to get dressed up a bit. Sure, this will cost more than a $5 friendship bracelet, but $100 doesn't seem too unreasonable once a year.
This is assuming that you actually care about her and she's not just a notch in your belt.
Buy her one of the above in her initial, or her last name initial, or the initial that may mean something to you. My husband has bought me two of these. They are beautiful, he gave me one with an "A" and one with a "D" for my two beloved cats that have health problems, so that if one of them is in the hospital or not doing well, and I'm at work and can't be with them, I can wear it around my neck as my gesture that I'm thinking of them and hold it when I'm worried or need comfort. This may sound completely retarded to you, but trust me, the more thoughtful the gift the better.
If she doesn't like jewelry, think of something similar. Etsy offers anything in the world, and most things are custom ordered to how you want them.
In addition, take her out-- but-- it doesn't have to be expensive, it could be where you met, or where your first date was-- or a venue that offers something cool-- for instance, rather than take her out for a steak dinner if she isn't that type of girl, find a bar in your area that does trivia or turtle racing instead...oh wait, you're not 21-- you get the idea-- something fun, intimate, and that reminds you of her.
Then of course....berfday sex...berfday sex...