What Do You Do If Your Boyfriend Forgets Your Anniversary? (5 Important Tips!)

For most, a couple’s anniversary is a pretty special time of year. This is an opportunity to look back on what’s happened, both the good and the bad.

With any luck, what you’ve learned along the way will allow you to renew your commitment to each other.

So what happens when your anniversary rolls around but your boyfriend forgets? 

That’s got to be awkward on a day for celebrating the strength and love of your relationship.

Your ensuing choices will need to depend on your boyfriend’s conduct.

Sometimes our partners make serious oversights despite being considerate and loving.

Other times our partners don’t prioritize us but expect to be prioritized themselves (ie. selfish).

An anniversary is important, so if you’re not both looking forward to it, some kinks really need to be ironed out.

To keep your partnership workable you’ve got to plant your feet down firmly and lay out what you need. That is, however, easier said than done.

How To Handle Your Boyfriend Forgetting Your Anniversary

Stay Level-Headed

How To Handle Your Boyfriend Forgetting Your Anniversary

There might be an inclination to panic, as you wonder if he’s not taking you seriously.

“How can he do this?! Does this mean he doesn’t love me?! What does this mean for OUR relationship?!” Your mind will race, but try to keep a level-head.

Confront your boyfriend about his forgetfulness, but don’t make it an excuse to lay into him.

Remain balanced instead of angrily bringing up everything you think is wrong in your lives.

If it’s just a tirade you want to unleash, he’s likely to get defensive instead of listening. Later he might remember your freak out more than your words, which is definitely not what you want.

Nobody wants a disappointing anniversary, but you also can’t act as if your self-esteem hinges on it. Putting too much stake in celebrations is not good for you. 

If you’re worried you’re getting too angry, it can help to pause for introspection.

Think about the sort of person you want to be. You don’t want to respond to people with hostility (or maybe you do?! I don’t know you).

Ground yourself by recalling what he’s done for you, reminding yourself why you’re together at all.

Your approach could end up deciding how eager he is to make amends, so prioritize your partnership rather than your current emotions.

If you aren’t careful you might start a serious argument, jeopardizing your stability. Anniversaries don’t have to be make or break occasions.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t matter at all.

Judge Accordingly

Judge Accordingly - Frustrated couple after boyfriend forgets anniversary

You will need to properly judge your boyfriend to understand where your relationship is going next.

Stay alert and keep track of how things play out. A genuine apology is important, and you have the right to call out an insincere apology if he’s being snide.

It’s not crazy to want your anniversary acknowledged and taken seriously. If he says it was an honest mistake, think it through. Has he repeatedly acted inconsiderately?

Does it seem like something is going on with him? You’ll have to probe for answers. If he’s been reasonable and really is sorry, say you’re okay with it as long as it doesn’t happen again.

When forgiving him, it helps to remember that no one is perfect, yourself included. It’s times like these when you’ve got to hold on to the spark of romance. Forgetting an anniversary doesn’t mean you’re not important to him.

It could be that being good to you is more important to him than any specific day. How do you feel when you’re with him in general?

Surely one forgotten anniversary can’t undo your feelings for him. To forgive and forget is a mantra you might take inspiration from.

Besides, if you’re ever the one to forget something important, you’ll want a clear conscience.


Young millennial couple from behind is talking and having fun in the night with view in the city.

Communication is key in any relationship, whether that’s before or after your boyfriend forgets an anniversary.

When you make it clear that anniversaries are important to you, it helps to explain why. Let it sink into his memory.

When your anniversary is coming up, raise the topic and express yourself.

Talk about how much you’re looking forward to it, reminisce about old memories, and trade suggestions for how to spend the upcoming day.

Chances are he’ll remember your passion and not forget your anniversary.

This approach is just the right kind of considerate reprisal needed to keep your interactions amicable. 

Unlike birthdays, anniversaries are less about self-aggrandizement. Your anniversary is for expressing fealty to one another and honoring your romance.

You want to take time to celebrate how much it means to you, so if he forgets it can be a blow to your confidence.

Be open about that in a friendly way, making yourself vulnerable to have a real back and forth.

People often want to be in control, forgetting to listen to other points of view. It may be that he wants exactly what you do, that his error doesn’t reduce for him the importance of your anniversary. It’s likely you have an eye for whether he’s sincere.  

Build Trust

boyfriend forgets anniversary but open communication can turn the situation around

Trust is a foundation of romance that hopefully grows stronger with time. That’s not possible without patience on both sides.

It’s difficult enough without your boyfriend forgetting your anniversary. But you’ve got to be brave and preserve that trust even then.

You can’t invalidate the goodwill you two have already built because of a mistake. To help him continue to understand you, trust him. Feeling guilty about his failure, he’ll be relieved by your reassurance.

Show him you’re okay relying on him for errands and making plans. Maintain that pleasant dynamic to heal the damage done and avoid future issues.  

 Since there are so many ways a partner can appreciate you, obsessing over anniversaries can come across as petty.

Show you’re grateful for what he does, while gradually making it obvious you’d like to commemorate your relationship in the future. Steadily ask him what he’d like to do that day to increase his enthusiasm.

Unless your boyfriend is really dense, he should get the picture. If he proves uncooperative, it may turn out you were wrong about him.

The days and weeks following your anniversary disappointment will put you to the test and decide the fate of your love.

Make The Anniversary Work

What’s a good solution to an anniversary disappointment? Turning it into a success.

You’ve called him out for screwing up, he’s apologetic, and now it’s time for a happy anniversary.

Do something with him you know you’ll both enjoy, lightening the mood and kindling the romance.

Your boyfriend will appreciate it and be less uncomfortable.

Ask his opinion on future anniversary plans to put your togetherness at the forefront.

In the aftermath of his blunder, you’ll need to soothe each other. So as much as the jilted anniversary could be a bummer, there’s a moment available to actually strengthen your bond. 

Don’t stop there. Use this anniversary to challenge yourself and try new things. Invent a tradition to repeat the following year.

Order an unusual type of food, or visit an interesting restaurant. Take pictures of it all rather than ignore the awkwardness of what has happened.

Anything to keep it memorable.

Make the day the celebration of your partnership it’s supposed to be.

You might have some leftover resentment in you but fight that. If he’s being receptive to you, relax and go with the flow.

Create lasting memories you’ll look back on fondly. You only live once, so make your time with your sweetheart count.

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