‘He bought me a pair of running shoes’

I've been with a man for two and a half years. I've never felt like this about someone, and I clearly feel that he's the one. We're both in our 30s and know that by now, if we didn’t see a future together, we wouldn't continue.

Just the other day, I asked him why he's never given me flowers. His answer has was that flowers are just flowers ... but I've always expressed how much I love flowers, and he's been with me when I've bought them and made arrangements. I've always loved them – that's all I know. I'm the type that will buy all kinds of flowers and make an arrangement rather than purchase one that's made or have one delivered.

My boyfriend is not a romantic at all, to be quite honest. He's loving and kind, but he's not one to buy me chocolates and flowers or express how much he's in love with me. He bought me a pair of running shoes when I mentioned I needed new ones. I'm sure that was a little romantic?

It's always made me feel like I just don't bring out the romantic side in him, and that makes me feel insecure. I asked if he bought flowers for his ex, and he got very defensive. Turns out he did. That hurt me, and I just don't understand. He says he loves me and wants to plan a future with me, but it seems I don't bring the romance out of him. I don't know how to feel about this.

– Flowers

OK, here's the thing: You're clearly very good at buying and arranging flowers. You love doing it. It's like ... a hobby. That means he probably doesn't think to buy you flowers. Because why would he? If I had a partner who loved knitting as much as you like flowers, I wouldn't buy them a sweater. Maybe I'd get them some yarn.

We've had a lot of letters from people who want to be surprised – to be showered with little gifts they'd never expect (here's one from April). But the more important letters – the ones that really worry me – come from people who feel like their partners don't hear them. But that's not your problem, right? Your boyfriend is listening. That's why you have new sneakers.

You say that this man doesn't express how much he's in love with you, but you also wrote that he "says he loves me and wants to plan a future with me." That makes me wonder whether you're listening. Please pay attention – because he might be telling you everything you want to hear.

– Meredith

Readers? Do you buy your partner flowers? How often? I am curious.