DEAR MISS MANNERS: What's the proper etiquette regarding gift-giving between lovers? I was confused, so I gave him one anyway, but I probably won't be getting one from him. I just don't want him to be obligated to give me one just because I gave.
GENTLE READER: Of course you don't. You want him to have the same spontaneous impulse you did, to give you a present for the pure pleasure of doing so, not just to reciprocate.
And just how is he going to manage that?
With your forbearance, Miss Manners suggests. First, you must refrain from saying, "Don't think you have to get me anything." Then, if he gets you something, you must refrain from saying, "You didn't have to."
But -- this is the hardest part -- if he does not, you mustn't sulk. Waiting for the next occasion gives him a chance to seem spontaneous. Waiting forever gives you a chance to consider whether spontaneity couldn't benefit from being asked, on the next occasion but one, whether or not he thinks "we ought" to exchange presents.