Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Presents of Mind” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Presents of Mind,” who was upset that her boyfriend seemed to put so little thought and effort into gifts for her and that she was always the one who paid for everything when they went out. Keep reading to see whether they’ve resolved these issues.

Thank you so much for your advice. The things that you and the commenters said were really helpful! I wanted to wait a bit before sending an update, but things have been going quite well. Shortly after I read your advice, I had a chat with my boyfriend about how I had been feeling. I told him that I felt like he had been taking me for granted and explained the little things that had bothered me/hurt my feelings. He was completely surprised that I felt that way and genuinely seemed like he had no idea that I would be upset by things like the veggie chopper (clearly I was reading too much into the gift haha)! He had been extra stressed lately (his asshole of a brother was in town for a while and he acts differently around him) so I’m hoping that his stress was the reason he had been acting so ‘off.’

I even had us take the quiz that you suggested about love languages. My results were exactly what I had expected and his were almost entirely balanced (which doesn’t help me too much), but I shared my results with him and he said that he would keep them in mind. He’s been doing a lot of sweet things that relate to my ‘love language,’ which I really appreciate. Also, he hasn’t cancelled plans on me in months and we have been able to fit ‘hanging out time’ into our schedules much more lately!I’ve learned to accept that he does not take hints well. He doesn’t seem to take them at all actually (haha), so I’ve made a wish list on amazon and am just going to send it to him when Christmas comes around next year. I’m also trying to be more forward about telling him that something bothers me when it happens, instead of waiting and letting things build up in my head.

Also, just to address something that came up in the comments: I don’t know the exact dollar amount in his bank accounts, but I do have an idea of how he spends his money. He does not have to pay for grad school at all, his school work doesn’t take up much of his time (definitely less than 20 hours a week at the time), and he has a steady job. I don’t ask him what his paycheck is but, again, I have a rough idea. We almost never go out on expensive dates and instead opt to do things that don’t cost very much (go for walks, cook dinner at home, watch movies online, etc). I don’t pay for my schooling either but I am getting an extra stipend which he doesn’t have (we’re on different scholarships at different types of graduate-level schools). Finances have never really been an issue with us, and the main reason I brought it up is that I was surprised at the difference between gifts he gave me last year and ones he gave me this year. I asked him for a limit for our Valentine’s day gifts, since he said he wanted to exchange presents, and things worked out well so I’ll be sure to ask for a limit again in the future!

Thank you again for the excellent advice! You and your readers are awesome 🙂

 

Thanks for the update. I’m glad things are working out so well. Communication: it really works!

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

6 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 3:09 pm

    I’m happy for you, LW, but can I take this time to complain for a hot second: it doesnt’ look like I commented on this letter and lately none of the updates have been on letters that I commented on. So here’s my public plea: if I happened to give you some stellar advice in the comments, I want to hear from YOU. [God, this comment couldn’t be more self-centered. I’m sorry but it’s my last week of work and after this I probably will take a DW hiatus or at least comment *less* frequently for bit.]

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    • avatar

      bethany March 26, 2012, 3:15 pm

      BOOO!! (to the less commenting)

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  • avatar

    camille905 March 26, 2012, 4:20 pm

    You know, some people just don’t get hints or subtlety. I am one of those people and I have spend my life trying to explain that to other people. If you need/want something or need/want me to do something, I need to you to tell me exactly. Not drops hints for days/weeks and be mad because I didn’t pick up on it. Also if you’re mad at me and bring it up two weeks later, I’m probably not going to remember so it’s harder for me to fix versus if you tell me a day or two later when you’ve cooled down it’s more fresh in my mind.

    Anyway, glad things are going well but just remember to keep doing these things and don’t fall back into your rut.

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  • avatar

    Kate March 26, 2012, 9:50 pm

    You know what helped me LW, asking the other person what ONE thing would DEVASTATE them to be without forever. I used this book on my mother among other people, and we found that she was pretty evenly divided between touch and gifts. However, when I asked her if she would rather never be touched again or receive a gift again, she immediately realized touch is her love language. Try phrasing the question this way and you might get a better read on your boyfriend.

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  • avatar

    Zepp March 27, 2012, 4:49 am

    i think it would be extremely odd if someone could live without touch but not without gifts. That just seems very extreme to me. I mean, babies die if they don’t get enough contact.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle March 27, 2012, 8:56 am

    Yeah, I’m not big on gifts either & get kind of frazzled trying to find the right ones to give people. My default gifts always wind up being clothing or random tchotchkes (like I’m suddenly your eccentric, aging aunt or something). Thankfully, my current boyfriend is good about sending me links to things he wants, & I pick and choose which to get (why do boys like such expensive, gadget-y things?)

    ANYWAY, my point in all this is– Amazon wish list=good idea! I’m sure that helps the guy out a lot, and glad to hear things are better!

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