“He Stood Me Up On My Birthday!”

Yesterday was my birthday and I don’t usually like a fuss, so I spent the day pampering in a spa and asked my on/off boyfriend of two years to spend the evening with me, which he agreed to. The day came, and there were no plans made by him. He wished me a happy birthday in the morning, but made no mention afterward about the plans for that evening. I asked him through text about what the plans were when it got to be evening, and he said there’s no rush. At this point, it was getting very late so I wished him a good night and went to sleep. The next morning I messaged him stating how disappointed I was that he didn’t come to see me on my birthday and how I had felt stood up. He said that I shouldn’t feel this way and that he had had a surprise for me but then did not do it because he knows I do not like surprises. I replied that I didn’t want to be disappointed by him either; he has not responded to this. The reason I broke up with him before was because I consistently felt disconnected and let down — there was always an excuse as to why he did not show up when he said he would, call back, or make the effort he knew he should. After four months apart, he got in contact to see how I was and to say he missed me and wanted to start again. I took another month to think things through and then told him I agreed. We were in good communication for the next few months, but now he seems distant and preoccupied again. I’m very confused as to what to do, and I’m not sure if I should leave again or wait to see if my constant disappointment will make him change. — Lonely in my relationship

No, your “constant disappointment” will not make him change. You seriously think being super passive, and setting him up to fail, is going to change things for the better? Both of you need to grow the hell up! You say you don’t like to make a fuss on your birthday (which, sorry, but spending a day at the spa kind of sounds like making a fuss!), but then you get pissed when your boyfriend doesn’t plan something for you? Pick a lane. Do you want a fuss or not? If you want a fuss, you need to express that, and here’s a thought: maybe YOU plan something? Or be very explicit with your boyfriend about what you’d like him to plan. But to invite him to spend the evening with you and leave the planning up to him when you’ve expressed that you don’t like a fuss made is sending major mixed signals. And he’s being a dork to say he had had a surprise for you but “didn’t do it” because he “knows you don’t like surprises.” Why plan a surprise if he knows you don’t like them? There was no surprise. He was just trying to cover his ass when he realized that you had been expecting him to make plans even though you were the one who invited him to spend the evening with you and you say you don’t like fusses made. Both of you need to grow up and express yourselves and your expectations like grown-ups.

My guy and I have been living together for almost a year. We have met family and friends since day one. We split for a few weeks but still stayed in touch and saw each other. He wants to be with other women just to make sure he’s not missing out on something else because he’s been locked up for eight years and I was the first woman he really dated since getting out. Now he is saying that he wished he had never met me or introduced me to his family. I just don’t know if I should just give up and walk away or keep fighting and how to do it. — To Fight or Not to Fight

You don’t know whether you should keep fighting for a guy who just got out of jail, says he wants to date other women, and wishes he had never met you? The answer is: no. No, you should not keep fighting. There are other men — some of whom have not just gotten out of jail (some who never even were in jail in the first place!) who might just be up for committing to one person eventually.

I have been in a loving and honest relationship for three years now. He is an amazing and straightforward guy who rarely hides anything from me. I know he loves me but, at the same time, I feel very self-conscious about the lack of my breasts, particularly because my boyfriend likes busty women. Before I met him, I was pretty happy with my body, but now I’m starting to hate my A-cup boobs and petite figure. I get jealous whenever I see someone with big boobs — it makes me feel really insecure and depressed. I’m a 22-year-old with the body of a teen. I look like I’ve just hit puberty. I feel horrible when he says that he likes girls with big boobs, big butts, and thick thighs. He even said one day that he doesn’t like skinny girls. What should I do? Does he wants me to be like those busty girls? — Not Busty

Any guy who would tell his boob-challenged girlfriend that he likes “girls” (I think he means women) with big boobs, big butts, and thick thighs really isn’t that “loving.” He sounds like a jerk, frankly — and one who objectifies women. Gross. What does it say about him and your relationship that you went from being confident and “pretty happy” with your body to feeling insecure and depressed? It says he’s a really crappy boyfriend, that’t what. MOA. There’s a man who will love you and love your body and not make you feel like you’re being compared to anyone else, let alone to all the women who don’t look anything like you.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. Bittergaymark says:

    Okay, so one deranged birthday brat.
    And two more for my ever growing case-study on “Women: The MOST Desperate Sex.”
    Yikes. Just yikes! Happy Friday, Everyone!

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Eh, there are plenty of desperate men — they just don’t tend to read dw or write to me for advice in as high as percentage as women do. Doesn’t mean they’re less desperate though.

      1. Bittergaymark says:

        How anybody can take a three sentance post of mine as being anything but glib and sarcastic when I even use the absurd phrase YIKES! simply boggles the mind…

      2. I’ll give you glib:

        said or done too easily or carelessly : showing little preparation or thought

      3. Bittergaymark says:

        We can’t all be you, Kate.

    2. RedRoverRedRover says:

      Last time I checked, there wasn’t an entire culture built around desperate women. PUA, anyone?

      1. Avatar photo Cleopatra Jones says:

        Yep. Google ‘thirsty guys’ there are whole memes built around it.

    3. dinoceros says:

      Good thing guys never ask women out repeatedly after being rejected or commit violent crimes because they got turned down or stalk people.

      1. RedRoverRedRover says:

        Or kill them.

      2. Or “date” and then kidnap their 15-year-old students and drag them around the country after taking out a loan for $4,500 and picking up two refills of Cialis.

      3. Bittergaymark says:

        Humour around here is not exactly in any of your wheelhouses, no?

      4. Why won’t you women smile more!?

      5. RedRoverRedRover says:

        Laugh at my jokes! Women aren’t funny!

        No but seriously it’s because you’re always saying sexist bullshit.

      6. Bittergaymark says:

        Plenty of women are bright and funny. Though clearly they increasingly don’t post much here.

      7. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        That’s really unnecessary and sexist. The commenters on DW are by far some of the brightest and funniest that I’ve come across on any blog. The collective wisdom, life experience, political engagement, career stature, degrees, and altruism is impressive. Women not laughing at sexist bullshit doesn’t make them unfunny and dumb, please.

      8. Maybe you’re funnier in person. My first husband used to make me pee in my pants with his ridiculous commentary, but later after we were divorced he used to text me his jokes he wrote for standup, and they usually fell flat. Sometimes he’d call and tell me one, and then it was a little funnier.

        It’s easy to get cheap laughs on here by being the meanest commenter to a clueless LW, and/or using the word c**t, but there are only so many variations of “women: so dumb, dramatic, and desperate.” Shake it up a little!

      9. dinoceros says:

        I’ve always wondered why BGM, if he thinks everyone here is so stupid and exhausting, continues to post. It’s like thinking a TV show is boring and dumb and then watching all 10 seasons of it.

        You can’t say sexist stuff on a daily or weekly basis and then expect people to think you’re joking. But I assume you’re just trying to get people to get upset anyway, so you’re not actually expecting people to think it’s a joke. You just toss out lines that will rile everyone up.

      10. RedRoverRedRover says:

        My guess is it’s a great place to come and vent, and since he hardly ever gets called out, he feels it’s ok to do. I can just imagine the outcry if there was someone on this site routinely saying similar crap about gays.

      11. ele4phant says:

        BGM – what if, and stay with me here, you actually weren’t funny? At least not in this instance?

        After all, the simpler explanation if a group rejects your attempt at humor is not that every single person is humorless, but rather, you misfired here?

      12. dinoceros says:

        @ele4phant: That would only make sense if we weren’t almost all women. But since women are just humorless and wrong all the time, then it totally makes sense that he’s the only one who is right. It’s because we are full of drama.

      13. baccalieu says:

        BGM posts on here for the same reason I do, which is the same reason Mick Jagger went to the demonstration, to get our fair share of abuse. I haven’t posted on here recently so I’m experiencing abuse withdrawal.
        I suppose we all tend to be blind to our own prejudices, but sometimes it can be truly breathtaking; I am actually having trouble believing that Red Rover (who I always found to be extremely thoughtful and sensible) could say something like “I can just imagine the outcry if there was someone on this site routinely saying similar crap about guys”. The posters on this site post derogatory, insulting or negative generalizations about men ALL THE TIME. There is at least one on virtually every thread and some threads consist almost entirely of them. Even on here the sarcastic responses to BGM contain those generalizations. (For example, “Women are humourless and wrong” The poster obviously doesn’t believe this but is suggesting that all (or at least most) men do. The suggestion that men believe women are humourless and wrong seems to me to be just as offensive and wrong as the generalization you are criticizing BGM for making.
        It reminds me of the way you responded to my admission that, being a guy, I tended to sympathize with the guys on here more than the women. The most common response was that, since I admitted that, it was something that I needed to work on and something that tended to invalidate my opinion. There was a complete failure to consider the possibility that the opinions of the female commenters maybe also be biased but in favour of the women. No, instead the assumption seemed to be that the women who took the side of the women were all completely reasonable unbiased and impartial whereas the men who sympathized with the men were hopelessly prejudiced in favour of their sex. The truth is that we all are prejudiced by what we are and what we have experienced, and we should all try to fight those prejudicial tendencies. However, it is hard to fight them if you don’t admit that you have them and that they are likely influencing (even if only in a modest way) your opinions.

      14. baccalieu says:


      15. PS, read Red’s comment again.

      16. baccalieu says:

        Oh, I see now. Needed to clean my glasses. Sorry, Red. I should have known you were more self-aware than that. Though less apropos, the rest of the comment still stands. Why is BGM’s assertion that woman tend to be stupid doormats in relationships so much worse than the responders assertion that men think women are humourless and wrong? (Aside from the “He started it” argument, of course.)

      17. Uh, because she was paraphrasing BGM’s assertion that women have no sense of humor and are wrong about his statement not being humorous? He made the observation, and then she sarcastically referenced it. Are you ok?

      18. baccalieu says:

        Uh, BGM did not say that women in general had no sense of humour. He actually expressly said the opposite. He said that although plenty of women are smart and funny, the women posting on this site did not appear to be.
        The second part is not a sentiment that I agree with and neither, I suspect, does BGM when he’s being serious and not taking a shot at someone. The shot, like most shots, was totally unfair, but in the context of a joke between people who exchange comments on a regular basis, I thought it was quite funny. Actually, I would have thought that some of the responses were quite funny, too, if they were intended as joking ripostes, but it appeared to me that most of them were serious, not joking.

      19. Of course.

      20. baccalieu says:

        Again, touché.

      21. dinoceros says:

        Are you kidding me? I assume you are referring to my post in which I sarcastically said “women are humorless and wrong.” Please go back and re-read that one too, because if you think there’s anything in that comment that says I think all men think that, you are delusional. I was specifically referring to BGM because he said a few comments up that “humor is not in our wheelhouse” and then said we misunderstood his comment (aka, were “wrong” about it).

        If you’re going to jump into an argument, at least take the time to read what you’re attacking and the context around it.

      22. He doesn’t need to read or understand the thread. He’s said before that BGM is his Internet inspiration and spirit animal, so anything BGM posts is automatically not only verified accurate but also meant with the best intentions and the utmost respect for women, which Baccalieu 1,000% shares.

    4. I know I will be called sexist, but I will say that during my lifetime most of my friends have been men. I have seldom seen men (gay or straight) act as desperate in relationships as I have women. (I say seldom, not never, but seldom) What I see more often than not, are woman that are being severely disrespected , abused, ignored and used coming back for more. (I have seen this in lesbian relationships too) As far as women looking for long term situations with a future men often have the advantage. They can father children forever, so they don’t have to be in a hurry. Seems like if a woman thinks a guy might even consider marriage there is no end to how much shit she will tolerate. But he told me he wanted to marry me one day!!!!!!!! I know he treats me like chit, but I know deep down he loves me! He just has a really hard time showing it.
      I have had several of my guys friends tell me they just wanted someone they have good sex with who can pay half the rent.

      1. Men also aren’t being given the message by society that their entire worth is wrapped up in being desired and in a relationship. Women are spinsters, men are bachelors. Says it all really.

      2. RedRoverRedRover says:

        Women have for millenia been put in a situation where they needed men to survive. You took the best man you could get and you hung onto him, because otherwise you had no roof over your head and nothing to eat. Even if he treated you like dirt, you hung on. That was how women survived, and how they ensured their children’s survival. It’s only begun to change in the last few decades. Thousands of years of momentum aren’t just going to change on a dime. Plenty of people still have the idea that women need men for survival, and they teach that to their daughters, either implicitly or explicitly.

        And for what it’s worth, the majority of my friends have always been male as well. But I can’tell even think of one woman friend I’ve ever had who lets men treat her like dirt. And I’ve definitely had male friends stay with women who walked all over them. So I guess my anecdote cancels yours out.

      3. Mmm, that’s what they say, but the reality is they’ll put up with bad sex, drama, and someone they don’t even like, for years because they’re afraid of being alone.

      4. dinoceros says:

        The problem with anecdotal evidence is that it doesn’t take into consideration the differences among social groups, etc. I have had very few female friends acting desperate or ridiculous over guys and have had few male friends acting that way. There are exceptions, though, and one of those is a guy who let his girlfriend treat him like crap (she basically used to him to have someone to attend all her school/work functions, but wouldn’t say they were in a relationship or attend functions with him or meet his friends) and then pined after multiple women (including me) for years/months despite them telling him they weren’t interested.

        Your social circle is distinct and can’t just be extrapolated out to accurately portray genders in this country as a whole. Almost all my friends have college degrees. Yet, I recognize that that doesn’t mean everyone in the U.S. has a college degree.

        But like the others said, you and others are making the inference that women are inherently drama-filled and desperate. But when society tells you that if you are single by age 35 (or 30 or 40 or whatever) that you’re a spinster or that you shouldn’t expect much from men or you’ll be called needy, it influences behavior. All this insulting stuff folks are saying about women is a reflection of society’s shortcomings, not some genetic trait.

      5. dinoceros says:

        And also, somehow it’s become worse to naively or willfully put up with BS than to actually treat your partner like crap. String someone along, lie, cheat, whatever, but just don’t stay in a bad relationship too long!

      6. Carolann, I think I understand your point and I definitely believe your annecdotal evidence and would also not be surprised if it was the trend, not just in your circle. Probably what you don’t see is the desperate men who aren’t being abused or treated like crap but they aren’t dating anyone because not even an abuser wants to date them. Desperate single guys who want to get laid and or maybe have a life partner and don’t have any takers, or they want their ex back. And like people mentioned above they can get violent and scary in many ways. Not wanting to stereotype but the “desperation” perhaps manifests in different ways for men and women. and some men do get abused, not sure if abused people are “desperate” as much as scared though.

  2. wobster109 says:

    LW1 – WWS. Honestly if someone invited me to “spend the evening with them” I’d think that means I go to their place and we chat and watch Netflix. I would not in a million years know that I was being asked to plan something. If you want him to plan something, say “hey my birthday is Thursday so can you plan a dinner and a night out for us?” If you want him to come over say “I’d like you to come over”, not “so what are the plans?”

    However I still don’t think you should date him. He’s not honest. An honest guy would’ve admitted he didn’t know what you wanted, rather than lying about a surprise.

    LW2 – No means no. He doesn’t want to see you, so you should respect that.

    LW3 – Did he volunteer this information, or did you ask him what shape of breasts he likes? If he’s saying this out of the blue, or he sees someone on TV and says “she is so hot because she has thick thighs”, then yes, he’s a jerk, and it’s not nice to keep bringing it up. If you’re asking him though, then stop that. Don’t ask someone a question and then hold the answer against them.

    1. dinoceros says:

      I’d agree about LW1, but it appears as though he chose not to follow through on hanging out with her either. Not making plans is one thing, not showing up at all is another.

  3. I don’t think the woman in the first letter was doing anything wrong, really. If someone had asked me to come over on their birthday, even if they generally don’t like to do something but this year they did, I would at least show up, and even stop off at the store for some flowers or a small present. I totally don’t think this is unreasonable. It gets tiring to always be the one to say, “It’s my birthday and so I want to go [food] and I want you to come.” To me, it’s just a basic nice gesture I would do for a friend or a girlfriend.

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      He was going to but she then got all pissy and went to bed in a hissy fit. SO attractive!

      1. Northern Star says:

        He told her he wasn’t heading over any time soon (“there’s no rush”)—and according to the letter, it was getting “very late.” I’m unclear as to how this translates to “the LW is unreasonable for going to bed rather than sitting around waiting for someone who may or may not bother coming.”

      2. Yeah, geez Northern Star, don’t you know that women are only attractive if we sacrifice our sleep patterns for someone who hasn’t bothered to even give us a time frame? I mean, it’s only reasonable for us to sit around doing our nails and hoping he’ll bother to show up before we’re so tired all we want to do is check our eyelids for light leaks. Because Mark Hath Spoken.

      3. Bittergaymark says:

        Who knows what time it is? The LW is rather vague… I bet it wasn’t even past nine…

      4. Dude. Disagree with how she handled it all you want, but you do not get to invent your own version of events just because she was vague. I’m regularly in my PJs and not accepting callers past 9pm, and I don’t even define it as “very late.”

  4. Yes, the first LW needs to be more direct with what she wants, but she asked him to come over on her birthday and he didn’t even come over. It would be one thing if he came over with takeout and then she said “But I wanted you to take me out to a fancy dinner with friends!” But he didn’t even show up. Pretty rude.

    1. Northern Star says:

      I agree with this. It’s OK to be disappointed because your boyfriend doesn’t even SHOW UP on your birthday when you asked him ahead of time to do so. It’s not kind to do that to someone.

      If you’re describing yourself as constantly disappointed with someone, the relationship is doomed anyway.

      1. Bittergaymark says:

        He was running late and she basically told him NOT to come by being a drama queen cliche and storming off to bed.

  5. LW1. He said “no rush” because he thought this was a late night booty call. He expected to come over, have sex, happy birthday to you. (Sounds like a good evening to me.) however, he realized you meant a date too late when you asked him about “plans” and he copped out. To me, it seems you don’t WANT to be happy. You take a month to decide if you want to get back together, and why? Was there someone else on the table? Did you really need that long to sort out your feelings? Or was this punishment for how he treated you? make better choices as to who you let back in your life and quit waiting on that loser to step up.

  6. dinoceros says:

    LW1: When you took him back, was there any indication that he had changed or that he was going to address the issues that led to the break-up? If not, you should have never gotten back together. The entire time you’ve known him, it sounds like you’ve been disappointed. Continuing to stay with him and think that he’d magically change would be super naive.

  7. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    LW1 ” and asked my on/off boyfriend of two years to spend the evening with me, which he agreed to.”

    He agreed to spend the evening with you but you didn’t say whether that meant him coming over to your place, you going to his place or the two of you going out together. It certainly didn’t mean he agreed to make plans. When someone invites me to join them I assume they have plans and they are asking me to join them in those plans. In the future, probably not with this guy, be much more specific about what you mean. General words can mean totally different things to two different people. If you want someone to come to your place invite them to come to your place and give them the time to come over and if you want them to bring something let them know. I think most people will know to bring some kind of food or hostess gift if you are inviting them for dinner but for anything else let people know what you expect. Your boyfriend may have been waiting for you to tell him the where and the when and the what of your birthday while you were waiting for him to surprise you with a plan.

  8. Haven’t we seen LW1 before? Or is this an entirely new woman who won’t stand up and say “I want to do something with you on the evening of my birthday, and it would please me if you would plan something that I would enjoy”?

    LW2, oh my god, girl, grow a backbone, move out, and MOA.

    LW3, a guy who “who rarely hides anything from me” is the base level for being a decent adult human. Stop being with someone who doesn’t like you for you.

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      Actually, this letter seemed VERY familiar. I swear Wendy published a similar, slightly different one years ago with similar details… if it were to be the same women with yet another birthday tale of woe, that would be HILARIOUS.

      1. It really, really would.

  9. I’m going to recommend masturbation for all the LWs. It’s a relationship with someone you really care about and totally understand. It’s a game you always win. Masturbation never stands you up. It never wants someone with bigger boobs. It never wants to play the field. You can get weird about it if you want. Tie yourself up first. Pretend to stretch and yawn, then put your arm around yourself. “Oh, I think you have an eyelash on your cheek.” You can never really take advantage of yourself, but you can really take advantage of yourself. In the immortal words of Paul Simon, “Hello, darkness, my old friend….”

    Everyone here is invited to my birthday party tomorrow night. Drive to Saskatoon, SK, Canada, head for the west side, roll down a window and listen for the loud. Don’t bother knockin’!

    1. RedRoverRedRover says:

      Happy birthday Diablo, have a great one! !!

  10. BGM, you are little bit of a sexist “cunt” at times. Yeah I called you a “cunt”, how does it feel ?

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      Uh, it couldn’t possibly phase me less.

  11. It should, as you come across as a weak person by calling women names you clearly know offend them.

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      Please. I use that term VERY sparingly around here. Most recently — with regards to a deranged “christian” (who isn’t even ON this site!) who also took hours to realize that calling her employer’s teenage daughter “a whore” for wanting to (gasp!) date at 15… sometimes, one has to call a spade a spade.
      Anyway, it’s a great word. Especially when applied to men as it so often fits like the Brits do. But like always, pearl clutching America seems woefully slow on the uptake. So feel free to call me cunt anytime. Have at it.

  12. I could think of a few words to call you and you would not like them, but I do not use those terms as they are considered offensive.

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      I don’t call people on here names. But my — you’ve certainly come up with a nice, passive-aggressive holier than thou way to do just that. So Bravo.

      1. The best part is that in the original comment, JJ used the word cunt twice, spelled it without any st*rs, but still felt compelled to soften it by using quotation marks, not sure why. So is BGM a cunt or, you know, just a “cunt,” which really isn’t that bad, is it? Or IS it? And which version makes the user more of a wanker, one of my favourite terms of dismissal and disdain? Science cannot answer…. and still…. we march. Hey, who marched for science today?

  13. [Deleted for being one of the nastiest, disrespectful comments ever on this site.]

    1. All of that is so far off from reality, there’s nowhere to start.

  14. LisforLeslie says:

    Ah, Monday morning… let the craziness begin.

    Seriously folks – you don’ t know when to just roll your eyes at BGM while he rolls his eyes at the LWs?

    LW 1 – oh my god. Stop hinting. Make plans. It will be far less disappointing.
    LW 2 – oh my god. Aim higher.
    LW 3 – oh my god. How often is he telling you his body preference type? Is it often or are you just rolling over a couple of tossed away comments over and over in your mind. If this guy doesn’t bring out the best you – then you can find someone who loves you and your itty bitty titties.

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