Shortcuts: “He Dumped Me But He Still Owes Me a Birthday Gift!”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

My birthday was four months ago. At the time, my boyfriend gave me a picture of people skydiving as an I.O.U. for a skydiving trip (because he has always wanted to go), which he still hasn’t made good on. Last week he dumped me. As I walked out of his apartment, feeling pretty salty, I said “You owe me a skydiving trip.”

We spoke yesterday to facilitate an exchange of borrowed books, clothes, etc. He said he wants to give me my birthday present. He was planning to just give me a gift certificate to a place, but he doesn’t want to get me something I won’t use and so he offered to give me cash instead. To summarize: he got me a present he wanted, slacked on it for four months, and dumped me the day after I finished taking the bar exam. Can I take the money he’s offering even if it is vindictive and petty? — Feeling Petty

It was tacky of your ex to give you an I.O.U. for your birthday and not pony-up before dumping you. It would be tackier of you to accept money from an ex for a birthday that happened months ago. Move on already and consider it a gift that the guy not only saved you from investing further in this dead-end relationship, but he dumped you the day after your bar exam rather than the day before.

I met this guy, “Hank,” on my baseball team last year, and after the season ended we started hooking up — an FWB kind of thing. He is a bit older than me and has a kid. I know things would never get serious because we live totally different lives. Baseball continued this summer, and he joined the team again. He recently moved about 45 minutes out of town, so we haven’t been hooking up and decided to just be friends. It’s been hard to play ball with him, especially because I’m attracted to him and would like to continue having sex with him.

Anyway, there is another girl on my team, closer to his age who has a kid as well. They have been flirting constantly, and I feel very disrespected because he does it right in front of me. I don’t know if he does it to try to get a rise out of me, but if so, it’s working! I used to enjoy being around this girl, but now I can’t stand her. Am I overreacting? — Team Jealousy

You ex-FWB is not flirting with another woman to “get a rise” out of you; he’s flirting with her because he’s interested in her (and no longer interested in you, which is why he stopped sleeping with you even though you’d like to continue having sex with him). If it’s bothering you so much, consider switching teams. As far as not being able to stand his current woman-of-the-season, remember the old adage: don’t hate the teammate, hate the playa.

My ex and I dated for a little over two years. He broke up with me, saying he had personal issues to work on and he didn’t want to hurt me. We’ve been technically broken up for about five months now. But we see each other, neither of us is dating anyone else and neither of us has any desire to. He says he loves me and he shows it. I told him that we’re basically in a relationship without the label, but he feels that that’s blasphemy towards our past relationship. So now I’m not sure how I should take everything and what to do about it. — Blasphemous Romance?

He says he loves you and it feels like you’re still in a relationship, so why on earth would he not want to just label it as such? Because he wants his freedom — freedom to do whatever he wants — including sleeping with other women — without you or anyone else telling him not to. As to what you should do about it: stop making it so easy for him to have you without any strings attached.


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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. kerrycontrary says:

    LW1: Congrats on taking the Bar! I hope you pass and that you have an awesome vacation planned. Stop worrying about a birthday present that doesn’t exist.

    LW2: Repeat after me “everything is not about me”

    LW3: Like Wendy said, he wants to bang other girls and not feel guilty because he’s “technically” single. Tell him to shape up or ship out. Either you’re his gf again or you’re moving on permanently.

  2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    Regarding LW1’s ex, I am so thankful for LW1’s sake that he waited until the day after the bar. Can you imagine, getting dumped at any point during the summer leading up to the bar? I would have failed for sure. Really, *what* an ass he would have been. I am also impressed that he waited until the day after the bar (and not *right* after), giving you the chance to enjoy the night and celebrate the end of a two-to-three day exam (and an entire summer) from hell. Classy move. But you, don’t take the cash.

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Lawyers, let’s talk about what we all did after the bar? I’ve taken three bars and what I did after varied:
      – After the first bar, I went straight to a bar and drank myself sick. I had to call my mom to come pick me up and take me home. And the sad part is it was like 8:30 pm.

      – After the second bar, I was already working as a lawyer and I had to drive over an hour to get back to where I was living and head straight into the office because I had work piled on my desk.

      – After the third bar, I had to fetch my car from the [what do you call the lot where they tow cars?] because it had been towed the night before, which was really frustrating because the car was actually my sisters and I had to get her to send over the papers and oy frustration. My mom, who was staying with me at the time, and I went to dinner and then I had to go to bed early because I had knee surgery scheduled for the very next morning.

      I plan to never take a bar again.

      1. Impound lot?

      2. Lawyers, why do you have to take the bar multiple times?

      3. kerrycontrary says:

        First answer is if you fail, but it sounds like AP had to take it for a new state (if you switch states within like 5yrs of taking the bar for the first time, you have to take the new state’s bar since laws differ between states).

      4. Guy Friday says:

        Well, it varies dramatically between states (I think California actually makes you wait an insane amount of time, and some states — Alaska and maybe Idaho as well — don’t grant reciprocity at all!), but it’s still a valid point.

        Let’s play guess the states AP took the bar in! I’m going with:
        1.) Illinois
        2.) Wisconsin
        3.) Missouri?

      5. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Nope! Guess again.

      6. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        I mean, seriously Guy it’s like you don’t know me at all! Jeez.

      7. Indiana?

      8. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:


      9. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:


      10. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:


        is this game as fun for you guys as it is for me?

      11. Now I have to look at a map. I hope you’re happy

      12. Ok so we all know Illinois is one. maybe I was taking your wisconsin comments too seriously… so im giving 2 guesses this round for the other 2.

        Wisconsin and Iowa
        Michigan and Ohio

        Can we get partial credit?

      13. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:


        God, this game must be THE MOST ANNOYING (for you) GAME EVER.

      14. Illinois Wisconsin Ohio

      15. Addie Pray says:

        1 right, 2 wrong

      16. Guy Friday says:

        Were ANY of them right? I was sure the “1 hour” comment was driving into Wisconsin to take it.

      17. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        No partial credit allowed. Got to get all 3 correct. 1 state is really random.

      18. Minnesota or California?

      19. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        No, no

      20. ….north carolina?

      21. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:


      22. Illinois
        New York (for the one you said is random)

      23. Wait no, Missouri? Or has everyone said these already, & they’re wrong? Are you fucking with us?? haha

      24. Illinoize, Missourah, and…Kansas?

      25. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Cats wins!!

      26. OMG really?! what’s the prize?

      27. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Hmmm… what should the prize be?

      28. I’m with you on #1 and #2 but I’m not sure about #3. Then again, my face is swollen and I can’t think so I can’t even remember what states are in the general area.

      29. Each state has its own requirements. The bar is usually one day of standard fed/constitution type multichoice questions that all lawyers around the country take on the same day… and then day 2 is state specific. unless you’re in cali and I think their standard bar exam is 3 days.

        In my case, in the northeast, many lawyers practice across state lines or work for firms that have multiple locations. .. so the states arrange themselves to allow for testtakers to take. Day 1 is NY, day 2 is fed/standard and day 3 is NJ or MA for example.

      30. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Oh that, yes, it’s because I am licensed in three states. States have their own rules about reciprocity. In my case, I took the second state’s bar (because my firm wanted me licensed in both states) 6 months after I took my first state’s bar. Because I was only 6 months out, I had to take that state’s “state specific” portion of the bar (1 day) but because I was within 2 years out, I did not have to retake the multi-state portion of the bar (1 day) – so that second bar I only had to do 1 day of exams. The third state (Illinois) was because I moved there. And that sucked ass because I was MORE than 2 years out (so had to take the multi-state portion again, 1 day) but LESS than 5 years out (so had to take the Illinois-state specific portion, also 1 full day). (And the reason being because in Illinois they will grant you a license here, without taking any part of the bar, if you have already practiced 5 years somewhere else.) So, I had to take THE WHOLE FUCKING BAR AGAIN in Illinois.

      31. That makes sense. All states now have RN reciprocity as long as your record is clean; the NCLEX is nationally standardized. I think you just have to apply and pay a fee. Actual nurses, correct me if I am wrong.

      32. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        How does that work for those “traveling nurses” – do they need to be licesed in every state? Do they get a pass because they’re going to areas that need nurses?

      33. I did 2 states at once so my bar experience was 3 days instead of 2 sucked because most of my classmates were done on day 2 and celebrating and I still had a whole day left to go. I met up with friends after who had also done the 3 day and drank a bit. then went home and slept for like 2 days.

      34. Guy Friday says:

        Wait, you guys had to take a bar exam? Silly lawyers 🙂

      35. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Ohhhh, and then you have the assclown state of Wisconsin, which gives assclown graduates from the assclown University of Wisconsin School of law a licnese to practice in Wisconsin FOR FREE, WITHOUT TAKING ANY BAR EXAM. Those cheese curd heads!

        I don’t think you’re an assclown, I almost went to your school, I LOVE Wisconsin in general, and cheese curds …. I’m just very J E A L O U S.

      36. I think the assclown graduates from Marquette Law also get that pass but I can’t remember. It’s the reason if I do find my way to law school, it’ll probably be UW. Mmmm cheese curds. AP, next weekend (labor day weekend) is Taste of Madison – you should come up here and go with us and listen to free music and eat lots of delicious cheese curds.

      37. Guy Friday says:

        No, Marquette does too. The rule is that if you graduate from a law school in Wisconsin (so, Marquette or UW-Madison; there are no others), AND you complete basic coursework criteria (which both law schools have as their general graduation requirements anyway), you get sworn in automatically via the “diploma privilege” So I graduated on a Saturday and was sworn in at the Supreme Court in Madison on Monday.

        The way a lot of big firms in other states do it is that they hire you but don’t pay you / pay you very little and let you focus on the bar, and the second you pass you start billing ASAP. Or, alternately, you wait until you pass the bar and then start looking for jobs. Truthfully, I only really got a 4 month head start on finding a job, and even in Wisconsin where there’s only really 4 or 5 schools that feed in here (UW, Marquette, Minnesota, and maybe Illinois and U-Chicago) there’s a serious over-saturation of lawyers. Also, keep in mind that I do criminal and non-profit law, so I guarantee AP made up the salary difference in like 10 minutes despite having to wait a few months to pass the bar 🙂

      38. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Ha, well, actually, most Big Law firms pay you a stipend during the summer you study for the bar, they pay your BarBri dues, and they pay all bar/CLE dues. You go ahead and start your job in September as a full associate, at full pay, despite not yet knowing if you passed. You find out in the fall at some point that you passed, and you’re SUPER GLAD because it is a MAJOR EMBARASSMENT not to at that point. I know a Big Law attorney who failed, so his firm let him take it again in Feb. He failed again, and they terminated him. When I took the second bar they let me take a few days off work to study, but just a few. When I took Illinois and had to take the whole damn thing, I got 4 works off to study and take the bar. I’d guess all Big Law firms do it similarly but I don’t know for sure.

      39. I was surprised to find out that we can start working as RNs before we pass the NCLEX. Pretty much everyone in the accelerated program will have a job lined up by the time we graduate. Our instructors write letters saying how likely we are to pass on the first try.

      40. I have never heard of such a thing! Crazy

        Sad you didnt get to push the 5 years and avoid the bar for the 3rd time. its such a racket to get money. and dont even get me started on the pro bono fees and CLEs … hey state bars – not all of us working for the big firms that will pay that shit for you. and when you still have your loans and arent even working as an attorney anymore, but they wont let you go inactive. Well fuck that money grab. Wow im more bitter about this than I thought!

      41. Gwen Soul says:

        crap you just reminded me by bar dues are due this week.

      42. Guy Friday says:

        Seriously, SO this. I was out 3 years last year, and the Wisconsin bar DOUBLED my bar dues. And, really, unless you’re at a big firm most firms don’t have the money to pay your dues. And, sure, you can deduct it from your taxes, but that’s still a big chunk of money out of your pocket.

      43. Guy Friday says:

        I understand. But then there’s the other side of the coin, which is that lawyers from other states — or who practice in Wisconsin but came from law schools out of the state — act like those of us who got sworn in under the diploma privilege could never have passed the bar. Fuck that; I could have passed the bar with flying colors. I’ve written appellate court briefs that have gotten trial court cases overturned. I’ve co-written a brief that’s being argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in October. But why would I pay thousands of dollars for bar prep and go through that 2-day hell when I don’t have to? Would any of you here still taken the bar if they gave you the option not to?

        Also, having the diploma privilege available to me allowed me to get a lot of experience in my field that I’d never have been able to do if I’d had to, say, take Secured Transactions or Corporate Law. I got to try 3 homicide cases in a year my third year that I’d never had had time for otherwise, you know? And, more importantly, I got my name out to the public defender’s office and to other attorneys in the community, which has gotten me referrals and appointments attorneys without my experiences never get. I doubt I’d have ever gotten the jobs I did without that.

        (I know you weren’t seriously bashing it, AP. I’m just saying.)

      44. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Ha ha, defensive much? First off, I have passed THREE bars and could never write an appellate court brief that gets trial court cases overturned to there’s that, for starters. Second, um, no reasonable person would take a bar if they don’t have to. And everyone knows the bar is a waste of time – an exercise in stamina only, and has no relation to the actual practice of law, AT ALL. I think of the bar as a marathon. Could you just get up and take it? No. But if you stick to the training guides and start studying when they tell you to, any fat ass could run a marathan and cross the finish line, even if it take them 6 hours, you know? I think I mixed metaphors but you get it.

      45. Guy Friday says:

        So, I don’t know if you followed it or not, but there was a lawsuit against the State Bar brought by a lawyer who grew up in Wisconsin, went to some non-Wisconsin law school, came back to practice law in Wisconsin, and then had to take the bar. I actually know the guy; we’ve practiced in the same counties. And one time, when I was in court, he started lecturing me about how he was better than me because he took the bar and I didn’t. And I looked at him and said “Well, if you’re a better lawyer than I am, why did you settle your case? If it was so unfair, why did you take some money and shut up about it? Because that seems like you sued for the sake of money, not the ideal.” And then I dropped the mic and walked out of the courtroom.

        Seriously, I get that the diploma privilege sucks for non-Wisconsin-law-school lawyers, and I sympathize. But UW and Marquette are top 100 law schools, so when people come at me and criticize it when they went to, say, the Appalachian School of Law (I’m not making this up; someone from there actually said this to me, and it’s a real law school in Virginia) . . . well, seriously, go to a real law school and then come talk to me. I’m just saying.

      46. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Uhh… That IS a real law school.

      47. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        That’s crazy. I get bitching about having to take the bar – because that’s always bitch-worth – but I don’t get actually putting someone down for not taking a bar – again, a exam that reflects NOTHING about your knowledge or skills. I mean, I get that I just called you, your school, and your state assclowns but…. well, it’s just because I’m envious. But it’s not personal – I mean, if YOU and ONLY YOU got to skip the bar, I’d, well I’d want to know who you slept with so I can sleep with her too.

      48. Gwen Soul says:

        The Project Runway season premeired that night so I drank mimosas and watched tv. Now the day I found out I passed, whole other story

      49. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Oh let’s tell those stories!

        The day I found out I passed the first bar, my firm let all the first year associates off at lunch with a firm credit card. So we went to a restaurant and ate and drank ourselves silly. Around 5 or 6 pm, other attorneys from the firm came to join us to celebrate with us. But by then, once again, I was already so wasted that I was in a cab home. First I puked in the bathroom, in front of my colleagues. #classsy

        The day I found out I passed the other days? I was already at work, I think I said “oh thank God” and then got back to work. Zzzz.


      50. Gwen Soul says:

        I worked in a 4 person firm and 3 were at trials that day so I sat in the back office refreshing the bar site every 30 seconds. After running around and calling my mom I went to my book club and convinced them we need to get drunk at the nearest bar with me which happened to be an Olive Garden. (keeping it classy) I am jealous of the big firm parties 🙂

        What sucks is I don’t even practice anymore since I had the boss from hell and a crappy recession to deal with. I do seem to get into the “evil” industries though. So far I have worked for attorneys, a cigarette company, real estate, electric company and health insurance. All I need is to work selling guns somewhere …

      51. Waiting for reports from friends about who didnt make the list 😉 I took the bar away from where I went to lawschool so 95% of my class took one bar. that was a fun day… esp when my bitchy ex roommate failed, and everyone knew who failed bc we didnt have that big of a class. I felt so superior when I passed 🙂

      52. Gwen Soul says:

        yeah, I felt like such a bad person, but did the same thing

      53. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        A girl in the grade above me dumped her boyfriend (they were studying for the bar together) after the first day and before the second. She’s a bitch.

      54. Please PLEASE tell me karma smacked that bitch upside the head. Thats just crazy cruel… esp if you’re becoming a lawyer yourself.

      55. FI and I took the Ohio bar at the same time. (Ohio bar is three days and sucks monkey balls). We stayed in Columbus an extra night to party. However we were too exhausted and ended up in our hotel room watching Grey’s Anatomy instead.

        The bar exam was rough for me. I had a baby two months before the bar, so studying was pretty much out of the question. I studied as much as I could, but I only got 28% of the way through my study program. Also, I had gall stones and had an attack the night before the MBE, so I didn’t actually get any sleep the night before the fucking MBE. Ugh. I had my gall bladder removed a couple weeks after the exam.

        I passed, but FI didn’t. Therefore, I spent the day/night I should’ve been celebrating picking his drunk ass up off the floor. He passed on his second try.

        Does anyone want to talk about the character and fitness bullshit that comes BEFORE taking the bar exam? In Ohio it is brutal. Ohio has one of the toughest bar exams, character and fitness processes in the country. Oh, and no reciprocity. Ohio sucks.

    2. Avatar photo MackenzieLee says:

      My friend that “dumped” me did it a week before I was supposed to take the MCAT. It was really shitty. It was the nail in the coffin that I couldn’t take it then.

    3. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

      A girl in the grade above me dumped her boyfriend (they were studying for the bar together) after the first day and before the second. She’s a bitch.

      1. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Confession that posted twice because my work computer started gleeking out and now it’s permanently fucked up and I’m scared the tech guy is going to have to tell my boss it crashed while I was on DW. OMG. I am legitimately scared about it.

    4. TF mandatory reference: “And leave the copper pots behind”

      1. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Archaeology has no standardized tests! Though sometimes I wish there was because it is AMAZING how many people just straight up don’t understand how Section 106 works….

  3. Ok, I’m totally going to talk about grammar and word usage and language.

    Did anyone else notice that LW2 said “an FWB” instead of “a FWB”? This speaks to the way she thinks of the initialism FWB in her head. When I write FWB, I think the words “friends with benefits” as I write it as “FWB.” As a contrast, when I write something like “LOL” or “BRB” I actually think those initialisms in my head rather than thinking “laughing out loud” or “be right back.” I was surprised to see the LW think of “FWB” in the pure initialism form, so that she’d read the sentence “an eff-double-you-bee ” rather than “a friend with benefits.”

    Thoughts? Which would you say for “FWB” – “eff-double-you-bee” or “friends with benefits”?

    1. Also, everything I read the word “playa” like “man, that dude is a playa,” I always hear “playa” like “la playa” as in “the beach” in Spanish.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        How about this one: when I see the word “lululemon” I pronoune the “lemon” part with an emphasis on the second syllable – I think I worded that correctly – basically, not “lemon” like the food, but “le-MAWN” like it’s French or something. Only because when I first saw a lululemon stores years ago, that’s how I thought it was pronounced. Then all of a sudden lululemon became a thing and well I have to remind myself before I say it to say it lululemon and not lululeMAWN.


      2. I usually omit the “le” altogether when I say it in my head— like, lu-lu-MON

      3. i like lululeMAWN a whole lot better!

      4. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        And you have to say it like this: lululeMAWWWWWWWWN – like Liz Lemon says on 30 Rock in an Oprah voice.

      5. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        My sister shops at tar-jaay.

      6. I’ve always said it that way too.

      7. YES!

    2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      I love Christy. And thought I am with you in that I think “friends with benefits” instead of “eff-double-u-bee,” I would have probably written it “an” FWB only because … actually I don’t know why. I have never thought too closely about this.

    3. Ohmygod, that just blew my mind. I also just think “friends with benefits” as I write out FWB (or sometimes my brain tries to pronounce the letters as a word, like “fa-wub” or something. Same with “lol”)

      1. Thinking “eff-double-you-bee” is just so cumbersome.

      2. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

        If I started thinking of it as “eff-double-you-bee” it would quickly turn into a snoop dogg song “S-N-Double O-P D-O-Double Jizzzzeeee”

      3. Avatar photo kmentothat says:

        This made me snort!

    4. Haha! Love this. I read FWB as Friends with benefits, not eff double you bee, too. And, like you i real lol and brb as the letters, not the words.

      Ahh, language.

    5. kerrycontrary says:

      I’d say friends with benefits. Although I am MOST likely to say fuck-buddy. But that’s just me being crass.

      1. See, in my head there’s a division between a FWB and a fuck buddy. I consider a FWB to be an actual *friend* who you sleep with, but a fuck buddy as someone you’re just having sex with, with no actual friendship involved. Thoughts?

      2. kerrycontrary says:

        No, you are correct. But I might have a guy friend that I would describe as a fuck buddy even though we are friends with benefits. Like talking to a girlfriend I could say “oh I was hanging out with my friend sam, but we’re also fuck buddies”.

      3. Yeah, I think when speaking out loud, I’m much more specific (& less likely to say “friends with benefits” OR “fuck buddy”?) Instead, I’ll be like, “my friend that I’ve been fucking for years” or “this guy I was friends with in high school & we became fuck buddies”— like, I get into the backstory somewhat haha

      4. I agree with Christy. I have had both, and there are big differences. An FBuddy you typically never see in daylight hours. A FWB you actually like as a person and can hang out with.

    6. Thank you! That caught me too. Another comment did it recently as well, and it stuck out. I always thought the rule was that you used the article that would correspond with the words, not the acronym, so a FWB because you would say a friend. Is that actually true? I’m too lazy to research it.

      1. My perspective is that it’s whatever you say. So it’s A unicorn, but an unimaginative unicorn. And it’s how you’d say aloud an initialism (like ASPCA) or an acronym (UNICEF).

    7. I split the difference: in my head, it sounds like FwithB. So I would also use the “an” article.

      1. or I should say, “eff-with-bee”

    8. YES!! I noticed that, too! I also had to stop a minute and think to myself, “Wait, an friends with benefits? That doesn’t make sense!”

  4. LW1: Don’t take the money. & Stop worrying about the birthday present he never intended to even give you. Breakups suck, but if you stop drawing it out & rollicking in bitterness, it’ll go much smoother.

    LW2: WWS. Just because you’re upset at his flirting, doesn’t mean he’s doing it to upset you… you know? She’s closer to his age, & he’s probably genuinely interested in her—& over you. It happens (and he’s not doing anything wrong). Let it go, or switch leagues (teams?)

    LW3: “… he feels that that’s blasphemy towards our past relationship”— haha, wowww, nice line. LW, get yourself out of this situation immediately.

    1. So I KNOW you will appreciate this… When I read “switch teams” I instantly thought “Oh, so go gay, and flirt with the girl too!” Haha.

  5. artsygirl says:

    Thank god for Friday morning shortcuts

  6. well, LW1, i dont think its tacky to do what he did for your birthday. i think a picture of people skydiving as a way to say “im taking you skydiving” is cool. i dont think it was an IOU, i wouldnt go that far. thats an odd label for it. anyway, just leave it alone. what does the couple hundred dollars really matter? it doesnt matter, first off, and if you do this, you will look back on it at some better point in your life and cringe at it, that i promise you!

    LW2, people who are casual, non-exclusive FWBs dont “get rises” out of each other except in bed. you are injecting your emotions into this, which is bad bad bad when FWBs are concerned. if it is that bad, like wendy said, switch teams.

    ps. isnt it supposed to be “dont hate the playa hate the game”?

    LW3, non-relationships do very few, if not zero, positive things for people’s lives when they are not wanted. this isnt a positive thing for you. so stop.

    1. Avatar photo MackenzieLee says:

      I agree about the tacky part for LW1 Katie. My family is ALWAYS giving each other pictures because we don’t get our shit together in time to get the real thing or it’s back ordered or something. I think I’ve opened more boxes with pictures of presents in them than actual presents. I’ve never once thought it was tacky. As a little kid I LOVED it because I got presents at Christmas/my birthday then presents again in a few months when all the pictures I received finally came in.

      1. ha, thats awesome. i guess i would only ever think of it for non-tangible things but still being able to give a tangible gift, but for backordered stuff that would totally work too haha

    2. My family does “events” for gifts almost exclusively. we all have enough stuff and it is really about spending time together. So for my mom’s birthday we went to a museum exhibit, last Christmas, my sister and I did shooting lessons. It is fun and keeps the clutter down.

  7. Letter 1 just made me remember that like 7 years ago for Christmas my husband (then boyfriend) and I decided that we were going to get each other a skydiving trip as a gift. Yeah, we never did that.
    I should tell him he owes me a Christmas gift now.

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      My boyfriend bought a skydiving trip through livingsocial and let it expire! I was like that’s $150 wasted, buddy!

      1. Usually there are 2 expiration dates. One for the promo value and then a longer one for the amount he payed. All might not be lost!

      2. oh yea, there was a big class action suit about that. the paid value can like never expire now, or something?

        so yea he probably does still have some money. or he could get it back as credit with living social, ive done that before.

  8. LW2: Yes, you are overreacting. You’re not FWB with this guy anymore and even if you WERE it wouldn’t be a relationship in which you could demand exclusivitiy. I’m sorry, but it’s this guy’s right to flirt with other women, even in front of you. If you can’t deal, then stop playing baseball with him. And probably don’t get yourself into another FWB situation.

    1. totally agree. they are “friends” that is what the f is.

  9. LW1: It’s OK to hurt after a breakup, but really… he probably stuck it out till after the bar exam so you didn’t have to take an exam in the midst of breakup. So can you really blame him for wanting to rip off the bandaid as soon as possible after the exam? There is never a right moment to dump someone.

  10. Avatar photo MackenzieLee says:

    LW1: I actually had a similar situation happen. My ex planned a trip for us for my christmas present to one of my favorite places. I broke up with him the weekend before the trip was supposed to happen. I wouldn’t imagine EVER asking him for the trip or money for it instead. In fact, I had suggested I use credit at a store that I got for free to buy him something (just because I had it not for a specific occasion) and never got around for it. When we broke up he asked me about it. I found that really rude. Sometimes in relationships you make plans that don’t come to fruition….deal with it

    1. “Sometimes in relationships you make plans that don’t come to fruition….deal with it”

      Exactly. Like, relationships are made up of plans. Once it ends, all the plans you made are off. You can’t go back & forth, like, “You owe me that present/special dinner you promised/a ring, because once you said you’d marry me/a puppy.” That’s ridiculous.

  11. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    Don’t take the money. Please, do not take the money. That is not only tacky but weird and unhealthy-seeming. It also seems like a way he could try to control you later on or get back with you- “you owe me another date- I gave you $300!” The money doesn’t matter, it’s the meaning behind it.

  12. Well, it’s definitely MOA Friday. And also Don’t Be That Woman Friday. And even Stop Making A Guy Who Doesn’t Want You The Center of Your Universe Friday. Maybe I can shorthand it into LW, You’re Better Than That Friday.

    1. Love all of this!!!

      Can we make this a game too… since im failing with AP above? What about Stop being a passenger in your own life friday? Or Aim Higher friday?

    2. New DW acronym? DBTG/DBTW – don’t be that guy/woman.

      Or gender-neutral, DBTPerson.

  13. landygirl says:

    LW1: Just stop. If you’re old enough to take the Bar Exam then you’re old enough to not keep score and move on with your life.

    LW2: If Hunky Older Dude were interested, he’d be sleeping with you, not trying to make you jealous by flirting with someone else.

    LW3: If you want to be a couple, tell him and if he doesn’t, then dump him.

  14. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

    I know it’s petty but if he had the cash in hand and was offering it, i’d take it and go celebrate or buy ice cream or something. But I wouldn’t ask for it again.

  15. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    LW1) Who knew Lawyers could be so fucking petty? — AND cheap!

    LW2) Oh, grow up. He’s just not THAT into you. PS — Do you REALLY think that nobody drives 45 minutes for sex?

    LW3) He’s still KINDA into you. But only so much that he wants to bang you on occasion. Enjoy the sex if you want. But DON’T expect to get back together.

    1. The first time I slept with my now-boyfriend he drove an hour, in the middle of the night, on short notice (yes – I was drinking and texting and said come over!!)

  16. LW1: The relationship is over. Any obligation he had toward you is over. MOA.
    LW2: You have no business getting jealous over his flirting. You’re not his GF. You’re not even his FWB. Get over it.
    LW3: WWS. If that’s okay with you, stick around. If not, MOA.

  17. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

    Advising people not to take money that was freely offered to them is soo strange to me. IN THIS ECONOMY. Get all the monies.

  18. WTH is it with people thinking that birthday presents are something? Look, I get it, an IOU is shitty, but really, you didn’t need a present, right? Don’t expect a present for being born. You had nothing to do with being born. Yay, you survived another year, congrats, but really, presents should be reserved for little kids. Fanfare for the milestone years, and leave it at that.

    And no, I’m not directing this at anyone. I’m just tired of people making a big deal out of birthdays in general.

    And me being forced into making a deal of mine at the office this year.

    1. Awwww. I love birthdays. Not just mine but everyone’s.

    2. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      I understand expecting a present from your partner if you have established gift-giving for birthdays but I can’t get behind expecting them from your friends. If your my close friend, you’re lucky if you get a birthday text from me!

      1. My friends and I always get each other presents… but then again I’m an extreme introvert and my social circle only includes my family, my boyfriend and my 2 best friends. It’s probably different if you’re an extrovert and have friends everywhere you go.

    3. I still get presents from my family (but we all give presents to each other on all birthdays). For my friends, I just make them go out drinking with me. I did throw myself a party for my 30th though.

    4. Well I know who I’m not inviting to my giant, spectacular birthday bash this year…

  19. Moneypenny says:

    1. I’d just take the money and go donate it or something. He’s a jerk, but at least he waited til after you took the bar to dump you- so considerate! (j/k)
    2. I’d go make friends with other people on your team, as it sounds like this guy is not into you. Whatever happened last summer is old news.
    3. I hate guys who do stuff like this. This arrangement is only convenient for -him- and it’s on his terms. He’s not in a relationship with you without the label, he’s just taking what is convenient for him. Tell him you want an actual relationship, and if he refuses, move on, because this is just wasting your time.

    Speaking of the bar exam, I think architects have you beat- we have 7 national exams to pass, plus a state exam here in CA. SO fun, let me tell ya! And you have to pass them all in 5 years, or else they expire and you have to retake them.

  20. Not a Princess says:

    Ok, so my English slang is terrible, what is an assclown? Is it like an ass hat or more like a dickhead?

    1. Similar, except one’s a hat and one’s a clown.

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