Ms. Behavior®: Inexpensive Gifts From the Heart and Sticky-Fingered Ex


Dear Ms. Behavior:

I have been living with my boyfriend for almost a year now and I am very much in love with him. I appreciate everything he’s done for me and being with him makes me feel loved like I’ve never been before–not even around my own family.

A while ago, when I came home from school, I noticed that he had done some Christmas shopping. I didn’t know what to do because I had no money to go out and pick something up for him. I felt like such a loser.

He told me that he has everything he needs and didn’t want anything for Christmas; he just needs me. This is not okay with me, so I’ll get him something as soon as I can, even if it’s not until the middle of summer.

But I love him with all my heart and I don’t want to let too much time go by without doing anything to show him that I appreciate him very much. I want to let him know that I’m the luckiest man on earth to have him as my boyfriend. What should I do?

—S. H.

Dear S.H.:

It sounds like your boyfriend understands that you’re broke because you’re a student. Christmas of 2012 may have been a lean holiday for you, but it was only one holiday, in one year of your relationship. In fatter years, you’ll be able to buy presents for him, too. Meanwhile, remember that buying gifts is relatively easy and does not even require feelings of intimacy. The other concrete things you can do to express your love are probably more meaningful:

1)        Make him a great dinner. (If you’re extremely broke, you’d better make sure he’s gone food shopping so you’ll have the right ingredients.)

2)        Rub his feet.

3)        Write him a love poem.

4)        Bake him some cookies or a cake.

5)        Take him to a beautiful (free) place and tell him how you feel about him.

6)        Light candles all around the bedroom; perform oral sex. (Candles are optional.)


Dear Ms. Behavior:

My girlfriend, Francis, and I broke up over a year ago. We weren’t in love anymore, and the breakup seemed to be mutual, although once we were apart, she acted angry.

I’ve spent the last six months out of the country, on business. While I was gone, Francis e-mailed me a few different times asking if she could stay at my place while various rooms in her apartment were being renovated.  I had misgivings about letting her stay in my home while I wasn’t there, but I reluctantly agreed, hoping it would help to facilitate a friendship between us when I returned home.

Now that I’m back, Francis is unfriendly. We live in a small town and travel in the same social circles. When we run into one another, she often glares or makes snide remarks.

Here’s my question: Once I got back home, I realized that some of my possessions were missing. Among them were cookware, dishes, and both of my vibrators (which we had sometimes used together). She obviously went through my personal things; some of my clothes and even letters were put away in the wrong drawers. I feel very violated by this. Should I confront her?


Dear Vibeless:

Taking your things and even rearranging them seems like Francis’s attempt to get your attention. She clearly has gotten it.  But why give her the satisfaction of letting her know that she’s gotten to you? If she is unscrupulous enough to have taken your frying pans and your dildos, it’s unlikely she’ll admit it when you confront her, so you still won’t get them back.

It sounds like it’s time to change your locks. Once you’ve done that, splurge and get new cookware and vibrators.  It seems like the only way to disengage with her right now.  It’s always good to get new sex toys after a relationship ends; besides, you’ll probably get more pleasure out of a vibrator that is untainted with Eau de Francis.


© 2013 Meryl Cohn. Address questions and correspondence to [email protected].

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