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How much time should I give my relationship?
February 25, 2012 11:01 PM   Subscribe

How much longer should I give my 3.5 month relationship?

I feel like I'm going to get my ass kicked for this question after my previous question, but here I am back again, except I've turned another corner in the relationship maze and am as lost as ever.

There are some updates, though. My stinky boyfriend, for the last 2 sexy-having times in a row, voluntarily got up to shower just as things were beginning to head that way. We also celebrated our Valentine's day last weekend, and he volunteered to drive to our destination. This was after a state of the union talk I had with him shortly after I posted my first question. So, things are looking up.

But here I am again, Saturday night, and my boyfriend is doing what he does most weekend nights... smoking pot and watching movies with his friends. I have decided to stop going if I don't feel like it, which will greatly reduce our chances of seeing each other (I am very busy during weekdays because of school), and I want to see what he does about it (if anything).

I find myself fantasizing about a guy who will call me up one weekend afternoon and ask me what I want to do that night, what I might find fun, or just invite me to dinner and we can chat the night away. I don't think this is unreasonable, but then I think about my boyfriend and how he's been enmeshed in this routine of his for literally years, and he's only just met me roughly 5 months ago. I don't have a core group of friends nor even one good friend, so I don't know what it's like to be used to a certain kind of company or person and then have to "sacrifice" spending time with them for somebody new. In the beginning of our relationship (say, the first 2 months), he did spend much more time with me than with his friends. But he told me straight out the other day that neither one is more important to him than the other; I am exactly as important to him as his friends are and vice versa, and he will not prioritize either one above the other.

I am of the opinion that a SO should be your favorite person, your best friend, the person you spend the most time with, but is this realistic? Especially with online dating, where a new person just materializes into your life and you don't know how long they will be around, is it fair to ask someone to significantly alter their social commitments to be with you?

If his feelings deepen for me, will he come around and feel more compelled to do that on his own?

For those with established friend groups, how did you spread your time between your SO and your friends?

It doesn't help that he's shared with me details about his ex made him delete all his friends' phone numbers a few months into the relationship and how they spent every free minute together. He said he was a fool in that relationship, that he complied with her every ridiculous request, and that he will no longer do that for any woman.

I feel like I am paying the price for what she did to him.

But I am more alone than I thought; if I break up with him, I will miss having someone to vent to, someone to kiss me on the forehead, someone to call me every night.

But I need someone who thinks I'm the best thing since sliced bread; is 3.5 months of dating too soon for those feelings? Should I give it a few more months? I keep thinking what we need is more time. I don't know why, though. I am also weaker than I thought, as I can't break up with him until I can bring myself to believe that I will find someone else who will put up with me and my insecurities.

I feel like I shouldn't even date until I get my insecurities in check, but I have been working on that my whole life, and probably will for decades to come. I don't want to wait decades before I start dating again.

I have tried to make peace internally with the idea that I might break up with him, but every time I look at him and envision the words coming out of my mouth, I feel nauseous. I lie in bed with him and I feel like a fake. During intercourse, my mind wanders (to be honest, the sex isn't that good... but that can improve?). This is such a baby of a relationship, but it's my first, and I can't seem to let it go until I know for sure that it's good and dead.

And even if I do inevitably end up breaking up with him (sometimes it feels like a monster about to burst out of me, other times I feel a tired resignation as I keep lowering my standards for him), I need to learn a whole lot more about relationships before I get into another one and what are reasonable requests to make of boyfriends. For instance, I now know to ask, on the very first meeting, how they like to split driving duties, dates, how many hours of video games they play, how much time they spend with friends. I now know I need someone who wants an equitable relationship, who isn't consumed by virtual reality, and who thinks it important to spend quality time together, alone.

I do know that I like having a boyfriend; I used to feel quite special to him and I love that feeling.

Note: I have suffered from depression and still do, occasionally, though I have a much better grasp on things now that I've learned not to always believe what I feel when the voices in my head tell me I'm worthless, unlovable, neurotic, etc. I know I can be neurotic and overanalytical, and I actually think being with my boyfriend has helped me with that a little bit, because he is at the extreme other end: completely carefree and able to cast any worries or problems right out of his head... until he eventually has to deal with them. But he does take the edge off things (when he's not sharpening other edges lol).

Another thought I just had: when you meet a cool new person and start a friendship, you don't spend every spare minute of your time with them; that would be creepy. But why is that expected of an SO? Isn't an SO just a friend you have sex with? I feel like my boyfriend and I could be okay friends because we get along well enough; I guess the feeling I want (and have heard tell of) is the jumping out of my skin with desire and excitement to see the other person. I'm really not the kind of girl to get overly excited about much, so I don't know if I am trying to feel something I may not even intrinsically be capable of feeling.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (75 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Given your previous question and all the negative things you say about your boyfriend and your relationship here, I wonder what kind of answers you are expecting here.

So to answer the question in the title of your post... no more time. You've wasted enough time on this relationship. It's time to break up with him. Frankly, it doesn't even sound like you LIKE him that much and you're only staying with him because you're too scared to be single.

Get over the fear. Are you in therapy? If not, why not?
posted by palomar at 11:17 PM on February 25, 2012 [23 favorites]


I wouldn't put it off any longer. Do both him and yourself a favor and end it.
posted by rainbowbullet at 11:18 PM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


It sounds to me that the real relationship you need to work on is that which you have with your self.
posted by infini at 11:19 PM on February 25, 2012 [43 favorites]


You'll never find the awesome boyfriend you're hoping for as long as you're still dating this guy that you apparently don't even like very much. So go ahead and dump him so you can move on with your life.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:19 PM on February 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


I know women who don't have a lot of friends for whatever reason and stay in a relationship to fill that space. It doesn't work, and it just makes it harder to make friends.

The tone in your last question is that you're very afraid of being single. Don't be. It's exciting! When you're single, it's much easier to develop into a person that you enjoy being. And it's much easier to date once you're that person.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 11:22 PM on February 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


Theoretically this should be the period in your relationship where the two of you can't get enough of one another and head-over-heels in every way. Casual indifference sets in when the crazy limerance phase is over and the indifferent person starts realizing there's no room for long-term potential.

He threw you a couple bones and you're planning on wasting the next few months of your life in hopes there will be more? What, you'll have another talk, he'll throw you a few more?

The only time I've ever tolerated that behavior from someone was when we were casual hook-ups and I was dating other people at the same time so I didn't care. The moment you care is the moment you drop them, they aren't worth the hassle.
posted by schroedinger at 11:22 PM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Love is supposed to be a lot of fun. I'm not saying it's all fun, just that it should be enough to make all the being an adult, conflicts resolutiony bits worth it.

It's not worth it for you. You're working way too hard to make this work, it's not going to, and I give you permission to end this relationship, since it sounds like you're looking for permission.
posted by estlin at 11:22 PM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're already planning how to start your next relationship, and what you want it to look like. You're never gonna find that one if you stick around in this one.
posted by mollymayhem at 11:24 PM on February 25, 2012 [12 favorites]


I read your last post, and similar to other users, it doesn't sound like there's much reason for you to be with this guy. And it sounds like you know that, but you're hesitant to leave, because you would be lonely. That's ok - I've been there too. But I think you know that that's what's really going on here.

It was enlightening to read in this post that this is your first relationship.

I was in a similar situation - first year of university, and I *finally* got into my first relationship ever. The guy was weird, but I had a boyfriend! Woohoo!

After a few months I realized that he was really not a great guy and I broke it off. But having dated him gave me a confidence that I didn't have before (a cute guy wanted to date me!) and only a few months later I was dating a really sweet guy who totally doted on me.

When you date different people, you get to see lots of examples of what you like and don't like. It's a real eye-opener to realize that other guys actually DO want to talk to you and spend time with you. And that other guys shower every day, without ever being asked. Having dated your boyfriend now, you've seen that you like the fact that he's laid-back compared to you, so that might be something that you look for in the next guy.

One thing that you should definitely do - join a sports team or interest group or volunteer or something so that you can make some new friends. If you're not lonely, you'll feel less need to be with someone just because there's no one else.
posted by Jade_bug at 11:25 PM on February 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just to respond to this: Another thought I just had: when you meet a cool new person and start a friendship, you don't spend every spare minute of your time with them; that would be creepy. But why is that expected of an SO?

Here is the story of how I met my BFF, 14 years ago in college: we randomly ate dinner at the same table. She left a note on my door. I went up to her room to say hi. I never left. By which I mean, after that day, I spent way more time in her dorm room than mine, until we moved in together the next year, and then moved to the same group house in a different city after graduating from college. Etc.

So the question I pose to you is: do you want your boyfriend to be like some person who you think is kind of cool and get together with every once in a while, or like the person who you always call first because he is happy when you are happy and makes you feel better when you are sad and tells you that you are awesome when you feel like crap? Because that latter person? That is a person you are not ambivalent about. Not even after "just" 3.5 months.
posted by unsub at 11:26 PM on February 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Reading your previous question from just under two weeks ago, I concur with the others suggesting you should break up. He sounds like one of the guys I dated in college, whose life revolved around pot and his friends, everything else, including basic hygiene like showering, was secondary. Its not going to change. (And if my friend's current day habits are anything to go by, it'll only get worse)
posted by infini at 11:27 PM on February 25, 2012


Rather than focusing on breaking up with him or not, why not focus on your building on your success of finding a boyfriend by continuing to put yourself out there in the world as someone who is open to beginning and nurturing new friendships? I suggest this because I think the break up question is something tangible you can focus on, but not that important. You can break up with him now just as easily as six months from now. Or not at all. But from what you have described, your boyfriend is happy with his unwashed, pot smoking, playing video games with his friends self, but you aren't happy with yourself. And you are what matters here. Punt the boyfriend question and go to a few meet ups and say yes when people askyou to things and ask people to things, and you won't get so caught up that your man is with his friends. Because whether you break up with him or not, you seem like a person who would value a community based on your interests, and be a good friend to others as well.

You might find the support you need in that community and be less inclined to consider staying with your guy because you'd hate to be alone, and more inclined to value your relationship on it's strengths and weaknesses.
posted by anitanita at 11:28 PM on February 25, 2012


You should break up with him. He's not going to change any time soon.

Friends = friendship
Friends with benefits = friends you have sex with
SO - someone you want to share your life with
posted by mleigh at 11:33 PM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know that old song about washing that man right out of your hair? Well, given how stanky he is, you might need two or three showers, but that's the idea.

Seriously, no matter how often you keep asking this, you are going to get the same answer: a dirty lazy stoner isn't the best you can do, and you deserve better. The real question is when you are going to start believing that.
posted by Forktine at 11:37 PM on February 25, 2012 [17 favorites]


It sounds to me that the real relationship you need to work on is that which you have with your self.

Yeaaaah. This. A thousand times over.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:49 PM on February 25, 2012


Try to look at the big picture here- you don't sound like you are having any fun at all. I think at the barest of minimums, a sexual relationship should be fun or passionate. Do you feel happy and good when you are with this person? The majority of the time? If not, that's really all you need to know.

You sound like a thoughtful and intelligent person, not to mention caring. I think you could have a much better time treating yourself, without waiting around this guy. What do you want to do? what activities are you interested in? There's no reason why you can't get involved with them.

I think that this guy is picking up that you don't value yourself very much and he is treating you in kind. You need to develop a relationship with yourself, as someone above said.
posted by bearette at 11:53 PM on February 25, 2012


Dammit, I hate reading this. I hate reading about yet another smart, shy, sweet and well-meaning woman trying her best to settle, to quietly revise all her hopes and dreams. I just fucking hate it. Please, for my sake, fight a little, okay? Don’t give up yet. You have time to settle later. Being lonely sucks, and maybe you’re right, maybe there aren’t a lot of great guys out there. But if this is really all there is to look forward to, can’t you give yourself a few years to enjoy freedom? Can’t you just dedicate yourself to being a complete go-getter badass for a while, and stop all this worrying and shifting priorities and compromising? You can take a little loneliness, for a little while. Guys like him will always be there.

Just try. Try harder first, before you give up. I think you owe it to yourself.
posted by stockpuppet at 12:00 AM on February 26, 2012 [80 favorites]


I don't think showering twice really constitutes "things looking up". I understand how tempting it is to drag this relationship on when you feel isolated and anxious, but seriously, 3.5 months is waaay too short of a relationship to feel this compelled to keep it going when you're so doubtful and generally unhappy. Also, you really can't keep holding on in case he might change--he's straight-up told you he is not interested in listening to your opinion of him (due to past experience or whatever, it doesn't matter, he's not interested), and since internally he's not concerned about his gross lack of hygine or obnoxious recreational preferences, that change is not going to come from within either. You are totally deserving of a higher caliber relationship (especially since you're already thinking about and planning it anyway!), really and truly! But you need to move on before you can make any progress, whether on your own or in other relationships.
posted by Papagayo at 12:05 AM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Usually the first six months of a relationship is filled with passion and attentiveness (well, at least for me). But if this casual indifference already exists 3.5 months in, I don't think the relationship is worth it.

I'm single now, but my healthiest relationship was when I spent time with my partner and my friends separately. I would spent an entire 24 hours with my partner on a weekend, and I'd hang out with my friends 1-2 times on weekend evenings, which left me enough time for my own individual hobbies and stuff.

My first relationship was when I spent 3-4 days a week with my partner, essentially living in his apartment, and that was a terrible experience because I lost touch with my friends and myself that way. Never again. I'm happy being single with an active social life, and I have a maximum amount of time I'm willing to give to a new love interest, which could be negotiated when things get serious. But I feel like the only relationship worth having is one where there is obvious care and passion, and I'm not sure if you're seeing it here. IMHO, you should break up with him, and focus on meeting new people. Join a club, volunteer, go to a gym, whatever... do something that you attend regularly. When you attend something regularly, you'll make acquaintances, and over time, you'll pick up life-long friends and a more attentive and worthwhile love interest.
posted by Hawk V at 12:11 AM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


This relationship has already peaked and is on the way down. He already told you he will not make you a priority over his friends. The two showers are not a great improvement in his general character, just an effort to make sure he got the sex he wanted. You are lowering your standards with this guy and you know it and you don't have to do that. These two AskMe's in a 3.5-month relationship are not coming from a woman in a viable love affair.
posted by Anitanola at 12:19 AM on February 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


But he told me straight out the other day that neither one is more important to him than the other; I am exactly as important to him as his friends are and vice versa, and he will not prioritize either one above the other.

Ok, ignoring all the other signs. So once a dude told me this. In retrospect it was a flag, red and huge, waving in the wind. At the time, I was all, oh yeah people need friends that's cool I'll ignore the fact that it makes me feel shitty. Bad move former self, bad move. He broke up with me a few weeks or so later. And good lord, I am still a little annoyed at past me for not breaking up with him ON THE SPOT when he said that.

Do past me, and me a favor and break up with this guy.
posted by grapesaresour at 1:13 AM on February 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hmm.

is it fair to ask someone to significantly alter their social commitments to be with you?

I would say most things are fair to ask. Ask. I would say it's not fair to pressure, guilt trip, try to force someone to do what you want. (Not that you are doing that.) But just asking is okay. If someone says no just be prepared to respect their no. And respect your own desires so that if someone says no to something that you really want, you accept it's okay to leave and look for a relationship with someone who will be more compatible in that area.

I find myself fantasizing about a guy who will call me up one weekend afternoon and ask me what I want to do that night, what I might find fun, or just invite me to dinner and we can chat the night away. I don't think this is unreasonable

I also don't think this is unreasonable.

but then I think about my boyfriend and how he's been enmeshed in this routine of his for literally years, and he's only just met me roughly 5 months ago.

If he had expressed any desire about wanting to change his routine (purely for himself, not out of knowing you would like him to) that would be one thing. But he hasn't said that, as you wrote, he said, "neither one is more important to him than the other; I am exactly as important to him as his friends are and vice versa, and he will not prioritize either one above the other." So there's your answer. Remember to listen to what people tell you about themselves. He seems to be telling you he doesn't see his routine changing. Length of time isn't the crucial factor here IMO, it's lack of natural desire to change.

I don't have a core group of friends nor even one good friend, so I don't know what it's like to be used to a certain kind of company or person and then have to "sacrifice" spending time with them for somebody new.

Different people feel differently in this scenario. Of my friends, I have some who totally disappear off the radar when they start dating someone new and only resurface months to years later once the infatuation has worn off. I have other friends who keep their close friends as their priority, and the SO eventually joins that close group. It's all down to the preference of the individual. I am sure you can find someone who wants the same amount of closeness as you want regardless of how many friends they have.

I would just ask you to consider though, if you might be kind of lonely. And if it might make life easier to make more friends instead of filling that loneliness all with one person. Making the relationship with that one person a bit more pressure-y and higher-stakes.

I am of the opinion that a SO should be your favorite person, your best friend, the person you spend the most time with, but is this realistic?

Sure. Not everyone wants this, but plenty do. If you do, you just have to find someone who naturally feels the same way. Trying to convert someone who doesn't will probably not ever work.

If his feelings deepen for me, will he come around and feel more compelled to do that on his own?

Nobody can know this, but based on what he has already said, my guess is not. And either way, waiting around and hoping for change like this is a good way to waste a lot of your own time and spend that time feeling crappy, miserable, sad, frustrated, dissatisfied, and hurt.

It doesn't help that he's shared with me details about his ex made him delete all his friends' phone numbers a few months into the relationship and how they spent every free minute together. He said he was a fool in that relationship, that he complied with her every ridiculous request, and that he will no longer do that for any woman.

I feel like I am paying the price for what she did to him.


I agree, it's kind of unhelpful to swing from complying with every ridiculous request, to not complying with any request, or trying to find a compromise. However, he still has the right to say no to whatever he wants to say no to. And you have the right to bail if you don't like it.

But I am more alone than I thought; if I break up with him, I will miss having someone to vent to, someone to kiss me on the forehead, someone to call me every night.

That's understandable, those things are nice. You can definitely find them again with someone else, but don't beat yourself up too much for not wanting to temporarily walk away from them just yet.

But I need someone who thinks I'm the best thing since sliced bread; is 3.5 months of dating too soon for those feelings? Should I give it a few more months?

My answers to these:
-I kind of hesitate to say it's "too soon" only because that kind of implies that being this unhappy and incompatible would be less of a problem if you were together longer. And it also kind of implies you need to stick things out for a certain time length even if you are unhappy. So I would just say, it just seems like you guys are really incompatible and that won't be changing anytime soon, and that's not good at any relationship length. It just doesn't bode for a compatible future together.
-I guess that depends on why. I don't think a few more months will change much. But if you kind of just want more experience and are just curious to see where it goes, and don't feel like you're wasting time even if you turn out to still be incompatible in the end, then I don't think it's such a big deal to give it a few more months if you want to.

I don't know why, though. I am also weaker than I thought, as I can't break up with him until I can bring myself to believe that I will find someone else who will put up with me and my insecurities.

I feel like I shouldn't even date until I get my insecurities in check, but I have been working on that my whole life, and probably will for decades to come. I don't want to wait decades before I start dating again.


Some guys are bothered by insecurity and some really just aren't at all. This also goes for depression, being neurotic, analytical, and feeling worthless, and unlovable. Some guys are totally find with it. Some guys actually find it really lovable and endearing. I know that because I dated one in the past. Just before and during the first six months we were together, I had the worst flare-up of anxiety disorder that I have ever had as an adult and was almost unable to function. And there was just something about that that triggered really strong protective and loving feelings from him, and it seemed like he found it almost cute in a way -- that sounds really condescending of him but it wasn't at all. Just be careful with guys who are attracted by vulnerability because some of them are seeking to take advantage of it. A guy feeling neutral about it is probably best, while you are still working on it.
posted by cairdeas at 1:40 AM on February 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


You've been dating for 3.5 months. Out of your whole life. And you're having a hard time imagining being without him? You've gone at least a couple decades of your life without this guy wasting your time and giving you angst--you will be totally fine, and dare I say relieved and happy when you break up with him.

Trust me--don't learn this the hard way. I wish I had had a resource like askme when I was spending years locked in conflict with people I didn't know I could have just dumped without feeling like a failure. (Your friends don't usually help you out with this sort of tough love and straight talk, I've realized.) I learned too late that "dating" is not about hard work and compromise. "Dating" is about having fun with nice people, with the added bonus that they might turn out to be really good for you and vice versa, hence becoming a "relationship". What you're describing is none of those things and you truly truly truly deserve better.

Please, kindly DTMFA, because you seem nice, smart, sweet and self-aware, and he's not worthy of the likes of you and your reasonable attempts to give him the benefit of the doubt and chance to appreciate you.
posted by sundaydriver at 1:47 AM on February 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yuck.

Please put down AskMe and go buy two books.

1. The Rules
2. Why Men Love Bitches

Ignore how deplorable everyone says these books are. They, especially the first, will tell you how to Get A Life. They, especially the second, will tell you How Not To Put Up With Crap.

Ignore how much MeFi screams at you that it's pathetic to read these books. They were written for women in your exact situation.

On the way back from the bookstore, please dump this guy, by txt if you like. Your new life starts now. If you want.
posted by tel3path at 2:08 AM on February 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


Those books are GOLD.
posted by jbenben at 3:00 AM on February 26, 2012


Y'know, I'm not against the use of cannabis for mature people who know how to balance it with the real world. But the problem with it is, for some people, especially guys, especially in their 20s, it can cause extreme apathy. They stop caring about anything other than sitting around with their fellow stoner-dude buddies, sparking up, and watching movies or playing video games or whatever. They don't care about school/work, other friends, personal hygiene... girlfriends. They just begrudgingly do the minimum they have to to get by, while they look forward to the next time they can smoke a bong on the couch with their buddies.

I've seen it happen so many times. I'm not saying this is definitely the case here, but it kinda seems like it to me. If you haven't been able to pull him out of that situation, just by being you, I doubt it's going to happen in the foreseeable future.

And don't take it personally. If my conjecture is true, he's just more in love with weed than anything else. As I said in my response to your last post, he might grow out of it, but it might take decades.
posted by Diag at 3:25 AM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another thought I just had: when you meet a cool new person and start a friendship, you don't spend every spare minute of your time with them; that would be creepy. But why is that expected of an SO? Isn't an SO just a friend you have sex with? I feel like my boyfriend and I could be okay friends because we get along well enough; I guess the feeling I want (and have heard tell of) is the jumping out of my skin with desire and excitement to see the other person. I'm really not the kind of girl to get overly excited about much, so I don't know if I am trying to feel something I may not even intrinsically be capable of feeling.

You'll know it when it happens. It's as subtle as being hit in the face with a brick. It's worth waiting for, too.
posted by jaduncan at 4:18 AM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I need someone who thinks I'm the best thing since sliced bread; is 3.5 months of dating too soon for those feelings?

No. You deserve -- and will find -- someone who thinks you are the best thing ever. It is not this guy.
posted by Cocodrillo at 4:50 AM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Life is short. You cannot change people. You cannot change people. You cannot change people.

Find someone you don't want to.
posted by divisjm at 5:00 AM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do you keep a journal? I think you should start -- you're a good writer and it almost seems like you are maybe more interested in telling the story well than actually needing the very obvious answer, which is ... well, see above and previous.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:15 AM on February 26, 2012


If his feelings deepen for me, will he come around and feel more compelled to do that on his own?

This is a variant on the old "I can change him" mantra that many women have wasted their time on. You can't change people, and expecting him to change himself is not something you can expect in the short-term.

As a data point, I gave up drinking too much on a regular basis (now, I might get 75% of my previous drunk once a month, if that) at the three month mark because I knew my current parter was the bees knees.

Ignore how deplorable everyone says these books are. They, especially the first, will tell you how to Get A Life.

Sorry, you don't need an absolutely abhorrent book to tell you that. OP, you need to make some friends, regardless of whether or not there's a boyfriend involved.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 5:18 AM on February 26, 2012


Oh man, this sounds eerily like the sort of question I would have asked all through college and for several years thereafter. I dated pot-smoking video-game guy, and I dated alcoholic party guy, and the grand finale was pot-smoking, alcoholic guy who moved back in with his folks after college and would sit in the garage until 4 in the morning drinking and getting high with his dad(!) and friends. Seriously, I would fly in from my out-of-state grad program to spend a weekend with him, and three out of three nights would be spent sitting in that stinky, smoky, cold garage with classic rock blaring on the radio and a bunch of guys yukking it up over local gossip and bowling scores. Ugh.

The sad thing is, I ended none of these relationships. I would probably be married to garage dude and living with him and his 'rents if our relationship hadn't gone down the tubes when he cheated on me.

To think about all of this now is actually really funny to me, but at the time it was profoundly miserable and all-consuming. I think I might have an inkling about the sort of pain you're in over this relationship. The situation seems tailor-made to exacerbate the specific type of insecurity you have (at least, it did for me). There was something that I found very charming about all three of these guys. The last one I was convinced was the love of my life. With each, I was convinced that their lack of interest in me was directly caused by my own inadequacies, and I wasted years trying to twist myself into the right configuration of traits to actually make a guy want to, you know, have a relationship with me instead of with the bong and the TV. As each relationship ended, I felt like my soul had been wrenched out of me, because a huge part of my identity--like 95 percent of it--was wrapped up in being in this relationship with this lame guy.

After that I spent many years doing what people on this thread are advising you to--I spent time on my own, developed some interests, blah blah. All totally involuntary. If I could have gone back to a relationship, no matter how sad and unfulfilling, I would have done so in a heartbeat. I think I might have actually been addicted to the bittersweet ache of an unfulfilling relationship. But now, good grief am I glad I had that time to myself. I'm so glad to realize that I would rather be alone than be with a guy who doesn't make my happiness one of his top priorities.

Anyway, I feel for you and wish you the best. I hope you're able to muster the will to walk away from this inconsiderate guy (not that he is maliciously inconsiderate, just that his main priority seems to be getting to his next buzz). If you were a party girl yourself this might work, but honestly it sounds like you are pretty thoughtful and sensitive, and you deserve someone who can appreciate these qualities. You also mention it taking decades to finally get your insecurities in check before you're able to date. That's funny, because I distinctly remember a phone conversation with one of my stoner boyfriends where I told him it would be "decades" before I would finally find anyone else like him. What I didn't realize is that it is possible to be insecure as well as in a fulfilling relationship. There are guys out there, as cairdeas pointed out, who will work with you and be steadfast and even help you to develop as a person in spite of your insecurities--and they will not do this because they are controlling or anything, but because they adore you. I hope that you are able to find a guy like this.
posted by indognito at 5:32 AM on February 26, 2012 [20 favorites]


But I am more alone than I thought; if I break up with him, I will miss having someone to vent to, someone to kiss me on the forehead, someone to call me every night.

Yes. You will also pave the way for someone new to do all of those things - someone who isn't a DTMFA douchebag. Those are the absolute bare minimum things someone should do in a relationship, and there are like 15 other things on that list this guy isn't anywhere near achieving. he absolutely 100% does not make the grade, and it will NOT GET EASIER TO BREAK UP the longer you let this go by. IT WILL GET HARDER.

Do not get trapped in some sad long term thing where you have to keep whittling down your self esteem so he can stop failing to meet your expectations. This can potentially go on for 10 years or more, because you were too afraid to bail at the 3.5 month mark when you knew it was the right thing to do.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:46 AM on February 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


if I break up with him, I will miss having someone to vent to, someone to kiss me on the forehead, someone to call me every night.


Like I said last time - it sounds like you're staying because you want to be in a relationship with someone, rather than than because you want to be in a relationships with him specifically.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:49 AM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


But I am more alone than I thought; if I break up with him, I will miss having someone to vent to, someone to kiss me on the forehead, someone to call me every night.

Yeah, it's nice to have those things and, I won't lie, you will miss them when you dump this dude. For a while. It will get better. Work on yourself, go out and do things to make friends and hobbies and things for you. This will not only help you to forget about the dude but also make you a more interesting, approachable person. Good luck, be strong!
posted by Bunglegirl at 6:52 AM on February 26, 2012


Jesus fuck, dump the zero and look for a hero. Stoner McBoring doesn't make you happy, even in his slightly less stank incarnation. If you need a crappy, superficial, gender-essentialist book like The Rules to help you learn how not to be a doormat, go read it. Then read a good book like How to Be an Adult in Relationships for the next phase of your education.

Stop being a doormat. Stop settling. I have just been snuggling with my husband, who is my absolute favorite human in the world, laughing about private jokes and schmooping all over each other. That's out there for you, but not until you learn to take yourself and your wants and needs seriously.

DTMFYesterday. How can we be more clear?
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:07 AM on February 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


How much longer should I give my 3.5 month relationship?

I'd say you're about done. The fact that your guy is finally taking showers is such a drop in the bucket of how unfun this relationship seems to be for you. I get that you don't have a lot of perspective on this sort of thing. I've said this before but at three months in you should be arguing about things like who needs to put on pants to pay the pizza guy, not whether you are or are not more important than his friends. It sounds like you guys have each found people who complement some sort of bad habit you each have. For you it's your low self-esteem (with a guy who reinforces it and does the absolute minimum to keep a relationship going) and for him it's finding someone who will just take his ungreat ass at face value and let him live his lame hasslefree life.

I, again, do not understand what you are getting out of this. Get therapy or read some of the good books people have suggested. Concentrate on finding some activity partners and friends and being a friend to yourself. You have a long life ahead of you but it's still too short for this sort of nonsense. Good luck.
posted by jessamyn at 7:20 AM on February 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


But I need someone who thinks I'm the best thing since sliced bread; is 3.5 months of dating too soon for those feelings?

Absolutely not. In my experience, the first few months are the most YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY THIS PERSON IS AWESOME YAY YAY YAY of the whole relationship. (And then, in good relationships, it doesn't go away but changes to a different, more relaxed kind of YAY YAY YAY.)

If you're not getting it from him now, you never will.


There's a line from a previous Ask that I just love: "it's not my job to make guys with training wheels track ready." This guy you're with sounds really lousy at being in a relationship, and especially lousy at being in a relationship with you. It's not your job to teach him how to be a better boyfriend.

You need to leave this loser and go find yourself someone who's actually ready for a grown up relationship. The sooner you do it, the better.
posted by phunniemee at 7:35 AM on February 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


How much longer should I give my 3.5 month relationship?

Zero days.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:44 AM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please take the advice to leave and do it. If a friend told you the same things, you would probably suggest getting out of the "relationship". Really, you deserve better. Everyone deserves better. Being alone is so much better than lonely. Your confidence will swell, knowing the gift you're giving yourself! Choose happy!
posted by jennstra at 7:46 AM on February 26, 2012



I am of the opinion that a SO should be your favorite person, your best friend, the person you spend the most time with, but is this realistic? Especially with online dating, where a new person just materializes into your life and you don't know how long they will be around, is it fair to ask someone to significantly alter their social commitments to be with you?


Totally realistic, even with someone you meet online -- however, perhaps not within the span of just a few months.

Anyway it still sounds as if you only halfway even LIKE this person, so when you are feeling bad about him not wanting to be your favorite person, try to remember that he's not exactly yours either.
posted by hermitosis at 8:07 AM on February 26, 2012


Also, I can imagine why you'd hold off during the holidays, and maybe even for Valentine's Day. But springtime and then summer are two REALLY GOOD times of year to be single, if ya know what I mean.
posted by hermitosis at 8:09 AM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


if I break up with him, I will miss having someone to vent to, someone to kiss me on the forehead, someone to call me every night.

I disagree with the folks who are telling you to dump the guy and find someone else who will make all your dreams come true. If it's intolerable for you to be without those things, you will getting involved with and hanging onto lovers who are not right for you. These are wonderful gifts of a good relationship, not air and food and water. Your anxiety about being without a partner sounds like the real problem. Acknowledging that anxiety does not mean you do not get to date until you are perfect. You might find CODA helpful.
posted by Wordwoman at 8:35 AM on February 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


So, everyone else has covered why you should break up with him. I'll try to address some of the other parts of your question.

I need to learn a whole lot more about relationships before I get into another one and what are reasonable requests to make of boyfriends. For instance, I now know to ask, on the very first meeting, how they like to split driving duties, dates, how many hours of video games they play, how much time they spend with friends.

It sounds like what you're trying to do is make sure that you're never dating a guy like this again. You can't. And frankly, this would be a weird question for a first date - a little too job-interviewy. You can't always head these things off before they start - the only thing you can do is learn to recognize quickly when a guy isn't for you, and then end things promptly. I'm guessing that you could have broken up with this guy a month in, and it would have been much easier.

One thing that can help you to recognize guys that you shouldn't be dating is your friends. Friends can also make your life fun independent of your relationships, which allows you to have fun when you're single. This will make the prospect of ending a relationship much less terrifying. So I think that after you break up with this guy you should stop trying to date for a while and focus on building a single life for yourself, with friends. Figure out what you like to do, and find some groups of people who are doing it.
posted by Ragged Richard at 8:38 AM on February 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Two weeks ago, everyone didn't tell you to dump this guy because of his smelly junk. The fact that he washed up a couple times before sex doesn't change anything. The reason everyone told you to dump him is because you don't like him (and relatedly, he is a loser, you're not compatible, and you can do better). None of that has changed. None of it is going to change.

You shouldn't date someone you don't like. You should date someone you think is amazing, someone who thinks you're amazing, someone you're having insane amounts of fun with -- especially a few months in. I think you realize you're afraid to end things because you're afraid of being lonely, and I think you know that's an awful reason to stay together. It's not fair to him (the ending isn't going to be easier if you drag it out; it's going to be harder) and it's not fair to you. All you're doing is making sure it takes you longer to find a guy who's right for you.
posted by J. Wilson at 9:05 AM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


You should give it another month and no more. Yeah, a lot of people say drop him right now, but realistically you're probably not going to do that. You're clearly not happy and want more, but it's your first relationship, right? 99% of people spend too much time on their first serious romance, even if it is not good for them. That's ok, it's the learning process at work.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with this guy. Yes, he showers little, but there's someone out there who would find this sexy, scent can be powerful turn on. There's nothing wrong with hanging out with friends and playing video games while smoking dope. Some people would prefer a bar or to go out to dinner with friends and drink, but this is how he socializes.

But here's the thing: despite him being ok, he's not the kind of guy you really like and can love. You've already figured that out. You want a guy who showers more, takes you on adventures, doesn't hang out friends all the time and puts you in a special place in his life. You don't have that though and it doesn't sound like you ever will with this current guy. Again, he's ok, but he's not what you really want.

So you settle. You settle because you have have no friends in your life and as annoying as you think this guy can be, at least he's ok, right? Then past two times, he's taken a shower right before ya'll have had sex, so he's not being an orge, right, he's at least listening you and that beats a blank, doesn't it? At least you don't feel like a loser for having no one.

But here's another thing: You still feel like a loser. You felt like one while having stinky sex, while driving him around and while putting him first.

You're thinking there's something better, but you don't know how to get it. Hence the recommendation up thread to work on the relationship with yourself, to become comfortable enough in your skin that you see your wants and desires as valid enough to be met and to not settle for anything less.

You deserve what you want and what you want isn't anything extraordinarily out there or impossible. It's just a matter of realizing that and going for it.

If you want to know how to do that, you know where AskMe is. In the meantime, give it another month, so you can say, to yourself, that you stayed way beyond what AskMe recommended, meaning you really gave it shot and then move on. If you're not sure how to do the latter, you know where AskMe is.

Good luck!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:17 AM on February 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think Brandon Blatcher is saying wise things. OP, please listen to him.

If you give it another month, I suggest you also take the advice above and keep a journal for that month. Every day, write in that journal how you feel, what made you feel that way, and how you wish you had felt instead. Then, at the end of the month, read through that journal. Use your journal entries as a way to judge the value of your relationship, as objectively as you can.

You're young, and it's okay to make mistakes when you're young. It's okay to stay in bad relationships longer than you really want to, when you're young. That's part of growing and learning. But we're all worried about you, because it seems like your motives for staying in this relationship are ones that will keep you from learning, keep you from growing. We're worried that you don't love yourself, and no one can ever love a person enough to make up for a central deficit of self-love.

Here's something true: being alone won't kill you. Here's something else: you can be happy and fulfilled even if you're alone. Here's a third truth: if you can be happy and fulfilled even when you're alone, you're far more likely to find a relationship that will keep you happy and fulfilled. And here's a final truth: you deserve to be happy and fulfilled.

If you can't feel the truth of those four statements -- I mean, really feel it, to your bones, that those claims are true -- then that gives you some insight into yourself. Into what's going on. If you can't feel the truth of those statements, please see a therapist. You deserve better; you deserve to love and care for yourself.
posted by meese at 9:40 AM on February 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Here's the thing...what matters here is that you're not happy in this relationship and you're ignoring that little inner voice that's telling you so. It doesn't matter if it's his hygiene or the ways he speaks of his ex (which sounds awful) or the way he has said he's going to spend as much time with his friends as he wants instead of being with you or if he's not really the true heir of Lichtenstein or whatever.

What matters is that you're 3.5 months into a relationship and you're not happy.

Respect that inner voice and honor it.

Of course it can take some time, but at 3 months in you expressed unhappiness about the relationship. And your mental writhing questioning of is this normal, etc. indicates that you're still not happy but you're trying to justify this unhappiness in your head.

Listen, it's only you in the sense that you're allowed to not really feel it with somebody and move on instead of trying to fix it. All this back and forth in your head is making me sad for you. Please know that there are people out there with whom you won't have this torturous mental anguish and the only way you'll experience it is to acknowledge that you're not happy, make a break, and move on.
posted by kinetic at 9:56 AM on February 26, 2012


You don't even like this guy. Be done with it.
posted by Miko at 10:19 AM on February 26, 2012


Lots of good advice in this thread already. One thing I'll add:

Do you have any interests outside of school? Would you be open to trying something? Volunteering? Art classes? Book club? Recreational sports? Cooking classes?

I know the "first relationship" feeling - I wanted someone to be adventurous with, too. But there's no reason why you can't be adventurous by yourself. It can be an empowering feeling.

You seem reticent to be rid of him, at least partially, because you don't have many other friends. I can relate, it can be really hard to meet people (depending on where you live)... but the first step is trying.

... also, I just went back and noticed that you've grappled with depression. My heart goes out to you. Keep up the battle with the negative voices - you're worth it.
posted by Paper rabies at 10:27 AM on February 26, 2012


I can't break up with him until I can bring myself to believe that I will find someone else who will put up with me and my insecurities.

I could have written this about my first boyfriend, whom I wasted four miserable years on. Wanting "Someone who will put up with me and my insecurities" is your insecurity talking, telling you that that's the best you can do in life. I've been there. But it isn't. And the best way to find someone else (someone who will delight in who you are, someone who will think you are amazing, someone who might even help you realize that you are way more than someone who needs to be "put up with") is to get single and meet people. Meeting someone with whom you *are* compatible, someone you'll be genuinely excited about and who will be excited about you in return, will be an absolute revelation. But you can't reinforce that belief with experience until you get out and get that experience. Don't sit around trying to believe it, go prove it to yourself. You can do it.

I can't seem to let it go until I know for sure that it's good and dead.

Ask yourself this: What will convince you of this? Why do you need any more evidence than the enormous amount that's contained in your AskMe questions?

I now know I need someone who wants an equitable relationship, who isn't consumed by virtual reality, and who thinks it important to spend quality time together, alone.

And you now know that this guy will not give you these things. Period.

I guess the feeling I want (and have heard tell of) is the jumping out of my skin with desire and excitement to see the other person.

At this point in your relationship, if this was ever going to be happening, it would be happening right now. Imagine how much he would have to change to be this person for you, and compare that with how little effort he's shown himself willing to put into your relationship thus far.

End it. I promise you there are so many better people out there for you. I promise that you will help your insecurity by meeting more of them and showing yourself that you can get the things you want. The only thing that's keeping you from starting down that path is one uncomfortable conversation with this dude. Do that, set up an OkCupid account, find some meetups, and start bringing some great new people into your life.
posted by jocelmeow at 10:48 AM on February 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Do you have any interests outside of school? Would you be open to trying something? Volunteering? Art classes? Book club? Recreational sports? Cooking classes?


This. To me, it seems that you will find this break-up (and your life) MUCH easier if you had a group of your own friends, and stuff to DO. Things to focus on, things you're interested in. A project. A vacation with friends that you're planning. A book you're writing. OTHER STUFF. I've had lovely boyfriends and I've had shitty boyfriends, but you always wake up with yourself, and if YOU have all kinds of groovy shit going on, you will be so much happier regardless of your romantic situation. You do not need a stinky dude who doesn't really care that much about you. You just don't. I hate to quote Carrie Bradshaw, but as she said in the finale of Sex and the City (I know, I know), the most important relationship you have in life is with yourself. So start treating yourself better. I can't imagine you'd tell a friend to stay in this relationship, so why are you telling yourself to do it?
posted by Countess Sandwich at 12:03 PM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


You shouldn't date someone you don't like. You should date someone you think is amazing,

Can I link to my recent AskMe? ;p

You know, this community, for all its ups and downs, is still probably one of the sanest groups of people you'll find. We're all telling you many different things but what you're really seeking to find is that confidence that if you dump whatsisname, there's more fish in the sea. There are, but with a caveat, which is what we're all trying to tell you - focus on yourself first and who you are and what you want, and only then worry about the other guy. Its so easy for me to say this, 20 years more life experience than you and seeing the same insecurities I had when I was your age and hanging out with similar guys thinking I'd never find anyone but there's also a reason why we're saying this. We're trying to save you from our youth's choices and mistakes.

I just want to say that life is unpredictable and that's what can often be enough to have faith on when we let go of the comfortable and familiar and cast ourselves adrift.
posted by infini at 12:04 PM on February 26, 2012


I can't break up with him until I can bring myself to believe that I will find someone else who will put up with me and my insecurities.

Guess what? You will almost certainly NEVER believe that while you're still in this relationship.

You will only believe it by becoming single, doing some (good, positive) work on your self-esteem (perhaps with the help of therapy), and THEN finding a new relationship.

Let me be clear: the longer you stay in this relationship, the unhappier you will get. And the unhappier you get, the harder it will be for you to believe that someone else will "put up with you." And the harder it is to believe that someone else will put up with you, the longer you will stay in this relationship. And the longer you stay in this relationship, the unhappier you will get. The result will be either that you marry this guy you don't even like, or this guy who you don't even like will eventually dump you.

There is another option. You can do what seems a little frightening, but which has every possibility of leading you to new and happier ways of being with yourself and with others. You can break up with him.

Today.
posted by scody at 12:53 PM on February 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


As someone who was in a similar place to you very recently with men who weren't meeting my needs (and in my case, they were sometimes actively treating me badly too): meese really has something with those "four truths." Being able to believe in those statements has radically changed the way I allow people in personal relationships to treat me. I strongly recommend that you think on them for a while.
posted by houndsoflove at 1:32 PM on February 26, 2012


I think you should take your own advice and date someone you think is awesome, who you want to be with all the time, who is your favorite person. This guy is not your favorite person. If he were, you wouldn't be fantasizing about your next boyfriend.
posted by Meg_Murry at 1:35 PM on February 26, 2012


Jeesh, what an asshole. I'm sorry you had to hear him say that.

This time next year you'll have forgotten he ever existed, I think.

Why don't you order yourself a copy of "The Artist's Way"? Or go straight out to a bookstore and physically buy one? That'll give you something to get stuck into for the next 12 weeks.
posted by tel3path at 1:42 PM on February 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Good for you. You deserve better. Much better!
posted by Vaike at 1:46 PM on February 26, 2012


I'm sorry he hurt you like that, but you can be proud of yourself. That took courage! If it's any consolation, I'm sure he DID care, and was hiding it. It may be a delayed reaction, but if he calls you up to ask that you give him another chance, please don't answer the phone. Better yet, be out the door on another date with someone from okcupid, or heading to a fun activity. Good luck, I'm rooting for you.
posted by stockpuppet at 1:56 PM on February 26, 2012


Jezus, you weren't dating my ex, were you? Because that sounds just like I'd imagine him sounding at such a conversation: totally. fucking. passive.

I'm glad you drew the line at 3.5 months. I'm really proud of you. I put up with nonsense for 1.5 years, and I still kick myself for doing so.

Did I mention that I'm proud of you?
posted by SillyShepherd at 2:02 PM on February 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


CONGRATULATIONS! I am very proud of you and rooting for you, too.

Is this your first breakup? Because the first ones are I think the hardest and can really be emotionally stunning, but it's important to know you will actually get through it. The fact that it sucks doesn't mean it was the wrong choice, okay?
posted by DarlingBri at 2:13 PM on February 26, 2012


I've been thinking about and worrying about and being sad for you quite a bit since you posted your last question. I'm so sorry that your first taste of a relationship was so crummy, but I'm so proud of you for valuing yourself and your needs enough not to let this thing drag out for a long time. I think many people, and especially women, don't know how to love themselves enough not to put up with relationships that don't meet their needs. It's a hard lesson to learn, and often takes years and years.

Breakups, even with people who don't treat you right, are always hard. You're probably going to be sad for a while. You may even wonder if you did the right thing. But I promise you did. You never need to stick with someone who doesn't value you, not a boyfriend, not even a regular friend. Interpersonal relationships should make you happy, they should enrich your life. They're not always easy, but at the end of the day/week/year, they should add more to your life and soul than they take away. Today you made a hard choice that was an investment in your future happiness, and that is so awesome.

Seriously, if I knew where you lived, I'd send you flowers.
posted by mostlymartha at 2:30 PM on February 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


Joining in on the proud-of-you train. Well done, you! That must have been hard as fuck to do, but you did it, and now you're on the other side and you have a million awesome, caring, lovely guys out there waiting for you.

If I were you, I would go take a look around your OKC neighbourhood and just check out the dudes there, get yourself into the "free and single and oh hey he's cute" headspace a little. Then close the tab and go get yourself a mug of tea or some hot chocolate or whatever it takes to make you feel better and go do something you enjoy. For the next few weeks, your only job is to take care of yourself, OK? Keep away from him and his friends, cry if you need to, listen to "I Will Survive" on repeat. Read this poem. You've come this far and you can go so much further. You can do it!

If you need to talk or anything along the way, feel free to PM me.
posted by fight or flight at 2:37 PM on February 26, 2012


That was so brave of you to do. "Well, I can't do anything to stop you" sounds to me like him giving voice to the fact that he knows you haven't been a priority in his life and that he wasn't planning on changing that. And that *does not* mean there's anything wrong with you. You can both be good people and be completely wrong for each other. There's some smelly, pot-smoking, video-game-playing girl out there right now who will thank her lucky stars that you broke up with him! :)

Think about what you got out of those 3.5 months. You've had your first adult relationship. You were able to start a difficult conversation and negotiate for your own needs in a relationship. You evaluated the results of that conversation and reflected upon them. You are open to asking for and listening to advice from others. You are wise enough to know when something is not working for you. You reached a difficult decision and took action. You have a better idea about what your needs are and you're already looking forward to how you'll get them met in the future. This is all important stuff! Many adults take ages to start getting a handle on these things.

I saw others mention writing in a journal above. If this is something that works for you, now is a great time to start doing so. Putting down all the emotions you'll likely be feeling post-breakup can be really helpful in terms of getting your head around them. Think of it like debriefing yourself and thus helping yourself understand anything that is taking time to process.

And like others have said, don't put yourself down or feel like this boyfriend is the only solution if you feel lonely in the coming days. You got used to being around someone, and most humans want the company of others, so it's normal to miss that. I hope you'll be kind to yourself, and remember that AskMe is always here the next time you need it.
posted by jocelmeow at 2:58 PM on February 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Nthing the offer of being there if you wish to PM and talk.

I've also gotten strength and more wisdom from Baggage Reclaim over the past few months.
posted by SillyShepherd at 4:07 PM on February 26, 2012


Way to go for dumping this guy!
I am also one of the people who dated a dope like this, and was too uncertain to just dump him, so wasted far too long and too much psychological energy on his sorry self. Oy. You are a champ and this was SO the right call. Remember this when inertia tries to make the two of you get back together - you are way better off without him. Much better prospects are around the corner.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:09 PM on February 26, 2012


Ships, you are going to be ok. Mefimail me if you need an encouraging word. Trust me, breaking up never gets easier (I just did it a few months ago), but it is sometimes necessary.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:42 PM on February 26, 2012


Congrats OP! I tend to feel miserable/alone right after I've dumped someone, but after a few weeks, I never regret it. I'm sure you'll feel the same way. Now you have time for more quality people in your life. Rejoice!
posted by Hawk V at 7:35 PM on February 26, 2012


Yay yay yay yay yay! Brave step taken!
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:22 PM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awesome! You made the right choice. Now block his fb and delete his phone number (or change the name in your phone to SMELLYDICK EX).
posted by oceanjesse at 11:17 PM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wooooooooo! You've done a great thing for yourself, and made us AskMe Relationship Wranglers very happy to boot - it's rare enough that the curious masses get updates, let alone such lovely ones!
posted by Devika at 8:11 AM on February 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yay! I promise, in a couple of months, whether you are dating someone new or not, you will be so glad that you did this.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 10:35 AM on February 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to pitch in here with a quick perspective on what it's like post-breakup with this kind of guy. I dated a kind, good-hearted one who exhibited a lot of these traits, and I lowered my expectations and I sank, though I'd say the blame for all of it lay with both of us. Together for almost 5 years, left when I was 24 and he was 23.

To ask whether his behavior is "normal" may be useful in certain circumstances, but I think the main thing here is that you two were not compatible. He sounds like an immature boy with very little emotional intelligence, but mainly he just didn't want the same kind of relationship! He may grow up. Or he may not. But it's not worth waiting for.

So anyway, former boyfriend soon moved out of his parents house! And got a job! And moved! And we have never discussed our relationship, but I think in his own way he's happy for me and I for him. In the beginning we stayed friends, occasionally saw each other socially, which I think was more painful for him than he understood (again, low emotional intelligence), and I coached him through talking with his very controlling parents about certain things, but in the end we both moved away and don't talk very often and that suits us. I think we had very little in common all along and though I'm glad to have known him I do feel regret about how much time I spent feeling unhappy and unfulfilled and threatening to break up with him (oh, 10 or more times).

My now-husband is a man who enjoys many of the same activities I do. He is a human being who has inspired, excited, and opened me, who is attentive and kind and devoted and sometimes makes me absolutely furious. But in two years I have not felt that same depressive doubt I did in previous relationships. The difference is I respect him. I did not respect former boyfriend. And neither of us deserved to be in that situation!

Congratulations - and good luck!
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 11:56 AM on February 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Jezus, you weren't dating my ex, were you? Because that sounds just like I'd imagine him sounding at such a conversation: totally. fucking. passive.

I'm glad you drew the line at 3.5 months. I'm really proud of you. I put up with nonsense for 1.5 years, and I still kick myself for doing so.


Hey, this is what I was going to say. Except I wasted nearly three years. One day I came home after taking a really difficult final exam and he was on the couch smoking pot and playing video games. I was hoping he'd like, look up, or say congrats, or that we'd go out and do something. Or that he'd pay attention to me in SOME way. No. I went off and cried to myself in another room for a few minutes, had a beer for some liquid courage, then went back in and confronted him about it. and the argument turned into me asking why he even lived with me ("I don't know.") Do you love me? ("I don't love anybody.") I think you should move out, then. ("Fine." Leaves to go hang out with friends.) By that point my self esteem was already basically gone, so it took me a VERY long time to regain my confidence and feel back to normal after the breakup. If I'd have just followed my instincts and dumped him early on, I wouldn't have gone through such a loooong period of depression, anxiety, and just generally feeling like shit in the aftermath. People like this are toxic, especially those of us who are kind of insecure.

(side note- he DID express affection for me occasionally- when I'd break up with him. we broke up and got back together several times before i realized he only apologized, said he loved me, etc in order to keep me from dumping him after a fight, or to get me to take him back if i did dump him. his resolve to be a better boyfriend would disappear once i'd forgiven him and things were more or less "back to normal." so be very careful if he does this! i highly recommend cutting off ALL contact. Focus on making new friends instead of trying to keep him as one.)

Men like that rarely change, if ever. You did the right thing. You'll be glad. Well done.
posted by Argyle_Sock_Puppet at 3:06 PM on February 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm so happy for you!
posted by Space Kitty at 8:45 PM on February 27, 2012


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