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Is he worth dating or do I just keep on stepping?
April 1, 2012 5:06 PM   Subscribe

Is this guy yankin' my chain so-to-speak?

So I've been having a string of fun, casual dates and there was one guy I've been talking to for about a month now. I find myself strangely attracted to him? We've only had one date, due to work interfering, there is some distance, etc. He seemed all butterflies and smiles when we first met and during the first two weeks. After our first date he was ready to see me again quickly and wanted me to meet his parents? Apparently he is religious; he is 24 and still a virgin (intends to be until marriage). He goes to church every Sunday. I suppose I'm okay with it. Well, he wanted me to drive to see him which is about an hour's drive. Well I was moody (I have PMDD) and got upset because I was the one who had to drive all the way and I thought maybe it would be awkward to meet all those people so soon. I told him that but maybe not so sweetly, not bitchy, just bold and honest.

So all the sudden, his tone by the end of that week changed. He suddenly wasn't so into talking to me. He also would make plans with me, then go golfing right until the last minute of 5 o'clock and then say I could come over. He is on a dating site. I figured he had met somebody else. I told him I believed so, which he did not like. He said I was acting like a nut. Really, I wasn't; guys date around... duh! He also told me he felt questionably about my "look." I have a Bettie Page-ish dark hair, bangs, red lipstick, pale skin thing going on. Most of the time, I'm told it suits me incredibly well. Although some guys want the tan, blonde type. I took a picture in a dressing room and was actually wearing my colorful work attire, and sent it to him. I am aware I am not the normal girl, but I am still feminine and not THAT crazy with my dress. He told me I looked like Lady Gaga and said "I hope you didn't buy that." I OWNED it. Which, maybe I am too upset about because he's usually polite, he offered to pay for my gas if I drove out there, he said he knew I was a different kind of girl but said he just didn't know what to expect out of me.

So we're in this limbo. He started saying things insinuating he had forgotten how I looked (which I guess is normal when you haven't had a date in three weeks) and went from being sure, to being unsure. Like he said he goes from wanting to be alone to being lonely but is totally open to a relationship or even marriage. Then the next week he's saying come out here (last minute!) or calls me, or sends me "Hey beautiful" and junk. He did make plans with me for this Friday in advance, at my request. Just seems like ever since I laid down the law and whatnot about what I do and do not find acceptable, he's been shocked... but is still coming back for more? It's weird, I'll get testy with him telling him he needs to be more respectful and he won't get mean or anything he just does whatever and he's back for more. It's a strange thing... Is he just a no-go or am I being too harsh which is making him doubt me?
posted by Chelsaroo650 to Human Relations (44 answers total)
 
Should it be this hard this soon? Dating should be fun and casual, as you said. This doesn't sound like it.
posted by quodlibet at 5:09 PM on April 1, 2012 [24 favorites]


Successful relationships are not this difficult. This is waaaaay too much drama at such an early stage to be worth it. Unless you actually thrive on the drama, in which case carry on.
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:11 PM on April 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


Honestly, he sounds like way too much trouble. Plenty of fish, and all that.
posted by mollymayhem at 5:11 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I can't imagine the upside to dating someone who is so annoying after a single date. Save yourself the trouble.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 5:13 PM on April 1, 2012 [33 favorites]


As an outsider, I feel like I'm reading about a game in your description. First few months of dating are usually pure fun. It shouldn't feel like work until you're officially dating. Even then -- officially dating means just a little work.
posted by mild deer at 5:13 PM on April 1, 2012


Yeah -- you've only gone out once and he's already being flakey, waffling about you, getting you to drive an hour at the last minute to see him, and being snotty about your "look"? Dude, there is no way this is going to get any better. Cut your losses now. You can do better.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 5:15 PM on April 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


He's not your type and you're not his. All this drama is just wasting time for the both of you. If you seriously have nothing better to do with your time, I suppose it might be worth it. Otherwise, it's probably not.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:15 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


If he is as religious and he puts on and is worried about "your look" he probably has a certain type of girl in mind when it comes to meeting his family. They are expecting him to date someone who looks like them and who they would not be ashamed to take to their church with them. This guy is no good for you. Move on, nothing to see here.
posted by holdkris99 at 5:17 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I agree with what the others have said. It sounds like he doesn't want someone assertive and perhaps he thrives on leading you on? My mom always says there's a one-up and a one-down and if the distance between these two becomes too large then it becomes unhealthy. You're the one-down b/c you seem to want to date a lot more than he does and he's using that to his advantage to string you along.
posted by DorothySmith at 5:19 PM on April 1, 2012


He sounds like he's immature and/or a flake. You can do better.
posted by orange swan at 5:21 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apparently he is religious; he is 24 and still a virgin (intends to be until marriage). He goes to church every Sunday.

I've been this guy. Run like hell.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 5:26 PM on April 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Haha why do you say that ferdinand?
posted by Chelsaroo650 at 5:27 PM on April 1, 2012


Also: After seeing your previous questions, it really seems like you don't have the greatest idea of what a happy and successful relationship is like. I get the impression that you're really eager to find someone to be happy with, but aren't entirely sure what that happiness is supposed to look like.

If I were you, I'd ditch this guy and then take a bit of a break from dating. Try to meet some guys in non-romantic contexts so you can get a better idea of what you're looking for in a man, and maybe start paying attention to your friends' relationships to see what you think would work for you and what wouldn't.

As with all things, knowing what you want is the most important step towards getting what you want.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 5:28 PM on April 1, 2012 [11 favorites]



Successful relationships are not this difficult.


This. If it's being this hard, move on and find something more rewarding -- unless you love the drama, in which case it is full speed ahead.
posted by Forktine at 5:30 PM on April 1, 2012


This is not the guy for you.
posted by mleigh at 5:30 PM on April 1, 2012


I would actually say, I know he's not the right guy for me... I know I need a guy who's accepting of my alternative looks, random creativity, and won't be a flake. I'm an atheist, too.... but I guess I just get attracted and try to make every guy I date, the RIGHT guy. Ugh.
posted by Chelsaroo650 at 5:32 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


As soon as I read:
I find myself strangely attracted to him?

I thought this would be a no-go, and it's not. Keep it movin'.

And work on not doing this:
try to make every guy I date, the RIGHT guy.

It doesn't work, trust me. Tons of anecdotal data on that one. It even sounds like he might have been trying the same thing on you.
posted by sm1tten at 5:39 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, is it weird that I have been dating this other guy... who loves everything about me, always makes time for me, is not ignorant, snobby, rude, religious, inconsiderate, appreciates my artistic side, is artistic himself but maybe not gorgeous looking

and I am not quite as enthralled as I am by somebody who is so WRONG!?! WTF is it with me?
posted by Chelsaroo650 at 5:49 PM on April 1, 2012


>>After our first date he was ready to see me again quickly and wanted me to meet his parents?

I think this alone would make me run for cover. People up the ante that quick are a problem. Do you REALLY think he knows you well enough to be dragging his parents into this after 1 date? I smell Issues. Add the rest in, and yeeah. Something's off, and it's probably not worth finding out what.
posted by Ys at 5:49 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


>>and I am not quite as enthralled as I am by somebody who is so WRONG!?! WTF is it with me?

blame the pheromones? Just because the body's grooving on someone's chemical matchup doesn't mean there's anything rationally right about the system. Apparently Other Guy just isn't as exciting to your animal brain. That's my working theory.
posted by Ys at 5:52 PM on April 1, 2012


He sounds exciting! If you date him, you'd never have a dull moment, it would be like a great adventure, where you discover exciting and strange things about each other, even though you don't like it each other very much.

So yes, you should definitely date him if you want the "excitement" of having to defend your looks and outlook on life, while rushing about that the last minute based on what he needs or whats.

and I am not quite as enthralled as I am by somebody who is so WRONG!?! WTF is it with me?

You don't want to be worshipped or put on a pedestal. Mr. 24 year old religious virgin sounds exciting because he's not falling over you and presents a bit of a challenge.

Your other guy is awesome and boring the hell out of you with his awesomeness.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:55 PM on April 1, 2012


Haha why do you say that ferdinand?

Among other things, he will never be "okay" with the fact (if it is the case) that you have had "premarital sex", despite his contrary protestations, and will attempt to lord it over you as a fault that you should be grateful to him for "accepting."

But that's only if things ever become serious between you. If he's truly as religious as you claim, you should expect he will be trying to convert you. So-called "missionary dating", while not officially promoted or encouraged at any church anywhere, is a pretty common phenomenon in fundagelical circles.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 5:57 PM on April 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Dating can be a great opportunity to figure out what and who you like. But it sounds like you could do yourself a huge favor by figuring out why on earth you'd want to be with someone who didn't accept you for who you are and who didn't find your look sexy and to die for.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 5:57 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh, yeah, he sounds kind of gross (not because he's religious but because he's rude). I dated a really religious guy at one point who was always subtly judging my "look," until the point where he wouldn't take me to the grocery store in the middle of July if I were wearing shorts (immodest, obviously). He was always saying I "didn't have to" wear makeup, which in judgy guy-language is usually shorthand for "please do what I want you to do with your face, instead of what you're comfortable with, because I am uncomfortable being seen with a shallow ungodly woman." Also, if you're not religious, all the religious stuff can get really boring and start to chafe, especially if he's already so disrespectful. Your "look" doesn't even seem that extreme!

Seriously, afterward I dated another judgy controlling guy, and now that I'm dating my current boyfriend who doesn't care if I wear a t-shirt and hoodie or gold lamé shorts or smoke the occasional cigarette or get a weird haircut, I'm so much happier!

You're attracted to him, but he doesn't want sex, so it looks like a fling is out of the question. Keep looking!
posted by stoneandstar at 6:18 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and ferdinand is totally right-- I used to be at a fundie/evangelical church, and it was very common (especially for younger people) to bring in new boyfriends or girlfriends until they were "won over" to the Lord. Nobody was, uh, really happy with that, since people would look down at the missionary dater and the new guy/girl who found God for lust's sake.

Honestly curious, why do you think he was so into you at first? Did you really hit it off conversation-wise? Were you dressed differently than usual? Is he really really ready for marriage? I kind of wonder what makes this guy tick.
posted by stoneandstar at 6:23 PM on April 1, 2012


Also, is it weird that I have been dating this other guy... who loves everything about me, always makes time for me, is not ignorant, snobby, rude, religious, inconsiderate, appreciates my artistic side, is artistic himself but maybe not gorgeous looking

and I am not quite as enthralled as I am by somebody who is so WRONG!?! WTF is it with me?


If this post was anonymous I would assume you are my good friend Megan. She is always into the guys who make the most demands of her to change the type of person she is and quickly rejects any guy, no matter how "right" (whatever that means) he seems, if he is accepting of her as she is. We have had hours upon hours of conversations about this. The thing is that she, for various reasons, is not happy with herself and hopes that one of these guys will come along and demand changes in her that she will result in "New Megan" and the she will actually like this version of Megan. This has been going on for years and years. So I will suggest the same thing I tell her: how bout a little therapy, or at least some therapeutic work of some kind on yourself?
posted by holdkris99 at 6:28 PM on April 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


He told me I looked like Lady Gaga and said "I hope you didn't buy that"

That would be enough for me to send him packing. Rude, narrow-minded and controlling.
posted by clearlydemon at 7:23 PM on April 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Chelsaroo650: "I would actually say, I know he's not the right guy for me... I know I need a guy who's accepting of my alternative looks, random creativity, and won't be a flake. I'm an atheist, too.... but I guess I just get attracted and try to make every guy I date, the RIGHT guy. Ugh."

You sound great. There is a guy who is not only accepting of your alternative looks, random creativity, and general outlook on life but he's dying to meet you. He told his best friend tonight "Look, I'm just not going to settle for this blond tanned woman; she just doesn't do it for me. I need a woman with alternative looks and random creativity who's an atheist!"

I'm sure that Mr. Religion is great for someone but not for you, not that I can see. (Honestly, I don't think he's great but hey, there is someone out there who is exactly right for him, she's sitting home reading her bible, memorizing some verse or something.)

You sound great. Blow him off. Look to whatever is Next.
posted by dancestoblue at 8:00 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


i just went through a somohow similar situation.

i'm an atheist, but i usually have no problem relating with religious people unless they are of the extremist fundy types, or even atheist extremist types.


i met this woman once and talked with her about what i do what she does what i like what she likes and what not, a casual dinner at friends' encounter. a few days later she invites me to get a drink.

actually, i decided to accept because 1. while i didn't feel any spark for her 2. and the fact the previous meeting was fine 3. and its apparently rare to get invited to a one2one meeting by a woman , basically i accepted as i saw no reason not to accept an odd but nice invite ( odd as per number 3) 4. and i tought she probably liked me or wanted to get to know me better

the e vening went well, pleasant conversation etc, but eventually she told me she is very religious

as i didn't become an atheist overnight, and having religious relatives, i know the two don't go along too well, unless there's an already existing longstanding relationship that keeps them togheter.

now i may be wrong about mixed religious-atheist couples, but what i FELT was that it was not going to work...that feeling alone made me decide not to explore any romantic angle. i don't mean this as a no-brainer necessary outcome of a rational evaluation, it was just a strong gut feeling.

yet i guess, even if i will never actuallt know what could have been, i took the choice that felt most ok with me, and that still feels ok with me. that lack of regret, probably, is what choosing to get more intimate with a person should feel like.
posted by elpapacito at 8:11 PM on April 1, 2012


This dude you are writing about seems like the sort who projects his fantasy world onto everyone and everything and then gets butthurt when reality intrudes onto that, and will try to shoehorn reality back into his fantasy mold. And get irritable with you if you can't be squeezed back into his mold. He also sounds like he has this idealized vision of what he wants in a woman but as long as he doens't have that yet he will keep coming back to you, all the while dropping little negative comments about how you don't meet his idea. Ugh. Keep stepping Chelsearoo.

By the way if someone wants you to meet their parents after the first date then I think the vast majority of the time 1 of 2 things is going on. 1. The person just has a super casual relationship with their parents and their is nothing special about you meeting them. 2. The person is not mature at all and is projecting their fantasy woman onto you without knowing you at all, and will act horribly when they really get to know you and find out you are actually your own human being and not the prepackaged image they were projecting.
posted by cairdeas at 8:21 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, that's, uh, not really dating someone. That's more like taking two people and pressing them together really, really hard to see if they'll become one, and then recoiling in horror when guts and blood start coming out. Why do you even talk to each other?
posted by davejay at 9:02 PM on April 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


One date and you're already talking about the relationship?

You were moody on the second date, he wanted you to meet his parents on the second date. I always thought it was a bit pitiful to substitute "desperate for a shag" with "desperate to get married". Bad decisions could get made that way.

You had to drive, he was worried about your Bettie Page look. I don't think it's wrong that he asked about it per se - I assume he was trying to figure out how kinky you are upfront, rather than waiting until your wedding night when you do/don't disappoint him by handcuffing/not handcuffing him to the bedposts. But he could've just asked you. Instead... way to not charm his way into your heart. Saying "you look funny, why're you wearing that?" is not generally a big turn-on for girls.

It's easy to cite this as evidence that he's a wrong guy, but I can also imagine him writing a similar post about your being moody on the second date (and in front of his family) and everyone here going "Aagh! DTMFA! If she's moody on the second date she's probably an axe murderer! Demanding to know if you were seeing someone else? Red flag amirite!1!" So there's that.

Each of you is looking at the other in distaste and going "urgh... what's wrong with you?" What's wrong with you is that you are both dating the wrong person and you are already at the couples counselling stage. Neither of you is wrong, you're just incompatible.
posted by tel3path at 12:48 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, is it weird that I have been dating this other guy... who loves everything about me, always makes time for me, is not ignorant, snobby, rude, religious, inconsiderate, appreciates my artistic side, is artistic himself but maybe not gorgeous looking

and I am not quite as enthralled as I am by somebody who is so WRONG!?! WTF is it with me?


Honestly? There is nothing deeply fundamentally wrong with you here. You're fine. It sounds like you just need to trust your instincts a bit more about what you do and don't like in relationships, and stop second-guessing yourself.

Take this other guy you mention: he sounds like a decent enough person who shares some of your common interests and is really into you, but you don't find him all that physically attractive and aren't really feeling it w/r/t a relationship. That's okay! That's normal! That's not a sign that you are a damaged and broken person who can't accept love and rejects nice people or whatever else it is you might fear is going on - that's a sign that you are human, and thus you're not going to feel that spark with everyone.

And take Mr. Meet-My-Parents-But-Ugh-Not-Looking-Like-That here: you got on great for the first couple of weeks, now it turns out that you're not really compatible with each other, and you're not really happy with the way he's acting. Again - that's normal! That's okay! That's not a sign that you're being 'too harsh' or 'making him doubt' you, that's just a sign that this isn't working out.

In the one case, he's great in lots of ways but you're not really feeling it for him. In the other, you feel attraction but you also think he's unsuitable in lots of ways. Those situations are both fine, and normal, and understandable. The problem is that when you don't trust your own judgement, you don't see reactions like this as two different types of "didn't work out". You start seeing those reactions as flaws within you, not about flaws in your dynamics with those people.

And thus, instead of thinking to yourself "my brain says this isn't working for me because XYZ - okay, I'll call it off, good look to him in the future", you think "my brain says this isn't working for me because XYZ - but I cannot trust my brain! Maybe my brain is only saying this because it wants me to live alone forever! Are XYZ even objectively bad things? Maybe XYZ are normal things and I just need to deal with them! Okay, I'll stay with him and keep on feeling dissatisfied with things, until my brain shuts up."

When you meet the right person, you will feel happy about it. That's how you know. Not "why aren't I happy when I should be happy WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME" (and heaven knows I've been guilty of that myself in the past), but genuinely, non-stressfully, fun and relaxing, happy. Keep on moving until you find that.
posted by Catseye at 5:54 AM on April 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


There's more than one reason why he's 24 and still a virgin*.

Get someone that someone else wanted.

* Not true of every late bloomer, but true of this one!
posted by IAmBroom at 8:05 AM on April 2, 2012


Wow. Get ta steppin.
posted by spicynuts at 9:00 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


At stoneandstar, honestly I am not that crazy of a dresser. On my first date, I wore a normal outfit a girl my age would wear... and I do! I just like lipstick, pearls, and different hairstyles. My bangs had grown quite long and were still long when I had seen him and to be honest, I looked pretty normal (to my standards). He liked me. Then I flipped out a little on him and I actually did not drive out there, I think someone's answer insinuated I did. He would ask me to send him pictures of myself every day and I sent one wearing my giant sunglasses, colorful clothes (I work for a high fashion store where color is a good thing), and I had just cut my bangs off. He wasn't digging it but I don't always look that way. I just fluctuate greatly in appearance. He told me it was not that he didn't like it, that it was unpredictable and the bangs weren't his cup of tea.

His friends have begun to get married so it seems like he's scouting for marriage partners. Only thing is he doesn't really make time for a SO. His last relationship was about 2 years and ended 6 months ago. He is just that "average Joe." My sister saw his photos and that's what she told me, he was average, I wasn't. She said she didn't know what I saw in him. His favorite photo of me, I look average as hell; my hair was cut off, basic makeup, and plain clothes. From 4 years ago. He showed his friends and they said they couldn't believe a girl as good looking as I was would be interested in him. Honestly, I know I'm out of his league with or without my bangs. I may have made a mistake getting upset but I'm not always moody. I have become an assertive dater after being effed over.

What I do find strange... is that he is quite sexual in language despite being a virgin! He asked me if I was a "dirty girl." He told me he has to "relieve himself" every now and again. It's like I'm expecting to find a secret porn stash if we ever got serious. I said flat out I had my reservations about him being so chaste and he said "Well if it's such a big deal, which it is unbelievable I've had this issue, then just come over and do me." I was just kind of like "Huh?"
posted by Chelsaroo650 at 9:47 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Basically I cut my bangs off and got moody and it's like he went running lol.
posted by Chelsaroo650 at 9:52 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why the updates? Hasn't it been made clear this guy isn't worth the time it takes to worry over him, or his dumb inanities? You're letting dissonance reel you into his character- this is why so-called 'negging' "works". Just go on a different date, and he'll be out of your mind for good.
posted by MangyCarface at 10:28 AM on April 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Do you like yourself? You seem to be valuing this guy's judgement higher than your own.

A lot of the comments here say that he sounds incompatible with you. Why are you still seeking his approval?

You say "I don't always look this way" as a justification for why he should like you anyway (?). Do you like how you look? Did you enjoy cutting your bangs off and dressing colorfully? If so, keep looking fly.

Do what makes you happy.
posted by bookdragoness at 10:43 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you are seriously considering fashion feedback from an *average* *guy*, something bad has happened to your judgement. Step away while you can still recognize yourself.
posted by tel3path at 11:01 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the updates were made because I asked for them. It sounds to me like she likes herself, and the confusing thing is that she's laying down the law and he's just going along with it, however shocked. And I don't think she's trying to impress him so much as she's "strangely attracted to him," y'know. I think the bewildering thing here is that she's out of his league so he's like, sending a lot of mixed messages, because he really, really wants to sleep with her. The first time I was the recipient of that kind of attention I was thinking, "what is your deal?"
posted by stoneandstar at 11:06 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I figured he had met somebody else. I told him I believed so, which he did not like.

One bit of advice: If you want to know something about someone, ask - don't tell.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 9:38 PM on April 3, 2012


Alright, I know I probably shouldn't have even bothered but I kind of tested him to see how much he sticks to his values... by sexually flirting with him. Not extreme flirting, but flirting and all the sudden he's interested again. I know we're not right for each other, but now he's pretty much indicated that he will do everything BUT actual sex. It's probably a bad idea to see him again, I would think he's only interested because of the prospect of sexual activity and not actually me... right? Because he apparently can't stop thinking about it. I shouldn't care, I know. lol
posted by Chelsaroo650 at 4:17 PM on April 5, 2012


I would think he's only interested because of the prospect of sexual activity and not actually me... right?

I think women in cave days were saying this to themselves. My crystal ball says "signs point to yes."
posted by cairdeas at 4:53 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


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