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Should I end this relationship?
January 8, 2013 7:59 PM   Subscribe

So I've known this guy for 3 months and have been dating him for almost 2 months. We jumped into an official relationship pretty quickly and now I'm having second thoughts. Please advice on if you think I should continue the relationship or end things now?

Ever since this guy and I started dating we had an instant connection and I grew to like him a lot. We moved really fast in that we didn't really date for long before jumping into being exclusive and official. He had just gotten out of a 5 year relationship 2 months before we started dating which made me uneasy and I expressed this to him which he understood and we both agreed to take things slowly. However we spent a lot of time together and he stayed over my place a lot and things just progressed to the point where we both decided we didn't want to date other people.

However now that I've gotten to know him more I'm having second thoughts and not sure if I should just end things now or wait it out to give the relationship a chance. I've observed certain qualities in him that I don't like but at the same time, I'm not sure that they are deal breakers.

For one, I'm 5 years younger than him (I'm in late twenties and he's in mid thirties) but I'm more accomplished financially and career wise; I make 6 figures and own my own place whereas he's not happy with his job or salary and is renting a place I've never been invited to bc he's embarrassed to show me. We take turns paying for dinners when we go out which is fine by me bc i don't expect the guy to pay for everything but it kind of sucks that every time we hang out we have to hang out at my place. And we never went on many "dates", after the 1st date we pretty much grew into a routine where we spent time at my place watching TV then going to bed. I feel like he was so used to being in longterm relationships that he just picked up where he left off with his other relationship with me.

He's expressed desire to go back to school to change his career but has also mentioned a few different paths and careers he wants to look into and they're all very different directions. I'm afraid that he's one of those "dreamers", all talk and no follow through but I can't tell yet.

Another thing i've noticed is that he becomes very horny when he's drunk. We initially decided to wait 3 months before sex but we both got drunk 1 month into the relationship and went all the way, partly bc he was so aggressive. I thought this was a 1 time occurrence but recently he got drunk again and was very sexually aggressive, even after i told him i was tired and didn't want to but he kept petitioning me and asking so i finally gave in. He apologized the next morning for being so aggressive and selfish and when he's sober he's the most patient and no-pressure guy ever but its still a turn off that he becomes so caveman-like when he's drunk.

Also he's not a take charge type of guy. Im used to the guy planning the dates or taking charge of certain situations but I feel like I come up with most of the plans and decisions. This one time my friend invited us over to her house for wine and food and we were going to take a cab with her and her BF to a bar. I didn't have any cash on me so before we got in the cab i expressed to him that I think that he should pay for the cab ride just to be polite and return the hospitality but when the cab arrived he didn't make the move to so my friend's BF paid. I then told him we should pay for the cab fare back to be fair and he joked that he was cheap and wanted to see if he could get away with not doing so (aka letting my friend's BF pay again??). That was a big turn off for me.

Also, my friends have met him and they tell me that they think he's dull and not that remarkable and that I could do better since I was more successful financially and more attractive. He also has health problems; they're not life threatening but I do tend to look at health as a factor in considering a life-long relationship. All of these factors have made me less attracted to him and I'm seriously considering breaking things off but he also has a lot of good qualities too.

He's such a nice guy and is an awesome communicator, which is a quality that i really value. He likes to talk through any problems that we might have and is very open to me. He's also very caring, loving and supportive and has expressed to me that he's never felt so strongly about anyone before and that I inspire him to improve himself for us. We have fun when we're together and he's very affectionate and gives me a lot of affirmation and quality time (which is refreshing since my ex was the opposite in these regards). He's expressed a desire to be with me long term already. What do you guys think? Should I dump him and keep looking or stick with it and give it more time?
posted by CheeseAndRice to Human Relations (49 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
It doesn't sound like you guys are compatible at all, and on top of that the sexual aggressiveness is worrisome. Why do you want to stay in this? It seems like you have many more negatives than positives here.
posted by sweetkid at 8:05 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Two months, not in love, having doubts = end it.
posted by nicwolff at 8:07 PM on January 8, 2013 [16 favorites]


So, he's a great communicator and nice. BUT, he appears to be cheap, hiding something from you (since you've been together for three months and you've never been to his place), and he started dating you pretty much right after the demise of his five year relationship.

Yeah, end the relationship now.
posted by livinglearning at 8:11 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Being nice is the bare minimum for basic human interaction, in my opinion. Plenty of people are nice and affectionate and good communicators, that doesnt mean you need to date them. At a few months in, you're already having this many doubts, and I would seriously question someone who, two months after a five year relationship ended was already saying he wanted to be with me long term.

Some of your remarks seem like real deal breakers--aggressive when drunk, cheap, not ambitious. I'm not sure what kind of health problems he has, but if you're already less attracted to him because of it I can't imagine how that would improve. And who knows, maybe you are exponentially more physically attractive than this guy but your friends telling you to do better because you make more money and are hotter is shallow. Don't listen to them.

If you're not feeling it, just end it.
posted by thank you silence at 8:12 PM on January 8, 2013 [16 favorites]


Two months? You can break up with him if he chews his food funny if you want. Sooner the better, so you don't waste any more of time for either of you than necessary.
posted by empath at 8:13 PM on January 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


So this dude is unfocused, sexually aggressive in a way you do not like, miserly in a dickish manner, and your friends have come to a consensus on him that is not positive, but also does not sound particularly off-base.

There's a lot of decent, nice, supportive dudes out there that do not have a single one of these qualities. Go find one of those instead of this dingus.
posted by griphus at 8:13 PM on January 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


At two months, you should be happy and excited to be with someone. You are not; go find someone who makes your heart sing.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:15 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Most of those things are "meh" and then there are two that are "yikes:"

i told him i was tired and didn't want to but he kept petitioning me and asking so i finally gave in. He apologized the next morning for being so aggressive and selfish and when he's sober he's...

First of all, this is incredibly creepy and disturbing, as well as being bullshit. Being drunk doesn't "make" people act like anything, it just lowers their inhibitions to letting certain things out. Second of all - read those last 4 words again and imagine yourself saying them to your concerned friends or family members, repeatedly, for the next few decades. Why create that kind of a life for yourself?

he joked that he was cheap and wanted to see if he could get away with not doing so (aka letting my friend's BF pay again

This is not a joke. Here the man is telling you exactly how he is - believe him! He likes seeing if he can get away with flagrantly using people for his own benefit. And he has no guilt about doing it at all. There is zero doubt in my mind that he will eventually use you in the same way become more open, brazen and bold about using you, eventually without even bothering with excuses about being drunk.
posted by cairdeas at 8:26 PM on January 8, 2013 [40 favorites]


2-3 months is about the amount of time it takes most people to decide whether they see a future with someone or not. It sounds like this is not the guy you envisioned being with in the longterm. That's okay -- that's what dating is all about. It doesn't sound like you see him as a good long-term partner, so move on.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:26 PM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't know if it's OK to delve into your history here, but your last question about a relationship issue was pretty intense and garnered 237 responses.

You might consider being alone for awhile. Take some time to find yourself. Date casually, if you'd like, but get some hobbies, make some friends, and get to know yourself a bit.
posted by sockermom at 8:27 PM on January 8, 2013 [13 favorites]


it sounds like you think you should like him more than you do, you just don't. And that's perfectly ok! your friends are right - you CAN do better. not in any objective way, better job or better whatever--just someone who makes you giddy and happy and who you're excited to be with. Time to move on to find that :)
posted by lemniskate at 8:28 PM on January 8, 2013


If it's two months in and you're already having this many doubts, move on before feelings get any deeper and it's harder to break it off than it is now.
posted by Autumn at 8:29 PM on January 8, 2013


He's got some positives that you appreciate. But he has major negatives. Write down a list of the positives, so that you remember them and that you've identified the fact that they're important to you, and then break it off and move on. You'll find someone with those same positive qualities, but without the negatives. The aggression, lack of ambition, and taking you for granted already are not things that are going to improve with time; rather, the opposite.

You've had the chance to realize that you value someone with ambition and clear career goals, and someone whose present health does not pose obstacles for your long-term life and family. Write that down too. You want a full partner who is a peer and shares more of your orientation to life and work. Write that down. That person should also be a great communicator. Fortunately, it's not that rare to find that skill. You deserve someone with all these qualities, not just one or two.

Write everything down, for yourself to remember; then say thanks for the memories, and move on.
posted by Miko at 8:30 PM on January 8, 2013 [13 favorites]


Miko says it so well. Please: get out while it's still easy.
posted by melesana at 8:38 PM on January 8, 2013


I thought this was a 1 time occurrence but recently he got drunk again and was very sexually aggressive, even after i told him i was tired and didn't want to but he kept petitioning me and asking so i finally gave in. He apologized the next morning for being so aggressive and selfish and when he's sober he's the most patient and no-pressure guy ever but its still a turn off that he becomes so caveman-like when he's drunk.

DTMFA. Without a doubt, and without looking back.
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:40 PM on January 8, 2013


Is it possible he's looking for a place to live and this is his version of apartment hunting?

You haven't seen his place, you make six figures, he's cheap and shows signs of being rather shamelessly exploitative, you spend your time vegging out like an old married couple at your place mostly. I'm just sayin'.
posted by tel3path at 8:43 PM on January 8, 2013 [9 favorites]


To clarify, the reason he doesn't want me to see his place he's renting is bc he's embarassed of it and hates it and is looking to move out anyways as he explains, not that he's trying to hide anything. Also my place being so nice might be an intimidation factor. Also the part about the cab, that was when he was drunk also...i haven't seen him exhibit any cheapness before this; in fact even thought we agreed to take turns paying for when we go out he does offer to pay when it's my turn also sometimes.

Most of the negatives occurred while he was drunk so i'm not sure i should dump him on his "drunken" self when i really like his sober self. And no he's not an alcoholic or anything; he's a social drinker and with it being the holidays and everything there were more social situations with alcohol.
posted by CheeseAndRice at 8:47 PM on January 8, 2013


Some people are quick to judge here, but I'd like to take a more moderated approach and suggest that you divide your observations into what you think are personality aspects and what you think are behavior aspects. I believe personality doesn't fundamentally change but behavior can. If you think some of these things are just behavioral, and since you say he's a good communicator, I think you have the opportunity to have some very open and frank conversations with him about your concerns and see where he goes with that.
posted by Dansaman at 8:48 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


If he were trying to hide something do you think he'd say "I am trying to hide something"?
posted by tel3path at 8:48 PM on January 8, 2013 [8 favorites]


You're making excuses for him. Why? How far would you go in doing that? Do you want to do it for years, maybe a lifetime?

Is this what you want and deserve in a long-term relationship?

The thing about him not taking you to his place: well, it's just a little weird. It's probably not as nice as yours, and he's probably not proud of it. But on the flip side, why is he ashamed of it? It's his place! IT's what he has. Humble or not, why wouldn't he want to share it? Is he ashamed of himself? His earning power? His way of life? That's who he is right now! Plenty of guys would recognize the disparity but still have the personal confidence to share it with you for what it is, and not feel ashamed or that they have to hide away. If he's having trouble facing up or owning up to his lifestyle, in a way that says "I'm comfortable with my life and not ashamed to be honest with you," that's sort of another flag that maybe his shit really isn't all that together. I can understand wating more/better, but not really being secretive about what the deal is right now.

You don't have to rescue this guy from himself.
posted by Miko at 8:48 PM on January 8, 2013 [13 favorites]


However now that I've gotten to know him more I'm having second thoughts and not sure if I should just end things now or wait it out to give the relationship a chance.

I would try to take the "should" out of the equation. If you want to end it, you don't have to justify it to anyone, even yourself. You certainly have the goods to justify it if that's what you want to do - his forcefulness in the bedroom would certainly be a dealbreaker for me - but it's your right to break up with this guy no matter the reason, if that's what you want. The only reason to stick around in any relationship is if there's something that makes it worth fighting for. For me, nice and communicative would not be enough, but then, I am not you and he is not my boyfriend. Forget about him and everyone else for a minute and think about what you want, and go from there.
posted by Lina Lamont at 8:49 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


It is true--within reason--that the drunk self is not representative of the sober self. However, if someone is a dick when drunk, knows they're a dick when drunk, and continues to get drunk, well, that says a lot.
posted by schroedinger at 8:56 PM on January 8, 2013 [11 favorites]


It sounds like he's not what you want at all, but you think he's very nice most of the time.
posted by John Cohen at 8:57 PM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Most of the negatives occurred while he was drunk so i'm not sure i should dump him on his "drunken" self when i really like his sober self.

Yeah, no, this is actually a really, really good reason to dump someone. Mainly because unless he stops drinking, the drunk-self will keep coming out and you will have to deal with his cheapness and sexual aggression.

Also, dudes with shame issue that extend to YOU CAN'T COME TO MY HOUSE EVER have problems with themselves that extend far, far past their shitty apartments.
posted by griphus at 8:58 PM on January 8, 2013 [14 favorites]


Why don't you tell him "hey, you know what, I think we moved too quickly, and after two months I'm not really sure if I want to be in an exclusive relationship with you. I want to back things off some -- no more staying over at my house -- and I want to see your place, even though you're embarrassed." See how he reacts. I suspect his response will tell you what you need to know.
posted by davejay at 8:59 PM on January 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


He told me that he wasn't going to drink anymore because he realizes that he can't handle his alcohol.

But yeah...i'm meeting up with him tomorrow and deciding where to go from there....I'm thinking of ending things then and there and suggesting that we remain friends but not 100% certain yet since he's such a sweet guy.
posted by CheeseAndRice at 9:00 PM on January 8, 2013


You can end that shit with a phone call!
posted by u2604ab at 9:08 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought from the beginning he's angling to move into your place.

Your updates confirm this for me.

He's very likely not the nice guy you think he is. Go with your gut, which is telling you to bounce.
posted by jbenben at 9:09 PM on January 8, 2013 [9 favorites]


Thanks everyone for your advice. They help a lot!
posted by CheeseAndRice at 9:09 PM on January 8, 2013


Go with your gut, which is telling you to bounce.

This is excellent advice. He may have nice qualities, but two months into dating and you've already had enough negative experiences that your alarm bells are ringing: listen to them. He doesn't have to be a terrible person for this to be the wrong relationship for you.
posted by Meg_Murry at 9:13 PM on January 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


OP, you sound like a very generous and kind person. It also seems like you always put others before yourself. Here's the thing, even if he didn't do anything bad, there's nothing wrong with breaking up with him. There is no rule that states that you have to be in a relationship with someone unless they mess up. Sometimes people just don't mesh well together and that doesn't necessarily mean that anyone involved is a bad person. If it's not working out, it's not working out. Three months in, you should be excited and giddy and it doesn't sound like you are. Break up with him and find someone that makes you soar.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:21 PM on January 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


i'm not sure i should dump him on his "drunken" self when i really like his sober self

He's only one person. We don't turn into a different person when we drink. He's still accountable for his (quite frankly horrific) actions when he's drunk.

Sweet guys don't force you to have sex with them. Sweet guys don't petition you to give you something they want that you don't want to give. Sweet guys don't try to "get away" with making other people pay for them to do stuff.

Besides, let's say he is sweet. Sweetness is not an impossible trait to find in another person. You sound like you're a pretty sweet, kind, and caring person yourself: turn some of that kindness inward and take care of yourself. Don't tie yourself to a guy that you're not sure you want to be with.
posted by sockermom at 9:42 PM on January 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thanks guys. I'll break it off tmrw. When I do should I be honest and list the reasons why (could be very awkward) or should I just be vague and say I don't feel like we're right for each other and leave it as that?
posted by CheeseAndRice at 9:58 PM on January 8, 2013


I'm thinking of ending things then and there and suggesting that we remain friends

Don't "remain friends" please. He will just find a way to weasel his way back in, especially if, god forbid he gets drunk while you're out "as friends". He's not the only nice guy on the planet. There are other nice guys who aren't also shady creepsters.
posted by bleep at 10:00 PM on January 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


he got drunk again and was very sexually aggressive, even after i told him i was tired and didn't want to but he kept petitioning me and asking so i finally gave in. He apologized the next morning for being so aggressive and selfish and when he's sober he's the most patient and no-pressure guy ever but its still a turn off that he becomes so caveman-like when he's drunk.

Everything else- the lack of money, ambition, being on the rebound, the taking you for granted- while not pleasant, I might have gone either way on. But this, this would just be unacceptable for me. I would DTMFA for this alone.
posted by quincunx at 10:08 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Call him on the phone and tell him it's over. Keep it short and sweet. Don't let him turn the call into a debate.
Be polite and firm and make it perfectly clear you want no contact. No, you don't want to be friends with him. Adios. Finito.

Draft the list Miko suggested. You'll meet a man who has all those positives and none of the negatives presented by the current Mr. Wrong.
posted by Pudhoho at 10:28 PM on January 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


To clarify, the list Miko suggested is for you, you don't need to tell this guy the list. Just say something like "I don't think this is working out."
posted by titanium_geek at 2:33 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


CheeseAndRice, you're going to be ok. The only breakup I had that I feel bad about, is the one where I weazled out by making excuses. You sound like an honest, straight up person. Just try to end it that way.
posted by ouke at 2:40 AM on January 9, 2013


I'm a little worried, reading your responses, that you're going to be vulnerable to letting him talk you out of breaking up with him. If you're serious about ending it, you need to take steps to guard against this.
posted by zug at 3:21 AM on January 9, 2013


He's also very caring, loving and supportive and has expressed to me that he's never felt so strongly about anyone before and that I inspire him to improve himself for us.

You list this as a positive attribute but it really, really is not. A person who tells you you're his inspiration, his muse, the reason he is doing something good, is the same person who will blame you later for being not good enough for him to have done that good thing. This has taken me a long time to understand, as someone telling you you inspire them feels good at first. But it's really just a grown man shifting responsibility for his own action/inaction onto another person, and in the end, being his inspiration means you are responsible for his success or failure.

And even more basically, what about you does he love, besides that you inspire him? Even his positive attributes are about him, you see?
posted by headnsouth at 3:43 AM on January 9, 2013 [29 favorites]


Everyone has already gotten into the warnings/red flags as to why this guy is bad news, and with good reason. However, remember that at two months, you don't need a "reason." The fact that the best you can say about him is that he's "sweet," and there's no enthusiasm or excitement when you talk about him -- that's enough. You never need validation from third parties and strangers on the Internet. The fact that you don't want to stay is all you need.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:24 AM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


You don't have to give this guy a laundry list of how he doesn't measure up, it's pointless really. Merely say, "Dude, I've enjoyed spending time with you, but I'm just not feeling it anymore. You're a great guy and I hope you find someone that you can really connect with."

That's it. It's not up for debate. Plan to meet for drinks (coffee if he's abstaining), so you can bounce after about 10 minutes. Don't hang around, don't worry about getting your food and having to eat after breaking up.

Also, don't try to stay friends with this guy, drunk or not, he doesn't respect boundaries and you could be in real danger.

Stay strong, stand up for yourself, do what makes you happy!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:30 AM on January 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Some of the stuff that you said came across as small potatoes and other things came across as sort of red flags but it was a bit weird because it was all sort of mixed together on equal footing.

I would personally give a significant other some leeway on not making enough money/ contemplating a career change, and being five years older.

The not letting you see his apartment thing really stands out to me as quite evasive. Did you guys ever talk about that? It seems strange that someone who you were serious with was unwilling to reveal this kind of significant part of their life. And also, obviously as others have said, the aggressiveness.

Anyway, it sounds like you have come to a decision. Follow your gut. Just thought I'd chime in after the fact.
posted by mermily at 7:51 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


This shouldn't have been a difficult decision. Maybe take some time to yourself to figure out why it was.
posted by anthropomorphic at 9:15 AM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


In the future, try to keep in mind that "meh" reasons for breaking up are perfectly good reasons. Also, you end up getting more of whatever you tolerate. So speak up if there's something that's important to you, and draw the line when something isn't okay. Of course, I'm saying this as if it were easy, when the fact is that it took me a long time to finally do it.
posted by wryly at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


He told me that he wasn't going to drink anymore because he realizes that he can't handle his alcohol.

99.9% chance he's just saying this because he thinks it's what you want to hear. You don't need to tell him a list, just be firm. Stay strong, dear!
posted by two lights above the sea at 1:11 PM on January 9, 2013


It's true that I was not suggesting the list was for the guy. It's for the OP. It's a way to remember the qualities she valued, and the qualities she missed, in this trial relationship, as a way to discern better what she might want to seek in future partners.
posted by Miko at 3:48 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'll break it off tmrw. When I do should I be honest and list the reasons why (could be very awkward) or should I just be vague and say I don't feel like we're right for each other and leave it as that?

I think the time to get into the details about what exactly isn't working is when you're still together and trying to make it work. Once you've firmly decided to break up, the focus should be on making a clean break, not on giving perfectly comprehensive information. You're the one who knows him, and you have to feel out the situation as far as how to make that happen (keeping in mind that once a breakup happens, some people have a funny way of not being so sweet anymore).
posted by John Cohen at 5:28 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Definitely break it off and do not leave any hope for the guy to possible restart the relationship sometime in the future. Do not say you can still text/keep in contact.

I was in a similar relationship that you are having questions about almost a year ago but from the male perspective. I will admit it, I had my own red flags that I recognized before the relationship even started. After the 2-3 week mark I brought up those red flags, and to my surprise she did not care about them. But eventually at the 3 month marker, I was made aware of other red flags of mine that I was oblivious to and things ended.

So I actually preferred the list of what was wrong or my "red flags" from an outside perspective. If I do not know what's wrong then how can I fix it? Also, I might be in a small percentage of people; but I was never in a relationship before this one and I am 31 (whoops another red flag). So I believe a lot of my issues were due that fact, I just was naive and inexperienced in relationships. You mention that your Guy was in a 5 year relationship before you two start going out, so all of his "red flags" should have been non-existent, but I guess they were not since that relationship ended someone just toughed it out for 5 years.

Anyway, (sorry to go off on a tangent, I need to create my own post) drop the dude, do not give him any hope of a possible reunion in the future, cut ties, rock out, and get after "it" with someone who deserves you.
posted by SonicReducer22 at 8:48 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


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