It's not you, it's me - or maybe it is you? I'm not sure.
January 15, 2013 10:51 AM   Subscribe

It's been 2 months. You have a great first date with a guy from internet. Chemistry! Romance! Sexual Attraction! Best first date ever. But the female has undesirable qualities. After a few more dates the female confronts the male about his intentions. He then calls her back in a passionate telephone call and says he's willing to have a go. Sadly, he seems to not really be that into her. He then again a few weeks later reiterates his fondness for the female, despite hang ups and she's now rethinking her position.

I'm trying to work a situation in my head. A girl and a guy start dating and she is completely different from him in every way, which scares him greatly. To the point that he has to constantly question the validly of the relationship working out. She goes to great lengths to make things easier for him (she's a complication in his simple life) and is still met with criticism and judgement, while still having him tell her how amazing/wonderful/beautiful she is. He's also dropped the "L" word a few times.

So our female decides that this really isn't going anywhere and his hesitation and doubt is frustrating and somewhat insulting. She plans to cut it off. Do it quick and maybe maintain a small friendship. As she's getting the nerve (despite his flakiness, she does like the guy) he reiterates that he is absolutely mad about her and apologizes for the way he's been acting.

What is a girl to do - really? How does one break it off after that. Does she keep going and hope that the initial guy she dated is still in there amongst the self esteem issues, or does she end it, dust herself off and move on. If that is the case (and most likely is), how does she break the news, knowing what an incredibly sensitive guy he is - while avoiding herself getting pissy, because he has been kind of a dick.
posted by Danithegirl to Human Relations (28 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Too complicated. Move on, unless you're into that kind of push-me-pull-me excitement.
posted by Katine at 10:55 AM on January 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


If she's breaking up with him, his feelings/ sensitivity are not her problem and none of her bisiness. And breaking up is what she should do. "Listen. This isn't going to work", and NO attempt to remain friends, should do it.
posted by windykites at 10:55 AM on January 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


and is still met with criticism and judgement, while still having him tell her how amazing/wonderful/beautiful she is

...so in other words, he's a passive-aggressive manipulator? I think as long as she doesn't physically kick him in the testicles during her break-up speech, she's ethically ahead of the game.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 10:58 AM on January 15, 2013 [26 favorites]


Sounds like he has Love Addiction to me, which is very unhealthy. And the two of you are incompatible anyway. Just move on. (Oh, and getting pissy about your decisions--not someone you'd really want to be in a relationship with anyway.)
posted by ethidda at 10:58 AM on January 15, 2013


So she's going to great lengths to make things easier for him, and is met with criticism and judgement? I think she shouldn't bother with this guy anymore, because the relationship is one-sided.
Instead of worrying about how not to hurt the guy during the break-up, she should just make a swift, clean break and let the guy worry about his own feelings, since that's all he's been doing anyway.
posted by Brody's chum at 10:59 AM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm trying to work a situation in my head.

I.E. you're overthinking this. If you are the female in the story you related, you've already gone out of your way to accommodate Mr. Sensitive, while he's steadily insulted you. You've done enough.

Say "Hey, I've gone out of my way to try and accommodate you and you've been dickish throughout it all. I deserve better, so I'm going to end things now. Don't call contact me and take care of yourself."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:01 AM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah....this isn't going anywhere.

A guy on a dating site should be able to understand that the people he's meeting are into having a relationship, unless it's on hititnquitit.com.

Dude is a mess, and a manipulator. He's messing with your mind man!

Send him a text and delete him from your phone, email, facebook, etc.

You want to be with a guy who is head over heels for you and isn't afraid to show it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:01 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you want to take a nice, warm shower and the water keeps running alternatively uncomfortably cold and unnecessarily hot, that does not even out to a nice, warm shower and adjusting one's expectations to a temperamental water boiler is not the solution to the problem.
posted by griphus at 11:01 AM on January 15, 2013 [39 favorites]


....Let me just say first that I'm not clear who YOU are in this situation, so I'm going to rephrase everything in my own words, and lemme know if I got anything wrong, okay?

You had a boffo-fantastic first date with a guy and you both were head over heels. Except the guy then started to nitpick about things you did that he couldn't handle and you went along with it for a while. Then you got sick of it and he apologized and wooed you back. Then started with the criticism again and you got sick of it again, to the point that you thought about breaking up with him, only he's sensed that and is apologizing and trying to woo you back, even going so far as to saying that he loves you.

Is that about the shape of it?

If that's the case - think for a moment about this pattern of "he's critical until I try to leave and then he says he's sorry and begs me to come back and swears to reform but then I do and it starts over again". I don't know about you, but....that sounds uncomfortably close to the way that abusers behave.

Get the fuck out of there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:05 AM on January 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Don't break it off but tell him you are going to date other men since the relationship isn't ready for exclusive and committed status yet. Continue seeing him when you can and try to have a fabulous time. Given the short time period you have been seeing each other, dating around seems like a good idea anyway. When both of you are ready, there won't be any confusion. Don't commit yourself or project you are committed until he's not so indecisive . You owe it to yourself to continue looking for a guy who loves you exactly the way you are, full stop
posted by waving at 11:05 AM on January 15, 2013


td;wd (Too dramatic; wouldn't date)

Flag him and move on.

No one is worth that much trouble.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:08 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


she is completely different from him in every way, which scares him greatly.
...
his hesitation and doubt is frustrating


Scared by difference? Pah! A skittish fickle thing, this male is.

How does one break it off after that.

"I find you skittish and fickle. We will not be dating."
posted by Greg Nog at 11:11 AM on January 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


I think griphus' answer nails it. Having a relationship exist on two pole (super fantastic in love, you're awesome vs. standoffish and cold and critical) does not make it some how even out to an okay relationship. This isn't some sort of scale or balancing where what matters is things average out to "okay". You don't get to mix your black paint and white paint to get an even grey. This is mixing huge black rocks with huge white rocks. The good and the bad exist as separate occurances. They don't cancel each other out. The You live in the acutal moments, not in the average of all behaviours.

An exaggerated comparison of your situation would be for someone to one day be physically abusive and insulting, and the next day be proclaiming their love and showering with gifts. The good day does not make the bad days not exist or not matter. Yes, this is exaggerating your situation, and I'm not saying the way the guy has been behaving has been abusive. I'm just trying to reiterate why hot/cold behaviour isn't something you should be putting up with.


This is not worth it. Seriously. Both of you will not be happy in this relationship. Go find someone who is happy to be with you ALL the time, not half the time. And when you break it off, make sure it is clear you are firm in your decision and that it isn't negotiable. Don't let him draw you back in with empty promises.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:27 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sometimes it happens that a person makes a fantastic first impression and then, the more you get to know them, the less favorable that impression becomes.

A girl and a guy start dating and she is completely different from him in every way, which scares him greatly. To the point that he has to constantly question the validly of the relationship working out. She goes to great lengths to make things easier for him (she's a complication in his simple life) and is still met with criticism and judgement, while still having him tell her how amazing/wonderful/beautiful she is. He's also dropped the "L" word a few times.

Assuming you're the girl in this situation, the mistake you're making is the way you're talking about his motivations as though they're knowable facts the same way his actions are. They're not. If he's saying things like, "I'm scared by how different we are and my life is simple and you complicate it," there's no guarantee that's true, and even if it is, I doubt it's the whole truth.

What is a girl to do - really? How does one break it off after that.

Walk away. You don't owe him anything. If his dumb shit is a turnoff to you, you're not obligated to stick around.

Does she keep going and hope that the initial guy she dated is still in there amongst the self esteem issues

No, because: The guy is still there but so are whatever issues he has, and he's not going to magically stop having them in one big revelation. If you'd been together for years and he made a commitment to seek therapy to untangle whatever issues were making him act shitty, I'd say sure, but it's been two months and you don't owe him shit. Least of all do you owe him the time you'd spend sticking around in the vague hope that he might improve in some way.

or does she end it, dust herself off and move on.

Yes.

If that is the case (and most likely is), how does she break the news, knowing what an incredibly sensitive guy he is - while avoiding herself getting pissy, because he has been kind of a dick.

"Listen, I respect you so I'm going to be honest: Whatever it is, it is not there for me with this relationship. I understand that you feel differently but I've given it a chance and I just don't. I've given this a lot of thought and it's not something that my mind is going to change on. I think you're a great guy and would love to be friends, but I understand if you need some time and space before you're ready for that. I probably do too. Anyway, I'm sorry if this is disappointing or hurtful but, as I say, I've thought about it a lot and I am certain about it."

And that is that. Most importantly, don't let yourself get dragged into an argument about it, because he'll argue and he'll promise you the moon. Make your break and walk away.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:27 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


how old are these people? who drops the L word after 2 months?
posted by spicynuts at 11:29 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Excellent advice. Thank you all. :)
posted by Danithegirl at 11:35 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


But the female has undesirable qualities.

Everybody has undesirable qualities. Everybody. This isn't something you need to make up to your dates, like "I'm sorry about my [undesirable quality], so to make it up to you I'll let you insult me." It's just something you accept about yourself and everyone else. You're not perfect, neither is anyone you'll ever date. Sometimes your specific imperfections will be a deal-breaker for another person, but that doesn't mean you're broken.

This much waffling early in a relationship is bad news. You break things off by saying, "This isn't working for me. I'm breaking up with you." Give him a couple minutes to express that he's hurt/ask you why/whatever, and then respond compassionately but firmly: "I'm sorry that you're hurt, and I know you don't share my feelings about ending the relationship. I've given this a lot of thought and don't want to pursue this relationship further." And then end the conversation.

After two months, he deserves more than a text message, but not more than a simple explanation. You don't owe him any second or third chances. And he doesn't get to argue when you say, "I don't want this." (He might try to argue, certainly, but he shouldn't. It's rude.)
posted by Meg_Murry at 11:38 AM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Don't walk...Run.
posted by amycup at 11:48 AM on January 15, 2013


I've been the guy in this situation. I once dated a woman who had a moderate but very much present case of anorexia. And I was crazy about her! So I was constantly saying variations on "I think you're amazing but I don't know if I can handle that you barely ever eat" (but more tactful than that). So you know what she did? She broke up with me! And here's the thing: even though I was totally right that she should be, you know, eating food, she was totally right to break up with me. Because it's not a good idea to date someone who has reservations about you, and it's an even worse idea to date someone who has reservations about you that he keeps telling you about.
posted by Ragged Richard at 11:53 AM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


After two months, he deserves more than a text message

Eh. Not really. News of the breakup will be unwelcome regardless of the medium by which it is delivered.
posted by eustacescrubb at 11:55 AM on January 15, 2013


She . . . is still met with criticism and judgement

So she dumps him and goes back to the internet for someone who's not dramarama.
posted by mibo at 12:37 PM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


You got me at "constantly question the validly of the relationship working out". Nothing to see here.. no one should have someone else to question you and them working out. If you have to ask you can't afford it - if you have to question then its just not gonna work out.
posted by xicana63 at 12:59 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Girl should realize that if she gives him another chance and he fucks it up again, she might end up being very angry at herself for being mistaken. It's bad enough to have toxic people around; it's worse toxifying oneself for another. I mean, that's my experience.
posted by angrycat at 1:10 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


What undesirable qualities are you supposed to have?

If his life is simple, why doesn't he have enough slack to incorporate a complication? If he has the easier life, why do you have to go to great lengths, and why do you deserve criticism for doing so?

I don't know why you'd bother, but I guess he wants you to prove he's so amazing you'll jump through any number of hoops to keep his amazing self in your life.

If I were you, I'd yawn in his face and find someone else.
posted by tel3path at 1:21 PM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


who drops the L word after two months?

Everyone I've ever dated for two months or more. Hell, I asked my husband to marry me when I had known him for six weeks (he was planning to wait the conventional six months to ask, but he had decided on it weeks earlier).

This guy, however, sounds like Bad News. And I would encourage you to think about why you think it's okay (it's not okay) for him to criticize you and your "qualities", and why you think you should have to (you don't have to) "go to great lengths to make things easier for him".

Value yourself!
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:41 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Guys expressing mixed feelings are a waste of your time. Never sit on the fence with him and don't let him waste your time trying to decide. He can do that on his own time.

Go on more dates with other people.
posted by discopolo at 2:42 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ugh I think I just got done dating this asshole a couple months ago. He doesn't get better, just weirder, and one day you find out he was sleeping with EVERYONE IN THE WORLD behind your back. In between all the passionate phone calls of course.

ABORT.
posted by like_a_friend at 3:08 PM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


He just gets worse.

RUN
posted by jbenben at 7:22 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


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