Asked him not to sleep with other people, received bizarre response
October 29, 2015 6:58 PM   Subscribe

I asked the guy I've been seeing for a few months not to sleep with other people. He freaked out and refused to answer, but is now messaging me like everything is completely normal. How do I respond?

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for advice on how to respond to the guy I've been seeing for the past few months. I want to keep it vague so he doesn't accidentally find my question somehow.

I've been seeing someone for a few months now, and although I wasn't sure I was ready for the boyfriend/girlfriend talk, I did want to have the Not Sleeping With Other People talk. Our first date had been a little iffy because he started talking about how his greatest fear was that he would get someone pregnant and wind up paying child support for a kid he didn't want. Ever since then he's been relatively sweet though, inviting me to hang out with his friends and being a gentleman generally. He occasionally didn't respond for 48 hours at a time, which isn't a deal breaker if someone is genuinely busy, but I got the feeling that he wasn't, especially since he's constantly on his phone when I see him. On the night in question we had gone out earlier and I ended up staying over at his place. As we were lying in bed I told him I didn't want him to sleep with other people. He immediately burst into laughter, which was not the response I expected. I asked him why he was laughing and he said that it was typical that a woman would ask him a question like that as he was falling asleep, and that women do this on purpose because this is when men are the most "vulnerable." I was of course shocked because I was expecting either an "OK" or "I haven't been" or some vague politician-y answer if he really wanted to avoid the question. I tried to figure out what he meant for a few minutes and I finally asked him if he was seriously not going to give me a direct answer. He said no because he wanted to keep "the power." I was obviously very offended that he didn't respect me enough to have a conversation with me and haven't talked to him since we parted ways a few mornings ago. This afternoon he sent me a message trying to make small talk and when he saw that I read it and didn't respond for an hour, he sent me another one.

Here's my question: how do I respond? My head says to be polite, communicate, and try to see where he's coming from. My gut says that if I try to have a serious conversation I'll be shut down again and that this guy shows signs of a Men's Rights Activist/Red Pill/Negging-type. Should I respond? If so, how?

Thanks for your input!
posted by Penguin48 to Human Relations (128 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
This guy has all the signs of being an utter ass. Run.
posted by delight at 7:01 PM on October 29, 2015 [221 favorites]


You should respond...by breaking up with him.
posted by teamnap at 7:02 PM on October 29, 2015 [106 favorites]


This guy is total MRA. You can do better.
posted by corb at 7:02 PM on October 29, 2015 [73 favorites]


Life's too short to waste time on men or women who play games.
posted by muddgirl at 7:03 PM on October 29, 2015 [26 favorites]


He sounds like a huge jerk, just move on. Don't respond he'll get the hint.
posted by zutalors! at 7:03 PM on October 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


Like seriously I can't say how hard dating this guy is likely to tear at your soul.
posted by corb at 7:04 PM on October 29, 2015 [78 favorites]


yeah this is going nowhere good. If you come back now, he's gotten the green light to keep "the power." Ugh.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:04 PM on October 29, 2015 [44 favorites]


"I don't want you to sleep with other people" is not a question. Is that actually what you said to him? Or did you ask him a question (whether he's been sleeping with anyone else?)?

Because if all you want is that he doesn't sleep with anyone else going forward, it's possible to request that without dwelling too much on whether he has been sleeping with other people. Based on his response, I'd say that it's quite likely that he has been. If that's an issue for you, then you need to have that kind of discussion earlier.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 7:04 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Either he's not up for a committed relationship just now, or he's flaky, or you're more comfortable with more contact than he can give - doesn't matter, it's not what you need.

As far as that particular timing of conversations like that, I think it can sometimes be a thing where that's when some women feel close and want to express intimacy and real feelings etc., and some men just feel good and like they want to sleep. (At least, the number of guys I've been with who are talkers around then is tiny.)

But that is only a footnote to my main point, which agrees with everyone's, which is that you *definitely* can do better than this.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:05 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


It sounds like you guys want different things. And he literally told you he wants to hold some power over you, which is not how relationships work. I think you should cut and run.
posted by pwally at 7:05 PM on October 29, 2015 [32 favorites]


Also, I agree with everyone else that this guy sounds like a jerk. What's your gut telling you to do? If you want to break up with him, probably better to get it out of the way sooner rather than later.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 7:05 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tell him to take his power and shove it up his arse. There is really nothing left to say. He has read the books and has drunk the koolaid. Run away.
posted by the webmistress at 7:06 PM on October 29, 2015 [88 favorites]


He said no because he wanted to keep "the power."

I can't believe I missed this. That is an Amy Schumer sketch, not a relationship.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:11 PM on October 29, 2015 [122 favorites]


At a little more length - I do think you should respond - you should respond in-person (not by text) and say something along the lines of "I don't think we have the same vision of the future of this relationship, so please don't contact me again. Have a good life!"
posted by muddgirl at 7:11 PM on October 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


PLEASE just straight up ice him out, do not respond. Make him feel the consequences of his deep assiness. Do not dignify his bullshit.

You are a woman. You have standards and self-respect. Treat him like a stranger you met socially who made an embarrassing gaffe, and you gave him a look of mildly disgusted pity and then turned back to the party.
posted by easter queen at 7:11 PM on October 29, 2015 [106 favorites]


Or you know what? Maybe go ahead and say that over text if you feel like this guy doesn't deserve any more of your time/attention.
posted by muddgirl at 7:12 PM on October 29, 2015


Or alternately, if you do respond, say "if by 'power' you mean 'STDs' then yes, by all means, keep them to yourself" and put him on block for the rest of your life.
posted by easter queen at 7:13 PM on October 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


It's not an Amy Schumer sketch; it's a potentially awful situation that will really hurt you in the end.

Like corb said above: Like seriously I can't say how hard dating this guy is likely to tear at your soul.

The worst part about the way he did this is that he actually has a point. It is best not to bring important stuff up right when someone is falling asleep. But that's where his point ends. The way he went about making was so, so, so, so not ok. The words he used and the way he spoke to you sets off a dog whistle. I know men like this. I've known men like this intimately. I really wish I had walked away at the first sign of this kind of terrible treatment.

Take care and best wishes to you.
posted by sockermom at 7:17 PM on October 29, 2015 [35 favorites]


He wants to keep "the power" inherent in not giving you an answer? How did you not just get up and leave, never to return his calls or texts ever again?

Here's the answer: dump him. And "keep your power" by doing it silently. Block his texts, auto-delete his emails.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:18 PM on October 29, 2015 [33 favorites]


Also, I do not mean that to say that you went about this wrong. It's OK that you brought it up while falling asleep. You didn't do anything wrong. You should not have to say everything at the right time in the perfect location using the best tone 100% of the time, and his dismissal of you - no matter what you said - is egregious.
posted by sockermom at 7:19 PM on October 29, 2015 [45 favorites]


To clarify my earlier response, you know that thing guys do where a woman says "hey, I'm interested in a commitment" and the guy suddenly fades real fast?

This is the time for the female equivalent of that. "Oh, you just demonstrated that you are utterly below my game and spending more time with you would be a terrible mistake. Goodbye, don't call me, I won't call you."

(No comment on whether it's appropriate when guys do it; I just think it's a shame that women don't think they can ghost when shit gets too fuckin real in a bad way.)

As for "OMG GIRLS ALWAYS DO THIS WHEN I'M TIRED," I am so sick of hearing that. Just because some men go from zero to zonked out the moment the clock strikes midnight (seriously, how do you do this, it's better than Ambien) doesn't mean that's, like, the right, rational way of things. If women enjoy the intimacy of being in bed at night and talking through unaddressed emotions before they fall asleep, that's not irrational or a character flaw, it's just an incompatibility. Not everything women do is always wrong and/or manipulative just because men don't like it.
posted by easter queen at 7:23 PM on October 29, 2015 [191 favorites]


I think it was smart of you to bring it up right then, actually. Sounds like you got a truthful and candid response. Anyway, keep your power, no need to respond to him.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:23 PM on October 29, 2015 [21 favorites]


Trust your gut here. You have the power to DTMFA and don't look back.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:25 PM on October 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


(I'm not blaming you for talking at that time, OP, at all - that was just a comment on patterns personally experienced/observed for a point of reference. I also didn't mean to come across as dismissive of your feelings or confusion. He's the joke. I've been confused by jokes like that. It's happened to most of us.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:28 PM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do you want to date someone who responds with laughter and dismissive stereotypes when you bring up an issue that matters deeply to you?

If you have trouble answering this question for yourself, think of your dearest friend. Would you want him or her to date such a person?
posted by chicainthecity at 7:29 PM on October 29, 2015 [33 favorites]


He immediately burst into laughter, which was not the response I expected. I asked him why he was laughing and he said that it was typical that a woman would ask him a question like that as he was falling asleep, and that women do this on purpose because this is when men are the most "vulnerable."

Ye gods, this dude sounds like an asshole. You deserve better. DTMFA.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:29 PM on October 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yes, sounds MRAish. +1 just ghost -- don't even bother with a break-up text; just block him.
posted by kmennie at 7:31 PM on October 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


He said no because he wanted to keep "the power."

If you let this guy get away with this now, do you honestly believe he'll never pull this bullshit again? What else might he do in order to 'keep the power' at the expense of your feelings? How long are you prepared to put up with that?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:33 PM on October 29, 2015 [16 favorites]


So there's a thread on the blue today about manipulative people. This guy is a big time manipulator. He's got you feeling like you've got to give him something or that you did something wrong when he's the one that wronged you. I'm so glad he showed you his true colors so early in the relationship, because you could have wasted years on some guy intent on manipulating you to keep all the power. He has given you a fantastic gift, which is a giant flashing neon sign saying "I am an asshole that will leave you feeling confused, hurt and powerless."
posted by stoneweaver at 7:33 PM on October 29, 2015 [25 favorites]


My head says to be polite, communicate, and try to see where he's coming from.

That's not your head, that's your training. Years of training that it's your responsibility to give people the benefit of the doubt when they're being total dicks. Except in this case there's actually no doubt and there's sure as hell no benefit. Lose this guy.
posted by escabeche at 7:34 PM on October 29, 2015 [168 favorites]


My only question is, did you immediately leap out of bed, put all your clothes on and go back to your place the very second he pulled that nonsense? Because you would have been justified. Block him, forget he ever existed, he's a dick, you owe him nothing.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:36 PM on October 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


These are the sorts of questions that should be treated with respect, generosity and kindness. Not dismissal and bullshit. Like others, I've had experience of this type of thing (lies over STD testing, amongst other things). I should have taken note of that and moved on, but I hung around for way way too long. On behalf of all of us who have been there, please do not hang around for more of this shit.

When a mature and kind and respectful partner comes along, you'll know because you'll feel validated and heard when you ask this sort of question regardless of when or how you ask. (And how do I know this, you might ask? Reader, I married him.)
posted by prettypretty at 7:37 PM on October 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


"and try to see where he's coming from."

He's coming from a place where he considers sexual exclusivity (which you are clearly seeking) a weakness, makes denigrating comments about emotional openness, and frames his relationship with you in terms of power instead of a partnership. He's bad news. Ignore him so hard.
posted by Paper rabies at 7:37 PM on October 29, 2015 [34 favorites]


Fantasy response-

Hey, the other night, when I asked you to not sleep with other people? It wasn't a power/jealousy thing. It's just that, well, my other lovers have been more energetic and, well, I thought maybe, if you were only concentrating on me, things might improve. I've thought things over, though, and I realize that this was silly of me. If you aren't giving me what I want then I should just keep looking. You are a great guy and I'm sure that someday you will find someone who will be more patient with you. Good luck!

Real response- You can keep your power. I don't want it anymore. Good bye.
posted by myselfasme at 7:39 PM on October 29, 2015 [35 favorites]


I asked him why he was laughing and he said that it was typical that a woman would ask him a question like that as he was falling asleep, and that women do this on purpose because this is when men are the most "vulnerable."

This "women always...women do this..." business is what jumped out at me. Do you want to date a man who thinks of you as one example of a category of identical, contemptible/dismissable people? Don't even bother DTMFA, just cut all contact.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:41 PM on October 29, 2015 [53 favorites]


Sounds like you were really honest and up-front about where you were and what you wanted. Good habits to have.

It's also a good habit to vaporize anyone who laughs at your honesty.
posted by Dashy at 7:41 PM on October 29, 2015 [20 favorites]


It took me over 40 years to realize that some men actually hate women (and vice versa, of course).
I think you found a bona-fide member of the woman haters club.
Run!
posted by ReluctantViking at 7:42 PM on October 29, 2015 [23 favorites]


How should you respond?

You don't.
posted by lunastellasol at 7:47 PM on October 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


I don't generally try to join pileons, but I will here in the hopes that it gets through: this is weird red-pill bs.

You need to find an adult, and if I can say so without being mean, you need to be an adult yourself. Get in a good place, then find someone else who's in a good place and wants to visit from their good place to your good place. I know that's easier said than done but it can be done, I promise, and you don't gotta settle. Best of luck.
posted by ftm at 7:55 PM on October 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I learned a great phrase in a group the other day.

"Women are conditioned to paint rainbows on their red flags".

That inkling that this is right. The one that brought you to ask it on this website is your true instinct that you don't deserve this guy. He's manipulating you into painting rainbows by feeling like you should give him a fair shot instead of seeing his response as a gigantic red flag.
posted by kanata at 7:55 PM on October 29, 2015 [72 favorites]


He said no because he wanted to keep "the power."

GIRL NO. My jaw was on the floor. This guy is a mess. A MESS. Sometimes when people are so fucked up they're acting, like someone said upthread, like an Amy Schumer skit, it does a number on our heads, we aren't prepared to actually encounter behavior like this in the real world and not in a comedy sketch, and it's so shocking that we want to be civil and decent in the hopes we were somehow mistaken and can bring the situation back to reality. Your head is hoping that if you are "polite, communicate, and try to see where he's coming from" you can somehow restore the social order and get him to act like a sane person. But in fact, no, he really did say and do that crazy shit and your gut is absolutely right when it's telling you to run.

My gut says that if I try to have a serious conversation I'll be shut down again and that this guy shows signs of a Men's Rights Activist/Red Pill/Negging-type.

Your instincts are 100% correct. Please listen to yourself and never contact this man again.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 8:09 PM on October 29, 2015 [43 favorites]


Trust your gut. That's some misogynistic bullshit.
posted by Area Man at 8:25 PM on October 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


This guy is a dick. Ghost that motherfucker. (GTMFA?)
posted by Countess Sandwich at 8:29 PM on October 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


He said no because he wanted to keep "the power."

throw this halfwit garbage manbaby right into the fucking trash where he belongs. you don't even need to tell him why, just ignore/block his txts and get on with your life.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:31 PM on October 29, 2015 [51 favorites]


manosphere dudes are dangerous. they pass around rape manuals and have more and more been suggesting to each other that they should "record consent" so they're not "falsely" accused of rape. this guy is using their reasoning and language. he's not just an asshole. you need to stay away from him.
posted by nadawi at 8:35 PM on October 29, 2015 [26 favorites]


To give a less immediate rage response: I've dated, long ago, guys that did the "women do this, women are like this" crap. Even when they said "but not you! I'm just talking about those other women!" They always, always, always, wound up proving they had deep seated misogyny in the end. They always resorted to that well of vicious, hateful stereotypes when the chips were down.

That this guy's greatest fear is a woman accidentally becoming pregnant and he'd have to pay child support tells you what kind of guy he is - a guy who thinks women are out to somehow trick or trap him, that they are a nameless other that he can't empathize with or understand.

I know how rough it is dating out there. But please don't settle for someone toxic like this.
posted by corb at 8:47 PM on October 29, 2015 [54 favorites]


Are you young? You sound young.

There are guys out there who are much, much better fits for what you're looking for.
posted by rokusan at 8:51 PM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Please stay away from this guy for your own sanity.

My head says to be polite, communicate, and try to see where he's coming from. My gut says that if I try to have a serious conversation I'll be shut down again and that this guy shows signs of a Men's Rights Activist/Red Pill/Negging-type. Should I respond? If so, how?

Your gut is brilliant. Listen to it.

Like someone said upthread, it's your social conditioning that's telling you that you should respond to his hurtful, disrespectful behavior with politeness and compassion. Your instincts and logic are telling you that this man is too hateful and untrustworthy to speak to seriously. Listen to your own heart and brain, not your social conditioning. Social conditioning isn't your friend. It's not looking out for you. So you've got to look out for you.

Honestly, I would ghost him. Why waste any more of your time or attention on someone who can't even be bothered to be nice to you during pillow talk ffs? And if you try to talk through any kind of conflict with him, he sounds like the kind of person who'd be liable to escalate things and turn really mean. Please don't risk exposing yourself to that.
posted by rue72 at 9:14 PM on October 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


Penguin48: "He said no because he wanted to keep "the power.""

DUMP, rapidly and with prejudice. Like, sticking a permanent post-it note on his forehead to warn the rest of huwomanity would be awesome and helpful for the rest of us.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:29 PM on October 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


I used to read a lot of animal training books. One of them commented that we also teach people how to treat us by what we do or don't reinforce. Walk away.
posted by BoscosMom at 9:31 PM on October 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


I came back because I felt like my initial response to your question was too knee jerky.

But this: " I tried to figure out what he meant for a few minutes and I finally asked him if he was seriously not going to give me a direct answer. He said no because he wanted to keep "the power."

This guy does not respect you. He perceives your relationship as a power play. He explicitly wants to dominate you.

My head says to be polite, communicate, and try to see where he's coming from.

He clearly doesn't give a good goddamn about your feelings or what you want. Who cares why?

Here's my question: how do I respond?

Don't. Any further contact with him has no positive outcomes for you. Once you tell him you're done with him, he may try and try to manipulate you further, or hurl (more) disrespect and abuse at you.

Whereas, if you just block him, that's it, game over.

Block, forget, and find a guy who actually cares enough about you.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:38 PM on October 29, 2015 [13 favorites]


He said no because he wanted to keep "the power."

Thank you, Metafilter, for being as harsh on this absolute douche-sack as was warranted.

To re-iterate. RUN, do not walk, to the nearest, LITERALLY ANYTHING that is not this guy.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:46 PM on October 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


I have a lot of social conditioning myself that I have to frequently overcome, and even *I* think you should ghost him immediately. And I've never ghosted anyone in my life. Dude doesn't deserve even one sentence in a text from you.
posted by clone boulevard at 9:48 PM on October 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Your head is hoping that if you are "polite, communicate, and try to see where he's coming from" you can somehow restore the social order and get him to act like a sane person. But in fact, no, he really did say and do that crazy shit and your gut is absolutely right when it's telling you to run.

Yep. Here's the thing: there's nothing to figure out. He really is that bad.
posted by jessca84 at 9:59 PM on October 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


He immediately burst into laughter, which was not the response I expected. I asked him why he was laughing and he said that it was typical that a woman would ask him a question like that as he was falling asleep, and that women do this on purpose because this is when men are the most "vulnerable."

What? Why are you putting up with this garbage?

Dump this asshole so hard he bounces.
posted by Sara C. at 10:17 PM on October 29, 2015 [16 favorites]


Fantasy response: Remember that convo we had about you wanting all the power? Guess you shouldn't have gotten me pregnant. So, Daddy, look who has all the power now!
Actual response: Nothing. This guy is an utter, utter asshole and not worth a single breath. Block him and never think of him again.
posted by Jubey at 10:17 PM on October 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yup, please don't spend one more thought or one more keystroke's worth of time on this spectacular turd. He doesn't deserve even a 'fuck you'. Let him rot.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 10:35 PM on October 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


You may never get a better chance in your life to let somebody deservedly twist in the wind, awkwardly making forced-casual small talk in an attempt to elicit a response that will never come, and I hope you take it, because mother of god what a jackass.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:55 PM on October 29, 2015 [56 favorites]


Ha ha ha ha nope, never respond, never see him again, treat him like he's full of bees (avoid.) If I absolutely felt compelled to send him a message it would say "thanks for revealing how awful you are to me before I was invested. don't contact me again."
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 11:03 PM on October 29, 2015 [17 favorites]


Let me tell you how this ends if you go with your head instead of your gut. In three months you'll be staring at him, jaw agape, wondering whether to laugh at how childish his worldview is, or to run (physically, out of the room) because the terrifying glazed over look in his eyes during his diatribe about Women And Power.

A few years ago I tried to date a guy like this. The inimitable emptythought called him a "human shit toilet" in the heat of warning me away from him. I took a bit of offense at the time, but guess what his Seinfeld name is in my friend-group now?
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 11:49 PM on October 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


He said no because he wanted to keep "the power."

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
posted by flabdablet at 11:56 PM on October 29, 2015 [29 favorites]


Maybe you could 'lol. just no' back.

But really. Delete. Block. What a fuckstick.
posted by honey-barbara at 12:03 AM on October 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Also, in re the "women talk about intense stuff right when men want to go to sleep." Someone who really likes you and wants to be with you will talk about things with you regardless of setting. Maybe if they are literally in the act of drifting off, they will say, "Baby, I'm way too tired for serious business right now, but let's talk about it in the morning." And then they will actually be game to talk about it in the morning.

I know this is a thing Mefites say a lot in relationship questions, but I'm finding it to be true. Stuff like this isn't supposed to be so hard. In a good relationship, you will either already be on the same page about a lot of the big stuff, or it will be easy to talk about because you trust each other and are on the same team.
posted by Sara C. at 12:11 AM on October 30, 2015 [23 favorites]


He's an asshole, so other women have dumped him, so now he hates women.

Do not take this guy on as a fixer-upper. I can think of about five million hobbies that would be more productive and enjoyable.

MANY of us have invested time in men like this, sadly they are legion. Happily there are even more good ones who won't make you feel like this.
posted by superfish at 12:16 AM on October 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I only read the first half of the answers but I'm pretty sure no one's telling you to try again with him. In case you need it, I'm +1 for GTMFA.

You never need to settle for this kind of guy. Here is a virtual hug. Now I'm looking you in the eye, he's not good enough for you.
posted by stellathon at 12:35 AM on October 30, 2015


The fact that he laughed at your attempt to communicate about your relationship tells you everything you need to know.
posted by John Cohen at 12:47 AM on October 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


Our first date had been a little iffy because he started talking about how his greatest fear was that he would get someone pregnant and wind up paying child support for a kid he didn't want

I would have noped out of there so hard, and in fact this is the point in the question at which I called over my husband to read over my shoulder, saying, "Oh man, get a load of this utter turdbucket that someone is posting about on Metafilter!"

Fortunately this man gives the gift of knowledge as often as he breathes. He has now two times opened his mouth and gifted you with it! Your gut knows it, too - she is very smart.

There has never been a better response to his text than this.
posted by chainsofreedom at 3:34 AM on October 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


I tried to figure out what he meant for a few minutes and I finally asked him if he was seriously not going to give me a direct answer.

I don't think it's been pointed out that you are awesome for doing this. You sniffed out some bullshit on the spot and called him out on it. It's not easy to immediately recognize when someone's trying to fuck with you, much less figure out the right response, and you handled it so well.

I bet it's also "typical" for women to drop him as soon as they get a glimpse of his true colors, and I bet "the power" is actually an old tube sock next to his computer. At least he was honest enough to straight up say he had no intention of respecting you instead of getting super manipulative about it? Whatever. Your gut is right, just as it was that night: you won't be able to lead him to a reasonable perspective on this, and silence is the best response.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:41 AM on October 30, 2015 [49 favorites]


It would warm my heart to think that you used that nope gif as a response to him! You sound like a really decent and sensible person, and you really don't need to put up with crap like that. There are decent, sensible guys out there that will be a much better match for you.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:21 AM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


To respond to kinddieserzeit's question, I did not ask him a question, I told him "I don't want you to sleep with other people" and quite honestly expected a one-word affirmative response before falling asleep. I definitely don't regret bringing up the topic when I did, because I don't think his response would have been as genuine if I had asked at another time of day.

It seems like the consensus is to nope out and ghost. Got it. Thanks everyone for your support!
posted by Penguin48 at 4:23 AM on October 30, 2015 [77 favorites]


I think it can be really difficult as women to get out from under our social conditioning which tells us that we have to be nice and forgiving and patient with everyone--that the absolute worst thing we can do is to stand up for ourselves in a way that makes someone else uncomfortable. Which is why it's sort of amazing and incredible and marvelous to me that despite all of that, we still have deeper instincts that no amount of sexist bullshit can erase, and sometimes those instincts stubbornly keep repeating: "I don't care. Something about this situation is really wrong."

Personally, my life got a lot better after I decided to start listening to my own instincts and taking them seriously, because they very rarely steer me wrong. In comparison, listening to my own rationalizations about how I was probably overreacting and how I should probably just loosen up or calm down have gotten me into a number of unpleasant situations. I think you should listen to your own instincts here too.
posted by colfax at 4:27 AM on October 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Sounds like he's not that into you. However, if you want to stay together, you've got to do a lot of work on your end.

Be okay with not a lot of contact; 48 hours between texts or emails would be too much for me. However, some people are made of sterner stuff.

Don't tell your nearest and dearest about all the crappy things he does or has done. Chances are, they probably already dislike him. If you want to keep dating him, only tell them the good stuff and don't complain.

Develop a rich rich rich alternative life so that you don't depend on him for your happiness.

At least he's not a total sociopath who would lie to your face and tell you, "Of course I'm not sleeping with anyone else, sweetie!! Why do you ask?!" and then sleeps with other people.

I have the feeling he'll start acting more and more like a heel and you'll get more and more resentful until you "break up" with him--even though you're not good enough, in his eyes, to be his girlfriend. Then, he'll pursue you to get you back. You'll sleep with him and the he'll be a dick again, ad nauseum until you find another guy who actually treats you nice.

I speak from experience, unfortunately.....:(
posted by Piedmont_Americana at 4:32 AM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


There are so many red flags here that it is hard to know where to start. It sounds like you have heard the consensus advice loud and clear, which is wonderful and I hope your next dating experience provides the respect and trust that you deserve.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:12 AM on October 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you were able to be sure you could handle it, I wouldn't block him at all.

I would watch his pathetic and angry attempts to assert power come rolling in. Bc one thing he won't like is you ghosting.

And those attempts would be the best reminder to never ever ever put up with that kind of bullshit for even a second.

Good on you for seeing what a dipshit he is.
posted by sio42 at 6:05 AM on October 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Whatever you do when you can't be bothered to say "lol nope," do that. To him, forever.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:05 AM on October 30, 2015


Firstly, he's a twat. That said, you didn't ask him if you could discuss monogamy but instead told him that you didn't want him to see other people. Someone who is very conscious of power and is sensitive to feeling controlled will take that as 'aggressively being told what to do' - as if you have made the decision for him. I would be affronted by it too. It doesn't sound like the start of a discussion but the end of a decision. 'What do you think about us being monogamous now?' or 'I would like for US to be monogamous' would garner a different response and would begin a conversation.

It is better for you to not be in a relationship with someone who has control issues, especially someone who says that he wants to hold the power (again I don't think he'd have said that if you'd asked him rather than told him - he felt you were taking power from him and that you were conscious of doing this). You shouldn't have to walk on eggshells around people you're intimate with, though.

Someone who is on the red pill or like minded is not interested intimacy with anyone, starting with themselves. They are 'in hiding'. You can't have a relationship with someone like that. The pregnancy fear he has should tell you everything. He is frightened of the responsibility of intimacy. I disagree with the person who says 'he's just not that into you'. He is calculating and pacing the relationship, keeping you at a distance to maintain in control of his emotions. You not responding to him for an hour must have sent his anxiety through the roof. Nobody will be able to have a relationship with this man until he either gets therapy for what appears to be attachment anxiety or develops self respect and he is not going to do either. Until then your relationship will always be a game either he controls by keeping you at a distance or you control by keeping him at a distance. He does not want intimacy. With anyone. Just remember that.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 6:42 AM on October 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


My gut says that if I try to have a serious conversation I'll be shut down again and that this guy shows signs of a Men's Rights Activist/Red Pill/Negging-type.

Another vote for get the hell out of there, and this gut instinct you have is probably very accurate. Red Pill garbage is more common than I ever thought, and it can manifest in nasty ways all the way up to physical violence.

The only thing I disagree with in the advice above is to maybe not ghost--explain (via text) in clear language that you won't tolerate this fuckery, then ghost. Misguided/douchey people will continue to do douchey things until they're told not to. It could be that he genuinely has no idea how he comes across, or it could be that he's getting cues from other Red Pillers in order to be a TOP ALPHA MAN. Either way, your quality of life shouldn't suffer because of it. Peace out and say "try to be a better person, mmkay?"
posted by witchen at 6:48 AM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


As I read this my mind immediately says "Fuck THAT shit" but then I also have been in this situation as a heterosexual woman and that good ol' social conditioning would also make me feel inclined to not trust my gut and my immediate feelings and give him the benefit of the doubt/open the floor for more dialogue (wherein he could probably convince me that things should stay the way they are BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT IS BEST even if it isn't FOR ME). So as someone who has experienced the mixed-emotions you are probably feeling that are clouding your objectivity, end it. If you want to be amicable, be amicable, but also be honest with yourself and realize that your feelings and subsequent actions are valid.
posted by Young Kullervo at 7:32 AM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Glad to hear that you've listened to your gut feeling and abandoned ship - he sounds like all around bad news from the totally inappropriate-for-a-first-date admission of his first fear, to not addressing your concern about him sleeping with other people, then when he had time to think about it, comes back with his response of "holding on to power", and the biggest good news is that he was too immersed in his power fantasy to be aware that showed you how bad-news he was the first few dates in.

At my age and in a situation where I am looking for a long-term relationship, I hope I will take your example and listen to my instincts if I find myself in a similar situation as yours (rather than deny them at the risk of rejection / staying single)...
posted by Tsukushi at 7:45 AM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think the only scenario where it would be okay for a guy to laugh after being asked to not sleep with other people is if he immediately followed it up with "of course I'm not gonna sleep with other people, I really like you and where this is going."
posted by adamp88 at 7:48 AM on October 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Don't treat this guy like he's full of bees. The world would be a worse place without bees. That's one of the differences between them and MRAs.

Among the hobbies that would be more enjoyable than trying to reform this guy are hitting yourself repeatedly in the face with a mallet.
posted by Anne Neville at 7:57 AM on October 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


he said that it was typical that a woman would ask him a question like that as he was falling asleep, and that women do this on purpose because this is when men are the most "vulnerable."

He said no because he wanted to keep "the power."

Ugh. Keep your power by refusing this asshole access to any part of your life, forthwith.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:32 AM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't respond - delete his number.

However: Next time you're dating someone, you might want to give more thought to the "sexual exclusivity conversation" and actually frame it as a conversation between adults, rather than a demand ("don't sleep with other people") spoken to someone who is falling asleep.

For example, you can ask, over wine:

"Hey, I'd like to talk about being sexually exclusive. What do you think?"

or

"I really like how things are going, but I'd be more comfortable if we were only sleeping with each other. How do you feel?"


This should also probably be combined with a convo about sexual health, STDs and the like.

So.. yes, dump this asshat (seriously, there's no chance of this working out) but take this as an opportunity to think through how you want to broach sexual exclusivity the next time around.
posted by Gray Skies at 8:33 AM on October 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't see anything wrong with starting a conversation with "I don't want you to sleep with other people anymore." There's absolutely no reason for a woman to tiptoe around her emotional and physical needs or to coddle the men they are in a relationship with by pretending that monogamy (or polyamory) is just an option and that they'd be OK either way. If a guy wants to keep sleeping around, he can say so, and let the relationship end.
posted by muddgirl at 8:36 AM on October 30, 2015 [56 favorites]


I agree with Gray Skies, and for me it has nothing to do with gender--the way to approach these conversations is collaboratively.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:52 AM on October 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Of course, if we want to go down the "what is appropriate" in terms of approaching the topic of monogamy in a conversation, the mature way to respond to a statement that you feel is somehow overly demanding or controlling is not to laugh in the other person's face but to discuss one's honest feelings, such as "I'll be happy to discuss monogamy with you, but please understand that I don't feel comfortable with statements that make me feel as though I am being controlled." So yeah. If I had to wager he'd respond negatively and rudely either way.
posted by Young Kullervo at 8:58 AM on October 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm with muddgirl. It's OK to talk about your wants, whatever they are. It's on him to respond with what he feels about your wants. Don't feel like monogamy is something you have to compromise on if it's something that's important to you.
posted by corb at 9:05 AM on October 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


To be clear, this isn't about what's "appropriate". It's about effective communication between adults of any gender. I'm not implying that the OP was wrong to say what she wanted.. but telling someone "I don't want you to sleep with other people" is not the same as saying "I do not want to sleep with other people and would like for us to be sexually exclusive." The former is a one-sided statement that doesn't even clearly specify that she will also be sexually exclusive. The latter is a more effective opening to a conversation. From the looks of it, he's an asshole, so it doesn't really matter much what she said or how she said it in this particular case.

Oh and another thing, OP: The fact that he laughed at your statement is not at all a reflection on you. I understand your being offended, but please know that his asshole behavior is about him and his inner asshole, not about you and your value. He's a jerk. You got the info you needed. Delete his number.
posted by Gray Skies at 9:07 AM on October 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


There's no right way or wrong way to start a conversation that will turn a jerk into a considerate person, or cause a considerate person to start acting like an MRA.
posted by muddgirl at 9:12 AM on October 30, 2015 [32 favorites]


Also, it seems to me like "I don't want you to sleep with other people" was very effective communication in this case. I certainly think the dude got the intended message - he just didn't like that he couldn't keep stringing the OP along.
posted by muddgirl at 9:14 AM on October 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


The whole keeping the power thing reeks of "Red Pill/MRA" behavior. It's all about keeping multiple "plates" spinning, (their description of having multiple women on the go) & not settling for just one unless it's one you can control by withdrawing affection to punish them, then acting normally (ie emotionally abusing them to get them to behave how you want). He is currently "maintaining frame" by acting like nothing happened & that any problems are yours not his.

How you proceed is up to you? I would run for the hills counting my lucky stars I found out what a jerk he was before I commited to anything, have a night out drinking with friends to commiserate/celebrate, then delete his number & move on.
posted by wwax at 9:15 AM on October 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well and that is true, Gray Skies, I see your point. Effective communication in a relationship always involves "we" language rather than "I" language. That's something we all learn over time, maybe, or if we take an interpersonal communication class. It certainly can dramatically change the trajectory and the outcome of a discussion, however, I have a feeling he would have responded similarly. But what do I know. I don't honestly think the dynamic between the OP and her beau would even allow for the introduction of "we" language based on what I've read.
posted by Young Kullervo at 9:17 AM on October 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


This afternoon he sent me a message trying to make small talk and when he saw that I read it and didn't respond for an hour, he sent me another one.

Just want to point out that he has most likely waited the exact amount of time whatever MRA guru he worships told him to wait before contacting you-- the urge you felt to "be polite and communicate" in response was precisely what he was counting on. It's all rigged, all part of his stupid plan to have "power" over you.

Good on you for not playing into it. LOL. What a silly person.
posted by kapers at 9:18 AM on October 30, 2015 [27 favorites]


When he says women, he is saying you are one of many, and likely there are men too. His comment actually means, "You have no idea." He may be tremendously fluent in the physical language of intimacy, because he is in a constant state of flow, you are just one stone in the stream bed. He has the right to be who he is, and you may be enchanted by him. You have the right to vanish into your life and keep safe. See a physician get checked for everything. Take a break, and don't torment yourself for basically, a wind that came up. He has no investment in intimacy, no capacity for it, sex is just something he does, like eating, or pooping.
posted by Oyéah at 9:21 AM on October 30, 2015


Okay, "I want us to be exclusive" is a better way to phrase it than "I don't want you to sleep with other people." That does not change the fact that his reaction was a gigantic redpill flag, and using the "right" words would not have gotten a different response.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:26 AM on October 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


No, you weren't being too demanding, OP. You said and did nothing wrong here at all. Quoting sockermom and easter queen for truth:

"It's OK that you brought it up while falling asleep. You didn't do anything wrong. You should not have to say everything at the right time in the perfect location using the best tone 100% of the time, and his dismissal of you - no matter what you said - is egregious."

"Not everything women do is always wrong and/or manipulative [or "demanding"] just because men don't like it."

posted by hush at 9:30 AM on October 30, 2015 [37 favorites]


Point and laugh, then walk away.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:35 AM on October 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think you guys want different things. I do think late at night as you are falling asleep is not the best time to bring it up. You are unlikely to get a thoughtful answer at that point.

So if you are ok with non-monogamy, continue. If you are not, break up.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:19 AM on October 30, 2015


So if you are ok with non-monogamy, continue.

Do not continue, even if you are ok with non-monogamy. The issue is not that he doesn't want to be monogamous, it's that he's a misogynous ass who sees women as a class of Others who who prey on men rather than individual human beings. Being ok with non-monogamy won't change that.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:24 AM on October 30, 2015 [59 favorites]


Ironmouth does make a good point by implying that this dude probably doesn't intend to be monogamous, nor honest about it, in addition to the many other examples of jackassery the OP described.

For the record, count me among those saying you should drop this loser like a bad habit.
posted by Gelatin at 10:36 AM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


telling someone "I don't want you to sleep with other people" is not the same as saying "I do not want to sleep with other people and would like for us to be sexually exclusive." The former is a one-sided statement that doesn't even clearly specify that she will also be sexually exclusive.

I'm sure you probably didn't make the comment with this intent, but I think this is a FANTASTIC example of the way guys like this think. See, he's so used to having "the power" and being in control that he probably assumes any request not couched in the sweet, wheedling tones women are always told we have to use with men is in fact an effort to control him, manipulate him, ruin his life, blah blah whiny jerk nonsense blah.

OP, definitely let this fool twist in the wind. He doesn't even deserve the courtesy of any sort of contact from you.
posted by palomar at 11:11 AM on October 30, 2015 [30 favorites]


So if you are ok with non-monogamy, continue

No. No. No. I know the OP already got the message, but future women out there: even if you are ok with non-monogamy, that doesn't mean you have to put up with awful, controlling douchebags!

This is NOT EVEN about monogamy.

I do think late at night as you are falling asleep is not the best time to bring it up. You are unlikely to get a thoughtful answer at that point.

She actually did get quite a good answer, even though he was "vulnerable" and being "manipulated." In fact, she got the most informative possible answer. Good job, OP.
posted by easter queen at 11:17 AM on October 30, 2015 [31 favorites]


There was no "thoughtful answer" that was going to come out of this dude at any time of day, and I begin to suspect when men like this say "ask me in the morning!!!! When I'm awake as fuck!" they just want their wits about them to be able to hedge appropriately. "How dare you ask me an honest, straightforward question at NIGHT, when I'm VULNERABLE, and can't make up good enough lies or half-truths!"
posted by easter queen at 11:20 AM on October 30, 2015 [33 favorites]


This guy sounds gross and terrible. It would be one thing if he said "I'm not ready for that type of relationship yet" and you guys had a real conversation about where you both are and what you want out of the relationship, and ultimately decided if those things were compatible or not. His response is NOT that. Run!
posted by rainbowbrite at 11:33 AM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's more to this than the "power," the guffaws, and the monogamy issue. He made a blanket statement that women (including you) typically manipulate men in a particular way. He doesn't view you as an individual and doesn't trust you. There's no way to have an equal relationship with him.
posted by wryly at 12:34 PM on October 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


[T]his guy shows signs of a Men's Rights Activist/Red Pill/Negging-type.

As a Life Coach, I used to specialize in working with these type of guys who were looking to break out of that lifestyle and belief system, and yes, I feel that your gut is absolutely correct and you should run like the wind, as Christopher Cross says.

There is an actual gentleman in there somewhere, but right now it's covered in a bunch of PUA nonsense, and it's best if they work on overcoming that handicap alone and single, as opposed to with someone in a relationship.

Repeat after me: "I deserve better" and then go out there and get it.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 12:55 PM on October 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


If ever the MetaFilter axiom to "believe what other people tell you about themselves" applied to a question, it's this one. The gut always knows.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:59 PM on October 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


This guy is being so blatant with his fuckery, he reminds me of what you always hear about spammers and the way they word their emails to repel 99% of their recipients so they can filter down to the 1% that might actually be drawn in by them.

This guy wants a woman who will tolerate his "women always deceive teh menz" and "I neeeeeed the powarrrrr" bullshit, and he's putting that right out there. Tolerate this crap and there will be more. Nthing that you deserve so much better.
posted by DingoMutt at 1:10 PM on October 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


So if you are ok with non-monogamy, continue.

This is not what healthy, negotiated non-monogamy looks like.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:23 PM on October 30, 2015 [26 favorites]


but telling someone "I don't want you to sleep with other people" is not the same as saying "I do not want to sleep with other people and would like for us to be sexually exclusive."

I actually think that women do not need to err more on the side of "Well, I'm going to be sexually exclusive, what do you think?" We are already way, way over on that side, and that (socialized) impulse to be non-demanding and shy about our needs is exactly what makes red pillish manipulation like this possible. A guy can be a dickhead and then turn around and act "nice" and we tell ourselves, "oh, he just felt threatened, men don't like to not be in control, it's just a par t of who he is, but he's multilayered, it's OK, I'll just not sleep with anyone else and wish and hope really hard that he reads my mind and comes around. I can't say what I want directly because it's too shrill and bitchy. I better just pray for my wish to come true. Next time I'll be more perfect and conciliatory. I hope he's not playing me, but there's no way to find out without being a shrew."

I mean, I know you're not saying that, of course. But I also think that "women saying exactly what they want in an assertive but non-pushy way" has been way overvilified as the "wrong" way of communicating when maybe there's nothing wrong with the speaker, per se. Maybe there's something wrong with telling women they should put up with people who respond to their personhood with hostility and power games. Maybe there's something wrong with telling women that they always want to talk about things at the wrong time and in the wrong way. Maybe there's something wrong with not telling women that instead of trying to be perfect communicators, they should respect themselves enough to move on and find someone who can handle normal human quirks and happenstance.
posted by easter queen at 5:39 PM on October 30, 2015 [42 favorites]


Wow, he sounds terrible. Break up.
posted by Toddles at 8:35 PM on October 30, 2015


Don't treat this guy like he's full of bees. The world would be a worse place without bees. That's one of the differences between them and MRAs.
posted by Anne Neville at 10:57 AM on October 30


Just an FYI, pretty sure gloriouslyincandescent is making reference to a legendary comment from the Captain Awkward blog, which compared abusive relationships to bad horror movies - The House of Evil Bees:

"Of course in this particular horror movie, the cabinets open and shut and the sinister voice says “LEAVE NOW MORTAL” and you’re like, sure, okay, I’m out of here, and then blood comes out of the windows and the house says “WAIT I WAS HAVING A BAD DAY” and you walk back in the house and it says “BECAUSE YOU’RE UGLY” and bees come out of the ceiling, and you leave again and the house is like “NOOOOOO WAS IT THE BEES? I FILLED THE BATHTUB WITH FLOWERS” and you get in the bathtub and the house is like “FLOWERS MADE OF DESPAIR HA HA HA.” Abusive relationships: they are this dumb (in retrospect).

I don’t think there is a language that expresses “I don’t like you” more clearly than the one abusers all seem to share, and yet, when it hits our ears, that “I don’t like you” somehow turns into “I can’t leave or they would be sad.” Even though they can’t seem to stand you, and have told you so, repeatedly. Because maybe we did something to make them not like us? And that somehow means we’re obligated to hang out with somebody who doesn’t like us? Until they like us again? Even though they seem to hate every fundamental part of our personality? And yet they don’t want us to leave, even though they hate us fundamentally? Because that makes sense, right, all the time I am hanging out with people that I hate, and feeling sad if they are not around to annoy me. No. The house wants you to leave. It is full of bees. If it didn’t want you to leave, it wouldn’t be full of bees. It would be full of you.
"
posted by oh yeah! at 6:05 AM on October 31, 2015 [22 favorites]


I'd be tempted to kick him where it hurts, in his own bullshit language. "You're not Beta enough for me to settle down with, but you're certainly not and never will be Alpha enough that I just want to fuck you. See ya, loser." Make popcorn: watch meltdown. Give him a good story to post on his loser message board.

I mean, eventually someone is going to have to get through to him that model is not actually how any of this works, but why should that be your job? He won't get it until he wants to anyway.
posted by ctmf at 10:19 AM on October 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


In fact, I'd distill that down into a shorter, meaner message. "Hey, that alpha act isn't working for you."
posted by ctmf at 1:03 PM on October 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


Between the stuff about being forced to pay child support, thinking all women play games when they communicate and his little bit about "keeping power," this guy sounds like your classic MRA/Red Pill-type. Which if you're not aware of what that is, means you should RUN far far away from this guy unless you enjoy being manipulated and treated like a child.

Do some Googling around about it and you'll see this guy is pretty much following a script right now.
posted by Kimmalah at 12:13 PM on November 1, 2015


I wasn’t planning to respond again, but a ton of people have commented on this since the last time I looked. Long message ahead.

In response, I wanted an honest answer from him and did put thought into how I asked. I wasn’t trying to give him a direct order but I did word my request that way for a reason. In a past “relationship” (for lack of a better word) I was in a similar situation and trying to initiate a relationship talk when the guy said, “How do you feel about being exclusive?” and I agreed. Later on, the reason he gave for breaking up with me was that he “was asking about the concept of exclusivity, not in terms of the two of us” when in actuality he was leaving me for his ex. Obviously very few people are that shitty, but I learned my lesson. I wanted to be clear and direct and not beat around the bush or leave my thoughts open to interpretation. So I purposefully told him exactly what I wanted, and didn’t use the word “exclusive” because I think that could also imply that I wanted to start calling him my boyfriend, which was something I wasn’t sure of yet.

And for others who said that the time to bring up the topic is not after sex, that was on purpose too. I didn’t want to bring it up beforehand because I thought I would get a more honest answer afterwards (plus I wanted to have sex with him), but I will admit I didn’t expect a long discussion about where our relationship was going and I didn’t think he would say anything other than “OK, I won’t sleep with other people” or maybe “If you want to have a talk about the relationship, let’s do it tomorrow so I don’t fall asleep in the middle of it.” After this, I’ll probably start having this conversation at a different time though.

The reason why I wrote this post was to get feedback on whether I should respond by (1) telling him exactly why I was upset in hopes that he wasn’t actually a total jerk / would be better in his next relationship, or (2) if I should give up and ghost because he wasn’t going to listen anyway and the possibility of him manipulate me into going back to him was too high. I ended up trying to ghost, but it didn’t work. The following morning (two mornings later) he sent me a few text messages offering to have the conversation that he refused to have in his “weakest most vulnerable presleep state” and said he got the sense that I was annoyed. I sent him a screenshot of someone on TRP who said the the exact same things he did, told him I wasn’t interested in having the conversation anymore and blocked him. After a bunch of calls from numbers I didn’t know and a few voicemails, I got an email from him saying that I instead of freaking out/overreacting (!) I should talk to him because he thought having the Define the Relationship conversations would be mutually beneficial, but there were things I didn’t know about him that he wanted to discuss when he wasn’t half-asleep. He also said he was there for me if I wanted to talk about my feelings (barf). I responded and explained that he had never apologized in the slightest and didn’t seem to comprehend why his original response to me was messed up, and if I went back to him now he would have the green light to keep treating me this way or worse, so regardless of my “feelings” I couldn’t go back. A small part of me still wonders if I made a mistake and misjudged him, but a larger part of me believes he’s good at manipulating me and wants me to doubt myself.

I think at this point if he somehow found this post he would be able to identify himself, which isn’t my intention. But honestly if he finds it, I hope he sees how many people agree that his answer was messed up and maybe he'll give up this PUA BS.
posted by Penguin48 at 6:11 PM on November 1, 2015 [25 favorites]


I sent him a screenshot of someone on TRP who said the the exact same things he did, told him I wasn’t interested in having the conversation anymore and blocked him.

Good for you, and well done.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:30 PM on November 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Since the entire point of an intimate relationship is mutual vulnerability, the simple fact that he's unwilling to discuss intimate stuff while in a vulnerable state speaks volumes.

I hope he sees how many people agree that his answer was messed up and maybe he'll give up this PUA BS.

Kind of depends on what he wants. If he's after the kind of intimacy that helps people mature and grow, he will need to work out that the PUA path is never going to get him there. But he might well be one of those sad cases willing to settle for never understanding the difference between sex and wanking.

Main thing is he's no longer your problem, which is excellent. You've done well.
posted by flabdablet at 3:24 AM on November 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


told him I wasn’t interested in having the conversation anymore and blocked him. After a bunch of calls from numbers I didn’t know and a few voicemails, I got an email from him saying that I instead of freaking out/overreacting

this right here shows how right you were. those right there are proto-stalker/violent boyfriend red flags. good on you for getting out. there was nothing wrong with how you told him what you wanted. weeding out guys like this is a feature, not a bug.
posted by nadawi at 6:59 AM on November 2, 2015 [11 favorites]


Argh, I am SO glad to hear you cut things off with this manipulative tool - people who are only willing to acknowledge your needs once they realize their hold on you is evaporating do not deserve your time or attention.

You did not misjudge him.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:21 AM on November 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


told him I wasn’t interested in having the conversation anymore and blocked him. After a bunch of calls from numbers I didn’t know and a few voicemails, I got an email from him

...which just goes to show you how much he respects your desire not to have a conversation with him. Don't wonder; you didn't make a mistake, and you didn't misjudge him. He's an ass, and you're well shut of him.
posted by Gelatin at 7:23 AM on November 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah, a mature adult is able to say "I can't have this conversation right now, but I do want to talk about this at [reasonable time from now]." He didn't do that, and not only did he not do that - he didn't bring it up the next time he texted; he just pretended that it had never happened. If he had done this - and not said to you, "oh, I think we should have this conversation now, even after you tried to force me into it when I was in a weak and most vulnerable position"...

Ugh, I just can't even with this guy. When people talk like this, it's because they see the world this way: he thinks that people try to force conversations with people when they are "vulnerable" because that's the kind of shit he himself would or does pull. That's why this was his immediate reaction. Because he's that kind of person. Nope-nope-nope.

After a bunch of calls from numbers I didn’t know and a few voicemails, I got an email from him saying that I instead of freaking out/overreacting (!) I should talk to him
You're not the one who freaked out or overreacted. He's the one who "freaked out," by calling you from a bunch of unknown numbers and emailing you after you said you didn't want to talk. That is not OK behavior on his part. He might be upset, he might think that this isn't fair, but that is not license to force you to have a conversation after you told him you were done.

It's really interesting, actually, that he has no problem literally harassing you as a method of trying to get you back in his grasp, but that your own statement of a need at a less than opportune time was, to him, worthy of derision and disregard. Fascinating double standard.

You're right about this guy; you've got a good head on your shoulders. Take care.
posted by sockermom at 9:23 AM on November 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Oh, one final thought:

whether I should respond by telling him exactly why I was upset in hopes that he wasn’t actually a total jerk / would be better in his next relationship.... if he finds [this post], I hope he sees how many people agree that his answer was messed up and maybe he'll give up this PUA BS.
Not your problem, not your concern, not your business (frankly). He is not worth the time you're taking to think about him. He can figure this out on his own. This is a hard thing to do, I know. I have an abusive ex and sometimes I am still kept up at night worrying about the woman that he's inflicting his abuse on now. But it's really, truly, not my problem. It's his. (And to a great extent, it's her problem, but I have given myself permission to not worry about her, because I am not responsible for a stranger's life. I have to take care of me; you have to take care of you.)

You are not responsible for fixing people or helping people learn how to be mature adults. That is not your job, that is not your role, and I know that we are socialized this way as women in this society to take on this role in an almost instinctual way, but you don't have to do this. You don't have to attempt to help people who have problems with maturity. That is not what you are here for.
posted by sockermom at 9:29 AM on November 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


If you do the polite, civil thing and explain why you are breaking up with him in person, or in any way, this will open the door for him to try to make you feel bad/wrong/guilty/crazy for feeling the way that you do.

This is just wasted time, which will leave you feeling bad, or worse, confused. He's already shown that he does not believe in the basic physics of decency. Just walk away, seriously, and thank him for letting you know all of this early. Give your gut a big hug, too. It's got your back!
posted by staggering termagant at 10:45 AM on November 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Way to go, Penguin!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:48 AM on November 2, 2015


I got so mad a 1/4-way through this thread that I jumped down to the end and wrote my comment, and missed the part where you excellently got this guy out of your life. Good for you! Don't waste a minute of your time ever ever ever talking to him again, period.

"told him I wasn’t interested in having the conversation anymore and blocked him. After a bunch of calls from numbers I didn’t know and a few voicemails, I got an email from him saying that I instead of freaking out/overreacting"

Yep, that is exactly what everyone here expected he'd do. What a hot mess he is.
posted by staggering termagant at 11:01 AM on November 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


God, I LOVE it when there's a follow up on these type of questions, and the OP comes through with flying colors.
Good on ya!
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 11:34 AM on November 2, 2015 [15 favorites]


Dude sat around like a posturing asshole until he realized he wasn't getting any more sex, then he threw a tantrum. Good riddance.
posted by Sara C. at 3:23 PM on November 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


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