Skip

What's wrong with my girlfriend?
November 15, 2007 8:38 AM   Subscribe

What's wrong with my girlfriend? I've recently become aware of what seems to be self-obsession and a nasty mean streak.

I've recently started dating a girl. A few things about her, though, are beginning to worry me.

1 - She takes lots of pictures of herself. She's a year or two younger than me (across the high school/college divide), so I chalked this up to whatever instinct it is that drives girls her age to take pictures of themselves and put them on Myspace and the like. The only problem is, she takes A LOT of pictures. When browsing through her camera I found at least a few hundred, taken recently. She makes collages out of these pictures, and has one on her dresser. Other people (relatives, friends) are sometimes in these pictures, but not usually.

2 - One of the ways in which I attempt to be playful with people is to sarcastically brag, pretend I don't like them, and play one-upmanship games. I was delighted she liked to play these games as well, but she always seems to take them one or more steps beyond where I'm comfortable - and sometimes I get the feeling that she's not being sarcastic. Whenever I stop playing or try to let her know this, she indirectly makes me feel like a baby or someone without a sense of humor.

3 - We traded "I love you"s for the first time last week, and ever since then, her behavior I explained in the previous example has gotten much worse. Until I cave in, acknowledge her superiority, and shower her with affection she'll keep saying more and more hurtful things. Afterwards, of course, it's all a big joke. This is the most worrisome point to me, as it has seemed to coincide directly with the "I Love You"s.

She's a very pretty girl and way out of my league, which is why I may be subconsciously taking the submissive role: I don't want to lose her.

So, what's wrong with her? Or is something wrong with me?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (74 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Or is something wrong with me?

Nothing is wrong with you, except that you're dating someone you don't like very much.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:41 AM on November 15, 2007 [31 favorites]


Two pieces of advice:

1. When people show you who they are, believe them.
2. You teach people how to treat you.

Don't care how pretty the girl is, don't get into the habit of diminishing who you are for another person.
posted by SoulOnIce at 8:47 AM on November 15, 2007 [27 favorites]


Nothing's wrong with either of you that getting older won't work out: she's still in high school and you're just in college. It's useless advice, but these are the personality traits that go with that age. You'll both, hopefully, change over time as you get more comfortable with yourselves and learn how to love another person without your love for them being about you.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:48 AM on November 15, 2007


What's wrong with my girlfriend? I've recently become aware of what seems to be self-obsession and a nasty mean streak.

You just answered your own question.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:48 AM on November 15, 2007


You are being pussy whipped.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:48 AM on November 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Until I cave in, acknowledge her superiority, and shower her with affection she'll keep saying more and more hurtful things.

The problem is that you're dating someone who isn't on the same maturity level as you. Stop dating her, relationships are supposed to fun.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:49 AM on November 15, 2007


She's a very pretty girl and way out of my league

You've known for a long time now that you need to break up with her. Just get it over with already.
posted by dead_ at 8:49 AM on November 15, 2007


(Either one of those two traits by itself would be a deal-breaker for me.)
posted by jason's_planet at 8:49 AM on November 15, 2007


Yeah, this isn't really healthy. And I hate to say it like this, but it probably isn't going to work out.

Here's the key sentence:
I don't want to lose her.

When that's the way you're coming at a relationship, you're not in a good position, and I'm not talking about submissive/dominant really. I'll speculate wildly and say you have self-confidence issues, and she is playing on these fears to feed whatever her needs are (very possibly the same issues).

You lack the confidence to say how you really feel, and you need to work on that before you try to save a messed-up relationship. She sounds immature and/or a jerk. Don't waste your time, find a nice girl in college who shares your interests.
posted by shinynewnick at 8:51 AM on November 15, 2007


I don't agree that she's 'out of your league'? She sounds unpleasant, and you don't. She'll probably get better with time. Or she might not.

You could ask yourself this question - apart from the fact that she's very pretty, why don't you want to lose her?
posted by altolinguistic at 8:51 AM on November 15, 2007


Agreed. DTMFA.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:51 AM on November 15, 2007


You also seem to be dating someone who doesn't like you very much. Or just doesn't think/care about other people's feelings in any concrete way, or figures that since she's "way out of your league" she doesn't have to care about yours. And maybe it's a perfectly good mix, as the sarcasm/dislike games you like to play aren't really a great way to foster respect anyway, but maybe you need a different kind of foil than this one.

I don't get why you're so concerned with losing her, from your brief description, but it doesn't sound like she's in a real solid place for a relationship, so the clock is probably ticking anyway. That's not necessarily anyone's fault or problem, it's just that relationships, especially in the early stages, are dependent on timing and maturity to a certain extent.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:51 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


She's a very pretty girl and way out of my league

Congratulations, you're dating the archetypal Hot But Crazy.

You can pray that she'll eventually grow out of her narcissistic and spiteful streak, but you're best off doing what better men have done in your situation: run. And watch out for the claws you didn't see on your way in.
posted by DaShiv at 8:51 AM on November 15, 2007 [5 favorites]


seconding TPS.

As long as you keep thinking girls are out of your league, the more often you're going to date self-obsessed-to-a-major-fault girls like this. She's looking for an accessory to beat up - kinda like a handbag that'll make her look good in public or she can at least put down to make herself feel awesome. Right now, you fit the 2nd part of that role perfectly.

If you want to stick around, think like a metal trashcan - take the licks, get dented, but the empty space between your hide won't take any licks because you're not paying attention. But if you actually do have emotions, time to say "seeya".

side note: the myspace pictures thing isn't the scary thing. lots of girls/women/men/boys/dogs/cats do this. it's the fact she makes collages of just herself that is kinda freaky. If you really want some fun, give her a mirror as a gift and see what happens.
posted by Stynxno at 8:53 AM on November 15, 2007


Sounds like you've hooked up with a girl that hasn't quite grown up and is treating you like a doormat. Dump her or distance yourself for awhile. Staying the course is going to lead to a chain reaction of self-esteem and contempt. You need to look out for yourself now.

I agree with all the above.
posted by chef_boyardee at 8:55 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


(self-esteem damage and contempt)
posted by chef_boyardee at 8:56 AM on November 15, 2007


What's wrong with my girlfriend?

She's a narcissist.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:56 AM on November 15, 2007


One of the ways in which I attempt to be playful with people is to sarcastically brag, pretend I don't like them, and play one-upmanship games.

While you don't sound all that mature yourself (watch this comment get deleted), you'll outgrow that. In my experience, crazy only gets worse with age and narcissism doubly so.
posted by JaredSeth at 8:58 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Greetings! Welcome to your relationship with The Attractive High School Female!

This is about normal for girls that age, especially attractive ones. Deal with the self-obsessed craziness or, for the love of God, get out and find someone in college. Attractive stable females exist. Just not so much in high school.
posted by schroedinger at 8:59 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Beauty is only skin deep.
posted by unixrat at 9:00 AM on November 15, 2007


If one or two years puts you across the HS/university divide, then you're plenty young. Why bother with someone you clearly don't really like? Unless you're at an all-men's university, your dating prospects in university are almost certainly better than they'll be at any other time of your life. Why waste your time with the someone you're not enjoying being with?

"She's a very pretty girl and way out of my league, which is why I may be subconsciously taking the submissive role: I don't want to lose her."

Lots of the above identified this, but this is definitely a problem. She's only "out of your league" because she's making you feel that way. People who, overtly or subtlety, make you feel like you're not good enough to be with them and they're somehow doing you a favour by slumming aren't good enough to be with you.

Lose the crazy and find another cutie who you actually enjoy being around. Even if she's less overtly attractive, you'll have much, much more fun.
posted by Nelsormensch at 9:00 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


One of the ways in which I attempt to be playful with people is to sarcastically brag, pretend I don't like them, and play one-upmanship games.

If you're looking to change the tone of your relationships in general, stop doing this. It's fun at first, but it's hard to know when you've crossed the line with someone (as you're finding out!), and once your feelings are hurt, you may find that you'll start saying mean things on purpose under the veneer of "I'm just joking LOL!" Once a joke is being told at someone's expense, it's not really that funny anymore.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:02 AM on November 15, 2007 [8 favorites]


I don't think taking pictures of yourself is such an awful thing. But then taking hundreds of pictures of just yourself and plastering them all over your room? Yeah, that's a bit much. As the others have duly noted, seems this girl's maturity level is a bit on the low side, even for her age.
posted by joshrholloway at 9:05 AM on November 15, 2007


You seem to have different maturity levels. You may like her physically, but I'm not sure that you like her as a person. Do you think you may be letting her attractiveness blind you?

She may mature in time. Or she may not. But it seems like her behavior hasn't changed, it's that you are actually becoming aware of it. Now is the time to decide whether or not you want the whole package. Everyone has a "price of admission": her seems to be having to put up with narcissim and mean streaks. Are you okay with putting up with her personality because she's so hot that you don't want to let her go? Is the ego boost of a hotter-than-you girlfriend worth being with someone who makes you feel bad?
posted by DrGirlfriend at 9:07 AM on November 15, 2007


I also wanted to say this:

You can do better! There are much more deserving women out there.
posted by chef_boyardee at 9:09 AM on November 15, 2007


One of the ways in which I attempt to be playful with people is to sarcastically brag, pretend I don't like them, and play one-upmanship games.

I also wanted to agree with the above posters who pointed out that this may not be a good idea. You may think you are being playful, but not everyone is going to agree. And even if you are expertly handling this kind of joke, you are setting an example for someone (your gf) who clearly is not good at it.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 9:10 AM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Go rent Mean Girls and watch it together. Note who she roots for.
posted by mecran01 at 9:12 AM on November 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


All pretty girls get ugly in the end, physically speaking. Emotionally speaking, she sounds ugly already.

If she loves you like she says, she'd back off upon realizing that she's hurting your feelings or doing something that makes you profoundly uncomfortable. Actions speak louder than words, especially in relationships. It's a cliche, but it's a cliche for a reason.

You sound like a good catch and you deserve someone who has more to offer than just hottness. Let her go.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:19 AM on November 15, 2007


She's a very pretty girl and way out of my league, which is why ... I don't want to lose her

Although our culture suggests otherwise, there are many "leagues" other than the attractiveness league. And, believe it or not, some of them are far more important for long-term happiness. Like the healthy self-image league, for instance. Based on what you've said, you're way out of her league there. Either way, doesn't sound like a real good match.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:20 AM on November 15, 2007


Fine, I'll say it. There's other fish in the sea.
posted by drezdn at 9:26 AM on November 15, 2007


I've found this guy's work very helpful. While there are limits to his socio-biological perspective and some of his guest speakers are tweakers, I wish somebody had sat me down in high school explained to how male-female dating interactions worked. I found his programs, Advanced Series, Sexual Communication, and On Being A Man...Who Naturally Attracts Women particularly helpful.

So much of what you will need to do to lead yourself and your partner to happiness and personal growth are the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what you would naturally do.

Some might say there are torrents available on the internet of his lectures/workshops.
posted by sisquoc15 at 9:27 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Physical beauty is common. There are thousands of girls out there just as hot as your girlfriend. Stop believing that they're out of your league, and go find one that isn't crazy.
posted by Squee at 9:33 AM on November 15, 2007


I think that playing the "seduction game" with a woman with these kind of issues is sort of like becoming a better juggler to be better at juggling red-hot frying pans.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:33 AM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Personally it sounds like she DOESN'T like herself very much. Usually narcissistic people who put others down to make themselves feel better are actually just walking bundles of self-loathing. They're overcompensating.

When you dump her it'll feed into all of her self-loathing so she'll probably do everything she can to make YOU feel bad. But don't buy into any of it. She is NOT out of your league, you are out of hers. The fact is, this girl isn't right for you. You need to find someone who makes YOU feel GOOD. Relationships need to be mutual, and your feelings are clearly not on her priority list.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:33 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Your personalities are not compatible.
posted by lampoil at 9:38 AM on November 15, 2007


She's young and insecure. She's still trying to figure out who she is. She's looking at pictures of herself to see who she is how maybe other people see her and what she thinks about how she looks.

She's taking these games too far to see if she's the kind of person who is mean or not. She's playing with her power. She's winning, apparently.

None of this is particularly uncommon -- most girls go through some of this behavior at 15-20 or so, but her narcissistic phase is certainly more pronounced.

People learn what behavior is acceptable through how they are treated. If you really love her, you need to call her on it when she crosses the line. If one of your friends was being this much of a dick, wouldn't you tell him to knock it the fuck off?
posted by desuetude at 9:43 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I used to know this girl or one very like her; she was once my friend. I had to distance myself from her because I couldn't stand the way she treated men. She's funny and engaging until she becomes involved in a relationship and then the manipulation sets in. She makes her love interest jump through hoops and calls it a "test" of his love. She is self-obsessed and doesn't think the rules apply to her.

Really. DTMFA.
posted by misha at 9:53 AM on November 15, 2007


Or is something wrong with me?

What's wrong with you is that you need to start dating college girls. Your girlfriend is acting like she's still in high school, which shouldn't be a big surprise.
posted by yohko at 9:57 AM on November 15, 2007


Don't play along. Tell her the new competition is in pampering the other person, and then brag on your one upping at the pampering commencement but never during the pampering.

Go re-read the article on managing men, apply to her.

I don't understand why DTMFA is such a popular strategy. Everyone is crazy, and manipulation is way easier than breaking up.
posted by ewkpates at 10:03 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


One of the ways in which I attempt to be playful with people is to sarcastically brag, pretend I don't like them, and play one-upmanship games. I was delighted she liked to play these games as well, but she always seems to take them one or more steps beyond where I'm comfortable - and sometimes I get the feeling that she's not being sarcastic. Whenever I stop playing or try to let her know this, she indirectly makes me feel like a baby or someone without a sense of humor.

You know what I think you should take away from this relationship?

That thing you do to other people, where you "sarcastically brag, pretend you don't like them, and play one-upmanship games", and then later pretend like it's a hilarious game?

They don't like it any more than you do.

Otherwise, you're dating someone who's vain and childish. Feel free to break up with her at any time.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:07 AM on November 15, 2007 [5 favorites]


Move on -- and always remember that you left the pretty girl. Thus she's not out of your league, you're out of hers.
posted by BaxterG4 at 10:25 AM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


You're not necessarily being submissive, it sounds more like you're losing an obnoxious "game."
posted by apetpsychic at 10:28 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Learn from her negative example. She's a narcissist with low self-esteem, and you are a thing she enjoys playing with. Assert your power by dumping her, improving your own life, and meeting someone better.

And when you dump her, don't be terribly emotional or negative yourself. Just calmly say that you're bored with games and you would like to meet new people. And if she tries anything nasty, just shrug your shoulders and say "at least I'll be happier. I'm sorry you won't be." Skewer that ego.

Don't think you can change her, although it is safe to say that, upon being dumped, she will be presented with two options: grow up or get worse. Luckily, neither of these situations is your problem.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:41 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


she may be beautiful outside, but she sure seems ugly inside. it's up to you whether having a pretty girl on your arm is worth the tradeoff of her nastiness.

she's still young, she's immature, and she sounds spoiled. i'd move on, personally.
posted by thinkingwoman at 10:46 AM on November 15, 2007


She's very PRETTY so you don't want to LOSE her? Please, who's being shallow now?
posted by MiffyCLB at 11:02 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Find a girl who is both attractive and kind. Don't settle for one or the other.
posted by amro at 11:16 AM on November 15, 2007


Regarding the pictures and the self-obsession, she's trying figure out what "level" she's at (seconding desuetude) -- just how "hawt" is she?? (It's silly, but this is the primary factor in how much social power a girl has.) But she's also testing you to try to figure what level you're at, whether you're somebody she respects and admires, whether you're "worthy" of her love, whether you need her as a source of self-esteem or whether you can stand quite well on your own.

Yeah, it's a stupid game, but at least in this case it's quite transparent. As you get older, the game doesn't change, but it does get more subtle.

FWIW, being submissive is the best way to ensure that you either get dumped (if you're lucky) or that she starts cheating behind your back. DO NOT accept bad behavior. And most of all, don't allow yourself to be hurt by it. She should not be the source of your self-esteem.

If it continues, DTMFA. Beauty is common, as somebody said above. And you're at college, fer christssakes!! Women everywhere!
posted by LordSludge at 11:19 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I really don't see how you're being submissive here. You sarcastically brag, pretend you don't like her, and play one-upmanship games. It sounds like you're acting like you're better than she is, then getting upset when she one-ups you. She's probably hurt and confused. Why the hell would you want your girlfriend to feel that way? No wonder she's lashing out at you.

Various pick-up artist-y folks may try to tell you that doing the one-upsmanship thing works. It does, on very insecure people who either eventually realize you're being an asshole and get rid of you or eventually realize you're treating them like you're better than they are and lash out at you to even the playing field. You don't want any long-term relationship to be based on this sort of unstable footing, so stop creating it.
posted by occhiblu at 11:30 AM on November 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


another perspective: once you are out of college, you will look back on your days there and wish that you had done a lot more of X, and a lot less of Y. most everyone does this. and there is absolutely no way you are going to wish that you had spent more time with a vindictive, manipulative high school girl who made you feel terrible about yourself.
posted by blapst at 11:31 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


It does sound like you got just what you signed up for--someone who enjoys playing stupid dominance games. Except, oops, she's better at them than you are. If you want to give up the games (forever) then DTMFA and move on. Otherwise, stay together and tough it out (become a meaner/nastier person).
posted by anaelith at 11:36 AM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


You know what makes you even cooler than the guy who has the chick who's way too pretty for him?

The guy who has that girl, and then dumps her because she's not pretty enough... or not smart enough... or any reason, really. As long as it's about her.

From the sound of things, that would be good ego adjustment medicine for both of you.
posted by rokusan at 11:50 AM on November 15, 2007


Regarding the pictures, I agree with LordSludge and desuetude about the pictures. My daughter and her friends use the camera somewhat like a mirror, constucting their self identity from their image. Given her youth, it's a possiblity that it's not sinister but a sign of the times.

With the way she treats you, do you know how does her family treat each other? My family of origin thought it was the height of wit to heckle and belittle each other. At the start of my adult life, I thought that's what everyone did. You could try talking to her about what she's doing, letting her know how you feel when she does it, but if this is the case for her, it'll take a lot of work to change. Still, I think you should tell her. Someone should.
posted by b33j at 11:53 AM on November 15, 2007


You might consider talking to this girl about what's wrong. Of course she's acting like a childish narcissist - that's what high schoolers are like (you need to be watching My So-Called Life, everyone!). But you can speed up her growth. Starts with communicating of course.

You've got her number, now you can either split - maybe teach her nothing - or if she's actually fun to hang out with, try helping her through some of this bullshit. If only for a little while. You can't 'fix' her, but you can leave her with something worthwhile.
posted by waxbanks at 11:54 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


One of the ways in which I attempt to be playful with people is to sarcastically brag, pretend I don't like them, and play one-upmanship games.

Perhaps you're experiencing (relatively) instant karma?
posted by pammo at 12:01 PM on November 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


Why do you care "what's wrong with" her? She is who she is, and you aren't going to change her. The only thing you can change is you and your circumstances.

What people say when they're angry or "humorously" is generally how they honestly feel. Believe them.

Find a copy of the old song "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover." The point is you don't need to "break up" with her. Just forget about her and stop calling, texting, etc. What she does afterwards is her business, but you've already expressed your opinion and the rest is excess rhetoric.

For future reference, there are primarily three types of men--alphas, betas, and jerks. Women respect alphas and gravitate to them. They marry betas for security if they couldn't get an alpha or feel dominant, and they play with jerks because they're fun. Alpha men (and there are alpha women for beta men) only respect other alphas. Beta men respect other beta men, look up to alphas, and envy jerks. Jerks are just who they are, and your girlfriend is one of them. You can choose to be any one of them--I've been all three, and I can tell you that being a beta or a jerk is less interesting. BTW, even your girlfriend will treat you like an alpha if you act like one, so it's not her problem--it's yours.
posted by jke310 at 12:12 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, jke310. Your explanation of alphas, betas and jerks really doesn't reflect that you think much of women at all.

This woman sounds immature and totally out of your league because she's in a league with mean people. You sound cool. Move on before she makes you more insecure.
posted by agregoli at 12:15 PM on November 15, 2007


Or men, really, come to think of it.
posted by agregoli at 12:17 PM on November 15, 2007


Reading your question it struck me that what she is doing is not that bad, or abnormal, the problem herein is basically that you are rolling on your back and being a bitch.

You think she is way out of your league and you are treating her thusly and therefore she has no respect for you at all. A healthy relationship is going to be between two people who treat each other as equals, and you nuzzling up to her leg and taking her shit is essentially rewarding her bad behavior and furthering your problem of being a little pussy when she was attracted to the man you presumably were before.

People are telling you to dump her, and that is honestly the best advice for this situation, but realistically you wont do it. You have convinced yourself that she is the best you can do and you will stick around like a puppy and let her keep treating you like this until she gets tired of you and either dumps you or cheats on you then dumps you.


Seriously dude, the hive mind is speaking to you, and it is telling you to dump her, and dont half ass it.

DUMP HER, college is full of more attractive girls with their heads on a bit straight, if you take this relationship as a lesson you can obviously do much better.
posted by BobbyDigital at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2007


One of the ways in which I attempt to be playful with people is to sarcastically brag, pretend I don't like them, and play one-upmanship games.

I know a guy who does this. He's 25 and good looking and hasn't had a girlfriend in the 5 years I've known him. And he can't figure out why he's not in a relationship like all of his friends are.
posted by hermitosis at 12:38 PM on November 15, 2007


If the things you like about her are that she's pretty and plays the same manipulative games you do, why are you surprised that your girlfriend may be shallow, looks obsessed, and bratty? I'm not saying something is wrong with you, but if you value a fun and interesting personality along with physically attractive qualities, you're more likely to end up dating nice people. Alternatively, you can look for other qualities about this girl besides her looks that you appreciate, and sincerely complement her on them. If she feels that her looks are the only thing you (or anyone else) care about, it's not entirely unsurprising that she's obsessive about them.

In short, I think you may have gotten just what you were looking for. Consider being interested in more of the deeper qualities people have to offer.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:57 PM on November 15, 2007


Christ!

You're enabling and feeding her bad behavior through bad behavior of your own. Tell her you want to knock off the nonsense and that you think things've been moving a little too fast, and you're more interested now in having good friends than in establishing a serious relationship. Ask her if she feels the same way. If she wants to have a serious relationship, explain to her that you need to be friends first, and let the relationship grow out of that. If she doesn't want a serious relationship(which she most likely won't admit to, you'll have to read between the lines), y'all have fun hooking up, but remember you both agreed it wasn't serious.

The last thing you want is to want a serious relationship with a girl who doesn't, but keeps you around until she finds something better.

You only have one life, man...
posted by Mr. Gunn at 1:02 PM on November 15, 2007


Like everyone else, I say break up, the sooner the better. Tell her why you're breaking up with her, and maybe you'll both grow from it. She's trying to figure out who she is and learning that however pretty she is, she still needs to be empathetic and kind to have successful relationships.

In future, I think you should stay away from the bragging/one-upmanship games, especially in relationships. Someone always gets their feelings hurt eventually, and it's not a very effective means of communicating affection (as you've already learned).
posted by tempest in a teapot at 1:11 PM on November 15, 2007


DTMFA.

You're only torn because she's the hottest girl you've ever had. IT'S NOT WORTH THE THERAPY.
posted by chundo at 1:22 PM on November 15, 2007


...you may find that you'll start saying mean things on purpose under the veneer of "I'm just joking LOL!"

What people say when they're angry or "humorously" is generally how they honestly feel. Believe them.

Yes. In humor there is usually truth.
posted by ericb at 1:22 PM on November 15, 2007


Sounds like it's time for the Turkey trot. But seriously, it doesn't sound like you get along that well. She is a pretty high school girl, you are in college. Maybe it's time to start looking to more mature pastures and stop making physical beauty top priority above everything else.

Another question- do you actually love her, or are you guys just using "I love you" as a milestone in your relationship?
So many people I knew in college got engaged because they were bored/ wanted to prove that they weren't just going out but like, super-going out. But they weren't really thinking about wanting to REALLY get married in the near future, just trying to make another milestone.
Jumping through a hoop too soon that you don't really mean usually turns out badly. As in, crashes and burns in a fiery break-up.
posted by fructose at 1:30 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


So, what's wrong with her?

Nothing. She treats you a certain way, and gets exactly what she wants. If I wanted to be showered with love and affection while being told who awesome I was, and found out that a way to do that was to be a megabitch, and I found someone who didn't seem to mind when I was a megabitch, it would make perfect sense for me to behave that way.

Or is something wrong with me?
Yes. You're letting her treat you like crap. You're acting in ways that leave you completely unsatisfied. It's too late to draw lines in the sand and say "This is shit up with which I will not put" because you and her both know that there is no level of shit that you will not tolerate.

There doesn't seem to be a good way to fix this. Leaving may be the best option.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:45 PM on November 15, 2007


You don't have to break-up with her—I'm sure you wanted to hear that—but you do need to make it even more abundantly clear that you find this behavior seriously unacceptable and that it you can't stay in a relationship with someone who treats you this way. I'd put that in a flashing marquee tag if I could.

But it sounds like you have been doing that, though, and she isn't even doing you the courtesy of sobbing and telling you, "I swear I can change!" before showing that, even if she can, she doesn't really want to.

In this case you have to pick between groveling to her for the length of the relationship—which some people like doing!—or breaking-up with her.

While it isn't hard to imagine that she won't get better and more mature—maybe even become that hot and completely levelheaded holy grail of a girlfriend—it's hard to imagine her doing that with you. It's doubtful she's going to divest herself of her mean-streak or her self-obsession when you keep feeding into them. You need to get out of that relationship, first for your own sake, and second so she learns that treating you like shit will drive you away. Maybe she can extrapolate that lesson to men at large.

What she does with that lesson is her business. She may not ever get anything from it: if she's as hot as you say she is, they're probably is an endless line of guys willing to let her treat them like she treats you.
posted by Weebot at 2:37 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


2 - One of the ways in which I attempt to be playful with people is to sarcastically brag, pretend I don't like them, and play one-upmanship games. I was delighted she liked to play these games as well, but she always seems to take them one or more steps beyond where I'm comfortable . . .

3 - We traded "I love you"s for the first time last week, and ever since then, her behavior I explained in the previous example has gotten much worse. Until I cave in, acknowledge her superiority, and shower her with affection she'll keep saying more and more hurtful things. Afterwards, of course, it's all a big joke. This is the most worrisome point to me, as it has seemed to coincide directly with the "I Love You"s.


I think you taught her this game of sarcasm and pretend dislike, and it inadvertently allowed you both to avoid most real expressions of sincere emotions about one another. Basically it's as though you both have been speaking in a foreign language to one other since you've been dating, since you can never quite be positive exactly what the other person means -- does he really dislike it when I do X or was he just joking? Does she really think she is super at Y or was she just pretend bragging?

The mock dislike and sarcasm has also given you easy outs if you cross over some unspoken line -- of course I didn't really mean X, I was just kidding don't break up with me. This is how we communicate, right?

But because you both have neatly avoided the sincere expression of emotion, the whole "I love you" exchange may have been a giant drama for her, and she probably doesn't understand how to get you to express sincere emotion without some giant drama. She may be provoking you into a giant drama with her words and actions to relate to you in a more real way than the pretend dislike and the put-on sarcasm.

Possibly you can fix this with some attempt at a sincere talk about the fake distain and sarcasm. Importantly this should not occur right after she engages in this behavior, and it should focus on how you started this behavior and would like to call a moratorium on it so that you can be more honest and open with one another. Not sure this will work, since she may not even understand or be conscious of what she's doing. In any case, don't do the whole fake sarcasm thing in your next relationship. You can make jokes, etc., but make sure that there are times when you are expressing real thoughts and emotions with one another and I bet you will feel much more connected.

But hey, you are young and relationships are tricky. You are already light years ahead of where I was at your age, so don't beat yourself up about this. She's even younger and is obviously still trying to figure this boy/girl stuff out too. Good luck!

(PS: I don't think the photo stuff is a big deal. High school is weird.)
posted by onlyconnect at 2:54 PM on November 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


Sounds like an excellent opportunity for the anal ultimatum. Because, frankly, you're already broken up save the formalizing.
posted by klangklangston at 2:55 PM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Dude, she's in high school. Why must people be asshats to one another?
posted by onlyconnect at 3:04 PM on November 15, 2007


You don't have to dump her even if you don't like her personality that much (which, as everyone seems to feel, it sounds you don't). You're young, she's young, just keep hitting it and enjoy the ego boost of dating a hot chick until someone else comes along.
posted by wackybrit at 3:36 PM on November 15, 2007


Very funny thread. The question and some of the answers are revealing and perhaps provide us with an answer.

Insecure people are constantly obsessed with outcomes and are constantly trying to control others to produce those outcomes. Hence, the high-school games and the even-worse systematized "seduction" programs designed to protect their players from ever, ever getting seriously hurt or rejected. To them, not having their boyfriend jump through hoops, or not being an "alpha" means that they are unworthy as persons.

Secure people understand that heartbreak and difficult people are an unfortunate but very real part and parcel of human love and work to control their responses to being hurt and manipulators. They understand that the fact that they have to face these unfortunate facts has nothing to do with them and any "worthiness as a person."

Thus, for the poster, the answer is to learn to deal with his own emotions and to focus less on those of the girlfriend.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:41 PM on November 15, 2007 [5 favorites]


She sounds pretty immature to me.
posted by number9dream at 6:09 PM on November 15, 2007


You ought to stop playing these games with her for one thing, I dont think thats healthy to the situation at all.

She's clearly insecure and here you are creating a situation where the prize is feeling better about herself by putting you down. Maybe to you its just a game but she cant handle it.

and now there's love in the equation which means more insecurity for her.

Ive no idea how you backpedal this situation. but you'd better think of something cos you've potentially started something that wont end even if you're out of the picture.

And for god's sake dont do it to anyone else, you cant always tell how insecure or messed up in the head they are. This kind of "game" just makes things worse. A lot worse :-S
posted by browolf at 2:36 PM on November 16, 2007


« Older How can I track changes to a p...   |  GiftFilter: Help me with my m... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post