Should I stay or should I go?
April 24, 2010 2:32 PM   Subscribe

Do I settle with someone who is mostly OK or do I dump her and go back on the prowl in hopes of finding someone who is awesome?

Metafilter, I know you get bombarded with relationship questions that can be answered with a DTMFA, but I thought it would be a good idea to ask about my circumstances anyway. Do I settle down with someone who is OK or do I dump her and go back on the prowl in hopes of finding someone who is awesome? It's time for some bulleted lists.

The context:
We've been dating for almost 2 years minus a few months last fall/winter during which we broke up and I moved out. We got back together and it's been good for a time, but the old problems are starting to come back. I've been spending less time with her lately, partially because I'm thinking about escaping and partially because I'm in a soul crushing job that eats up 90% of my time.

Should I stay:
- She would do just about anything for me. She's got it in her head that I'm the one. Consequently she is incredibly supportive and goes out of her way to make my life better.
- The sex is awesome. Back when we lived together we went at it almost everyday and it was just about perfect in terms of quality and quantity. This has dropped off lately, mostly because I'm riding the 'just not that into her anymore' train.
- It would break her heart. She is dead set on being with me forever and not the most emotionally stable person (understatement). Smashing her little heart into pieces would make me feel like a monster. We broke up temporarily last winter and the fallout from this was just the worst. Hospitals were involved.
- She controls my friends. When we first started dating I integrated her into my friend group. At some point between then and now they became her friends. Leaving her would necessitate leaving them. Even if left her on the best of terms she would turn them against me. This was evidenced by our previous break. I am not so good at assembling new friend groups.
- We get along. We both like talking about our nerdy interests and are pretty damn compatable on day to day basis. She would make a decent long term partner, but I don't really want to settle down this early.
- I'm old as balls. I know a lot of you don't think 26 is that old, but I'm starting to wonder if I have it in me to go out and meet new people. Also, I'm not 100% certain I can reel in someone who would be an upgrade.

Or should I go now:
- This is going to make me sound shallow, but I really need to be with someone hotter. She is a 6 or 7, somewhat attractive but I am settling. I really don't think I can be happy with anything less than an 8. I'm surprised by how important this is to me.
- She is a manipulative emotional vortex. She frequently gets upset about things I feel are unreasonable, and then she makes sure everyone knows it. When she has problems she uses her pain as a weapon to get what she wants out of people. Sometimes I even suspect she will cause her out problems or lie to exagerate them so that she can use her suffering as a tool. When she is upset she insists on my presence and support but then refuses to talk about the problem with me. I can be (and have been) very supportive, but she is emotionally exhausting.
- I am absolutely not ready to settle down and get married. This is primarily because I still want to see other people, which may or may not be because I'm not that into her. Staying with her is a one way track to monogamy station.
- I don't see my desire to hook up with other people going away anytime soon. When I see an attractive girl it just burns me up inside that I'm trapped with someone else.
- I'm just not that into her anymore.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (62 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Move on, for her sake. If you think she isn't good enough for you, then do the girl a favour.
posted by Solomon at 2:36 PM on April 24, 2010 [19 favorites]


She is a manipulative emotional vortex.

Your bags should be packed.

Leaving her would necessitate leaving them.

Don't count on this. If you play it straight with them as far as giving (limited) explanations of things not working out with her, you'll be fine. She'll push them away with drama.

I'm old as balls.

Anyone who says "old is balls" is not. You'll be fine. If you're not happy, you're not happy.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:36 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Go. You're not happy. Don't do her any "favors" by sticking around because you don't think she'd get over it. This doesn't sound like a good relationship.

And you are an idiot for thinking 26 is old.
posted by bolognius maximus at 2:38 PM on April 24, 2010


She is a manipulative emotional vortex.

Tell us how you really feel. Or, DTMFA.

I'm old as balls. I know a lot of you don't think 26 is that old, blah blah blah

It's not. Shut up and move on.
posted by The Michael The at 2:39 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, if you put it that way, you should move on.
posted by Drasher at 2:43 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I would say you know it's time from moving on just by asking this question. I mean, your reasons for not leaving her really sound like you want to want to be with her, so just break up with her already. It will be unpleasant, people will be upset, but it'll probably be better than being in a festering relationship for years.
posted by kendrak at 2:45 PM on April 24, 2010


I think your real question here is more "how do I dump my emotionally needy girlfriend", rather than "should I?". And yes, you should.
posted by amicamentis at 2:45 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Smashing her little heart into pieces would make me feel like a monster.

I suspect you are writing this all casual-like for an effect, but it makes you sound like a jerk.

Generally, when you say things like that, even in jest, you have gotten to the point where moving on is the best for everyone involved.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:46 PM on April 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


Goodness gracious. Moving on will be best for both of you. I think you already knew that, and if urging from strangers on the internet is what it will take to get you to go through with it, this is me urging you to go through with it.
posted by PhatLobley at 2:46 PM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, you seem to have already answered your own question by this post (wow), so I'm assuming you are coming to AskMe for validation of your decision. So, yes you should break up with her. If it helps, just try to imagine how you would feel if someone wrote this kind of post about you. You'd want that person gone, right?
posted by meerkatty at 2:47 PM on April 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


Christ, if I found out anyone I was dating had said about me what you've said about your girlfriend, I'd DTMFA.
posted by randomname25 at 2:47 PM on April 24, 2010 [85 favorites]


On not-preview: meerkatty beat me to it.
posted by randomname25 at 2:48 PM on April 24, 2010


The sex is awesome. Back when we lived together we went at it almost everyday and it was just about perfect in terms of quality and quantity...

This is going to make me sound shallow, but I really need to be with someone hotter. She is a 6 or 7, somewhat attractive but I am settling.

Would you rather be with someone you consider to be a 9 or a 10, who turns out to be completely boring in bed? There's certainly something to the stereotype of extremely attractive people being really lousy and selfish in bed; all the years of simply having to show up and lie there and be worshiped can really ruin someone's concept of what sex really is or can be.

That's just a tip, going forward. Because it sounds like you have already left this relationship physically and emotionally, and all you lack is the courage to pull the plug. Another tip -- don't tell your girlfriend you are willing to try and work things out if, in your heart of hearts, you really don't see that happening. Spare her the false hope and months of torturing herself trying to give you what you need.

Stop hemming and hawing. Just move on.
posted by hermitosis at 2:50 PM on April 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Nthing that moving on will be best for both of you.
posted by infinityjinx at 3:01 PM on April 24, 2010


She is a 6 or 7, somewhat attractive but I am settling. I really don't think I can be happy with anything less than an 8.

If you were crazy about her, you would think that she was an 8. Move on. Give her the chance to find someone who does find her an 8.

(also: print this out and hide somewhere safe, so that you can come back and read it when you're 40. You'll cringe. And, hopefully, forgive yourself).
posted by Badmichelle at 3:04 PM on April 24, 2010 [28 favorites]


I think I would be prepared to have a serious talk with the devil himself if I could be as old as your balls again.

and from what I can gather, you don't respect her - its clear with your description of what you perceive to be her emotional drama/manipulation... its not going to be easy to be single again but you've got one life to live, get over the guilt.
posted by infini at 3:04 PM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


OK, let's dissect this:

1. First of all, saying "I'm old as balls" because you're 26 years old is ridiculous, as you seem to realize.

2. "It would break her heart" isn't a reason to stay together. If you want to leave aside from that, you should just do it and not flatter yourself that her well-being depends on her staying with you rather than being single or having a different SO. Life is hard, and hearts get broken sometimes, but you both signed up for that risk by entering a relationship. Though I'm sure you're a wonderful boyfriend who treats her very well (since you presumably don't say any of the many derogatory things to her face that you've said to us), I think she'll get over the breakup eventually.

3. The fact that you would choose to write (and publish on a website) the words "She is a manipulative emotional vortex" suggests you really, really shouldn't be with her. The rest of that paragraph doesn't strike me as a deal-killer -- no one's perfect, and some of the things you're describing are things you could learn to accept. I would even say everyone's a little "manipulative" once in a while, so if you were just talking about one incident and saying she did something manipulative, that might be something you could work through. But if "manipulative" is one of the main words that most easily comes to your mind when describing her in general, that's a breakup-worthy problem.

4. "I still want to see other people" -- it would be useful for us to know if this is part of a general, mutual arrangement between the two of you, or if it's just a private feeling that's been bubbling up in you. If it's the latter, that's obviously a problem.

5. "When I see an attractive girl it just burns me up inside that I'm trapped with someone else." Again, your word choice is very revealing. If you had just written, "Sometimes when I see an attractive girl I really feel like straying, but I also love my girlfriend, so I've been feeling very conflicted," etc. ... then we could say: well, you're only human, and you're not a bad person for having those kinds of desires while being in a relationship. But to flat-out say you feel "trapped" whenever you see an attractive woman -- I think the mindset that prompts that choice of words may be more important than the actual desire for a hook-up.

6. "She controls my friends." Again, I don't know how serious the underlying problem is, but wow -- your word choice! That just doesn't sound good at all. And you put that in the positive category?

7. Just from the first few words of your question -- "Do I settle with someone who is mostly OK..." -- I found it hard to imagine the answer would be to stay together. If you had asked if you should stay with someone who's "mostly great" though there are certain issues in the relationship that are troubling you, that would be tougher. But you just see her as "mostly OK"? Why even bother? Because you've reached the ripe old age of 26? Come on, at least give yourself a chance of finding someone you're actually excited about.

8. "I'm just not that into her anymore." I take it you're a regular reader of relationship questions on AskMe (based on your reference to "DTMFA" and the prevalence of relationshipfilter). Surely you know that putting that as your last sentence is going to lead to tons of comments saying, "There's your answer!" Don't you? It seems like you already know you want to break up with your girlfriend, but you have some understandable hesitance to unilaterally end a two-year relationship seemingly out of the blue. Maybe you feel some guilt because your reasons would be "superficial" (having to do with her looks, your desire to sleep around, etc.). But look, everyone is superficial, and the important thing is to be honest about what you want. I think you know what you want, but you'd feel more comfortable getting permission to do it from random Metafilter commenters. So, you have my permission to break up with your girlfriend.
posted by Jaltcoh at 3:06 PM on April 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


I really can't tell which one of you is getting the worse deal in this relationship, but, yeah, it needs to end.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:13 PM on April 24, 2010 [19 favorites]


She is a 6 or 7, somewhat attractive but I am settling. I really don't think I can be happy with anything less than an 8.

I say this in all seriousness and with compassion: grow up. If you really have a numerical scale on which you place people based purely on their looks, you need to spend some time thinking about your priorities.

And yes, don't continue this relationship. And don't get another girlfriend right away either.

Since you asked.
posted by nosila at 3:21 PM on April 24, 2010 [25 favorites]


Wow. You might be a good person but what you wrote here makes you sound, well....like a jerk. Please, please, move on for her sake. It's not that she's the good guy and you're the bad guy...it's that you really don't respect your girlfriend at ALL. And nobody deserves to be in a relationship where they are not respected.

As far as her emotional needs, she's far worse off with you than without you (again, not because you are necessarily a bad person but because, fundamentally, you don't respect her or want to be with her).
posted by bearette at 3:22 PM on April 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


The sneery tone indicates DTMFA is in order. You don't talk about someone you seriously love and want to spend your life with in this manner.
posted by fire&wings at 3:23 PM on April 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Good lord, man. Look at the words you're using to describe her/this situation. "Mostly ok", "a 6 or 7, somewhat attractive", "someone that would be an upgrade", "emotionally exhausting", "burns me up that I'm trapped".

You've got to break up. No one deserves to be with someone that finds them to be a dragging weight, and you should both find someone who ACTUALLY makes you happy.
posted by rachaelfaith at 3:23 PM on April 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Uh, yes, suck it up and move on. This relationship is going nowhere good. You listed all the reasons yourself.

Addressing some of your reasons for dragging your feet on this:
- She controls my friends. When we first started dating I integrated her into my friend group. At some point between then and now they became her friends. Leaving her would necessitate leaving them. Even if left her on the best of terms she would turn them against me. This was evidenced by our previous break. I am not so good at assembling new friend groups.

It sucks when your social circle picks a side in a breakup, but it is not a valid reason to stay with her. Especially if they seem so willing to choose her over you. You can find better friends, if this is the case. Or, your friends might surprise you by being more fair than you expect.

- I'm old as balls. I know a lot of you don't think 26 is that old, but I'm starting to wonder if I have it in me to go out and meet new people.

There is no magical cut off age at which people stop meeting and befriending new people. Your age does not give you an excuse to stop trying.

Also, I'm not 100% certain I can reel in someone who would be an upgrade.

This is not a good reason to stay with her. Don't give up on your hopes for your future by staying with her. This: When I see an attractive girl it just burns me up inside that I'm trapped with someone else. does not bode well. You're already blaming her for being in the way of what you want. That's completely unreasonable of you and unfair to her. You're in charge of getting what you want. If you're really as old as balls, that means you're an adult. Adults fix their own problems instead of blaming them on someone else.

Finally: yes, there will be drama. You'll lose some friends. But there's nothing like facing your fears in order to do the right thing to make you feel more confident in yourself. Confidence that should help you find new friends and a new relationship. You seem like you could use some.
posted by millions of peaches at 3:27 PM on April 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Seems there is a pretty strong consensus in this room but I still have to say: You don't love her.

No, you didn't write that you don't love her. But the word love doesn't appear anywhere in your post. You say she "has it in her head" that you're the one. I assume this means she loves you, and believes you love her. You don't. End this toxic relationship - for both of your sakes.

Also. I am twenty-six. I don't know what you did to get such old balls by this age. I'm still fucking fabulous.
posted by keribear at 3:28 PM on April 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


[few comments removed - please stop acting like children, dial your snark back, be helpful or give yourself the timeout that I'd be giving you if I wanted to sit in MeTa all day.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:30 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


You obviously feel a great deal of contempt for your girlfriend, on many levels. You feel contempt for how she looks and for her as a person. You feel contempt for her even for the fact that she treats you so well.

You say you don't want to be a monster. If so:

1. Do not stay in a relationship with someone you feel contempt for. You will end up treating that person horribly. It sounds like you have been trying to do the right thing up until now, but it sounds like the contempt has started trickling out and the bad treatment will start soon (sounds like it's starting already with you avoiding sex).

2. Be very, very careful entering into commitments in the future, for the OTHER person's sake.

- You say it's extremely important for you for your partner to be at least an "8". Have you ever seen pictures of naked women's bodies after they have children? I'm not talking about women who have had plastic surgery or been airbrushed on the cover of a magazine. I think you should think really really hard before committing to someone about whether your feelings would change for them if their body was never the same after children.

- I think you should think about what would happen as time goes by, when your hot girlfriend was suddenly 40, 45, 50, was no longer an "8" by Playboy standards, if a woman 15 years younger started flirting with you.

-The burning to be with an attractive girl you see might not just be because of your girlfriend. You may just not be cut out for monogamy no matter who you are with. If this might be the case for you, best practice is to be utterly, unambiguously up front about that.
posted by Ashley801 at 3:39 PM on April 24, 2010 [16 favorites]


I understand that you feel you are done with this relationship, but I agree with some others that the way you describe her makes you sound like a jerk.

The facts of your relationship sound great. She loves you and would do anything for you, you have great sex, you share a lot of interests. On the other hadn, you work all the time at a job you hate, and sound a bit immature (rating girls on a scale based on looks?). If you don't love her, of course, break up. But I think you might regret it. She sounds awesome.
posted by metametababe at 3:42 PM on April 24, 2010


I'm going to be generous and say that your distress over this situation has caused you to read things in a manner that may be rather unrealistic. Rather than obsessing over the pros and cons of the situation, take a second to think about how you actually feel: which is extremely negatively towards your girlfriend. I don't know that anything you said here points to the fact that she is controlling, ugly, or an emotional vortex, but if that is how you feel, you are going to be hard pressed to overcome these feelings.

Do yourselves both a favor and break it off. (And maybe move somewhere more progressive, if 26 is "too old" to meet new people.)
posted by shownomercy at 3:45 PM on April 24, 2010


Also, after you break up with her, she will likely spend a lot of time wondering "what she did wrong". But it sounds like it's really just that you're not ready for this type of commitment. I wish there was some way you could communicate this to her. But I can't think of one.
posted by metametababe at 3:46 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


God, break up with her, seriously. 2 years isn't even that long, compared to a lot of relationships. End this now. If I ever found out someone wrote this about me, pretty much acting as if I had no redeeming qualities whatsoever, I'd be crushed/dump that person immediately.

26 is not that old, and I'm 25.

You want an "8?" Are you an 8? Studies show that men often think they are more attractive than they actually are. Do you actually have "8s" who are interested in YOU? You should definitely end this relationship, because you detest your girlfriend, but don't expect to start boning all kinds of hot chicks, and don't date some girl who doesn't meet your standards and look down on her looks the whole time.
posted by ishotjr at 3:46 PM on April 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


We broke up temporarily last winter and the fallout from this was just the worst. Hospitals were involved.

This is not a reason to stay with someone but it does mean that you want to be thoughtful about the timing of the breakup and, presuming that those mutual friends she controls care about her, give them a heads up (after you break up with her, of course) that she might be in need of their support. (If they don't know about the hospital last time, it is not cool to tell them.)

Of course, I hope you realize that if you break up someone, you are, by definition, not the person who should be involved in how they handle the aftermath. If she explicitly threatens suicide, call 911 immediately.
posted by metahawk at 3:49 PM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good lord. Leave her. If not for your sake, then for hers.
posted by srrh at 3:49 PM on April 24, 2010


Yeah, you do sound a little bit or a lot jerky, but that's not my point. I think you're staying with her more out of fear than anything else. You're afraid of breaking her heart and landing her in the hospital. You won't have any friends left. You're not sure you can "reel in someone who would be an upgrade." (Ugh on that word choice, like others have noted.)

You know what you want: someone hotter, and to date around, and you know you don't want monogamy. Nor do you really want her as a partner. But you COULD stay in this relationship, maybe end up married, have a kid or two, and THEN break up (maybe through cheating), thus finally ripping apart everything that was based on a lie anyway (you stayed with her out of fear, not love), but causing significant damage to innocent lives (the kids'). …Sorry, that was a bit melodramatic, but those situations find their genesis in situations like yours.

So. You know you have to break up. How to do this? Make sure all your ducks are in order. Find support in your friends before you break up, make sure you know where to access health resources, get another apartment lined up. DO NOT go "on the prowl" (ugh again on the word choice) while you are doing this. Let all the drama play out, let the dust settle and then maybe you can think about seeing others. If it's all possible, find another job. "Soul crushing" and eating 90% of your time is just not good.

And why the heck do you think 26 is old anyway? What does that make me (31 - not that I care what you think)? Or someone who's 40, 50, 60, and onwards?
posted by foxjacket at 3:53 PM on April 24, 2010


You just don't like her. If you did, you wouldn't have asked this question. I'm sorry that she's a difficult, emotionally manipulative person, but you should still end it.

And just as a bit of advice once you break up with this poor girl: the kind of girl who is at all okay with men quantifying her hotness on a 1-10 scale is not the kind of person who's interested in a real relationship between equals. If you want a trophy wife as a status symbol, by all means continue thinking of women in this way. If you want a real partner, maybe you should try treating each woman you meet as an individual. Obviously, you shouldn't try to pursue a relationship with someone you're not attracted to (like your current girlfriend), but if you find someone you really enjoy being with, you might be embarrassed that you ever talked about women as numbers.
posted by oinopaponton at 3:58 PM on April 24, 2010


Two more things:

1. I was also in a relationship with someone who was mentally unstable, and I was also afraid to end things because of what he'd do to himself if we broke up. He, too, used this to be manipulative, and hospitals were involved after/as a result of our breakup in our case, too.

You just have to stop seeing yourself as responsible for her mental health, and for her harming herself, if you didn't agree to be responsible for that. Her mental health is between herself and her doctors to take care of. Her harming herself is a choice that she makes. Nothing you do will "make" her to anything.

I ended up completely cutting off contact with my ex, and guess what? He's perfectly fine now.

2. It sounds like being a good person and doing the right thing is a consideration for you in all of this.

I think you are going to have to accept that we can't get everything we want in life and still do the right thing. It sounds like there is a part of you that, despite everything, is comfortable in the situation, doesn't want to make the effort to find something else, doesn't feel you *can* find someone else, is worried you would throw away this and end up, not with something better, but with nothing at all.

I think you have to accept the fact that to do the right thing, you just may have to suffer, and you may end up being miserable for a time.

Acting selfishly to avoid bad consequences to oneself, does not sound like it is the way you want to live your life.
posted by Ashley801 at 3:59 PM on April 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


If your number one reason for staying with her is not "I love her", then you need to go.
posted by guybrush_threepwood at 4:02 PM on April 24, 2010


Oh for christssake. Break up.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:13 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Goodbye to her. Sorry to say, but the sex will not be great forever. After that point, you both need to be kind, responsible people who actually love each other.

Say goodbye and grow up.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 4:16 PM on April 24, 2010


We got back together and it's been good for a time, but the old problems are starting to come back.

If you do try to work things out with her, it's more than likely that the old problems are going to keep coming up again... and again... and again... and you'll find yourself in the exact same situation in 2012. Do her a favor and break it off so she can start the healing process sooner rather than later.

She is dead set on being with me forever and not the most emotionally stable person (understatement).

The last person I was dating (which also lasted two years) was Just Not That Into Me and stayed with me for this reason (though I hope he didn't feel as poorly about me... yikes.) He ended up breaking it off (hospitals weren't involved afterwards, although they were beforehand, hence breaking it off since his fear had come true anyway) and it's probably the best thing that's ever happened to me.

It's so much easier to have someone rip the bandaid off than watch the person you love and want to marry slowly lose interest in you (ie. "I've been spending less time with her lately, the sex had dropped off",) which happens to be a really fucking painful experience. I'm honestly 10x happier now than if I'd stayed with him trying to figure out the magic key to making him Into Me again.

YMMV and I can't say she'll feel the same, but don't stay with her for her emotional well-being. It's better for her if you leave her now and don't try to remain friends.
posted by biochemist at 4:18 PM on April 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


You should break up with her now and give her a chance to be with someone that actually likes her.
posted by palomar at 4:18 PM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


It sounds like you hate this poor girl. Move on. It would be better for her.
posted by purephase at 4:54 PM on April 24, 2010


If your friends would pick her over you, there's a reason. Do her a favor and break up.

She can do better.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:58 PM on April 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


I think you will regret breaking up with her. But I also think you will regret staying with her if you do that, so it's a wash for you. Final verdict: break up with her for her sake.
posted by anaelith at 5:08 PM on April 24, 2010


in hopes of finding someone who is awesome?

Well...are you awesome? Look, twenty-six (though laughably not "old!") is no teenager anymore, and it sounds like it's time you stopped to "take inventory." Not of the women you date and their comparative level of physical attractiveness, btw, it's not possible to rate women by a number scale out loud and with any remote degree of seriousness and NOT come off like a complete douchebag but an honest assessment of who you are, your strengths, your weaknesses, how you want to improve you, and what you honestly have to give a future partner.

Go. Please go now. You're not into her. She deserves a great guy who will be.
posted by applemeat at 5:18 PM on April 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wow, I can't believe people are even writing as much as they are, and I'm totally long-winded. Yes, move on. No, you're not old as balls. Yes, you sound shallow (who knows if that's the case). But you don't sound like you like or respect her (perhaps for very understandable "emotional vortex"-related reasons). Do everyone a favor and get out.
posted by salvia at 5:58 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hi. I was your girl. I WISH my jerk had broke it off when we were 26, instead of waiting, out of laziness and -pity- for my poor little heart, for ten apathetic years while I sensed his lack of interest and wore myself into self-loathing trying to get him to like me again. Yes, I was hurt by the breakup. Yes, hospitals were almost involved. But I lost those ten years and I will never get them back. Dump her now, as hard and as vicious as you can; maybe print your question out, let her read it, so she can hate you good and proper, and move on with her life, and you with yours.
posted by The otter lady at 6:07 PM on April 24, 2010 [24 favorites]


"I really need to be with someone hotter."

Um... you know that looks don't last, right? Thus they're really not the best criteria for picking a life mate.

Anyhow, I think you should leave your girlfriend because she deserves the opportunity to find someone better than you.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:19 PM on April 24, 2010


You can't be old as balls and also fussing about her being a 6 or a 7. By the time you are as old as balls, this isn't how you evaluate social relationships any more.

But as long as you are using this scale, it's worth noting that an awesome personality can make up some serious ground for whatever is lacking in natural beauty. This is why my wife keeps getting better all the time, the longer I know her, and the older we get together, because she's an awesome woman. Both of our looks are probably not on the upswing, but she keeps getting better looking the longer I know her. If you aren't finding her attractive, chances are that you aren't finding her personality attractive, either, and I'd bet a million dollars that it's related to the manipulation issue you bring up. I'd evaluate your relationship on those terms.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:42 PM on April 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Stop using the nice, somewhat unstable lady for the hot hot sex already. Geez.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:25 PM on April 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


You know the answer. No one is going to say - "Stick it out, things will improve". And if you're after someone better looking then go for it - it's not shallow, it's natural for younger males.
posted by the noob at 9:27 PM on April 24, 2010


1. change the soul-crushing job so you can have a life and spend time with her.
2. share your problems and concerns openly with her. stop hiding and withdrawing. Instead of declaring a breakup, ask for change. only break up if you've argued at length and both understand why it won't work.
These things together should mostly clear up the "not that into her" feeling and bring the love back. If you can both get what you want after sharing and arguing, great; if not, it's better than a unilateral break-up (YMMV).

3. your post is inconsistent:
she's a 6 vs. amazing sex
she's a manipulative vortex vs. we get along, she would do just about anything for me
Again, communicate honestly! You owe her that much.

Most people are saying "dump immediately", but that sounds immature and stupid to me. Yes, some parts of his description suggest that's the right thing to do, but others don't.

My data point: being dumped for reasons that aren't explained to you sucks, and all of my relationship problems have been (at least partly) caused by me holding back with my opinions and concerns.


Dear metafilter, there are more options in a relationship than "DUMP NOW" and "MARRY NOW". Feelings of love can change based on predictable circumstances.

Things that increase love:
-time together
-physical contact
-demonstrating that you care
-sharing honestly and openly, entertaining
-being supportive and helping
-listening fully
-doing/accomplishing things together

Things that decrease love:
-opposites of the above
-emotional infidelity: using someone other than your partner as your main source of emotional sharing/support

Basically, stop pretending love is some total fucking mystery that makes you play heartbreak-roulette at not-that-into-you casino! Yes, there are elements of mystery and luck (and fucking) involved, but there is also a lot that can make sense.
posted by sninctown at 10:08 PM on April 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


edit: IANA psychologist or counselor. YMMV. Good luck.
posted by sninctown at 10:09 PM on April 24, 2010


I find it interesting that your entire post smacks of low self-confidence... you're not sure if you can do better, you don't think you can replace your friends, you think you're over the hill at 26... yet you believe you "need" to be with an "8". But 8's generally don't date guys with low self confidence... well, not unless they're looking for a doormat to walk their pointy little stilleto heels all over. Just sayin'.

I don't think the girl you are with is the one for you. You clearly are not happy with her, and you are already coming to resent her for your feeling of being trapped in the relationship. That can't end well for either of you.

As others have pointed out, hot women eventually start to slip a little in the looks department due to childbearing and age, so if having a hot partner is important to you, you might want to get comfortable with the idea of playing the field forever or becoming a Donald-Trump-like serial monogamist.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:30 PM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes, end it. Jesus reading that made me depressed. For both of you. And get into therapy. I don't mean that in a flippant way, you seriously need to reexamine yourself and your outlook on the world because you will get into the same relationship again and again (but maybe next time with an 8! at which point you will need a 9!) and you (and her) will be miserable.

I really don't understand how you can be with someone you so clearly have nothing but contempt for.

If you want to help her through the break up make sure her family and friends can be there for her and do whatever will make the transition easiest for her, but get 100% out of each others life.
posted by whoaali at 11:35 PM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Most people are saying "dump immediately", but that sounds immature and stupid to me.

To be fair, they're saying it for her sake, not his.
posted by the bricabrac man at 2:05 AM on April 25, 2010 [12 favorites]


[Without reading the rest of the thread]

Should I stay:
- She would do just about anything for me.

Not a good reason for staying with someone.

- The sex is awesome.
Not a great reason to stay with someone, though it's important.

- It would break her heart.
Not a good reason for staying with someone.

- She controls my friends.
I sympathise, but I'm also bad at meeting people. But you might be surprised, if you make an effort to retain friendship with them, that they will also remain your friends.

- We get along.
Well this is good...but you say you don't want to settle down.

- I'm old as balls.

No, you really really aren't. I'm 38, and most of my friends who aren't in long-term relationships don't have any problem meeting people or going on dates or starting relationships. My parents got divorced and remarried when they were twice your age. It's easy to meet people, and you are still very young.

So you've got several bad reasons to stay with her, and two good reasons - the sex, and the fact that you get along and are comfortable together. But you don't want to be in a settled relationship yet....so...that leaves the sex. Not a good enough reason, IMO. You should probably break up.
posted by Infinite Jest at 7:57 AM on April 25, 2010


This poor girl. Please, break up with her so she can find someone to be with who actually likes her.

I've known guys like you before, and I suspect you will be spending a lot of time in your life thinking the grass is greener and you can do better and that you deserve an 8, until you actually ARE as old as balls and are still desperately trying to date 21-year-olds while old enough to be their fathers, have alienated most of your friends through shallow, immature behavior, and are sitting on the far side of 40 wondering where it all went wrong. Even if you find the perfect person, you will be convinced you can upgrade, because you a) don't want to be a member of any club that will have you and b) always think you can find younger and hotter. If you are smart, you will take this moment to reassess YOURSELF, not just your relationship. There's a reason your friends will stay friends with her and not you, and it's not because she's emotionally manipulative.

If you want to be with someone "awesome," you're going to have to do some serious growing-up and self-evaluation.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:39 AM on April 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I <3 snictown's post. Do communicate with her. Then perhaps you can end it mutually, or grow together. Either way, you'll learn more from the experience.
posted by metametababe at 9:59 AM on April 25, 2010


Stop holding her back.

She's a moderately attractive mid-twenties woman who's a generous partner and great in bed. She's got some work to do, but who doesn't? She's a catch. Your friends picked her over you when you broke up last time.

You on the other hand aren't into her, but are hanging around to use her sex and lifestyle conveniences. Plus, you know you don't have the game to snag an upgrade.

Break up with her. She'll have an upgrade within a few months.
posted by 26.2 at 10:23 AM on April 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


Your reasons for going are much clearer and stronger than your reasons for staying. What really stuck out for me was that you are in no way ready to make a lifetime commitment to anyone (regardless of whether they'd make a decent long-term partner or not) and you want to see other people, and that you feel so resentful when you catch sight of an attractive woman and realize you can't ask her out because you're burdened by your current relationship.

Not being ready to settle down could be the root cause of you just not being that into her. I fully understand that. If you're not in a headspace where you want to make things work with someone, even their reasonable needs can seem like an emotional vortex, and you don't want to put up with their shit. At all. Whereas if you're ready, and you meet someone compatible, you're probably going to cut the person you're ready for a lot more slack. (I'm not saying you're exaggerating her neediness, but it's possible).

As far as a woman's looks go, if you do end up dating an "8" or higher on your rating scale, you may find that she has a nagging suspicion you're using her as arm candy and social currency. And unless she has low self-esteem, she's not going to like that. Please reflect on this before you start dating again. Don't end up using someone who's "out of your league" to make yourself feel better about yourself. You may end up feeling worse in the long run when she realizes this and dumps you.

If I were your GF and I realized you felt this way about me, I'd leave you. If your GF knows how you feel and still stays, then she probably has low self-esteem and your desire to cushion the blow is understandable. It's good that she has the friends you mention. They will surely be a source of support for her, but you may have to suck it up and not be part of their crowd anymore. People tend to take sides in this sort of thing.

If I were her, it would be easier to hear "I'm just not ready to settle down or try to make things work with you" than "you're not pretty enough for me and you're an emotional vortex of need." Make it as little about her as you can. Because really, it's not that she's inherently defective. It's not the right time, and she's not a good fit. You're resenting her and may be making her worse than she really is in your head in order to create the emotional distance necessary to dump her.

I'm way older than balls and in fact have been dating since before you were born, so everything I'm telling you comes from my own superannuated experience.
posted by xenophile at 10:53 AM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know this dude who has had 3 good relationships in the last 5 years. He just turned 90. He's my grandfather, and the relationships only end due to death or Alzheimers. You are not old and even if you were this is not an excuse.
posted by heatherann at 12:10 PM on April 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


I am a little late...but I am very familiar with your situation...same age, same issue (though when I refer to her I say mostly "great", instead of "ok" and do my best not to use numbers)...I think you really wanted us to get a feel for how you feel and thus went ahead and tried to be as honest as possible...It seems like you are not ready to stay with her and it also seems like you need to do some exploring of your own to understand your sentiments better...listen if you memail me I'd love to tell you more and we can take it from there in the meantime....take sometime to reflect about yourself what do you want in life and how do you feel right now and my advice is to make the decision to stay true to yourself...right now I dont think you are doing that.
posted by The1andonly at 7:05 AM on April 26, 2010


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