How to nicely DTMFA?
August 31, 2011 10:44 AM   Subscribe

How do I gently and nicely dump him?

Anonymous because he rarely but sometimes may read MeFi.

I met this extremely nice guy online about a month ago and I'm having difficulty with this situation, mostly because I really DON'T want to do this, but feel like I HAVE to do this...the exact reason is unknown to me, but my gut is telling me that something doesn't feel right is probably reason enough, right?

We've been seeing each other for about a month (maybe a little longer) and I feel like we've hit it off, but as if he's pushing just a bit too hard for a serious relationship. I want a serious relationship, quite possibly with him, but I feel like he's pressuring me. It's been a month and I get phone calls every night, requests for plans every weekend, 'I miss yous', 'I love yous' (yeah, after a month) and a constant onslaught of compliments. This seems great, which is probably why I feel so awful that my gut is telling me that something is off and that I should dump him. We've had sex and it was ok, but he'll be totally focused on me the whole time and when I'm done, just tells me that we can stop and don't have to worry about him. This doesn't make sense to me and is half the fun of it! I've told him this. His response was to change the subject.

I haven't met any of his friends, and he's met several of mine and they're not huge fans but haven't given me any real reasons why. I think I realized a red flag this past weekend when he told me that he loves me and when I told him that I'm not there yet, his response was something along the lines of 'well, as long as you're on track'. Whatever that means? We spent most of the weekend together and I told him something significant about my past that I feel any partner needs to know, especially one who seems so adament about wanting to be in a serious relationship with me, and his response not only was negative, but offensive; the details that I shared with him were emotionally damaging to me at the time, but with therapy and time, I'm past them, but I would want my partner to know and understand what I've been through.

I don't know, Metafilter. Something just seems weird to me. He's so nice though, I really don't want to hurt him, but at the same time I know that I shouldn't be feeling this sinking feeling. I should be excited, right? How do I go about letting him down gently that he's just not the one for me? Do you think a friendship is salvageable? We do have some shared interests that would be fun to continue doing together, but I'm just not so sure I could date him seriously and I don't know why this is, because he's so nice. I feel like such a jerk.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (52 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
this is the perfect time for Miko's breakup guidelines.
posted by nadawi at 10:46 AM on August 31, 2011 [13 favorites]


I don't really have an answer to your question, but I did just want to say that listening to your gut instinct is the right thing to do. And honestly, given the way you've described it, I would want out, too.
posted by sabotagerabbit at 10:52 AM on August 31, 2011 [11 favorites]


I second Miko's breakup guidelines, but please don't feel like a jerk. Just because you can't say "this one thing is the thing" doesn't mean you don't have plenty of reasons. He moved very quickly into intimacy signs (I love you!) and expects you to be able to hurry up and get there, too. He wasn't supportive when you revealed something about your past, it's only one month in and you aren't having mutually satisfying sex... you have tons of reasons to break up with him.

Your gut tells you that you don't want to be in a relationship with him. Your friends' guts tell them they don't like him much. I know we like to try to talk ourselves out of our instincts because we're raised to be nice, and not to hurt other people's feelings, but you're not a bad person because you don't want to keep going forward with this guy.
posted by headspace at 10:53 AM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think I realized a red flag this past weekend when he told me that he loves me and when I told him that I'm not there yet, his response was something along the lines of 'well, as long as you're on track'. Whatever that means?

He's giving you opportunity to tell him that you're not on track -- use it! You can use that exchange to start the conversation.
posted by amarynth at 10:55 AM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


and his response not only was negative, but offensive

There you have it. Partnership isn't just about shared interests and having fun doing things (let alone about "being on track" in the view of only one of the two), it is ultimately also about being able to have whatever type of conversation without anyone changing the subject, or being insensitive when off-guard. So, don't feel like a jerk and just let him go, gently. 'Sorry dude, didn't work the way it should.' There's no way to do it more gently than that.
posted by Namlit at 10:56 AM on August 31, 2011 [13 favorites]


How to do it nicely? Meet in person. Avoid blame (as in, you have a lot going for you, and your a great guy, but I'm not the best match for you). Tell him that there is somebody out there that he'll be a much better match for, and he deserves that, and not somebody for whom the match is inexact. Be kind. And understand that this is all likely to hurt him anyway, but that's a risk in a relationship, and it's kinder to be the source of a little pain now rather than a lot more pain further on, when the relationship is more entangled, he's more invested, and you're more unhappy.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:57 AM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, I dated a guy a lot like this! For about a month. Looking back on it from where I am now, it was actually kind of scary and I am glad things didn't go any further.

Don't worry about whether or not a friendship is salvageable. Based on the brief bit of information you've posted here, I have a feeling he might take things well and you'll feel completely and utterly justified in breaking up with him. You've listed quite a few red flags. (And in my case, I was willing to just not see the red flags — it was my best friend who was all WHOA THERE WHAT. So maybe your friends know what's up.) Follow the Miko Breakup Guidelines, but be prepared for the idea that he may try to manipulate you into feeling like a jerk, especially if you are already feeling sensitive about potentially being a jerk. You are not a jerk.
posted by adiabat at 10:58 AM on August 31, 2011 [7 favorites]


I told him something significant about my past that I feel any partner needs to know, especially one who seems so adament about wanting to be in a serious relationship with me, and his response not only was negative, but offensive

Big. Red. Flag.

Any person worth dating won't pressure you into getting serious before you're ready, and they'll show some type of sympathy or empathy if you tell them something significant about yourself.
posted by luckynerd at 10:58 AM on August 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think the fact that you're uncomfortable about his glomming-on, and that he didn't really seem to back off too much when you spoke to him, is a fair enough yellow-flag, and I concur that you talking to him about something and him reacting negatively is a red flag. I do agree that going with your gut instinct is best, too, and it's time to pull the plug, because you sound uncomfortable.

I wouldn't as such point to the red flag as a reason, however -- what I mean is, don't say "you wouldn't accept X about me and that's why". It may feel like a convenient excuse, but it could also backfire by having him say "okay, I'll try to change my opinion about that, will you stay?" You may be able to get away with saying it made you think a little bit about how you're both different people and maybe things aren't meshing or something like that, though.

Miko's breakup guide above is wise. I also agree that yes, it's time to break up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:59 AM on August 31, 2011


Miko's guidelines are pretty much perfect for any occasion, but especially this one. Not a big fan of "do you have any questions" though. Don't make it about assigning fault, it's just that this isn't the right fit for you. Don't question your resolve, either. There are a lot of genuinely nice guys in the world, and you're going to meet them. But you really want and need someone who understands your past and doesn't respond negatively (at least not to you & your perspective).
posted by Hylas at 11:00 AM on August 31, 2011


Please remember that you don't need any reason to break up with someone. (Nor do you need any reason to date someone!)

"It's been really great getting to know you. I don't want to continue dating you."

That's a hard sentence to get out there! It's really hard to be direct. I largely agree with Milo, and think it's pretty close to best practices. But... I think sometimes it doesn't take into account how men hear what they want to hear. If you said, for instance, "I don't want to continue dating you at this time," all they hear is THEY MIGHT BE BACK!!!

He will ask why; you should be prepared with an answer for that. One answer can be "It's not what I want," which is slightly misdirecting, but not offensive or untrue.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 11:03 AM on August 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think Miko's guideline is kind of overkill, or at least depends on the depth and length of the relationship. Steps 1, 2, and 7 may be most important. I am disquieted by the emphasis on the "right now" (do you want this guy bouncing back around?) and the "really, really, struggle" part (which may come off as token, but it's better than anything generic that I could put together.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 11:04 AM on August 31, 2011


Yeah, it's been a month and if your having these kind of doubts, you're right. Don't worry. He's a big boy. He'll be okay. "You seem like a nice guy, but this is going too fast for me, and I think we're in different places, so it's best that we end it now." Is fine.
posted by bananafish at 11:07 AM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sure, use Miko's advice here, but there isn't any way to do this that isn't going to make both of you feel a little bad. That's just the way it is. But keep reminding yourself that feeling bad for a little while is a necessary step toward both of you feeling better in the long run. You aren't going to make each other happy, so it's better to recognize this now and end it so that you're both free to find people that will make you happy.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 11:10 AM on August 31, 2011


I think people worry too much about being nice. You want to be basically respectful and very firm.

For the future, try to examine and dump the baggage that says that as a woman you have to date anyone who meets basic standards of hygiene and human decency. It's bullshit.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:12 AM on August 31, 2011 [23 favorites]


I can't square this:
I met this extremely nice guy online about a month ago and I'm having difficulty with this situation, mostly because I really DON'T want to do this, but feel like I HAVE to do this...the exact reason is unknown to me, but my gut is telling me that something doesn't feel right is probably reason enough, right?


with this:
We've had sex and it was ok, but he'll be totally focused on me the whole time and when I'm done, just tells me that we can stop and don't have to worry about him. This doesn't make sense to me and is half the fun of it! I've told him this. His response was to change the subject.

I want a serious relationship, quite possibly with him, but I feel like he's pressuring me.

I told him something significant about my past that I feel any partner needs to know, especially one who seems so adament about wanting to be in a serious relationship with me, and his response not only was negative, but offensive;


The above are reasons to dump someone - pressuring you into a serious relationship, sexual incompatibility and his refusal to discuss it, and responding to something that was emotionally traumatizing to you in an offensive manner are all reasons to dump someone.

I don't understand why you seem to think don't have reason to break up with him. Is it just because he's nice? Nice isn't a good enough reason to stay with anyone. It's a necessary but not sufficient quality for a partner.

Also, you don't actually need a reason to break up with someone. You can do it because it's Tuesday or it's sunny outside.

I should be excited, right?

Just because he's nice and want's a serious relationship? Nope. That's not enough for a good romantic relationship.
posted by nooneyouknow at 11:16 AM on August 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yeah, there's no nice here. You're telling someone who says they love you that you don't love them and never will. All you can hope for is to be respectful and courteous. But the clearer you are with him, the easier it will be for both of you going forward. Don't dissemble, don't be ambiguous. Don't destroy him. But just tell him what needs to be said and get out.

Honestly, at this point in the relationship, you have more than enough reasons to DTMFA.
posted by inturnaround at 11:16 AM on August 31, 2011


Good you do it now than later. It's early in the game. Keep it simple. Cut clean and quick. No need to overthink it.

I don't think anyone can know how an opposite will respond no matter how nice one is going about doing it. So just have your ducks lined up so you stay grounded when you speak your peace.

Now I am off to read Miko's guide.
posted by goalyeehah at 11:17 AM on August 31, 2011


Are you afraid that he will do something if you're not gentle and nice? This is important for us to know. If he's so infatuated with you so quickly, he's not likely to take this well, and there is a non-zero risk that he will do something stupid/harmful. There are red flags all over the place here.
posted by desjardins at 11:21 AM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yup, what desjardins said. I personally would be afraid that this guy would try to pressure me into staying with him, be nasty again about the delicate things I told him, or something else.

I would personally block him on social media and go for a phone call. Have immediate plans with a friend afterward, or have the friend there with you to support you. Hang up at the first sign of rudeness. If he calls inappropriately, block his number or never answer.

I don't think doing it in person is a serious ethical obligation after a month.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:29 AM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't worry about the reasons for wanting to get out. If it's not working, and it clearly isn't, then end it.

How do I go about letting him down gently that he's just not the one for me?

I'm going to go against the Miko guidelines, and say that as both dumper and dumpee, I much preferred the Band-Aid approach. Rip it off, one quick, steady motion. Done.

As a dumpee, once you know where the convo is headed, it's interminable and unbearable. You just want to get the fuck out of it. Adding all the nice stuff? Well-intentioned but counterproductive. The dumper's opinion suddenly doesn't count for a whole lot, and opens up avenues to be challenged or denied or blah blah blah. So do it fast, and get out of their immediate vicinity. That is the nicest thing you can do for them.

I also think that the phone-dump is unnecessarily maligned, as unlike the face-to-face dump, it allows the dumpee the maximum amount of self-control in the situation -- they can wince or cry or whatever, and only have to hold their shit together enough not to be heard. A face-to-face dump requires a much more complicated exit strategy for everyone.

So in answer to your question, just say it's not working out, you're not clicking or whatever, wish him all the best, and GTFO.

Do you think a friendship is salvageable?

No. Drop this idea. It may happen eventually, but absolutely do not set any expectations on this. And whatever you do, do not mention it in the dumping speech itself. A consolation price of a cliche 'let's be friends'? No. No no no.

Band-Aid. Clarity is all. Niceness probably isn't possible, and the dumpee's feelings are no longer any of your concern.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:30 AM on August 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


Prize. Not price. But you knew that.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:31 AM on August 31, 2011


The only thing I'd have to add is that I think you should do it as soon as possible based on what you've said. Obviously, I can only go by what you've said but it also sounds like he's almost giving you the opening to let him know whether or not you're on that track, and if you feel differently, the nicest way to dump him is just to pull the band-aid off.

While it's true that this could work out or you might feel differently in a bit, he's taking your temperature, and while it doesn't seem like you've misled him, it may be misleading to keep heading this way.

And though it's been a while since I've been broken up with or broken up with anyone, every time I read Miko's heavily-favorited guidelines, I can't think of any way that's any better. Though they may seem like the opposite of the bandaid because they are so bulleted and detailed, they take care of the possibility of wondering why (or at least as much as you can) and prevent a lot of openings for re-contact. Don't get me wrong - breaks up will always suck for any party involved with a soul. But I'd use that as a starting point.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:35 AM on August 31, 2011


Offensive comments? Lots of pressure, including daily phone calls and 'I love yous' already? And all after only ONE MONTH?!? Don't worry about being 'nice', listen to your gut, and get the heck out now. Only one month in would normally be still-on-best-behavior time, and his doing otherwise is not a good sign. Red flags are all OVER this dude.

Face-to-face or on the phone (but please, not email or *shudder* by facebook!), but do it, do it NOW, and preferably like Capt. Renault says, do it quick & clean with the Band-Aid approach.
posted by easily confused at 11:45 AM on August 31, 2011


There's no easy dump. Be done with it.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:01 PM on August 31, 2011


You don't need to listen to your gut on this one.

He's given you plenty of reasons: He's kind of needy and he's, apparently, a crappy listener.

Don't let this linger on if you're not feeling it. Break it off now before it gets more painful to do so down the road.
posted by PsuDab93 at 12:04 PM on August 31, 2011


From the OP:
- I am worried about how this will happen and am slightly timid to do this in person because I'm concerned about his reaction. He is very mild-mannered, but with all of this initial intensity, I'm nervous he could erupt (because I DON'T know him that well after only a month)! So maybe phone is best? Thank you for the Guidelines as well.

- As a follow-up question/response: When you say "Red Flags", what are some of the reasons that you can see these would be red flags? Just curious.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:07 PM on August 31, 2011


Just wanted to add that you are better off NOT giving a reason - just saying "I've enjoyed getting to know you but I'm not feeling the relationship" is enough. Since he's been very solicitous and eager-to-please so far, you don't want to say "I don't think we are right together because of x" and have him come back with "Well I can change x, how bout now?" - too easy to get sucked into a logical debate.
posted by ella wren at 12:15 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every single guy I know who has been this intense this early has turned out to be a crazy manipulative, jerk who may or may not actually be seriously violent.

The red flag is the crazy infatuation. He doesn't even know you very well, he doesn't seemed interested in knowing you, he only wants you, like a possession.

Once you are his, this intensity most likely will not manifest itself in such a positive way.
posted by stormygrey at 12:15 PM on August 31, 2011 [11 favorites]


Your follow-up question has actually raised a new red flag with me -- the fact that you are worried about him "erupting" at the thought of your breaking up with him that you are preferring to not be in the room with him, sounds like he's got some temper/anger issues, or at least that you perceive some. That, right there, is a red flag.

There is the option of your speaking to him in person in a public-ish place (i.e., a park) so if he does blow up you have people around that could help, but if that still doesn't make you feel safe, then your own safety gets final say -- although, I should point out again that someone who's good for you should not be making you feel like your safety is in jeopardy simply because you disagree with him about something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:18 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Men who cannot let go, seek women who cannot say no." -- The Gift of Fear

The guy who wrote the Gift of Fear also made a threat diagnostic called Mosaic, which is free to use. Maybe go try it out, right now.

I'm not saying that your nice guy is, or will be, an abuser, but that the kind of behavior you are reacting to correlates with abuse. Since you are specifically asking: "Why do I feel freaked out by these seemingly minor things?" you might be reassured to know that professionals in the field also consider these behaviors red flags.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 12:26 PM on August 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


You're not sure whether his mild-manneredness is a momentary attitude or his actual personality; you feel like the former could be the case, with negative consequences, as in "erupt." You also seem to somehow sense that he uses compliments and nice-things-to-say as a tool for "keeping you on track." You are being clear about that something in this situation makes you uncomfortable. That's enough in terms of red flags.

Be done with it already.
posted by Namlit at 12:27 PM on August 31, 2011


Phone is perfectly fine. I, and many others, would prefer to be broken up with by phone, especially for a short-term thing.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:28 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's been a month. Call him on the phone and tell him you don't think it's working out. It'll sting, but he'll get over it.
posted by empath at 12:29 PM on August 31, 2011


One of the best things ask metafilter has taught me is that trying to remain friends directly after a break-up is a BAD IDEA. If only I'd known that back in the day! So, yes, break-up soon, use the phone and Miko's advice as needed, but do not try to stay friends. You are not a jerk, you're just doing the best thing for Both of you in the long run.
posted by ldthomps at 12:32 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've dated a guy like this - he's more into the idea of being in a relationship than he seems to actually be into you, as a person. That's what you're sensing is wrong.

That ex of mine had only been in two long-term relationships before me, so when he found another girl who was "just amazing", he fell quick and hard for me, and moved right back into long-term relationship mode. And we'd only been dating a few weeks. That getting to know eachother period and evaluation of whether we could really be together long-term was blown off by him. "I like you, we get along well, that's enough". And the twitterpation, the limerance, was hitting him so hard that he was drunk on the idea of me... without really giving it thought. I told the guy to back off, I need some space (we were spending far too much time together)... and then later that night he called to say he was outside, he'd locked himself out of his house and the landlady wasn't home this evening. I broke up with him the next day, gave him an "I think this is moving too fast, I think you want a relationship and not me for me, this has just worn me out and I'm not interested anymore. You're a great guy, but it's been too intense, I'm done. Goodbye."

And for the next week I got calls begging me to reconsider, he begged me to come to the balcony when i wouldn't let him in, and when we saw eachother in social settings he again begged me but held his composure well enough. We're ok friends now, he's moved on.

My point: This guy's just likely gotten carried away. I don't know if you need to be afraid of him to the point of breaking up with him over the phone, a public place should be fine (but ultimately you do what you're comfortable with). Though yes, caution is recommended, I think a lot of mefites jump to the "omg psycho!" conclusion and not all intense guys need to be feared for physical aggression.
posted by lizbunny at 12:35 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I want a serious relationship, quite possibly with him, but I feel like he's pressuring me."

This is the part that's concerning. You're thinking about breaking up with him, and yet, you quite possibly might want a relationship with him if you can get him to not pressure you into it.

So, your problem is really:
#1 - Do I want a relationship with him?
#2 - How do I get him to back off, pressure wise, so it can happen naturally?
#3 - If that doesn't work, how do I nicely dump him?

Here's my advice:
#1 - Only you can answer this.
#2 - If you want to try a relationship with him, you need to have a blunt and honest conversation with him about what the problems are. Tell him POINT BLANK that you might want a relationship with him, but you feel like he's pressuring you into it and pushing you too fast. Then, tell him you want to try this whole dating thing with him over again from scratch. Let him know what you want and what your expectations are. Find out what he wants. Meet him half way.

#3 - If that fails, tell him the truth. To me, it sounds like the truth is you really like him, but your approach to dating is different than his, and it's leading to incompatibilities that just don't work for you.
posted by 2oh1 at 12:36 PM on August 31, 2011


I'm also not sure how someone you said you might quite possibly want a relationship is a MF?
posted by 2oh1 at 12:37 PM on August 31, 2011


The reason I think what you've pointed out as red flags ARE red flags is that they were present in my past abusive relationship --

- moved crazy fast into "I love you" territory, which made it hard for me to set healthy boundaries for myself, and made me feel bad about asking him to slow down (because he loved me!)

- wanting to be with me (on the phone or in person) every second of the day, which is the beginning of the isolation that is a hallmark in abusive relationships

- not meeting his social group, meaning that I couldn't see him in the context of his other friendships, or determine whether his friends were creepy, or even if he had friends

- my friends did not get good vibes from him (though in my case, they didn't tell me how much he creeped them out until after the fact)

- reacting offensively to my past, which is testing to see if I had a healthy self esteem, and modelling that he would get to judge what happened to me, rather than me being the judge

- not wanting to be the focus of sexual pleasure, which was a setup for me being selfish and him being selfless, so that later he could use it against me

Go ahead and dump him. Even if there weren't red flags, you are allowed to end a relationship JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT TO.
posted by freshwater at 12:51 PM on August 31, 2011 [10 favorites]


People are awfully hard on a person who hasn't actually done anything horrible. It doesn't sound like there's any doubt about breaking up with him. He's too much too fast. Could be the sign of a total puppy-kicking psycho, or it could just be someone who is just lonely and over-enthusiastic.

I say meet in a very public place (busy coffee shop?), be nice, clear and firm and be done with it. Using the "rules" referenced at the top wouldn't hurt.
posted by cnc at 12:51 PM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Phone is totally fine - go for it.

I think the sex thing and the lack of empathy for your past are the big red flags. The other things could really go either way (some guys are just enthusiastic, and if you felt the same way you would probably be into it).

You clearly aren't into him at all and it's OK to move on. Via a band-aid approach, on the phone, without being friends.
posted by rainydayfilms at 12:58 PM on August 31, 2011


What rainydayfilms said. Dollars to doughnuts the "nice guy" is not real and he is trying to fast-forward you because he is fully aware that he's not nice and he can only keep up the act for so long.

Or not.

Either way, I would use Miko's famous speech, and I advise against trying to be friends with him, since that will be painful if he's for real, and hazardous for you if he is not.
posted by tel3path at 1:03 PM on August 31, 2011


Yeah, the sex thing is very strange, as is the way he reacted to your past. So is "I love you" so early. It's also a bad sign that you feel strange about your feelings about him. It doesn't mean that it's his fault, or that he's a bad guy, but it doesn't sound like much fun to be in a relationship where you feel like you should like the other person more.

Furthermore, I'd like to really stress what the young rope-rider said: For the future, try to examine and dump the baggage that says that as a woman you have to date anyone who meets basic standards of hygiene and human decency. It's bullshit.

We've had a spate of AskMes recently, written by women, who are in relationships with guys they're not crazy about, or who are actively treating them badly. They all present, as arguments for why they should be over the moon about this guy, or as reasons why he's the greatest, things that should just be the absolute minimum standards for dating anyone: he's nice, he wants to be in a relationship with me, he doesn't hit me, he's not mean to me, etc. It's starting to get a little heartbreaking.
posted by Ragged Richard at 1:43 PM on August 31, 2011 [7 favorites]


Hmm, I seem not to have actually answered your question. Phone is 100% ok in this situation. Miko's guidelines are always good, although I don't think a relationship this short requires the part about "do you have any questions?"
posted by Ragged Richard at 1:45 PM on August 31, 2011


Red flags from my view:

- Refused to talk about sex - shows inability to have intimate conversations where he is not in control

- Lots of I love yous and daily phone calls - controlling behavior

- Notion that you should be 'on track' - controlling behavior

- Negative reaction to you sharing painful past - total lack of empathy compounded by controlling behavior (in this case 'judging')

- not meeting friends - 'isolationism' / lack of friends / and or friends know he has issues

If I were dating this guy, I'd have serious concerns too.
posted by zia at 2:34 PM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also it sounds like you are actually kind of afraid of him, which is the biggest red flag.
posted by zia at 2:35 PM on August 31, 2011


Be kind, be clear, be willing to be the bad guy, and above all rip the band aid the fuck off ASAP.

Do not not not try to be friends.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:17 PM on August 31, 2011


A month is a very short time to be dating a person. There is no need here to do anything above calling him and saying something akin to, "Hey, this isn't working out for me. You're a good guy, but I don't feel like we are a good match for each other." And don't let him sway you. If he starts arguing and getting angry or crying or something, just tell him you're sorry you've hurt him, but it wouldn't be right to keep seeing him when this is how you feel, and you're not going to change your mind.

To me it doesn't really sound like he actually loves you; it sounds like he just wants to be in a long-term relationship. At least you were honest enough with him to tell him you weren't there yet. I'm sure he likes some things about you, but he doesn't know you well enough to feel anything in depth, and the more intimidate details you have let him know about yourself he does not respond kindly to. That would make me very uncomfortable too.

No need to keep this going, no need to try to be friends with him, no need to feel guilty about it.
posted by wondermouse at 5:03 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, phone is fine. He likely will ask (or pressure) for a in-person meeting. You do not need to do this and you should not feel guilty about it for a one month long relationship.

Just remember that you have made up your mind and you are doing the right thing by ending it now.
posted by seesom at 6:48 PM on August 31, 2011



Just wanted to add that you are better off NOT giving a reason - just saying "I've enjoyed getting to know you but I'm not feeling the relationship" is enough. Since he's been very solicitous and eager-to-please so far, you don't want to say "I don't think we are right together because of x" and have him come back with "Well I can change x, how bout now?" - too easy to get sucked into a logical debate.


I say give him the reasons. Some guys don't realize when they're being clinging or pressuring girls too much, and if you tell him that he'll know in the future.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:17 PM on August 31, 2011


I say give him the reasons. Some guys don't realize when they're being clinging or pressuring girls too much, and if you tell him that he'll know in the future.

That said, after you give him the reasons and make the breakup phonecall, sever. Cut off social networking, phone, and in-person contact.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:25 PM on August 31, 2011


What's the mystery of his saying as "long as you're on track"? I take that to mean everything's okay as long as you're enjoying his company and can see a serious relationship in the future.

He does seem like he's glommed on to you too fast with too much intensity, and is a little desperate to be in a relationship. There's no crime in that, but it does suggest that a lot of his enthusiasm for the relationship might be because of his being needy rather than really into you. I don't know ... I'm guessing.

I agree with doing this on the phone. I would specifically say you didn't want to but it was very hard for you, and yadda yadda yadda. Even before you said so, I wondered if he wouldn't go off the deep end if this was done in person.
posted by xammerboy at 10:05 AM on September 1, 2011


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