Girlfriend met a guy on dating site. This isn't settling well with me.
June 14, 2013 12:33 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend, who is lonely, used a dating site to make a "friend" which I'm having difficulty coping with. What should I do?

A few weeks ago my girlfriend, who is lonely, made an OKCupid profile initially to "laugh at sexist idiots" on there. Eventually she filled out her profile info and answered a ton of compatibility quizzes to get matched up to people like herself. The same day she did the quizzes, she got contacted by, I believe, three men who were interested in meeting her; she chose to meet one of them—on the same day he messaged her.

After meeting up with the guy she admitted to me that she had signed up to a dating site and had met a guy off it. Upon learning this I was pissed beyond measure and told her what she did might have screwed our relationship up. She quickly retorted by telling me that in her profile she had listed her relationship status as "Taken", hadn't put a photo of herself up (which, she thinks, would prevent horny guys interested solely in sex from wanting to meet up with her . . . but I don't know about that) and that she'd only be willing to meet up with guys with good morals. These things reassured me . . . a tad. But, despite this, I decided to suggest to her that, while with me, next time she feels like meeting people from online in the flesh to do it using non-dating sites. She then felt bad about what she had done and deleted her dating profile. The guy she met, however, is still spending time—much time—with her; and this is troubling me. He texts my girlfriend all the time and meets up alone with her about twice a week for many hours at a time.

Had this guy been from a non-dating site, I wouldn't be so paranoid right now—though I don't have much experience with platonic opposite sex friendships I believe they're possible—but the fact that he had used a dating site to make "friends" is too suspicious for my liking; I'd never heard of a thing before. Additional things which make me suspicious are how he's far older than my girlfriend and is an extrovert while my girlfriend is beyond introverted and hardly ever utters a peep while in the presence of others. All I really know about him so far is that he's in a long-distance (open) relationship, often boasts about how intelligent he is and is extroverted.

Perhaps I'm just being paranoid, but I fear it's only a matter of time he'll try to make a move on her. I, and many other people I've known, have in the past been replaced by lovers; I fucking fear it happening to me again. I don't know if I'd be able to cope with it again. I'm able to cope with breakups, but being cheated on or replaced isn't something a man as sensitive as myself can cope with.

A part of me wants to be a controlling prick and tell her "This has me feeling uneasy. I'd prefer if you'd cease contact with this fellow as I can't be assured that he won't try getting into your pants." But an even bigger part of me doesn't want to be a controlling prick like so many guys are.

I don't know what to do. I wish I could have peace of mind, but whenever I'm reminded of this guy—which is all the time—I feel paranoia, rage and need alone time.

What would you do if you were me? I understand that you don't know neither my girlfriend nor the dude she's hangout out with. But do you think I've much to worry about?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (81 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
A few weeks ago my girlfriend, who is lonely, made an OKCupid profile initially to "laugh at sexist idiots" on there.

Being lonely, she signed up for a dating site to "laugh at sexist idiots"? Um...

After meeting up with the guy she admitted to me that she had signed up to a dating site and had met a guy off it.

She admitted to meeting someone off a dating site that she hadn't told you about doing before?

A part of me wants to be a controlling prick and tell her "This has me feeling uneasy. I'd prefer if you'd cease contact with this fellow as I can't be assured that he won't try getting into your pants." But an even bigger part of me doesn't want to be a controlling prick like so many guys are.

That's controlling-pricky. However, saying, "I'm uncomfortable with you having a profile on a dating site where you're quickly making friends of the opposite gender" sounds pretty appropriate to me.
posted by xingcat at 12:37 PM on June 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


The guy she met, however, is still spending time—much time—with her; and this is troubling me. He texts my girlfriend all the time and meets up alone with her about twice a week for many hours at a time.

Balance the good of the relationship off with the pain you are feeling. If you are feeling more pain than good, there is no reason to continue.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:37 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


You are not being paranoid. Your girlfriend is not being genuine with you, or possibly even herself.
posted by anansi at 12:38 PM on June 14, 2013 [26 favorites]


I don't understand. Are you and your girlfriend exclusive or in an open relationship? If exclusive then there's nothing controlling at all about saying "I don't want you dating other people while you're dating me."

Halfway through your post your language changes from your girlfriend's actions to actions/potential actions/motivations of her new friend. If your girlfriend cheats or breaks up or whatever else, it's her doing it, not him.

he's far older than my girlfriend and is an extrovert while my girlfriend is beyond introverted and hardly ever utters a peep while in the presence of others

Irrelevant. If she's an adult then her decisions/actions are her own. Nobody's leading her astray.
posted by headnsouth at 12:38 PM on June 14, 2013 [18 favorites]


A few weeks ago my girlfriend, who is lonely, made an OKCupid profile initially to "laugh at sexist idiots" on there.

No, sorry, this is probably not true.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:39 PM on June 14, 2013 [72 favorites]


The guy she met, however, is still spending time—much time—with her; and this is troubling me. He texts my girlfriend all the time and meets up alone with her about twice a week for many hours at a time.

I want you to be reassured about one thing. You can cope with a bad relationship. You have the tools and you've done it before, so don't worry about that. Make your decision on what is in your best interests.

It is not controlling to say me or him. You have a right to be in a relationship that provides you with what you want. If what you want is monoagamy, you have the right to seek out that type of relationship and end relationships that don't provide you with that.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:40 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Your girlfriend is dating more than one person.
You want to be exclusive, she does not seem to want to be. Ask her if she wants to be exclusive.
If not and if this is a deal breaker for you,which it seems to be, break up.
posted by Snazzy67 at 12:41 PM on June 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


What would you do if you were me?

I would end the relationship.
posted by Dynex at 12:42 PM on June 14, 2013 [43 favorites]


If I were you, I would have dumped her by now.
posted by BenPens at 12:43 PM on June 14, 2013 [24 favorites]


She's either being super manipulative as a bid for attention and who knows what else. Or she has one foot out the door already and is looking for a replacement before moving on. Or both. You have every right to be suspicious. I actually am impressed by how level headed you are being.
posted by whoaali at 12:43 PM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't trust either of them in these circumstances.

What you need to realize is that if they fuck, that's her decision. She's not controlled by this guy's wants. Whether he makes a move is not your problem; what your girlfriend does is your problem.

You need to decide how patient you can be and how much discomfort you can live with. And how badly you want this relationship to continue. That determines whether or when it becomes ultimatum time, I think.

How is your relationship other than this? Is it on the rocks? It may already be over and you just don't know it yet.
posted by J. Wilson at 12:44 PM on June 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


A few weeks ago my girlfriend, who is lonely, made an OKCupid profile initially to "laugh at sexist idiots" on there.

This might be true, I suppose, but I'm more likely to believe it if she had told you before she did it, rather than after she had to explain the fact that she's essentially dating someone else.

Eventually she filled out her profile info and answered a ton of compatibility quizzes to get matched up to people like herself.

Is this also "to laugh at sexist idiots"? I suspect not.

The same day she did the quizzes, she got contacted by, I believe, three men who were interested in meeting her; she chose to meet one of them—on the same day he messaged her.

She signed up for a dating site, then she went out on a date. If this were on the up and up, she'd have told you, at the very latest, before she met up with the guy.

There is no way I'd be okay with any of this.
posted by toomuchpete at 12:49 PM on June 14, 2013 [13 favorites]


Sorry OP, but I think she's either cheating or planning to do so. I've never cheated on anyone but I have a couple of girlfriends who used to be serial cheaters and they would always line up the next guy before cutting the current one loose in just this kind of manner.

If your gf is lonely, there are sooooo many other ways to meet people than going on a dating site and taking a bunch of romantic compatibility quizzes. It looks like she didn't tell you any of this until after she already met up with the other guy. If she was just looking to meet people, why not tell you? Listing herself as "taken" seems weird to me, but a) what do I know and b) obviously it doesn't seem like that much of a deterrent.

Anyway, yeah. I don't think it's controlling to say "him or me." That's what an exclusive relationship is.

Like others said, you will survive this, and if she's cheating, good riddance to bad rubbish.
posted by loveyallaround at 12:50 PM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Look at it from this angle:

She met up with a random stranger without telling you, her SO, presumably a person she is quite close with.

There is no way I would meet up with a random stranger--even for friend purposes!--without telling at least someone.

That she didn't share that with you suggests she was intentionally trying to hide it from you. Perhaps because she knows that it's not really on the up and up.

DTMFA.
posted by phunniemee at 12:51 PM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


The guy she met, however, is still spending time—much time—with her; and this is troubling me. He texts my girlfriend all the time and meets up alone with her about twice a week for many hours at a time.

Why are you phrasing it this way - that it is the guy who is spending time with her? She is spending significant time with him. Your girlfriend is dating another guy. To describe it any other way is ridiculous.
posted by The World Famous at 12:51 PM on June 14, 2013 [49 favorites]


I am a married woman who has used OK Cupid to make friends. People actually do this, for what it's worth.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:52 PM on June 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


1. If someone is on a dating website, the default presumption of the users is that they are there for dating, so,
2. The 'Taken' status may mean any number of things, such as 'open', or 'soon to be single',
3. Even if her story is completely as she says it is, to laugh at the sexist idiots, she is playing a very dangerous game. Dangerous for her, dangerous for you.

The guy on the outside likely has the expectation of dating your girlfriend -- which is a quite reasonable expectation given (1). He might already think he is dating her.

It's not controlling to say 'him or me'. Not at all. I would, however, seriously question if this is a relationship you want to keep. I certainly wouldn't. Hell, she may be doing this just to get you to dump her, so she's not the bad guy. Who knows?
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:53 PM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


If they really truly are just friends, then she shouldn't be opposed to you meeting him - actually she should be thrilled to introduce her new BFF to her significant other. See what she says about inviting him over for dinner.
posted by lalex at 12:55 PM on June 14, 2013 [20 favorites]


Your feelings matter and you have a right to have the parameters and boundaries of the relationship taken seriously. Going on dates with a man she met on a dating site is not respectful behavior in an exclusive relationship. If it was a legit friend, then the three of you should be able to comfortably spend time together. Do you think this is the case? And already you feel guilty about expressing your needs. You should not feel guilty; this is a reasonable and healthy need.

In your shoes I would lay out the consequences of her behavior, in terms of what I would do. As in, "I care about you, but there are some behaviors that will cause me to end the relationship. Seeing someone else is one of them. Acting in ways that suggest your desire to see other people outweighs your commitment to our relationship is another. Going on dating sites and spending time alone with people you meet there is not behavior that I will accept in an exclusive relationship, because this behavior does not make me feel respected or valued, and I won't accept a relationship under such terms." Then it's on her to do the right thing, or not.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:56 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


What would you do if you were me?

I'd break it off. In my relationships (marriage, friendships, work associates, etc.), people talk about things that seriously effect me before they actually do them.
posted by 99percentfake at 12:58 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


What would you do if you were me?

Break it off. In fact, I was in a VERY similar situation to you, and it was the final straw for the relationship.

I get a sense that she is testing the waters. If you turn out to be OK with this now, she'll progress to adding a photo, taking down the "taken," and so forth. But even if that's not what's happening... this is a very bad sign.
posted by payoto at 1:02 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Time to move on. Dump her. What shes doing be is bullshit.
posted by Fuzzyness at 1:04 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm so sorry. It is likely that you are now a standby boyfriend. She is shopping for your replacement, but she's too chicken to break it off with you first.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 1:05 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


People do use OKCupid to meet friends. It's not the norm, but it's not completely unheard of. If your girlfriend is lonely and the people she likes to hang out with skew towards the OKCupid demographic, and she's bored enough that she thought it might be amusing to create a profile and browse through people, all of that is pretty much not a big deal.

The guy she's hanging out probably does want to sleep with her. Obviously, right? If your girlfriend is happy in her relationship and not looking for anything more, then she'll set clear boundaries on their friendship and that should all be fine as well. If he makes overtures that are unwelcome to her, she'll stop hanging out with him, or tell him she doesn't have feelings for him.

Your real problem is that you seem colossally insecure and uncertain of whether or not your girlfriend is actually in a secure and happy relationship with you. Address that uncertainty, one way or another, and the rest of this situation will take care of itself, one way or another.
posted by booknerd at 1:05 PM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I, and many other people I've known, have in the past been replaced by lovers; I fucking fear it happening to me again.

I know this part is tough -- believe me, I know -- but don't let this fear keep you in a bad relationship.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2013


If she really made a big mistake and is sorry, she can prove she deserves the benefit of the doubt by choosing you and cutting this other guy off.

If she is just kind of naive (possible for someone so introverted) perhaps she could read this other thread in which the consensus is that older men are rarely ever interested in being platonic friends with young women. This might help her open her eyes and cut this other guy off.

If she won't, she's cheating on you and/or wants to cheat on you. DTMFA.
posted by bleep at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I, and many other people I've known, have in the past been replaced by lovers; I fucking fear it happening to me again.

Then take the initiative and stop just letting it happen to you.
posted by rhizome at 1:11 PM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


[Constructive answers, not one-word reflex responses, please. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:14 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


But do you think I've much to worry about?

Adding to the chorus: Yes.

The timing is the most problematic bit for me -- using a dating site to members of the opposite sex, alone, who are in open relationships isn't necessarily out of bounds, but it's awfully close to the line for me. And it would be a giant red flag for me if my partner did not have a conversation with me before something like this happened. Add that to all of the time she's spending with him, and the red flag starts on fire and I'd end the relationship.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:15 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you have described this accurately, you are being used by the person you claim is your girlfriend. Definitely leave her as you deserve much better. There's no need to talk about it with her, she doesn't deserve it. Just never contact her again and don't respond to her. Move on.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 1:16 PM on June 14, 2013


When something you feel as "paranoia" becomes justified, in retrospect it was not paranoia at all but simply that you were paying attention. Are you paying attention?

While I'm not about to dissect your girlfriend's motivations, older men in open relationships are absolutely not putting themselves out there on dating websites (even dating websites that have a tacked-on "just friends :)" option) because they're short on buddies with whom to have a beer and bullshit around. Yes, utterly platonic older-man-younger-woman relationships exist in the world, but is it ever a losing gamble to think older men are messaging young women on OK Cupid to go bowling.
posted by A god with hooves, a god with horns at 1:20 PM on June 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


I keep getting stuck on how you describe her, repeatedly, as lonely. Is she truly? In what way, and do you know for what reasons? (Did she recently move? Graduate? Change jobs? Is it just the introversion preventing her from socializing generally?)

Because while I know a relationship partner can't be a girl's Everything, it's a little strange for someone in a committed relationship to describe herself as cripplingly lonely. Usually, their partner keeps them company quite a bit.

And you seem a little removed and tuned out of her actions, you find out about everything after the fact--is this a long distance relationship for you two? Do you not spend a lot of time together, and is that how it's always been?

Basically: How is the relationship, generally? Because while it does sound like she's on the hunt for your replacement, she might not even know it. She might honestly be trying to fill the gaps and not realize she's playing with fire. (Or kind of realize it but be in super-high denial.)

Nthing comments above that the other dude is almost assuredly up to no good, however.
posted by like_a_friend at 1:22 PM on June 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


One other thing: she told you he's in an open relationship. So, he told her he was in an open relationship. Here's the question: why reveal that qualifier to her if not to make it plainly clear to his new friend that he's DTF?
posted by A god with hooves, a god with horns at 1:27 PM on June 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


It just doesn't sound kosher. That's the plain fact of the matter. You're uneasy and she doesn't care very much.

I'd let the relationship die of attrition. Just don't call, text or email her anymore. See what happens. If it gets to 48 hours with no contact from her of any kind, your answer is: I met this cool new guy on OKC.

Or, you can simply break up. "I'm not comfortable with the fact that you've met a man on a dating website and the you're spending a lot of time with him. I would like to be a monogamous relationship and it seems like you're testing the waters by putting your profile out there and meeting with people you could have an attraction to. I want to break up."

It sucks because you really want to believe what she's telling you, so much so, that you'd attribute anything that might happen between her and her new friend to his seduction of her. But let's get real. Women have as much agency as men do in relationships. So what you're really afraid of is the two of them go off together and leave you in the dust.

It's over. Call her on this bullshit and break up with her.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:40 PM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


lalex has found the elephant in the room, I think: if this is all delightfully platonic, why haven't you met this guy? Why aren't the three of you hanging out together?

On reflection, there might be a few elephants, but for me this is the biggest one. I would end it at this point. Failing that, ask her to bring you along next time she meets the guy. If she says no, the klaxons are sounding and it's time to make for the exits. If she says yes, go along. I suspect that after spending a couple of hours with the two of them you will have a pretty good idea of how innocent it is.
posted by pont at 1:47 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Your girlfriend is almost certainly cheating on you, and if you don't get out soon, it's going to mess with your mind much more than it already has, and you will be left with horrible trust issues which could interfere with your next relationship. Run, don't walk. Run.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:51 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


It sounds like she's not happy in her current relationship, but doesn't have the backbone or certainty to admit it to you (or, maybe, even herself). My take is that she's palling around with this older, more experienced guy precisely because he's not her type; if she'd consciously decided to put you on the back burner and pursue someone else, or to cheat so that you'd leave her, I bet she would've chosen someone with more subcultural/demographic overlap. But by hanging out with someone who's clearly got the upper hand as far as power dynamics go, I think she's waiting for him to make the move--so that it's "not her fault."

You both sound young and inexperienced at dealing with relationship problems. It also sounds like she's setting herself up to get hurt, both by the choices she's making in your relationship, and by getting involved with this older guy. I feel pretty sympathetic to the situation she's in--even if you gracefully and sweetly tell her it's over, I don't think she'll be able to extricate herself from this situation without hurt--and either way, she's not behaving ethically within the bounds of your relationship.
posted by tapir-whorf at 1:53 PM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


If I were you, I'd ask her if she is committed to you and only you, or if she wants to be in an open relationship (which sounds like she's already treating it that way).
I'm a girl with guy friends but when I'm in a committed relationship I introduce them to my boyfriend and want everyone to be friends. For this to work all 3 of you need to be friends.
eta: Besides the whole trust issue, setting up a dating profile to laugh at people is pretty mean and immature. If my boyfriend did that I would consider it a serious character flaw.
posted by hellameangirl at 1:56 PM on June 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


DTMFA. People who want to make friends make friends in front of their SO. She didn't disclose she had "made a friend" until after it happened. Have you met this guy? I have a lot of male friends who are exclusively my friends
(Not friends individually with Mr. Kitty) but hang out with my husband and me on occasion. She was lonely as you stated and most likely wanted the attention any woman gets on a dating site. Her couching it by not putting up a picture doesn't matter.

I don't feel it's controlling to tell her this behavior is not acceptable to you. She is effectively having (at minimum) am emotional affair with this guy. Telling her to knock it off is not controlling, it's setting your own boundaries.

If you don't want to DTMFA, ask to have a night out with her new friend. Get to know the guy - make sure he knows you exist etc - and see what vibes you get then. I can't think of any rational reason why your girlfriend should be against the three of you having drinks/dinner since everyone is friends here.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 2:05 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


She has framed her relationship with this man to you in a certain way, you have believed her to a certain extent, and I'm guessing you've also talked yourself round to try and ignore the obvious because almost anything is better than the truth.

It's going to be hard for you to read some of these responses but she's dating another man right in front of your face. Forgot how you might come across, respect yourself, and end the relationship immediately.
posted by mani at 2:15 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


This isn't terribly uncommon: someone joins a dating site (or contacts an ex, or goes clubbing at a super meat-markety place, etc.) ostensibly for snarky shits-and-giggles reasons, but—whether they consciously realize it or not—they're really strategicially positioning themselves for "it just happened!" situations. You know, things where "one thing led to another" and "before we knew it" they "wound up in bed together" and they feel awful but "just couldn't help it." Any of these phrases sound familiar to you?

This is the kind of thing people do when they don't have the guts to confront their problems head-on. Instead, they look for easy outs or mindless distractions. I don't know which your girlfriend is looking for in this specific scenario. I'd keep this in mind for future relationships: if the person you're dating has a pattern of not taking responsibility for things, it's not a good sign. It's not necessarily a sign of a cheater, but it's not a good sign.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:27 PM on June 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


What should I do?

Break up with her.

After meeting up with the guy she admitted to me that she had signed up to a dating site and had met a guy off it. Upon learning this I was pissed beyond measure and told her what she did might have screwed our relationship up.

Normal.

But, despite this, I decided to suggest to her that, while with me, next time she feels like meeting people from online in the flesh to do it using non-dating sites. She then felt bad about what she had done and deleted her dating profile.

Normal. (Both your reaction and hers.)

The guy she met, however, is still spending time—much time—with her; and this is troubling me. He texts my girlfriend all the time and meets up alone with her about twice a week for many hours at a time.

I'd be worried, too.

Had this guy been from a non-dating site, I wouldn't be so paranoid right now—though I don't have much experience with platonic opposite sex friendships I believe they're possible—but the fact that he had used a dating site to make "friends" is too suspicious for my liking; I'd never heard of a thing before.

It happens. The whole dating site thing is kind of a red herring; while it's definitely a place with many romantically inclined dudes, it's also possible, though rare, that people end up as friends. And if, say, your next girlfriend met someone on meetup.com, she might be in love with that guy, too. Thing is, the venue isn't really the most important factor.

Additional things which make me suspicious are how he's far older than my girlfriend and is an extrovert while my girlfriend is beyond introverted and hardly ever utters a peep while in the presence of others. All I really know about him so far is that he's in a long-distance (open) relationship, often boasts about how intelligent he is and is extroverted.

Now this actually is a worrisome. Older predatory boastful guy, young bored girl, "swinging", I mean, not to stereotype but older dudes generally don't find much reason to be true platonic friends with much younger shy girls.

Perhaps I'm just being paranoid, but I fear it's only a matter of time he'll try to make a move on her.

Yep.

I, and many other people I've known, have in the past been replaced by lovers; I fucking fear it happening to me again. I don't know if I'd be able to cope with it again. I'm able to cope with breakups, but being cheated on or replaced isn't something a man as sensitive as myself can cope with.

This is where your question got weird. Therapy might help you out here. Thing is, plenty of sensitive people get cheated on; it's really just another way for a relationship to end. You should be in a healthier place about this. Is it because you have issues with women lying? Is it because you feel like you're in competition with other men? Is it because you feel inadequate? Whatever it is, it's a psychological hang up you need to explore and overcome. Get to the point where you're like, this cheating cheater is just a baddish person or at least one who makes unethical decisions. It has nothing to do with your failures and you can't control it. I'd just feel like, "Well, glad I learned her true nature, dodged a bullet." and move on.

A part of me wants to be a controlling prick and tell her "This has me feeling uneasy. I'd prefer if you'd cease contact with this fellow as I can't be assured that he won't try getting into your pants." But an even bigger part of me doesn't want to be a controlling prick like so many guys are.

You should not order your girlfriend around. That is indeed being a controlling prick, and you can't do it anyway-it's ineffective and will only make her leave you. However, telling her your honest thoughts and explaining to her that you will leave her if you are unhappy is totally normal and is sticking up for yourself.

I don't know what to do. I wish I could have peace of mind, but whenever I'm reminded of this guy—which is all the time—I feel paranoia, rage and need alone time.

Paranoia and rage is a bit much. I'd more feel something like, "Fuck this bullshit, I can do better than this."

What would you do if you were me?

I'd laugh in her face, break up with her, and change my number, but I'm a bitch. I'd probably have one warning conversation first, and maybe activate my own okcupid account.

But do you think I've much to worry about?

Yes.
posted by quincunx at 2:28 PM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


After meeting up with the guy she admitted to me that she had signed up to a dating site and had met a guy off it.
Whoa whoa whoa whoa. Stop right there. She signed up for OKC, filled out questionnaires for days, got bites, went on a date with someone...and then she told you about it?

Dude, run far away.
posted by mullingitover at 2:33 PM on June 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


People use OkC to make friends. No biggie.

People who are in exclusive relationships and who are considerate of their partner's feelings would be transparent and honest about using OKC to make friends before even making a profile. They would also let their partner know that they're welcome to meet new friend anytime.

Your girlfriend did none of those things. I wouldn't be ok with that at all. The problem is how she's handled this from the start. The problem isn't her new friend.
posted by quince at 2:41 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have used dating and hookup sites to make platonic friends. But then, that is the super-power of gay guys.

But, it sounds like you are being set up. You can dump her and be the paranoid, controlling boyfriend who wouldn't let her hang out with her friends. Really, the only way out of this without being that jerk is to ask to hang out with together. If she declines, ask why. If she agrees then you probably don't have anything to worry about.
posted by munchingzombie at 2:44 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just don't buy that she's not cheating, or planning to. If I were a lonely girlfriend, I would never in a million years use a dating site to make "friends." I would do one of the 8 million other things a person can do to make friends (clubs, organizations, volunteering, hobbies).

I'm sorry. This stinks to high heaven.
posted by emjaybee at 2:44 PM on June 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


When I was in my late teens/early 20s, I had low self-esteem and was a truly shitty person to date. My family used to joke about how I always had a boyfriend and someone on deck. This is the type of thing I would have done. I'm not saying that your girlfriend is a shitty person to date but right now, she's acting that way.

I agree that you should meet the other guy. I think you should really do a double date - he's in an open relationship? You should meet the person he is seeing too. That way, everyone might be able to get on the same page. But just to be clear, she is accepting applications for her next boyfriend. Introducing my current boyfriend to my future boyfriend is something I definitely did when I was a shitty person to date.
posted by kat518 at 2:47 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


She may be lying to herself and you-- or she may be lying just to you.

Check your parachute and hit the eject button, because this relationship is going down in flames, and the sooner you are completely away from her, the lower your percentage of third degree burns will be.
posted by jamjam at 2:57 PM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


"A few weeks ago my girlfriend, who is lonely, made an OKCupid profile initially to "laugh at sexist idiots" on there."

No, she didn't. She made a profile on OKcupid so she could meet a man. And, whaddayaknow... she met a man.

In my opinion, she's either cheating, or she's creating the opportunity to cheat. It's like a guy who quit drinking but still goes to the bar to hang out. He's an idiot who will soon be drinking again. And your girlfriend will soon be cheating.

Don't bother meeting the other guy. What you really need to do is figure out what happens next in your relationship. What's going to change so that a year from now, she won't be looking for other men again. What about two years from now?

This sucks, but it's better to find out now rather than later.
posted by 2oh1 at 2:58 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I disagree with the people stating that she is "dating another man". I don't think we can tell that from what you have posted. I have kept my okcupid profile up through two long term relationships, and met many friends of both genders there while in a relationship. I've never had an affair or left anyone for a friend I met through a dating site.

You need to have a conversation with her, not about the fact that she crossed a line (that seems clear from the fact that she feels bad and has deleted the profile,) but about why she did this behind your back, and what she is looking to get from the relationship with this dude. If you guys can address the reasons why she did this you might be able to find a solution to her loneliness that you don't find so threatening.

Are you are the only person in her life right now? If so she might be both resentful and terrified of you leaving. She may have tried to make a friend completely separate from you to have someone 'safe' who will stay if you leave.

If she is willing to be upfront with you and work to make you comfortable I'd say it's worth sticking with the relationship. If she can't give any sort of answer, or is vague and defensive, dump her and move on with your life.

Best case scenario, she surprises you with something totally innocent and easy to fix, like "I'm always begging you and my friends to go hiking but you are all homebodies. I know I can't force you guys to go with me, but it's something I really miss doing. This man loves hiking and I don't know how to meet other hiking friends!"
posted by feelingcold at 3:06 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I do not think you should meet the guy unless you are 100% comfortable with her spending time with him (or think you would be after meeting him). She is trying to feel OK about what she's doing by being (somewhat) forthcoming - telling you about the OKCupid profile and the dates. If you agree to meet him, she'll just feel relieved that she doesn't have to hide from you. It'll just embolden her to keep going further and further down that road. Don't put any kind of imprimatur on what she's doing if you aren't in fact OK with what she's doing. It sucks, but you have to talk to her and draw a line in the sand.
posted by payoto at 3:08 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


You should not ask to meet the guy. If she asks you to meet him or arranges for the three of you to get together and do something, then do it. In fact, that she hasn't already introduced you and has continued to see him one-on-one regularly a couple of times a week without introducing you is perhaps the biggest red flag of all.

Meeting him at your request would accomplish nothing. It would not change the fact that she is dating him, it would not send a clear message that you are not comfortable with it, and it would not change his mind about dating her unless he has been, the entire time, in the dark about the fact that the woman he is dating has someone who thinks he's her boyfriend. I cannot imagine a situation where you would meet the guy and suddenly you would be cool with your girlfriend dating him. What would you do if you met him? Confront him? Come on. It's not the other guy you're having a problem with - it's your girlfriend who is dating the other guy.
posted by The World Famous at 3:37 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heh, one of my friends has an asshole dad who is a great source of "shitmydadsays" type quotes. He has a specific one he said to me and my friend who have both faced similar situations.

"She's acting like a monkey, swinging between trees. She's not going to let go of the first branch until she gets a firm grip on the next one"(what followed was a long, sexist rant about how all women are like that, but the meat of that quote is really applicable here)

She's basically trying to play both sides of the fence here. She's bored with this relationship, but doesn't want to give up what she has until she has something else to fill the void that would be left if she just dumped you(there's also a potential here for her just not wanting to be the person to initiate the breakup, ugh). It's a bird in the hand Vs bird in the bush thing, and she's trying to get the potential reward without actually taking on any risk. This blows up? She's still got you(and can probably just keep shopping). It works out? she has him.

This might sound cynical, and like the worst possible read of the situation, but seriously i read through this post twice and that was all i could think. This is stark. She met a guy on a dating site, and she's going on dates with him as "friends". This isn't some old friend from highschool, or a work friends, or some other person she has some previous platonic relationship or excuse to be hanging out with. They were both on a dating site looking for people to date and they found eachother.

Personally, i would think this relationship is toast if i was sitting in your chair. I would honestly highly prefer the person i was dating had just one-off fucked someone to them going on dates with them. Because that could just be impulsive "we wanted to have sex with eachother" Vs actual kindling the fire of a relationship date-y stuff like this.

Also, as some people have said above, you're completely minimizing her agency in this here. It's not just him pursuing and hanging out with her. This isn't some kind of prey/predator relationship and that completely sidelines a womans intent and actions in these types of situations. This is an exchange, a dance. They're both doing this with eachother. He didn't like, steal her away from you or anything. They both went out shopping and now they're negotiating.

I also lol at the not-future this likely has for your girlfriend if she leaves you for him, when his long distance relationship becomes a not-long distance one and she's left as the 3rd wheel in a unicorn type situation who will basically be sidelined for anything but sex. But hey, that's my cynical imagination... who knows. It's not your problem now, she made her bed, let her lie in it.

posted by emptythought at 3:37 PM on June 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


Well, I completely understand where you are coming from and to me it definitely sounds iffy and out of line. I would let her know that you are uncomfortable with her continuing to see the guy and ask her to stop seeing him. Then if she doesn't stop, consider what to do from there (i.e. decide whether it's worth breaking up over.)
posted by mermily at 3:44 PM on June 14, 2013


I am sure there are rational explanations that could justify this, but I think she is keeping you on the line while she checks out other models of boyfriend. If the right friend comes along, you will be dumped.

I would use this opportunity to think long and hard about what your future might be with this gal and if it isn't long term and rosy, adios.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:49 PM on June 14, 2013


Her behavior is shitty, and she is lying to you. She signed up for the site, met a guy off of it, and THEN told you about it? That's really dishonest.

For what it's worth, I am in a monogamous relationship and I have a profile on OKCupid. I am listed as in a relationship and I also say in my "about me" that I am in a relationship and am only interested in making friends. I still get plenty of messages from men who are interested in dating or casual sex.

You are not overreacting.
posted by inertia at 3:51 PM on June 14, 2013


I'm going to assume that she's lonely because you and she aren't physically together right now.

Here's a fun way to find out what's really going on: do what she's doing, and let her know. You should be able to tell a lot from her reaction, which will likely be very negative. If it is positive, go through with it and see if it stays positive once you've met a woman from OKCupid in real life.

Probably better to just let her know that you're not comfortable dating someone who's actively meeting people from a dating site, that you know she's lonely because you can't be there, and so you think it's best if you break up. Then stick to your guns, and go get someone you can spend time with who doesn't do what she's done.
posted by davejay at 3:59 PM on June 14, 2013


If you created an OKCupid account, emailed and met up with some random girls you found cute or interesting, and then started hanging out with one this frequently, your girlfriend, on finding out, would probably dump you immediately. There wouldn't really be any way to convince her that you were just doing it to screw around or whatever. She wouldn't buy it or put up with it for a second.

Neither should you.
posted by phoebus at 4:06 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm with the people asking why your girlfriend is so lonely and is she getting all of her relationship needs met by your relationship. The answer to the second part will tell you all you need to know about if she's going to replace you with someone else or not.
posted by anaelith at 4:42 PM on June 14, 2013


There is a legal conept that I find very useful in situations like this: The Reasonable Person.
A person has acted negligently if she has departed from the conduct expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under similar circumstances. The hypothetical reasonable person provides an objective by which the conduct of others is judged.

In law, the reasonable person is not an average person or a typical person but a composite of the community's judgment as to how the typical community member should behave...
If your question had been about one of the concerns you mentioned -- setting up the profile, meeting someone IRL, etc. -- then it would be hard to apply, but taken together I would say these do not appear to be the actions of A Reasonable Person.

I think it's totally appropriate and healthy to maturely discuss your unease. Even if she is frustrated with aspects of your relationship the healthy and mature thing for her to do would be discuss it with you, because even if this is completely innocent it is disrespectful to you within the boundaries of this particular relationship.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:54 PM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


WTF. Your girlfriend is dating someone else. It is really obvious.

Whether she acknowledges it or not, I think she joined OKC in order to laugh at *you*.

I know this is so hard to believe and hard to take in, but in your situation I hope I'd have dumped her already.
posted by tel3path at 5:14 PM on June 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


A few weeks ago my girlfriend, who is lonely, made an OKCupid profile initially to "laugh at sexist idiots" on there.

Having dated and married before the advent of sites like OKCupid, I'm kinda curious about them and what goes on there, especially because I find things like Nice Guys of OKCupid hilarious. You know what I do with my curiosity? I read Nice Guys of OKCupid. You know what I don't do? Make an OKCupid profile and meet up with guys.
posted by atropos at 5:40 PM on June 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


If I were you I would be absolutely fucking insulted that she thinks you're dumb enough to fall for the idea that she's on a dating site to make friends. And that she clearly disrespects you enough to go on a date, continue to see this man and then pass it off like it's all innocent. Your girlfriend obviously thinks you're a doormat that's just going to stick around while she goes window shopping for a new man, until she makes up her mind and leaves you. Unfortunately, dumping is too good for her and if there was something harsher you could do to voice your displeasure I'd suggest it, but right now that's all you've got. Laugh in her face and tell her to hit the road.
posted by Jubey at 5:45 PM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Someone much further up in the list of comments praised you for being so level-headed. I'm going to second that person and say that you are being much more kind to her than I would be.

I also want you to analyze the words that you feared would seem prickish and controlling. I really do.

You wrote: "This has me feeling uneasy. I'd prefer if you'd cease contact with this fellow as I can't be assured that he won't try getting into your pants"

Broken down:

"This has me feeling uneasy". You are stating how her actions made you feel. This is not what a prick does.

"I'd prefer if you'd cease contact with this fellow..." You're telling her you have a preference that she not do something that hurts you. Nor does this a prick make.

and finally, "...as I can't be assured that he won't try getting into your pants" Also, not controlling! Not prickish! You'd be telling her something she might not want to hear, but so be it! The reality is that even if her motives are pure, his most assuredly are not. She needs to know this.

You said in your post that your lady is a real introvert. Mystery man is an extrovert. Are you introverted? Let me ask you -- when you two got together, did she "pick up" any of your personality, and/or seem to become more introverted the longer you were together? Is it possible that she isn't as much of an introvert as you think?

When I was much younger, I had a relationship with a guy who was extremely introverted, so much so that if I behaved bubbly/socially in his presence, he'd act like I was a little off in the head. I had to let him know that I needed more people in my life besides him. I didn't do that by starting a dating profile.

Have you asked her why she wants him in her life, aside from "loneliness"? Does this man share common interests with her that you do not? If so, maybe try to do those things with her. If it is really just loneliness, I feel like there is so much more she could have done to fix it before she took this very strange step.

I don't know. I feel like you want justification to believe in her, so part of me wants to work from your angle and see what it is you're seeing.

If I were you, I would have definitely given her an ultimatum. I would have voiced my fear of abandonment/replacement. I would have let her know that her actions were making me question my worth. In short, everything you told us, I would have told her, and then some. Regardless of why she did what she did, she hurt you, she worried you, and she withheld the truth from you.

I hope that everything is on the up-and-up. I do not feel as though it is. I'm not going to call her a motherfucker, or say you should dump her already -- but you two have a lot to talk about.
posted by nohaybanda at 6:00 PM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sorry, as a woman, if I were feeling lonely, I'd look to many other place to meet other women people. Not saying you can never meet someone who becomes a friend on a dating website, but a dating website is for ... dating.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:09 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


While I largely agree with the chorus here, there a couple of questions...

Does her profile indicate that she's in a relationship? Does her profile indicate that she's looking for friends/hookups/short term/long term relationships (if memory serves these are all specific catagories in OKC). Then, what does the profile of the person she's seeing from OKC say (eg: if it's only says he's looking for casual hookups or short term relationships, but not friends, that's certainly a data point). Although, I should probably note (/add to your paranoia) that she may have changed her profile before showing it to you (she did show it to you, right?).

Another random point - did she upload a picture?

But yeah, this looks pretty horrible, and your not paranoid, and all the advice to 'run away' isn't unreasonable.

I'll also sing with the choir that his intentions or actions or whatever aren't really your concern (you could safely assume he's trying to get with her, either in the short term or the long term), it's her actions/intentions.

Good luck.
posted by el io at 7:45 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


"You can't do this!!" - Controlling

"I can't be with someone who does this, I feel you have violated my trust. Goodbye and good luck." -Reasonable and Self-Protective
posted by French Fry at 8:07 PM on June 14, 2013 [16 favorites]


It's kind of like you're the metaphorical frog being boiled. Your girlfriend keeps turning up the heat (albeit on a relationship that is not with you) and you haven't jumped out of the pot yet. In reality, they do become increasingly active, and escape if they can. You should too.
posted by peagood at 8:33 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, it's unsettling you because she's seeing someone else. I would move on.
posted by heyjude at 8:51 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


she's trying to break up with you.
posted by cupcake1337 at 11:34 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you decide to stay together (and I'm not suggesting what you do as plenty of others have) then point her to meetup.com as a better way for making new friends.
posted by mr_silver at 12:50 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Has she corresponded with any potential female platonic friends? Does she intend to meet any? If not, you and she really need to ask yourselves why.
posted by J. Wilson at 7:06 AM on June 15, 2013


I fear it's only a matter of time he'll try to make a move on her

This has already happened.

What would you do if you were me?

Get out of the relationship, immediately get myself checked for STDs, and have no further contact with her.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 10:16 AM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Making a profile on OKCupid while in a relationship (without at least having a discussion ahead of time) that's exclusive (e.g., you're not in an open relationship) is well over the line. You should be commended on not wanting to be a controlling asshole, but you might want to double-check your standards in terms of what is and isn't reasonable behavior.

Only you can decide what to do, but if I were in your shoes, I'd be getting out of this relationship. Now.
posted by jzb at 3:39 PM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


"You have a friend you met on OK Cupid? Weird, me too! I'm having dinner and drinks with her tomorrow night, then if I'm too tired, I'll probably just crash at her place. That's ok with you, right? Don't forget to take the garbage out, I won't be home in time."
posted by Jubey at 10:10 PM on June 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Your girlfriend is committing all levels of wrong, because she never communicated her intentions to meet friends on OkCupid. I think you're justifiable in viewing your actions as sketchy. After coming to my own conclusions, I then showed my girlfriend this post without telling her my opinions. She proceeded to immediately criticize your girlfriend for her sketchy behaviour and we discussed all the things your girlfriend did wrong while we were driving to a comedy club, such as: finding a new male friend on a dating site, not telling you until after the fact, we don't know if she showed you her actual profile, and that there are better ways to meet new friends.
posted by DetriusXii at 9:13 PM on June 16, 2013


Just to chime in again, please don't do some "turnabout is fair play" thing like what several people have suggested. Whether you actually make a profile or pretend to just to see how she reacts. It doesn't actually matter if she's a hypocrite or not, regardless of how likely that actually is. It's too late, that ship is burning to a crisp and sinking in the harbor

That, and it's such tired Maury Povich pouring gasoline on the fire kind of shit to just go "well how do you feel now". Total drama particle accelerator tiresomeness.

If you're going to do anything like that, please just do something like "Oh yea, that's funny. I made a profile too, seeing as how i'm going need a new girlfriend".

Because really, what's the actual outcome of turning it around on her? Feeling superior that she's a hypocrite? All you're doing is creating contempt when you could just flip off the circuit breaker. I realize that it sounds awesome because you're frustrated and hurt, but it's just negative crap.

It's not your job to teach her that she's acting like an ass. Nor will you probably succeed in doing much besides creating a story she'll twist around to make you seem like her "crazy ex" to other people or something.

If doing something like that starts to sound like a good option or "test", just dump her.

This is serious staircase wit knowledge right here my friend, the kind of stuff i'd pay $100 or even more to text myself backwards through time. Nothing positive ever comes out of "sick burns" like this, even when the other person was acting like crap.
posted by emptythought at 11:33 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe this is significant: it wasn't until reading relatively deep into your post that I understood you meant "girlfriend" as in GIRLFRIEND girlfriend, not just "friend who is a girl."
To be perfectly clear: it was briefly unimaginable that you were talking about someone with whom you are in a monogamous relationship.
posted by all-caps relapse at 11:38 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also use OKCupid to make friends and state very clearly in my profile that I am not looking for dates or sex. And just recently this was posted asking for new friends and OKCupid was suggested!

There is nothing inherently sinister about using OKCupid to meet friends. If her profile clearly indicated that she was looking for friends and not trying to get some on the side, I don't really see what the problem is. If her "looking for" includes both genders of all ages, again, no problem.

If she's straight and was only looking for men and wasn't clear about what she was looking for, then I'd be concerned.
posted by Polychrome at 4:35 AM on June 17, 2013


Sorry, not buying the "making friends" angle (from anyone) who uses a site like OKCupid to "make friends". There are a ton of other ways to make friends that don't include sites that are primarily used for dating.

If you are uncomfortable with it, you don't need to justify it.
posted by PsuDab93 at 7:03 AM on June 18, 2013


"A few weeks ago my girlfriend, who is lonely, made an OKCupid profile initially to "laugh at sexist idiots" on there."


I am a happily married woman and I actually did do this because some of the profiles on the tumbler sites were blocked to the public, so it's not impossible. I showed some of the "nice guy" profiles to my husband, even. So it isn't necesarily an OMG cheater!1 situation.

I did not meet, contact or consider contacting anyone through the website, though. I think this is when the situation became serious.
posted by Tarumba at 12:31 PM on July 25, 2013


« Older What should my next steps be (genetic testing and...   |   5 Days in Chicago Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.