Should I call my girl friend or should I wait for her to call back?
April 21, 2014 10:32 PM   Subscribe

Should I call my girl friend or should I wait for her to call back?

First of all I should say that I am 35 years old and she is 30. This means I am not some high school kid asking this question and I am really looking for a serious relationship, leading to marriage.

I have been dating this girl for slightly over a month. Everything was good so far except for the last 4 days when some of my friends came down to visit me from a different country (two girls and one guy). I already told my girl friend about them. How I know them for more than 10 years and everything. My friends stayed for four days and whenever we went out I invited my girl friend as well. The first time my girl friend met my friends she acted really cold toward them. She only talked to my guy friend and completely ignored my female friends. Even though I noticed my friends attempted to start a conversation with her she only answered with yes or no and very short replies. My girl friend already told me that she was shy and not very social so I kind of thought that was the reason. Then I throw a party at my place and invited my girl friend. One of my female friends invited one of her friends who is a little notorious for having relationships with a lot of people in this city. At least that is what my girl friend told me about this specific person. My girl friend told me that she would rather not see this specific person at all. However, since my female friend already invited her I could not do anything about it. My girl friend send me a text saying that she will not come to my party and she will hang out with her girl friends. She said she already made this clear to me and does not see any reason to re-explain her reasons. Since this happened (3 days ago) we never talked or texted. That girl my girl friend hated so much was actually a very honest funny girl. While it was obvious that she was kind of open-minded, she was not a kind of person to harm any one.

My female friends advised my to be very careful about my new girl friend. They said she is either very insecure, or not that much into me because she should have showed up in my party out of respect for me even if she did not like that girl so much. I also saw my girl friends behaviour toward my female friends and it was kind of disrespectful. I felt she looked down on my female friends. I previously did introduce my ex girl friends to my female friends and there was never a problem like this. My female friends advised me not to call my girl friend waiting for her to call or text because I have done nothing wrong that need an apology. I really don’t know what the problem is or why is she ignoring me. I am offended by her acting like this to my friends but I do not know whether I should start talking to her. I have been really nice and respectful to her friends and she her self acknowledged that this was one of the things she really liked about me.
posted by mbn1455 to Human Relations (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This girl sounds like trouble. I don't think the question is whether you should call her or wait for her to call you. What does it matter who calls who, when it comes down to it? Call her if you feel like it, but either way it sounds like you should try to have some sort of adult conversation about all of this. If she is really so insecure as your post makes her sound, maybe you should break up and find someone who doesn't feel so threatened by you interacting with other women.
posted by thesnowyslaps at 10:40 PM on April 21, 2014 [6 favorites]

Perhaps your girlfriend would have reacted better if she felt that you were BOTH entertaining your friends, instead of her being another person on the guest list?

However, in some ways, it comes down to either believing what you saw or the excuses you are telling yourself. I don't really hear your girlfriend apologizing to you or trying to explain her behavior.

"she acted really cold toward them"
"she only answered with yes or no and very short replies."
"I also saw my girl friends behaviour ...and it was kind of disrespectful."

If I were very shy I would remind my boyfriend that I'm not good at meeting new people and maybe even ask him to help me out. Or ask him to tell me if I ever come off as rude.

If I had reservations about being around a certain girl, I would probably still go to the party but again remind my boyfriend that I won't be spending lots of time with that girl because she really gives me the creeps.

It is your girlfriend's choice "not to re-explain her reasons" but that certainly doesn't help you two to resolve this. So, her behavior and refusal to talk about the issue makes me vote for "don't call..."
posted by calgirl at 10:51 PM on April 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

My girl friend send me a text saying that she will not come to my party and she will hang out with her girl friends. She said she already made this clear to me and does not see any reason to re-explain her reasons. Since this happened (3 days ago) we never talked or texted.

You guys are already basically broken up. It's been a month and you've already started fighting and not talking to each other. Not sure what else there is to do here.
posted by empath at 10:52 PM on April 21, 2014 [27 favorites]

You've only been dating for a short while. I say call her and ask what's going on. You need to have an adult conversation, like thesnowyslaps says, and if she's not going to start one then it's up to you. I mean, you might find out she's got some particular issue that has nothing to do with you that she's dealing with, or you might find out she's viciously jealous and distrustful of you - either way it's not going to be any worse if you call her than if you let things stagnate.

Looking at your previous questions it seems like you've had some troubling relationship issues in the recent past. While this isn't the same kind of problem you've brought to AskMe before, it's understandable that you're feeling unsure and unsettled. Try to be self-confident. Part of real self-confidence isn't waiting around for other people to act how you think they should towards you, but rather approaching them and respectfully asking for it. So that means being proactive in figuring out this new issue.

Personally it sounds to me like she's trying to break up with you in as passive a way as possible. But it could be that she's handling an unrelated issue and it's affecting her relationships, and there is something to salvage. I think it's worth it to call her and find out.
posted by Mizu at 10:57 PM on April 21, 2014

Your girlfriend is allowed to like or dislike whomever she chooses. She is also allowed to hang out with or not hang out with whomever she chooses. She should not be required to hang out with or have deep conversations with anyone that she doesn't want to, even if they're your friends. What is important is that she is polite when she happens to be around them. I wasn’t there to hear the conversation, but giving short replies is not necessarily rude, though not ideal either.

Here's the deal, if it's important to you that she enjoy hanging out with your friends, then she probably isn't the girl for you, and that's all that really matters here. I would vote to not call her.
posted by Shouraku at 10:58 PM on April 21, 2014 [6 favorites]

You have dodged a Jealousy Bullet. Good for you!!

Move on.


I'm entirely willing to believe your (soon to be ex) girlfriend knows something negative about the other girl you do not know, however, treating your friends poorly is not acceptable.

It is likely there is a lot of drama between these females you are unaware of. Meh.

Just let this relationship go. It is not working out. That's OK and no one's fault!

Move on.
posted by jbenben at 11:00 PM on April 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

You're 35 and looking for a long-term relationship. This girl put zero effort into making friends with people you've known for a decade. Then she refused to communicate. People who can't/won't communicate are difficult partners.

Don't call. Don't text. Don't bother.
posted by 26.2 at 11:11 PM on April 21, 2014 [43 favorites]

This relationship isn't going to work out, and it's both of your faults.

For your part: Stop being that guy who needs his girlfriend to like his friends. It's gross and weird to me when a guy's friends are more important to him than his girlfriend. That's the inverse of what it should be, and kind of juvenile.

Also stop taking relationship advice from your friends. 35 is old enough for life not to be a sitcom; you aren't living for an audience. You should live for yourself, to make yourself happy and do exactly as you please. In a deeply existential "we all die alone" personal choice and freedom way.

You don't need permission from anyone to date a woman if you like. You don't need permission from a girlfriend to be friends with people, either. You can have both, but you'll have to give up that sitcom fantasy and start being more individualistic and letting others be more individualistic themselves.
posted by quincunx at 11:37 PM on April 21, 2014 [18 favorites]

A good partner doesn't have to like your friends, or your family. However, a good partner -- a good person generally! -- should be capable of simple politeness and kindness, at least in social situations, even with people they don't like very much or know very well...unless you don't mind the prospect of apologizing for your partner's behavior for the rest of your time together.

Good luck with your next possible partner.
posted by davejay at 11:44 PM on April 21, 2014 [8 favorites]

Call her, say you've been thinking of her, and invite her to do something normal. If she's been busy with work or some sort of problem for the past three days, you may have misunderstood her silence. But if she still seems bothered by this stuff, say you're serious enough about her to want to understand her concerns, and then give her a chance to say everything that she'd like to say. And prepare yourself to react with sympathy for the fact that people are different and take different views of ordinary things.

If you're not doing anything wrong, then you don't need to argue defensively. You don't need to criticize her or tell her why she's wrong either--she isn't wrong about how this stuff made her feel. Just listen, show her you do care even if she has thoughts and feelings you don't share, find points of agreement with her on simple facts ("These are my friends"), and show her you want to come up with practical ways of building trust and respect between the two of you. If you feel pushed to agree to conditions in your relationship that are unacceptable, then just say, politely, "I'm afraid that doesn't work for me," and keep asking her what reasonable needs you can fulfill for her--more communication? encouragement for her to have her own social life and not worry about yours? more one-on-one time together without other people around? and so on.

I'm sure there are plenty of reasonable things you would do for her to build warmer bonds and greater trust between you, so offer those things purely on that basis. You're not rewarding her for being bothered--you're helping her to not feel bothered in the first place. Of course, if you're not serious about the relationship, then yeah, just forget it. It's only been one month, and this is a kind of conflict that could come up again and again and again.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 12:01 AM on April 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'd let this relationship go. Whether due to jealousy or being judgmental (e.g., about the woman who has had many relationships), your girlfriend was acting rude, withdrew, and declined to discuss the issue. She may have already decided that you have different values than she does and decided to end things with you. If not, it seems your options are: (1) try to change her mind (since you already tried this, it seems unlikely to work), (2) accept limitations on your life, e.g., on who you invite to get-togethers, (3) tolerate periodic events where she gets upset like this. For me, none of those options would be acceptable.
posted by salvia at 12:34 AM on April 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Whatever might be wrong with her, I'd like to point out one thing: you, mbn1455, should always, always call. It doesn't matter that you did nothing wrong. Waiting for days when your partner is upset and not calling is a power game and not what you do in a relationship, even if your partner does. Always call and sort it out. Always. There's nothing to win by not calling.
posted by dhoe at 3:23 AM on April 22, 2014 [38 favorites]

Stop asking your friends for advice about your girlfriend. If YOU like her, that's all that matters.

If her behavior has given you pause, that's something to explore, preferably with your girlfriend.

"What did you think of my friends, " is a good opener. She may have really liked them, but was too shy to really get involved in the conversation.

If you like her, and feel like you can have a relationship with her, then call her and ask her out. You can bring the previous few days up, and you can even say, "You know, I met Lucretia, and I really liked her, she seemed warm and funny to me." See what she says.

There are people in this world who, when in social situations that make them uncomfortable, act like jerks. They don't mean to be jerks, they get all weird about stuff and it just happens.

Discuss the whole thing like an adult would, don't drag other people's opinions into it, and be 100% honest.

It may be that this relationship is over, and that will be okay, but if you are an adult, you'll handle it like an adult.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:36 AM on April 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Call her if you want to talk to her, but I think it is (and should be) over.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:49 AM on April 22, 2014

As a 35 year old looking for a serious relationship leading to marriage it might help to cultivate the mindset that you are a man looking for a relationship with a woman, rather than a guy dating a girl. You are still in a college-level dating dynamic and I think this might be key.

You have been dating this woman for one month. Does she know you consider her your girlfriend rather than someone you've just started dating? Regardless, after one month I would not say she's obligated to hang out with your friends -- who you've known for years -- while she's still trying to get to know you. Especially as someone who is shy, she's likely to feel like an N+1th wheel.

All that being said, if you got a bad vibe from how she acted with your friends and dealt with the issue of the party then by all means I would not invest much time in it. After all, you've only been dating for a month.
posted by rocketpup at 5:55 AM on April 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I may have a dissenting voice here because I feel like I've been put in your GF's place a lot. First of all, was she actively rude (insulting? dismissive?) to your friends, or did she just, like, not gush over how great they are? If she was nasty, I could see that being an issue, but if she was just (what you perceived as) cold or aloof, well, maybe she was just feeling uncomfortable. I'm one of those people that takes a long time to warm up. Hello, classic introvert here, and I really can't just fake being besties with people I've just met. It could be that the whole scenario was a little exclusionary for her since you all are long-term friends and she's relatively new to the scene. Did you make an effort to include her, or was it all inside jokes and discussions of your common experiences?

Regarding the woman invited by some of your female friends, it's quite possible your GF has some experience of her which motivated her to want to keep her distance. I'm totally speculating here, but it could be that she knows of this woman's reputation through other channels. Or the lady in question could be triggering a past experience. I know I've had issues with some of my husband's friends because their personalities too closely resemble those of people I've had very bad experiences with, and I've preferred to keep my distance when the person in question is waving red flags all over the place. The woman may have been warm and friendly to you, but honestly, you only interacted with her for a few hours. If I had a nickel for every person I've met who was charming as hell at first but then turned out to be a narcissistic/borderline sociopathic destroyer after a few months, well, I wouldn't still have these student loans.

When you chose to let the invitation to the woman your GF didn't want to see stand, you chose your friends over her. Sorry, but that's what happened. I wouldn't have wanted to come to that party either.

Third, don't let your friends have so much control over your love life. The fact is that they have no more idea what's going on in your GF's mind than you do. All this stuff about how she didn't respect you blah blah blah is totally speculative too. In my experience, female friends of a guy can often get weirdly jealous or possessive. I've found that female friends feel more of a need to control, or see themselves in a sort of "big sister" role so consider whether you're doing what's right for you independent of your friends' opinions. This isn't coming from some sexist "women be hating" place, but from what I've seen happen. A GF entering into a male-female platonic friendship does change the dynamic.

Finally, yes, call her if you want to hear what she has to say. You're almost 40. Don't do this middle-school stuff.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 6:12 AM on April 22, 2014 [13 favorites]

Best answer: I really don’t know what the problem is or why is she ignoring me.

This is equally part of the issue here as it is her perceived behavior.

When it comes to matters of the heart, there is this supposed level of "maturity" that one is supposed to have when in their 20s, 30s, and so on, but honestly this expectation is based upon the average experiences one is expected to have by then, and more importantly, the lessons learned from those experiences.

I found in my own life that while I was having these learning experiences from time to time in dating, I wasn't getting any more emotionally mature, especially when dealing with discord and rejection, due to my inability to absorb any lessons that were being placed in front of me. The primary reason I was unable to learn from any of my experiences was, simply put: Fear.

Something I learned that when I am released from fear of the other person or of the relationship itself, it suddenly becomes obvious that:

What does it matter who calls who? There isn't some battle report that gets put out on the internet for all to see on who capitulated first. If you want to talk to her... to find out why she is ignoring you, to say hi, or to get a recipe for soup, pick up the phone, or shoot her a text.

Her response, whatever it is, positive, negative, or none at all, isn't an indication that you guys are doomed or meant to be, it's just a step in the direction that she is indicating. It's a sign post on your own journey to your happiness.

When I am released from the control I assign her out of fear, then I can see her as a true person... with her own wants, desires, and yes, irrational moments. I no longer demand perfection and an almost psychic connection with her. I can communicate my own wants and desires without being paralyzed by the fear of making her mad, her leaving, or worrying about looking stupid.

Don't be afraid of her, the relationship (or lack thereof), and you will find yourself doing what you need to do, without regret.

If you're mulling this over this much, call her. Say "Hi!" but don't expect anything.

When dealing with people, I find it most successful when I can have no expectations of them. I do, however, have requirements. I require my girlfriend to be supportive, loyal, and to treat me as nicely as I feel I treat her. When those requirements are not met, I must do one of two things: Change the requirement, or change my situation.

But her behavior; good, bad, or indifferent is her behavior, and her God given right to feel and act however she wants to. Your responsibility is only to maintain your boundaries and to communicate how you're feeling in response to her actions.
posted by Debaser626 at 6:46 AM on April 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

From your description, it sounds like she's insecure and somewhat immature. On the other hand, I definitely see Kitty Stardust's point, and I'm curious about your girlfriend's side of the story. It sounds like she was put in a couple of uncomfortable situations and didn't react to them well, but maybe she genuinely tried. (I once went out with a group of people who kept super-obviously shutting me out of the conversation, despite my repeated efforts to engage them. Later on, I found out they thought I was a horrible bitch. That really hurt, and I think I'd have a lot of trouble staying in the same social circle with people who treated me that way.) Or maybe she was deliberately cold; who knows.

And you may not know the entire story behind your girlfriend and the woman she didn't want to see. You met her for a couple hours while she had her party face on; she clearly has some sort of history with her. Having that sort of "I don't want to be in the same room as them" bad blood can sometimes be a flag, but that heavily depends on the specific situation: sometimes it's precipitated by a deliberate act of betrayal or hurt, sometimes it's just two personalities clashing, sometimes one person's just kind of a jerk.

Ultimately, however, it doesn't matter who's right, and this isn't about assigning blame. Y'all are in your thirties, plenty old enough to talk things out when things get unpleasant. One of you needs to call the other, because there's clearly some misunderstanding and hurt going on here. Three days isn't that long of a time, but continuing to avoid the issue isn't going to make it go away. If you can't have a conversation about this, you are probably not the right people for each other.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:01 AM on April 22, 2014

However, since my female friend already invited her I could not do anything about it.

There was something you could do. It was your party. I'm not saying you were necessarily wrong to decide that it was unreasonable of your girlfriend to want you to disinvite someone, but own up to the fact that it was a decision you made, not some reality that you had no control over. That will help when you talk about it.
posted by solotoro at 10:13 AM on April 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Why are your guests inviting people to a party at your house? The party should have been planned by you and your girlfriend as a couple. I would be a little annoyed with you also in this situation and would not be inclined to come to the party either. Your girlfriend isn't just another guest at the party and your guests shouldn't invite people without running them by you first. Your guests are being rude.

It's also difficult to tell from what you described whether your girlfriend was being purposefully rude to your friends or if her shyness is just being perceived as such. In your girlfriend's place, I would be a little wary of meeting your female friends too. I know how judgmental women can be and because of my own issues, I would feel anxious about being myself around them and I know I have come off as rude when I was just trying to be as amicable as possible.

I think you should call her and have an honest discussion with her. If I were in her place, I would feel very hurt that I wasn't part of the party planning, but would likely not want to share those feelings with someone I had only been seeing a month unless you brought it up first.
posted by parakeetdog at 11:42 AM on April 22, 2014

First off, your female friends are giving you some pretty harsh and suspect advice. I have a lot of good male friends and I've met a lot of their girlfriends over the years. A good deal of them weren't really my cup of tea, but I have NEVER told them to essentially dump the girl and I never would unless there was something extreme, like maybe abusive or highly dishonest behavior. These women have barely met your girlfriend and they are telling you to dump her? I don't like it at all and puts your girlfriend's behavior in a different light.

It also sounds like this friend of a friend and your girlfriend have history that she doesn't want to tell you about. She has a lot of relationships? Is that a way of her saying she slept with one of her exes or something along those lines? I may be reading too much into it, but it sounds like there is a lot more to the story and I would give her the benefit of the doubt. Also, opting to not attend a party where you might be put in an uncomfortable position is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. It's not something I would hold against her.

I would pick up the phone and apologize for not calling sooner and see what she has to say. I would ask her why this girl at the party made her so uncomfortable she didn't feel she could go to it. I would also just probably let it all go. Meeting the friends is hard and often a bumpy ride. I really wouldn't make it a bigger deal than it is.
posted by whoaali at 1:45 PM on April 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

First of all, you seem to have the gift of friendship with women which imo is a big plus in a guy.

Secondly, you should always call a person if you want to talk to them. Waiting for them to call first is getting involved in game playing. You don't lose anything at all by being honest and open in relationship matters. That's actually how you find your people.

Talk to her if you feel you should. No, you have nothing to apologise for. On the other hand although you may listen to your female friends' opinion, you should make your own mind up about what to do next.

From my point of view your girl friend has behaved in a way I would find unacceptable. You have women you call good friends: when you're in a good relationship it's supposed to be as easy and as pleasurable as a friendship, only better. It's not supposed to be trouble and strife and drama and not having fun in case the girl/boy friend randomly takes offence.

Once you've talked it through, up to you to see where you go from there.
posted by glasseyes at 3:01 PM on April 22, 2014

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