Is this a red flag in my 3 month old relationship?
May 22, 2014 6:22 PM   Subscribe

I have been dating this girl for three months now. I think she is a sweet classy girl. The only problem I have with her is this: During past three months there were three occasions in which she wanted to go to a family event. At first she said that she was going to a family party. Then later she said that she made a mistake and that was actually a big party where half the city were invited. I texted her this morning asking her to hang out tonight and she said fine. Then this afternoon she said she rather hang out tomorrow and pack her things up for a trip she is going to go in 9 days. She just called me a few minutes ago telling me that she is invited to an event on FB which she just realized because her FB did not send her any notifications and she is thinking of going or not going. She always says she is not sure if she would go but ends up going any ways.

In the beginning she told me that her ex became very upset about her going to these parties and I told her that her ex was too possessive. Now I see I kind of started having issue with her about these too. Honestly I am not offended because of her going to these parties alone. What offends me is that I think she already had plans to go and she knew about it from the start and that is why she cancelled her plans with me for today. In the previous occasion I think she knew that she was not going to a family event too.

I do not have any problem with her going to parties with her girl friends and having fun. What bothers me is the fact that I feel she was not honest with me about it. Also I keep thinking why she does not want other people here (probably single guys) to know I am with her. We already hang out with her friends but all of them were couples.

May be I am over analysing this but I appreciate your feedback.
posted by mbn1455 to Human Relations (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
As always, I think the best thing would be to discuss all of this with her. Say you're not possessive, but you feel like maybe she wasn't being entirely truthful, and now you're starting to get the feeling she doesn't want you at these parties she's going to.

Her reaction will tell you whether it's a red flag. You don't need to go to every party she goes to, but if she feels the need to psych you out of going to them, then it's not unlikely that it is so she can be single while she's there.

Alternately, maybe go to a few parties on your own without her, and see if that bothers her. If it doesn't, then either she's very open-minded, or you don't have as close a relationship as maybe you thought. And if it does, then you can suggest that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
posted by musofire at 6:29 PM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

Your significant other is not an extension of you. She's entitled to her own life. She doesn't have to take you along to every social event that she attends.

What bothers me is the fact that I feel she was not honest with me about it.

Fine - tell her how you feel, and work through it. But keep in mind that it might have happened exactly how she says it did.

Also I keep thinking why she does not want other people here (probably single guys) to know I am with her.

Nothing you have written indicates that this is, in fact, the case.

In the end, if you feel like you can't trust her, don't date her.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:31 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's kind of rude to make plans with someone and then flake like that, whether it's to go to parties or really anything else. You should tell her you don't care about what kinds of parties she goes to, but don't flake on you like that in the future.

Also, be careful of microanalyzing your SO's behavior in light of "OMG she probably doesn't want people to know we're dating." I've been there, and it's not helpful. If you genuinely think that's true, this doesn't bode well for your relationship whether it's actually happening or not.
posted by Sara C. at 6:38 PM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

She's entitled to her own life, but if she's routinely flaking on plans with you to go do stuff with other people, then even if she's being totally honest, she's not much of a girlfriend. I just said this earlier to another relationship post, but the first few months are supposed to be easy, you're supposed to want to be around each other. "Sorry, I can't go out tonight, I've got plans," should be totally normal. "I know I said we'd hang out tonight but I'd rather not go out tonight, oh, wait, actually I am going to go out tonight but with other people," just seems more like a way of covering disinterest than covering up cheating or something.

I dunno how long the last relationship lasted, but--well. I'm not saying she's a hundred percent doing this, but it's not unheard-of for young women especially to arrange for the guys they're dating to want to dump them, instead of doing the dumping themselves, because there's sometimes social stigma against women exerting that kind of control over their own lives. I think it's worth trying to have a discussion about this, because that'll give you a better idea about whether there are signals you're supposed to be picking up here about the future of the relationship, or whether she's just kind of a little flaky in a way you could get used to.
posted by Sequence at 6:40 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Next time ask if she wants you to go with her.

I mean, a charitable viewing could be: She may have been wavering on going because she didn't want to come right out and ask you to come with her (it's a bit serious for a 3 month), did want to spend time with you, then realised she really should go to this event.
If you would be happy to go with her, ask.
posted by Elysum at 6:43 PM on May 22, 2014

Okay, sorry, wait, I have to amend: This is the same girl who a month ago was telling you that she wasn't getting along with your friends because she's not very sociable? And she's flaking on your plans to go to big parties without you? Under those circumstances, I'm much less likely to read it as potentially good faith on her part.
posted by Sequence at 6:48 PM on May 22, 2014 [8 favorites]

It sounds like she is stringing you along. Next time that she wavers, make other plans for just you and then stick to them. You don't need to be her Johnny on call. And if your plans include meeting a nice woman who is direct with you and wants to introduce you as her boyfriend then that's a win.

I'm telling you this as a woman who has strung along men before. Not really on purpose, more out of clueless innocence, but, still they were strung. They did not get mentions on my fb page, they were not included in plans with my friends or family. They were not my happy ever afters but they were men that I liked to hang out with. I didn't know that I was hurting them by my behavior. Now that I understand it, I no longer do it. She may not be evil, she may just be clueless like I was but, you do seem more invested in this than she is and that won't change by you waiting at home by the phone for her.
posted by myselfasme at 6:50 PM on May 22, 2014

Since December you've posted four relationship questions and in all of them you demonstrate controlling behavior and ask for advice when women (not girls, please) don't act the way you want them to.

In every question you've written, you portray the women as manipulative and they string you along. You say very shallow things about them. I almost think you don't quite get how relationships work, actually.

Is this the same woman you were fighting with a month ago, when the relationship was only a month old? And the advice you got a month ago was to break up, right?

In no particular order:

* just break up for good already
* you should stop calling adult women girls
* you've shown an immature mindset in your relationship questions which are filled with irrelevant details
* your questions come off as if you're very controlling and expect women to do things your way
* you don't seem to understand how relationships work.

I think you should talk to someone to get some insight into these patterns.

And break up with her already.
posted by kinetic at 6:51 PM on May 22, 2014 [45 favorites]

I'd sit on this. Don't do anything, don't say anything, right now. Maybe this is an indication of something bad and maybe it's just your brain messing with you.

There's no emergency here. She's not attacking you violently, or stealing from you, or dragging you into criminal activity. She's not cheating on your or messing up the rest of your social life.

Just let these uneasy feelings ride for a while and see what happens. I think waiting a few weeks will make it much clearer whether there's a real problem here. Things almost certainly will have cleared up or gotten worse. If worse, break up. If better, congratulations, you avoided stirring up unnecessary drama.
posted by mattu at 7:26 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Have you told her that you're fine with her going to these parties? You describe her as 'classy' immediately. I wouldn't be surprised if she's felt pressured by you to always be 'classy', to be someone you can take home to mom, and so she lies about a 'family party' instead of something potentially 'wild'-seeming. Family is very important, right? You would approve of family events, right?

I also wouldn't be surprised if you've been doing the majority of 'pushing' in your relationships. Women who are experienced in relationships are probably disqualified from your selection ("not a nice girl" "too brash"), and instead, you select the meek sort who hasn't learned to say 'no.' When they want space, they don't tell you directly, but they cancel plans with you at the last minute.

And -- you don't have problems with her going out with her girlfriends -- what if there are men who are her friends, whom she wants to spend time with? Again, instead of confronting you about your idea that girls can be friends with only girls, she just covers it up.

(I've been that girl, but I was 19.)

Do you really like her? More than as a potential producer of the baby that your mother wants to hold and is pressuring you to procure. More than the filler of the girlfriend-position you think you ought to have by your age. More than the filler of the girlfriend-position that you think qualifies you as an adult. These pressures are real, and I get it, but it's not productive to let them rule your decisions.

Until you find someone you really truly like as a fellow human being, work on yourself. Volunteer, take lessons, have hobbies; get to know lots of people who are different from you, women, men, and any identity besides. This will relax your rigid concepts of women and how they ought to be, and your future relationships will be less mystifying because you'll realize that you're dealing with another person just like you, and not this alien creature, 'woman.'
posted by batter_my_heart at 11:09 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh, but yes - you should break up.
Because I don't understand why you would be getting upset that she has been to a family event, a grand total of three times in three months.
posted by Elysum at 4:49 AM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Make it clear you want her to be honest about her plans and intentions, and that you will not punish her for wanting to go have fun without you (as it sounds like her ex did). I think the fact that she is calling you frequently to give you updates when her plans change shows that she may just be more flexible than you are in terms of how she schedules her time, but that she isn't being disrespectful or trying to avoid seeing you. I love a good party and my spouse knows that I have a very hard time turning down a big event where I'll see lots of my friends. I've learned not to sound wishy-washy about whether I'll attend (and how late I'll be out) when I usually end up going and staying out late.

Consider whether you are giving her enough breathing space to have time to herself, and whether you are keeping busy enough not to be fixating on your girlfriend's whereabouts all the time too. lt's healthy for you both to have outside interests and activities in the long run, and she needs to feel like you aren't breathing down her neck all the time.
posted by lafemma at 8:00 AM on May 23, 2014

Based on your previous question and how cagey she is about her plans, I'd have breaking up on my mind.

Anyone who schedules things with you and flakes out at the last minute...that's not cool.

Sit down with her and say, "While I understand that you may want to go to family events and other places alone, I resent it when you make plans with me, and then cancel to do these things. Another thing I find concerning is that you seem to want to keep our relationship a secret from your friends and family. I am interested in a long term relationship, hopefully leading to marriage. That means that occasionally I would escort you to parties, or meet your family. I expect consideration, when you make plans with me, and then cancel at the last minute I feel that you don't respect me or my time."

Be honest, discuss this and see what she says. Either she gets your point of view, and things change, or she doesn't and they don't. If they don't I'd end it and find someone who wants to incorporate me into her life.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:14 AM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

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