Boyfriend bad juju beanplating
March 5, 2015 7:29 PM   Subscribe

Dating for 6 weeks, "officially" boyfriend and girlfriend, have been spending time together most days. I've excitedly told my friends about him and invited him to a 30th and on a group holiday a few of us were going on. Last weekend he went to a farewell party on the Friday and a birthday on the Saturday without inviting me, but came to my place afterwards (on the Friday he left my house to go to the farewell party, then returned afterwards). I felt disappointed that he seemed less excited to introduce me to his friends than I did him and my gut feeling is not good. Thoughts?

We've talked about it and he's basically said it didn't occur to him but now he sees it from my side and realises he should have taken his cues from my invitations and wanted to work things out. I don't feel like he did the "wrong" thing but I feel a bit embarrassed for getting over excited and a bit yuck about the fact that despite what he says about liking me more than I like him, that his actions last weekend show that he's less enthusiastic than he says. I've felt far less enthusiastic and more anxious about the idea of seeing him since, to the point that I wish I could cancel all my plans with him. What's your take?
posted by lifethatihavenotlivedyet to Human Relations (41 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Just to clarify: the holiday is just one night at a friend's beach house an hour's drive away, nothing fancy or expensive.
posted by lifethatihavenotlivedyet at 7:32 PM on March 5, 2015

I think it could've been an honest mistake and I'd give him another chance, but if he keeps disappointing you like this I'd listen to my gut and find someone who is more prone to empathize with others.
posted by stoneandstar at 7:35 PM on March 5, 2015 [5 favorites]

It is up to you to decide if this is a trait you don't want in a partner, but:

We've talked about it and he's basically said it didn't occur to him but now he sees it from my side and realises he should have taken his cues from my invitations and wanted to work things out.

This sounds like a really good sign to me. I think things like "introduce partner to friends" are not ingrained, obvious social cues to all people, especially if said people are at all shy or socially anxious. The key is that he now sees it from your perspective.

Now what I would recommend is that you just watch and see if he actually does invite you to stuff.
posted by capricorn at 7:35 PM on March 5, 2015 [40 favorites]

Farewell parties and birthday parties might not be the best examples. If it was a small party where the focus is supposed to be on a close friend, I'd also hesitate to bring someone I'd only been dating for six weeks.

I wish I could cancel all my plans with him

This sounds like an overreaction to the situation you've described. You can't infer that much from one weekend.
posted by ripley_ at 7:40 PM on March 5, 2015 [32 favorites]

You are overthinking this. Mimicry does not equal love. He sounds like a good dude for 1) having a social life, 2) participating in your social life, & 3) listening and responding and promising to do better when you pointed out that he had not guessed what you wanted. If he is Ask culture and you are Guess culture, you will need to give him lots of hints, and clues about hints, and tips to understand the clues about the hints, so he can fulfill your needs. Alternatively, you can ask him for what you want when you want it.
posted by Kerasia at 7:49 PM on March 5, 2015 [22 favorites]

I compartmentalize my friend-groups substantially (weekend lunch group, last-job-friends, current-job-friends, gaming group), and while I wouldn't mind mixing them, I just fail to notice opportunities to do so that are glaring to some of the friends in question. It just doesn't occur to me. Has this screwed up my love life? Yup, now and then.

Bringing his attention to it might be all you need to do; here's hoping. You might need to prod him to get you in on things-- perhaps he's a bit slow on the uptake of what official means. This isn't a red flag, it's a soft yellow that should be watched, and is almost certainly curable with a bit of effort on his part.. perhaps spurred just a little by you.
posted by Sunburnt at 7:49 PM on March 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

What's your take?

My take is that you are super overreacting. You have only been dating for six weeks. He likes you. You like him. This isn't really an issue unless you make it one.
posted by kate blank at 7:50 PM on March 5, 2015 [19 favorites]

It's only been six weeks? I don't think you have anything to worry about right now. This is all really soon.

I have friends my partner hasn't met. He has friends I haven't met. We have some mutual friends. We've been together for longer than you have (we also spend less time together than you do -- that's not a judgement -- just we have separate lives and it's cool for us).

If it's important to you that you meet his friends and he meets yours, let him know that. Compatibility among friends groups can be absolutely important in relationships! But I'd also say it's OK if you have your friends and he has his.

If he's intentionally not including you with all friend gatherings, that's absolutely a different issue. If it's just "I am hanging out with only my old friends from college" or something, that's different. What were the size of these parties? Were there other significant others there? What was the history between everyone? That may change the circumstances, but he's allowed to have his own life.

I guess, this is something to talk about going forward -- I think you're justified in being kind of hurt or confused about it, because we can't necessarily control how we feel or why. But I don't see it as a red flag about him at this point.

In my experience, in every relationship early on, there's always somewhat of an imbalance of who likes who more. That evens out, but it takes some time. I think you're both figuring this out. It may be a bigger issue but it just as equally may not be one at all.
posted by darksong at 7:54 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Go with your gut every single time and don't question it. You might end up regretful of the time you spent trying to fix it or make it work with a lazy dud of a guy.
posted by discopolo at 8:15 PM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

I don't mean to completely stereotype, but this sounds like the kind of situation that would never occur to many men as something that might bother you until you told him it did. I know for the majority of the men I've dated they would not connect 'party that my friend is hosting' with 'party to which I could bring new girlfriend that party host does not know.' In other words, he would not have thought to try to invite someone additional to a party which he himself was not hosting, thinking that it would be perhaps presumptuous, and perhaps also boring for you since you do not know the others who will be there. I would agree that your reaction to cancel everything planned with him is premature and overly dramatic if this is really the only issue so far.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:20 PM on March 5, 2015 [17 favorites]

I've had boyfriends who included me in every fun thing and those that didn't. The latter weren't worth that much energy and I'm happy that I didn't waste time always trying to communicate and went with my gut. The time I did, I ended up roped into the longest and most not worthwhile relationship ever, and I was super young so I can see how I just didn't know better, but honestly, don't work so hard. If his natural instinct is not to include you, that means he's not really ready for a relationship. He might be saying it didn't occur to him, but sometimes guys lie because they're weirdly deathly afraid of feeling like they're in trouble.

I recommend you divest a bit emotionally. Communication is important, but there are dudes who are eager and get that they should try to include you in heir social life when you're dating. If not, that means they're just wary of relationships or something is off.

And when he plays dumb, and your gut doesn't trust he's really that dumb, you don't have to believe him. The sooner you stop investing, the better.

Also, I don't think you're overreacting. It's ok to be hopeful and attracted to someone, but also respect your own feels when you suspect they're appeasing you to avoid a fight or make you happy. I think you have an idea of what you want and you know something is off.

Always, always listen to yourself and your gut.especially if you're u sure about a relationship you felt hopeful about. There are a lot of guys out there, and you might find someone who "gets" you.
posted by discopolo at 8:24 PM on March 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

In other words, he would not have thought to try to invite someone additional to a party which he himself was not hosting, thinking that it would be perhaps presumptuous, and perhaps also boring for you since you do not know the others who will be there.

I'm a woman and didn't invite the person I've been dating for two months to a similar party for the same reasons. I don't know, it's a bit nerve wracking to decide what the "right" friend intro should be, for some reason (I think dinner with another couple might be better than a party). I've met his friends several times, but people move at different speeds with these things.

That's not to discount treehorn+bunny's idea that it might be gender related, because I honestly don't know or care, but if the guy I'm dating were upset with me about the party invite I'd be thinking the same thing as t&b's example.
posted by zutalors! at 8:25 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

The significant part for me is your feeling that you want to run away and avoid plans with him. Even after he came right into the intimate space to show he cares and wants to meet your needs.

Why the pronounced flight response? I reckon it might be a kind of shame that you showed your 'hand' first ? That you showed a strong reaction to his choices about his party etc, and he saw you being, ah, slightly uncool ? You liked it more when you felt you were the slightly more adored partner [as much as six weeks can be adoration-ready].

Sooner or later, if you are going to have a warm and loving relationship, you are going to see your partner put his or her neck out, take a risk, maybe show more than you show, or less than you show. There's no shame in it really. I think he did a nice job of assessing his choices when he had more information from you.

Also, since I am a feel-shame-n-run/flee type person myself - I'll say this: if you choose to invite a person into your life in the manner you happen to love [I am also a friends-sharing type and that is how I express happiness in love "MEET MY MAN!"] realise that YOU are choosing to do the thing you love to do. Other people do other things. I think it's kinda sweet that he bookended his time away from you on the weekend with connection times with you.

And going forward, realise that if you choose to do something, you might want to be aware that you are choosing to do something. If you feel [and I am guilty of this to the max at times] like this is a thing that 'OMG will signal CLOSE and LOVING and WOW' etc rather than 'I really do want my friends to meet X' step back for a minute.

Consciously choosing things because they are really things you want to do for your happiness and not for a performance of love will take away some of those rushing feelings of shame I hope.
posted by honey-barbara at 8:28 PM on March 5, 2015 [19 favorites]

The coming over afterwards thing is a little awkward- it's not like he just didn't see you for a day, it's that he compartimentalized in a conscious way- go to friend's, then see girlfriend after.

I don't think you're overreacting; realistically I'd probably be a bit hurt by this. 6 weeks is almost 2 months (make or break time) and to not invite you to two events right in a row is hard.

Are you official on Facebook? Do his parents know your first and last name? Does he take you out in public often? Then I'd be more willing to overloook it.

Don't dump him but do be more cautious with yor feelings here. Allow him a chance or two to make it up to you.
posted by quincunx at 8:40 PM on March 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

I didn't meet my current partner's friends for forever (it seemed like). We were pretty casual for a long time, so it never really bothered me, but later he confessed to me that he thought his profanity-shouting, Dungeons-and-Dragons-playing, whiskey-swilling friends with the unruly but well-loved dogs would scare me off by being (playfully and delightfully) sarcastic and rude to me and yelling a lot and gleefully beating me at board games and just generally not treating me with kid gloves even though I was a new SO.

I didn't know my partner very well at the beginning-- we weren't friends before we started dating-- so I forgave him for not getting the hints that I myself am a profanity-shouting, Dungeons-and-Dragons-playing, whiskey-swilling, delightfully sarcastic and rude individual who adores unruly dogs. And board games. After all, I was on my best behavior with him at first, and apparently I was a little too good at hiding my messy self.

Anyway the moral of this story is that sometimes it feels like someone is doing something insulting or they're embarrassed about you but actually they're nervous about what you'll think. I know it's hard to "not worry" about something, but if you can, I would. If this guy is going to be a problem of the "I don't want to include you/commit to you/put any effort into you" variety, he will let you know in other ways, frequently and often. You seem to have a good radar so I'm not worried about you excusing him for that kind of behavior if it happens again.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:42 PM on March 5, 2015 [7 favorites]

Dating for 6 weeks, "officially" boyfriend and girlfriend…
Um…six weeks? That's a flash in the pan. It's hardly enough time to begin to know someone, let alone to become "official" (what office declares that, by the way?).

If you have known him for much longer, but just started dating (on the basis of a longer mutual acquaintance and attraction) then that's different. But if your entire relationship is only 6 weeks old, I'd say that you need to get to know one another better before you make any judgments about what his inclinations about anything not directly related to your relationship mean for said relationship.
posted by brianogilvie at 8:53 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Farewell parties and birthday parties might not be the best examples. If it was a small party where the focus is supposed to be on a close friend, I'd also hesitate to bring someone I'd only been dating for six weeks.
Nthing this. These are events where the focus is going to be on shared memories of past events with the guests of honor. It's tough to find a smooth way to put this, but (correctly or not) he may have anticipated that he would have trouble splitting his attention between you (explaining in-jokes, trying to keep you entertained if you're bored, what if you and the birthday person don't get along, etc etc etc) and the party gang.

And farewell parties can run way, way, way long. The last one I attended went from like 7pm to 3am - actually, that's when I left, it may have run even longer. I don't know how it was with your BF, but - you may have dodged a bullet.
posted by doctor tough love at 8:55 PM on March 5, 2015

Actions speak louder than words. I think you are overreacting now, but see what he does going forward not what he says he is going to do.
posted by 724A at 8:56 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

That's not to discount treehorn+bunny's idea that it might be gender related, because I honestly don't know or care, but if the guy I'm dating were upset with me about the party invite I'd be thinking the same thing as t&b's example.

Good point - now that I think about it more, I'd be liable to think this/do this myself too. It may have nothing to do with gender.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:02 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've been with my boyfriend for two years and he has not met most of my friends. I just don't like mixing our private life with my social life or my work life. That's just how I am and it never occurred to me that he would care. He mentioned that this bugs him the other day, and I said that I didn't know and apologized and then I promptly made plans for him to meet some of my friends. Because I keep them separate for selfish reasons, and if it matters to my partner then heck yes I will choose to not be selfish.

Personally, though, I hate the idea of doing everything with my boyfriend. Making sure I do stuff with friends without him in tow really matters to me, because it helps me feel secure in my autonomy. I would not be able to date a guy who always wanted to go to parties with me. Sometimes in the past I felt like I couldn't do my own thing at a party if I brought my boyfriend because it felt like I had to constantly be with him, making sure he was having fun, introducing him to people, etc. I really like being able to just do stuff without worrying about someone else the whole time. But, I also love going to the movies and out to eat alone and can't imagine ever living with a partner or anyone other than my pets ever again unless I was engaged or married (and even then I would want my own bedroom!), so I recognize that I am a bit radical about all this stuff. But it takes all kinds. I am very fiercely attached to my boyfriend and I really care about him. I love him! Not wanting to take him to parties or to invite him to every fun thing I do has nothing to do with how much I care about him. It's a little insulting to feel like there is this paradigm of having to do everything with your significant other, and if you don't do everything (or most things) together or don't live together or don't have an interest in merging your lives that you must not really like one another all that much. No, I'm just a bit selfish sometimes. And I won't be as selfish now that I know he wants to be included.

All that said, I can't read minds. Neither can your boyfriend. It sounds like he responded promptly and sincerely and wasn't being shady about it, so I am going to say he didn't know and now that he knows it sounds like he will do things differently. That's the best kind of partner - someone that you can say "hey I am bugged" to and they say "oh man what can I do to fix it" and then they do it. He sounds like a good dude. I might suggest that you examine why your reaction to this is so strong. Why such a vehement reaction? What are you feeling and why are you feeling it? And finally - do you have stuff to do when your boyfriend is busy - stuff you love that you always want to do? Me, I have a hobby I love. I am always happy doing it. If my boyfriend is busy and I wanted to see him I'm not upset because it's like, oh, I can do my hobby instead! I realize that this is related to how secure I feel in my relationship - when my relationship was new and I didn't feel as secure about it I had a harder time with stuff like this - but being happy and secure and always willing to relish time spent alone really helped me a lot.

Best of luck.
posted by sockermom at 9:05 PM on March 5, 2015 [10 favorites]

Just want to pipe up again to say that 6 weeks is enough time to be exclusive and have the whole "trying each other out" in each others social lives/circles. Because once you're near or over 30, and you want a relationship that is going somewhere, that's the point. You don't compartmentalize and keep all your relationships separate like you would if you didn't believe a relationship was actually going to pan out.

I've had two previous boyfriends that brought me to family functions and close friend functions within 4 weeks of the beginning of dating. There was exactly no wishy-washiness, no commitmentphobia--they wanted a girlfriend and they were super clear about it and making a place for me in their lives.

The relationships didn't work out because I'm in a transitional place in my life, but they were both in their early 30s (as was/am I) and it's not unusual for those that don't have a general wariness of relationships or women or just plain commitment-phobia.

And the women I've known with successful relationships that actually were worth investing in---their boyfriends didn't do stuff like that. It was like, "She's my girlfriend and I'm hoping it works out and I want her to meet my friends." It's always super clear. Especially when you're 30 or on the other side of 30.

Anyway, all I want to say is, don't waste your time and emotions laboring over someone who is not copping to being conflicted. I've been there and done that, and I spent my 20s with him and I'm sorry that I put up with crumbs and gaslighting ("Durr, oh, I didn't mean to x,y,z. I didn't know. Now I do durrr) and pretending. You think dude is lying, kick him to the curb. Chances are, for every "durr I didn't know better even though I have a solid education my Y chromosome makes me stupid and unempathetic," there are 50 guys who aren't liars or compartmentalizing commitmentphobes out there and it's okay to feel hurt and not have to pretend he's a total dummy.

Yes, there are guys who will want to include you in a lot of events after "only" 6 weeks, because they enjoy your company. Or they'll tell you they have to do a "guys night" and make plans with you later. Only the ones who are wary seem to play dumb or exclude you from coed social events.
posted by discopolo at 9:11 PM on March 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

I would give the guy a break and forget about it. You've been dating for just six weeks, and you're not married.

I always thought the purpose of dating (as opposed to being in a longterm relationship) is to try each other out to see if it could become a longterm relationship.

So give him another chance for a while and see how things go. There really is no purpose in getting worked up about this.
posted by Nevin at 9:19 PM on March 5, 2015

Chiming in to say my experience echoes that of discopolo. The guy I'm dating now asked me to "be his girlfriend" after about a month. Frankly if you're sleeping together I don't think a month is super fast to be "official" like a lot of people here seem to think. I wouldn't have just waited around for two or three months without an exclusivity talk, and the idea that "it's just impossible to be officially boyfriend and girlfriend after only 6 weeks!" is just not true. It is possible and happens all the time. Granted sometimes it is a sign of neediness/unhealthy codependency but it is mostly just a sign of two people who already know they want a committed monogamous relationship and both like each other.

Also, I just realized that he came over to OP's place before and after going the party. That's...pretty weird to me.

The guy I'm dating now also invited me to things early and often. Not everything but enough things. And he made sure to ask about my plans if he had a busy schedule coming up.

Yes, you should maintain separate friends, that's true and a good idea. But inviting a +1 to a party is not really irrevocably moving in on separate friendships. And if these are people he's going to keep in his life, they presumably should know he's dating someone.
posted by quincunx at 9:21 PM on March 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm in the overthink/overreact camp here. The meta-question (not meant to be a loaded one): why specifically does this matter to you? If it's that you feel he should be raring to show you off in public to his friends as a sign of his affection, that doesn't really compute. Long friendships often come from a different place, with their own dynamics. For some groups, +1s are implicitly welcome, for others, they aren't. A sign of a relationship with sticking power is where you're comfortable in that space -- comfortable playing host or playing guest -- but also comfortable allowing your partner to occupy that space.

You need to ask: when's a good time for us to hang out together with your mates when it's not a big thing? The answer to that will tell you more than his behaviour towards those two events.

You don't compartmentalize and keep all your relationships separate like you would if you didn't believe a relationship was actually going to pan out.

I think that depends a lot on circumstances. It makes sense for... I suppose, a small-town context where everybody knows everybody at one or two removes to begin with and drawing lines is more effort than not doing so. But in a big city with mobility and transience, it doesn't necessarily work like that, especially when relationships are blossoming.
posted by holgate at 9:33 PM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

We've talked about it and he's basically said it didn't occur to him but now he sees it from my side and realises he should have taken his cues from my invitations and wanted to work things out.

This really seems like a solved problem here. He inadvertantly did a thing that you found hurtful, you told him about it, he's accepted that and is trying to change the hurtful behaviour.

What's your take?

You are overthinking it. Be clear about what you want and what you need from him. Encourage him to do the same with you.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:51 PM on March 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

I think you are probably overreacting, most likely because of early relationship jitters (really like him, fear of getting hurt, or something about the idea that it would be embarrassing to reveal how much you like him). all in all, I think it's awesome that you like him so much that you want to introduce him to your friends, so I wouldn't let this get in the way. his response sounds like he carefully listened to you. It doesn't have the feel of someone saying whatever BS they need to say to fake someone out, or anything that'd raise concerns.
posted by salvia at 9:52 PM on March 5, 2015

I thought it was shitty he came to hang out with you after he hung out with his friends.

Could be he's clueless. Could be he's not a "keeper." You'll have to date him a little longer to find out, but yeah, I hated guys that did this when we were first dating. No bueno.
posted by jbenben at 9:52 PM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

Listen to your gut here. Six weeks isn't a long time for some people, but it clearly means something to the two of you. And it hurts to discover someone isn't as in to you as you thought they were.

I mean, six weeks should still be infatuation, right? He should really want to spend time with you? When he left, did he say anything about missing you and wishing you could come, or did he just casually say "see you later?" If it's the latter, I'd wonder if his boyfriend muscle is weak, or if he's not as excited about being in a relationship as you are. I'd feel upset and disappointed too.

It doesn't matter what other people do or prefer in their relationships. What matters is what you want, how you communicate it, and what he says and does in response.
posted by snickerdoodle at 9:54 PM on March 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

It seems like you're feeling jealous that he did something without you that he wasn't even aware that you wanted to do, and now you're feeling ashamed of your interest in him and want to cut off all contact.

People aren't mind readers. If you want something from someone, or want them to stop doing something, it's on you to tell them. Expecting people to know your mind after 6 weeks is a little premature. When you said to him "this is a problem", and he agreed to sort that problem out, you had a perfect example of how this interpersonal relationship sort of stuff works out in the best cases. If you're going to react like this every time you're in a relationship and someone doesn't divine what you want, you're going to burn through boyfriends like there's no tomorrow.

You are absolutely entitled to leave a relationship for any reason or no reason at all. That's 100% your right. But stop and think for a second about how you're going to handle something like this happening the next time it happens. If you keep pushing people away, you're going to wind up lonely. When dealing with another person, you have to take the rough with the smooth sometimes. This isn't even all that rough - he could have laughed at you when you said it was a problem, but instead he saw your point of view and then further went on to say that he'd work on it. He sounds like a really mature person, because that's how mature people behave. Someone who behaves like that is a keeper.

"his actions last weekend show that he's less enthusiastic than he says" is your read on the situation, but isn't necessarily the actual truth of it. There's a difference between him maliciously not including you and his friends in the same situation, and him not even being aware that it's a thing for you. It's not like he showed enthusiasm for keeping you apart.

All in, I think you need to examine your unspoken assumptions about what you think your partner should do and how they should behave. Be more assertive and stand up for what you want in a relationship. Don't run away from someone who gives you what you ask for when you ask for it.
posted by Solomon at 1:39 AM on March 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

His actions show that he is less enthusiastic about you than he says he is, you are absolutely right OP. It's that his words and actions don't line up. This would bother me, too. Can't trust it. (Was there something at these parties he didn't want you to know about? Eh, who knows?) Of course that triggers a flight response, and you know what OP? You're 31 years old and I feel like this is the wisdom of your experience trying to tell you something here. If it feels off enough for you to write an AskMe during the proverbial honeymoon phase of a super new relationship, then I fully believe you that something is not right here. Trust your instincts! Always.

You have this internet stranger's permission to cancel all of your plans with this guy, despite the fact that a lot of folks in this thread think you are exaggerating, or they feel like his freedom to be a dude bro matters more than your need for honest dealing and feeling prioritized-- they are not you. That nagging feeling you're experiencing right now? Every time I have ignored it I have lived to regret it. Just take a big step back from this relationship for the next 2 weeks and just worry only about yourself for awhile. Go on dates with some other guys, too. Maybe this guy will come around and stop giving off fakey, closed-off vibes, but don't put your life on hold waiting for that to happen.
posted by hush at 3:28 AM on March 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

I think that a lot of people are trashing the context here. You knew it would be cool to bring him to your friends birthday because it was your friend, and you knew what was normal. Ditto with the trip, which is a more general activity.

He didn't invite you to a friends going away party, and a friends birthday. Both of those can and even often are small, close friends only type of events depending on the person. If these were more general invite large group sorts of things i think it would be one thing, but you just don't have enough information to know(or do you? were either of these huge parties a ton of people went to?)

6 weeks is not defacto +1 territory, even if you're official. These are both events that i would feel iffy about bringing someone i had just started dating too, personally. Even if your friends are cool with it in the same scenario, i would feel weird about it and probably wouldn't do it. I know some people are inseparable at that stage but... yea, i tend to ease in to this kind of stuff.

Reading fakey closed off vibes in to this or whatever is a bit ridiculous, in my opinion.

Mefi is one of the worst places to ask these kinds of questions, because even when you get some "yea, this is a bit much" replies there's still a hard lean towards agreeing with this kind of beanplating. Magic 8 ball says "reply hazy, try again later" in my opinion. This just isn't a good sample of whether or not he's good about this kind of thing.

Especially since his response seems completely earnest, legit, and reasonable. You're saying you don't think he's walking the talk he's talking when you've talked to him after he's bothered you and he hasn't even had any chance to do anything either direction since. How is that fair, or demonstrative of much of anything?
posted by emptythought at 4:30 AM on March 6, 2015 [17 favorites]

despite what he says about liking me more than I like him

if I was getting this vibe from someone six weeks in I wouldn't be introducing them to my friends yet either, tbh.
posted by corvine at 5:06 AM on March 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

I mean, you can always dump anybody for any reason, but I'm in the 'overreacting' camp here. It's good that you brought up how you were feeling and that you guys talked it through (to be honest, I'm a little surprised you were okay doing that if you weren't okay telling him before the fact that you wanted to be invited to his friends' events, so I'm wondering how this discussion went down - I hope that you spoke up for yourself in a forthright manner and didn't wait for him to guess you were upset? I realize I'm reading FAR too much into things and I'll stop with the speculating here, but please remember that you deserve to ask for what you need).

Either way, speaking up for yourself is GREAT, and it sounds like he responded in a respectful, caring manner. In any relationship, people are going to inadvertently hurt each other's feelings sometimes, and the way the couple deals with that is at least as important as how well they successfully guess what each other wants in the first place. His mistake sounds like a very reasonable one (I could definitely see myself doing this), it sounds like he didn't get defensive when you brought up your feelings, and it sounds like he was able to put himself in your position and understand your perspective - those are really good things.

Now of course he'll need to walk the walk in the future, but assuming he does and there's nothing else here, I think you might want to work on your own all-or-nothing thinking a little more. Is there something particularly triggering to you about not being invited to a partner's friends' events, or do you often feel yourself losing all affection for someone on the basis of a relatively minor letdown? If it's more the latter, I'd start digging into this in whatever way is best for you - again, people are going to disappoint you at times no matter how much they love you; it's good to figure out ways of reacting to that that are healthy for you.
posted by DingoMutt at 5:34 AM on March 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think he would have been wrong to invite you to these things because they weren't his parties! You don't invite people to parties you're not throwing - the host does.

If you'd been together for six years instead of six weeks, this would have been an insult - from the host, not from your BF.
posted by tel3path at 6:32 AM on March 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

You seem to be doing a lot of weighing out of who likes who more here, as if an imbalance in your favor - "...despite what he says about liking me more than I like him" - is the talisman that's going to protect you from getting hurt. It's tempting early in the relationship to try to keep your defenses up by always making sure you're on the right side of this inequality. As long as he likes me more than I like him, we're good, and then I'll never get hurt, right? Did he like me more than I liked him in this situation? Yes, whew. He even said so, double whew! What about this other situation? Yes, sweet. In that situation? No? Well then FUCK IT I'M OUT. I agree with honey-barbara's recommendation to examine your flight response and also how you are not just giving / receiving signals of affection but actively tallying them.
posted by sestaaak at 7:32 AM on March 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

I would generally not invite someone I've been dating for only six weeks along to a party. But I keep my friend groups relatively distinct. People vary. I think you're reading too much into this.
posted by ead at 7:37 AM on March 6, 2015

There is clearly a culture divide here, on the introduce/invite vs not introduce sides. Neither is right or wrong. This is the exact sort of thing that needs to be talked out with new couples. I'm also +1 on the innocent mistake side, especially since he visited you more than once, and seemed genuinely concerned about your feelings here.

So +1 more on probably over-reacting, especially with the 'must end it all!' reaction you described. Of course, I'm just pixels on the internet and not in your relationship, so I can't make those judgment calls.

I am however, nerdy and awkward while well meaning and prone to make those sort of social errors that can really hurt people, unintentionally.
posted by Jacen at 8:30 AM on March 6, 2015

Because once you're near or over 30, and you want a relationship that is going somewhere, that's the point. You don't compartmentalize and keep all your relationships separate like you would if you didn't believe a relationship was actually going to pan out.

Yikes. I'm well over thirty, and this completely misrepresents my life--maybe life in general. People have good, real reasons to compartmentalize their social lives, and you may not be privy to those reasons after only six weeks of contact. Example: my gay-vegan-animal-activist friends are not always an easy fit with my husband's commercial-real-estate-tycoon-capitalism friends. You learn these things by chatting with one another, openly, and openness takes time.

I recognize that the person who wrote this is really trying to hammer home a point they think is being misunderstood, but persistence is the only way to know why a person behaves the way they do. Six weeks is by no means long enough to know a person in a way that can be described as anything but casually incomplete--at any age.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:27 AM on March 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yeah it's really not about the parties or the friends; it's that before, you felt like you had the upper hand, and now you feel like maybe you don't. And this is terrifying to you, so you want to cut and run before he maybe realizes he has the upper hand and... and.... what?

What's the end of that sentence? What are you afraid he will do if he realizes that in one particular instance, the power balance of the relationship shifted ever so slightly into his favor? Are the things you're afraid of things he is likely to do, or things that people who are not him have done, or even just things you've heard about happening when someone "loves too much" or whatever nonsense?

If you start thinking about and honestly answering these questions I think you'll be able to make a decision one way or the other without the little nagging feelings. (On the one hand the nagging feeling that somehow, someone's getting one over on you; on the other, the nagging feeling like your gut might be wrong and you should ask MeFi.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:31 AM on March 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

I thought it was shitty he came to hang out with you after he hung out with his friends.

Sorry but 6 weeks is nothing, not including your brand new girlfriend in every single aspect of your life isn't shitty, I would call that normal. This isn't some nefarious compartmentalizing, dude has his own life and said he would try to include OP more in it going forward. I wouldn't bring someone I had just starting dating to a farewell party ("Hi person I've never met and will never see again! Nice to meet you!") for a friend they didn't know either. Personally if someone I had just started seeing had a problem with this, I'd be dumping you and would definitely be wary about introducing them to my friends.
posted by bradbane at 10:21 AM on March 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

Phew, update time.
I hadn't mentioned my expectation to him in advance because I didn't realise I had it til I found myself hurt and embarrassed. He was good about talking about it and didn't make me feel silly. The farewell was a booked numbers dinner and the birthday was about 6 people and he hadn't wanted to take attention away from the birthday person. Now that I've calmed down, that seems totally sensible! In his mind, coming to see me afterwards (a one hour drive) showed that he still wanted to spend time with me, rather than that he was compartmentalising.
I had a bit of a panic about this but I'm glad I had the guts to bring it to him and be open and that he cared enough to see us through it. I don't have the most positive relations history so this was a big deal.
A few hours after I wrote this post he showed up at my house with a coffee machine because he knew mine broke last week, and this morning I woke up with a fever and he's spent all day getting me cold compresses and icy poles. So yeah, he does care, and he has invited me to his friend's engagement party in May. Thanks mefi for not making me feel silly about this, and for your kind reasonableness and understanding of my feelings <3
posted by lifethatihavenotlivedyet at 8:28 PM on March 6, 2015 [7 favorites]

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