Should I break up with him?
May 31, 2016 9:58 PM   Subscribe

So, me and my boyfriend have been together for over a year and a half. Met online shortly after I got out of a 5 year relationship. It has been an interesting relationship. I've had really good times along with bad and doubts throughout. I feel like I am bad at relationships; I don't really have standards for boyfriends or something, I don't know what my problem is, and if anyone can point it out to me it might help me...

So. At times this boyfriend has shown himself to be immature, selfish and jerkish. Here is a popular question I asked a while ago that shows and example of this: ....

Well, after this weekend part of me feels done with this relationship. His parents kindly invited me out to the lake with the family for the holiday. The trip started off with them arguing abusively the whole way down (his dad name calls his mom and says really hateful things to her...) which I was a bit uncomfortable riding with them as you can imagine... When we got there his older brother and his brother's girlfriend came down too, his girlfriend is just nuts a bit, a real party girl. She got really drunk and her and her boyfriend got in a fight and she punched him in the face... Idk, it was just a bit of a crazy weekend. My boyfriend was ignoring me on the trip too, I felt closed up and awkward and it didn't really seem like he wanted me there, it was confusing. Sometimes I feel like he doesn't even like me as a person. I was just getting really negative vibes from him. He just wants to party and drink and see me a couple times a week.

He is 26 and I am 23. We both live at home. I am working really hard on finding a better job so I can save up to move out. He looked so long for a good job and finally found a temp job that he had for 3 months, and then was layed off a couple weeks ago..

During the trip one night, after he and his mom had drank all day together (they are really close and his mom loves having him home because she and his dad don't get along) he was treating me weird. I asked him when we were in private what was wrong. I said he was being really distant. He said that he is just upset that he lost his job and doesn't know if he'll ever be able to keep a job (this is a pattern with him). I said, of course you will, it was just a temp job and you'll find another. I asked if there was anything I could do and he said no, just support him. I felt that of course he is upset about getting layed off but that isn't why he's treating me like he was.

The next day he was still treating me weird. I went home just dying to get out of there and be by myself. His dad thanked me for bringing some sanity to the group because it was such a drama weekend. Idk...

He texted me that night saying he hoped I had fun and when I didn't reply for a couple hours he apologized for being so distant and said he's trying to feel better. I said yeah we can talk about it later and to have a good night. He called me today and apologized for being weird all weekend and said we should go on a date night and talk about things to try and work through stuff.

I love him, I do. He has good qualities. He can be very sweet and considerate and is fun to talk to. But the more I see his bad ones, the drinking almost everyday, how childish he can be, how callous he is, and I wonder how he would contribute to a family, if he could hold down a job... I am also dealing with kinda serious health issues and a lot of stress around that and my future, I don't have a good work or social life outside of him, and don't know if I could emotionally manage breaking it off, I feel confused...
posted by anon1129 to Human Relations (36 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You don't have to be with anyone, for any reason. Having dated someone for a year doesn't obligate you to stay with them. You have my permission to break up with him, if only because you aren't feeling it anymore.
posted by Sara C. at 10:02 PM on May 31, 2016 [3 favorites]

Sometimes I feel like he doesn't even like me as a person.

There's your answer, right there. You deserve to be with someone who thinks you are spiffing.
posted by praemunire at 10:04 PM on May 31, 2016 [24 favorites]

I don't really have standards for boyfriends or something, I don't know what my problem is

You do, you just said it. You should have standards for boyfriends.You deserve better than someone who just wants to drink and party and see you a few times a week when he can be bothered to.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 10:05 PM on May 31, 2016 [17 favorites]

Honestly, the poster of any question beginning "Should I dump him?" usually knows already that the answer is yes.

My boyfriend was ignoring me

Nope. No excuse, especially when he had invited you on what was supposed to be a special occasion trip.

after he and his mom had drank all day together

Not a good sign.

I love him, I do. He has good qualities. He can be very sweet and considerate and is fun to talk to. But...
Stop right there. To quote the esteemed KathrynT, "If I put the most delicious looking milkshake in the world in front of you, and told you 'Drink up! By the way, this milkshake? It has a little bit of poop in it. Just a little! Like. . . one spoonful!' would you drink it?"

You have written so many questions about ways your boyfriend makes you feel uncomfortable. You deserve to feel comfortable. Whether that is with yourself or with another person, that's another story. But let me repeat: you deserve to feel comfortable.

I'm not even getting into the lovey parts of a romantic relationship, like feeling cherished, important, wanted, enjoyed (not merely tolerated), liked (different than being loved), appreciated, respected... I've been with my second husband for coming up on eight years, and I feel this way every day. And my worst day with him is better than most of the best days with my first husband.

You deserve to feel comfortable. Comforted. Comfort.
posted by St. Hubbins at 11:11 PM on May 31, 2016 [14 favorites]

I don't really have standards for boyfriends or something

Based on your post you do have a standard and this guy isn't meeting it. Assuming you end things with this guy, spend some time writing out what qualities about this relationship you liked and those you didn't. Use that as your standard for the next person you date. Just a caution to not get too swept up in what was good because it seems like the bad parts greatly outweigh the positive attributes. I'm fact, it's not a terrible idea to just have a "never again" list because the nice things are what draw us to people, creating blind spots for the bad.
posted by toomanycurls at 11:59 PM on May 31, 2016

Let me just start off by saying if he makes you uncomfortable and doesn't treat you well, you shouldn't be with him.

Having said that, in his shoes, if I was taking my partner in a family trip and my family were fighting, including arguments and physical violence, I would be BEYOND MORTIFIED and in all likelihood clam up as well. A possible interpretation of his behaviour is that he just didn't know how to deal with his family's behaviour and acted weird as a result.

This doesn't excuse any of his other actions though, so if he's not a good boyfriend, you know what to do. I was just trying to give you food for thought.
posted by Jubey at 12:01 AM on June 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Of course you should break up with him. You don't have any of the obligations that would cause someone to stick it out in such a bad relationship like kids or financial dependence or cohabitation or even a particularly long commitment. The only reasons you give for not breaking up are that you're not sure if you could handle being alone socially and emotionally and that you love him.

Well, people love people who they shouldn't be with all the time. That doesn't devalue their love, but it also doesn't obligate them to be with that person. If you loved someone who wasn't into you (and all signs point to this guy not really reciprocating your depth of feeling) and had never been in a romantic relationship with them, would you feel like you HAD to stay in love with them and HAD to spend all kinds of time and energy helping them and compensating for them and putting up with their drama? As a person with a history of falling for complete dramallamas, let me assure you that no such obligations exist. Your love isn't bad, it's just not enough to correct for the mismatch between the two of you.

As for being socially alone and dealing with health issues by yourself, that is definitely not reason enough to string along a boyfriend, and I think you know that. If you hadn't spent this weekend with his highly stressful family, you could have spent that time connecting with other people who you would like to befriend, or catching up with your family. I think if you sit down and focus on who you have in your life outside of your relationship, there will be at least a couple people who can help you out until you get back on track. You said that you're working hard to save up so you can move out. I presume this means moving out of your parents' house? There's really nothing wrong with prioritizing that, above your boyfriend. You also might have a lot of support from your parents - you're an adult but grownups still warrant parental love.

Take some time for yourself. Think really hard about what your life might be like without him; the different opportunities you'll have and the different schedules and choices you can make. You might be able to have an amicable break up with him and get him as a friend after a few months of going no-contact. Breaking up doesn't mean removing someone from your life forever. But it really seems like this isn't the guy you want to be with for the long haul.
posted by Mizu at 12:10 AM on June 1, 2016 [7 favorites]

There are many, many people in the world who, fine enough. They can make perfectly good friends, neighbors, coworkers, teammates, dogsitters, baristas etc. They have some good qualities.

You don't have to spend your entire life with the first one you bump into, though. Like, you should have standards, it's not just okay to have standards, it's a really good idea. You are worth enough as a person to get to be with someone who lifts you up and is inspired by you. Someone you really fit with.

You don't get any Life Points for passing time with whatever rando washes up on your shore. You are literally doing nobody any favors by staying in this relationship. Go be with you for a while, deal with your stuff, get things sorted out so you have some breathing room in your life to know when you have a great connection and shared purpose with someone.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:06 AM on June 1, 2016 [37 favorites]

One of the hallmarks of being an adult is realising that just because you love someone doesn't mean you should be with them. Love is a feeling; relationships are a choice.

I'm sure Ava Braun loved Adolf Hitler but that doesn't mean he was a good choice for a life partner, you know?
posted by DarlingBri at 3:02 AM on June 1, 2016 [4 favorites]

I think some of the love you feel for him may be stemming out of feelings of being comfortable or used to his presence.

I know it might not seem this way, by 23 is so young! Based on your post, you seem like a fairly thoughtful person and are willing to grow. You've got so much time to develop yourself, your career, friends, interests and focus on your health... and then cultivate a healthy relationship (or not). You might not have been able to properly explore these areas as an adult, especially if your last relationship was for 5 years... and I don't think you'll be to do so with this kind of stressful relationship weighing on your back.

Possibly, the same goes for him with being surrounded by toxic family. Either way, you'll do just fine on your own.
posted by watrlily at 3:52 AM on June 1, 2016

Also don't internalize your relationship failures.

Everyone is bad at relationships until they find the right one. EVERYONE.
posted by srboisvert at 5:47 AM on June 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

Break up with him! Don't let your next Ask be at thirty and be like "well I've been with him for seven years but he still doesn't seem to have much going for him.." Cut your losses and run.
posted by corb at 6:15 AM on June 1, 2016 [6 favorites]

He texted me that night saying he hoped I had fun

Wow. Maybe that was just a hilariously awkward conversation starter or a lame attempt at a joke, but it's more likely he was completely clueless about your experience.

In the last thread, I predicted that he would fail you again, and that indeed, he told you as much. If he has any sense of healthy relationships, he may well have been embarrassed at his family's bad behavior, or he may have simply participated in it, but either way he showed you no care at all. He let you down again; a halfhearted apology for "being weird all weekend" sounds more like ass-covering than genuine remorse (which, as you know, should include some effort to improve behavior).

Look, you gave this dude another whole year of your life after an incident for which you'd have been fully justified in breaking up with him, and frankly, it doesn't sound like things have -- like he has -- improved all that much. Let's look at the scoreboard here -- these are your words:
  • He's 26 to your 23 and "has shown himself to be immature, selfish and jerkish"
  • You see him "drinking almost everyday, how childish he can be, how callous he is"
  • He can't hold down a job; the best he seems to be able to do is a temp job that he loses after three months, which makes you, rightly, wonder if he can hold down a job or support a family
  • You feel that he just wants to party and drink and only see you a couple of times a week
  • Most importantly, you "feel like he doesn't even like me as a person"

Lots of people can be sweet and considerate and fun just enough to keep their partner sticking around. But this guy sounds like a bad bet. It isn't just about having standards for a boyfriend; this guy isn't behaving very well as a friend. He's older than you, but it sounds like you're the one bringing the maturity to this relationship, and you're quite right to feel it's time for you you to move on.
posted by Gelatin at 6:17 AM on June 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

Wait this is Flat Tire Asshole?

Send him to the dump. Done, over, goodbye. You could literally date a petri dish and be treated better.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:22 AM on June 1, 2016 [23 favorites]

I just wanted to chime in to say that your gut is your best friend in this lifetime. You know that nagging feeling you're getting that led you to ask these questions? That's your gut. It knows something is not right here.

Respect that feeling. Listen to it and never dismiss it. It's there to guide us.

I think most of us can relate to these kinds of relationships in our early 20s. You're still in the midst of figuring out who you are, who you want to be with, and what you will and won't stand for. This relationship has taught you a lot, and you shouldn't regret the experience.

But I hope it's clear it's time to move on. Your gut is telling you it's time. You are strong enough emotionally to break it off. You will get through it, I promise. And not only will you get through it, months from now you'll look back at your decision and be so damn proud of yourself for not settling for 'good enough'. You got this, girl. Pull the trigger, break up and go no-contact.
posted by bologna on wry at 7:52 AM on June 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

Wait this is Flat Tire Asshole?

My reaction as well. Pick a day this week and break up with this guy. Do it today! You don't need any reason at all to break up with someone; however, the reasons you lay out in this and previous posts are excellent reasons not to stay in a relationship.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:56 AM on June 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

So you love him a bit? So what? There are plenty of people out there to love. You are very young, and there are so many awesome things and people to experience. You're not ready to settle down, nor should you be. Tying yourself to someone who is mostly uninterested in your comfort, safety and feelings is not necessary.

Some people are good for awhile and then we outgrow them. You outgrew this guy a year ago, but for whatever reason you gave him more chances. Now you realize that still, he's not what you want in a partner.

It's okay to tell him, "It's not working out, it's over." No blame, no example, no drama. He can stay home, with his dysfunctional family, not work and drink all day with his Mom. That's fine. For him. It's not okay for you.

That weekend sounds awful and his being a jackhole to you during it is totally not okay.

Just go over to his house, with all of the crap he's left at yours and break up with him. Don't make a date, don't get into a big drama about it. Just tell him you're done.

I promise you, you'll feel SO MUCH BETTER about things in general and in a couple of months you'll be so happy that you're free with the world as your oyster.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:09 AM on June 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

You're 23 and with a guy who doesn't care much about you. Just dump him already, good lord.

1. You'll have a better time being single than burdened by this schlub;
2. Dumping him will give you experience you how to dump someone you don't want to be with, which is an important skill to learn, will save you lots of trouble down the road;
3. You don't want to be in this dead-end when you could be meeting better people, do you?
4. You're 23! You're not going to marry this guy (hopefully!) so go ahead and just end it now.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:09 AM on June 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

I don't comment on here too much, but when I realized it was Flat Tire Asshole, I was like OMG she's still with him? Just get it over with asap. The longer you wait, the harder it will be.

I knew someone years ago who was in a very similar relationship. She finally broke up with him and things were so much better for her after.
posted by disaster77 at 8:56 AM on June 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

Wait this is Flat Tire Asshole?

I literally almost did the warner bros coffee spit on computer when i realized this.

Most people do not act like this guy does. Even teenagers.

You are not weird for expecting better, and you do have standards. Just because you got together with this guy for something to do doesn't mean you need to put up with him being a literal manchild(not even a man-teenager... like a mantween).

I seriously began this question totally charitably, and in my head was going "Yea... family is hard, not much to be done there. Excluding a partnerperson from family events after a year can get you tons of grief from your family, and it can totally be approached compassionately in a "yea, my family are weird and can be stressful, they can stress me out and stuff but they're my family" or a self deprecating jokey way that still centers the other person or...

But nah, this guy is still acting like a child.

Seriously, most people are better than this and you aren't even sure. Being alone is better than being with someone like this. It's hard to believe when you're there, but seriously, as someone who got out of a relationship they were meh on... It's Better. It's just scary until you're actually there.
posted by emptythought at 9:12 AM on June 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

Hey, I had a Bad Boyfriend once. He treated me like garbage in big ways and small. I also have serious chronic health issues that really impact what I can do with my life. When I was with the Bad Boyfriend, he would sometimes remind me that no one else would ever love me because with my health problems I was damaged goods, a broken burden.

I'm actually recovering from a surgery right now directly related to my health condition and you know what? My new boyfriend, a Good Boyfriend, has done nothing but wait on me and take care of me. He never once had said anything negative about my health.

I got very, very sick once years ago when I still with the Bad Boyfriend. He prevented me from seeking medical attention for three days (I very nearly died) and then he left town for two months when I was still in the hospital. Sounds awful, doesn't it? Actually, abandoning me to fend for myself was the best gift he ever gave me. While he was gone I realized that I could take care of myself just fine and that having him there would have made my recovery worse, not better. I finally left him and sought the help I needed from a therapist so that I wouldn't choose another man like that ever again.

You can do this. You can leave him. Dealing with stressful health issues alone is so much better than doing it while managing a relationship with a Bad Boyfriend. He's subtracting from your life, not adding to it.

Take care of yourself.
posted by sockermom at 9:14 AM on June 1, 2016 [7 favorites]

Ah, you're the flat tire girl! Honey. Your boyfriend is a complete and utter dud. I'm sorry. You knew coming in here that you needed to dump him. Go with your gut.

He just wants to party and drink and see me a couple times a week.

Well bless his heart. He sounds like a great bromantic partner, but not a good fit for an romantic partner. He lacks empathy, always puts his own needs first, is basically oblivious to your needs, and is a big fat baby. Also, he keeps getting away with acting like an ass, because you keep putting up with it. I forecast that if you do break up with him, you're going to get either a shrug and a see ya later, or lots of promises that he will change.

I do feel for him in a way, it sounds like he may have had a toxic or abusive upbringing. He at the very least learned that it's ok to be crappy to your partner. If he isn't willing to own up to his own shittery and see someone, he is never going to change, and you should factor this into whatever decision you make. Good luck.
posted by the webmistress at 9:15 AM on June 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

Dump him because you're 23 and there are soooo many fish swimming in your sea right now, go out and date them! You can so manage on your own, you are stronger than you realize.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:27 AM on June 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I spent my twenties putting up with a lot of crap in relationships. Not even necessarily total asshole behavior, but things that did not make me happy or feel good about myself, the other person, or the relationship. I didn't have to do this, and neither do you.
posted by sm1tten at 9:28 AM on June 1, 2016

Here's a thing I've noticed. At least 2 times in every post you say "idk." Always, it is after you have described a shitshow of UNIMAGINABLE proportions. But you are afraid to just come out and say "This was shitty and unacceptable."

Hon, you DO k. You ALWAYS k. It's time to stop hedging. Own your intelligence and start calling things the way you see them. The world likes to tell young women they don't know what's good for them, they don't know what's what, they have no right to have standards. The world is an ASSHOLE and it is wrong.

Your boyfriend is garbage. It sounds like maybe it's not entirely his fault? His dad sounds pretty garbage too, and his mom is in a tough spot but "getting blasted with your kid" is a garbage solution to that tough spot. Either way, though, he's an adult now and his garbage behavior is now on him.

You know these things! If you truly didn't know, you wouldn't be on AskMe. You know that you deserve better than to be dragged endlessly through the dump by this garbage person.

You ought to cut your boyfriend out of your life. But if you can't, at least first cut "idk" out of your vocabulary entirely. Because you DO k. And I bet your way of thinking will change significantly when you stop automatically pretending not to know the things you absolutely definitely 100% know.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:41 AM on June 1, 2016 [44 favorites]

You guys are all right, there's some real gems in here... but I also keep thinking, he has done a lot of sweet things for me. Like when I first started struggling with my health he booked a get away trip for the weekend and we had fun. And he bought me a gift when I was struggling with my health at one time, and he always cooks for me and such when I'm over (probably would cook anyway). He did call and apologize yesterday and said he cares about me and loves me.

But I also don't feel that it really offsets the other things at all, like how the future with him looks bleak and he can really just make me feel like the worst most unfun unlovable person, although I sometimes feel like anyone would treat me this way because I feel like a boring awkward person to be around. I've also never been the type to enjoy just sitting around drinking all the time, that's fine sometimes but I like to be productive and work out and such, we don't share a lot of those interests...

This is also starting to sound like the beginning of a sort of abusive relationship or something, very toxic at least. And if I break it off in the next couple days I feel like it would cause his family some turmoil, they really seem to like me and would probably feel it was the awful weekend that made me not want to be with him. But I guess that really isn't my concern.

This is just what's all going through me head. It feels like the definite right decision to break it off though. I guess I am just mourning the happy things in a way.
posted by anon1129 at 9:48 AM on June 1, 2016

What on earth are you still doing with this person? I remember all your other questions about him. The Flat Tire shit is only the tip of the shitberg. You have not been comfortable in this relationship from DAY ONE.

You deserve better. Why can't you see that? Being alone is SO MUCH BETTER than being in this sort of unfulfilling, confusing, frustrating relationship. And you won't be alone for long if you don't want to be. You're 23! Don't wait until you are in your 30s, thinking about marriage and children, to realize you've hitched your wagon to a black hole.

He doesn't have to be 100% evil to not be the right partner for you. The relationship doesn't have to be 100% fucked to not be the right relationship for you. You don't even need a real reason to break up with a person! And you have plenty.

So, what, because he has been nice sometimes and his family is a mess, you have to stay with him forever? That's not how life works, thank god. You get to choose what's best for you. Of course breakups hurt. You hurt then you mourn the loss of the good parts and then you move on and your life gets better.
posted by kapers at 9:52 AM on June 1, 2016 [7 favorites]

oh my god, you're still dating the guy who left you on the side of the road and pretended he wanted you to have a learning experience from it? jfc, you could go outside right now with your eyes closed and throw a rock and date whoever that rock hits and that person would be a better boyfriend than this shitty loser. please love yourself enough to find someone who treats you well.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:05 AM on June 1, 2016 [17 favorites]

"...he can really just make me feel like the worst most unfun unlovable person, although I sometimes feel like anyone would treat me this way because I feel like a boring awkward person to be around."

Your partner is supposed to be nice to you and look after you. That's not a special bonus in a relationship. Your partner is NOT supposed to make you feel badly about yourself. Ever. There are tons of really nice, really fun, really accepting people out there. I thought I was a boring, weird, horrible person. Once I sought out and started spending time with lovely people who thought I was great, I realized that I'm actually not boring, or weird, or horrible. It's just that the jerks I hung around with before made me feel like that about myself.

Don't waste any more time with people who make you feel bad. It's not worth it. It's never worth it. Get rid the jerks and start giving your time to people who make you feel happy and confident.
posted by Stonkle at 10:09 AM on June 1, 2016 [9 favorites]

People don't have to be a total shitshow for it to be unacceptable. This guy would make a perfectly okay neighbor or coworker or friend (in a different lifetime where you never dated), you probably have at least a few people in your life you like fine enough but you're not dating them, you don't have to date them, you're not obligated to belong to whatever man decides to show interest.

There shouldn't be any expectation of "offset"; you don't have to stay with him because he cooks you a meal sometimes when other times he's super shitty to you because the shittiness is all that matters. It's not an accounting ledger, it's a well. It's a milkshake! Please search this site for "poop milkshake" and read the most profound metaphor of our time on this topic.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:12 AM on June 1, 2016 [4 favorites]

he can really just make me feel like the worst most unfun unlovable person, although I sometimes feel like anyone would treat me this way because I feel like a boring awkward person to be around.

Hi, i've felt like this. Many friends have described feeling like this. It's one thing to feel like that once in a while in genuinely awkward situations, but consistently feeling like this was always the sign of a shitty relationship that didn't work. Especially if you regularly feel like this one on one, and not just in social situations out and about.

I mean there's tons more here i could pick at but relationships should not make you feel this way. This is always the other person pushing bullshit judgement on you and trying to mold you in to their weird head-image of how they want some mechanical robot partner to act, not accepting you as an actual self-actualized human.

Do not accept this feeling, ever, in more than very small doses. In a good relationship this feeling is something that happens rarely enough that you either accept it if it's just a generally awkward situation, or discuss it. And that discussion should not involve any berating or guilting of you for not liking Their Thing or whatever. None of that. None.
posted by emptythought at 11:04 AM on June 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

You're getting some good advice here and I hope you follow it.

I am twice your age, and there's a lot I still haven't figured out but I know one thing for damn sure: if you waste your youth on an unworthy man and an unhappy relationship, Future You will be so PISSED. You know what to do here. Those messages from your gut may as well be from Future Anon1129.

Life is short AF. Don't waste it. Better to be alone FOREVER than to waste another minute of your precious time on Flat Tire Asshole.
posted by little mouth at 12:27 PM on June 1, 2016 [6 favorites]

You guys are all right, there's some real gems in here... but I also keep thinking, he has done a lot of sweet things for me.

Okay, leaving aside that this dude sucks -- honey, when strangers on the internet have a nickname for your boyfriend, and that nickname is Flat Tire Asshole, IT IS A SIGN -- you are, FYI, also allowed to break up with TOTALLY NICE PEOPLE just because you don't want to date them anymore. EVEN IF this dude was ding sweet things for you all the time -- WHICH HE IS NOT -- you are still allowed to be like, "you are wonderful, but not right for me," and break up with him.

You will find someone else who will ALSO do sweet things for you and not be a dick, but if it makes you feel better, it may be that breaking up with this guy will teach him, even just a little bit, that he needs to get his shit together, and is, in itself, a kindness to the universe.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 1:01 PM on June 1, 2016 [15 favorites]

Here are some things that most people require from the person they're coupled with:

Genuine interest
Stuff in common
Investment in each other's happiness and well-being
Challenge that inspires growth, NOT stomps one's spirit into dust

And this isn't even a complete or terribly nuanced list.

Some people are okay with the occasional fight. Some people are cool with it if their partner requires a little extra coaxing to come out of their shell. Some people don't mind if their in-laws are weird or if their partner isn't good at compromise all the time, or if they have to be the one to always put the jar of mayonnaise back in the fridge after their partner makes a sandwich. Some people have to do all the talking in social gatherings. Some people's love doesn't make sense to others.

But when we're talking about being ignored? Disrespected? Treated like an imposition? Left to fend for oneself in shitty situations? Having our needs dismissed and, indeed, ignored, as if having needs is weak and stupid? Those are things that literally EVERYBODY HATES. Everybody hates being treated like garbage. The only people who "don't" hate those things think that they are going to convince somebody who is a dick to be a Prince Charming. (And they still hate it, they just haven't realized they get to have feelings in this life, and gotten mad enough to catapult themselves out of this hamster wheel of shit treatment. Yet.) This is a terrible narrative that pervades the love stories in our American culture, because it reinforces this idea that men get to be contemptuous of all women who are not THE ONE. This lets them off the hook for their ignorant, careless, terrible, entitled treatment of women and makes their lives easier while making women's lives harder. It traps us in this sort of weird relationship amber, accepting less and waiting around to be magically perfect enough for a man to pay attention to our needs and care about them, as if it's our job to be more worthy of his elusive love than for him to become more self-aware and engage with women as equals. While we're waiting around we don't refine our wants and needs; rather, we wait. We wait to be enough for some guy. We wait while he gets shitfaced with his own mother and his brother has a physical fight with his girlfriend and everything's a shitshow. We wait.

Don't wait anymore. Stop waiting. Start looking around and identifying what your values are. Start saying, I want lots of good sex. I want lots of rock climbing. I want to read great books and talk about them. I want to go dancing. I need to travel lots and lots. I want to talk politics, eat spicy food, run a marathon, have babies, stay single, go diving, be a vegetarian, learn another language. I want someone who is kind to everyone. I want someone with a spine. I want someone who has faith or someone who's agnostic or someone who's unsure but open. Decide what you care about and make your own life for yourself that involves these precious things. And then? If someone starts noticing you and all of the things you are and stand for, and you like their looks and the sound of their voice and the way you feel when you're around them and how they carry themselves? Then you can go have a coffee or see some music or a meal with this person. But not just because they show you some attention but because YOU WANT TO BE AROUND THEM AND LIKE WHO THEY ARE.

Dump this train wreck and get serious about yourself. Please. Best of luck.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 5:03 PM on June 1, 2016 [18 favorites]

You say he's sweet some times. SO WHAT??? I would hope so! He was nice once. It's the bare minimum a human should be!

Let me tell you a story. A chick I knew was married to a total dirtbag. I couldn't stand him and I thought less of her for being with him. This guy openly hit on my roommate, ran about 700 different scams and was honestly, just the very worst. One day my roommate and I were sitting with her when he had stayed out all night and we were asking her, "You know he's cheating, why are you putting up with it?" She said, "He really loves me, I know it, sometimes he makes me banana pancakes." I was floored. So what? Banana pancakes don't make up for being a shit husband.

So the whole internet is telling you to break up with him, and you keep coming back with really sad and pitiful examples of the very few times he wasn't a total shitheel. Sweetie, it's not enough.

Break up. Break up. Break up. Oh please, for the love of Christ, break up.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:11 PM on June 1, 2016 [15 favorites]

If I could go back and get back just one category of time I wasted, I'd get it from the dudes I dated who drank too much to distract themselves from their low grade self loathing, and then pouted and sulked and generally took their own inability to be the person they wanted to be out on me. I wouldn't even do anything particularly special with the time I won back, either. I'd just drink some wine with my girlfriends or go to Ikea or watch Hulu or something. For YEARS.

Break up! Do it! You deserve soooo much better. You DO K! I love that. Please make it your mantra!
posted by pazazygeek at 9:56 PM on June 1, 2016 [20 favorites]

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