High maintenance?
December 14, 2017 10:59 AM   Subscribe

Am I being too much in this dating situation, or is this as annoying as I think?

I've been accused of being high maintenance before, and I'm wondering if my reaction to this situation is high maintenance or reasonable.

I've been seeing this guy for about two months. I really liked him but lately things have seemed strange. I'm wondering if I should throw in the towel.

About two weeks ago he went on a week long trip for work. We stayed in touch the whole time, saying we couldn't wait to see each other when he got back. When he did get back and it was time to hang out, I went to his house and he was fixing a door. The house needs a lot of work and he seems anxious to get it fixed. The weird thing is he barely cracked a smile when I came in and pretty much continued to work on the door. I had to coax him away from it to sit on the couch with me. I was sort of desperate to make him happy so I put a lot of effort into the conversation, but it didn't last too long. He went back to working and suggested I watch some television. This is not someone I live with but someone I see twice a week average. I decided to read a book and after a while I went to bed. Around midnight I had to ask him to stop working because of the noise. When he came in the room I told him it felt weird, like he didn't want me around. He said that wasn't true. He chalked the differences up to our personalities. I am more reserved than him. He said I always seem "nonchalant" and he is more energetic. We both said we wanted it to work out.

The next night we did some stuff with his small son, and after his son went to bed, he started to work on the place again. I asked if I could help and he said no, so I just read a book again and fell asleep. After a while he came in and woke me up by turning on the lights so he could measure something on the ceiling. I thought that was pretty rude but didn't say anything. The next morning, I left to meet a friend and my dog stayed at his place. When I returned intending to just briefly grab the dog, he was vacuuming and didn't stop for like five minutes. I stood around awkwardly waiting so I could say hello and get the dog.

Two days ago he was supposed to come to my place but cancelled because he got held up at work. He expressed regret about it and I said I understood. It is a 45 minute drive between our places. Later, though, I got to wondering. We met on a dating site and I logged on to look at his profile. He had updated it with a new picture and text. I am about 85% sure it had a new picture, though it's possible it was there before and my worry is distorting my thinking. I was surprised because we had agreed to be exclusive.

I texted him asking if he was using the dating app still. He said I was the only woman he was seeing, talking to, texting. I asked him if he was willing to take the profile down and he said yes. He said insecurity did not become me. I said I didn't see it as insecure, and I said wasn't he happy to do it? Wasn't it a positive thing? He said, "Why? I know you like spending time with me." I said wasn't he happy about me not seeing other people, too? He responded with a stupid joke. Later, I called him to hopefully settle things, and he said he was annoyed I was accusing him of cheating. I said I saw it less as an accusation and more as a confirmation that we were on the same page. I had purposely been as non-confrontational as possible but I know I should've talked to him about it rather than texting.

The conversation ended after a few minutes because he had people there. I texted him asking if he would call me back and he didn't answer. I waited until 10 then texted him good night. He responded that he was busy and I needed to stop being so passive aggressive.

Anyway, that's the story. Am I being high maintenance or is his behavior as bad as I think?
posted by amodelcitizen to Human Relations (75 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
You're being treated poorly and then gaslit over it.

Sorry.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:04 AM on December 14, 2017 [102 favorites]


It sounds like he wants to break up, but he doesn't want to be the one who has to make it happen, so he's going to treat you terribly until you do it on his behalf.

Which is terrible, and has zero to do with you being high maintenance. "Please treat me like a person," is not being high maintenance. It is literally a bare minimum that he is failing to meet.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:04 AM on December 14, 2017 [117 favorites]


In general, men call women "high maintenance" whenever women express the belief, in any way, that they should be treated with basic human decency.

His behavior sounds pretty annoying and I don't really see what benefits there are to dating him.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:05 AM on December 14, 2017 [135 favorites]


You are not being high maintenance. You have permission to break up with this guy. You have permission to expect to feel respected AND cared for in a relationship, and this guy has made it clear that he doesn’t intend to provide either.

You also have permission to be more clear and more direct in making requests for time and attention, rather than waiting to initiate the conversations. Guys who don’t react well to being asked for a few minutes of quality time aren’t worth your time.
posted by bilabial at 11:06 AM on December 14, 2017 [5 favorites]


Yeah, he's done. Start treating him the same way he's treating you. Don't put up with it. You can find better. Actions speak louder (much louder) than words!
posted by hydra77 at 11:07 AM on December 14, 2017 [7 favorites]


Upon re-read, please DTMFA!
posted by hydra77 at 11:09 AM on December 14, 2017 [5 favorites]


Call me cynical, but I've come to regard "high maintenance" as a way for those who don't want to engage in the emotional labor relationships require to stigmatize people who ask them to perform such labor. (Not always, of course, but often.)

Exhibit 8,972: what you describe above.

You deserve better.
posted by socialjusticeworrier at 11:14 AM on December 14, 2017 [22 favorites]


Also, the gaslighting suggests that he can't tolerate being held accountable for his own actions, which is one of the bare minimum requirements for a successful relationship. Not just a romantic relationship, but any human relationship.
posted by socialjusticeworrier at 11:18 AM on December 14, 2017 [14 favorites]


He said insecurity did not become me

Brb, puking.

Go ahead and break up with him, don't wait for him to drag this out.
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:18 AM on December 14, 2017 [58 favorites]


I would have gone home after about an hour of the door-fixing, with the comment "you can give me a call when you feel like actual company." This is ridiculous.
posted by acm at 11:19 AM on December 14, 2017 [53 favorites]


I'm sorry that you are being treated like this. The person you should develop a long-term, loving relationship with will not treat you like this. This man's suggestions that you are unreasonable and should moderate your very understandable behaviour are especially worrying and, I agree, gaslighting. If he thinks he can tell you how to act now, after 2 months, I wonder how he will try to police you after a year of you accepting his behaviour and trying to fit into the little box he is creating for you.

It is only two months in - now is the time to get rid of this man-child.
posted by thereader at 11:20 AM on December 14, 2017 [10 favorites]


Did you take 40 minutes to style your hair so the two of you could go hiking? No? In that case high maintenance was code for "you are meeting me 90% of the way already but I am entitled to 99%". This is serious DTMFA territory.

he came in and woke me up by turning on the lights

I literally could not have sex with a man who would do that to me, unless it were an accident and he genuinely apologized. Not even a moral judgement, just a sensory one.
posted by rada at 11:20 AM on December 14, 2017 [21 favorites]


After a while he came in and woke me up by turning on the lights so he could measure something on the ceiling.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:21 AM on December 14, 2017 [45 favorites]


Wait wait wait...

The conversation ended after a few minutes because he had people there. I texted him asking if he would call me back and he didn't answer. I waited until 10 then texted him good night. He responded that he was busy and I needed to stop being so passive aggressive.

So let me get this straight: When you're there in person, at a time you both planned, he can't be bothered to stop working on household stuff—and even wakes you up to measure something on the ceiling (?!)—and yet when other people are there, they're suddenly his focus and the most important thing, to the point that he can't even respond to you? What the hell?

I don't think this is gonna work out. The most charitable reading I can give this is that he clearly has other priorities than your relationship. And when you quite clearly asked to be made a priority, or to even know what his priorities are, it resulted in some crummy behavior on his part. So I go back to: He has other priorities than your relationship. I'd suggest acting accordingly.
posted by limeonaire at 11:24 AM on December 14, 2017 [28 favorites]


Hi, I dated this guy, multiple times, and every single time it sucked. Dump him. You can do better; Christ, being alone is infinitely better than being with an asshole like this.
posted by sockermom at 11:27 AM on December 14, 2017 [31 favorites]


Have you read Cat Person yet?
This boy is a turd and is treating you poorly. You don't need to spend any more time on him.
posted by phunniemee at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2017 [12 favorites]


Get yourself some new pictures and text in *your* online profile! Then go meet yourself some men who actually want to be in an adult relationship.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2017 [27 favorites]


Honestly, I wouldnt even bother to break up with him. I dont think he deserves even a little bit of your consideration given the way he has behaved towards you. He has treated you with utter contempt then gaslit you when you when you try to work out what is going on.id be tempted to block his number, ignore any effort he makes now to contact you to see what is up and ghost on him. I am pretty harsh on this nonsense but I dont think he deserves better. You do however.
posted by RandomInconsistencies at 11:31 AM on December 14, 2017 [49 favorites]


He said insecurity did not become me.

Ugggggggggh terminate with extreme prejudice
posted by praemunire at 11:32 AM on December 14, 2017 [67 favorites]


(I should add that I sometimes make social plans and, when the time comes, I realllllly don't want to carry them out, especially if I have some other interesting project going on. But that's when a grown-up, if he can't just suck it up and do whatever, cancels as far in advance as possible and apologizes. A grown-up does not leave a guest sitting around for ages wondering if she's even wanted on the premises.)
posted by praemunire at 11:34 AM on December 14, 2017 [4 favorites]


You could tell him that if he wants to break up with you, all he has to do is [don't contact you for 2 days] or [something else minimal]. Then he will almost have to make _some_ kind of genuine connection with his own feelings.
posted by amtho at 11:36 AM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


"...my dog stayed at his place. When I returned intending to just briefly grab the dog, he was vacuuming and didn't stop for like five minutes. I stood around awkwardly waiting so I could say hello and get the dog."

"I had purposely been as non-confrontational as possible..."


amodelcitizen, I have to chuckle at this - not at you, but the fact that I would have done so much more in that scenario and I still wouldn't consider it "confrontational."

I would have waited about 30 seconds after I was certain he had seen me, and then walked over and tapped him on the shoulder. If he was literally non-responsive despite my physical attempt to get his attention, I would have unplugged the vaccuum and asked for his attention. If he still wouldn't talk, I would have taken the dog and left. And truly, I would not consider that confrontational. It's just basic manners.

This is my attempt to try and calibrate your ideas of what "confrontation" really is.
posted by cranberrymonger at 11:37 AM on December 14, 2017 [16 favorites]


When I returned intending to just briefly grab the dog, he was vacuuming and didn't stop for like five minutes. I stood around awkwardly waiting so I could say hello and get the dog.

Does in-person ghosting exist? That's what this looks like to me. I wouldn't even bother to break up with him, just delete him from your phone and move on.
posted by jabes at 11:38 AM on December 14, 2017 [47 favorites]


Once as an experiment in a similar situation, I just... stopped. Stopped calling or making plans. Didn't have a break-up conversation, just wanted to see if the other person noticed I was around.

I never heard from them again.

Honestly it was a relief to stop wondering if I was imagining how things were going, and I felt pretty good about it.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 11:40 AM on December 14, 2017 [62 favorites]


"The weird thing is he barely cracked a smile when I came in and pretty much continued to work on the door. I had to coax him away from it to sit on the couch with m The weird thing is he barely cracked a smile when I came in and pretty much continued to work on the door."

Hell no. God forbid this ever happens to you again, do not wait until you're on his couch. Turn on your heel and leave. I have never seen that much contempt jammed into a single moment.
posted by Ashen at 11:43 AM on December 14, 2017 [15 favorites]


You're fine and more than fine. He's a contemptibly selfish liar who's using therapy-speak to try to cow you into going along with his bullshit man-baby agenda. Dump him in whatever way feels good to you, but dump him.
posted by sculpin at 11:46 AM on December 14, 2017 [10 favorites]


I also would have thought it was over between the door and the vacuum.

I agree you should just 100% stop talking to him. He's a total weirdo! He's basically broken up with you and just waiting for you to catch on.

On the upside, YOU DODGED A BULLET. Be thankful you found out now what a truly awful human being he is. *shudders*
posted by jbenben at 11:46 AM on December 14, 2017 [25 favorites]


I've renovated a house, pretty substantially I might add. I am generally a pretty Type-A personality with hard, internal deadlines and expectations and the stress that accompanies it.

There was always time to immediately say hi to my wife for a few minutes and to involve her in the work if she asked.

Turning the light on while she was sleeping so I could do something that could easily wait until morning...I wouldn't even imagine doing something like that no matter how much progress I wanted to make.

This is not a very nice person - whether they have other redeemable traits or not, nobody should have to put up with this kind of thing. I would personally never return a text, call, or anything else from this person as they are likely to gaslight whatever breakup conversation you try to have with them. They don't deserve another minute of your time.
posted by notorious medium at 11:49 AM on December 14, 2017 [27 favorites]


This guy's the worst. Charitably, he's treating you like garbage. DTMA; GTFO.
posted by brokeaspoke at 11:52 AM on December 14, 2017 [2 favorites]


It is not high maintenance to expect that the person you're dating would seem happy to see you. It is not high maintenance to expect that a person who invites you over to their home to socialize would actually socialize with you. It is not high maintenance to expect that a partner who says they are monogamous with you would delete their online dating profile. All of these things are basic elements of showing respect for another human being. This guy doesn't respect you. Find a guy who does.
posted by palomar at 11:57 AM on December 14, 2017 [6 favorites]


After a while he came in and woke me up by turning on the lights so he could measure something on the ceiling.

Yeah this is the point were he should become single.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:57 AM on December 14, 2017 [11 favorites]


The reason why you would get a voice ion the back of your head saying maybe you should break up with someone is because you should break up with them.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:59 AM on December 14, 2017 [12 favorites]


And be prepared for him to be genuinely shocked when you break up with him. Yeah, he might be passive-agressively hoping that you do it, but it's also likely that this exact scenario--having you around only once a very long while, for sex, while looking around for other people, is exactly what he wants. Of course he's going to lie and say whatever it takes to keep the status quo, because he likes the status quo. Hopefully in the future he will learn to treat women like human beings.
posted by Melismata at 12:04 PM on December 14, 2017 [8 favorites]


He's not even pretending to want your attention when you come over.

If you left anything at his place, drop by again and get it. Don't even tell him that's what you're there for - he'll probably be working on the door so he won't notice.

After that, ghost him.
posted by notsnot at 12:06 PM on December 14, 2017 [11 favorites]


He calls you passive-aggressive? Has he looked in a mirror lately?

He's treating you like crap. Break up and don't look back.
posted by rtha at 12:18 PM on December 14, 2017 [5 favorites]


Man, I want to break up with him just from reading this. This is definitely as annoying as you think.
posted by hungrytiger at 12:19 PM on December 14, 2017 [18 favorites]


He said insecurity did not become me.

oh get bent, guy.

his behavior is bad and you are not being high maintenance.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:33 PM on December 14, 2017 [5 favorites]


I agree with pretty much everything everyone is saying. What a crap person. But I want to say something else:

It's OK that you wanted to try to make it work and you shouldn't feel like there's something wrong with you. I got into a pattern of choosing guys like this in my late teens/early 20s and constantly felt like it was just me. Instead of forgiving myself and realizing that these guys were just jerks, I turned into this attention machine and lead to some pretty atrocious behaviors that took me probably 5-10 years to shake.

You are not high maintenance. You deserve someone who will spend time with you and care about you. Take care.
posted by ancient star at 12:37 PM on December 14, 2017 [10 favorites]


You are not being nearly high maintenance enough.

This guy's treating you like you're an intruder or something.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:43 PM on December 14, 2017 [10 favorites]


Reading this, I am wondering if you were having the audacity to assert a need when someone called you high maintenance in the past?

High maintenance is when, knowing your dude has a deadline, you insist that he needs to leave work and pick you up and take you to dinner first.

High maintenance is complaining that the house needs a lot of work and rolling your eyes whenever you are over.

Expecting to be greeted when you come in the door for a scheduled date is not high maintenance. Expecting to be allowed to sleep when you are staying over and not woken up by non-emergencies is not high maintenance.

I think you are at a 0 on a 1 to 10 scale of high maintenance-ness. Maybe you should consider asserting your needs more not less and hanging out with people who are not selfish jerks who are not good at communicating when they are not interested in pursuing a relationship.
posted by *s at 12:48 PM on December 14, 2017 [5 favorites]


You are not being "too much" - you are absolutely fine.

This guy, however, seems to be not really in a relationship with you. Fly, be free and meet someone who actually seems happy to see you when you come in the door!
posted by 41swans at 1:44 PM on December 14, 2017 [3 favorites]


This guy is the reason the term DTMFA was invented.
posted by Jubey at 2:14 PM on December 14, 2017 [8 favorites]


Let him know it's over in the same passive aggressive way he has, by putting a new pic on your dating app. Then ignore him every time he calls or comes over. When he asks what's going on, act completely confused and laugh at his insecurity. Trust me, he'll figure it out - you're talking his language now. I'm just kidding, don't do any of this, it's too much work and he's not worth it. Just never contact him again. He won't even notice or call you out on it because this was the outcome he wanted all along, he just didn't want to be the bad guy.
posted by Jubey at 2:22 PM on December 14, 2017 [7 favorites]


Your boyfriend is an asshole who is treating you like furniture and then patronising you when you ask for the barest modicum of acknowledgement, let alone affection.

You are not ‘high maintainance’. You are fine. He, however, is an enormous asshole.

DTMFA with extreme prejudice.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:23 PM on December 14, 2017 [3 favorites]


Hey there. I have been you in this situation. So I'm saying this from my story: every time he acts intermittently rejecting, or denies his own avoidant behavior, it activates your healthy need for attachment. It makes you want to give him more chances and to doubt your own judgment because he is triggering your anxiety.
Warning: It's possible to get more and more attached to someone like this as you anxiously keep trying to get proof that he isn't really rejecting you. Don't get more attached. You don't need to be anxious about him, you just need to say no way.
posted by velveeta underground at 2:37 PM on December 14, 2017 [41 favorites]


I read through your post, gradually raising an eyebrow, trying to see things from his viewpoint with an assumption of good faith, then:
Later, I called him to hopefully settle things, and he said he was annoyed I was accusing him of cheating.

*needle scratching vinyl sound*

DTMFA

You dodged a bullet.
posted by fraula at 3:07 PM on December 14, 2017 [3 favorites]


Anyway, that's the story. Am I being high maintenance or is his behavior as bad as I think?

It is! It is as bad as you think. What a numbskull. There are so many better fish in the sea and you are not high maintenance. I think I've only met one truly high maintenance person in my life and she was happily married to someone who minded not at all that she had specific needs. You are not that and there is someone so much better for you out there.
posted by amanda at 3:10 PM on December 14, 2017 [4 favorites]


This guy suuuuuuuuucks.
posted by Ragged Richard at 3:22 PM on December 14, 2017 [9 favorites]


You've been seeing this dude for about eight weeks. Two weeks ago he went on a trip, and since then he's been not so great.

Eight weeks in, someone who is really into you would act really into you. Instead, he acts cold and manipulative and passive-aggressive.

GET OUT.
posted by 41swans at 3:40 PM on December 14, 2017 [4 favorites]


Oooh, can I join the chorus? Seriously, been there and it suuucckks. You’re left wondering how things changed that quickly, and if you’re me, going through all kinds of contortions to get it back to where it was. Please don’t be me. In fact, if you want to do as I say and not as I do, you can call him out on it on the way out the door. “OK! I’m just going to ....not. It’s become apparent that you’re not feeling this, regardless of what you’re half heartedly saying, so bye! But please don’t think you’ve gotten away with something by having me pull the plug, cause it really is a shitty thing to do, and we both know I’m not overreacting”
posted by jacy at 3:43 PM on December 14, 2017 [4 favorites]


Agreeing with the others that he has broken up with you and is waiting for you to catch on.

The alternative - that this is his idea of having a relationship with you - is actually worse.

Sorry, it sucks and this is really hurtful.

In your position I would be tempted - I am always tempted to do stuff like this because I'm a terrible person, but just listen to this for a thought-experiment - to reflect his own behaviour back at him exactly. If he says I can't wait to see you, you say I can't wait to see you. If he ignores you you ignore him. If he wakes you up you wake him up. And so on.

But I don't see much point in that in your case besides the sheer mental exercise of it, and you'd get little enough of that because my guess is he'd probably continue to ignore you which would mean you were in a Mexican standoff of ignoring him forever.

Please just cut straight to ignoring him forever. And I'm sorry he's treated you so shittily.
posted by tel3path at 3:49 PM on December 14, 2017 [6 favorites]


Number one, you are not being high maintenance. He's being a person whose actions don't match his words and is treating you poorly.

But just as crucially, number two, you are allowed to be high maintenance. As long as you aren't a jerk about it, it's 100% ok.
posted by windykites at 4:16 PM on December 14, 2017 [3 favorites]


I 100% agree that this is guy is being an immature jerk and that you are best off walking away at this point.

I wonder, however, if a bit of self examination about your role in what happened when he returned from the business trip might be beneficial, especially if being called high maintenance is something that keeps recurring.

At all other points, you have given details about conversations. When you talk about going to his house after he returned from his trip, however, that is missing. Instead, you say, “When he did get back, and it was time to hang out”. Was this expressly agreed to between the two of you? Time, date, “see you then” confirmed and agreed to by both parties? (Especially since one of them- him- apparently has a small child to care for?) Or did you perhaps show up to spend the weekend at his place as a romantic surprise? In which case, his behavior is still highly uncool- he should have been mature and talked to you about it, rather than pulling this shit. But if that’s what happened, what you did wasn’t exactly cool either.

So if you were 100% invited and your visit planned, please accept my sincere apology and I will join my voice to the chorus of DTMFA. May this guy be launched into the sun. If perhaps, however, the two of you weren’t 100% on the same page, maybe think about whether it would be helpful to extend your “dating as getting to know someone” phase a bit. Because “high maintenance” can also be code for “too much too soon.”
posted by susiswimmer at 5:17 PM on December 14, 2017 [4 favorites]


I've been seeing this guy for about two months. I really liked him but lately things have seemed strange.

This was all I needed to read to know you need to DTMFA*, but I read your whole post anyway.

DTFMA.





*It's only two months, and he's already acting "strange"? Life is too short to waste time on that. Find someone who is thrilled to be with you.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:22 PM on December 14, 2017 [4 favorites]


Ugh, no. He doesn't get to treat you with that kind of contempt and disrespect. His behavior is total bullshit.

Walk away now, no drama, no fuss, with your dignity intact. Cut this motherfucker off at the knees and never look back. No second chances. Whatever his game is, you'll be depriving him of so much satisfaction if you just cut it off clean. And all the sooner you can shake off his cooties and get back to being your normal fabulous self that hasn't got her panties in a bunch trying to second-guess the behavior of some douchebaggy guy.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:51 PM on December 14, 2017 [3 favorites]


"High maintenance" is a misogynist phrase that men use to describe women who act like human beings and have needs and thoughts and feelings and desires. You are not high maintenance. He's a piece of shit. Dump him.
posted by a strong female character at 6:07 PM on December 14, 2017 [25 favorites]


Ugh, he should be on his best behaviour right now, and he's not even treating you with the basic respect I'd expect from a casual acquaintance. Get out now, this guy doesn't deserve you and his rudeness and sense of entitlement are only going to get worse.
posted by rpfields at 7:22 PM on December 14, 2017 [4 favorites]


I've also dated this guy, and I'd say throw in the towel -- except I'd be surprised if he didn't go completely ghost at this point. Where you are right now is that he can walk away from "passive aggressive" and "accusatory" without acknowledging or feeling guilt about what role his behavior may have played in that.

Also, next time? Don't hang out with someone who doesn't want to hang out with you.
posted by sm1tten at 8:28 PM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


When I returned intending to just briefly grab the dog, he was vacuuming and didn't stop for like five minutes.

The weird thing is he barely cracked a smile when I came in and pretty much continued to work on the door.

After a while he came in and woke me up by turning on the lights so he could measure something on the ceiling.

I texted him asking if he would call me back and he didn't answer.



AND HE CALLED *YOU* PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE ???

What a mindfucking blisterdick.
posted by honey-barbara at 11:03 PM on December 14, 2017 [12 favorites]


You are not at all high-maintenance.

Your (hopefully, soon-to-be ex) boyfriend is utterly lacking in common courtesy. Forget about how you're supposed to treat a person you love and whose company you prize - I wouldn't treat someone I barely knew this badly.

You deserve so, so, so much better.
posted by dancing_angel at 11:10 PM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


Thanks for your comments. It seems so obvious now. Your encouragement has really helped.

And yeah, I was 100% invited to his house. Our visit was planned. Also, Cat Person was an excruciating story and totally absorbing.
posted by amodelcitizen at 11:16 PM on December 14, 2017 [32 favorites]


I just wanted to point out that in addition to sucking because of the way he’s treating you, he also majorly sucks for bringing his son into this. I’m glad you’re walking away.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:52 AM on December 15, 2017 [5 favorites]


Just to throw this out there. I'm female, I have projects, and I absolutely, positively, HATE to be interrupted! Just kills me. Your first sentence about him working on a door then you wanting him to sit down to have a conversation just made me twitch. Sorry. If I have a project, I can't even stop to eat until, in my mind I decide where a stopping point is. Many years of training with my family, I can tell you, lol. It sucks that he's this way. You guys definitely have different styles and love languages. Move on.
posted by PJMoore at 11:11 AM on December 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


So it sounds like there is a pretty hard consensus on DTMFA, and I agree. Part of your question was are you being "high maintenance". I'll take a look at that with the assumption that this is something you are trying to track for yourself and need an outside perspective.

Obviously it is hard to gauge everyone's intentions from just your side of the story, but there are some instances where it could be interpreted as you demanding more attention than he wants to provide at the time. The situation with the door sounds like he was super busy. You made him stop work, and got upset when he kept you up at midnight. If he was working at midnight it was clearly very important for him to finish the work, at least in his mind.

The vacuuming thing sounds weird, but I guess I could see a way in which he was "just finishing up" before talking with you. Even then, I would expect some recognition. A wave, or a "just one min" hand sign.

It honestly sounds like he is not on the same page as you are about how much attention is expected or required. He also seems to be choosing to ignore you instead of communicating his need for space to you. Move on and find someone who can vocalize their needs instead of just throwing a tantrum. Otherwise I expect it will be a lot of work teaching him how to deal with you like an adult. Only you know if this two month old relationship is worth that amount of effort.
posted by Oceanic Trench at 2:31 PM on December 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


I was tempted to stop reading after the first paragraph, but I read all the way through.

He's an asshole and the way he's treating you constitutes emotional abuse.

To answer your question, no you're not being high maintenance. Quite the opposite -- you're not standing up for yourself.

This stuck out to me as really problematic:

I was sort of desperate to make him happy..

Why were you desperate to make him happy? And why were you trying to avoid being confrontational? That's not how healthy relationships work. You should both be enjoying each other's company, eager to see one another, respectful of each other's time, having fun. You should be able to confront a friend or dating partner when problems arise. In this case, there is not enough confrontation in the world that could correct his behavior. You just need to leave him.

This guy is treating you as though you're a piece of garbage that's hanging around. Don't think twice about dumping him.
posted by Gray Skies at 3:08 PM on December 15, 2017 [4 favorites]


If a guy calls you names, that's a deal-breaker. If a guy calls you high maintenance, that's a deal-breaker. If a guy calls you passive aggressive, that's a deal-breaker. If a guy makes you feel bad about yourself, If a guy has appalling manners towards you, etc.

Never tolerate crap. Do not let someone treat you badly. It took me years to learn to pay a lot of attention to behavior. His behavior totally contradicts his words. He's telling you with his behavior that he does not value you. You deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect, as a baseline. You deserve so much better than he is giving.
posted by theora55 at 8:53 AM on December 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


I want to tell you to please have the strength to dump this guy, no matter how beautiful he is, no matter how good the sex, no matter how much he boosts your self image. Because eight months ago I met this same dude, in a different form of course, but the same garbage treatment. I ignored every piece of advice and every inner voice telling me to know better. (To be fair to myself, he preyed on me when I was just coming out of a medical crisis in my previous relationship that had left my partner mostly paralyzed for life. Yeah, real upstanding dude.)

It won't get better. After awhile it turns into you battling him for every basic consideration "normal" people give one another without thinking. Then the whole acting like he's at a funeral whenever he's "forced" into being around you. Dump him. It won't get better.
posted by JLovebomb at 10:05 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also, that "aloofness" is carefully crafted manipulation on his part to drain you of your sense of self-worth, to make you more pliable to accepting his abuse. People who love themselves won't stay with him, and he fears being alone. Your dislike of it is normal, and his reactive gaslighting to your dislike is part of the cultivated mask he dons to hide his sociopathy and narcissism. I wish I were reading too much into your situation. But honestly, this type is pretty common and even if you're ok with some of this bullshit of his, please just know it won't get better and neither will either of you if you stay with him.
posted by JLovebomb at 10:13 PM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


We did break up, on Christmas Eve, no less. I wanted to do it right away but it was so difficult because the relationship had been so much fun in the beginning. I know it was for the best but I feel so sad now. I just keep reading this thread and appreciating all the thoughts and well wishes here. Thank you guys. I do deserve better.
posted by amodelcitizen at 1:17 PM on December 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


Erm. Merry Christmas?

It's character building.

Sorry.
posted by tel3path at 4:56 PM on December 25, 2017


Ugh. I'm sorry. Take care of yourself. Be kind. This was not your fault.
posted by sockermom at 5:08 PM on December 25, 2017


There is never a good time to break up with someone! I’m here with my full support of your decision. The guy sounded like an ass.
posted by like_neon at 2:24 PM on December 26, 2017


Amodelcitizen, there's someone out there who is so excited that you made this move...they just don't know it yet. Chin up. It's soon a new year.
posted by amanda at 5:49 PM on December 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


You are a champ amodelcitizen - you gave yourself a good gift for Christmas this year. I hope you can see it that way, and that you are in a situation where the distractions of the season, the presence of your family and friends, can get you through this.
posted by honey-barbara at 7:05 PM on December 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Congrats! I think you’ve given yourself a great Christmas gift, even though it may not feel that way now. This, too, shall pass, and hopefully the new year will bring you better experiences.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:53 PM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


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