Is this the kind of red flag I should be looking for?
May 1, 2018 3:52 AM   Subscribe

I started talking to a guy who was really pushy about getting more face pictures after I had already sent him 3. I've recently talked to my therapist about being attracted to men who end up being really controlling and she said to start paying more attention to early signs of boundary pushing to better protect myself. Is this that? Details inside.

This guy messaged me on Grindr. We talked for a little bit and he asked for more "appropriate" pictures. I sent him 2 more and he sent like 7 or 8. He asked to see more. I told him I didn't have anymore right now because it's a fairly new phone (and I don't have a huge social media presence) and I didn't feel like taking any right then because I'd be running around all day and didn't feel great but I would send him more tomorrow.

He then asked if I had Instagram and I said yes but I barely use it and I don't generally add people I don't know. He then asked for my Snapchat. I said sure but he immediately started sending me selfies with text on them. I jokingly sent him a picture of my foot with text on it. He said "Where's your face?" I responded "I already said I'm not taking more today but I will send you some tomorrow." Finally, he said "Just send one." with a picture of himself looking annoyed. I stopped responding.

It seems to me this is behavior I might ignore in the past or even view it as flirting. I flat out said no a few times and yet he kept persisting, as if waiting one day for more pictures was this absurd ask of him. And how many pictures do you need to see of someone before you meet them in person anyway?

So my question is, does this seem like the kind of boundary pushing behavior that I should be looking out for? Or am I overreacting to something innocuous? My therapist said the general rule of thumb is you can tell someone no or ask them to stop something 2 times and then if it happens a 3rd time that's when you should disengage because either it's intentional boundary pushing or they just don't respect you. I'll talk about it with my therapist when I see her next but for now I'd like some advice from you guys. Thanks!
posted by blackzinfandel to Human Relations (30 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think you made the right decision.
posted by biggreenplant at 3:56 AM on May 1, 2018 [74 favorites]


Me too!
posted by mathiu at 4:00 AM on May 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


Yeah, that is definitely someone trying to steamroll you. Very, very good call.
posted by gideonfrog at 4:03 AM on May 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


My experience in dating: if someone is pushy rather than courteous (at any stage) it's not going to be pleasant. Now, me, I have a wonky eye, so I HATE face pictures. I made my eye obvious on my profile, and my body type and weight, and if someone had pushed for more face pictures, it would have been rude.

I held out and my SO thinks my face is beautiful. He's mad, but I like that kind of insanity.
posted by b33j at 4:03 AM on May 1, 2018 [10 favorites]


Best answer: In a kind of way it was helpful of this guy to show up and provide you with such a clear case of rude & pushy behaviour. Like a textbook example. You made 100% the right call.
posted by rd45 at 4:10 AM on May 1, 2018 [68 favorites]


Finally, he said "Just send one." with a picture of himself looking annoyed. I stopped responding.

Well played.
posted by flabdablet at 4:13 AM on May 1, 2018 [35 favorites]


If you've not even met yet and he's already getting "annoyed" with you (even if it's a badly-landed jokey thing), he doesn't sound like someone worth any more effort or time.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:23 AM on May 1, 2018 [12 favorites]


Best answer: You’re doing great! This was absolutely way too pushy of him. You also keyed onto something interesting and useful here: how many pictures do you need to see of someone before you meet them in person anyway? This wasn’t about the pictures; it was about him trying to see if he could push and pout and get his way.

I have said it here before, but whenever someone asks if they are overreacting to a thing a guy does to them in dating? The answer is almost universally no, you are not overreacting. You are taking care of yourself and listening to yourself. For one reason or another, many of us have been taught to minimize our own needs and feelings in service of a romantic partner, or potential romantic partner. Part of the process of learning about how to set boundaries is becoming more comfortable with putting yourself first. The thing that so challenging about a boundary is that at the end of the day you are saying no to someone. It is hard to say no! But you did it here, and it was totally the right call.

Take care, good luck. You’re doing hard work, and it will pay off. It already has.
posted by sockermom at 4:23 AM on May 1, 2018 [49 favorites]


People who ask for a lot of pictures and not a date just want to collect pictures.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:36 AM on May 1, 2018 [7 favorites]


Best answer: I have said it here before, but whenever someone asks if they are overreacting to a thing a guy does to them in dating? The answer is almost universally no, you are not overreacting. You are taking care of yourself and listening to yourself.

QFT. Keep trusting yourself. I suggest that when you next come across some dating interaction that makes you uncomfortable, instead of asking if you're overreacting, tell yourself, "This is not something I like, and it's okay to stop contact with this person. Even if I'm overreacting, that's fine. I'm allowed to like what I like, I don't like this, and that's enough for me to make good decisions."
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:43 AM on May 1, 2018 [39 favorites]


Yes, you are spot on with your judgement that this is a red flag. Good work. Those picture requests are over the top.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:47 AM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


Man, he's the one who sounds annoying. Agree with everyone else you made the right choice to move on. Bullet dodged.
posted by like_neon at 5:08 AM on May 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


In terms of how red flag-ish it is, I'd call this flagtastic vermilion.

Also, I don't know much about the apps you mentioned, but can you block him?
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 5:25 AM on May 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


Yours was the correct response. Good on you for spotting that red flag!
posted by lieber hair at 5:26 AM on May 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


Best answer: Begin as you mean to go on. If you start out by indulging someone's petty demands ... Now you are questioning yourself. Find a mantra or affirmations. I deserve equality. etc. Your instincts were accurate, keep building on your strength.
posted by theora55 at 6:05 AM on May 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


I like your therapist's three strikes rule of thumb. Makes sense and you can use it in the moment without overthinking.
posted by Gnella at 6:27 AM on May 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


Regardless of whether this is a pretty universal "red flag" (and I'm with others that it is), it sounds like your feelings during this "conversation" could be summed up as: confused, defensive, nervous. Unless that is how you generally feel when interacting with potential dates, that's not a good sign about your compatibility with this guy. It kind of doesn't matter why - it's okay to stop interacting with strangers you don't enjoy interacting with.

If you were feeling excited and intrigued by this same behavior, that's when you need better rules of thumb. But it sounds like your gut feeling-meter is working fine, you just need to listen to it.
posted by cogitron at 6:34 AM on May 1, 2018 [6 favorites]


You 100% made the right call.

I also really like the three strike rules: someone asks you for something, you say the first no, someone might want to clarify something or explain why they want whatever it is, which is often reasonable - you say the second no. Then if they continue to ask, they’re not listening to you and they’re intentionally pushing for something they know you don’t want to do.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:04 AM on May 1, 2018 [8 favorites]


He seems to have no sense of humor? I had laugh that you sent him a pic of your foot. More relaxed person might have sent one of his own foot back.
posted by 15L06 at 7:34 AM on May 1, 2018 [16 favorites]


Best answer: Agreed, this is a textbook case of that thing, good eye. Someone you've just met (online or off) has zero authority to demand anything from you. The way he tried to wheedle what he wanted out of you in little steps and then try to upset you into complying is especially repellent behavior to me. Even if, say, he has some rule in his head about not texting people much until he's seen current pictures, he could have said "Great, look forward to seeing you tomorrow! Good night!" and left it there.
posted by tchemgrrl at 8:08 AM on May 1, 2018 [7 favorites]


your therapist is 100% right on this and you made a good call in disengaging from this pushy weirdo.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:31 AM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think you 100% made the right call. In addition to the fact that this is weirdly pushy, there's also the fact that your interactions with this guy are making you feel uneasy and annoyed AND YOU HAVEN'T EVEN MET HIM YET! (!!!!) There is no obligation to keep chatting with someone just because you started to...if the interactions are no longer actively adding joy and happiness to your life and giving you feelings of "oooh, I'm excited to meet this person!", then it is fine to just STOP, regardless of if you can pinpoint/justify a specific reason.
posted by rainbowbrite at 9:02 AM on May 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'm going to be a contrarian, and say--nah, just kidding! Everyone here is 100% correct, you are well shut of this guy. Testing you out to see if he can control you in your very first interactions is about a bad a sign as you can get.
posted by praemunire at 9:04 AM on May 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


Guy could be harvesting pics for a catfishing enterprise. You made a good call.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:50 AM on May 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


Block him.
posted by amanda at 11:31 AM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


Absolutely you did the right thing :)
posted by thereader at 12:21 PM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


What a pushy, entitled jag. One thing I find helpful in evaluating how someone is treating me is to try flipping things around to consider how I would feel doing what that other person is doing. Can you even imagine pressuring someone so incessantly about something they've already clearly said no to? That would be ridiculous, right? And rude as hell? Under what circumstances could that be anything other than completely disrespecting the stated wishes and intent of that other person?

If I would feel bad doing it to someone else, I try not to accept someone else doing it to me.
posted by DingoMutt at 12:51 PM on May 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


Remember this feeling next time someone is being pushy - this is the feeling of you protecting your boundaries well!
posted by Omnomnom at 1:15 PM on May 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


Early in any relationship most people are presenting what they think of as the best possible version of themselves to prospective partners. This right here is not a very high ceiling of good behavior.
posted by srboisvert at 5:04 PM on May 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


It seems to me this is behavior I might ignore in the past or even view it as flirting.

Well, it IS flirting. He's letting you know he's interested in finding a partner with poor boundaries who he can steamroll over by petulantly insisting that you give him what he wants after he says no. It's probably a very effective way for him to eliminate potential partners who aren't suitable for him from consideration.

Just because you aren't interested in being that person doesn't make it not flirting, and just because someone is flirting with you doesn't mean you have to be interested in them.

Personally it's behavior I'd ignore, I'd ignore it by loosing all interest in the person and blocking them if they kept bothering me.

So my question is, does this seem like the kind of boundary pushing behavior that I should be looking out for?

YES. Yes. Yes.
posted by yohko at 3:27 PM on May 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


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