I'm not sure if my boyfriend is trustworthy?
December 11, 2018 5:59 AM   Subscribe

Boyfriend has lied a bit to me over time, and now I just feel like I can't trust him.

So I am 26F and he is 25M. We first met at 14 and dated for nine months during ninth grade. I was so in love, but over the summer saw him less and he started annoying me a bit and I just got a feeling that I needed to break up with him so I did. Then I saw him at school 2 months later, and missed him and regretted breaking up, but he had moved on to another girlfriend, and I was devastated all year. This was my second relationship ever. My first was a long distance thing with a guy who lied to me about himself, and that also really broke me. I think that's where some trust issues come from.

Anyway, we did not talk for 9 years. I stayed in my hometown after high school and he moved 2 hours away to college, that his parents paid for, but he changed his major many times, and ended up failing out. In March 2017, I had almost completely forgotten about him, and was just leaving a relationship. He messaged me asking how I was. We caught up. He said he had had a dream about me, and that also in August he was moving back to our hometown into his parents house to save money and start school again, maybe do culinary. So we met up at a bar, got along, it was very nice to see him. He messaged me after saying he missed me for many years and that I was amazing. We started hanging out, in April he helped me move into my first apartment, and we became official that day. He kept visiting me a coupe times a week for a while, he would make the 2 hour drive. I was so happy. Then, I started noticing things I didn't like about him, that my mom pointed out to me. His house was a wreck, absolutely trashed with trash everywhere, cat litter on the bedroom floor, he never bothered cleaning up for me. He had bill collectors calling him all the time. He was buying weed and random things on the wish app, but not paying his debts. He kept telling me about his past romantic things, how he used to want to date his friend but she dated his other friend and he didn't want her anyway, how he thought something might be between him and his friend "K", but nothing ever happened. It made me a bit jealous. He also wanted to move in with me in August, and my mom thought he was trying to use me. He complained about having to sleep in a tiny basement bedroom at his parents.

So, one day I blew up, said you need to pay your bills, pay back your old roommate, and stop talking to me about other women. He thought it all came out of nowhere, but he did end up paying all his bills down, and mostly stopped mentioning other women.

So in April 2018, one day I was feeling insecure and looked through his texts. I saw that he had went on a hike that morning with a female friend "C" that he sees every couple months. He had told me about her, how he thinks she doesn't really like him just likes his dog, and she is also very very pretty. He had told me he went on a hike with his dog, and when I asked how he found out about the trail he said he didn't remember. So, I was acting very mad, he asked what was wrong, and I admitted I went through his texts and saw he hung out with C but he lied to me about it. He said he was very sorry, that he just thought I would get upset or jealous if he told me. I said that it was way worse to lie about it. We made up sort of but that broke some trust. The next day I lied to him about something small, saying I let his dog out when I didn't. He was shocked I lied to him. The next day I broke up with him, saying that I didn't see a future. We both cried a lot and told each other we loved eachother, he said he didn't think there was anything he could change to be better, and that he just wanted me to be happy.

We didn't talk at all until August. During this time I went on some tinder dates and admittedly hooked up some. He messaged me saying that he missed me, that he was trying to move on but it was hard. I said I missed him too but made the right decision. He said he wanted to be friends. So he came over to get something he forgot at my place. He had lost a lot of weight, was very in shape, and he told me he was working on himself and not dating. He said that he was glad we dated because I showed him how to care for himself. Then, he came on to me suddenly and we hooked up. We kept hanging out weekly and hooking up. We went to dinner and he said he hadn't been on a date in a while, only went to dinner with his family. In September, we went to a concert. I started to really miss dating him. I told him after we had sex that I missed him and asked if I ruined us forever. He said probably not forever, but that I really hurt him and that he wasn't sure I'd just leave him again, and he just wanted to keep doing what we were doing.

In October he surprised me at my place after school all dressed up with wine and flowers. It gave me so much hope. He planned a trip for us in November to a cabin for a weekend. I was so excited. On the cabin trip, November 17th, he took me to a very nice dinner, said he liked me a lot, and wanted to know if I wanted to seriously date again. I said yes and was very happy.

So a week later I brought up to him about how it sometimes bothered me that he was still friends with someone he used to want to date. This girl is now married and it was kinda stupid that I was feeling uncomfortable about it. He got very mad, said he can be friends with whoever he wants, that he gets anxiety too considering I left him twice. We worked it out though.

So over the weekend, I got insecure and looked through his phone. I was suspicious of his friend "K", who lives 2 hours away in his old town. I knew he went down there in October and he didn't tell me who he saw. Well, they had texted as recently as November 19th, just about a new movie coming out. He did go to see her in October to go to a haunted house, which he told me he didn't spend the night. I quickly went through their texts, saw that they went to a wedding together in AUgust or September, and aroudn that time he said he wanted to spend the night with her with a winky face. They got dinner together. She talked about how much fun they had at the winery over the summer. I think during the time we were talking he only saw her in August and October. But, now I feel like I've been lied to again. He said he wasn't dating anyone and gave me a false impression. I didn't even mention whether I had dated or not to him, but at least I didn't lie. I also think I saw that she is moving 4 hours away now, so maybe that's why they aren't seeing each other anymore. Also, we now have plans to move in together in February, and I'm kind of freaking out. I just don't know if I can trust this guy, if he lied to me, and what is/was going on between him and K.
posted by anon1129 to Human Relations (43 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
You've written an essay to internet randos about this. You're not 'not sure if you can trust him' - you don't trust him. Trust is the most important thing in an intimate relationship.

Dump the arse, sooner rather than later.
posted by pompomtom at 6:11 AM on December 11, 2018 [57 favorites]


Sounds like you two have a pretty high-drama, push-pull relationship dynamic going on. I have no idea whether anything untoward is happening with "K," but if the consistent pattern has been that this guy lies/ flakes/ runs hot and cold, and that you get anxious and snoop/ accuse, then that pattern will likely continue and worsen once you move in together. Why wouldn't it? You're both the same people, and it seems like you bring this out in each other.

Who knows whether extensive couples counseling or whatever could rebuild that dynamic, but at 26, by far the easier option would be to cut this one loose and try to find a guy with whom you can be your best self. If any of these have been consistent features in your relationships, though, it's worth considering therapy on your own to sort out and fix those patterns.
posted by Bardolph at 6:17 AM on December 11, 2018 [15 favorites]


This guy fucking sucks. Not only is he lying to you, but he gets validation by having multiple women on a string, and by making you feel bad by referencing all the other women who want him. DTMFA, you can do a LOT better.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:17 AM on December 11, 2018 [53 favorites]


This is not how grown-ups conduct relationships.

There is a....a thing in our culture, a pattern that I observe in asks and in life, where people accept that it's normal for the woman to manage the man while the man tries to "be bad" and "escape" from her restrictions; a pattern where the man is incompetent and dishonest unless some poor woman is riding herd on him. And we just normalize that - men are tricksy, lovable idiots who just want to chase girls and live in filth, and women are the civilizers who insist that they pay their bills and get mad when they cheat. And this is just...how it is, instead of a giant fucking truckload of red flags and misery.

If you are in a position where you have to spy on your partner because he is routinely lying to you, he's not just "being a regular guy", he's being immature, pathetic and gross and you should dump him.

And as to the house, the financial stuff, etc, etc: He's not behaving in a mature way. If it were just the mess and the bills, he might simply be too immature for you and just need a few years to get himself together. No harm, no foul - but not a good fit for you.

People don't have to be financially perfect or extremely tidy to be good partners, but they should be, on balance, more adult, pleasant, supportive, together and truthful than not. This guy doesn't have much going for him other than the ability to buy flowers and make promises that he has no intention of keeping.
posted by Frowner at 6:25 AM on December 11, 2018 [101 favorites]


I have NEVER had such a high drama relationship like this. My third boyfriend and I were so stable and trusting and this is so opposite. I have never felt so insecure and jealous in my life. He used to mention other women I felt in an attempt to make me jealous, but maybe he was just trying to be transparent? And I swear one time he told me, "you know I could have plenty of other people, I just CHOOSE you" but he swore he never said such a thing. But yeah I think he does like to keep other women around for validation and it makes me so angry. I love him so much in a way. Another thing that broke some of my trust is how he lied to me about how much weed he smokes. WHen we first started seeing each other he said he used to smoke a lot, and as I got to know him realized he smoked several times a day. He said, "Well I wasn't going to TELL you I was a stoner when we first met." Also, he tried to hide his smoking from me, by saying he jsut needs to let out his dog when really he just wants to smoke. I don't even care much if he smokes but the fact that he tries and hides it makes me wonder what else he's hiding... UGH. I want to tell him the truth, that I looked through his phone and what I found, and see what he has to say... He tells me how much he loves me and tells me all these wonderful things and I don't even know if I should have ever believed him.
posted by anon1129 at 6:27 AM on December 11, 2018


It sounds like neither of you can trust the other right now. He's lying to you about smoking and other women (girls are underage, in which case there's a lot more to worry about), and you're snooping through his phone in an effort to catch him in the lie. Maybe you're both getting off on the hot/cold on/off high drama limerence, but this sounds exhausting.

This guy is not bringing out your best self, which should be enough for you to (wait for it) DTFMA.
posted by basalganglia at 6:32 AM on December 11, 2018 [5 favorites]


RED ALERT. Just lying about the weed-smoking would be enough for me, let alone all the other stuff. DTMFA, block, no contact.
posted by peanut butter milkshake at 6:34 AM on December 11, 2018 [7 favorites]


Yeah, if your other relationships haven't been like this, then it's just that this guy sucks and is driving you crazy. DTMFA and look for somebody more like boyfriend #3.
posted by Bardolph at 6:35 AM on December 11, 2018 [10 favorites]


The fact that you're looking through his phone, justified or not, shows you don't believe he is trustworthy. Talking about your concerns is a conversation you should have with each other if you want to see if the relationship has a future.
posted by ShakeyJake at 6:36 AM on December 11, 2018


You can love him and not date him. I am totally serious. It is ok to have feelings for him, fond memories of dating him before, but just not date him. Go out, do other stuff, don't try and date anyone right now, just have fun. Your update says it all, dating him is making you someone you're not, someone you don't like, so don't do that. It won't change, it will just get worse, and if you in the end you'll wonder what happened and you might even start hating yourself. So don't do that, you can choose a different path, you have that power.
posted by dawg-proud at 6:43 AM on December 11, 2018 [7 favorites]


Oh and I am begging you (BEGGING) do not let him move in to your apartment!

You aren't ready to break up, fine. But do not, DO NOT, move in together. If you need proof just look at prior asks about how to get someone out of their apartment.

(sorry to shout, I'm just worried for you on this point)
posted by dawg-proud at 6:48 AM on December 11, 2018 [15 favorites]


Just a quick question, do you think he lied to me about seeing other women? I mean I wasn't ever even going to ask him if he was, he just said that he was not dating. Maybe they were just a FWB type or something? I feel like it is none of my business maybe, but the fact that he may have lied about it or gave a false impression makes me want to ask him, to know really what I am dealing with.

I just can't figure out if he's proven to me that he's untrustworthy this time around. Also, I did tell him when we broke up that I didn't like that he smoked weed all the time. So that's why he's trying to hide it, even though now I told him it's fine and I did edibles with him a couple times.

I really don't want to just leave him again in a way, because I took him back and almost feel like I owe him something now because I made that decision and should have been sure about it. We didn't even really talk about what went wrong last time, I still haven't fully figured it out. I want to believe that he's not a bad, deceiving guy. It's just hard.
posted by anon1129 at 6:54 AM on December 11, 2018


You don't owe this dude anything. None of what you've described is what a healthy relationship looks like. He shouldn't be lying to you about his interactions with other women, and you shouldn't be snooping through his phone. Cut him loose, you can do better. Seriously.
posted by fso at 7:10 AM on December 11, 2018 [11 favorites]


It doesn't matter whether or not you can prove his untrustworthiness. People break up with good, trustworthy people all the time. You don't need an official reason to break up with someone.
posted by aniola at 7:12 AM on December 11, 2018 [15 favorites]


You don’t owe him anything! I say this as someone who is your age and has been in a similar situation: get out now. Your future self will thank you. You will be either single or in another relationship, but you will be so relieved that you decided to break up with him now rather than 4 years later, most of that on and off. You will sleep better. You will realize that there are so many better suited people for you out there. You will look back on this time and think, wow, what was I thinking? Why didn’t I have more fun in my 20s rather than try to keep a man tethered to me when he never really wanted to stay? Why did I spend nights anxious about how to bring normal issues up? Why did I spend so much worry wondering if every time he texted, it was to another woman? Or when he locked his phone, why was I always paranoid it was because he was hiding something?

Well, let me tell you, it wasn’t worth it thinking about all of that. Please care for yourself first and break up with him. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, don’t make a plan to move in with him. I’m so glad I didn’t move in with my ex, because his messy habits and general lack of care for my feelings would have spiraled us into some dark place, and I would’ve felt even MORE guilty about breaking up. Go now, please.
posted by buttonedup at 7:22 AM on December 11, 2018 [6 favorites]


I mean, he's functionally lying to you about seeing other women, in that he's seeing them and concealing it, and not in a "oh, I grabbed a coffee last month with Sarah, I forgot to mention it because you were out of town that week" way. I think that someone who regularly lies to you about the amount and nature of time that they're spending with other women is not going to hesitate to lie to you about sleeping with them, even if he isn't doing so already.

I really don't want to just leave him again in a way, because I took him back and almost feel like I owe him something now because I made that decision

I thought like this in a relationship! It was a bad idea. Instead of being single when someone I actually wanted to get together with came along, I was stuck in a messy relationship that did not make me happy. Because I was emotionally immature and because I was stuck in this relationship, I messed everything up and ended up relationshipless (I mean, for a while, not forever) and very unhappy. There are situations where, IMO, you really do "owe" your partner, but not situations where everyone is young, childless, basically healthy, capable of working and not even in a particularly long relationship.

I am telling you - you can do better.
posted by Frowner at 7:30 AM on December 11, 2018 [7 favorites]


I owe him something now because I made that decision and should have been sure about it

This thinking is a trap with a drain attached and all your energy will get sucked into it and it's an awful one to have to extricate yourself from. Save yourself years of lies and bullshit and tell him he's not moving in. I agree with the above advice that you can care for him while absolutely, positively not being with him. You do not owe him anything.
posted by Crystal Fox at 7:36 AM on December 11, 2018 [14 favorites]


As a representative of The Internet, we hereby give you permission to DTFM, block his numbers, unfriend him, unfollow him, erase him from your memory, go no contact, and move on with your life.
You're welcome.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 7:39 AM on December 11, 2018 [20 favorites]


Just a quick question, do you think he lied to me about seeing other women?

From where I sit, it absolutely does not matter whether regarding that specific instance he 100% lied about that specific thing, or whether he 0% lied about it, or whether he somewhere in between rationalized what he told you to the point he believes it to be true even though you wouldn't feel the same if you had a dry recitation of the facts.

What would matter to me if I were in your shoes is that among the things you know about this guy, you know that given the choice between being transparent with you about something you might or might not like, or lying to you to avoid the potential of conflict, he always chooses the latter option. That's not someone being a partner to you, that's not the action of someone who believes he's in a relationship of equals. That's someone using you.

Also... Then, I started noticing things I didn't like about him, that my mom pointed out to me.

May you someday soon get to a point where it doesn't feel so natural to let other people tell you how you should feel. That will go a long way toward protecting yourself against people like him. Good luck.
posted by solotoro at 7:39 AM on December 11, 2018 [9 favorites]


I don't know that he's regularly lied. The only instances I found were when he went on a hike twice last year with "C" without telling me, which I think she doesn't even really like him but because she's pretty and has social status he likes to hang out with her to get an ego boost. That's just my opinion, I never met the girl.

And, when he told me in August that he "wasn't dating", I just don't know if that was true. Because I know he was sleeping with and went to a winery with "K", and texted her while talking to me, and visited her in October, but I don't know what happened. Maybe he broke things off with her, telling her that he was going back to me, but they'll remain friends? I have no idea. But he did conceal his thing with her from me, but maybe I didn't have a right to know since we weren't dating?

I added our relationship on facebook, and he liked it, but didn't accept it until I mentioned he didn't a few days later, which he said he didn't know he had to. And his relationship status, single, used to show on his profile summary on his main page, but now you have to go in the about section to see it. She must know were dating since it's all on facebook, she usually likes everything on his wall, but didn't on this one. He's liked every one of her profile photos except for one with another guy.

I know I'm going crazy.
posted by anon1129 at 7:43 AM on December 11, 2018


I hope that when you talk to him, it is with the intent that you are going to break up with him.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:51 AM on December 11, 2018 [4 favorites]


I know I'm going crazy.

Yes.

The Internet (TM) is telling you to DTMF (TM), and giving you very good reasons to do so: This relationship isn't healthy, he's immature and isn't contributing to the relationship, he isn't behaving in a trustworthy way, you obviously don't trust him ...

But it seems like you don't want this advice. Instead, you want the internet to adjudicate the details - to tell you that your perceptions are correct, that there really is X% of lies on his part, etc.

The details don't matter that much. You should step back and stop obsessing over them; stop posting follow-up essays where you comb over this or that Facebook exchange. Stop it. Instead, look at the big picture. A healthy relationship doesn't make you feel this way.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:52 AM on December 11, 2018 [30 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted - OP, AskMe's not a place for play-by-play or for back-and-forth interaction where you're responding to every point or narrating your own reactions. You've asked, now you can read the answers and take what seems useful from them.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:54 AM on December 11, 2018 [8 favorites]


Also... Then, I started noticing things I didn't like about him, that my mom pointed out to me.

I read somewhere that becoming a grown-up means doing for yourself the things your parents did for you when you were a small child (assuming you had good parents), which could be things as simple as "is Anon dressed appropriately for the weather" but also (more relevant to your situation:
- Is Anon living and spending time in places which are basically hygienic?
- Do Anon's friends make her cry and feel bad? If so, time to steer her to some new friends.

Etc.

Take care of yourself the way you would take care of someone you care deeply about who is depending on you.
posted by frobozz at 8:41 AM on December 11, 2018 [9 favorites]


I don't see him not telling you about what he did while you were broken up was really lying, it's not great but it's common and not a sign that he's going to cheat on you. Even right now he might be worried you're going to break up with him so he's hesitant to post it on facebook, that's understandable. Or maybe he is infatuated with someone else and trying to keep things open? What does your gut say? It sounds like you don't trust him. I think your gut is right in general but you're trying to tie it to a specific instance but it might be more that you know this isn't a good thing.

Not great is him showing interest via liking someone's profile pictures if it's in the last two months, really really not great is his oversharing his feelings about other women to you and possibly on purposely trying to make you jealous, not great is him expressing hesitancy about making you feel safe and understood.

I think you both need more time to get to know each other before you consider moving in together. It's not a good sign that you have such a tumultuous relationship with him when you have had good relationships. You don't owe him anything and thinking that will keep you in this longer than he deserves. If you can't trust him to be a good partner to you and are policing his activity on facebook and his texting that's a sign to move on, even if he's not cheating or trying to it's not a match for you. You deserve to be with someone who can handle basic adult tasks, be honest with you, and not make you feel like you're going crazy wondering what's happening with other women. It sounds like he's not ready to be a full adult, or fully committed to you.
posted by lafemma at 8:45 AM on December 11, 2018 [1 favorite]


This is not how a healthy relationship works.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:45 AM on December 11, 2018 [3 favorites]


He clearly doesn't want to create healthy attachment with you. You've experienced healthy attachment before. The fact that you're feeling obsessive, insecure and needing yo pick things apart and get others to validate your perceptions says that this isn't a good match for you. Go read some of the stuff at Baggage Reclaim.
posted by crunchy potato at 8:57 AM on December 11, 2018 [4 favorites]


Not to be repetitive, but this an irrevocably toxic relationship. Take the next train to Splitsville.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 9:01 AM on December 11, 2018 [3 favorites]


Something that may be a useful processing technique here and in the future is to remember that feelings don't MEAN anything. Like, they're a data point among a bunch of other data points, but just because he sometimes did things that made you feel some kind of positive emotional stimulation that doesn't mean the action (or intention, or driving factor, or outcome) was good, it just means it made your brain/organs squirt a specific kind of chemical. Video games do that, slot machines do it, heroin does it. You shouldn't date any of those either.

And also, in between these little random-reward squirts of feelgood juice, he mostly made you feel bad and confused and paranoid. That's a bad and far more significant sign, whether it's someone you're dating or how you feel at work or the way interactions with your kid's soccer coach leave you feeling.

You keep dismissing actual bad behavior because you get a little buzz every time he deigns to indicate any interest in you. Have a higher overall standard for the way someone makes you feel, and you will not end up the victim of someone deliberately playing you to make you grateful for scraps.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:06 AM on December 11, 2018 [11 favorites]


I think that the other posters in this thread have got his shortcomings as a partner covered pretty well. I agree that his behavior is not something that I consider acceptable in a partner. Your behavior is also not something that I consider acceptable in a partner.

You explicitly told him not to talk to you about other women and also decided that his not talking to you about other women constituted lying. His only options are to either defy your explicit instructions, obey your explicit instructions by lying (per your definition of lying), or never spend time with another woman ever again. This is not a feasible situation.

When he was spending time with K in August, September and October he was not your boyfriend. Because you broke up with him. And during that same period you had dated and had sex with other people. His spending time with K during that period was none of your business.

You went through his phone messages twice. You found that he told a woman that he wanted to spend the night with her during the period that he was not your boyfriend. That is none of your business. If you find yourself feeling like you should go through your partner’s phone to find evidence that they might have seen other people while they weren’t partnered with you, you should break up with them. There is no trust in a relationship like that.

I don’t think that he is a healthy boyfriend for you. I don’t think that you are a healthy girlfriend for him. For both of your sakes, you should probably end this relationship. Neither of you is trustworthy. Please find someone who can be a healthy partner to you, and to whom you can be a healthy partner.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:24 AM on December 11, 2018 [29 favorites]


You don't trust him and yet you're trying so very hard to find a reason to trust him. You shouldn't have to look for reasons to trust someone, it's just there or it's not. And not only do you not trust him, now you don't even trust yourself. This, to me, indicates some mind games going on where he's been able to make you feel bad for what your gut is telling you. Go with your gut, you won't regret that.
posted by dawkins_7 at 10:13 AM on December 11, 2018 [1 favorite]


Seriously, this dude is lame, and you're going to look back ten years from now and be like, "WOW, I cannot believe I was so sprung on such A LAME DUDE." Almost everyone goes through this, it is a rite of passage. But now the time has come for you to free yourself from the Lame Dude of Your Youth. You have YEARS of drama caught up with this guy and it feels weird to step out of that emotional habit, but seriously: You're allowed to break up with a person for literally any reason that you want (as long as you do it ethically) and you have plenty of reasons here. Set yourself free!
posted by Countess Sandwich at 10:27 AM on December 11, 2018 [2 favorites]


You're really fixated on whether he lied or not. We don't know that and can't help you there. It doesn't really matter.

What I can tell you from an outsider's perspective is the way you are writing about it makes this relationship appear to be an overly-dramatic and unpleasant place. As a general rule you shouldn't be writing these long questions about such a new relationship (yeah, you knew him at 14 but that really doesn't count. You don't know this guy - you spent 9 of the most important years of growth apart. This is a new relationship.), and especially not when you are in your mid 20s with few commitments complicating things.

I can't even imagine what you are getting out of this, unless you thrive on this drama too. This is not what a happy relationship looks like and it is astoundingly obvious from an outsider perspective that if you don't break up now you will sometime in the nearish future.
posted by thereader at 10:28 AM on December 11, 2018 [2 favorites]


Once a liar, always a liar.
posted by AugustWest at 10:30 AM on December 11, 2018 [3 favorites]


Everyone else has covered the big one (this is an unhealthy relationship; you can do better; best to leave ASAP) but I would like to emphasize the massive importance of condoms and birth control, if you ever sleep with him again.

Of course, I would recommend not sleeping with him again, but that is often easier said than done. So just make sure you're protecting yourself from STIs, and make sure you're not getting pregnant with his kid. Above all else.
posted by witchen at 10:32 AM on December 11, 2018 [9 favorites]


Oh honey. I just want to hug you and invite you to a girls spa night where we restore your self worth.

Until you realize you are worth so much more than this guy can offer you and that the concept of "relationships are work" does not mean *this kind of work* there is not much any of us can do to convince you. Stop looking at the specific details of an incident and look at the overall picture. This is one of those times where you need to step back and look at the whole forest and not the individual trees. Do you want to feel this way in 5 months, 5 years?

Stop wasting your time with this time waster. Break up with him. Heal yourself. Instead of spending your energy trying to "fix" and "maintain" this guy into a functional adult, spend your energy being open to meeting someone who makes you feel cherished, appreciated and adored. Someone who, entirely on his own, can maintain himself, his living space, has a hobby besides weed and who doesn't need to make his girlfriend feel crazy to make himself feel good.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 10:48 AM on December 11, 2018 [4 favorites]


Okay. This question reads like a high-drama high school agony aunt letter. Take a look at your question history, and look at the several "relationship" questions you've been asking. Ultimately, they're all the same type - you get emotionally caught up with men (I can't tell if they're the same one, or different ones) who treat you badly, who don't have any stability, who you don't trust. It also looks like you've been in "relationships" since you were a teenager.

You're 26. You seem to be so hung up on being in a relationship you've forgotten who YOU are. You're picking guys who are just... no good. The flip side of that coin is that if you end up meeting a man who will treat you well and is trustworthy, he is going to be looking for someone who is secure and confident in themselves, and who's working on furthering their own career, interests, emotional intelligence, and friendships with like-minded people.

I'm almost 40, and went through a period in my twenties where I made horrendous decisions when it came to dating. The best advice I got - and am now giving you - is stop dating. You've been in these questionable (I say questionable because of the numerous questions you keep asking) non-stop for, like, a decade. Aren't you exhausted? All the overthinking, the phone checking, the endless questions? Dump this trash man and then take a break. Take a vacation - SOLO. Find a hobby. Go to a meetup and stop thinking about a man and being in a relationship. You've mentioned in your previous questions that you need to work on social skills, haven't figured out a career, etc. Have you resolved those questions you asked just a couple years ago? You mentioned depression? Have you sought help for that? Are you sure that's not what's causing some of the behavior you display here that is contributing to the unhealthiness of your current relationship? Trust me, when you're able to enjoy your own company, and are emotionally in the right place where you're confident enough that you won't take bullshit from enough anyone, you'll start attracting the right person. Restore your self-worth. That's the most painfully obvious observation from this question and your history. You're not emotionally healthy. You have a journey to undertake here in getting to the right emotional place, and there's no way you'll be able to do that unless you're alone.
posted by Everydayville at 11:13 AM on December 11, 2018 [32 favorites]


A few things: first of all, I highly recommend the book Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment. It may be that you have an anxious attachment style, and he has an avoidant attachment style. Or it may be that he is avoidant, and it's bringing out the anxiety in you. In any case, the book is a fascinating and accessible read about relationships and what can be appealing to us about these roller coaster relationships. Those strong feelings you have for him -- that's not love, that's an attachment system getting pinged. But until you really get a handle on it, you'll keep going back, over and over.

Next, I hope you are trying to get a handle on some of your inappropriate behaviors. I can't tell if you are dating men who aren't trustworthy, or if you are looking for reasons not to trust them. Are you usually going through texts of partners? That's a huge invasion of privacy, even if there's nothing really to hide.

So a week later I brought up to him about how it sometimes bothered me that he was still friends with someone he used to want to date. This girl is now married and it was kinda stupid that I was feeling uncomfortable about it.

You've talked a bit about your insecurities about other women. Again, I can't tell if your partner is mentioning these women to get you jealous. However, it sounds like you don't want your boyfriend to be friends with women he may have once been interested in, even if they never dated. In this case, this is a married woman. Unless you have specific concerns about their interactions, I would suggest this is a pretty high demand from a partner. It may be that this relationship is bringing out your insecurities, or it may be that you really need to work on your insecurities.

Regardless of what you decide to do, it's way too soon to have decided to move in together. You said that you decided to date seriously again on November 17. It's been less than a month and you are talking about moving in together in February. I think you all need a year of consistency before you even think about escalating your relationship by co-habitating.

The next time you all break up -- and it seems inevitable, based on your patterns -- you should not try to stay friends. That's what's keeping you all from moving on, I think. It feels harsh, but go no-contact, and block him everywhere, including social media, text, and email.

You might want to read about relationship cycling. Here's a short Bustle piece that talks about how damaging these relationships can be to your mental health, and it has tips on how to stop the cycle. And here's another blog post about boomerang relationships that might give you some perspective.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:35 PM on December 11, 2018 [1 favorite]


When you start to feel the arousal of drama lighting up your system, that should be a sign to you that you are probably doing or thinking something unwise and not good for you and/or that the person provoking it may not be good for you. Most of us (me included) are vulnerable to that adrenaline surge; people who live stable lives learn to recognize bad stimulation and take themselves out of range as soon as they can. This guy is all drama, all the time. Don't move in with him. But also stop chasing that stimulation. This post reads like it could have been written by you when you were ten years younger. Don't you want to move on to calmer, stabler, more rewarding, more adult patterns of relating? It is possible! You can do it! But you aren't going to get there with this schmoe.
posted by praemunire at 12:53 PM on December 11, 2018 [1 favorite]


The point of being in a relationship is to find someone who makes you happy. Does he make you happy? Because it sounds like he makes you crazy. You want to find a grown up, where you can bring the best out of each other, not be constantly wondering who they’re with, what they’re doing and waiting for them to become a person who can pick up after themselves.

There’s someone out there who won’t want to make you feel constantly insecure to keep you on a string and look for validation from other women. Go find that person.
posted by Jubey at 3:15 PM on December 11, 2018 [2 favorites]


Holy shit I missed the part where you were thinking about moving in...my god girl no. No no no no no no no. No.
posted by clseace at 3:22 PM on December 11, 2018 [7 favorites]


Jesus. There is no relationship on Earth that is worth this many paragraphs of angst. Break up and move on with your life. Do not move in with him under any circumstances.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 8:20 PM on December 11, 2018 [2 favorites]


Good gravy. You don’t trust him. He doesn’t trust you. You both keep lying to each other. This isn’t worth it. Just break up.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:48 AM on December 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


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