Me or the dog...or the beer?
December 12, 2019 1:15 PM   Subscribe

I went on a spectacular date. I mean butterflies and happy songs and wowza!! I had an asthma attack that morning and had to take a breathing treatment. I have found that to bring my heart rate down after an attack and the subsequent Albuterol treatments, a light beer, or a slice of bread brings it right back and I stop shaking and having other miserable side effects. He called me the next day and said, "I can't date you...

I am not re-homing my (violent and unable to be around other dogs) rescue dog, nor will I date a woman who drinks before 5pm. He drinks a LOT after 5pm. Just not before. I told him that I was worried that he works a LOT and the dog is alone, or in a kennel much of the time. This all sent me into a shame spiral about my drinking (not problematic as far as I can tell) and feeling like I'll never meet anyone at 38 because I am HIGHLY allergic to animals HIGHLY. I've been on Metafilter for YEARS, and I've never reached out, but this, this I just wanted to hear you guys opinion on. Was it me, or the dog, or the beer?
posted by lextex to Human Relations (31 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You have value outside of this weird guys preferences. He doesn't sound like he is a good match for you. That's neither of your faults. It's possible he was just looking for a reason to say no, not that those specific issues are why.

Sometimes in life it's easy to think of the future as the goal. If they have made you this unhappy in the present, the chances of it being better with them in the future are low.

If your only "problem" is a pet allergy, and occasionally drinking a beer before 5pm, there are a lot of men out there that would be happy to be with you. Learn what you can in this experience (ie, the happy feeling of passion, the hurt from insensitivity), And apply it to your next.

Definitely go no contact with this guy. He doesn't sound very reasonable. I've found in my life, I go through dry spells and busy spells. I'm confident that your next experience will be closer than you'd think, and a much happier one!
posted by bbqturtle at 1:22 PM on December 12, 2019 [69 favorites]


Feels like you've left something out here -- he said what? "I can't date you because you drank before 5pm and I have a dog I'm not willing to rehome despite your allergies"? Was that it?

If yes, then: this was one date. Walk away. Pull yourself out of a shame spiral. This was a single date. Move along.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:23 PM on December 12, 2019 [33 favorites]


None of the above? It sounds like he felt those things were barriers and decided it wasn't worth it to him. I wouldn't be able to date someone who was allergic to my pets, because I am not getting rid of them.
posted by cabingirl at 1:23 PM on December 12, 2019 [14 favorites]


@bbqturtle You just made me cry happy tears...and not because I've already had my beer :)
posted by lextex at 1:23 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


Was it me, or the dog, or the beer?

It was the dude.

I'm sorry you feel like you are missing out on what felt like it might be a potential good connection, but he's obviously not the right person for you.
posted by nuclear_soup at 1:24 PM on December 12, 2019 [32 favorites]


That sucks, it really does. I think he was trying to let you down lightly. It sounds like this may have been fun and great short-term, but that he was looking long-term and realized it wasn't going to work.

It was probably the dogs - how can you be with someone who has dogs if you're HIGHLY allergic?

The drinking before 5 is a weird rule, and it sounds like he's using that as a crutch to justify that he's not a problem drinker.

It's hard, but just accept his kindness at letting this one go early on.
posted by hydra77 at 1:25 PM on December 12, 2019 [10 favorites]


Yeah... it was the dude. Either because he's a dick, or because he just wasn't that into you and had a shitty way of saying it. But just because he wasn't a good fit, doesn't mean you won't find anyone.

(Also, whoever is going to judge me, or you, for drinking before 5 can eff right off.)
posted by DoubleLune at 1:35 PM on December 12, 2019 [22 favorites]


nor will I date a woman who drinks before 5pm.

It was definitely the dude.

He's really saying he would never date someone who has a mimosa at brunch, or a glass of wine with lunch? That's weird, and kind of judgemental. Usually, when people have arbitrary "I will not date a someone who" checklists, you'll find that if you don't tick one box, you'll tick another.

Bullet dodged.
posted by rpfields at 1:36 PM on December 12, 2019 [26 favorites]


So... there were butterflies and happy songs and wowza.

But there were also: He doesn't approve of your drinking habits; you don't approve of his drinking habits; you don't approve of his dog-owning habits; he loves his dogs and is happy with how he cares for them; you're highly allergic to his dogs; he spoke to you in a way that sent you into a shame spiral.

It sounds like you're incompatible in multiple ways. If you don't see him again you've lost nothing. You're no worse off than you were the day before you went on this date - except with a little more wisdom ie. knowing that first date fireworks doesn't necessarily mean you're compatible in the countless other ways you need to make a relationship work.

Being rejected is a horrible feeling, but it doesn't mean he's wrong in saying that you guys aren't going to work.

(Btw - I'm being charitable to him. If you told him the reason you drank and he still shamed you, then you REALLY haven't lost anything here).
posted by penguin pie at 1:36 PM on December 12, 2019 [33 favorites]


(Also, whoever is going to judge me, or you, for drinking before 5 can eff right off.)

On preview, doublelune said it better.
posted by rpfields at 1:53 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


He was being an asshole.

It's not wrong that your allergy is going to be incompatible with a productive relationship with a pet owner (or anyone who works with animals even if they don't have one at home), and you may have to be more up front with that information in the future, but he could have been so much more kind about it and he chose not to be.

This is not exactly cheerful information but worth maintaining a baseline skepticism until an individual proves himself better than this: a lot of men hate women but are also sexually attracted to (maybe only) women, so no choice but to date them. But a woman has to meet incredibly high standards (including not requiring any amount of concern or accommodation) to be worth all the trouble for the limited benefit they receive. And when one doesn't meet those standards, they no longer feel any need to pretend not to hate them.

You're going to meet some of those. Bullet dodged if they let it show up front. Because you don't want those guys, I promise being single is preferable.

There are good ones out there, but you want one eye on how they treat you under even the slightest duress. This one failed.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:56 PM on December 12, 2019 [45 favorites]


You guys have some lifestyle / value incompatibilities and and that's not a big deal in and of itself. The weird thing here, to me, is that 1) he told you exactly what they were and 2) in a pretty rude, combative, and unnecessarily aggressive way. (I'm wondering if he too felt judged by your comment about keeping his dog in a kennel too many hours and is possibly responding to that...I might also think that about a person's pet ownership but wouldn't necessarily share that opinion with them on a first date.)

In any case, he could have just as easily said something like, "Hey, I don't think we're a match long-term but I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you, and our conversation about X. Happy holidays, good luck out there!" but chose not to. I would have felt shitty receiving a text like the one he sent you whether I'd liked the guy or not.
posted by anderjen at 2:05 PM on December 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


It was the dude.

I'm also very allergic to dogs and it makes dating tough. I found the right person at 41 if that gives you any hope.
posted by mcgsa at 2:08 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


There's a lot of magical thinking at play in his apparent belief that there's something special about 5:00.

I think you'll be fine. Lots of people don't have pets, especially single guys.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:25 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Just some food for thought.. if I was on a first date and the other person implied that I should rehome my pet because I’m a bad owner, I would also bluntly reply with something similar because I would suspect that they had poor boundaries and/or were going to be a very toxic presence if allowed to continue. That is not appropriate at all. If you feel that you disagree with someone’s lifestyle on a first date, walk away, do not issue judgements to them.
posted by cakebatter at 2:43 PM on December 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


@cakebatter I NEVER implied he should re home his pet. He asked if I could ever live with an animal if I took a lot of meds, and I said "I can't be drugged up enough to make it through a day with animals" I ABSOLUTELY have it listed on all of my dating apps, and always tell everyone. People jokingly call me bubble girl. If I could have animals I would have bunches, and snuggle them daily. I can't. It would kill me. If someone wants to live with me, there can be no animals in our house.
posted by lextex at 3:14 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


I told him that I was worried that he works a LOT and the dog is alone, or in a kennel much of the time.

I generally agree with the "it's the dude" analysis given above, but did want to draw attention to this. This is a strange and judgmental thing to be saying to someone on a first date--honestly, it's not a topic I'd raise myself except with a good friend or if I'd witnessed the dog suffering so much that I couldn't live with myself not saying anything. It's the kind of thing I might have blurted out at that cruel college age, but...you're 38. If you want one thing to think about to reduce unintentionally diminishing your chances in the future, it'd be why you felt you had to issue (out loud, at least) life judgments on this guy who you barely know.

Still, though, the "5 pm" thing is weird and arbitrary enough that you're most likely well shut of him. (Some people can't be around people who drink at all, or people who get drunk, but the 5 pm thing almost sounds like an alcoholic defending the imaginary distinction that makes him not one in his own mind.)
posted by praemunire at 3:21 PM on December 12, 2019 [14 favorites]


Hey - just as a datapoint, I am good friends with a woman in the second half of her thirties who just married a man who she met though online dating, and who ended up having to rehome his dog because she turned out to be allergic. Having to get rid of a pet will be dealbreakers for some people, but not all.
posted by mercredi at 3:23 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


@praemunire I was genuinely concerned about the dog. He was OBSESSED with it's training, but lives in a small condo and it's locked up 60+ hours a week. I was honestly sad for it. I get sad for zoo animals too. I have a huge heart for animals.
posted by lextex at 3:25 PM on December 12, 2019


A first date seems like the best time to learn about such baseline incompatibilities. Let the butterflies remind you that connection is possible. You dodged a bullet with this guy.
posted by bluedaisy at 3:27 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Ya'll are genuinely making me feel better and I appreciate you. I am hard on myself, and it's been a long time since I got excited about someone. Thanks for helping me see ALL sides of it and bandaging the wound a bit.
posted by lextex at 3:32 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Sometimes people just aren’t compatible and it seems like you are seeking validation that this person is horrible to his dog... sometimes you just have to accept that both parties aren’t right for each other in a neutral way and leave it alone.
posted by cakebatter at 3:33 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


I am a pretty well-established softy for dogs myself, but not everything I think and feel needs to come out of my mouth, especially in the presence of the person implicated, you know? I'm saying this merely so you can understand the dynamic: would you want to continue dating someone who suggested on the first date that you were badly mistreating someone you cared about? Probably not, right?

I can genuinely see myself breaking up with a guy in early stages if I was uncomfortable with the way he treated his dog, and I do mean something short of abuse, but short of abuse I wouldn't think it right to issue unsolicited criticism. Sometimes people just have incompatible approaches to important topics.
posted by praemunire at 3:33 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. lextex, no biggie but just to let you know, it's not customary on AskMe for OPs to reply to comments except for factual clarifications important for answering the question asked.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:33 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


The beer thing -- if I follow, you got the shakes and had to have a morning beer to stop them. and he either saw this happen or you told him about it. and you have specific medical reasons for why this helps, this wasn't alcohol withdrawal shakiness. but he either didn't believe that or didn't want to worry about it, or just can't handle being with someone who urgently "needs" a drink sometimes, no matter the reason for the need.

people with complicated personal histories w/alcohol sometimes make snap judgments or draw hard lines in strange places around alcohol for their own protection. It doesn't mean you did anything wrong or that he's fucked up about his own drinking (though he was a bit rude.) It just means you're incompatible.

and then he has a dog but you can't be in a space with dogs, so there was never any possibility of a more than casual relationship no matter what!

so I guess it is his fault if he saw on your profile you were severely allergic and ignored it, but if he hadn't broken things off immediately, you would have had to do it yourself. because he's got a dog. so what difference does it make that it was him who did it?

and there's plenty of guys in your age bracket with no dogs! I'd like to say there's plenty of guys in your age bracket who'll read your profile all the way through, but I'll stay realistic. But of course you're not doomed because you have asthma and allergies!
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:33 PM on December 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


people with complicated personal histories w/alcohol sometimes make snap judgments or draw hard lines in strange places around alcohol for their own protection.

Yeah I was coming here to say this. People who drink wherever/whenever are fine with me except that I can't date people who drink a lot either in the "all day" sense or in the "large quantities" sense. Don't worry about your drinking, but make sure you're clear with yourself and others about what your boundaries are. This was a bad fit. You really can't date people with dogs, lesson learned.
posted by jessamyn at 6:45 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


He made a call that you would have had to do yourself (end it because of the dog) he just beat you to it. Using it make yourself feel bad achieves nothing. Shrug it off and move on.
posted by Jubey at 1:20 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


The drinking before 5 is a weird rule, and it sounds like he's using that as a crutch to justify that he's not a problem drinker.

Of course I have no knowledge of this person's drinking problem or lack thereof, but this is a thing.....people cling to some arbitrary not-an-alcoholic signifier (I only drink beer, I never drink alone) and, despite the fact that they drink at a pretty unsafe level, they insist this means they are a-OK.
posted by thelonius at 8:53 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


The butterflies and attraction may be because he's good at dating & flirting. But he treated you poorly, with ugly judging and unkindness. Bullet dodged.

- The more you genuinely value yourself for legit reasons, the more it shows and attracts.
- People's behavior is often more truthful than their words.
- Don't let anybody steal your mojo.
posted by theora55 at 11:58 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


I would never, ever, ever get rid of my dogs, and if someone said they were allergic to dogs on the first date that would absolutely be a dealbreaker for me. Whether or not they asked me to rehome my dogs, I would read their allergy as incompatibility. I also think the way you talk about his dog is very judgey and strange. Why do you care so much about this after one date?

I don't know why everyone is being so hard on this guy, actually. I don't think we have enough information to say he is a terrible person. It sounds to me like he is just a guy who was honest about what he was thinking.

I also don't think it's bad to have boundaries around drinking. I spent four years with an alcoholic and I can tell you that when i was dating again after that relationship I definitely drew extremely strong barriers around the kind of drinking I would be around. He does sound like he was slightly ass-ish in the way that he expressed this but I don't know where all the comments bagging him as a human being are coming from.
posted by thereader at 11:58 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


Possibly a minority opinion, but I think it's all three.
posted by sm1tten at 1:38 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


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