Dating a divorced man. Help me rationalize this relationship mess before I gouge my eyeballs out.
March 9, 2008 4:45 PM   Subscribe

Dating a divorced man. Help me rationalize this relationship mess before I gouge my eyeballs out.

I've been dating a 29 guy I met in December 2007. He is 29 years old and divorced as of two years ago (his ex-wife cheated on him). He has a suspended license due to a DUI, a crappy job, no college education, is a former male model, and has financial problems. I am 20 years old and have a graduate education.

In January we went on our first real date and had a great time. The chemistry was there. Our kissing turned into an almost-hookup. He didn't have a condom and neither of us have sex without protection. He did mention he was glad because things were going too fast for him.

We saw each other again the following week. This was after a week of sexually-themed phone calls. Similar evening: we had a nice night out, the sexual tension was there, but when we got back to his apartment, he couldn't get an erection. He said it was from all the alcohol he drank. I suppose in retrospect I got up and left in a hurry, allowing him to think I was running off to see some other guy, but I left only because it was approaching 5 a.m. and I was tired (and maybe a little frustrated).

He said he wanted to see me again the next day, which was Superbowl Sunday, but when he called me he didn't seem enthused because he had plans to watch the Superbowl and wanted to spend a serious amount of time with me. I was fine with delaying our plans. During this conversation he insecurely asked me if I was seeing anyone else, and I told him the truth-- I wasn't.

We saw each other the next weekend. Again, this was after a week of sexual phone conversations about all the things he wanted to do to me next time he saw me. We spent a few hours at the beach, but toward the end of our date he said he was tired and he just wanted to go home and sleep, but mentioned he knew I wanted to have sex. I denied this, although I would have slept with him had the opportunity arisen.

We saw each other the next weekend... this was to be our last date. And of course this was after some very sexual phone conversations. We had plans to go to a local sex shop. I had hinted weeks earlier that I wanted a vibrator and wanted his company, but I purposely waited for him to bring up the subject. I wore my 'sex dress.' It is impossible to not get laid in that dress. When we went out, every guy was staring at me, yet he made no comment. When he asked what we were going to do that evening and I inpatiently brought up the sex shop plans, he said (AFTER TALKING ABOUT IT FOR DAYS!!!), "that is something you do during the day." Interestingly, we never had plans to see each other during the day. So we saw a movie, did a lot of kissing before and after the movie, then came close to having sex in my car (a lot of heavy kissing and touching, yet I was not allowed to touch his parts. He did not have an erection.), but he eased off and said he wasn't ready. As usual, he said next time he would do this and that to me, but I told him explicitly that I didn't believe him and that I wasn't out just to get laid, so he didn't need to say things like that to get me to stick around. He said that he is "over casual sex," which hurts my feelings because I don't think we're considered casual anymore. I made it clear to him that sex actually isn't my top priority, but he consistently led me on and I was frustrated. He also said he felt like the woman in the relationship because I drive and pick him up, he's the tease, etc. I eventually dropped him off at his home after he ignored me during the car ride, and he apologized and left.

When I called him the next day, he said the entire night was off, which I agreed with at the time even though I know that isn't true. We were all over each other (or at least he was all over me), but things didn't go sour until the very end of the night. He said that I have a black cloud that follows me everywhere, and that I need to get my issues sorted out before we get anymore serious. (I have a poor relationship with my parents as can be followed in my previous posts, while he is extremely, almost creepily, close to his family.)

Prior to that night, he was always the one to call me. Now I started calling him. During every phone conversation I'd ask subtle questions to make sure everything was okay between us, and he said explicitly that everything was fine. (Although he did say he initially had a problem with my supposed Xanax addiction, but I stopped cold-turkey (I know, I know...) a few weeks ago and he knows this... his maternal side of the family is composed of drug addicts, so understandably he can't stand to be around people with drug issues. He said my previous reliance on Xanax is no longer an issue.) On one occasion, he said he wanted me to meet his parents in the not so distant future. He also further explained his hang-up about sex. He said that in the past he would meet and quickly sleep with girls before quickly losing interest, and he was looking for passion. I said I understood perfectly and didn't mind at all, but I was confused because he kept saying 'next time, next time, etc.' I also used this time to correct his impression of me and stress that I'm not really that sexual. He's just incredibly attractive and whenever I'm around him, the desire strikes me. I'm absolutely fine with waiting a bit before having sex. Also during these phone calls, he often played a therapist role. He would bring up my family situation, ask me questions, and offer sincere, heartfelt advice. He's always felt bad for me because of my family situation, although I never try to bring it up or evoke pity from him. Lastly, he said that I "need love, and not the romantic kind."

Fast forward to two weeks ago. We have plans to go out one Friday evening. He calls me 20 minutes before I'm to pick him up to tell me that something came up at work and he might not get off until 8-9 p.m., but that he'll keep in touch. Note that he called a 5:30 p.m. I called him against my better judgement at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., both times asking what was going on, if he wanted to do something later in the evening since I was in the area, etc. but he never returned my phone calls.

At this point, everyone told me to walk away. (It's also worth noting that everyone I've told this story to thinks he's a loser.) But five days later, I text messaged him saying, "Do I ever get to find out what happened that made you lose interest?" He responded, telling me he was out of town, dealing with family drama, and that he would call me in a few days when he gets back into town. This was on Wednesday. It's now Sunday, and I still haven't heard from him. On the one hand, given how close he is to his family, his impromptu trip doesn't surprise me, but couldn't he have at least called to apologize?


What am I supposed to think? About the sex issue? About our relationship?

Although I suffer from low self-esteem, I know he is attracted to me. He's commented many times on what an attractive couple we make. But even if he's so opposed to having sex this 'early' on, how easy is it for most guys to walk away from sex when they're already naked and a mere insertion away from the whole deal? And I've never seen him with an erection. Many times on the phone he would tell me he has an erection, but after a while I started ignoring those statements, not wanting to play anymore games.

Does he even sound interested? Since our last date, we've had hours of phone conversations and he mentioned more than once what he likes about me, that everything is okay between us, etc., and we would joke around and talk about everything under the sun, but yet he stopped being the one to call me almost a month ago. And now it looks like he's blowing me off.

Someone told me he's likely uninterested, but doesn't want to tell me because he feels sorry for me (given my abusive home life; see my post history if you want details-- too lengthy to bring up here). This is my biggest fear. But I gave him the opportunity to say so-- when I text messaged him, mentioning his loss in interest... he could have given me a "Sorry, I'm over it" response. Right?

Could it be that he's not ready for another relationship? He hasn't dated anyone seriously since his divorce two years ago. He said he "hasn't dated someone like me in a long time," although I now take everything he says with a grain of salt. And it doesn't help that his ex-wife and I have similar backgrounds and interests (I actually know her, unbeknownst to him...). Actually, we're uncannily similar.

Maybe my family baggage turns him off? This scenario bothers me the most. I feel like I overlooked so much to like him that he should be able to overlook a few things that are beyond my control and don't even bother me that much. Not wanting to be dishonest, but also not wanting to tell him everything, I only answered his questions. Not everyone has the perfect relationship he has with his parents. Why is he holding this against me?

Or is it that he's intimidated by me? There's quite an age gap between us, as well as a difference in accomplishments. I sometimes can't help but think that he is a deadbeat, but is it fair that I'm imposing my image of success onto him? After all, while I may be the one with the accomplishments, he is the happier one.

The only thing I can think to do is call him once more and ask for the truth. If he's over me, that's fine, but I think he should at least tell me. Right? I'm not needy, but I think it's unrealistic to leave things open like this.
posted by sansgras to Human Relations (76 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's also worth noting that everyone I've told this story to thinks he's a loser.

I'll be curious to see if you can find someone here with a different opinion. Not me, for sure. Why are you so worried about whether this guy likes you? Do you like him? Do you REALLY? Is this the romance you dream of? Let him go. In fact, MAKE him go- next time you talk to him, tell him it's over. Consider yourself lucky that it turned out this way. Hold out for something better. You deserve it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:52 PM on March 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Run.


RUN.

I can't even read your whole post. You are talking about a hard core boozer and all the drama that accompanies it. It is doubtful his license was suspended from just one DUI, it was probably several times before they pulled the plug. Just get out and don't ruin your young life on this boozer loser. Go where your Get Laid dress somewhere else and find a man without all the damn drama.
posted by 45moore45 at 4:54 PM on March 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


At this point, everyone told me to walk away. (It's also worth noting that everyone I've told this story to thinks he's a loser.)

Yep.

The only thing I can think to do is call him once more and ask for the truth. If he's over me, that's fine, but I think he should at least tell me. Right? I'm not needy, but I think it's unrealistic to leave things open like this.


Good idea. Or, even better, a letter!

He is an asshole. You are a nice person who deserves better. A new relationship should be more relaxing and fun, and less stressy and bad. Let your mind and limbic system learn to reassociate intimacy with pleasant stuff.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:54 PM on March 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


When a guy with a problematic history holds off on something like that, he's probably trying to do you a sincere favor. We're not always as bone-headed as we're made out to be.

And if you're really sure that he's a great guy, why don't you just get to know each other?
posted by trouserlouse at 4:56 PM on March 9, 2008


I know he's a loser... I'm being rejected by a loser. Only me!

After I met him in December, I dragged my feet because I wasn't impressed with him. I knew his ex-wife and always put her on a pedestal, so I somehow thought that he would be the male version of her. He's not.

But now that I now more about him, I've fallen for him. He's a genuinely nice guy, offers sincere, heartfelt advice, etc. Okay, so he's immature and has superficial beliefs that I'm too embarrassed to even share here, and a few months ago I was the girl who would have never given a guy with a DUI the time of day, but look at me now. Smitten.

Everyone tells me I should be happy that this might be over because it needs to be over, and that may very well be the case, but I'm just not ready to let go.
posted by sansgras at 4:59 PM on March 9, 2008


PS-- you will make yourself crazy waiting for closure or an explanation. Think of this as the universe protecting you from your own desire at this point. Don't pour your energy into some guy who isn't worthy of it, doesn't appreciate you and will probably bankrupt you in the end in every way possible. Stop wondering what is wrong with you, there is nothing wrong with you other than you got your hormones activated and think there is more to this guy than there is. There isn't more, there is less. A lot less. You will see that when you have something decent to compare it to.
posted by 45moore45 at 5:00 PM on March 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


If he's over casual sex, that's explanation enough for whatever transpired. Some guys are into love before sex, you know? He just wasn't into you. I think the guy had morals and enough on his plate not to complicate his life with more drama.
posted by watercarrier at 5:00 PM on March 9, 2008


I can't comment on everything, but I suspect his lack of an erection is a self-confidence issue. He can talk good sex on the phone but a face-to-face encounter with the reality of you, an actual solid breathing moving talking perspiring (maybe) etc. person, is too frightening. Your fuck-me dress will be of no avail in such a situation. He would get over that problem in time, but the two of you seem to be at sixes and sevens about so many things that it might well better to move on.
posted by londongeezer at 5:01 PM on March 9, 2008


It's really hard to move on without having that reason about why things didn't work out. But honestly, it sounds like you're torturing yourself. Stop calling him, stop making an effort, and if he's into you he'll step up and make the effort. Otherwise, just assume he wasn't interested or wasn't ready and let him go.

I also think this is more about his baggage than yours. Maybe he's afraid because you're so similar to his ex-wife and that relationship ended badly. Maybe he's insecure because he has no license and a job he hates. It's hard, but don't take this personally...he's got as much in his past that could affect this relationship as you do.
posted by christinetheslp at 5:01 PM on March 9, 2008


You haven't described anything you like about this guy except that you're turned on by him. I think you should leave him alone. You may not be in the best position to attempt being in a relationship right now anyway, considering the obstacles you're facing.
posted by loiseau at 5:02 PM on March 9, 2008


Okay, so he's immature and has superficial beliefs that I'm too embarrassed to even share here, and a few months ago I was the girl who would have never given a guy with a DUI the time of day, but look at me now. Smitten.

You are not smitten. You are caught in the trap of trying to win his affection, and the fact that he keeps going back and forth makes it all the more fun. You're not in love with him at all. You're in love with the chase and the drama- you're in love with your own feelings. He probably knows it, too, which is why he keeps trying to back off. Let it end, for the sake of both of you. If it is truly meant to be, it will happen, but you both need some space right now.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:07 PM on March 9, 2008 [23 favorites]


Read what you wrote. If that doesn't tell you this is a bad idea, you're beyond help.
posted by electroboy at 5:11 PM on March 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Look, you have to be your own best friend here. If your best friend came to you with this, what would you tell her?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:14 PM on March 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seconding electroboy. Read this post as if it were written by someone else. An educated person like you are should know what the right answer is here.

This guy must be smoking hot or something for you to put up with all of those negatives and want to chase him around.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:16 PM on March 9, 2008


If he's over me, that's fine, but I think he should at least tell me. Right? I'm not needy, but...

Step away from the phone. Don't call. Who cares if he's not ready for another relationship? Why speculate along those lines? Here: at the very least, he's not ready for another relationship with you. In stating this I don't mean to assert that you're not worthy of being in a relationship. But maybe, just maybe, this isn't the relationship you should be in, knaamean?

"Why doesn't he just tell me?," you're asking.

Because. Because he's got issues of his own. And it doesn't really matter what they are--even if you knew what they were, they'd simply be a rationale, an excuse, a convenient answer to the question(s) you're asking. It's not you; it's me. No, that's not quite it. It is you. It's you and me.

Who knows? Well, actually, you do. For example, you have enough confidence in yourself to know that when you're wearing that dress, all sorts of wonderfully entertaining and gratifying things result. You wear that dress. In the end, nothing happens.

Hmm.

Which is my long-winded way of seconding ThePinkSuperhero, your friends, and that quiet but urgent-sounding voice in the back of your head. You're doing all the calling. You know you shouldn't. You know why you're doing it, and you know what you should do.

Stop it. Really, stop it.

Good luck.
posted by t2urner at 5:20 PM on March 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Help me rationalize this relationship mess before I gouge my eyeballs out.

No way. Anyone who helps you rationalize a relationship mess like this is not, in fact, helping you.

Look, you are at a crossroads here. You can try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear out of this guy and set yourself up for a self-destructive, esteem-wrecking pattern of unfulfilled needs in your relationships to come, or you can choose, right this minute, only to pursue relationships that are good for you with people who treat you well. This guy is not good for you; you can try to rationalize all the details and parse all the subtext of all the minutiae you can (been there, done that: it was called my 20s), but it will still never make him good for you. He isn't meeting your needs, he doesn't make you feel good about yourself, he will never give you the resolution you crave, and his actions are telling you loud and clear that he never, ever will.

Seriously, if he makes you want to gouge your eyeballs out after 2 months, that will be nothing compared to how you're are absolutely going to feel any further down the road. You'll feel like your heart's been ripped out and fed to the vultures, still beating, if you stick around looking for answers and affection any longer.

On preview: You are not smitten. You are caught in the trap of trying to win his affection, and the fact that he keeps going back and forth makes it all the more fun. You're not in love with him at all. You're in love with the chase and the drama- you're in love with your own feelings.

Yes, yes, a million times, yes. You are hooked on the rush of all this drama, and have mistakenly labeled it love. Most of us here have done the same thing. We all thought our situation was "different," too.

Nothing you have written indicates that this will end in anything but tears. So it's up to you: some tears now, or more tears than you can ever imagine crying months or -- god help you -- years down the road. You have the agency to make that choice.
posted by scody at 5:21 PM on March 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


My guess is the man is conflicted every which way and really needs to sort himself out before he gets into any sort of serious relationship. He's been badly hurt by a woman and has serious trust issues. He's attracted to you but the idea of being vulnerable terrifies him. He doesn't want to hurt you by avoiding you and he doesn't want to hurt you by getting involved with you either.

I think every single one, except one, of your assessments above is reasonable and likely. My guess is he's interested and he's uninterested, he's not ready, your family baggage is a turn-off but he probably realizes it's not really your fault, he's worried about what you might expect of him in that regard, and he is a bit intimidated by your amazingness (but probably excited too). My guess is that when he's with you he often wishes he wasn't; when he's away from you, he often wishes he was with you. He's trying to think of you as a completely different person from his ex and at the same time, trying to work through that again without making the same mistakes. He hasn't resolved the breakdown of the relationship with his ex in his head and is terrified that he will feel compelled to repeat it with you. Poor bastard is spiralling all over the place.

The only thing I think you're off-track with, is the idea that he's happier. He's really, really not. He's no happier than you, and may be a good bit less happy given the way he's messing up his life, as much as these things are even quantifiable. He hates himself right now, is my guess. He probably won't admit to it, but he's probably looking in the mirror and wondering if he's losing his looks, and wondering if looks were all he ever had to offer, and if he's damned to die alone.

His broken edges don't fit yours.

You need to make a decision, because he won't, or won't stick to the decision he does make. I'd recommend you tell him that you like him (if you do) and find him attractive, but your mutual issues make dating not a possibility until he gets a lot happier with himself as a person. If you like him, try to keep him as a friend; having an attractive friend you're not actually sleeping with is good for the self-esteem, and you could both use that. I'd recommend against having sex with him, doing drugs with him, or getting drunk with him.

In summary, chalk it up to a bad, but not terrible, dating experience, consider the possibility of salvaging a friendship, date other people, and make more friends. I'm telling you that last one every time, I really hope you do it. :)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:24 PM on March 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Okay, I just looked at your posting history, sansgras. I sincerely think -- I mean this in the gentlest way, I really do -- that given your history with your father, you may not even be able to recognize how bad this situation is, and how NOT a nice guy this man is. Based on your previous questions, your dad is extremely emotionally abusive and controlling. You are now running after a guy who, while he may not resemble your dad to you on the surface, isn't treating you very well either -- and is, in fact, controlling you by doing so.

None of this is healthy. Please take care of yourself and stop trying to win the affections of men who treat you with contempt. Your emotional well-being as an individual and your chance at developing healthy, happy relationships down the road depend on it.
posted by scody at 5:32 PM on March 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


Oh, sweetheart. Blowing you off and not even being embarrassed about doing so is a major red flag - He should be bending over backwards to reschedule, not just because he should be sorry for canceling, but because he should be excited to see as much of you as possible.

I recently heard some variation on the phrase, "Ignore what men say, and pay attention to what they do." Talk is cheap, and actions say so much about what a person really wants out of a situation. And the thing is, he KNOWS this. Though he might not be saying "Sorry, I'm over it" with a phone call, he very well might be saying "Sorry, I'm over it" by essentially ignoring your messages. Most people would assume that's what he means, and if it turns out that most people would be wrong, he should at least understand how blowing you off for two weeks would give you the wrong idea.

From one 20-year-old (who remembers both of your original posts) to another: There are other, better, much more hassle-free fish in the sea. Don't waste your time.
posted by lizzicide at 5:35 PM on March 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, God, you're 20. TWENTY. You can and will do a hell of a lot better than this guy. You both are carrying around serious baggage, but despite everything you read in books and see in movies, two damaged people are not very good at healing each other.

Do you love him? Yes or no? I mean, really love him, as in his happiness and well-being are extremely important to you, not "I must love him because I can't stop thinking about him and I need him to please fuck me just once in order to prove to myself that I'm as attractive as my dress and his words make me feel".

If you don't love him, and are just obsessed with him, it's time to walk and find someone better. Maybe you think you don't deserve someone better, but you do.

And nthing everyone else about stepping away and really reading what you wrote. It's all there. I remember when I was 21 and obsessing over a semi-available guy who I thought was my exclusive boyfriend, but certainly wasn't. He was an asshole in many ways, but when I re-read my diaries from that time recently, I was astounded at the way I wrote down several very clear statements from him that he saw me as a casual lay, at best, but I kept rationalizing my way around it.

You're already rationalizing like a champion. You are avoiding the evidence you have shown us at length.

Walk away, take care of yourself, and look for someone ready to appreciate you. He ain't the one.
posted by rosebuddy at 5:36 PM on March 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Do you REALLY want a 29 year old divorced boyfriend without an education, without a driver's license, bad money management skills; a fear of intimacy; an inability to properly communicate his needs; and an ex-wife whom you admire?

Consider this a learning experience and move on. Go get yourself a smart 20 year old boyfriend who treats you like a queen.
posted by pluckysparrow at 5:43 PM on March 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Sounds like love addiction to me. Take your pick in reading about it - Love Addiction - Read all about it
posted by watercarrier at 5:46 PM on March 9, 2008


i agree with scody…and while you are at it, and if you can afford it (or if they offer it through your school): get thee to a therapist. you have a lot of issues that you need to deal with in regard to your father and—take it from me—these issues will keep popping up in terms of what kind of relationships you find yourself in until you have dealt with them.
posted by violetk at 5:46 PM on March 9, 2008


I can't believe no one else has said this - Don't just run away - GET INTO THERAPY!! You need to understand why you can't let go of a relationship which is so obviously not working. It might be simple to say that it has to do with your father but you need to figure out for yourself what strategies you learned to deal with your childhood and how those strategies are working or not working for you today and then to change the way you currently interact with others to have healthier relationships. A hard job and one where you need a guide (aka therapist). If you don't do the work, you will just keep finding yourself in bad relationships. You deserve better.
posted by metahawk at 5:49 PM on March 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Maybe my family baggage turns him off?

Or is it that he's intimidated by me?

I'm being rejected by a loser. Only me!

But now that I now more about him, I've fallen for him. He's a genuinely nice guy, offers sincere, heartfelt advice, etc. Okay, so he's immature and has superficial beliefs that I'm too embarrassed to even share here, and a few months ago I was the girl who would have never given a guy with a DUI the time of day, but look at me now. Smitten.

Everyone tells me I should be happy that this might be over because it needs to be over, and that may very well be the case, but I'm just not ready to let go.



You're blaming yourself for his behaviour, you're finding fault with yourself, you're getting down on yourself, and now you're praising - in glowing, affectionate terms - someone who you admit in another breath is a loser. I'm no shrink, but this is not healthy. This is the kind of behaviour that people in abusive relationships exhibit, and I think that the emotional abuse you've suffered in your life is making it difficult for you here.

You've said in one of your previous posts that you're insecure, and I think that that's coming through here. I mean that in the nicest way possible. I have a huge amount of sympathy for you. You deserve better than this guy, and you shouldn't feel like it's your fault that he's being the way he is. Don't convince yourself that you can't do better - you can, and you will. Don't let him manipulate you, take advantage of your character, or give you less than you deserve.

Walk away from this. Find a good therapist who can help you work through your emotional issues and get you on a path to having fulfilling, equal relationships in which you are an equal partner.
posted by Dasein at 5:51 PM on March 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know he's a loser... I'm being rejected by a loser. Only me!

It is really hard to be where you are, and I know how cruddy it feels to be rejected by someone that the rational part of you feels should be grovelling at your feet.

But here's the problem: that's not how it actually works. It's not a game, and you're not trying to win him. Nor is this situation a measure of you as a person. Being rejected by a loser does not make you a worse loser. It just means that he's a loser and you two aren't a good match.

Please take all the sound advice in this thread that tells you to move on. It will be hard. You will miss him. But you will also learn more about yourself and what you deserve, and you will grow.

Good luck.
posted by bassjump at 5:54 PM on March 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


scody Please take care of yourself and stop trying to win the affections of men who treat you with contempt.

That's an excellent point and deserves reinforcement. Although from your description I don't think this guy is treating you with contempt by any means (he's horribly depressed, and confused), he's definitely not giving you anything you have the right to expect from a boyfriend. Therefore, he's not boyfriend material right now, nor should you wait until he is. He may not ever be, for you; if he started right now, it'd probably take him at least two years to even get to that point, and I hope you find someone else in that time. I'm sure you have other prospects even now!

Some boyfriends/girlfriends can lift you up, some can drag you down, regardless of their love for you or how good-hearted a person they are. I think this guy would drag you down. As a friend, you can care about each other but be less entangled.

Not dating a person because it would be bad for you, or them, or both of you, is not an indictment of their or your character. You're allowed to do that.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:57 PM on March 9, 2008


There are other prospects. I am approached by guys daily. I've made date plans and blown off 3 guys since dating this mess.

The problem is my radar. I am turned off by and uninterested in nice guys. I've turned down law school grads, medical residents, a news anchor, PhDs, etc. for no reason in particular aside from the fact that I am somehow able to detect upon meeting them that they are not the Bobby to my Whitney, making them magically unattractive.
posted by sansgras at 6:05 PM on March 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Run.

You can't "win" him. You can't change him. You can't stay in love with the drama and the "thrill" of the chase.

Women are notorious for this. Not all, of course. But many.

If you keep dealing with people like this, YOU will be the one who is 29, divorced, with kids, and is eat up with bats in your head.

Did I say run, yet?
posted by vVCHAZVv at 6:07 PM on March 9, 2008


they are not the Bobby to my Whitney

Well, the answer -- at least, the healthy, sane, adult answer -- to this conundrum is not to keep looking for a Bobby to your Whitney. The answer is to learn how to stop casting yourself in your mind as Whitney in the first place, thus negating your need for a Bobby at all. This will take time, insight, and hard work -- in other words, therapy.

Or, you can keep going down this path and end up a total train wreck. You may believe that's all you deserve; you may even believe there's some doomed glamour in such a fate; you may think someone will come along and save you. If so, you're wrong on all counts. You do deserve (better; "Candle in the Wind" notwithstanding, there's nothing very attractive or romantic about being dysfunctional; and at the end of the day, the only person who can save you is yourself.
posted by scody at 6:17 PM on March 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am somehow able to detect upon meeting them that they are not the Bobby to my Whitney, making them magically unattractive

So, you're looking for decades of drama and still have him leave you in the end?

Run, but run towards a therapist.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:18 PM on March 9, 2008


Actions speak louder than words. If he were interested in you, you would be confident in that, but he is clearly not worth your time. And as much as you would like closure I doubt you'll get it. Move on and get into therapy so that you can find nice guys.
posted by easy_being_green at 6:22 PM on March 9, 2008


I don't know who Bobby and Whitney are, but stop the fantasy about who you want this guy to be for you and step back and see who he really is to you. You can spray paint a dog turd gold, but it is still a dog turd, not gold.
posted by 45moore45 at 6:26 PM on March 9, 2008


What you say about your relationship radar is right on the money. You can't trust yourself because your instincts are going to steer you toward guys who will reinforce your low self esteem.

This current "relationship" sounds perfect to reinforce your low self-esteem. Every interaction with this guy will give you a new reason to think of yourself poorly.

If you are interested in changing your view of yourself, walk away from this guy - don't call/text or anything him. He's toxic for you and *NOTHING* he tells you will be of any value to you in changing yourself. Sincerely, go see a therapist and/or go to a self-help group like Codependents anonymous to learn why you're drawn to these situations and how to have healthier relationships.
posted by jasper411 at 6:37 PM on March 9, 2008


SUMMARY

Positives:
  • He's good looking.
Negatives:
  • Everything else.
Is that basically accurate?

If so, what's the question? I feel like I'm missing something here.
posted by Flunkie at 6:37 PM on March 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


Oh god, I didn't realise it was you, sansgras.

Please please please don't make your life worse than it already is by continuing with this man. So he's intermittently kind and nice? Being nice to you is merely one of several base-level requirements which may qualify him for an appointment with your secretary for an preliminary screening interview for admission to a committee hearing to prepare a shortlist of candidates of potentially eligible men.

Honestly I don't believe you should be seeking any kind of romantic relationship until you have your other troubles sorted out. But if you must, do impose higher standards. There is a middle ground between being picky and taking anyone; you are nowhere near it.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:47 PM on March 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


Dump this goodlooking schmoe, and don't date anybody else until you have completely left home and have your head together.
posted by flabdablet at 7:04 PM on March 9, 2008


sounds like you don't love him, you just love that he's sexually interested in you. i imagine other men would be to. you can do better.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:14 PM on March 9, 2008


sounds like you don't love him, you just love that he's sexually interested in you.
It sounds to me like he's not sexually interested in her. They've made out multiple times and he's never got an erection?

He tells her she's not allowed to touch his "parts", while they're making out?

He keeps talking up all the wild things that he's going to do to her, until it comes time that he actually has a chance? Several times?

Honestly, it sounds to me like he hasn't quite yet come out of the closet.
posted by Flunkie at 7:24 PM on March 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


When even strangers in the Internet are tell you to walk away from this mess, the suggestion might carry some real merit.
posted by joewandy at 7:55 PM on March 9, 2008


I will come to address the serious stuff after I've had more time to take everyone's advice in (thank you thank you thank you), but regarding the sexual stuff--

Flunkie, my boss is also certain he's gay. Well either gay or asexual.

He used to be a male model in NYC when he was younger, and according to all the stories he's told me, he's had the opportunity to be with another male many, many times but he never took up the offers (or money or gifts) because he says he's confident enough in his sexuality to know that it isn't men that he desires. He's says he would be gay if he was gay. I actually believe him. He's not averse to the concept of homosexuality. He has many gay friends-- male and female, and is able to call a man attractive, etc. so I don't know why he'd hide it.

Asexual or just a low sex drive? Perhaps. The sex issue I just can't wrap my head around. It's been right there so many times, and I know that every guy isn't sex-obsessed, but who can walk away when you're both naked and have been all over each for hours already? Who has that kind of restraint? During our initial encounter, he said he didn't have an erection because he was purposely thinking about other things like his grandmother, calculus, etc.

...I mean, REALLY?

And then I felt uncomfortable because I was deriving so much pleasure from him, yet he wasn't even hard.

He's an amazing looking guy and he knows it. He knows how to kiss, how to please a girl. Can it really be a confidence issue? I have another male friend who is divorced because his ex-wife cheated on him, and he said it was the most ego-blowing experience. Maybe that's it?

The truth of the matter is, and I wish he'd just realize this, is that whatever the issue is (medical problem, low sex drive, ED, etc.), I don't care! It's insulting to think that he has to hide the issue from me. It's more frustrating that he keeps leading me on, and then getting irritated when I later stopped responding to his talk and called him out on it. Two guys I've been with in the past had ED -- one guy as a result from his treatment for prostate cancer, and with the other guy it was because of a medication he took that he needed if he wanted to stay alive while battling particularly nasty autoimmune disease. In both cases, I didn't think the guy was any less masculine because he couldn't get it up or needed to use Viagra (even at the age of 24 in one case). That's silly.
posted by sansgras at 7:56 PM on March 9, 2008


The problem is my radar. I am turned off by and uninterested in nice guys.

Firstly, that's Daddy Dearest's work. Again ... hie thee to a therapist!

Secondly, try dating good men, not nice guys. Change your casting in your mind. Two movies to watch: "Blast from the Past", and "Kate and Leopold". You won't find men quite that perfect, of course, but a bit more like them than the average man is, is a good spot to shoot for. Good manners, good conversation, punctuality, reliability, self-reliance, and a willingness to go into battle for you without a second's hesitation, if need be. And good looks, of course. :)

I've turned down law school grads, medical residents, a news anchor, PhDs, etc. for no reason in particular aside from the fact that I am somehow able to detect upon meeting them that they are not the Bobby to my Whitney, making them magically unattractive.

Stop judging them by their job status and educational achievements, for a start! :) For one thing, it drastically skews the age category. For another, in a lot of cases, these men aren't going to be much fun; they're looking at you and seeing a nice trophy, so you're probably right to turn most of these down. But some could be fun, even if you don't find them initially attractive. So long as there's the possibility of a good conversation with an interesting person, it's not a waste of time to go for dinner and a movie. Pay your own way, of course. Think of it as a course of study in social interaction.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:00 PM on March 9, 2008


Dump this goodlooking schmoe, and don't date anybody else until you have completely left home and have your head together.

Second flabdablet. STRONGLY suggest you get your own house in order before pursuing a relationship; your situation right now is such that you're likely to grasp at (very substandard) straws. Concentrate on yourself for a while.
posted by Justinian at 8:01 PM on March 9, 2008


I am 20 years old and have a graduate education.
You mean undergraduate, right? ;)
posted by Ervin at 8:01 PM on March 9, 2008


sansgras writes "I am turned off by and uninterested in nice guys. I've turned down law school grads, medical residents, a news anchor, PhDs, etc. for no reason in particular aside from the fact that I am somehow able to detect upon meeting them that they are not the Bobby to my Whitney, making them magically unattractive."

You mean the Hustons ? Sorry if I am little harsh, but ...do you realize how wrecked they are ? She's on crack. It may look romantic that two people with deep problems live togheter they misery, but should one choose this spiral of decline ?

Tell you what, I was once fond of a very cute girl that I recognize has having a very stressing experience like I did, I felt close to her because of this similarity and a deep sense of understanding of what she was going throught. BUT , as a matter of fact, I cannot feel what she feels. There is a similarity allright, but we are NOT ONE...we are two and different even if I had clear in my mind the idea that maybe she could have understood me better then others.

Yet the reason for doing this is because I wanted to think that she was excellent for me, in other words I literally wanted to see something special about her, I wanted her to make happier. See where I am going ? BUT, a good relationship can make you live better, of course...but you can't let your happines depend on some other person, in the sense that you completely submit to any of his behaviors so as long as your sensation, the ones YOU feel, is that he very much needs you , even if maybe what he could use is , no offence in that, a very good therapist.

And no, you can't be that person. Not because you are unworthy/uncapable/bad , not at all ...but because you very much emotionally involved in that and also have your personal desires on him , which are allright to have and that you can't really "turn off" ..you may only pretend you don't, lie to yourself...but as matter of fact, you still would be there for him, in love, and eventually give up guiding him and letting him indulge in his vices , as a form of reward for giving you so many good sensations.


Now, I am no shrink at all even if I play one on TV :-) ...maybe you could use a good therapist as well.

My only really personal advice in all of this : if you can help it, avoid religious organizations or any organization that would like you to pray to God...unless of course you already are a religios person , so you'll disregard my recommendation anyway. BUT if they are the only one avaiable to help you , because you can't afford private therapists or for any other reason, be grateful for that and any time they tell you to pray God, replace God with YOURSELF. The therapist may help YOU to help yourself and trust me on that, even the lowest self esteems can help them a lot more than they think !
posted by elpapacito at 8:04 PM on March 9, 2008


Ervin, no, I mean GRADUATE. :)
posted by sansgras at 8:10 PM on March 9, 2008


This guy is a mess. Walk on. Someday you'll look back and heave a sigh of relief that you never quite connected with this guy.

I text messaged him saying, "Do I ever get to find out what happened that made you lose interest?"

When you put someone on the spot like this, they either lie or they earnestly tell you something that is a story they tell themselves. I know it sucks not to get the answers you want, but when the dynamic changed, and he stopped calling and you started, you had all the information you really needed.
posted by caitlinb at 8:26 PM on March 9, 2008


It's really not all that unusual for good-hearted, attractive people to be rejected by losers. It's downright common. After all, if those people knew a good thing when they saw it, they wouldn't be losers. The guy's a loser; why would his dealings with you be any less loserish?

If he's over me, that's fine, but I think he should at least tell me.

Alas, he is a loser. If he were any good with "should", he wouldn't have that DUI (or multiple DUIs, as the case may be.)

I wish he'd just realize this...

But alas, he's a loser. He's not about to realize anything.

You denigrate your own expectations here, saying you want a Bobby to your Whitney. I think you're selling yourself a bit short. Right there you've basically said that you want the man in your life to tell you how he feels, even when it's very uncomfortable, and you also want him to have insight into you. That's a snapshot of a man who is thoughtful, kind, and strong -- none of which fits this guy.

Ages ago in AskMe in some other context, dagnyscott said, "We all trust people we shouldn't because it's convenient at the time, and we all face the consequences." It's absolutely true. Sooner or later, everybody's vulnerable to somebody who talks the right game at the right time. (Some losers get mighty good at talking.) The trick is to accept that you've been messed with, pick yourself up, and walk on. Sometimes the road to acceptance is through contempt. This guy looks like an excellent candidate for your contempt.

So dump the guy, don't date anybody, get a therapist, and move out.
posted by sculpin at 8:31 PM on March 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow. the more I read through your old questions and responses here, the more I think that there's a reality show in your life just dying to get out.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:31 PM on March 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


sansgras, did you ever follow any of the advice given to you in your previous askme questions? I'm just trying to calibrate answers.
posted by Justinian at 8:32 PM on March 9, 2008


Actually, another way to read this, is that you have identified a man who ought to be super grateful for your young, hot, intelligent attention - someone who should be unable to deny you the admiration that is clearly really lacking in your life - and it is driving you nuts that he nonetheless is not co-operating.

My earlier advice still stands.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:32 PM on March 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's been right there so many times, and I know that every guy isn't sex-obsessed, but who can walk away when you're both naked and have been all over each for hours already? Who has that kind of restraint? During our initial encounter, he said he didn't have an erection because he was purposely thinking about other things like his grandmother, calculus, etc.
Doesn't sound even remotely plausible, especially given that in between such encounters, he tells you all about what he's going to do to you.

I'm not saying he's gay. I don't know. But it sure sounds that way to me, and nothing in this latest comment of yours has convinced me otherwise (in fact, it has done the opposite).

And just because he's OK with other people being gay doesn't mean he's not in the closet.

But in any case, even ignoring this possibility... once again, "positives = good looking, negatives = everything else". Right?
posted by Flunkie at 8:34 PM on March 9, 2008


Justinian,

I have most of that advice printed.

I got a new cell with a new number, I'm actively looking for a real job (I sent my resume out to 4 places so far), I've collected all of the important documents I will need for when I do leave so that they are now in my possession (minus the birth certificate-- I can't find it among everything else, but my search isn't over), and I'm saving money to save for an apartment. I'm making a therapy appointment in the morning. I spend little time at home. I did catch my father spying on me when I was changing twice now, but that's nothing new.

I plan to talk to my PI soon about taking a break from my research this summer. It's not something I'm ready to give up, but I'm either in lab or working to better my situation. I can't do both. Hopefully the answer will be more clear to me in a few months.

It's unrealistic for me to get up and leave right now when I don't have the financial means, but I'm working on making it happen with the newfound confidence I've acquired from everyone's advice here.
posted by sansgras at 8:45 PM on March 9, 2008


minus the birth certificate
Assuming you're in the US, and were born there as well, you can generally get a new copy of your birth certificate from your hometown's town hall. Give them a call and see what their procedure is. Probably you'll have to show up in person with a few forms of identification chosen from a list that they give you.
posted by Flunkie at 8:48 PM on March 9, 2008


He's an amazing looking guy and he knows it. He knows how to kiss, how to please a girl. Can it really be a confidence issue? I have another male friend who is divorced because his ex-wife cheated on him, and he said it was the most ego-blowing experience. Maybe that's it?

Could be; maybe that just tore his world apart, and he started the drinking, and quit the good job and got the crappy job, and started blowing money. Could be the other way around, too, ie she cheated on him because of his distance and flakiness and drinking and self-hating and random behavior and unreliability and mixed signals and lack of ambition. In either case, even if you really wanted to fix it for him, do you really think you can?

Two guys I've been with in the past

Ah ... from your previous questions I'd thought you hadn't dated at all, apart from the one guy. Noted.

In both cases, I didn't think the guy was any less masculine because he couldn't get it up or needed to use Viagra (even at the age of 24 in one case). That's silly.

Men are silly creatures, though, and his sense of his own masculinity isn't based on what you think, or even what he rationally knows.

I've had that happen once. It was a combination of self-defeating overeagerness, performance anxiety, major incompatibility of preferred technique combined with inexperience, and the fact that I was totally head over heels in unrequited love with someone else. I learned that night that internally panicking over it and beating yourself up for it, while simultaneously attempting to carry on as though nothing was wrong doesn't help, either. Who'd have guessed? :)

So, I'm on that girl's List of Life Mistakes, I'm sure of it. Now, I know exactly why it happened, I know what I did wrong, and why, and what I should have done instead of what I did; but I'll still carry the scar to my grave. That's how it works. We live, we learn. He dealt a blow to your feminine pride, even though he did not mean to. Ten years from now he may be writing some advice to some girl on a webforum, and remind himself of it, and maybe he'll apologise to that girl, 'cause there's no way to apologise to you. (I'm sorry. It happens. It's not because of you, it really is because of him.)

Anyway, we could speculate endlessly on the reasons for "your" guy's problems. I'd bet his family baggage is really a twelve-piece set of gold-buckled crocodile leather, however close to them he looks like he is. Maybe there's been some horrible family crisis going on this whole time, the family drama you mentioned. But whatever's going on with him, it's highly relevant that he hasn't shared it with you.

Don't cut yourself on this man's broken edges any more, sansgras. Don't follow him over his cliff. You deserve better. If you care about him, it seems better for him, as well as you, that you be his friend rather than his lover.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:50 PM on March 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Flunkie, I'm not opposed to any possibility. He probably is gay. That would explain his willingness to show me off to others and almost have sex in his living room in front of his female roommate. He was probably looking to validate his lies that he's straight. I don't know. There's just so much going on in this situation, too many factors really, that everytime I think about this mess, I find something else to focus on, and consequently come to a different conclusion.

Another thing-- aren't many guys unreceptive to their partners using a vibrator because they fear they won't be able to compete against a vibrator? Why was he so eager for me to get one so he could "use it on me?" Hmmm. I am thinking about this too much.
posted by sansgras at 8:50 PM on March 9, 2008


It sounds to me like you're in no shape to be considering romance or even sex at this point. Your issues with your father will make you choose unhealthy or unresponsive men and obsess over them. Energy that should go toward building a healthy adult life for yourself will instead get squandered.

What have you done about the issues described in your previous posts? What steps have you taken to get out of your father's house?
posted by PatoPata at 8:50 PM on March 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


I realize that you might be a responsible young lady who's more mature than her years, but you're 20 and you've already dated a guy with cancer, a guy with autoimmune disease, and a guy who has gone through a crippling divorce? I realize that none of these things are a reason to not date someone, in that everyone has their issues and baggage, but this sounds like it could be a pattern.
posted by mikeh at 8:54 PM on March 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


you can generally get a new copy of your birth certificate from your hometown's town hall
Whoops - to be clear:

By "hometown", I meant the town that you were born in. Not necessarily where you live, and not even necessarily where you lived at the time of your birth. For example, if you were born in a hospital, the town that that hospital was in.
posted by Flunkie at 8:54 PM on March 9, 2008


Clarification -- I've actually never been in a serious relationship. I've been on dates, but always knowing in the back of my mind that I was just looking to get laid. So in both of those instances, it was purely sex until I lost interest.

The prostate cancer was a 40-something year old investment banker. He obviously wasn't looking to be in a relationship with me. All was well until he hinted that he was ashamed about having to need to Viagra to get hard.

The autoimmune disease guy was stable for a long as I saw him. He was actually quite accomplished given the crippling nature of the disease. He went to an Ivy, graduated from an Ivy law school, etc. He just needed to medication to live and that interfered with his sexual performance, hence the Viagra. Not a big deal to me, but it was to him. I eventually blew him off when I started to get the impression he wasn't taking me seriously. I was only marginally attracted to him physically; it was his arrogance that turned me on. Strange and disturbing, but unfortunately true. But even with him, it was just sex.
posted by sansgras at 9:03 PM on March 9, 2008


sansgras: I'm glad to hear that you're making progress and it's nice to see that these familial and relationshippy type questions can be useful.

I think people in this thread have been virtually unanimous that this guy sounds like a loser and getting involved with these types of guys is, unfortunately, made more likely by the way you've been treated at home. So: dump him, find somebody better. If you really are only attracted to bad boys, seek therapy.
posted by Justinian at 9:11 PM on March 9, 2008


I've dated a version of this guy. I spent two years of my life, off and on, justifying things about him. For every bad thing I'd find out about him, I'd find an explanation and brush it off. Everyone told me he was a loser. Everyone told me he was treating me badly. And yet, my low self-esteem led me back to the guy. I thought I loved the guy, but I was just grateful to have a guy, you know? I put up with behavior from him that I swore I'd never tolerate from any man.

The guy finally crossed a line - he was awful to my best friend when she'd been nothing but great to him. I was finally able to see what an ass he was and ditch him for good. I've since seen him date other women with low self-esteem who have also put up with his crap. Every single one of them has gone through what I went through.

I know how hard it is, but get out while you can. Run and don't look back. Otherwise, you'll try to keep the guy around, justifying every crappy thing he does to you. You deserve better than that.

MeFi mail me if you want to talk.
posted by Serena at 10:25 PM on March 9, 2008


Lay off for a bit. Gives you and him perspective.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:50 PM on March 9, 2008


December 23, 2007: I'm a 20 year old girl and a bit of an old soul. I've already graduated from college with honors and I'm almost done with my master's. I have a full time job. I'm attractive, I take care of myself, I have everything I want in the material sense, but I'm miserable. I don't have friends. I've never dated. I don't go out.

February 18, 2008: I am the 20 year old with the master's degree.

February 19, 2008: Actually, I probably make under $15,000/yr after taxes, working part-time. ... I have been very unimpressed with my graduate education. I learned nothing, it means nothing

March 1, 2008: I'm not sure just yet what the deal is with regards to my research. It's very important to me and I absolutely need the publication that I'm certain will come out of it

March 10, 2008: Two guys I've been with in the past had ED ... I've actually never been in a serious relationship. I've been on dates, but always knowing in the back of my mind that I was just looking to get laid. So in both of those instances, it was purely sex until I lost interest.

Wow. It's so hard to answer the questions because of the confusion. I am curious sansgras. Is your post-graduate research about social online communities?
posted by netbros at 11:06 PM on March 9, 2008 [28 favorites]



The problem is my radar. I am turned off by and uninterested in nice guys.

There is a first time for everything, sansgras. My fiance was the nice guy I took a chance on. It didn't happen over night, but in time I came to find out he's hysterically funny, insightful, and kind. Hopefully one day you will respect yourself enough to realize how much better you deserve.

Please please read He's Just Not That Into You. You won't regret it.
posted by mynameismandab at 11:32 PM on March 9, 2008


Thanks for posting what I was thinking, netbros. I thought I'd remembered previous posts by sansgras saying she never dated and had never been in a relationship. Now suddenly the secluded virgin is having phone sex and wanting to browse through adult paraphernalia shops with him. She owns a "guaranteed get laid" dress. She has no friends, but she's told the story of the sexually dysfunctioning boyfriend to "everyone." And how is she escaping her father's constant surveillance in order to get nekkid with this guy at 5AM? I'm no math major, but something is not adding up.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:34 PM on March 9, 2008 [4 favorites]




........................Story is TRUE..../......Story is FALSE
Advised as if story is..-----------------/--------------------
....TRUE:...................Win........../....At Least It Counts As Practice
....FALSE:..........This Could Be Messy../....Three Cheers For Secret Squirrel


Sorry about the dots. This thing messes up whitespace something horrible, and I haven't learned proper table coding.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:17 AM on March 10, 2008


MetaTalk
posted by orange swan at 5:45 AM on March 10, 2008



Thanks for posting what I was thinking, netbros. I thought I'd remembered previous posts by sansgras saying she never dated and had never been in a relationship. Now suddenly the secluded virgin is having phone sex and wanting to browse through adult paraphernalia shops with him. She owns a "guaranteed get laid" dress. She has no friends, but she's told the story of the sexually dysfunctioning boyfriend to "everyone." And how is she escaping her father's constant surveillance in order to get nekkid with this guy at 5AM? I'm no math major, but something is not adding up.


Clarification:

Only now, as in the past few weeks, have I been able to look at my past and be more objective. Yeah, maybe I downplayed some things and those really were 'dates.' But I have never been in a relationship.

I never claimed to be a virgin and I've never had phone sex. I've always been sexually open, but I just hadn't had the opportunity to be that way until this happened. Abused, but not naive.

The get laid dress-- if any of you watch Sex and the City, in one episode the main character owns what they call a sex dress. I've owned a much different looking although conceptually similar dress for quite some time, never wore it because I never went anywhere that would necessitate a dress like that, but decided to wear it on our final date as a test, after showing it to my boss and coworkers and then having them tell me it's my very own "sex dress" and it would be impossible for him not to want me wearing that thing.

I used the word "friends" for the sake of brevity. I am referring to my boss and my coworkers who have been following my story and offering their input, solicited or not, from day one. I care about these people and I'm grateful to have the job that allowed these relationships to form, so I guess I can now call them friends. I wouldn't have done that a few months ago with the drastic fear of rejection and all that.

How am I escaping my father's surveillance? By literally getting up and leaving the house, now knowing I should have no need to feel guilty for enjoying myself. This probably explains the GPS tracker on my now former cell phone, buying my sister off to find out where I'm going or what I'm doing (since he won't talk to me), etc. I've changed so drastically in my attitude since December.

No, I am not the person you linked to. Sans gras = French for "without fat." I've already put so much of my life out here that, wanting to be as anonymous as possible, why would I choose a username that, assuming I am that person, already has a life, a history?

My educational background: as I've mentioned before, I can't go into detail here out in the open, but I can privately answer any questions. No one took me up on my offer last time I said that. I will say a few things here since I'm not looking to be labeled as evasive or dishonest:

I care about my research to the extent that I want that publication because it would really help me when I apply to MD/PhD programs. I no longer care about the actual research at hand. I'm actually very unhappy in the lab.

My graduate program was a one year master's program in my field. Considering I started my college education a couple years earlier than most people, tacking on an additional year isn't really that unbelievable. I said I was unimpressed and that it meant nothing because it's true. I did the master's because I needed something to do in my free time since I wasn't mentally ready to apply to medical school. I was never that interested in the program, and it was basically a continuation of undergrad.

I hope that covers everything. I registered here initially because I had a question and wanted objective advice from people removed from the situation. Assuming I'm still asking questions for that same purpose, what good is lying? The advice would no longer be applicable and would just be useless to me.
posted by sansgras at 6:38 AM on March 10, 2008


I'm being rejected by a loser. Only me!

The status of the rejector is not correlated with the status of the rejectee. It happens to plenty of people.

I think it's unrealistic to leave things open like this.

It would be nicer of him to clarify that he doesn't want to see you, why he feels this way, etc. In real life this doesn't always happen. It's happened to me, and I've wanted to know why, why, why -- and if you have an inquisitive mind and like to find out why things happen, this can become an unanswerable obsession. This sucks.

I recommend a book that will seem stupid, trite, and repetitive, a very small tome titled He's Just Not That Into You. I'll summarize briefly: He's Just Not That Into You if he's not [having sex with you, going on dates with you, calling you]. How to use this book: when you are overtaken with thoughts like" What am I supposed to think?", open book, read one of the extremely repetitive chapters until nagging thoughts of trying to figure guy out go away. Repeat as needed. Frequency and amount of dosage will decrease over time. This will help you let go.

The problem is my radar. I am turned off by and uninterested in nice guys. I've turned down ... for no reason in particular aside from the fact that I am somehow able to detect upon meeting them that they are not the Bobby to my Whitney

I have no idea who Bobby and Whitney are, but you don't have much experience with dating. You need practice with it. As long as the guy doesn't seem horribly unattractive for some reason, and seems like a safe person to be around who will make your first date in a public place, go out with him. See how you feel about him after two or three dates. Oh, and education and a good job do not a nice guy make -- this is a terrible, terrible way to judge someone's character. Your story above happens with educated guys too.

having them tell me it's my very own "sex dress" and it would be impossible for him not to want me

As you have seen, the idea that there is some article of clothing which will guarantee you will get laid is not something that should be taken as a literal truth.
posted by yohko at 9:59 AM on March 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


From your previous posts, it's clear that you are under enormous stress. The problems that you're facing at home are very serious and beyond your control. Thus, it doesn't surprise me that you find your attention consumed with this very different kind of problem. How can you fix your broken realtionship with your father? There is no easy or obvious answer, and there may not be an answer at all. At best, you can escape it. On the other hand, all you have to do to solve this problem is cut this loser out of your life. That's much less frightening. I wonder if you're placing your stress into this issue because it's actually something you CAN control.

I think if you can find a healthier way to express and deal with your stress, you will find that you don't care about this issue anymore.

Feel free to MeFi mail me if you ever need to vent privately. Stress can be very isolating, and I am always happy to listen and help if I can.
posted by prefpara at 10:46 AM on March 10, 2008


You know, I've been there. Falling for a guy when you know (listen to your gut, you KNOW) it's a bad idea. Everyone is telling you it's wrong, but you think there is "more to him" than everyone else can see or that "you will be the one to help him get over all his little hang-ups". I'm 27, which may not seem like much older than 20, but in life-experience, it is eons. This guy is bad news. Whether or not the story about his ex-wife cheating is true, a 29-year-old divorced guy who doesn't give you straight answers about their behavior, who makes up excuses for strange behavior that don't make sense, that calls off dates 20 minutes beforehand, that has a DUI, is BAD NEWS. You probably won't listen to anyone telling you this. You probably posted this question to get just one person to rationalize this for you, but you should get out while you still can. It will hurt (maybe a lot) but you will feel so much better about yourself later for listening to yourself and putting yourself first, and having the confidence to walk away from an unsolvable situation. Good Luck.
posted by nikksioux at 2:35 PM on March 10, 2008


I know he's a loser... I'm being rejected by a loser. Only me!
You are not being rejected by him. He is rejecting himself. Believe it or not, this is not about you - it would be any woman to him. You just happened to win the lottery. Don't waste your time.
posted by plinth at 6:40 AM on March 11, 2008


I really hope you're not going after a 29 years old jobless possibly gay loser just to piss off your overprotective father.

You don't have to pursue anyone. You're 20. Flirt and have fun, and don't worry about a "relationship". When you've gotten over the whole "I wouldn't want anyone that would settle for me" nonsense then you might be ready.

Seriously think about whether you have daddy issues. Seriously.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:08 PM on March 11, 2008


Thanks yohko for your wonderful brief situation-relevant synopsis of the book. If only all of us would read it, it would save every lady from so much time obsessing over impossible relationships (But then, what would we do with the extra 23 hours and 59 minutes of the day?)
posted by mynameismandab at 8:12 PM on March 11, 2008


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