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Friday, November 30, 2012

226

Drunk Pics, Hot Sisters, and Long-Distance Dumping

1. Here's my situation. I'm a successful, attractive 30-year-old woman who has recently (like just signed papers recently) gotten out of a painful albeit short marriage (together three years, married for one and a half). My marriage was neglectful for some time, and it took therapy and a lot of work to realize the problem wasn't me, and I feel like I have been handling things pretty well.

I had been lonely and emotionally unfulfilled in my marriage for a while. I rushed the engagement probably to hold on to someone who wasn't that into me. I feel like I have been grieving for a long time. I left because I wanted the RIGHT relationship, because mine was so screwed up and one-sided. And now I realize that marriage isn't the end-all I fantasized about, but I do want a partner and eventually a family. 

When I finally moved out, I started a profile on a dating site because I was utterly depressed and wanted to look at pictures of cute boys to help me get over my loss. Since it was my first foray into those sites, I didn't realize I would be bombarded with people who were basically just DTF... but there was one guy that struck up a convo about non-dating, non-relationshippy things and we had a nice back and forth message chain for a while. Then we started texting, and then finally, he asked me to hang out with a group of friends. 

I managed expectations and was afraid the verbal chemistry wouldn't be there, or that he would be less cute in real life. Neither of these things were the case and we ended up hanging out later that night and just BOOM SLEPT TOGETHER. Spent the next day together too. We get along well, have a lot of things in common, and crack each other up.

In the meantime, I am getting side-eye from friends and my mother about me even talking to dudes, and lots of WAIT FOREVER BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, so I cannot imagine how things would play out if they knew I was dating someone. Operative word DATING. I have no desire to move in together or otherwise link up in a major life commitment way right now, but I want to spend time with this person.

We have had the 'taking it slow' talk, but the truth is, I don't really know what that means. I mean, I don't want to hang out every day because I want to attend to myself and enjoy life as a single-ish lady but I also would really love some companionship and affection from a man, especially one I like. I understand the people around me are not just being busybodies, but rather probably just protective of me after all that has transpired ... and don't want me with The Wrong Dude. 

Anyway, I need to find the balance. He's patient, which is great, and has a life of his own, but we're in the talking-all-the-time mode and I don't want to just stop! Plus we hit it off in bed, so halting all further carnal activities is not something I want. How can I be careful with my heart/boundaries while still enjoying the company of someone I like? HALP.

A very similar situation just happened with a close friend of mine who is a dude. In fact it's so similar I hope you're not his ex wife who I'm obliged to detest. You're probably not! So I'll tell you what I told him.

You can't fight a vibe. I mean, you can, I suppose, but taking things slowly when the vibe is right is like trying to speed things up when you don't hit it off. It's unrealistic and not possible unless one or both of you are unbalanced weirdos. On the other hand, we can experience VERY INTENSE vibes when they are NOT HEALTHY at all. Hitting it off with someone can have as much to do with the relief they give from old, bad feelings as it can with him being the right dude. Your friends and family seem to think you are not ready to tell the difference. 

Which is what I asked my friend a few weeks ago. If, when you sit quietly with yourself and close your eyes and think about this new guy, what really comes up? If your heart feels truly free and at ease about this new relationship, then go for it. Really. I am only saying this because you said you went through a lot of therapy and worked on yourself, so I'm taking your word for it on that. Only you know if you are really ready. Just don't take for granted that you are simply because you want to be. Really listen to your gut.

It's important that you listen closely, because like I said before, you can't control the pace or depth of this new entanglement. So rather than worry about that, just be sure you're ready to ride this thing out no matter where it goes.

2. I organized a camping trip for my birthday. My friends drove long distances, the lovely (older) man who I'm dating came out — and dropped some CASH on snacks and booze — and we had delicious dinner and swam and everyone was having a grand time. There was music. There was a birthday cake. Really lovely, magical times. Until I got drunk. And then I was falling over. And then I was the butt of all of the jokes, rightfully, and then I went to bed. And in the morning, I was not hungover, but I did feel that kind of shame-clench that was exacerbated when the lovely older man pulled out his phone and showed a picture to everyone of me on the ground being drunk. And all of my friends laughed and laughed, and I was kind of like "ha-ha" ... poker face.

I am emerging from several years of bad-drunk tendencies. I have a therapist, we talk about depression and anxiety and booze and sex. I haven't been drinking so much for a few months, and then, this weekend, something kind of flipped and I boarded the bus to Dark, Baby Land without even knowing that that was what I was doing. But I can process this stuff with my therapist. The part that's really fucking me up is the dude. We haven't talked much about our previous lives and loves. I've not wanted to because I think it's more ... fair? ... to take someone on their current terms, but now I find myself in this gross spot where I backslid, and I don't know how much I need or want to explain.

He was affectionate on the way home. We talked on the phone after I dropped him off. We have plans this week. I apologized to him via e-mail for being such a weirdo on the night when he met all of my friends for the first time, and thanked him for being so generous. But, I don't know what to do next, with him or with myself. I showed him my worst when he was really showing me his best. And yet ...

What's up with showing off that picture? What's up with taking it? He's 20 years my senior, and I'm in my 30s, and that was totally rude, right? Or, am I so affronted because I'm sensitive about drinking and outside commentary on the way I drank because DUDE, I'M WORKING ON IT!!!? I can't tell how much import to put on all of this. I can't tell how ashamed of myself to be. I can't tell how much of an asshole he was being.

This is what we call a red flag. And it's the exact kind of red flag that most of us ignore in order to keep dating the "lovely" person we are dating.

Not all red flags are the same, in that some are across-the-board red flags and some are personally subjective red flags. Across-the-board red flags are things like violence, straight up verbal abuse, and thinking Malcolm Gladwell is a genius. You know, obvious monster shit.

Your red flag is personal to you. It is one simply because you feel it is one. What your guy did, in my opinion, is possibly quite funny and fine. But he didn't do it to me with my friends. He did it to you with yours, and it really bothers you. So it IS fucked up. To you. You need to say that to him. If he says, "Oh my God I'm so sorry I had no idea drinking and falling down wasn't hilarious to you, I feel terrible, let's discuss your past a little so we can get to know each other better bit by bit until we are in love" then maybe the flag is an opportunity to repair and become closer through mutual understanding.

But if he's like, "Whoa! C'mon, that's what phones are for, drunky!" Then he's not necessarily wrong, but probably wrong for you.

Also, he's 50 something and still taking drunk pics and laughing about them? Either he's super cool and comfortable with himself, or he's completely terrible. Either way, good luck!

3. Help! This just happened. Is it ever appropriate for a guy to mention that he finds his girlfriend's sister attractive when in conversation with both ladies? (Some logistics: I'm 24, my boyfriend is 24, my little sis is 20.) My initial instinct was that some unwritten rule of dating had been violated, but maybe I'm being a little irrationally insecure — she's definitely "the cute one" of the siblings, and knows how to work it, so I'm increasingly threatened by her in romantic territory. (I guess that makes me "the neurotic one.") The bf is somewhat aware of this sensitivity. 

My thoughts: Clearly he's into me, because he's dating me, and of course he's going to discreetly check out my sister because that's what guys do, but I never want to hear about how he's kinda into her as well, even jokingly over drinks. ... Too much?

PS: Haven't confronted BF about this yet, because I can't decided if this response is on-target or wildly out of line with your typical sane and self-assured lady.

Of course it's inappropriate for your boyfriend to comment on your sister. Also, of course he did it in the first place because he's 24. Aaand of course you should say something to him. Most 24-year-old guys have a lot of growing up to do before they can sustain a healthy relationship. You telling him how insensitive it was to do that is pretty much the only way he's going to learn it. I do not envy the heavy lifting required in dating dudes in their 20s, because there are so many battles to fight if you want them to become men. You should do the grooming in good faith that if you stay together, he may one day be a charming and thoughtful, mature partner for you. And if you break up down the line, you've still contributed to improving the dude pool for other ladies. Hopefully, there's a guy out there getting reprimanded for staring at the wrong butt right now, and when you meet him in five years, you won't have to tell him to keep his eyes off your sister.

 4. So, I'm in a three-year-long relationship, and, unfortunately, the time has come to end it. We've been long-distance for a while and will be long-distance for a while more, and I just can’t do it anymore. I’m exhausted. I haven't gotten enough from him emotionally/commitment-wise to make it feel worth it, and I feel taken for granted. Nothing is seriously wrong, but nothing is seriously right, and I just can't hack it anymore. I'm very broken up about it, but I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles, right?

Anyway, my problem is this: When do I break up with him? He's coming to visit soon, and we haven't seen each other in quite some time; we've been very excited about the visit, and now I feel like a total ass. Do I break up with him before the visit and feel terrible he spent $500 for nothing? Do I wait and hope that everything resolves itself during the visit? And if it doesn’t, do I just pretend everything's okay and then at the airport be like "ummmm so I think we should see other people, this week has been great, k bye?" I know there's no good way to break up with someone, but all of these ways seem particularly messy. 

Ask a Dude, it really hurts me to have to end this relationship; my guy hasn't been the perfect boyfriend, but he's been pretty darn good, and I want this to be as painless for all parties involved as possible. I love him very much and I know he loves me, and this whole thing is just one sucky mess of irreconcilable differences. Blergh. Help!

End it now. I was in a similar thing many years ago, and I let the lady travel across the country for an already scheduled visit because I thought she should hear it in person. She ended up leaving four hours after getting there — leaving on a train to the airport in the pouring rain and crying so hard I thought she was going to barf. I remember how sad she was about the break up in general, but I REALLY remember how mad she was that I let her travel all that way just to break her heart in person.

Breaking up with this guy over the phone does not make you a bad person, and doing it in person does not make it not a break up. Save him the time, the travel, and maybe some of the money.

Previously: Hair and Morality.

A Dude is one of several rotating Dudes. Do you have a question for A Dude?

 



226 Comments / Post A Comment

hot dog princess

Oh man, that guy who told his GF her 20 year old sister was hot. Just, why. Reminds me of a friend whose boyfriend referred to a good friend of hers as "hot as shit Brittany" every time her name came up. Nope.

bitzyboozer

@hot dog princess Also I'm reading the "in conversation with both ladies" part as he said it when they were both present. I kind of wish we had more details on exactly what happened. If in the course of conversation with them both he said something like, "You're a very attractive young lady, you should have no problem finding a guy" and the gf really is just super sensitive on the issue, that could be one thing. But otherwise, ewww.

entangled

@bitzyboozer totally agree. This is in generally a pretty awful thing to say, but saying it in front of both sisters at once? Either super awful/awkward/weird or the topic came up and he was mostly trying to be nice and reassuring to the sister.

Beatrix Kiddo

@hot dog princess I think context is important for the dude complimenting his girlfriend's sister. If they're all together and he says something like, "you two are both attractive women," or says she's attractive if she's expressing some insecurities, that seems fine to me. Also, I'd rather my boyfriend complimented my sister while I was there-- if I weren't, it would be sleazy.

Hellcat

@entangled Yeah, I think context has a lot to do with it. Like, do we want our SO's to think our siblings are unattractive? I mean, if they do, they do, but... you know. I think the words chosen to express this sentiment, as well as the time and place, should be carefully chosen. I'd bristle at my BF using "hot" toward anyone but a celebrity (though I know other people who really don't care). But he's mentioned that my sister is pretty, or said "good-looking" (somehow the latter is a very unthreatening adjective) if we were talking about something that might have to do with her looks (usually her approach to guys is the topic at hand; she can be a bit loony). Now, if he said it while we were making out or for no good reason at all, I'd be annoyed. And I hope he'd say, "Yes, you are attractive" if she, for some reason, asked his opinion because I wouldn't want her to feel bad.

Tafadhali

Past sibling attractiveness comment I was amused by if not excited about (ex-girlfriend, age 16):

After hearing my rueful comments about my 14-year-old brother's over-active love life, she said, "Well, he's cute! He looks exactly like you!" (Her assessment today is "Eh, your brother's not really that cute anymore. He doesn't look as much like you." It's kind of nice to have one friend who rates other people's looks using you as the beauty standard.)

Past sibling attractiveness dialogue that I was not even slightly amused by (then boyfriend, age 22):

After telling me how hot he thought his fourteen-year-old neighbor was before he realized she was fourteen, he added, "The first time I met your sister, I didn't realize how old she was and I thought she was really attractive too!"
"You met her a year ago. She was twelve. She had LITERALLY NOT HIT PUBERTY yet."
"Well, I didn't know that! And, you know -- she looks a bit like you."

I still don't know why anyone would not have the common sense to keep that thought to himself.

D.@twitter

@Tafadhali Was your boyfriend's name Humbert Humbert?

sirijoy

Hey, I'm LW3, the girl with the sister. You all are pretty much the best group of strangers who have ever commented on my love life. If you were curious about the situation (and yes, context is key!), here's the more detailed story:

The BF and I were hanging out with my sister at a pub, and she and I were laughing about how many people didn’t realize that we were related until we told them. And then the unfortunate moment: the BF (slightly buzzed, kind of teasing): “Well...you’re both clever..." (slow smile) "...attractive....” And the conversation just died as I tried and failed to laugh it off. So it's not like he hit on her directly, but I think that "attractive" was an unfortunate word choice, as it kind of implies sexiness more than "cute" or "pretty" might.

I like the thought of gently helping man-children grow up into decent people, but I don't think I can call him out at this point. Again, context: the incident happened two months ago now, and we decided to break up a month ago as I was moving halfway across the country, with vague hopes of picking things up in the future. (We still talk frequently and we're close friends.) I want to tell him that it wasn't cool, but I don't want to look preoccupied and generally ridiculous.

Myrtle

@hot dog princess This is what comes of dating Donald Trump.

carolinaclay

IT'S SOOOO CATCHY@y

redheaded&crazy

Oof LW3! I also have a sibling sensitivity thing going on, stemming from an offhand comment some guy made to me at camp once like "you know your sister is hotter than you right?" thanks guy!

I made the terrible mistake of telling my guy friends about it in university and they were total fucking douchebags about it at every given opportunity. Actually, they were not good friends, so.

On the other hand, I told my boy I was dating over the summer about it, and his response ... she's pretty too, but I like you better.

... that in my mind is the only appropriate response. Especially when you say he is aware that you are somewhat sensitive?? Definitely bring it up and make it clear.

Renleigh

@redheaded&crazie Word. If you NEED to comment on the attractiveness level of a family member/close friend of the person you're dating, you should make it as objective as possible. Like "yes, that person is objectively good-looking, now that you mention it" and not "daaayyyuuum, she is smokin' and I wish I could get me some of that".

Hellion of Troy

@redheaded&crazie Yeah they should be like "Wow all the women in your family are so beautiful!" Cause then you can be all proud of your sisters like "Damn straight! We got good genes in this house!"

redheaded&crazy

@Hellion of Troy Yeah! I mean, the opposite situation "dude your sister is so ugly you're way hotter" I am obviously not on board with either right? It SEEMS like a delicate balance to strike but um, it's really not.

Atheist Watermelon

@redheaded&crazie LW3 resonated so strongly with me, on multiple levels... I have a sister who is the "hot one" (ergh) and I would voice this insecurity to whatever douchebag I happened to be dating at the time and then they would flirt with her in front of me anyway. (My personal fav: a male "friend" who said, "well, yeah, she got the looks, but you got the talent!" Oh wow, what a great compliment!) And yes, guys in their 20s who just say the most inappropriate shit so I have to train them and then they become much better people as a result of my training and go on to marry the girl they date right after me... Every... Single... Time... Yuck!

MilesofMountains

@redheaded&crazie My younger sister is pretty much a younger, edgier, more magnetic version of nice and responsible me. Unsurprisingly, lots of my boyfriends are attracted to her. One of them posted on a message board that he didn't know that I would see that I got the "short end of the genetic stick" looks-wise. So, you know, that hurt, but I mostly just tell myself that of course they think she's hot, she looks like me and they think I'm hot.

Hellion of Troy

@MilesofMountains So did you feed him to a tiger or what

RK Fire

@Hellion of Troy: Exactly. Also, MilesofMountains, exactly how much fire did you use to burn him?

MilesofMountains

@Hellion of Troy NO! He still doesn't know I even found the post. He'd linked me to the board for a particular post on a particular topic, and I guess didn't realize I'd be a little nuts and try to figure out which one was him, and then read all his previous posts. At the time, I decided that was "snooping" and violating his privacy and that finding out something you'd rather not know is the punishment. Now that I'm old and cranky, I don't think that'd stop me burning him with fire.

whateverlolawants

@MilesofMountains That is exactly why I rarely, if ever, link to The Hairpin on Facebook or anywhere else.

Hello Dolly

@redheaded&crazie I had a boyfriend say to me the reason my parents spoiled my younger sister was because she was the 'best chance for grandchildren.' Umm, thanks?

tactfactory

@redheaded&crazie can i jump on board this "inappropriate things people have said about your siblings and their worth relative to you" train please?

when i was in high school some friends of my parents came over with their high-school aged boys, blah blah, nothing really happened, dudes were in the house for a while, it was pretty dull. but when they were about to leave, one guy says to me (and i think truly intending it as a compliment): "you're not as nice or as smart as your sister, but you're prettier, and that's what counts."

best compliment ever?

also the general public disagreed with him on at least the prettier part.

so that's not SUPER relevant but i enjoyed saying it because what is adolescence for if not storing up such treasures?

itiresias

I do not envy the heavy lifting required in dating dudes in their 20s, because there are so many battles to fight if you want them to become men. You should do the grooming in good faith that if you stay together, he may one day be a charming and thoughtful, mature partner for you. And if you break up down the line, you've still contributed to improving the dude pool for other ladies.

I'm 23 and god, I need to hear this all the time.

Miss Maszkerádi

@itiresias Aaaand this is why I am not dating anyone. I'm 23 too and for the love of Christ, I have better things to do than patiently suffer through 23-year-old boys in the hopes that I can make them grow up enough to be remotely attractive. Call me when we're 35 and/or you've learned how to tie your own rhetorical shoelaces, boys (since I assume by now you're done wearing crocs ironically.)

iknowright

@itiresias Yeah, I'm in my late-20s and it hasn't really gotten better -- everyone I date is a total boyman. I just ended a long-term relationship because, despite loving the guy, he was just nowhere near growing up. Recently I went back to a dude's place and his bed was on the floor and the sheets were only halfway on (? Like what? The fitted sheet had only made it halfway over and the mattress was showing. As if he thought, "well it's just me, I only need half the bed, so I'll only make half the bed! Time saver! Self high-five!")!! And I mean, I stayed, but, man, judgement and the realization that I pretty much haven't met a guy in his 20s who's very put-together. I've heard stories that suggest they exist, though!

This advice is also kind of similar to what Ask Polly wrote over on The Awl a couple of weeks ago, which I think everyone needs to read/remember/copy+paste somewhere:

"Men get more sensitive and more interesting as they get older. They're also more anxious to commit, and more excited about being in love. Your boyfriend's intensity and romantic nature may seem less rare in a few years. Also? Women develop better taste in men when they're right around your age. We start to like real support, and start to dislike being ignored (enough to actually stop dating people who are indifferent to us)."

Tiktaalik

@itiresias Normally I hate to make sweeping generalizations along the lines of "this gender does this thing, and the other gender does it this other way!" However, I started dating my husband when we were 21 (we're 29 and 28 now), and we laugh about the way he/we acted at that age all the time. He totally lived like you would have expected a 21-year-old bachelor to live, and even though I fell in love with that guy and married that guy with no expectations that he would change, I will report that he happily cooks and cleans generally acts like an adult. It happens.

fondue with cheddar

@itiresias I casually dated a 22-year-old when I was a newly separated 33-year-old and WOW...that is so true. It's amazing how different men and women are at that age.

@Tiktaalik I hate sweeping generalizations too, but there are biological ways that brains develop, and there are definitely differences between the sexes then because the brain isn't fully developed until...what...25 or something? It seems like the differences are much less pronounced the older we get.

danpossiblytheman

@itiresias i, thank god, purchased an actual bed after only one year of post-college-mattress-on-floor living, so this isn't me, but my fitted sheet does not. stay. on. the dang mattress. it's a constant source of stress! especially now that i know that those girls who say 'oh it's no big deal' as i leap across the room to try and fix the sheet are in fact judging me (probably rightfully) as a boy man. horrific.

that said, nothing to get you out of bed to go to work in the morning like somehow having pulled your fitted sheet off in your sleep. i swear the sizes should match, what's the deal? help me out ladies

Tiktaalik

@fondue with cheddar I disagree with the idea that this difference is biologically based. I think it has more to do with our culture and the way many (but not all!) girls/younger women are so eager to please that they will let a lot of borderline behavior slide. I know I did it when I was younger, until I realized that I would benefit more by making my boundaries clearer - it's not really much of a relationship if you are constantly bending over backwards to accommodate some dude's immaturity in the fear that you might lose him. You teach people how to treat you by the way you respond to them.

FWIW, I agree that the way that the differences in this kind of stuff are less pronounced as we get older is more a product of EVERYBODY maturing, not just the dudes.

mackymoo

@itiresias Yeah I'm 24 and so is my boyfriend and we've been together for four years. He's pretty put together, but it's only starting to dawn on me that age might be a factor is some of the problems we encounter (um sex). I feel a little jealous of friends who go on and on about the men they're seeing who "know what they're doing in bed," when I can definitely not relate. Blah. I'm just afraid I'm stunting his growth.

fondue with cheddar

@danpossiblytheman I had a mattress on the floor after separating from my ex, and the men I entertained there didn't mind, but then again they're men so who knows.

Are you handy? Because it wouldn't be too hard to build a platform and it wouldn't cost too much. Plus they're stylish! You would have to make sure your nightstand is low though, otherwise it just looks weird.

mystique

@itiresias I think also when I DO find a twentysomething man, I realize I have to do some heavy lifting too. Like, wait a minute, we can't be sarcastic to each other all the time? I don't have to interpret your texts? You're there for me rather than just enjoying the attention?! What the what.

Also, Mindy Kaling wrote an essay in Glamour about men and boys which was spectacular.

fondue with cheddar

@Tiktaalik You're probably right, there's definitely a big cultural component. But it is true that the brain doesn't finish developing until one is in their twenties, and it's also true that girls mature more quickly than boys, I assumed that means brain development too, but my assumption could be wrong.

@mackymoo The key to knowing what you're doing in bed is practice and communication. I had a fling with a man 16 years my senior when I was in my mid-twenties, and believe it or not I had to teach him a bunch of things (including how to kiss). And wouldn't you know, he learned! Don't give up hope!

Btw, my cat's name is Moo so I like your userpic/username. :)

EM87

@itiresias Maybe this is a wild exception, but I met my boyfriend when I was 22 and he was 26 (three-ish years ago) and the first time I went back to his apartment I felt the messy immature girl-woman, because I was a grad student living at my parents to save money, and he had a job and a mortgage and framed art on his walls that was actually good. On top of that he is the loveliest person I have ever met in my life. They are rare creatures, but men with their shit together in their 20s actually exist.

Before that though I dated many, many man-children who still complained that their mom liked their brother more than them, and sincerely referred to their male friends as "their bros" and awful things like that.

thebestjasmine

@danpossiblytheman I can help! There are things called sheet fasteners or sheet suspenders that keep fitted sheets on beds (here's an example).

fondue with cheddar

@ponymalta My ex husband and I were the exact opposite ages as you when we met. I was 26 and he was 22. When we separated 7 years later he was still a man-child. Sometimes they grow up, sometimes they don't.

I have met men with their shit together in their twenties. Unfortunately it was always when I was unavailable.

wee_ramekin

@thebestjasmine Tee hee! Sheet suspenders! That's so adorable!

PatatasBravas

The sad-funny thing about this thread is that in the first letter we have evidence of a 50 year old man who takes photos of his ladyfriend when she is drunk, and doesn't notice her false laughter when she sees them.

So basically growing up is the project of a lifetime, and we all need help.

iknowright

@danpossiblytheman Hah well knowing that its inability to stay on bugs you would cancel out my judgement, so fear not! My judginess was mostly based in the fact that his bed had clearly been in that state for a very, very long time. It was the sort of bed where you wouldn't be surprised to find sand even though there's not a beach within 100 miles.

thebestjasmine's rec is what I was gonna say, too, but I also wonder -- did your fitted sheet use to fit? Like, did washing it a lot cause it to shrink, so only now that they're a little older they don't fit? I ask because I used to be obsessed with the Target brand of jersey sheets (so soft!) but they shrunk so drastically that the queen fitted sheet now barely fits on my guest full size bed. So it could be your sheets. You could solve this dilemma by always buying a size bigger than your mattress -- I like this because then the top sheet is big enough to compensate for sheet-hoggers, but not so big that it's like, falling all over the floor. And you have zero fitted-sheet issues.

Maybe the real difference between 20something men and women is that men (I know) don't care, but women (ie me) obsess over it and have long drawn out options for solutions...? Gah!

itiresias

@Countess Maritza Yeah, I know. I was single literally until this year because I always felt that way. I had the weird experience of mutually falling for my best male friend at the end of college. And now a year later I'm still adjusting to life outside of that safe realm where I had steady friends and we were all in the same life(experience)boat, to this awkward time where we're all doing different things and starting new individual lives. And by no means do I have myself figured out, and I love the shit out of that boy and he is good to and for me, but at the same time there are so many moments where it's just so weird to feel older than him in a life-sense, and have him want to be supportive, but really not get it at all.

/end rant

Hellcat

@fondue with cheddar The other day, I was thinking about this sort of thing (maturity at 23 vs. 33), but applied to marriage in general. Like how it was the norm for the parents of everyone in my age group to have gotten married at about age 20ish (I was thinking about this in the first place because I just bought a place, and people love to tell me about tax breaks and how I'd get even more of those if I were married). My BF and I are early 40s and have been together for three years, so while marriage wouldn't be crazy or anything, I still think it would be a huge deal that would feel so... big. But our parents all did it when they were 21-22--the same age I was when I was running around a campus during the grunge era doing god knows what; I can't get my head around how any of my friends back then, male or female, would be marriage appropriate at that age! And I'm happy to not still be acting the same way I did then, I still feel sort of like that person sometimes, just with better stuff and a real job...

Hellcat

@Hellcat There should have been a "but" in that last sentence after "then."

@ponymalta I am a firm believer that framing the wall hangings is a good indication of... something in the realm of maturity and god sense! I have an autographed Ramones poster that is a bit battered and would look just sad tacked to the wall. But in a frame, it is a nostalgic piece of eclectic art! And I know it's shallow but when I first met my BF, I was happy to see that his wall stuff was framed too.

Hellcat

@iknowright OH MY GOD! Isn't that so maddening? I love those sheets too but they become, like... twisted and all sorts of off-kilter after a wash or two! Ugh, I've just given up on them even though I love them.

fondue with cheddar

@Hellcat Me too! My parents got married when they were 18 and 19, and they were 25 when they had me. I'm almost the same age as you are, and I still don't feel like a grownup. And yet I'm SO OLD compared to the age my parents were when they had me, let alone the age when they got married. It's crazy.

CurlsMcGirlypants

@Hellcat Oh my god, THAT. My mother was married AND had me by the time she was 23, and it BLOWS MY MIND. I really just can't wrap my brain around it. I'm 24 now and I still can't imagine being close to ready for marriage, let alone a kid (though, I'm also on the "I'm never having a kid" bandwagon). Aghhhhhh.

Just a while back, I was dating a 22 year old and it ended disastrously. He had so many issues to deal with (many of them were just "grow up already, I'm not your damn mother" issues)--one of them being my main pet-peeve of being overly-clingy. I had an extremely busy point where I told him I wouldn't be able to go out for at least a week due to an extremely important project that my grad degree depended on, and he proceeded to text me almost every day, 3 or more times a day, asking when we were going to hang out. That was preeeetty much the end of that.

I'm seeing a lovely 30-ish year old man now that has his shit together and it's amazzzziiiing. If I ever meet the women he dated before me that did the heavy-lifting to get him to this point, I'll need to thank them.

Hellcat

@CurlsMcGirlypants It's just so weird to think about! Yet it was normal for them! And even so, I feel like if I told my parents I was getting married, they'd be happy but they'd still be like, "Are you sure, 41-year-old daughter?"

And, haha--my BF sometimes says that if he ever met my exes, he'll shake their hands and thank them.

Hellion of Troy

If he wouldn't say it to his sister, he shouldn't say it to your sister.

raised amongst catalogs

@Hellion of Troy BAM! I love this!

SarahDances

@Hellion of Troy Oooh, I like that rule! Succinct, and evocative!

purefog

@Hellion of Troy Although that doesn't make any sense, it's still exactly right, strangely enough.

Hellion of Troy

@purefog I think it does make sense though. It's like a sister-in-law thing. Makes better sense than "Oh I'm gonna creep on your little sister right in front of you because I'm 24 and apparently that's a reason now" anyway.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@Hellion of Troy I think it does! If the idea is that, while you're dating someone, you've sort of become a unit and the unit has siblings, so her siblings are your siblings and vice versa so don't be talkin' about how hot your sister is, yo.

Well, that's a little convoluted, but I stand by it.

maxine of arc

@Hellion of Troy YES. Your relationship with your partner's siblings should be siblingy, because they, like your own siblings, are COMPLETELY OFF LIMITS.

cheerybeggar

LW#4: A Dude is right! With rare exception, I feel like once you decide to dump someone, you should do it as soon as humanly possible, because there's nothing to gain from waiting. Even if he's got his tickets bought, you'll just be miserable spending the weekend waiting for "the right moment" and may even end up doing it by phone afterward.

Nocs

@cheerybeggar HEAR, HEAR. I was in that situation once, and sort-of indicated on the phone before his trip that I wanted to break up, but I didn't go through with it. So then his visit happened, and in the back of my mind I was like "why am I here, I am done with this relationship" AND THEN I ended up breaking up with him on the phone after he had gone back home.

WHY didn't I do it before his trip??

highfivesforall

@cheerybeggar Oh man, yes, please do it now, especially if they are only visiting you. If you happen to live near their family or friends who they are also visiting, you might be able to get away with doing it in person, but seriously, just do it over the phone, like, today. Don't let them get so excited about coming to see you only to have a huge disappointment, because that part is unavoidable either way.

robotosaur

@Nocs I was on the other end of that scenario (minus the pre-visit indicators, I think), but as you refer to a "he," I will assume that I, a lady, am not your ex. Because if you were MY ex, I would use this space to CHEW YOU THE FUCK OUT. Man, I was mad. I'm still mad, and it's six years later, and I am a married lady!

LW4, do it now. IF your ex travels anyway, you should not offer for him to stay with you, but you SHOULD agree to see him in person to discuss things.

Nocs

@robotosaur To clarify: What I told him was "this distance thing is killing me. I really can not do it anymore, and I needed you to know that before you wasted your time coming here." So, I tried, dammit.

But you would probably still be justified in yelling at me right now if you were, in fact, the ex in question.

LW4: Learn from my fail.

Megasus

@Nocs I would say you were pretty clear there!

rosaline

@cheerybeggar I fully agree. I have done this once--ended a long-distance relationship over the phone--and I feel it was the best choice for my situation. It's always better to get things over with sooner rather than later once you've decided, I think. Otherwise, you will just get more and more stressed out thinking about the impending break-up! And if you've been dating for a long time, I don't really see the phone as an impersonal method of communication the way it seems with someone you've recently met.

Plus, maybe he'll be able to get some of his money back if you give him enough of a head's up.

cecil hungry

@robotosaur AND you should never ever pretend everything's okay and wait til the end of the trip to break up because it will retroactively ruin the trip for him (and will already have for you) and he will spend all the time thinking about the (genuine) good times you had and whether you were faking it then, too. So, so terrible.

winslow

@cheerybeggar I would like to add to this thread the story about the time when I drove 3 hours to visit my boyfriend at his college. He had sex with me, broke up with me while I was still naked, and then I had to drive the 3 hours home. Crying. In the rain. With sticky underwear.

I would have much preferred an over-the-phone breakup before I got there. Or, you know, death.

ebgb

One of the worst break up stories I've heard was a friend who was dating a girl across country. He flew out to visit her and spend Christmas at her family's. She picked him up, broke up with him in the car, then dropped him back off at the airport. Her reasoning--she thought it was better to break up in person. Poor guy was out the flight fare, wasted his time traveling out there, then had to figure out his way home while sitting around at the airport heartbroken.

Don't be that girl.

lasso tabasco

@cecil hungry Yep. I've been on both sides of this scenario, and the one thing Ive learning is: for God's sake, break up BEFORE the trip, over the phone, as soon as possible, no matter what.

mlle.gateau

@cheerybeggar Ugh, I feel you. I got dumped right after a friend's wedding that involved a fair amount of travel. Dude tried to dump me at the wedding (classy!), and it would have been better if he'd just told me it was over earlier so I could have left his ass at home and gone to the wedding with my friends. It would have been shitty, but not as shitty as him ruining my friend's wedding.

selkie86

@cheerybeggar
I'm glad to see I'm with the consensus on ending a long distance relationship, even with travel plans. I was in long distance relationship with plans for him to come visit. I ended it a month before, but he still insisted on visiting (and I didn't want to refuse him hospitality, not when he and his family had been so generous with me). He cut his trip a few days shorter, but it was still the most heart-breakingly awkward couple of days.

AnnaBarenina

@winslow Oh god. You poor lady. I am wishing all of the bad stuff on that guy.

mochi

@winslow ugh ugh ugh, I HATE him. What a horrible person. Please tell me that karma got him and something terrible happened to him soon afterwards.

paddlepickle

@cheerybeggar Huh, I was actually glad that my long-distance boyfriend chose to let me come out there instead of breaking up with me before I came out (although he didn't exactly choose so much as wallow in indecision about whether we were breaking up, but hey). Breaking up over the phone would have felt kind of callous and emotionless to me- I was glad we had a chance to do it in person.

Decca

LW4, something similar happened to a friend of mine, except it was the traveller who was the one doing the breaking-up. She went on the (booked months in advance) trans-Atlantic trip to visit him and told him she thought they should break up on her first night there. They spent the rest of her visit hanging out very awkwardly - she had no place else to stay - and then went back home. It was awful and messy and broke his heart way more than it would have if she'd done it over the phone.

Hellion of Troy

@Decca Yeah the solution here is break up over the phone and then change your travel plans from boyfriend visit to single-gal-whirlwind-travel-adventure!

Titania

@Decca That happened to me except on the opposite side--I got dumped on a mountaintop in Gstaad, Switzerland on a beautiful summer day. Then I had to sit through the long drive back to Geneva, dinner that night, sleepover/angry sex later that night, brunch the next day, the trip to the airport, and then the goodbye where HE burst into tears because he was so sad. The only positive was that I was so pissed, I lost all my inhibitions and spoke French (one of the points of contention in our relationship being my terribleness at learning languages) as fluently as I have ever spoken it for about 18 hours. It's funny now, but I SO could have just taken the flight, caught an EasyJet to Paris, and had a fantastic weepy breakup time eating entire loaves of bread.

Megasus

@Decca Or stayed in Switzerland and ate the entire country's supply of chocolate!

questingbeast

I think the answer to 2 is a bit harsh to the boyfriend. It seems a bit disconnected as well- 'oh it's a red flag', then 'but it's not if he didn't realise'. But the LW clearly said already he doesn't realise it's a big thing for her, because they haven't discussed it. And if someone doesn't have a drinking problem, then getting falling-over drunk is just a silly thing to do and a fairly legitimate thing to take the piss out of them for, in my opinion. The LW should definitely talk to him, but why are she and the Dude expecting him to be some sort of mind-reader?

SarahDances

@questingbeast I can imagine scenarios where what he did was totally in good fun, and other scenarios where it was mean-spirited. It's impossible to know from the context, other than what we have, which is that the LW felt bad about it. It really could go either way, but I think a Dude was correct in saying it needs to be addressed if she wants to move forward.

Bloodrocuted

@questingbeast I don't date or anything, but for me, it's really rude way to take advantage of someone like that. I wouldn't secretly take an unflattering picture of anyone I respect, and definitely not laugh about it.

KatieBarTheDoor

@questingbeast Yes, this is the only place where I disagree with Dude. It can't be a red flag, really, if it's touching a nerve of hers but he has no idea that the nerve exists (and shouldn't be expected to, in this case). Upsetting to her personally: yes, and should be addressed, but not a red flag.

bitzyboozer

@questingbeast I could see a scenario in which it would be ok...like if it was a super well-established relationship and he knew all her friends really well. The fact that he did it when he had literally just met them is a bit troubling to me. But nobody's perfect, we all have bad judgment sometimes--depending on how he responds when called out, I don't necessarily think it's a dealbreaker.

questingbeast

@SarahDances Maybe. It just seems off to me that the Dude immediately leapt to the worst-case case scenario, and then backpedalled slightly; I would have thought it called more for a benefit of the doubt response with a caveat. I mean, if she tells him about her stuff and he's a jerk about it, then he's a jerk; I don't see why they're judging hypothetical future-jerkiness without any past-jerk evidence (it seems significant that friends thought it was just funny). I think the LW is right in the last paragraph when she says she's fixating on his behaviour to avoid thinking about other things.

KatieBarTheDoor

@KatieBarTheDoor Though @bloodrocuted brings up the point that that sort of thing might be upsetting for lots of people, so. Reddish flag? Pink flag?

questingbeast

@Bloodrocuted @bitzyboozer Fair enough; perhaps I'm just undersensitive about it. I see that sort of thing in normal circumstances as a bit of an equaliser- like 'ha that's embarrassing, better reign it in a bit next time!'

fabel

@bitzyboozer I think it actually makes sense that he did this on a first-time meeting-- people do that whole bonding-by-making-fun-of-the-one-person-we-both-know thing all the time.

Lily Rowan

@KatieBarTheDoor A red flag isn't a dealbreaker, though -- it's just a warning sign. So she talks to the man and sees how he reacts. THEN she decides if it's a dealbreaker. (But seriously, a grown man who would do that seems like a dealbreaker to me regardless of her issues.)

KatieBarTheDoor

@Lily Rowan Right, I agree about warning sign vs dealbreaker. It also does seem strange for a guy in his 50s to do that, but my guess would be that he felt a little nervous about the age difference and meeting her friends for the first time, so he tried to fit in the best he could.

thebestjasmine

@KatieBarTheDoor Hmm, but I would say if his version of fitting in is joining in to humiliate her in front of her friends, that's a red flag all right. Especially since he's in his fifties, seriously? If everyone was in college, then that would be one thing, but he seems way too old for that to be in the realm of funny.

PatatasBravas

@thebestjasmine My thoughts exactly. The story didn't surprise me, exactly, because lots of people take photos of other people who are drunk. But to take a photo of your ladyfriend, when she is falling down drunk, when her friends are laughing at her and you don't know her friends that well? This seems like a stupid, thoughtless time to take a photo and laugh along with them.

nik
nik

@questingbeast To be fair, if she was falling-down drunk, he was probably a bit drunk too. Like, maybe he didn't display the soundest judgement ever, but is that so surprising, given the context?

I did the same thing to my boyfriend in the early days of our relationship. I didn't realize that he might find it embarrassing, as I really wasn't thinking at all; also, we didn't know each other all that well yet. Later we talked about it and everything was all right and I wouldn't do the same thing again.

Lily Rowan

Ah! I was so excited to see A Dude at all -- I had nearly forgotten that was a thing here! -- and this one is great.

PistolPackinMama

@Lily Rowan Agreed!

TheBelleWitch

I know we're all extending adolescence until we get our first set of dentures, and that's cool, but is 24 really too young to know not to comment on your girlfriend's sister's hotness in front of both of them? This is not that fucking complicated, people.

I'm in my late 20s and past most of this shit, but it retrospectively depresses me that early to mid-20s ladies apparently have to instruct their partners in basic etiquette.

yeah-elle

@TheBelleWitch 24 is certainly old enough to understand basic etiquette. You're right, it is not that complicated and it infuriates me that this is a pretty solidly gender-divided issue. Say what you will about boys and girls maturing at different rates, but 24, people. TWENTY-FOUR. Stop excusing the bad behavior of the young men in your life. They should know it already, but if they somehow don't, they're not going to magically realize they're acting like pre-teen turds unless you tell them.

honey cowl

@TheBelleWitch I was thinking the same thing. My boyfriend and I are 23 and 24, and he knows that shit don't fly. Because he is a good person.

olivebee

@TheBelleWitch Yeah, I agree. I think twenties is plenty old enough to know how to not be an asshole. But, I may be clouded by my own experience, which is that my husband and I are 25, we got married at 23, and started dating at 17. And he is the single-most loyal person I have ever known, with better etiquette than my 66 year old father.

I think that while some people will grow out of being a jerk (male and female), some people just stay that way because it's ingrained in their personalities.

noReally

FWIW, girl who gets too drunk, I thought the punch line was going to be, "And he told me he didn't want a girlfriend with a drinking problem and dumped me."

chalkjock

@noReally No, in the months between when I sent this in and now, I've come to discover that he's an aging party dude, really fun, generous, compassionate, and totally adoring. I was really scared he was going to say that, too. I think he really had no idea that would be a soft spot for me. Alas, I told him he pissed me off, and he was appropriately contrite. Here's to a cool future.

I'm Not Rufus

@chalkjock Awesome! That was my hunch from reading the letter. I'm glad things are working out for you!

Shara

Oh no. LW#1 just made me sob deeply in the privacy of my office. I'm two years divorced, and just got out of a ~15 month relationship with my unexpected rebound-turned real relationship, with a dude that I fell totally crazy in love with. Reasons for the breakup were complicated, but it definitely wasn't my idea and it wasn't because things were going swimmingly. It's been a month, and although I'm still sobbing openly, I'm going on my first OKC date tonight (with ZERO expectations-- just trying to get through a couple drinks without oversharing or crying). I have no advice for LW1 because I am obviously miserable at situations like this and have no idea how to do things like protect my heart, or take my time, or use my damn head. Good luck, lady. These are tricky waters to navigate.

paper bag princess

@Shara I don't have any advice for you, but good luck! I admire the guts it takes to even show up for an OKC date. I hope the dude is kind, and if not, that the drinks are strong.

taco-salad dot com

@Shara While I've yet to be married, my boyfriend of a year and a half, who I fully believed was the man I was going to marry someday, very suddenly ended our relationship without warning or explanation at the beginning of November. I still cry every day too, but I am going on my first post-breakup OKC date *tomorrow* night, for pretty much the same reasons. Just wanting to wish you luck as well. It's so hard to know what we're supposed to do to move on and feel better.

PomoFrannyGlass

@faceifer Hang in there, guys. Been there, and this is exactly (only?) what OKC is good for.

cinnamonskin

@PomoFrannyGlass OKC is for looking at post-divorce/breakup cutie pies like they're baseball cards, and the funny OKC data nerd blog.

Hear hear to the boys being kind and the drinks strong. Hang in there, my dears.

redheaded&crazy

Oh my god also I would flip the fuck out on somebody who waited until after I travelled all the way to see them to break up with them. FLIP. THE FUCK. OUT.

it would not be pretty. it would be EMBARRASSING. it would become my one (let's be real: of many) deep shame that not only did I get broken up with after spending all that time and money, but I caused a scene flipping a table over or whatever the hell bullshit my out of control hormonal ANGER RESPONSE MECHANISMS would pull.

soooo for your (and his) emotional health of not experiencing that, although I'm sure you are dating somebody far more well-adjusted than me ... do it now, for the love of god.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@redheaded&crazie

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

redheaded&crazy

@MoxyCrimeFighter it looks so awesome in ASCII but would be so brutal in real life.

me: ha ha ha oh remember that time I flipped a table over?!
friends: yeah ... that wasn't funny. still isn't. you need help.
me: HE WAS BREAKING UP WITH ME AFTER I ...
friends: *shake heads* nuh uh girl.

redheaded&crazy

@MoxyCrimeFighter seriously though I wish I could like that little guy at least twenty more times.

@redheaded&crazie I am right there with you. RIGHT THERE. And I would make the dumper buy me a ticket home RIGHT THEN AND THERE and reimburse me for my original trip and it would get very ugly very quickly.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@redheaded&crazie But it looks so impressive on Real Housewives of New Jersey!

...Oh, wait, you DON'T want to look like a lunatic. Sorry, never mind.

Judith Slutler

@redheaded&crazie RIGHT??? LW, please dump this dude over the phone!

Hellcat

@MoxyCrimeFighter I know it's terrible, but that scene is one of my favorite things. I watch it when I'm grumpy and I always feel better!

fondue with cheddar

@redheaded&crazie One time a little boy I was babysitting flipped over a table. Granted, it was only a small plastic kid-sized table, but it was scary nonetheless. Though not as scary as the event that led to it, which was him trying to strangle me. Like...seriously pressing-my-windpipe strangling. What do you do in that situation? He was four! I sent him to his room, which made him mad, hence the table-flipping.

I did not babysit him again.

paper bag princess

LW4, definitely do it now. I was in a similar situation and it feels really shitty to be dumped, but it feels even shittier to realize that the other person has been wanting to dump you for a long time. If you guys talk about it and he still decides that he wants to make the trip to see you a last time/gain some closure or something, that's one thing, but you can't surprise him with a breakup when he arrives.

It's not going to magically resolve itself once he gets there and you see each other. Once you're apart again you'll just go right back to feeling the same way you feel now. Better to deal with it now, as tough as it is.

Passion Fruit

Letter #3 made me reflexively cringe with insecurity, which quickly boiled over into rage. Sorry, letter writer, your boyfriend's a moron in this instance.

And yes, 20-something men (AND WOMEN, women aren't saintly angels) need time to incubate in their own dumbness and immaturity before they hatch into better adults, but ugh. This offhand remark would totally give me a complex that would be too hard to get over.

But then again, I'm also still in the incubation period of my 20s, and I habitually take everything 2 SRSLY. Perhaps when I'm older, wiser (crossing fingers), and more experienced, I'd let it roll off my back. Until then, though, it's neurotic basket case time, all the time.

queenofbithynia

@Passion Fruit yeah but don't worry, you may be neurotic now but soon a boy will take you under his wing and groom you into an acceptable mate for him and his brethren.

GROOM.

Passion Fruit

Actually, scratch that. It's not neurotic to be like, "Hey dude, you got a twofer going on: you're being both gross and hurtful. Knock that shit off."

Calling out boyfriends on their inexcusable nonsense is a sign of self-respect and growing up. I think this should be reframed as less about helping him grow into a respectable, decent man and more about you growing into a self-respecting, boundary-enforcing woman. Practice early and often, lady, and you will be awesome.

Passion Fruit

@queenofbithynia

Yes, can't wait! And there's quite a bit of grooming to do here, as I routinely tell my boyfriend that his brother is Triple T HOTTT. He loves it; I can tell because he cries tears of joy.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@Passion Fruit Right? Not my job to teach you how to be a human being - I'm responsible for doing that for myself and any offspring, only. If I whip a dude into shape as a by-product of learning to be awesome, then great, but I ain't afraid to leave 'em by the side of the road if they're slowing down the Radmobile.

...I think I might still be drunk, what am I even talking about.

yeah-elle

@Passion Fruit Maybe it's also cause I'm also in my incubation-20s, but I'm saying hell no to the thought of letting bad behavior just roll on by.

Regarding the ladies...Ladies aren't saintly angels but I realized I was far more likely to call out female friends on their shit. Why would I stop a friend with, "Why would you say that?" but not a dude? Because I'd internalized that "boys will be boys" bullshit. NOPE. It's been a few years since I stopped letting that shit fly regardless of gender and I'm personally much happier.

rosaline

@yeah-elle Ugh. Yes. I do NOT understand why anyone thinks it is a girlfriend's responsibility to teach her boyfriend manners. Those should already have been learned before either of them were released into the dating world.

I remember a former boyfriend and I being late to a race of his in college (his fault). The coach took me aside and said, "Looks like you need to train him up!" I broke up with that boyfriend about two weeks later for other reasons, but realizing no one would make that statement about him to me again has always been a weight off my mind!

cinnamonskin

@MoxyCrimeFighter I love this so much. Hop in the Radmobile, or get out the damn way. I want to emblazon this on a t-shirt and sell it on Bourbon Street.

queenofbithynia

I do not envy the heavy lifting required in dating dudes in their 20s, because there are so many battles to fight if you want them to become men. You should do the grooming in good faith that if you stay together, he may one day be a charming and thoughtful, mature partner for you.

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

ha ha but seriously NO NO NO NO NO. I am in my 30s now so I am not just knee-jerkedly defending my age-peers or something. Anybody who tells you that older men are better partners than younger men is either an old man trying to get you to sleep with him, a young man trying to smarm his way out of acting like a human and counting on you being young and foolish enough to buy it, or a woman with a terrible boyfriend trying to rationalize it by pretending that all men in that age bracket are equally inadequate so what's the use.

You aren't his mom, and when you date a nice man you don't have to thank all his previous girlfriends for fixing him for you because they weren't his mom either. OR HIS DAD.

Hellion of Troy

@queenofbithynia YUP. Being 20 is maybe an excuse for...not knowing who Chaka Khan is or how a 401k works, but it ain't an excuse for being a jerk. Jerks are timeless.

honey cowl

@queenofbithynia Thank God you already said this 1000x better than I would have!

MoxyCrimeFighter

Erm, yeah. I mean, I think getting older will impart a certain maturity and growth, but really, that only happens to people who are able to learn from their mistakes and change. Certain jerky traits are inborn in some people, and it's not your job to go around re-painting the leopards like you're Alice in Wonderland being ordered about by the Queen of Heart/Vaginas.

Passion Fruit

@queenofbithynia Hell. Yes. Thank you.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@queenofbithynia TRUTH.

Decca

@Hellion of Troy Nothing is an excuse for not knowing who Chaka Khan is

Hellion of Troy

@Decca True, but at least introducing your significant other to the mysteries of Chaka Khan would be fun.

Shara

@queenofbithynia Yes ma'am.

oldtobegin

@Hellion of Troy jerks are timeless, BUT! lots of people - of all genders! - who are jerks in their 20s really do grow out of it. early 20s is an exceptionally jerky time. it's not an excuse for anything, but it does mean that it's harder to weed out the people who are inherently jerky (as @moxycrimefighter says) and people who are just going through a bad phase.

Beatrix Kiddo

@queenofbithynia Seriously, I've dated juvenile 40-year-olds and very mature 25-year-olds. It definitely depends on the person and can't just be correlated with age.

Megasus

@Beatrix Kiddo My ex-bf definitely became much more of a jerk as time went on.

MilesofMountains

@queenofbithynia Yes, the few older guys I've dated have been total man-children, and I don't know why I was surprised because who else would want to spend their time dating girls in their early twenties and hanging out with their first-year-undergrad friends?

I do hate the idea that women have to work on young men just to make them decent people, but I do think it's easier being in a relationship with guys who have done a longish relationship before. For me, at least, getting "good" at relationships takes some time and experience in deprograming myself from the societal messages I absorbed growing up about how relationships are "supposed" to work and figuring out how they will actually work for me. I'm definitely a better girlfriend now than when I was 20, because I know what I want and can ask for it. BUT I would have never done something as mean as hitting on a partner's sibling in front of them.

queenofbithynia

@Beatrix Kiddo Yeah but -- and I am not just wandering around looking for things to object to, I swear -- younger people really are usually less mature, experienced and generally together than older people, that's totally normal. I just don't admit any relationship between immaturity and being a dick. I was immature in my 20s and I made a lot of bad life decisions and did a lot of silly things, but I wasn't cruel to people and I didn't sleaze on their siblings. You know?

I know a few young-20s guys and to a man-boy, they are painfully, puppyishly immature and insecure, but they are also all pretty nice, decent people who think a lot about other people's feelings. Too much if you ask me. I don't date younger because I just cannot handle the sweetness.

highfivesforall

@Decca Is it bad that I routinely confuse Chaka Khan and Charo in my head?

Fodforever

@queenofbithynia Right? Remember how in Harry Potter, Harry asks Sirius why he (and Harry's dad) were such epic pricks when they were teens picking on Snape? And Sirius is all:

"Oh, well we were 15! Lol, just being 15-year-olds!"

And Harry is all "I'M 15, and I would never pull that shit!"

And Sirius was just like *cough* "Gotta go!"

Also that bullshit about Romney cutting his schoolmate's hair and how it was just school-boy fun?

So yeah, age is never an excuse to be a fucktard... I guess those were just the things I thought of, and I decided to comment them since I haven't commented in a while... stupid new job where I can't read The Hairpin all day T__T

Reginal T. Squirge

"you don't have to thank all his previous girlfriends for fixing him for you"

WORD.

queenofbithynia

@queenofbithynia and in my capacity as nobody's mommy, and having read all the rest of the comments, I would like to say for posterity that I don't give a shit how some dude makes his bed or what kind of furniture he chooses to have IN HIS FUCKING PRIVATE PERSONAL BEDROOM SPACE, jesus christ.

signed, a lady with a gorgeous impeccably decorated apartment who sleeps on a mattress on a box spring (on clean sheets, under a fancy duvet), does not own a dining table, and does not wish to. and even if I did, I would not give a fuck if a boyfriend did or didn't, or call him a man-boy if his sheets sprung off the corners. Jesus fucking christ.

BECAUSE I'M NOT HIS MOM.

the end

cinnamonskin

@Decca KHAAAAAAAAAAAN

timesnewroman

@queenofbithynia I really do want to fall on you weeping with gratitude for these comments, the Dude's answer to that question made me so miserable. I am 23 and I don't really want to go out with someone ten years older than me just so that I can be treated decently.

I don't want to spend the next decade "training" people. I feel that as a young woman I don't have the excuse of immaturity anywhere near as much as young men do, and I don't want it! Why would I? I suppose I'm not that old but all the comments of "haha 23 you're such a baby" are irritating, it's not old but it's not that young either, you've been out of school for years, you're way too old to be pulling that shit.

I also raised my eyebrows at all the comments re: fitted sheet choice. That's not what we mean when we talk about immaturity.

Slutface

@timesnewroman That answer made me roll my eyes too. I thought it said a lot about what A Dude thinks the roles of men and women are in relationships. Basically he thinks women are just mothers or manic pixie dream girls.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Slutface
Just wanted to say that, every time I see an ad for the Microsoft Surface, I read it as your username!

Slutface

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll The Slutface works on multiple platforms. Haha!

thatgirl

LW4, I had a boyfriend while I was in college who drove four hours each way under false pretenses tow break up with me.

Twice, because he couldn't man up and do it the first time. The second time, we spent the whole day together and he didn't tell me until it was almost dark and we were cuddling in my bed and I tried to initiate sex.

Mostly I just needed to get that story out because I have been realizing how terribly I have been treated by men in my past recently.

But seriously. A phone call is always better than feeling screwed over. Just do it. With enough time that he can possibly work something out with the airline to postpone/switch the flight/get some credit with the airline/something.

iceberg

@thatgirl FIRE.

fondue with cheddar

Before I read this I just have to say AAAAAHHHHH I HAVE SUCH A WEAKNESS FOR DUDES WITH BROWN, CURLY, MOPPY HAIR probably thanks to this guy.

Megasus

@fondue with cheddar me too fondue, me too

fondue with cheddar

@Megano! YOU RHYMED :D

noodge

@fondue with cheddar in the "i need you tonight" video? unnnffff, the first time this girl got tingly, fo sho.

fondue with cheddar

@noodge Me toooooooo! I'm getting tingly just thinking about it. He was definitely my first sexy grown-up crush.

Regina Phalange

@fondue with cheddar YEP. I spent alllllll of "Lola Versus" just being like, "GIVE ME ALL THE HAMISH LINKLATERS. ALL OF 'EM."

fondue with cheddar

@Regina Phalange He's cute, but his hair needs to be longer and moppier.

I had such a crush on Sayid when I was watching Lost, but then Desmond came along and I didn't know what to do! CAN I JUST HAVE BOTH THANKS

klpencil

"and thinking Malcolm Gladwell is a genius."

wait can someone explain this part to me?

Beatrix Kiddo

@klpencil I definitely can't explain it. What does A Dude have against Malcolm Gladwell?

@klpencil Everyone I've ever met who was on the "Malcolm Gladwell is a PURE GENIUS OMFG" train was kind of a tool. Malcolm Gladwell is just fine, but genius, no.

iceberg

@klpencil No, because I'd have to Google to find out who that even is.

klpencil

@S. Elizabeth hah. you're so right. thank you.

purefog

@Beatrix Kiddo Well, for one thing, he can't spell "woof." I learned this from his Intro to the New Yorker Book of Dogs. He spells it "whoof." I mean. . . .no.

smidge

Not to be totally mercenary, but I like the dude's point to LW4 about saving the boyfriend money. I mean, maybe he's rich, but if I spent hard-earned money just to go get dumped, I would be extra upset.

The Lady of Shalott

Idiots are idiots at every age. I have known lots of together, sensible teenagers and 20somethings, and I have known some complete messes of 30somethings and 40somethings and 50somethings.

People of every age get foot-in-mouth disease or "brain disconnected from mouth" disease. Shit, it happens to me all the time! I say all KINDS of stupid shit. I'd hope that my boyfriend or friends or family would (and they do) call me on it to say "hey, that was idiotic" and I could say "yeah I knew it as soon as it came out of my mouth."

JFC, idiocy is not restricted by age group!

Regina Phalange

@The Lady of Shalott Exactly. Also, I know a LOT of lady "kidults" who are in some serious denial about it. Adulthood is hard, I read no fewer than two blogs about how to do it successfully (UFYH and Adulting)!

.abbey

LW#4: a year or two ago I was in a relationship with a very nice, very sweet guy who was very much in love with me. I don't mean that to sound arrogant, it just was true. For lots of reasons, I didn't love him back the same way and I knew I had to end it. However, I came to this decision about three days before Valentine's day, and he was going home for the two days in between. The next time I could see him would be on THE WORLD'S MOST ROMANTIC DAY (TM). I can't break up with him over the phone, I thought, that's too cruel! And I can't break up with him in person on Valentine's day, because that's also too cruel. What I wish someone had told me was: there's never a good time for this. Really, seriously. There will always be a birthday, or a Christmas, or a holiday together, or they have stress at work, or you have a family problem or any of the million reasons that make it harder to do something that's hard. But NOT doing it, and lying to someone you're trying to protect- that's the really bad thing. Because you aren't protecting them. It's not coming from a selfless place - it's coming from a scared place that wants to make a hard thing easier, when it can't ever really be easier, it can only be done with compassion.

What ended up happening to me was, I ignored him all weekend and was cold and vague about making plans. On Valentine's day, I told him I'd be "busy all day, sorry" and ignored all his calls. I was having a cigarette outside my university before a lecture when he finally tracked me down and said "Jesus Christ, if you want to break up with me, break up with me! This is so painful and confusing" and I just felt so terrible. I had not just hurt him, I'd run away from the situation and forced him to deal with it instead. And then he left me, and the couple beside me exchanged flowers and gifts and hugged each other and then I had to go to a lecture for two hours and know that I'd broken his heart int he worst way I could.

It's never a good time, but you have to do it anyway - gently, of course - because that's the right thing.

fondue with cheddar

@.abbey I broke up with a boyfriend in high school over the phone on his birthday. I felt really bad (and people thought I was a jerk) but it felt wrong to wait.

Several years later I broke up with a dude right before he gave me a Christmas present. He made me take the present anyway and I felt like an ass. But again, it felt wrong to wait.

My ex husband never thought there was a good time to break up with me, so he waited (years) until fate forced his hand. That is the wrong way to do it.

whateverlolawants

@.abbey That reminds me of when a guy I was dating (not for very long, so it wasn't serious) got super evasive around Valentine's Day and then I had to force it out of him a few days later that he wanted to stop seeing me. It wasn't fun. But I know how it happens. It's really hard to dump someone. :(

roadtrips

@.abbey I broke up with my ex boyfriend exactly in between Valentine's Day, our anniversary, and his birthday. Before I finally did it, I had been waiting for Christmas and New Year's to be over, and then spent several completely miserable months summoning the courage to end things. Breakups are always unpleasant, but faking it is even worse.

sognodisonno

@.abbey As someone who has been dumped on my birthday - I must disagree,

I've read/heard before that when people get pissed off about the way they're broken up with, they're almost always just pissed off that they got broken up with at all. While this is often true, I can say with certainty that many months later, I no longer care in the least about the guy who dumped me/being dumped, but I'm still pissed that my birthday was ruined cause dude couldn't wait until the day after to have that conversation.

No, there's never a good time to break up with sometime. But there are definitely some times that are considerably better than others and it's worth it to have some tact in approaching these things.

90s Hits

LW4! I was stuck in a dead (on my end) relationship months before it ended, mostly on account of the classic/misguided "wait and hope that everything resolves itself during the visit". I did that for many visits, in fact. Like yours, mine had been long distance for a while and would be for a while longer, and I was spent, hurt and feeling taken for granted.

After weeks of alternating between emotionally exhausting circular discussions and pretend-nothing's-wrong chit chats, I totally gave up and went ahead with our scheduled Christmas trip. Guess what! Worst idea! Things did not resolve themselves, I was miserable, he missed his flight home and I couldn't even break up with him at the airport because we instead had to SPEND AN EXTRA NIGHT TOGETHER AT THE AIRPORT HOTEL. I was in tears of frustration when he finally left and we didn't even break up. I could only endure one more month after that, and ended it over the phone (sidenote: this is 100% acceptable in many LDR circumstances).

If your boyfriend has yet to give you reason to believe that things actually could improve in the near future, you're waiting for nothing. I waited for nothing and that's a holiday I could have spent having a Resident Evil movie marathon that I'll never get back. End it sooner than later, and make it less painful for both of you.

VoxPopuli

LR #2. Everything you describe sounds so familiar to me - the backsliding to the dark place, the shame in the morning and then questioning whether this guy is a jerk or not (he is).
Which is my way of saying that I quit drinking years ago and my life really did get better, and more importantly I stopped wanting to be around people who treated me poorly. So, you say you are working on it, and that's amazing. If you work on healing yourself, you will want to surround yourself with better people. This guy was an insensitive jerk - why would he humiliate you in front of your friends - who he just met - on your birthday?
Sorry if I am projecting. I don't judge others' drinking, but I related a lot to what you wrote and it reminded me of my life as it was. I hope you find yourself in a happier place soon whatever you do.

VoxPopuli

@VoxPopuli Uh, LW #2, I mean. I never catch these things before my window to edit expires.

adorable-eggplant

@VoxPopuli Yea. I think red flag is not a strong enough word for someone who humiliates someone who has a problem with drinking.

This person does not sound like the right person to be with if you want to have a healthy supportive partner in the whole healthy moderate drinking endeavor. I just cannot even express how pissed I am on your behalf at what seems to me to be a pretty big betrayal of trust.

noodge

LW1: I have a metaphor for relationships and how they intertwine with self and how that impacts managing breakups and new relationships... bear with me:

we're all like a piece of woven cloth, and these threads that make up the cloth are parts of us, parts of our family, parts of our friends, and parts of our lovers. when you're especially close with someone, their threads have woven through some of the central parts of your cloth. when that person leaves, through death or breakup or alien abduction or whatever, the threads are gone and you're left with a sort of weakened, loosey goosey cloth area where those threads have disappeared.
When we're fresh out of this loss, the desire to fill these loosey areas with new threads from new people is really strong, so strong that we'll generally be more open to deep relationships before we know the other people well enough to know if they're worth it/honorable/kind/"right". we just want to reinforce that cloth again because it doesn't feel right to have it unwoven.

So, I would recommend taking it slow, so you have the time to know this guy well enough to make sure he's a solid dude. I went careening through a few wild/bad relationships and dating scenarios after my divorce (10 year marriage, lots of unwoven shit in my life at that point) and I'm thanking my lucky stars that I didn't get too serious with any of them because it would have taken my life from frustrating and upsetting to disastrous.

(ETA: the first dude I had sex with after my ex, about 2 months post-separation - like WHOAH. I found myself in bed afterwards, after the best sex I'd had in over a DECADE, feeling my emotions unreasonably growing extremely fond of the dude - to me, it felt like i was just so accustomed to feeling a deep connection with someone that it was very easy for another person, regardless of how appropriate, to fill in those gaps)

astrangerinthealps

@noodge I really know what you mean about the insta-connection with the first person you have sex with after separating. I had been so young when I got married, and I'd had mostly good luck with boys up to that point, that I never realized that just because you connect when you're naked doesn't mean you like each other and should share affection outside of bed. With the first new person in 10+ years, I just defaulted to the usual schmooping, and it was an embarrassing but valuable lesson to learn that love and sexual chemistry don't always go hand in hand. I had probably stayed in the marriage way too long for just that reason, because I was afraid of what I'd learn out in the real world, but now I can't imagine how I could still stand to live if I hadn't ripped off that Bandaid.

packedsuitcase

@noodge I know exactly what you mean about that first post-breakup hook up. I hooked up with (didn't have sex with, but slept over, did other stuff, yada yada yada) a guy I didn't even really like as a person and then suddenly was in crush central for no good reason other than he picked me up and threw me on the bed and then pinned my wrists down. This is not a valid basis for anything except more sexy times.

fabel

I really wish there was context for the "mentioning my sister's hot in conversation with both of us" letter. I feel like this may be a totally innocent passing comment that the LW turned into "oh my god...IT'S HAPPENING. HE WANTS MY SISTER, NOT ME." Which is understandable if the sister is commonly known as "the cute one", but it kind of matters in judging whether the bf is a thoughtless ass or not.

fondue with cheddar
MoxyCrimeFighter

@fondue with cheddar Annnd dooon't forgetttttt...to GIVE ME BACK MY BLACK T-SHIRT!

fondue with cheddar

@MoxyCrimeFighter :D

I'm pretty sure I said that once, just for fun, after amicably breaking up with someone.

astrangerinthealps

"thinking Malcolm Gladwell is a genius"

Oh, A Dude. This makes me really like you. It also makes me think twice about the dude with whom I'll be traveling soon, after years of unrequited crushing. I don't know just how highly he thinks of MG, but when I saw this it brought back a faint memory of his mentioning him positively in a Facebook post. At the time I was like, "Oh, it's just as well that it will never happen, because Malcolm Gladwell." Now that I'm kind of excited that he's willing to cross state boundaries with me, I'm trying my best not to remember that fully. I guess if something goes right between us, then I'll be happy that the Gladwell Rule was wrong. And if it doesn't, well, then I'll keep the Gladwell Rule in mind for next time.

nikibee

To LW1- Only you know when you are ready to get back on that horse again. I was in a very similar situation to you, in a bad, negletful marriage, unhappy for a long time. By the time I finally left, I was well over my ex and most of my sadness came from mourning the lost possibilities of the relationship, not from ending it.

I started dating right away through OKC, like before he even moved out of the house. I figured that I had just spent the last year and a half of my life sitting around the house, crying and feeling bad. Even though I wasn't in the greatest place emotionally the best thing for me was to get out of the house, enjoy myself, meet new people and laugh a lot. I was very careful to tell all my dates my situation and for some it was a deal breaker and for others it wasn't. I did some things I regret but no one died or went to jail, and I also had a lot of fun as well.

Eventually I met my now-fiance and things started getting serious. I was very very nervous that he would turn out to be an undercover jerk, mainly because I didn't trust my ability to read people after what had happened with my ex. In the end I came to the conclusion that there was always going to be a risk to loving some one. They may not turn out to be who I thought they were or they may change dramatically. They may not love me the way I love them and may never be capable of doing so. But to avoid the potential of being hurt I would also have to avoid the potential of experiencing great joy. Most of the things in life that bring us the most joy also come with a risk, and in the end I decided that it was worth taking it.

Most people will tell you to avoid dating for a long time after a tramatic break up, but I think everyone is different. For me, dating was the best thing that I could have done and I don't regret it at all, especially because I knew that I still wanted to get married and have children even though it wasn't with my ex. Before entering a dating relationship you should examine your motives, but if you are comfortable with them there is no need for you to have to justify them to anyone else, even well meaning friends and family. In the end, only you know if you are ready to date and if the risk is worth it to you.

Sorry this is so long and personal, but reading LW1 really brought me back to that time in my life and I just wanted to share that there isn't one "right" way to recover from a break up.

Judith Slutler

@nikibee Yes, word.

TARDIStime

@nikibee I love this so much!

Mr. Kitty

LW1: Don't pay attention to the judgey side-eyes following your post-divorce actions. Every situation is different and everyone moves on at their own pace. Sure, there is a Standard Pace and if someone moves faster than that, their loved ones freak out. Just don't stop this fun, good thing you have with this new guy because of what other people think. Maybe they're right, but who cares? They have an equal chance of being wrong.

I "rushed" into my current relationship a little over a month after getting assaulted by my long-term boyfriend. We had been together for several years, I was on my way out, he got depressed and I got hurt in the process. The month following the assault is a time period that I will never forget and can't really explain. It changed me forever. I did yoga for hours every day. I reconnected with old friends. I worked on myself. I figured out why my last relationship was wrong and what I needed in the future. Petty things seemed really stupid. I cried and I mourned and I wrote wrote wrote and I grew a lot as a person. And then I got bored and met someone online and we fell in love pretty fast. He knew my situation right off the bat and he didn't mind. We fell HARD for each other and people are probably STILL judging me- waiting for this relationship to crash and burn. To be honest, I knew that was a possibility from the very beginning. I knew that maybe I was rushing things and maybe it would end horribly, but it felt right at the time. Almost 5 months later, we're still very happy together.

So just HAVE FUN and listen to your feelings. It sounds like you're DUE for a happy relationship, however casual it ends up being. If it feels right, then it probably is. And if it doesn't work out? Know that it helped you in the process of finding a relationship that will.

Stacy Worst

@Mr. Kitty Thank you. I am in what you might have called a "rebound" relationship for 2.5 years now. I spent so many months where my number one worry about the whole situation was whether I was rushing into things too fast. It was just this meta-worry, mostly about what I thought I *should* do or feel. I guess that kind of questioning was healthy, in a way, but also I just wish I had stopped ruminating about it all the time.

Judith Slutler

So, the drunk picture thing really skeezed me out and I definitely agree with the Dude. LW it doesn't really matter whether this is objectively a "red flag" or not, you realize that it brought you down and made you feel shitty in a way that might jeopardize all the awesome stuff you are trying to do with your life right now. I think it's worth having a serious conversation with him if you are comfortable doing so, but yikes - I can understand if you feel like this incident calls into question whether he's someone you can trust with such personal information. Good luck, and above all, care for yourself!

adorable-eggplant

@Emmanuelle Cunt Seconded! And it was your freakin' birthday. That kills me and breaks my heart and makes me wanna kick this insensitive dude for real.

saul "the bear" berenson

LW4 - end it now. I have a friend who was in your shoes a long time ago, and went through with a trip where both parties traveled to spend time together because it seemed to him like the more right, nicer thing to do. He finally broke it off at the end of the trip, and things got really dramatic and awful. This was years ago, and I think my friend still really regrets it, and wishes he'd just ended it pre-trip, despite the financial considerations. No good can come of this - end it now.

Also - Did the letter about the cute younger sister remind anyone of the recent Dear Prudie?? You know, the horrifying one about a woman's ex-husband leaving her to start a new family, WITH HER SISTER??

iceberg

@Moxie Oh my gooooodddddddd I needed a Hairpin thread on that one!!!!

Judith Slutler

@iceberg For real, I just don't even know where to start on that! Plus wasn't it the typical "and now my family is asking 'why can't you all just get along?'" type of situation that ALWAYS HAPPENS in the most horrifying advice column letters?

Also horrifying: the white dude from yesterday's column who is contemplating asking his wife of Asian descent if they should get a white egg donor now that they have found out that she's infertile, because he wants kids who look like him and the rest of his family. WHAT.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Emmanuelle Cunt I wanted to invite that lady to my house so we could drink coffee and not be near her horrible, horrible family anymore.

saul "the bear" berenson

@Emmanuelle Cunt Exactly, the family being all "what's the big deal, why can't you get over it, you're making this so HARD" must make it a bizillion times shittier.

lisma

@Emmanuelle Cunt I sent the one about the man who wants white babies to everyone I know. I was so outraged and disgusted. The part that really got me was how he was soooo sure that his wife, as an Asian woman, had never experienced racism before. HOLY PRIVILEGE.

Dr Clownius

@Emmanuelle Cunt i wasn't even sure what kind of response he was expecting from prudie. "sure, tell your wife that since her inferior asian eggs are useless, you would prefer a white baby, because of all the racism a mixed-race baby would face, which you are 100% sure she has never experienced (magically?). she's going to be totally cool with that." my head was exploding as i read that. and i made extra sure not to look at the comments for that one, because i'm sure they were terrible.

sometimes i read that column just to feel better about my own problems. at least my family isn't demanding that i reconcile with my ex-husband who left me for my sister to start his dream family. WTF.

lisma

@Dr Clownius I couldn't get over that part. How does he know if she has ever experience racism? It is impossible for him to even know what that feels like, jeeeeeeeeeesus christ.

anachronistique

@Emmanuelle Cunt But the response starting with "Rance Priebus, is that you?" was gold.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

LW1 - Ask yourself if you're just used to having instant intimacy with your partner, because that's what you had with your marriage for so long. Expectations of instant intimacy can get a freshly single lady or dude in trouble, emotionally.

thebestjasmine

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Yes yes yes. Also think really hard about whether your friends and family are right about you needing to take some time. You already said that you rushed into your engagement and your marriage because you wanted to hold on to someone, are you rushing into this relationship too? It's possible that you're not, but since you already have a pattern of doing this, and since your friends and family are concerned without even knowing you've already started a new relationship, it might be time to take a step back and figure out if you're repeating a bad pattern. Maybe you're not! But you should think hard if you are.

mystique

LW2, first, holy crap camping trip for your birthday! You so cool, the Ice Age is getting insecure. Anyway, I think this is the best description of red flags ever. If it bothers YOU, that's it. I think the Dude provides reasonable scenarios for what will happen if you bring it up.

I'm surprised your friends laughed though. Did you tell them how you felt too?

etheline.

I was in a similar spot as LW1 when I met my now-husband a couple of years ago.
I had just ended a three-year relationship with a dude who had promised me a proposal was coming, but was in fact in love with my best friend. I ended it in November, and had a new boyfriend by Christmas.
For a while I downplayed the seriousness of it to family and friends, because people kept weighing in on what the ideal amount of time to be single is before dating again. I, on the other hand, felt ready and excited to meet someone awesome; my ex and I had been living ostensibly as friends for the year or so before our breakup, so it didn't feel I was jumping from one relationship to another.
Ignore the haters. If something (healthy) is making you feel happy and wonderful after spending too long feeling something else, I encourage you to jump in and enjoy this new phase.

lisma

I'm having feelings now. My boyfriend broke up with me one week after my birthday. He's out of the country and had been for about a month at that point. Was he just waiting because he felt guilty? Or was it really a hard decision for him because he really did/does still love me? What?

cinnamonskin

@lisma Aw, sugarpie. He dumped you because he has no sense. You are fantastic and don't worry about his motivations, you go get yourself a mani-pedi and watch movies and drink fancy drinks. All will be well.

Jenn@twitter

LW4, if you are going to end before your SO comes to visit you (which you should), please do it as soon as possible. Don't wait until the night before he's supposed to leave and in the middle of packing to call and dump him.

This happened to my best friend and while I was happy to run over to her house with wine and tissues (taking possession of the scarf she knitted for him for safekeeping) that night, it was still a dick move. Yes, he didn't wait until she got there and made the visit horrible, but waiting until the last minute was just as cowardly. I hadn't liked him before that and that just cemented my opinion of him!

itiresias

@Jenn@twitter My best friend did that with like a week in advance and her creepy boyfriend went from slightly-unsettling to total-nutcase on her when he couldn't refund the trip. Advice seconded, earlier the better, as much as it hurts.

mlle.gateau

Other benefits of dumping him BEFORE he comes to see you: maybe he can spend like $150 and change his tickets to go visit friends so he can ease his sorrows with them and not have a horrendous breakup trip. It will still be shitty, but less shitty. There is no non-shitty way to break up with someone, but some ways are shittier than others, and letting your SO come visit you in good faith so you can dump him/her is really high on the shitty scale.

packedsuitcase

@mlle.gateau Or even if he couldn't get a refund on the ticket or change it, maybe he could plan himself a trip to a nearby city and take a solo vacation. But it at least lets him make an informed choice and doesn't make him put out all that money just to get dumped in person. A friend of mine went through that and it was awful. They had this great visit and then at the end of it she got the, "I don't think I can do this anymore," speech.

maxine of arc

LW4, I think breaking up with him before the trip is the objectively nicer thing to do, but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't think so. If you break up with him before the trip it'll be "WHY would you make me drop money on a plane ticket I have to change now and then break up with me!?" If you break up with him during the trip, it'll be "WHY would you ruin my vacation and make me come all the way out here to break my heart?" If you break up with him after the visit, it'll be "you've been planning to dump me for HOW LONG? You monster!"

Just do it over the phone and don't let him drag you into a debate about how deeply wrong it is to break up with people over the phone, because what he means is "BEING BROKEN UP WITH SUCKS."

cinnamonskin

I dumped a long-distance man over the phone because he was a selfish douchetard, and surprise! He got mad at me for not doing so in person, but, ourobouros.

paddlepickle

@cheerybeggar Huh, I was actually glad that my long-distance boyfriend chose to let me come out there instead of breaking up with me before I came out (although he didn't exactly choose so much as wallow in indecision about whether we were breaking up, but hey). Breaking up over the phone would have felt kind of callous and emotionless to me- I was glad we had a chance to do it in person.

Diana

I'm in a very similar emotional situation as LW1 right now. Well no, not with anybody specific, but just in general - feeling ready to move on, and that I'm actually not as traumatized as everybody seems to think I am. And when I say that, they all look at me like I must be in denial, as though I don't know my own heart best. It's like I have to be lonely for a certain amount of time for it to "count" - but it doesn't take into account how long I felt lonely while still *in* that relationship. Anyway, the thoughtful answers that everybody gave to LW1 were incredibly meaningful to me, so thank you to every one of you who wrote them.

gloing43

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TrilbyLane

First lady does not have a problem! Just needs to be clear about what she wants and monitor herself and him for over-attachedness or projection of stuff from previous relationship.
Second lady, I think taking the picture and laughing at you was a bit shitty in the sense that he should have read your feelings better; but it might also indicate that he saw this as amusingly out of character and cute, which means you obviously don't appear to him to have some big awful problem. So he maybe needs to know it's more sensitive that he thinks. Or just don't mention it again, but hold on to how losing control made you feel.
Third lady, it sort of depends. 'I want to bang you, girlfriend's sister! Hey girlfriend, would that be ok? HA HA JOKING!', or 'Your sister's hotter than you!' is hideous. 'You're both really beautiful girls' or even 'Your sister's really pretty' is sort of nice and appreciative and fine, as long as you are secure enough to take it. If it's factually true that she's pretty, and it still bothers you that he says it, either you have issues about your own appearance that aren't really his fault, or he is not causing you to feel confident in his affections. (Or both!) If he's a lovely guy and you feel loved by him, I don't see why he shouldn't comment on any woman's attractiveness.
My older sister's ex-boyfriend used to joke about having a threesome with both of us.
My father once said of my younger sister 'We finally had a pretty one.'
You cannot let this stuff inside your head.
Last lady, break up with him now. By email if need be. He is going to not like you and be hurt anyway so he may as well not like you and be hurt with $500 in his pocket. It will not resolve itself when he visits. You know dat.

Myrtle

LW1 Take a breather! I've got blackheads older than your marriage. You may think you can get away from yourself by all these "relationships," but it just don't work that way. I did that "like me so I didn't have to like myself" thing with guys. The cleanup's a real bitch.

beeline96

Last LW if you see this, BREAK IT OFF NOW or have fun cleaning up barf. I think I've told this story on the 'Pin ages ago. Sorry for the repeat, but this is too perfect! Barf!!

Years back, one of my exes had me come on a "regularly scheduled visit" which just happened to coincide with Valentine's Day. We did some of the normal couple-y stuff (including some very passionate... stuff) but most of the time, he was being weirdly cold. I got panicky but decided to 'just go with it' because it was supposed to be a special weekend, ya know? ONLY NO, after he made me dinner, maybe ~2 hours before I was supposed to return home, I got dumped. I "got the sobs" and ended up vomiting all over his bathroom (perhaps the dinner was just crappy). Then I sat around at his apartment trying to make sense of everything, which was anguish (but, perhaps stupid on my part.) Then I had an emotional 2 hour train ride back to my city to think about how the entire weekend was just a mind game. It would have been easier to have dealt with a breakup in the comfort of my own home, where chocolate was readily available and a kitty around for cuddles. It also made me disenchanted towards Valentine's Day (not necessarily a bad thing?)... Do him a real favor and save him the energy so he can devote it to drinking, Ben & Jerry's (not just for heartbroken ladies!), bad tv, and being wrapped in a blanket.

Jemmy

That's tough and i would believe it takes time to recover your depression of love from your pass relationship.
Well, it isn't end of the world after in-relationship with your love one.
Treat yourself well for instance in eating food you like, making new friends you love, dress up fashion clothes you always wanted most and travel if you like too. So, probably you could change your outlook to bring up your personality, to impress your personality in outfit or designer clothes, anything you feel great to yourself.
Keep it up and as What Forest Gum has said, "Life is jst like a box of chocolate, you nvr know what's you going to get"..
Jemmy Fashion

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