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He dated other women in the first 6 months :( Is he a bastard or was he just making up his mind?

(72 Posts)
idontunderstandmen Sun 17-Mar-13 21:17:25

Hi everyone. So I am in a happy relationship, well fairly happy, I feel very in love and I feel he loves me, things are moving along nicely and we are considering moving in together. We have been together 1.5 years and we met on internet dating. However I have always had a bit of a suspicion that my boyfriend was seeing other women early on in our relationship, I checked his facebook last summer and saw messages which suggested that was the case. I confronted him and he said they were old exes, and friends of his ex and he hadnt been cheating on me. He apologised for flirting and deleted the person in particular he had been flirting with.

Just today I was on his laptop and thought I'd have a nose at his photos. I was surpised to see photos of lots of women from the internet, and internet conversations that he had photographed, arranging to meet up for drinks. When I looked at the dates I saw they were within the first 6 months of our relationship. I confronted him about this and he said that he hadnt felt sure of our relationship until we went on holiday together (at about 6 months in) and that he had been on some dates but not slept with any women. I feel very hurt because I was faithful to him after about a month of meeting him, I did go on a few dates after meeting him but was very honest to him about this. I feel he has lied to me when I confronted him first about this (he says he didnt tell me because "thats not what you tell people you go out with"). I understand that we werent in love at that time, we hadnt met each others families, but I still feel hurt and like he was disrespectful to me. He says that he hasnt seen any other women since that first holiday when he realised that he loved me and I do believe him. Am I a fool or is this normal male behaviour?

If it makes any difference, I am 29, had recently come out of a 6 year relationship when I first met him, he is 40 and had been single-ish for a few years (ie a couple of 6-1yr relationships but probably seeing loads of people at the same time). I was probably a bit naive of the real world, particularly the internet dating world

MsAkimbo Mon 18-Mar-13 00:05:01

Yeah....I'd end it. It sounds like you both have different ideas of what a relationship is. That, and the whole honesty issue.

End it before you're splitting the rent.

It sounds to me like you have been desperate to force a commitment from him from the beginning, and he got to a point where he said to himself, oh well, she'll do - she's so into me I might as well stick with her. So naturally you have remained needy and suspicious, because the balance of power in this relationship has always been with him. It's not terribly healthy and it's not really going to work out, long term.

ihavenonameonhere Mon 18-Mar-13 00:21:09

Run!! Run as fast as you can.

Have you ever read the book, hes just not that into you? Basically it says about this that at the time you were planning a future together he was planning who else to sleep with!

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 18-Mar-13 00:37:30

It's fairly typical for this type of person to turn it all around on you and make it you who doesn't understand the 'real world' or you who doesn't understand how men 'really are' etc etc.

No, you do understand, that's why it's not sitting well with you. You didn't feel right and you checked up on him (not going to argue the point of whether or not that's a good idea) because you don't feel right about him. It's not how you should feel about a person you care about.

garlicbrain Mon 18-Mar-13 00:42:38

Normal protocol says you can't assume exclusivity until you've agreed it out loud, or made some big commitment like living together. But he lied (and is probably still lying about not having had sex with anyone else) and that's the deal-breaker.

Next time, ask for exclusivity when you expect it smile

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 18-Mar-13 07:39:14

Dating several people at the same time is not in itself a problem.

Not being honest is a problem.

I think that as a rule of thumb, you can't assume that someone's only seeing you unless that's what you've both agreed.

But he's lied to you. That's wrong. He should have just been open and honest about it.

How can you trust someone who's proven themselves a liar? (I've wrestled with this myself)

FeistyLass Mon 18-Mar-13 07:54:19

I don't mean to seem harsh but how do you know it was only the first six months? That's what you've discovered at this point.
He lied when he was doing it (otherwise you would have known you weren't exclusive. He would have been saying 'I'm off out with Suzie tonight' etc ). Then he lied when you asked him about it.
Then when you confronted him, he has said it's your fault for being 'young' and not knowing the ways of the world.
Please leave. It won't get better. He has already lied and cheated, and if you stay then you're signalling that behaviour is ok to you (and it obviously isn't or you wouldn't be posting on here).

PeerieMootie Mon 18-Mar-13 08:47:17

Hmm it's really rare I am the voice of dissent especially in a LTB thread but you say you are happy and in love so some thoughts that might throw a different perspective...

Do you really trust him now if you're snooping? If this really was only at the start and he knows you are insecure maybe he thought it best to gloss over this (dodgy man logic) to save your feelings. Not right but not a sackable offence.

Also if I put myself in his shoes, 40 and been single for a while, likes girl but good bit younger and just out serious long term relationship - I'd be careful about diving in too. I've done Internet dating in the past and did have several conversations going on at once too, if they all were nice I think I would probably have met them all to be sure too.

If you went on holiday so soon and survived and he now wants to move in together maybe this should all be water under the bridge by now? OTOH he could just be an arse as PP have said, I think this is one for RL friends who'd have a better gut feel for the fella.

Wow that turned out long - meh LTB

Iamsparklyknickers Mon 18-Mar-13 08:54:05

He's clearly justified it to himself, but the fact that he lied (even by omission) means that he knew you wouldn't have gone along with the relationship being 'open' at that point. Even if he doesn't see that as cheating in a physical relationship sense he has cheated you emotionally and morally.

It's completely your call on whether or not you can get past this or not, but for me (basing it on my current relationship only - I can see how in past ones I would have been straight out the door) I would have to see an achknowledgment of in hindsight it was very wrong and a very sincere apology plus actions to back it up. But that's only because I have as much faith in my partner as I can that I can trust him.

Any attempts at justifying, brushing it over or turning back on me would indicate a side I really didn't know and wouldn't like = relationship over.

Jengnr Mon 18-Mar-13 09:04:49

He doesn't see you as an equal or he wouldn't be patronising you with 'you don't understand the ways of the world' and all that bollocks. You didn't understand his ways because he LIED to you - the rest of the world agrees with you and he knows that or he wouldn't have felt the need to lie.

He's a wanker. Get rid!

AThingInYourLife Mon 18-Mar-13 09:07:14

Where I used to live in the US it is considered very bad form to be sleeping with someone while you are still dating other people.

As my Irish friend, who thought he was a kid in a candy store, found out to his cost.

He was sleeping with you, he knew you were serious about him.

A decent guy who wasn't sure yet would not have allowed you to believe you were in a serious relationship so he could have sex with you.

He used you for sex.

But he thinks that's OK because he eventually decided you could be his girlfriend.

Are you OK with that?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 18-Mar-13 09:07:35

I don't think it's that big a deal tbh, and I'm amazed that people are telling you to destroy a happy loving relationship because of a minor miscommunication.

Just because you assumed that your relationship had moved up a level and he wasn't there yet, doesn't mean he did anything wrong. If you hadn't had the conversation about being an actual couple, and about being exclusive, then it's not really fair to say that he should have stopped dating because of your perception and the fact that you chose to make your relationship public in Facebook.

If he's faithful now, and you have a happy and honest relationship now, I can't see any sense in ending things for next to no reason.

AThingInYourLife Mon 18-Mar-13 09:09:40

She can't know whether he's faithful now.

But she does know he lies to her.

aldiwhore Mon 18-Mar-13 10:41:46

Agree with AThingInYourLife unfortunately... I say unfortunately because you've now got a year's worth of romance under your belt with this guy op so I'm not sure it will be that easy to LTB if things are going well. BUT you need to discuss this properly with him, does he know how hurt you are? Has he apologised?? Sometimes a person can justify something to themself and not consider the consequences.

KellyElly Mon 18-Mar-13 10:43:48

Unless he had made it clear that he wanted an open relationship where you could both date other people until you were sure you were serious then he's completely out of order.

samandi Mon 18-Mar-13 12:57:19

It seems rather sad to be dating other people when you're starting off on a new relationship. Aren't you supposed to be head over heels and all over each other at that stage? I do think there is a difference between starting a new relationship and casual dating though, so perhaps it wasn't clear for the first few months what was going on. Seems rather a stretch though. Don't most couples discuss these things, even when they've just started dating? I always did.

DigestivesWithCheese Mon 18-Mar-13 13:22:36

He lied. Also, he had been single for "a few years" at 40 and had never been married... The men I know who have reached that age without ever having settled down, are usually single for a reason.

As someone who is in mid-40s myself, the only 40 something men I know who are single, are that way because either they are not relationship material, or they've only just some out of a relationship.

FantasticDay Mon 18-Mar-13 15:07:33

I'm going to go against the consensus here and say that unless you had both decided it was a formal 'relationship', then I think it's not unreasonable to be dating a few people and keeping options open - particularly in the context of internet dating. I agreed to meet someone else that I had been chatting to online after a couple of dates with my now-husband (met on same site). Then decided I preferred by husband, and told the other guy I didn't want to meet again.

If he only met them for drinks, I don't think that's being unfaithful. He should have told you though, especially as you told him about your other dates.

.

snuffaluffagus Mon 18-Mar-13 15:42:54

But they had decided that it was a relationship.. calling each other girlfriend/boyfriend intimates exclusivity I would say, especially if you're seeing each other a couple of times a week and booking holidays together. It's different if it's early days (ie first three months or so) and you haven't labelled yourselves.

I wouldn't be at all happy with this but it depends if you can trust him NOW and can forget this.

Don't listen to the patronising "you're naive to the real world" though, because that's not generally how people behave in that sort of situation.

Rasapa Mon 18-Mar-13 15:50:47

If he had been honest about dating other women-which is normal in USA before committing to a 'steady'- fair enough. But he wasn't honest. Keeping options open is fine, but not to be upfront is not. If it was really OK and he felt he was doing nothing wrong, why not say so?

Time to get out of this relationship before you get in deeper.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 19-Mar-13 07:34:08

Shall claim 10 points for first person to shout 'needy'.

Imo if he was seeing other women when you'd been together 6 weeks, HWNBU. Up to 6 months, HWBU.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 19-Mar-13 07:35:52

Oh someone already has! blush Must read entire thread properly.

Still feel he was unreasonable.

idontunderstandmen Wed 20-Mar-13 14:16:48

Ok so I have had the heart to heart with him. He was very sad and worried because he thought I was going to finish things. He said he had been on a few dates where nothing had happened, just drinks. He admitted to a date where the girl had stayed over the night because she was "drunk and missed the last train home", again he said nothing happened. I had got an inkling of this in August last year when I read his messages but when I had previously confronted him he said that that had happened a year before we got together. I had more evidence when I saw photos of the girl on his computer which were taken 4 months after we got together. He said a friend had said he should meet this girl for drinks and had been going on about it and he decided to, he said the girl was crazy and got really drunk and he took her home because he felt sorry for her. He didnt tell me because he thought I would assume the worst and end it. He said that the dates that he went on made him realise that I was the person he wanted to be with.

I believe him that he didnt sleep with the girl because the message on facebook from his friend was telling him that she had heard his date had "crashed and burned" because he didnt offer to pay for dinner and because he had assumed she would stay the night. I was scared that he had wanted her to stay over because he had wanted to sleep with her and the girl had not been interested in him. I probably wont ever know the truth about that. He seems adamant that that was not the case. He was shaking and nearly crying

Im worried now that I wont be able to trust him again because I had confronted him about this before, after we had been together nearly a year, and he had lied then. Im worried that he will think it is fine to see people behind my back the next time he is not sure about me, and fine to lie to me about it. He wants to go house viewing this weekend. Im scared that if I say Im not ready for it there will be no going back, I do love him but my perception of him has been shattered a bit. I'm worried that he found it so easy to lie to me and will lie to me in the future. I dont really know if I should or how to punish him for being dishonest or if I should walk away temporarily or completely because if I dont he will think its fine to behave like that, and also because I couldnt settle down with someone I dont trust sad. Sorry for long post

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 14:24:54

God he is such a liar.

The whole "nearly crying" thing is contemptible.

And totally par for the course for dishonest cheats.

He totally intended to shag that girl he took home when she was drunk BTW.

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