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AIBU if my bf is very physically expressive/open about sex with his female friends.(106 Posts)
I'm 24, he's 29. He asked me out a couple of months ago and wants to be serious and has told all his close friends about us. This is going to be a bit long. I'd like to preface this by saying I absolutely adore this person and everything he stands for. We have the same values, same weird humor, can be absolutely silly and comfortable together, can openly talk about things without fear of judgment, and while I am wary of calling someone 'the one', I can honestly imagine a life with this person.
I also realize a lot of the things I'm about to mention might not be as weird to other people and that everyone has their own views regarding personal boundaries, space, and physical affection. Which is also why I'm writing them here to get the opinion of complete strangers on the internet because I know my friends will back me up on this and I'd like an unbiased opinion instead, please.
There are a few things that bother/trigger me because my last relationship was toxic and I was with someone who was very possessive of me while at the same time cheating on me. So, yes, I have trust issues and insecurities and I know I need to see a therapist for them and my current partner is aware of the situation and of all the things that happened in my last relationship. Even though I've never been extremely open, I was pretty secure in my body and self-worth before my last relationship and now I'm not. This also stems from having had an extremely abusive parent who is still in control of my life and a lot of unresolved trauma on that front, all of which I've discussed with him.
The first thing that bothers me is how touchy feely he is with people, especially with female friends, and even people that he's meeting for the first time. I don't mind hugs and arm touches and stuff but standing behind someone seated on the ground and leaning over their shoulder to talk, touching their knee/leg, picking them up, giving them shoulder/neck rubs/squeezes etc. seems a lot more intimate.
He also has a few really close friends, all girls, which is cool, but most of their conversations end up being about sex, or full of innuendo or just discussing all of their preferences with sex and the things they like/don't like in bed. He showed me a conversation where he'd offered to strip for them in exchange for some tea-spilling and then asked if I would be okay with it. I was weirded out and asked if he would be okay with me stripping for my dude friends to which he replied 'yeah, as long as there's no touching' because, according to him, even though he wouldn't like it it would still be 'toxic monogamy' if I couldn't do it because of how he'd feel. How does no touching make it okay? And isn't the whole point of being in a relationship to talk to and understand what makes each other uncomfortable (within rational boundaries) and if you really value the other person, then try not to do those things? (again, within rational boundaries.) Tbf he did say later that it was just a joke and even if he did strip for them it'd be as a joke and not sexual.
There's also two girls that he really likes and, before we got together, I would try to convince him to pursue either of them, and still say it jokingly at times. He always laughs it off and says I'd rather be with you, but at the same time keeps doing stuff/posting stuff and tagging them in it to impress both of them? Like, he was visiting from another city and staying with me and one of the girls lives in the same city as I do. He was cooking for us and told me he would be making extra for her and she'd drop by to pick up the food. I was like cool, it'd be fun to hang out with her because I really like her. He told me about this two days in advance and mentioned it often in those two days. What he did not mention was that he'd gotten her the same book he gave me on my birthday (which is fine too, it's a great book) and the only reason I found out was because he'd hidden it under a cushion on the couch and I habitually straighten things and saw the cushion out of place and then found the book under it. I asked him about it and he was a bit sheepish but I laughed it off and then was like let me know when she gets here. We had a couple of friends over and I was sitting with them. A few minutes later, I hear him go outside. He went downstairs and stayed there for about 5-10 minutes, then came back up and sat next to me. I asked when the girl was coming and he said oh she just came by and picked up the stuff and left. I was weirded out because this girl is acquainted with both of us equally and I'd expressed my desire to meet her again whenever he mentioned that she'd be dropping by and it felt like he was hiding from me the extent of things he was doing for her and from her the fact that he was staying with me.
Another incident with the other girl he liked (they're both best friends and she's one of the people from the stripping conversation) is of them wearing masks and him walking up to her and saying 'corona kisses!' and kissing her through the masks. Which, while not something I'd do with someone other than my SO, was fine with me when he told me about it and I laughed it off. Fast forward a week or so and he's showing me photos on his phone and accidentally opens a video of the corona kiss moment and then quickly exits. I laugh and say I want to watch it and he keeps trying to change the subject and showing me other things. Not until I really really insist does he reluctantly pull up the video again to let me watch it. The main thing that bothers me I guess is that he's told me they've talked in depth about being together and also how he can see himself marrying her and how they have a pact to marry each other if they're both single at 50. That's all great but then why not actually be with her instead of stringing me along as well? To which his response, basically, was that he has issues with her BO and wouldn't know how to communicate that to her. Which has me and my ever-anxious brain feeling like I was second choice and was picked only because of better hygiene.
We've been friends for a while but only been hooking up for two months now, and 'dating' for a month or so. And while I know all of these things would bother me less after therapy, and we've talked about this, I'm not sure whether to keep trying and communicating all of this at the risk of sounding like I'm nitpicking or just end things and not risk messing up our friendship (which, we've both agreed, is what matters most). Honestly I'm not even sure what advice I'm asking for, just maybe to hear unbiased opinions on whether I'm overreacting to this stuff or not. There's a bunch of incidents like this.
TL;DR: My boyfriend and I have different notions of physical affection/boundaries with friends from the opposite gender and this is a trigger for me from my last relationship and I'm not sure how to communicate all of it without sounding paranoid. Or even if I'm just being paranoid in the first place.
This is one of those guys who always has a harem about him - always set up to move on to someone else or cheat at a moment's notice.
Sweetheart, there is no future in this. Your self esteem will be obliterated. 2 months in you're already full of anxiety and feel like you're in competition
that's his intention.
Break up and find someone more respectful.
We all know a dude like this OP. You're into a hiding to nothing with this one. It shouldn't be like this a month in.
Lots of red flags here OP. He sounds odd and inappropriate. Why invest in someone who shows interest in others? And this is at the start of a relationship when you're supposed to be crazy about each other. Him touching other people is cringe. I feel embarrassed for him just reading this!
Also I love your freudian slip, "I can live without him." - I absolutely agree! You should...
It’s called triangulation. You deserve more OP. Dump him and move on
You know all those things are not ok and not normal which is why you’re asking about them. He’s clearly a player who likes to have a number of ‘friends’ at his beck and call who he can sleep with when he likes (and you’re one of them). Soon you’ll be accused of toxic monogamy when you get upset that he’s shagged someone else. Break up now and DO NOT stay friends.
The beauty of finding a keeper is it’s never this complicated.
Honestly if you want a happy peaceful life with someone don’t start it off with all this drama and anxiety.
It concerns me that you think therapy will help you not be bothered by it. Why should you change your boundaries for this chancer?
Sorry but I agree with the others, he's a player. Very charming I'm sure, but that's part of it. I wouldn't be surprised if he's already cheating. Dump him & don't look back, you deserve better.
while I know all of these things would bother me less after therapy
You might find they bother you a lot more after therapy, once you've worked on your boundaries and self esteem.
This guy sounds about 17 (and not a very nice 17 year old at that).
I suspect the next thing will be either he wants a threesome or he wants an open relationship.
It's ok to dump someone if you realise you want different things n
You feel bad because he is fucking your boundaries whilst taking the piss and implying you aren’t quite ‘cool’. We do all know one of these - they think they are very special and are insecure too. Grim
OK. So here's my take.
You're allowed to have boundaries and to express them. In fact, it's healthy to express them.
You say that you're well matched and have the same values. This is great. There is also this big issue around how physical and intimate he is with other women.
You feel like you're nitpicking when you speak to him about it and are worried that you're going to erode your relationship with him.
The way around this is to sit him down and have a big conversation with him where you tell him, this is my boundary, this is what it feels like when it's crossed, this is what I want instead, this is what will happen if you don't want to/cant.
It's not as ultimatum. It's a boundary. Don't let your previous relationship make you doubt yourself. I don't have trust issues and I wouldn't like this either. Other people, with different boundaries, wouldn't mind it at all.
You don't like it. You're allowed to not like it. He's allowed to want to keep doing it if he wants to, but that will mean that sadly this relationship isn't going to work.
I hope that helps.
As PPs say, he’s one of “those” men. You’re heading for unnecessary angst and pain dating him.
“ I absolutely adore this person and everything he stands for. We have the same values, same weird humor, can be absolutely silly and comfortable together, can openly talk about things without fear of judgment, and while I am wary of calling someone 'the one', I can honestly imagine a life with this person”
You sound naive. You’ve only just started dating and presumably before that had a flirtatious relationship, as he has with lots of women. You were a prospect to him, so he would have shown you what he wanted to about himself. You don’t know “what he stands for”, nor whether his values match yours.
You are not being paranoid, this is unreasonable behaviour. My DH has always had close relationships with female friends. He has always put me first, I have never felt like these women are any threat to my marriage and he is open about their friendship so that I can see it's completely platonic. He would never joke around about stripping or sexual matters - he behaves with his female friends as he does with his male friends, which is as it should be.
How your boyfriend is behaving is very suspicious and completely disrespectful to you. For me, his behaviour with these women would be enough for me to end things.
How's your sex life with him? You don't need to answer that here, just for yourself. Consider it is a possibility that he isn't sure about himself sexuality-wise and is testing waters.
The beauty of finding a keeper is it’s never this complicated
This really sums it up !
It doesn’t matter what yardstick you use to see if you are ‘compatible’ or how much you fancy each other the bottom line is : healthy fulfilling relationships are not full of angst and drama. And someone who doesn’t respect your boundaries is not someone you should be with long term.
I'm a big believer that men and women can be friends without sex getting in the way.
But this isn't that. This guy is a manipulative player. The moment that really stood out for me was him introducing the phrase "toxic monogamy". Cleverly, he presented it as a favour he was doing you - hey, I'm not going to be all weird and possessive over what you do with your body just because we're in a relationship. What he actually means is: you're not allowed to be possessive or jealous of me and what I do with my body.
What is sad is that he is using your history and your insecurities - all of which he knows about and presents himself as a sympathetic listener to - to get you just where he wants you: submissive and vulnerable and ready to accept all sorts of shit from him which he will dress up as being your issues. I had a boyfriend like this when I was a little younger than you and it was the most damaging relationship of my life.
Get rid of him and breathe freely.
He is grooming you to be the cool girl. As well as the narc triangulation thing. From Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn:
"Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)"
What have I just read...!?
You're obviously not comfortable with his behaviour (which is perfectly reasonable as it seems to be halfway to cheating right in front of you and making you feel bad about it!). If you want this to work you need to have a serious talk and lay down some boundaries, but even so I'm not sure it's worth it.
He's taking the piss out of you. His boundaries are all over the place. I would cool it with him.
I admit I didn't read all your post but this line stood out.
We have the same values.
Is this really true? Because if you are unsure about his behaviour then I am not sure you have the same values.
From your post it doesn't sound like you are ina relationship. You are FWB. Sorry to break it to you. That isn't normal.
When I was at university, I had been seeing a guy for a couple of weeks (I was strung along tbh). I was then ill. When I saw him again, he was now seeing someone else. I was rather embarrassed. He offered to take me back to his instead of her if I would “take it up the arse”. Funnily enough I declined.
This is figuratively what this man is doing to you. He sounds vile. Please stop taking it up the arse.
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