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AIBU?

Red flag - never having a relationship

45 replies

Dietcoke111 · 12/09/2022 14:02

I had a first date with a guy
He has a PhD - moved around due to this and also does stand up
He was so funny on the date and we both agreed to see each other again - have messaged since

The thing is he is 32/M and I am 35/F. He has never had a relationship for longer than 2/3 months - I asked him a bit about it and he was open and relaxed and said he was really shy until his mid twenties and just never found someone he vibed with. He appears a very secure guy. I have had several relationships last a few years.

I am not sure if his lack of relationships indicate that there is a problem here? Or am I just looking for red flags?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

80 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
85%
You are NOT being unreasonable
15%
Icanstillrecallourlastsummer · 12/09/2022 14:06

Yes, I would see this as a red flag. He might have been unlucky, but chances are that he's not easy to get on with if he's not managed more than a couple of montsh with anyone. That's quite unusual at that age (unless there's more to the story).

bibliomania · 12/09/2022 14:08

Nope, wouldn't bother me.

Dietcoke111 · 12/09/2022 14:09

I am trying to be mindful we also had the pandemic to contend with.

So that was 2/3 years of hiatus for many.

OP posts:
Lcb123 · 12/09/2022 14:11

I don't think it's a problem, particularly if he's been moving around and busy with studying and his stand up. why not have a couple more dates and see how it goes? seems too quick to judge after only one date.

GreenManalishi · 12/09/2022 14:11

I don't think this is necessarily a problem, take it as it comes. He could have been a late bloomer and then kind of missed the boat, and have reasonably high standards for himself, which is no bad thing.

Or he could be an absolute nightmare that can't keep his horrendous habits under wraps past date three, in which case it will soon become clear! Give it a whirl and find out!

WoopsIdiditagain1 · 12/09/2022 14:11

It wouldn't bother me. He might not have found someone worth investing his time in. If you like him just see where it takes you.

cavia · 12/09/2022 14:13

My DP had never had a serious relationship before me. He also has a PhD. I think often the kinds of people who can commit to such a long period of study are more interested in this than anything else and then they have to establish their career later than people with a shorter academic career. My DP is the kindest most wonderful partner I've ever had so it wouldn't be a red flag for me

Blueberrywitch · 12/09/2022 14:15

My very best relationship, most wonderful considerate partner, has been with someone who didn’t have a relationship until mid 30s. Honestly it’s also rather nice to know there are no “ones that got away” in his past!

Dietcoke111 · 12/09/2022 14:15

cavia · 12/09/2022 14:13

My DP had never had a serious relationship before me. He also has a PhD. I think often the kinds of people who can commit to such a long period of study are more interested in this than anything else and then they have to establish their career later than people with a shorter academic career. My DP is the kindest most wonderful partner I've ever had so it wouldn't be a red flag for me

This seemed to be the energy I got from him.

He said he would never have been able to go on a date with me five years ago as too shy and intimated 🥺

He seems very sweet, almost comically clumsy with dating which is endearing. The polar opposite of the series of arrogant professional men I have been used with.

He even said when he asked me for another date he was going to rush off incase he said something stupid and I changed my mind 😂

OP posts:
BobMortimersPocketMeat · 12/09/2022 14:16

In itself I don’t think it’s a massive issue, but I’d keep an open mind and try to be objective about him until you’re on firmer ground.

Men who are comics or in bands are constantly looking for attention; it’s part of why they do it. A series of short relationships might mean he’s a bit of a player, and takes the opportunities which come his way.

ComtesseDeSpair · 12/09/2022 14:18

It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with him per se in the sense that there must be a reason nobody has wanted a relationship with him; but as much as anything else it means he’s never had any experience of living with a partner, of needing to make long term sacrifices and compromises for somebody else, of organising your life in a way which suits another person as well as yourself. At 35, I’d be reluctant to take on another adult who’d be coming to all that completely blind: we’re all far less malleable and more set in our ways as we get older.

It isn’t necessarily something you need to decide right now. But I’d be watchful of indications that he’d be difficult to build a relationship with long term.

Dietcoke111 · 12/09/2022 14:23

ComtesseDeSpair · 12/09/2022 14:18

It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with him per se in the sense that there must be a reason nobody has wanted a relationship with him; but as much as anything else it means he’s never had any experience of living with a partner, of needing to make long term sacrifices and compromises for somebody else, of organising your life in a way which suits another person as well as yourself. At 35, I’d be reluctant to take on another adult who’d be coming to all that completely blind: we’re all far less malleable and more set in our ways as we get older.

It isn’t necessarily something you need to decide right now. But I’d be watchful of indications that he’d be difficult to build a relationship with long term.

I did speak to him about this. He said he has lived with flat mates no problem and lived with them - also his sister.

OP posts:
jalu47 · 12/09/2022 14:26

Absolutely not a red flag, I've been with my partner 4 years and we were both hopelessly single for years and years before. You just have to meet the right person.

KosherDill · 12/09/2022 14:33

Wouldn't bother me. I was focused on education, career and eldercare in my 20s/early 30s.

10HailMarys · 12/09/2022 14:45

I have a female friend who did not have a 'proper' relationship until she was in her mid-30s, and she's honestly very nice and very normal! So I wouldn't see this as a red flag really. A lot of people, men or women, are just very shy and awkward, rubbish at flirting or giving off the right signals, etc.

I also think there are a lot of people who will 'settle' for a relationship that isn't actually quite right for them, but some people won't, and they're often the ones that are single for long periods.

My DP had only one previous relationship, I think it lasted a couple of years. But that was a full decade before we met. He'd had dates here and there, but not many, and nobody he really clicked with. He and I have now been together for nearly 20 years and we're incredibly happy; I can't quite believe he spent ten years without getting snapped up!

I'm not saying this man is definitely right for you or that you won't encounter any issues with him if you do end up dating - who knows? But I don't think his lack of relationship experience is a problem in itself at all. At least he comes without a load of emotional baggage!

AllAloneInThisHouse · 12/09/2022 15:15

Not a red flag to me at all.
I’d be more worried about people who go jumping from relationship to another all the time.
Or having a long list of people / randoms who they just had sex with.

SunshineLoving · 12/09/2022 15:19

Nope. It wouldn't put me off at all. If you like him, you like him. I would only be bothered about someone's relationship history if they'd had loads of partners because I would question their loyalty. He's the opposite. Not a red flag to me.

WhenISnappedAndFarted · 12/09/2022 15:21

Not a red flag for me either.

He obviously hasn't found someone he wanted to be in a relationship with and rather than jumping from person to person or having loads of relationships he's done the opposite.

Proteinpudding · 12/09/2022 15:29

I have a couple of male friends this applies to, I think if you're a late bloomer and don't learn how to flirt, ask people out etc when you're younger, it's really hard to start in your twenties - especially as more and more people become partnered up and you are less likely to meet single people who are interested in dating. They seem to get used to being the friend and never crossing over into anything more, not knowing how to change it and not necessarily being concerned enough to make that big change (especially if they've got a good group of friends, career focus etc)

I wouldn't see it as a red flag from what you've described. I think actually it's quite lucky, as they don't have major baggage (eg divorces, being cheated on, complications of having kids etc!)

QweenT · 12/09/2022 15:32

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mrstea301 · 12/09/2022 17:50

My DH hadn't had any long term relationships before me (we were friends for a long time before we got together so I'd have known them!) I think he just didn't meet anyone that he was bothered about.

I feel quite lucky that I get to be with to be honest, he's very thoughtful and a great partner, with a high level of emotional intelligence. I wouldn't write anyone off for this, just see how it goes! You might just be his person!

TinaTeaspoons · 12/09/2022 22:55

Sorry but thats rubbish saying shy people are not good at relationships.
My best male friend sounds a lot like the OP's guy. He didn't get into a relationship until he was 38. Nothing wrong with him, he just wanted to focus on his career and other things. He's the nicest guy ever and been with his partner for over 5 years now and both very happy.
My sister is with a guy who has numerous failed marriages behind him, affairs and 4 kids all from various mums and although she says she is blissfully happy, it wouldn't be for me. No way.
Give him a chance OP, he sounds nice

Dietcoke111 · 13/09/2022 08:34

I am going to give him a chance. I find Men who are constantly jumping from relationship to relationship are not particularly healthy or the ones all over dating apps

OP posts:
gannett · 13/09/2022 08:48

Honestly the opposite of a red flag. I'd be more wary of someone who hopped from relationship to relationship without being able to be single to long stretches.

I didn't have my first real relationship until I was 30, neither did DP, we've been together ever since. Reasons? I was a late bloomer in terms of gaining confidence. I was focused on building my career and my social circle and didn't have the time for a relationship. I liked casual sex with a variety of men and didn't feel a need to give that up. I enjoy my own company and still need a lot of me time for my own interests and hobbies. I wanted to manage my own life without being beholden to anyone else. I had extremely high standards for who I let into my life and if I felt someone wasn't compatible with me I'd let them go pretty swiftly (not that I put a huge amount of effort into dating anyway). Also knew I'd never want kids so was under no time pressure on that front.

gannett · 13/09/2022 08:49

Oh, and what being single all that time taught me was real self-knowledge - I learned a lot about who I am and what I want, without that being in relation to a man.

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