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Old November 5 2013, 05:54 PM   #12
Solstice
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Re: Angst-Ridden Dating Rant #17

Not too many poly folks around here so I guess I need to come help a poly brother out.

Kommander wrote: View Post
A little over a year ago, I was sitting in the first day of some psychology class, and the teacher is like "okay, time to exchange contact information with other students because i don't want you people bothering me if you miss class. So, write that shit down and exchange it with someone near you." I hate this because, for a career path that involves a lot of interacting with people, for some reason psychology attracts a lot of socially awkward people, and no one ever wants to talk to me in psychology classes, at least not at first. Luckily a girl near me sucked it up long enough to exchange information with me so I didn't look like a total tool and went back to ignoring me. Then the teacher was like "write that shit down again, get up, go to the other side of the classroom and exchange it with someone. So I get up, and everyone starts playing a game of "Don't Make Eye Contact With the Weird Guy Wearing a Stupid Fedora because He Probably Sucks" because they're all ass holes. I figure at some point it'll be down to me and one other person and they'll have no choice but to exchange contact information with me and then we can move on with our lives. That didn't happen though. Across the crowd, it appeared as though this one girl was looking right at me. I wasn't sure, so I looked away, moved a bit, and then glanced back at her. She was looking right at me again. So I smiled, she smiled back, and we exchanged contact information. It was interesting, I had never communicated through eye contact like that before. I also decided she was kind of cute, and then later changed my mind and decided that she was really cute.
Your first problem was putting on a fedora. Your second problem was putting on a fedora. (Sorry, I can't help but associate fedoras with MRAs and bronies.)

Still, at least you talked to a cute girl. That's step 1. Step 0 is throwing away your fedora(s).

For a career path that involves a lot of interacting with people, that psychology class didn't provide a lot of opportunities to interact with the other students. This girl also works a lot so she was usually in a hurry after class. So, I was only able to talk to her briefly a handful of times throughout the semester. Even when I was able to talk to her, something strange happened. I'd start feeling anxious and my ability to start or carry on a conversation disappeared. This was the first time I've reacted to a woman this way since I was in high school. In the past ten years, I've had no problem being calm and carrying on a conversation with people I'm attracted to, even with women I was more attracted to than I am to her. I still don't know what that was about.
The curse of expectations. The key is to not have any, at least until things get more serious, which (I assume) they aren't. I can understand that kind of anxiety, though.

The semester ended, and I hadn't really made any effort to get to know her. I didn't call her because I'm a chicken shit coward and just wrote the situation off as "you missed your chance, don't be such pussy next time."

Next semester, I'm sitting in Creative Writing class on the first day, and she walks in. I know what the more rational among you are thinking: This is obviously a sign from the All-Father. Odin granted me another chance to get to know her with the caveat that I not be such a pussy this time. Creative writing is generally filled with more outgoing people than psychology classes and more opportunities to interact with other students, and provided a better atmosphere for getting to know her. The mysterious anxiety thing was a complication, but I managed to talk to her while being somewhat charming and witty. Although, at this point, she had a boyfriend and, as most people are monogamous, I thought it best that I not make any overt advances.
Good call. Although one wonders why you didn't contact her sooner!

The semester ended, and I've kept contact with her on Facebook. A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through my feed and I passed something she posted. I noticed her profile picture was just her, and not her looking all happy with her boyfriend, and this caught my attention. So, I pull up her page and noticed all the happy relationship pictures were gone and her relationship status changed to "single." At this point Odin appeared in my bedroom and said in his booming voice: "You know what you have to do. Don't be a pussy!" and I said "Wow, Odin! This is an honor. Although, I expected you to look more like Anthony Hopkins." And then Odin said "Hey, fuck you!" and then left after helping himself to a bottle of mead from my refrigerator. It would have been nice if he'd asked, but whatever, he's Odin. So, anyway, I decided Odin was right and that it was time for an overt advance. So I decided to leave a comment on a picture she posted.
Not too overt, I hope.

Then that anxiety thing kicked in and I didn't like anything I wrote. So, I killed the anxiety with a bottle of mead and then wrote the best Facebook comment in the history of forever. She was all like "omgwtfbbq best thing ever that was awesome you're awesome." I impressed her mom too. So, since then I've been leaving flirty comments an her stuff and her mom has been encouraging be because she's an awesome wingman apparently. I haven't asked her out yet. She works a lot, she just got out of a short but apparently intense relationship, and on top of that, her dad died recently. She's got enough on her mind without worrying about dating me. Sticking with the flirting for now feels right. No need to rush things. That, and I'm a huge chicken shit pussy of a coward.
What I'm hearing here is that if things don't work out with this girl, maybe you should give her mom a call.

But you're right, pressuring her at a time like that would be poor form and probably doom whatever future chances you might have with her.

So, everything is awesome. Didn't the title say something about angst-ridden ranting? Which, I did that, but why would I bother if everything is awesome?

This weekend, she had a thing for a friend's birthday at some bar. She posted a bunch of pictures of her and some other women doing the things women do when they go out to the bar. Then, her ex-boyfriend posted two pictures from the night on her wall. Selfies he took. One with his arm around her, and one of them kissing.

That's not what I'm angry about. She's an adult. If she wants to kiss her ex-boyfriend I couldn't give less of a shit. I'm angry because as far as I can tell, he crashed the party and made a lame-ass attempt to get back with her. She looked like she was tolerating it rather than enjoying it. Essentially, she put up with it because she was too nice to tell him to fuck off.

I'd like to castrate him with my Swiss Army Knife and no anesthetic for forcing himself on her like that, but really, it's her problem, not mine. The real problem is that I've been through this kind of bullshit enough times to know that he posted those pictures for me. He's saying: "Back off, she is mine and I'm an insecure douchenozzle."
Well, I can see why other people in this thread reacted the way they did. It does sound like he did what you think he did--crashed her party, tried to worm his way back into her good graces. If nothing else, you could talk to her about it. I'm not convinced he did it specifically to target you. You could well be nobody to him. It's possible he doesn't even know you exist. I would certainly recommend not taking it personally unless and until you're sure it was meant for you.

Every fucking time. Recently it's been other boyfriends that are all like "Oh yeah, I'm totally down with the polyamory thing and I think it's cool that you're dating my girlfriend." and then they try their damnedest to undermine my relationship. Even before I identified as polyamorous there was always an ex-boyfriend that is determined to win her back, or some other guy she's dating, or a friend with a crush that wants me out of the picture.
Well, most people aren't poly, and aren't cool with it (even if they say they are), so you do have to be careful about that.

I'm not concerned that this guy is going to make me look bad. Anything he tries, he's going to come out looking much worse. He's already doing a good job of making himself look bad, so I don't feel the need to try to make him look bad. There's no competition here. What I'm concerned about is that every time in the past, these guys seem to think a Pyrrhic victory is better than nothing. Even once they realize the relationship is over or otherwise not happening, they seem to think interfering in my relationship is better than nothing. They become such persistent ass holes that either the girl decides it's easier to dump me than tell the ass hole to fuck off, or I get fed up and dump her.
I'm trying to imagine how this works where a woman must have forced interactions with her ex (barring the presence of kids or something) to the point that he can ruin her new relationship(s). Do they work together? Why must she associate with him at all? I will say that if you end up in a relatively serious relationship with her, you would be within your rights to discuss cutting that guy out if he's a persistent obstacle to your relationship. But not until then.

I don't want to do that this time. It's one thing if I fuck up a relationship on my own, but it pisses me off how I've consistently let ass holes like this ruin my life.
Ah, well that's good...

If her and I start dating, and he doesn't miraculously disappear and becomes a problem, I'm going to say this: "I don't care if you talk to him, or if you interact with him in person, or if you're friends with him. Hell, I don't care if you fuck him once or twice a week. But if he tries to undermine my relationship with you, you need to tell him to fuck off. He's doing it because he's not happy and thinks that justifies him in making you unhappy. He is a selfish, insecure douchebag, and you don't owe him anything other than telling him to fuck off. As much as I would like to tell him to fuck off, that would only make things worse and encourage him to try harder. It's best that I act as civilly as possible toward him. If he does this and you do not tell him to fuck off, this is not going to end well."
I'd probably say it more politely than that.

My instincts are telling me to back away and this is not going to end well, but I'm really tired of this kind of shit and I feel like it's not going to stop unless I figure out how to handle this kind of bullshit rather than run away from it. So, does anyone have any ideas on how to handle this kind of situation? As I've demonstrated countless times, I really suck at it.
I'm a little surprised this kind of bullshit seems so common, except it gives me pause that you are apparently the common factor in these situations. I don't know why this keeps happening to you, though I could speculate that maybe you are misreading signals, or you are getting involved with insecure women who are easily manipulated by their exes, or you live in an area with exceptionally jerkbag guys.

So, you want to have a relationship with this girl. I would think that entails you start with some dating. Yes, you talk, but have you gone out and done anything together? Doesn't sound like it. She's got a lot going on. So, you message her--privately--maybe get her on the phone. Tell her you know she's got a lot on her mind right now, but you want to be there for her, and ask if it would be possible for you to hang out sometime. Doesn't have to be anything fancy. You don't even have to call it a date. Just spend some time together. If that goes well, try something a little more organized, and go from there.

Don't talk to her about her ex unless she brings him up or he intrudes directly while you are with her or something. That would be your opportunity to mention that you noticed he seems to be hassling her, and maybe suggest she just ignore him and avoid interacting with him at all. Anything further depends on how much you want to stick up for her yourself, but beating up exes is probably not a good way to build a relationship.

You should definitely discuss polyamory with her early, too. Set boundaries. Not everyone is into poly life, and she may want to be monogamous. Your approach of "sure, you can go fuck anyone you want, I don't care" sounds like an opening for no accountability or communication. It's fine to be poly, but everyone involved needs to be aware of what's going on. If you think her sleeping with her ex would be destructive, or encourage him to believe they have a future together, that's something you should probably discourage. If she doesn't like someone you are seeing, she has the right to say so, too. This is assuming you are in an actual relationship, of course.

It just sounds like you are afraid to talk to her about various things. I'm not saying you should dump it all on her at once, but try to get a little beyond simple flirting and learn more about her, try to spend some time with her (within limits since she's in a rough patch right now), and don't dictate how she has to interact with her ex, but discuss it calmly and see if you can come to an agreement.
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