I cannot tell if this is a green flag or the reddest flag ever.

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  • WonderingGirl
    February 26, 2024 at 11:05 pm #1128320

    Okay, there’s a dude I’m interested in, right?

    I’ve seen him around this event space off and on since August. It’s a social-justicey type of space, there’s this social-justicey book club we both attend, and one night when I led, I had a question asking everyone what’s one thing you’ve had to unlearn or deconstruct within yourself. His answer was something about trusting women.

    At this point, I had no interest; we all said personally revealing things; and I just did not get the feeling he was pandering in that feminist fuckboi way.

    But…I’m recalling this, because at some later point, I did develop interest. Did the IG scroll, and I see a guy leaves a comment on a post asking if he’s read the book “Why Does He do That?”

    He says, “Yeah! It’s really rocked my world. Realizing even more just how entitled and manipulative i’ve been/can be to women. Really important read.”

    😳

    I…I don’t know if all this unpacking is a good sign or…the worst sign ever. I also see he follows a lot of “healthy masculinity” IG accounts like Man Enough and the like.

    For the TL;DR Dude I have a crush on turns out to admit unpacking issues around women, follow healthy masculinity accounts and read those types of books. Is it worth dating a work in progress?

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    Kate
    February 27, 2024 at 5:45 am #1128322

    Is “why does he do that” about abuse? And say more about these “healthy masculinity” sites?

    Personally my gut says don’t pursue.

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    LisforLeslie
    February 27, 2024 at 7:19 am #1128324

    I too am interested for details, but part of me thinks this sounds like a lot of work tbh. It’s going to sound counter-intuitive but for me, people who spend a lot of time focused on how they do others wrong and how others do them wrong are spending so much time looking for problems with the relationship that they aren’t actually enjoying the relationship. People have faults, people have boundaries. Determine if the faults are acceptable and where those faults cross boundaries (e.g. leaving wet towel on bed is a fault that could be a dealbreaker, physical violence / emotional abuse is a boundary that once crossed means the relationship is over).

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    February 27, 2024 at 9:57 am #1128326

    In my experience, alt-guys/social-justice guys who talk a big game online about deconstructing their own behavior usually haven’t actually done the work and usually are doing it for their own egos. I would tread very, very carefully especially since he seems early in his “healing journey”, so to speak.

    Deconstructing toxic masculinity is something that needs to be done with a therapist, not just instagram pages and confessional social media posts.

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    Avatar photo
    February 27, 2024 at 10:31 am #1128327

    Deconstructing and unlearning internalized beliefs is a lot of work. I guess good for him if he is at least trying to do the work here, but I had the same thought that this is the kind of inner work that is often slow and requires more than just reading a book and posting to the gram.

    I will also say, more generally speaking, that it’s easier to spend some time with someone you are interested in to get to know than trying to read between the lines of what you’ve creeped out on the internet. It sounds like you barely know him at all, just run in similar circles/spaces, but you’ve already jumped ahead to whether or not you should be dating having spent no meaningful time together.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Avatar photoCopa.
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    Kate
    February 27, 2024 at 4:54 pm #1128332

    And did you notice his answer to the question about the book, it was all about him? And not about women and their experience.

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    Anonynousse
    February 28, 2024 at 8:57 am #1128333

    If a guy is alerting the public that he has treated women terribly, although that’s great and shows awareness, he’s probably not ready to be in a healthy relationship either. Imagine having to unpack every single argument/conversation with him. Exhausting. I have also seen a lot of guys like this just spend a lot of time talking and gaslighting and manipulating. He’s woke to women’s struggles, sure, but he has to advertise it to your book club? Is he doing it for clout or because he actually wants to be better? It does sound like he was pandering to you. And if he got a wake up call about his bad behavior with women- think of how bad that behavior could have been, most women put up with a torrential downpour of shit before they cut their ties. I hate how men pretend women require specific behaviors- when anyone treating anyone badly, period, is a red flag.

    Did he say he doesn’t trust women? Or didn’t? Red flag.

    Reply
    Anonymousse
    February 28, 2024 at 9:35 am #1128334

    Yes to what copa said about actually get to know someone. Usually great guys don’t wander around telling people how great they are. That’s a red flag. If someone says, Trust me, my inherent urge is to question that. You should notice that they are, in fact awesome on their own, trustworthy on their own, without an audience, others trust them, their friends say only glowing things. I agree that this seems too early in his “healing journey.” Also, if you like that space, book club, etc I would not get involved with anyone who is involved with the group.

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    February 28, 2024 at 9:39 am #1128336

    I think a good thing to check on is if this guy has a lot of female friends. This can tell you if other women feel safe around him, and if he respects women enough to actually be friends with them without wanting “something more”.

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    Kate
    February 28, 2024 at 9:48 am #1128338

    I also think there are enough guys out there whose parents raised them to respect women and perceive them as equals, that you don’t need to waste your time with guys who claim to be trying to learn how to do this.

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    Avatar photo
    February 28, 2024 at 10:42 am #1128342

    I’m in general agreement that dating a man who is actively learning how to treat women with respect sounds like a lot of work, but if LW’s perception of him is mostly based on what she’s found doing a deep creep of his socials and an answer to a pointed book club question, I’m not sure he’s pandering. Why not just ask him out, get to know him, and decide if he’s problematic or too much of a work in progress by YOUR standards, LW? One or even a few dates with someone is low stakes and if he gives you the ick, you’ll at least stop crushing.

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    Anonynousse
    February 28, 2024 at 10:50 am #1128343

    I think if her intuition is sounding alarms bells, which is why I think she wrote in, she should listen to it. As Kate said, there are millions of men who grew up respecting women as other human beings. He’s behind in that respect. Sure it might not be “his fault” he wasn’t raised respecting women, but I side eye that. It’s 2023 not 1993. You can do better. Date men who maybe don’t need healing.

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I cannot tell if this is a green flag or the reddest flag ever.

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