Fast forward almost ten years later and I have a new love; I introduced her to Greg soon after we met a few years ago, and though she thought he was smart and ambitious, she was concerned about his treatment of women and the fact that he had a girlfriend of twelve years whom he wasn’t faithful to. Towards the end of last year they finally broke up, and he has been going through women like they’re nothing. My girlfriend used to be in a relationship with a man similar to Greg, who would always chase women or have women on the side when he was in a relationship. He triggers her to the point that she’s had panic attacks over his behavior.
We had a big argument recently and she said that, if I continue my friendship with him, I will become like him, and she said I have to choose: him or her. He and I have been close for about thirteen years now, he’s never gotten me to do anything I didn’t want to do and vice versa, he’s a calm, collective person and I have never even seen him angry. His one character flaw is that he’s a Casanova. I am not sure why I suddenly need to choose one or the other because she fears me turning into something I am not willing to be.
I want to choose her, but I know that I will be turning my back on someone who is a true friend and whom I have learned a lot from. My circle is small — there are just two other friends whom I trust and consider like family. What should I do? — How to Choose?
Your girlfriend has had multiple panic attacks over this guy’s behavior and your friendship with him, so it’s not like her feelings are coming out of nowhere. She judges you for your friendship with him because the people we choose to hold dearest to us says a lot about our values. She sees your friendship with him in direct conflict with her values.
Why the sudden ultimatum? Maybe the #metoo movement has pushed her to express what has been buried for a long time. Maybe she feels liberated to prioritize the treatment of women, and to do that she feels she needs to start with herself and her direct and indirect condoning of such behavior. Maybe she sees continuing a relationship with someone who is BFFs with a player who doesn’t respect women is in conflict with the values she is connecting with and embracing more and more.
I don’t necessarily think she’s worried Greg will get you to do something you shouldn’t; it’s probably more about considering your values and whether they are a match to hers. If you are super close with a womanizer, what does that say about how you prioritize the feelings of women, in general? Whom we befriend is a reflection of us. Befriending someone who is an asshole to women doesn’t reflect well on you. Period. Sorry, but it just doesn’t. Just as being friends with a raging racist wouldn’t reflect well on you, even if you yourself weren’t a raging racist.
Anyway, you have a choice to make, she’s made that clear. Her or him. I can’t make that decision for you. You need to analyze what’s important to you. It’s ok if what is most important to you is a friendship with someone who is very near and dear to you. Just don’t be surprised if the next woman you date is also not so keen with your being BFFs with an asshole.
The issue is that he is a struggling, independent artist. He is quite popular, but he says that his artistic skills keep him from taking the shortcut way to money and fame. He wants to continue with the struggle. To make things easier, for example, he may be invited to perform in a gig that is organized by a giant corporation in exchange of a fat paycheck. But more often than not, he turns down such offers if the organizers are known to have taken dishonest routes to get rich. So, most of the time, he sits at home, doing nothing and cursing the world for dishonesty, malpractices, etc.
As a result, he is broke (most of the time). We’re both 24 now, I have a job with decent pay, and I’m tired of footing the bill for all of our vacations, dates, and everything else. Even my parents are against this relationship as they think that he will forever be a financial burden on me.
Please help me out. I can’t think of ending this relationship over monetary issues. But I’m also tired of always being the one who pays for everything. I’ve stopped going to fancy places, shipping things, traveling first class, etc. At times, these things do not matter, but whenever we have a fight, this is what I think of first. I’m getting bitter by the day, and it is ruining both our lives.
Please tell me what to do. — Tired of Not Being Treated
Ok, yeah, your argument that you “can’t think of ending this relationship over monetary issues” falls flat when it’s immediately followed up with how tired you are of paying for everything, how you’ve already made the great sacrifice of giving up flying first class and going to fancy places, and doing so is making you bitter and ruining your life.
You have different values that you aren’t going to be able to surpass. Your differing values are making you each miserable and, as you say, “ruining your lives.” You value fancy places, traveling first class, and being treated to things by your significant other. Your partner does not value those things and is not prioritizing providing those things for you. You have made clear that that is not ok by you. For both of your sakes, move on already. You simply are not a good match.
P.S. If you’re 24 years old and have taken multiple vacations in eight months time, it’s hard to take you seriously when you talk about how hard the struggle is. Beyond breaking up with your boyfriend, I’d also advise you go, like, volunteer for a charity and get some perspective. There are people who are truly struggling and suffering in the world. To hear a 24-year-old whine about giving up first-class travel is painful.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.