How Women Talk Themselves Into Dating Mr. Wrong

Name: Shelly
State: PA
Age: http://44
Comment: I recently met this guy who is actually an old friend (never romantically) of a girlfriend of mine.  She has proceeded to tell me all about his past (she hasn’t seen him in 20 yrs) to try to persuade me to stay away from him.

A little insight as to the mindset of my girlfriend, she just recently had a guy dump her in the most unkind way, so she is totally jaded towards men. She typically talks down on anything good anyone else has going on in their life. Which I truly believe is fueling her attitude regarding me and this new prospect.

Being that I like to form my own opinion about people, I went out on a few dates with him.  I did tell him the things that she had warned me about, to which he replied ” that was 20 years ago” she doesn’t know anything about me now.

Anyway, we hit it off much better than I had expected, he’s not typically the “look” that I would date but I, as I get older, am trying to change my mindset regarding looks, etc.

I have a great time with him, he is funny as hell!  But I still have my girlfriend chirping in my ear.

My question is since he is not typically the type I date, can all the other things that he has going for him compensate?

Also he is 38 and I am 44.
I think it can but I don’t want to disillusion myself.

Thanks!

 

A little insight as to the mindset of my girlfriend, she just recently had a guy dump her in the most unkind way, so she is totally jaded towards men. She typically talks down on anything good anyone else has going on in their life. Which I truly believe is fueling her attitude regarding me and this new prospect.

Okey dokes. Here’s the first red flag for me. You felt the need to throw your friend under the bus in order to justify why you’re dating this man. If you have to do that, it’s not a good sign.

I did tell him the things that she had warned me about, to which he replied ” that was 20 years ago” she doesn’t know anything about me now.

You told her what she said because you feared she was telling the truth. I don’t know what this guy allegedly did or didn’t do. I don’t know anything about him because you’re not telling me what she told you. (Second red flag, by the way.) Granted, he’s right that she doesn’t know him and that 20 years have passed and whatever he did he was apparently 18 years old. Lord knows we all did stupid things at that age.But without knowing what he did I can’t say if you should proceed with caution or not.

Anyway, we hit it off much better than I had expected, he’s not typically the “look” that I would date but I, as I get older, am trying to change my mindset regarding looks, etc.

Third red flag. You’re justifying your decision to date him. You know that saying you’re trying to broaden your horizons is going to win you points.

I have a great time with him, he is funny as hell!  But I still have my girlfriend chirping in my ear.

Okay. Had you not said all the other stuff you said and were there not some isolated red flags, I’d tell you to be cautiously optimistic and enjoy. But there’s something about this situation that feels off. It’s almost like maybe what your friend told you was something pretty damaging, something that might even scare you a bit, and you don’t want to think of yourself as “that” desperate that you’d date someone who did such a thing. When you confront someone with news that a friend has told them something bad about them, the typical response of someone who has matured or changed isn’t “well it was 20 years ago.” He very well could have had more of an explanation. But I’d think if he had expressed remorse, you’d have included that in your letter.

My question is since he is not typically the type I date, can all the other things that he has going for him compensate?

And all those other things would be….what now? Because other than he’s “funny as hell” you haven’t shared why this guy is so great. Fourth red flag.

Also he is 38 and I am 44.
I think it can but I don’t want to disillusion myself.

Fifth red flag.  The fact that you fear disillusioning yourself tells me that you know that you are.

I don’t know you, I don’t know this guy and I don’t know your friend. All I have to go on is this letter. As such, I have to say that you seem to be sticking with this guy because he’s out of your league somehow. (He’s younger, he’s “funny” aka charming. ) Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with a woman your age dating  a guy his age. Most women our age (38-45) date 37-50. A lot of us, especially those of us who know they don’t want kids and aren’t in a rush for marriage, have some wiggle room. But there’s a tone of desperation in this letter that I don’t like. You are trying very hard to discredit your friend over a guy you barely know. That’s what bothers me. It’s one thing to say that your friends said XYZ. But you’re qualifying those statements by criticizing her. That’s what we do when we know we’re doing something we shouldn’t.

My suggestion is to keep your head in the game and pay attention and recognize when you’re justifying his behavior or the relationship. You shouldn’t have to do that if the relationship and the man in question has real potential. Frankly, I find this kind of dating, when you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, to be exhausting. Dating is supposed to be fun and this doesn’t sound fun. You sound anxious and unsure of yourself. Any time a man has that affect on a woman, she should walk away. That’s my general rule of thumb.

You can date this guy and have fun. But you know something is off.


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30 Responses to “How Women Talk Themselves Into Dating Mr. Wrong”

  1. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    This guy should thank the OP’s friend for helping him out. She turned him from an average guy with average looks into a dark, mysterious character with a dangerous past. Oh, that old stuff? That was twenty years ago. Look for my texts….

    I think it’s more than possible that her friend’s warnings are the very reason the OP finds him so “inexplicably” interesting.

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    • Howard Says:

      This deferrence to frriends’ opinions at 44 has got to be among the craziest things I have heard in a while. It almost sounds like you are back in high school. Are you weak-minded? If I were this guy, I would lace up my racing spikes and run like crazy.

      I find this type of behavior never stops. It continues throughout relationships, and it’s really annoying. Not only does he have to please you, but all the people you regale with stories about you and him.

      Now regarding his worth to you, he is obviously what you want right now, so stop trying to get everyone else to endorse your actions. You have to live this life yourself. We can’t live it for you. Advice is always helpful but you have crossed the line.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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  2. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    My dearest Elizabeth,

    Look for my texts.

    LOL :)

    Yours,

    Mr. Darcy

    darcy2

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  3. Adrienne Says:

    I say, go for it. You’ve been on a few dates with him, you’ve enjoyed yourself and he seems to enjoy the dates, too. Is it possible that your friend may have had a crush on him in the past and is jealous?

    An 18-year old and a 38-year old are two different people. Unless he does something to YOU or YOU see something that you don’t like, have fun. And as far as the age difference, you both know how old the other person is, and it doesn’t seem to be an issue, right?

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  4. VJ Says:

    I think DMN has something here. But overall, everything Moxie AND ‘Shelly’ could be true, so what? What realistically might that mean? Logically let’s run down some of the more serious possibilities here, realizing that the guy was really not much more than a kid then.

    1.) He’s a violent sadistic serial killer. If so? Drop him. Should still be in jail.

    2.) He’s just a violent and sadistic criminal. Ditto.

    3.) He’s just prone to violence. Depends, don’t it? What the context was. If he was ever arrested, sanctioned, etc. Was he violent to his ex wife? Have a violent history with several ex-gf’s?

    4.) Has he got a past criminal record? Depending on the population, this is true for a increasingly significant segment of the male population. And at 18-20? Again depending on the seriousness, it’s a life time ago. Many of our acting stars & star athletes also have some criminal histories. If it was not for a pliant press, voters might have known that both Dybya Bush & Cheney had yes, extensive prior DUI/DWI records that were somehow successfully covered up. That’s when big money & influence will do for you. White wash your record.

    5.) So baring the mafia style spare bleeding lifeless bodies in the trunks of late late model sedans, what are we talking about here? Graft? Corruption? Did he take her friend for some serious money? Or just didn’t pay her back for a taxi cab ride in ~1991 after being too drunk to pay at dinner? A desperate kid who borrowed money to get across the state line ahead of some small town bookies/enemies/gangs?

    That’s about the worst stuff I can think of. I imagine that for some they’d throw in ‘2 timing’ or ‘double dating’, which is pretty silly sounding some 20 years later. ‘But we were going steady’, is not the capital crime it once was when you were 18. So what else are we talking about here? Got someone pregnant and then something? Pretty much the definition of a careless teen, right? Should not really be damning someone for that 20 years later. (Unless there’s a kid they’ve never met). But that seems unlikely too.

    So once again, everything that Moxie says about ‘red flags’ might be true, (or possible) and everything Shelly notes about her GF might be true too. So what now? We’ll just have to try and muddle along the best we can as free thinking semi-rational adults, I guess. If he’s not a criminal (which is doubtful), most of what he was doing in 1990 is as remote to us here in 2012 as is G.H.W. Bush (41). You don’t think of the old codger much anymore do you? Prior marriages do count, but HS Gf’s? Not as much. Cheers, ‘VJ’

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  5. dimplz Says:

    Depends on what was sooooo 20 years ago…
    Drugs? Recreational drugs at 18 is not so uncommon…
    Criminal activity? That’s a whole other animal.

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  6. VJ Says:

    Yeah, I forgot the drugs, it’s just amazingly too common. (Ditto for the drinking). Sorry for the typos too. But 18-20 something hopped up on something, doing something stupid, pretty much SSDD for the times. So I guess like with much else, we need some more context to know what might be the possible trouble here. Cheers, ‘VJ’

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  7. Mark Says:

    Just a few not-so random-thoughts.

    A couple of broad issues in the OP’s letter.

    The first: From what you describe, your girlfriend may not be the best influence on you. I base that on your description of her actions and attitude. Most notably the general negative attitude and tone she seems to have. That may not be the case, but it would appear so. If you are asking her advice about people places or things that’s one thing, if her proffered counsel is unsolicited, then that’s somethings else. So think hard about whom you associate with and why you do so.

    The second: About this guy. You seem bright enough to form your own decisions. Sure, you may want to use some background information, but a quick meet and greet and and any follow up meetings will help you make up your own mind about him. If things click, then great, if things don’t (for any reason or no reason) then you have your answer.

    Hope things go well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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    • DFL Says:

      Didn’t we have – just 2 weeks ago on this blog – a post titled “Girl on Girl action” on how female friends tend to give horrible dating advice?
      And wasn’t one of the given reasons “They secretly want you to fail or resent you”?

      It seems kind funny that the letter writer is now being criticized for noticing this point.

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      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        It seems kind funny that the letter writer is now being criticized for noticing this point.

        Which is why I said:

        Had you not said all the other stuff you said and were there not some isolated red flags, I’d tell you to be cautiously optimistic and enjoy.

        There were too many other red flags in her letter for me to dismiss this as her friend just looking to sabotage her.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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        • DFL Says:

          I wonder how many of the other red flags (which mainly seem to be that the letter writer fails to include some information) come from the letter writer’s intention to keep the latter short and to the point.

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          • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

            Iif that were her intention, then she certainly used up a great deal of space to bash her friend. Which was the main red flag. That and the fact that she then turned around and told the guy what the friend had said. The friend might be trying to sabotage her. I never said that she couldn’t be doing that. But the friend’s behavior wasn’t as troubling to me as the behavior exhibited by the OP.

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            • Selena Says:

              My take is that the OP is setting it up to give herself an out. He’s 6 yrs younger. He doesn’t look like the guys she usually chooses. He did something so uncool, her friend remembers it 20 years later and tells her about it. And she feels she must mention it to him. She claims to want to keep dating him, but her friend’s words are chirping in her ear.

              If he turns out to be ah…not so great – or drops her – then she already has a list of excuses lined up as to why he wasn’t such a catch anyway.

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      • Deen Says:

        Totally agreed. Women secretly want other women to fail,
        to not be as happy, successful, thin, or pretty as they are. They
        always want to ‘one up’ each other and when they’re miserable,
        they want others to be as well.

        Better to take dating advice from a female friend with a grain of salt,
        or a hint of skepticism.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

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        • The Reluctant Monogamist Says:

          I see this notion, that a woman’s friends are sabotaging her and really her own worst enemy discussed quite often here and on other blogs. I can only speak from my own experience, but I have a wonderful group of supportive, nurturing women that have been with me through everything since high school. This type of destructive, catty friendship seems so foreign to me! I am incredibly lucky, I guess!

          Just know that not all women are out there trying to undercut each other. Good, healthy, solid female friendships do exist!

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      • Snowflake Says:

        DFL – I would agree with you however she too threw her gf under the bus by “tattling” to the guy in question all her gf said about him. Seems childish to me, behaviour on both women. If she had just gone on a few dates with the guy and not said anything to him about her “inside info” I would definately agree the whole “Girl on Girl” bit. They are both apparently playing each other (the women that is).

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        • Yuppy Says:

          I agreed, for a women who is of 44 years old, her social aptitude is quite low. In general, she should have just kept what her girlfriend told her private, rather than tattle that back to the guy. This would give the guy an opportunity to know what these two girls are up to and play his games if he has any intention to do that.

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  8. dimplz Says:

    I probably wouldn’t be friends with someone who talked so much shit behind their “friend’s” back, because if they are doing it to their “friends,” they will do it to you.

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    • Sarah Says:

      Do you mean Friend talking shit about New Guy, or OP talking shit about Friend to New Guy?

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      • dimplz Says:

        All of the above.

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      • DFL Says:

        There is nothing in the letter that says that the LW was talking shit about Friend the New Guy.

        It said that she asked New Guy about these “things that happened 20 years ago”.

        Depending on what these things were that doesn’t mean she even has to mention who she knew that from.

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        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          The IP said:

          I did tell him the things that she had warned me about, to which he replied ” that was 20 years ago” she doesn’t know anything about me now.

          The “she doesn’t know anything about me” implies that the OP did in fact reveal who told her the stories about his past.

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  9. Sarah Says:

    What was the point of telling him what your friend said abou him — especially within the first few dates? Was that some kind of test, or were you trying to manufacture intimacy by — AGAIN — throwing your friend under the bus?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

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  10. LaLa Says:

    Just be careful and look out for any additional potential red flags other then the ones Moxie pointed out. I don’t think you should really listen to your female friend, as female friends are always going to give you their dating and relationship views in a somewhat skewed perspective. However, I also think you should keep what your friends tell you to yourself from now on, and not tell the guys you date. Let him prove himself how he is right now, and not from his past mistakes, unless they are like other posters have said, big deal-breakers like criminal activity. I think it’s good you’re opening yourself up to different types of men but stay aware of his character and intentions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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  11. Saj Says:

    Womenz are jellis h8trs.

    I don’t know I have male friends who would make lousy dating choices and if a friend was interested I would give her a heads up for HER sake not to cock block the male friend. I always thought the ultra competitive catty women frenemy was more of a tv stereotype as I haven’t run into that sort much in my day to day life. Maybe they are more common in urban areas.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

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    • Snowflake Says:

      You just proved the Girl on Girl point right. Why do you feel its left up to you to inform two GROWN adults on your opinion (so what they guy is a douche in your eyes, I am pretty sure the girl can figure out that much on her own?), who are you to guess the pair would make a bad couple why can’t they find out on their own. Let the chips fall where they may, and stay out of someone’s personal life.

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    • dimplz Says:

      It’s the skyscrapers. Makes women CRAZY!

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    • Selena Says:

      I’ve been mystified myself about the competitive, undermining, jealous frenemy thing frequently taken as a given on this blog. I haven’t experienced it either in my life – even way back in high school.

      We choose our friends, our social circle – so I’ve wondered if the people who are so influenced by this are actually the ones who are choosing “friends” like this for some reason.

      Maybe you’re right though – it’s an urban thing. Or a NYC thing. I wouldn’t know.

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  12. Mr. R Says:

    20 years, people, 20 years. Were you or were you not a completely different person 20 years ago.

    If the girlfriend was recently dumped and jaded, shouldn’t her advice be taken with a huge grain of salt? Shelly realizes this because she noted it in her letter.

    And she also went on more than just one date with this guy. Note the multiple dates. Normally the first date is when you can get a idea of a person pretty quickly. And she’s choosing to go out on multiple dates.

    Personally, I would say to keep dating and find information out, and heavily discount the girlfriend’s advice because she’s jaded.

    I mean seriously, a lot can happen in 20 years. I mean, 10 years ago, I was heavily depressed, I bombed out of school, living with my parents, and I didn’t have a job. But now, I have a B.S., a MBA, I’m married, have a house, a six-figure job, and am about to be a dad. Completely unrecognizable.

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