Was It Her Fault Her Tinder Dude Was a D-Bag?



Name: Dafne
Question: Dear Moxie,
I would love to hear your thoughts. I will tell you the short version, then maybe a longer one to provide some context.
I am now 25, and had been in a relationship with someone in his 30’s for 2 years. About 6 months ago, he went on a trip to Asia with guy friends . About a week ago, at a party he hosted, one of his guy friends who was on the trip, said something to the effect of, “J – you know that girl you hooked up with in that club in X?” My ex later told me that he spent the night with a random girl while on the trip, and how sorry he was.
A longer version for context: I am the daughter of Mexican immigrants. I grew up in a trailer park in the central valley, and my parents picked vegetables and work odd end jobs. We did not have a lot – there were times our trailer part did not have running water. I never really dated – I worked and studied through high school, and went to college on a one of those merit based scholarships where your GPA drops, you are done. I pretty much just worked and studied my entire life. I started my PHD program here in the city about 2 years ago. I joined a dating app, as my friends all joked that I was headed to 30 year virgin territories (never been on a date at that time). I met J on the dating app. He was kind of whirl wind every since. He is very charismatic, very smart, and easy to love so to speak. We would sit on his roof and talk for hours.  He is older. He just showed me so many things I had never seen/done before. I mention this as part of me recognize that I got a lot out of the
relationship that wasn’t just love and friendship. There were a lot of superficial things as well – like going to places, going to parties, and i had never know anyone who lived in a triplex on Crosby Street before (feel free to redact location). He has really interesting friends (like founders of companies that you hear about).  So part of me wonder: how much of things did I *not* see because I wanted to have access to the *things*?

Now to the present. He apologized. He is so sorry. It did not mean anything. The one night doesn’t have anything to do with us.  Then last night, a friend found him on a new dating app called Bumble, and his profile stated something like, “One thing I learned from my last relationship is to not care too much about how accomplished a girl is. Some Harvard PhDs are boring as hell.” I guess he is/was talking about me. I had to chuckle, and spent all of last night crying.

My question: honestly, was this really my fault? did I overlook things because I wanted the “things”? was this a rookie mistake? Was it all just a fake delusion? Was I in love with the glitter that wasn’t real?
Age: 25


You’re only sin was being inexperienced. The rest is on him. Hes a douchebag who hangs out with other douchebags, a red flag in its own right.

He’s used to being able to impress women with his money and flash. He relies on those things because that’s all he brings to the table. You were the fundamentally inferior to him non-threatening woman that men like that prefer. Women like you – inexperienced and unsophisticated – are exactly what guys like this need. Why? Because underneath the shell they’ve created, there’s just an empty void of nothing. Their personality sucks, they’re probably not that great in bed, they’re not terribly interesting, etc. They have to be with women who don’t have anything to compare them to so that they stay impressive for as long as possible.

He thinks you’re dumb and will believe him or will – at the very least – look the other way because of his status and accomplishments. See, he thinks that’s really what women care about, probably because that’s the only kind of women he’s ever dated. Young women. Inexperienced women. Women who grew up poor. He relies on their innocence and naivete. Meanwhile he’s off cheating or engaging in inappropriate behavior with other women. He’s expecting you to stick around because he thinks you’re stupid.

Prove him wrong by Girl, Bye-ing this douchebag.





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29 Responses to “Was It Her Fault Her Tinder Dude Was a D-Bag?”

  1. Timothy Horrigan Says:

    He may have dated another Harvard PhD.

  2. Dan Says:

    I’ve seen this scenario a few times. I even used to have a girlfriend like this, who went through a similar story: grew up from a backwater place, self-accomplished but went through a bad relationship with a guy like the one described above. She was too traumatized from that experience to be able to trust again, which sadly affected our relationship.

    Mox is right about this guy and the status dynamic.

    We aspire to certain things in relationships. The path we choose to those aspirations reveals our character and can also lead to a lot of difficulty if we reach outside of our “league” or if we keep trying to reach for a life outside of what is authentic to our inner selves.

    The question now is what path to take in moving on?

    It is easy to look at flashiness or attractiveness in all its diferent forms.

    25 is still young. I didn’t finish my PhD until I was 30. At this age in life, there are still plenty of people with good character around when sought with a compass calibrated with realism and self-awareness.

  3. Jesse Says:

    Hey — guess what — he doesn’t like you enough to be exclusive with you, but doesn’t want to hurt your feelings by dumping you.

    You are both young. So Let it go, dump him, don’t look back. Don’t worry that you did something wrong. You didn’t. And It’s not going to help you by calling him names, or for you to wait around for him either. Just tell him you are done with him, and move on.

  4. Bree Says:

    His crack on Bumble about being unimpressed by a PhD says to me that he’s actually threatened by you (or any woman he’d date) working towards one or having one. “Boring” as an insult says more about HIM. He’d really prefer his woman to be young and naive, uneducated and unsophisticated; easy to impress, dominate and control, and cheat on. He’s actually the boring one, as Moxie notes. Your growth does not appeal to him because eventually you will see the truth and you’ll begin to assert yourself. Most men are “turned off” (threatened, actually) by educated/financially successful/intelligent/sophisticated women to at least a small degree (or else they’d be lined up for Moxie’s Ivy League dating event instead of the “fit” one, heh.). He is one of those men who has these insecurities to a large degree. Wise up and move on. It will be more painful to hang on. I see a situation like this turning psychologically abusive very soon.

    • Jesse Says:

      Hogwash. That he wrote it shows poor judgement on his part and immaturity, but for you to deny him his feelings? Bad on you.

      • Jesse Says:

        My bet is every down vote is from a woman. And that speaks volumes.

        • BTownGirl Says:

          I mean, who doesn’t love a grown man who’s throwing digs at his ex-girlfriend on a dating app and picking on her advanced education to get the point across. Huge turn-on, HUGE!

      • Nia Says:

        What feelings? The feelings that, while he’s in a supposedly committed relationship with someone with a PHD, he is a) on a dating app and b) saying that he finds it “boring”?
        He can have any feelings he wants. No one is saying “oh, how dare that guy have those *feelings*! They are saying he is expressing them poorly, with poor timing, on a poor choice of venue.
        If he has “feelings” of finding women with a PHD “boring”, he’s certainly entitled to them. But I think many women here find his expression of them, timing, and venue to be beyond crass.
        That’s what the objections and downvoting are for.

    • ? Says:

      Most men are NOT threatened by smart, highly educated women. I have a Batchelor degree and a Graduate Diploma from two of the most esteemed universities in Australia and have had no problems with men that only have high school education. I don’t keep flinging my education in their faces or consistently talk down to them by using sophisticated vocabulary or bait them with high level abstract concepts and discussions. Many men without formal education are successful in their own ways – no one likes being treated like crap just because a woman feels he should be just as “smart” and “educated” as she is.

    • KK Says:

      That he said pple with PhDs are boring shows he is a jerk. Insulting pple like that is not ok. It doesnt mean he was threatened. Perhaps he was. Or perhaps he came to.realize that education makes you neither boring nor interesting. He is scummy – yes.

      • AV Says:

        In all fairness, PhDs can be pretty boring people sometimes. My father has a PhD. So does my brother, and I’ve known some of his PhD friends as well. I have a cousin who has a PhD, and her husband has one also. They’re very nice and I love them all, but they’re not exactly the types of people who hang out at trendy locales and live exciting lives.

        • BTownGirl Says:

          Just like there are doctors who aren’t a thrill-a-minute, lawyers who aren’t hittin’ up the hotspots, etc. Let’s just not.

    • Parenting Says:

      Men are afraid of successful/confident/very beautiful women is a myth right up there with women don’t like nice guys. Men aren’t lining up for Moxies Ivy League/Advanced Degree event because women who are seeking out Ivy League guys sound high maintenance and golddiggerish and men are more excited about meeting thin, hot women. Its really as simple as that.

      • Bree Says:

        This recent study that was in the news a few months ago comes to mind:

        “Men May Like The Idea Of A Smart Woman, But They Don’t Want To Date One”

        Moxie also has a post here somewhere about whether men can deal with women who make more money than them. If you read between the lines of most male comments, it’s “yes,” they have no problem with smart, strong, etc. women, as long as the man can feel smarter, stronger, etc.-er around her. Generally the men have no problem with a working wife, but would prefer themselves to make enough money so their wife “doesn’t have to” work. It’s an ego/control/power thing deeply ingrained but doesn’t necessarily manifest to extreme levels these days as many women aren’t putting up with it anymore. No, most men are not extreme control freaks, but they do prefer to dominate and feel superior to women (and other men), especially ones they date and marry. It’s not a myth.

        • Dave Says:

          Bree, I think you need to meet some different men. There’s a whole new generation of younger men out there who didn’t grow up in a Leave it to Beaver 50s household. And plenty of Gen Xers like myself who live the same way. Times have changed. I heard once there are even some men who stay at home and watch the kids while their wives work, but that’s probably just BS propaganda…

          But I do agree that studies like the one you shared always represent the best facts and ultimate truth. They never, ever could be even a little bit biased. :)

          • KK Says:

            Men stay home with the kids. But. Interestingly women still do the housework. Things change. But not as fast as we would like.

            Most of the guys i know have no problem dating women more educated than they are. However most guys i kbow tend to date women as or less educated than they are.

            Honestly confident people don’t care

        • Parenting Says:

          I would question the validity of the science behind this study. If you questioned 150 six year olds, you’d find that 50% of “men” think “women are gross”. The study questioned 150 18-21 year old college boys at one school. I don’t think the narrowly selected test group accurately represents the male population of this country.

      • ? Says:

        I think the lack of men in the Ivy League/Advanced degree events reflects the fact that men who are Ivy League/Advanced degree have already been taken. As for those who are still single, they really don’t need help finding dates apart for the really socially inept ones and/or unattractive ones. Combine that with the fact that women increasingly make up the professional work-force and there simply just isn’t enough Ivy League professional men to go round.

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          The reason why many women sign up for the Ivy League events in droves is because those women care about educational background. It’s a status thing. Most men don’t really care if a woman has a similar educational background.

          • bbdawg Says:

            I would actually disagree with that to an extent. People who go to Ivy league schools of whatever tend to marry each other. You don’t actually see a lot of people, men, mostly, marrying women of lower educational status. (“Ivy”) men aren’t on the market very often because they tend to seek out partners of the same level and of course their social circles are made up of people of similar backgrounds. There was a recent study that indicated that it has NEVER been harder to “marry up”. Because women are ALL educated.

            It’s women who marry down, not men. Men have a much more binary thing where they can date the women “for fun” but when it comes down to commitment, they are VERY picky. That includes job and education.

            The only men who *really* don’t care are the super wealthy ones/playboy types and there aren’t that many of those to go around anyway. Men on employee incomes living in expensive cities know that if they choose a partner who makes a lot less than they do, his lifestyle will suffer and he will have to move to a worse neighborhood to be with that woman since he’ll have to be the head of the household.

            People nowadays marry people with similar backgrounds and women would rather get divorced than stay married to men who don’t make money or at least have some level of ambition. I have friends who are getting divorced for that reason, and I know of many others who are too. Women just can’t take men who are not interested in “improving their station” in life. Women end up being the ones who have to support men, or pay most of the bills. This causes a lot of friction when there are children involved because women also have more responsibilities with raising the kids.

          • IvyWoman Says:

            I am inclined to chime in on this one. As an Ivy educated woman myself I would never in a million years consider an event that is branded as an “ivy league event”, and not because I don’t care about the status, I do. Literally the only men who would be signing up for these are the ones who are socially inept, unemployed or otherwise undesirable (just because you went to a certain school doesn’t mean you are desirable). It’s not that desirable men don’t care about a woman’s education, they do, it’s just not how they socialize or how they meet women. You are more likely to find them in the front row of a Nick’s game with their clients and colleagues, or in a corporate box at the MSG/Yankee stadium or in their yacht/tennis/golf club or their family beach house or whatever – not at a speed dating event.

  5. Parenting Says:

    I don’t think its terrible that you admired him and his friends and appreciated his experienced professional advice. Unless you were just using him for access to his network and professional opportunities, theres nothing wrong with admiring the man you date.

    As for the rest, you are amazing. I’m sorry your first relationship left you feeling this low. Please get rid of this overgrown frat boy immediately.

  6. KK Says:

    You did NOTHING wrong.

    The main warning sign is this. You are now 25. You have been in or were in a relationship with this guy for two years. So it started when you were 23. You said this gut is in his 30s. So i am guessing he was already in his 30s when the relationship started. No guy past his late 20s should be seeking out 23-year-olds.

  7. KK Says:

    Guy. Not gut.

    • KK Says:

      Also. Your friends? Warning you that you were creeping up on 30-year-old virgin status? You were 23! And even now. You are 25!

  8. Bethany Says:

    I broke up with a man like this in my mid-20’s. He’s held down a couple more long-term relationships since then with naive women while he cheats on them left and right. Bullet dodged.

    Dump him!!!

  9. BTownGirl Says:

    Psssssssh, this guy is a poster child for “I Don’t Care If He’s Male, He Gets A ‘Girl, Bye'”. I will bet any of you a 20-spot here and now that he didn’t go to Harvard himself or anything close. I actually knew a guy like this in college (never dated him, praise be) – he was from a blue blood family and loved, just loved, to lecture the women he dated on proper etiquette/proper dress (child please)/etc. He’s now in his late 30’s and all he has to show for his wisdom is two divorces and a cocaine problem, but I digress. People like this have to believe that they’re superior in order to feel better about themselves. It’s sad, honestly, that a man his age would delude himself into thinking that he’s “better” than a clearly driven, accomplished and thoroughly impressive young woman like yourself.

    You did nothing wrong and, in fact, you’ve done one thing very, very right…you’ve realized that he sucks. Go forth and live the wonderful, interesting, exciting life that you’ve earned through your hard work. Good luck!! :)

  10. IvyWoman Says:


    This guy is a real piece of work that’s for sure. You dumped him and good riddance.

    But there’s something else that you touched upon that other commenters didn’t seem to recognize – that you were attracted to the “glitter” and “things”. I think you are remarkably self aware to recognize this, and as someone with a similar background – I know exactly what you’re talking about. When you come from nothing and find yourself in a different social class through your own hard work, but lack family and family network in your new social class, you feel pretty isolated. Your college classmates are getting engaged to their cousins’ high school lacrosse team mates and getting setup at their daddy’s country club, while you’re stuck with the losers from Tinder. You feel like you’ve earned your right to be one of those people, but their circle is closed to you. So when a guy like this comes along and he introduces you to his exciting friends, and takes you to those social events etc. it is easy to fall for that, and it is easy to like that glitter. Don’t beat yourself up for it, but take note: don’t use the guys you date as a substitute for cultivating your own social circle. It’s hard, but it can be done. You’re so young and smart, you will figure it out.

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