#2188 How To Deal With Dating A Douche Bag

Photo: Haw-lin

Anonymous asks: My boyfriend keeps telling me he wants to go on a break. He says I’m too controlling because I don’t like it when he goes out without me, but when he does go out, our mutual friends tell me he ends up flirting with other girls, or going to strip clubs. Plus, he’s cheated on me twice. My friends all hate him and tell me to break up with him, but I’m so in love with him and I’m scared that if we break up he’ll just end up hooking up with another girl straight away (he’s really good looking and funny). I’m 21, he’s 22 and we’ve been together three years. What can I do?

Sounds like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you break up with him, you’re going to be upset for a while. If you stay with him, you’re basically telling yourself, him and everyone you know that you’re not worthy of being treated with respect. Your friends have good reason to hate him – he sounds like a complete and utter douche bag. Don’t get me wrong, I can imagine exactly why you like him: He’s good looking, funny, he keeps you on your toes, it’s exciting, you never know what to expect, it’s dramatic, passionate and nobody knows what it’s like when it’s just you and him. 

But here’s the thing. He cheated on you. He went out and made the conscious decision to have sex with another girl who wasn’t you. You forgave him and took him back. Then he did it again. You know why? Because you showed him that it was acceptable for him to have sex with another girl. Why wouldn’t he do it again when there were no consequences the first time. Now he’s telling you he wants to go on a break so he can hook up with other girls without having to feel guilty about it. Rest assured he’ll end up getting back together with you once the grass stops looking greener or he misses the way you used to put up with his crap.

Do you not see a problem with this picture?

Nobody is ever going to treat you better than you treat yourself, and right now you’re treating yourself like someone who will happily be walked all over.

Like my Dad always says, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” This guy has shown you time and time again that he doesn’t have respect for you or your relationship, and you don’t even seem to be contemplating breaking up with him. That is not okay.

My advice, for what it’s worth, is to listen to your friends and break up with him immediately. Deal with the short term unhappiness you’ll experience as you come to terms with the end of the relationship, then with the pain you’ll feel when he does invariably hook up with another girl the moment you’ve broken up (and don’t be surprised if it’s someone you know).

But seriously, I promise you the short term unhappiness you’ll experience when you break up with him will be far less significant than the long term pain of staying in a relationship with someone who clearly doesn’t like you very much.

Best of luck, I hope you make the right decision.


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  1. Melissa says

    Great advice, you hit the nail on the head with the short term unhappiness/long term pain thing!

  2. Jenny says

    Good advice Isaac. I do hope that the young woman in question takes it because the future for her is bleak indeed if she doesn’t. And I wish her well for a life in which she neither gets nor allows such ongoing disrespect from her men.

  3. B. says

    As a girl who’s been in near exact same situation, yeah, of course he’ll hook up with someone straight away – but the fact that he will obviously shows he isn’t as into this relationship as you are. And sure, it’s humiliating when your ex straight away gets with someone else, but the more humiliating thing is staying in a relationship where you’re continually betrayed but allow him to come crawling back. If you want your man to respect you (which he obviously doesn’t…) you need to respect yourself, and that means to stop kidding yourself. Best of luck x

  4. Ra says

    Church. She has to leave him for sure, this guy sounds like a massive douche. Better yet, she should find another hot funny guy and hook up with him. Then see what her lovely boyfriend has to say about that. What’s good for the gander is good for the goose, to bastardize an old proverbial. 

  5. Anonymous says

    As a guy who is kind affectionate and loyal, I’ll be over hear banging my head against the wall until I lose consciousness.

  6. Avo003 says

    I am in a similar position where my friends boyfriend waits till the storm is over and talks his way out of any situation. It is so hard for me to watch this all happen. How far involved do I get? How can I get her to listen to me? It is too hard to watch the girlfriend self destruct……

  7. Pip says

    Sorry to be blunt, but this guy doesn’t give a shiz-winkle about you. Not even one tiny bit. Because you’ve shown him repeatedly that you don’t give a shiz-winkle about yourself. He’s simply taking advantage of your lack of a back-bone and sense of self-worth. Seriously, get the hell out of this situation and spend some time by yourself, improving your own self-esteem. Hang out with your friends – who obviously do care about you – and spend some time doing the things that make you happy. 

    You will soon see that you deserve so much better than what he’s offering, and will probably be facepalming yourself repeatedly for sticking around for as long as you did. I promise you, this isn’t love – well, not from him at least.

  8. "Anonymous" says

    I think most people here are jumping the gun a bit. There are ALWAYS two sides to a story. The one written above has clearly been taken well out of context. Instead the question should include the fact that the cheating occurred over two years ago, with a girl that then became this guys girlfriend for six months while the “Anonymous” or better yet “Cowardly” questioner was broken up with this guy. They then made a mutual decision to give things another go. I don’t mean to justify the cheating – yes, it was wrong, but it wasn’t a one-night-wonder kind of thing. You forgave him and it should be forgotten.

    It sounds like this guys taking a lot of slack for not doing much wrong. The whole situation seems to be fuelled by a bunch of things: trust issues, low self-esteem, and conniving ‘friends’ that don’t give two hoots about the girl and her guy. They’ve turned the situation to be about themselves, true friends? I don’t think so! 

    From what you’ve written, it seems like your more afraid of him being with other girls than being without him. Perhaps you should take a look at your own life, figure out what insecurities (or shit friends), are pulling you down and ask yourself the same question. 

  9. Guest says

    hey ‘anonymous’, wow so the boyfriend cheated on this girl almost 2 years ago n then left her for another girl? wow that must have destroyed her self esteem.

    sounds like she has alot of factors to consider, and that her friends should give her space to make her own decision.

  10. "Anonymous" says

    Yes this is true about the cheating followed by a 6 months long relationship but then when they mutually decided to get back together he still admitted to cheating twice more with “one night hook ups.”  

  11. Minnie Law says

    Hmm tricky one really but if he is trying to make it up to you and promises never to treat you badly again, maybe you should give him a second chance. I hope you have some good friends who are supporting you through this even if they don’t like him they should always be there for him in good times and in bad as I am sure you are for them. Good luck

  12. Anon says

    I think that personally you should look at yourself and the person you are and the person you have become being with this person. Is this really how you want to spend your 20’s? He obviously isn’t mature enough to have you. Wake up you can do better, you will do better! If he does go hook up with other girls straight away that says more about him then you. Do you really want to be with someone that would do that? You obviously have major trust issues and fair enough as would anybody. Once the trust is gone then what’s left? trust has to be earned and time and time again he seems to be breaking it. Do you really love him? or do you love what you used to have? Life is too short to be in a dead end relationships with someone who doesn’t give a shit. He cares about himself more then you. Saying that however your friends hating him is their problem not yours each to their own. Sure it may create friction but if they are letting it get in the way of your friendship they aren’t worth it either. true friends stick by you no matter what. Abandoning you when you need it most is a shitty thing to do and they should look at themselves and judge themselves the way they obviously judge you.

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