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Some fresh perspective please

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:13 pm
by Thedogsmother
I am hoping problem pages forumers might be able to offer a bit of objectivity on a relationship problem. I am new to the forum.

I have been seeing a guy (we are both 38) for a year and a half, but only as boyfriend/girlfriend for 4 months, as he has been a classic Mr Unavailable for a long time not wanting to label the relationship and I guess I went along with that hoping to steer a different path later on - this was wrong of me I know. He has been a bit of a player in the past. Long story, but I had fallen in love with him and there were no signs of him making things 'official'. I realised I had reached my threshold of loving someone who wasn't prepared to commit to giving things a proper go since I figured it was a soul sapping experience, and that it would eventually destroy me as it could easily go on indefinitely if I let it. And so, back in October without any drama (but with a heavy heart) I broke things off on good terms, walked away and wished him the best. This seemed to be the turning point and everything suddenly changed. He told me he loved me, wanted me to be his girlfriend and was sorry that he hadn't invested himself in the relationship but that he had been hurt, seen bad experiences with his parents etc. He told me he had thought of us setting up a home together, and settling down. He had never voiced any of this to me, but I always thought he loved me (there were clues in the things he did and said) which is why when I got to the stage of walking away I was confused about how I could have got it so wrong.

So this was all amazing to me and I never felt so happy. He is now talking about me moving down to live with him as we live at opposite ends of the country at the moment, he's instigating looking at houses and it is all moving quite quickly! I have though, a nagging doubt... He is a big user of social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram to the point where he checks it several times in an hour it is the first thing he looks at when he wakes and the last thing before he sleeps. I don't use any of them, just Facebook for work as I have to keep an eye on a volunteers group on there and sort of 'mod' it, but this is as far as my FB use goes. He has over 2000 'friends' on there! And to be honest loads of them are randoms that he doesn't know and has just added over the years because they're cute. There were all sorts on there, dancers from strip clubs, Russian girls, Lithuanian girls, Australian girls, American girls, models, porn stars, fetishists you get the drift... Up to him I guess, but I got fed up as he was actually liking their photos and I felt that given we were giving things a proper go it was a bit disrespectful to be liking their photos since all of our friends could see this and so it amounted to publicly drooling over strangers. Looking is one thing, but pressing that little like button was another, and I didn't really see why it was necessary. He was liking photos of 18 and 20 year olds young enough to be his daughter! I saw red when he liked a photo of an 18 year old just a head and shoulders shot of her only just in a very low cut top, pouting at the camera! Liking a face and boobs shot can really only be for one reason and to send only one message - i think you're fit. So I told him it hurt my feelings and that I felt it wasn't really appropriate. To be fair he was understanding and he agreed and voluntarily even removed some of the contacts. He said that he goes through phases of adding people randomly hoping that he will get added/liked back. I find this very odd and to me it screams of wider issues relating to validation. Maybe it is the norm though?? However, he is creeping back to his old ways of liking and randomly following again. I saw that he had followed a 16 year old on Instagram just a few days ago who wasn't following him. To be honest this causes me problems as I feel uneasy that a 38 year old guy is following a 16 year old who posts mostly selfies on social media! If I were her mother I would find it creepy..

So, my queries are, as a non instagram and very infrequent FB user, what's the deal with all these likes? Am I just being irrational and paranoid? Why 'like' a photo of a scantily clad woman unless you are trying to make a connection with her? I think I just really don't get the motivation behind it and so maybe I am limited by my own understanding here. The 16 year old thing, is that an issue? (There are one or two other 15 and 16 year olds among his 'following' list too but not loads). It has gone around and around in my head until I feel I have lost perspective. Obviously it is causing me worry as I have been thinking of setting up a home with him but having been through a failed marriage I don't want to sign myself up for a relationship that is going to cause me a whole load of angst. Am I being unnecessarily unreasonable having these feelings? None of my friends partners have random people they don't know on their friends lists. I want a mature relationship where we are concerned with important things not the circus that is social media.

Thoughts and contributions would be very much appreciated and listened to.

*i'm reading this back and thinking jeez this sounds ridiculous! but you know how things in your head get clouded after a while* thanks for bearing with me!

Re: Some fresh perspective please

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:03 am
by David020549
Your guy seems to be hung up on social media in a big way, it might be harmless fun but 2000 friends is pretty extreme when a lot of them are young women. You seem to have seen his open FB site, there is quite likely to be other more private online contact going on unknown to you, most of the girls are just having fun flaunting themselves but a significant number are seriously looking for relationships.
Us men don't change, our habits are remarkably constant also 95% of men view porn! you object to him liking FB photos what would be your attitude to porn. Do you love him enough to live with his daily habits or will it be a constant irritation, if you confront him he may change but will probably revert.

Re: Some fresh perspective please

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:32 am
by Thedogsmother
Thank you for taking the time to reply I appreciate it. Yes he does seem to be totally hung up on social media like you say. I know he views porn and it doesn't bother me as most guys do it and in that sense I see it as fairly normal behaviour. I am quite realistic about this and also quite relaxed. It is not a threat or concern. And I said to him that I can understand why he would look at photos of half naked tarts on instagram. There are other people he's going to find attractive in the world that's just a fact. The actual looking part is really not that different to looking at porn and so not really problematic, but when you're liking and adding them you are moving from looking to actually making a connection and so it sorta 'feels' different. With FB we have a number of mutual friends, other couples we know and I do find it embarrassing that his account looks like that of a single lad in their 20's trying to look like a stud rather than a grown man of 38. He has professional contacts in there mixed in with the strip club dancers :roll: and god knows how he must come across to them if they look at his FB page. I just think it is disrespectful to your partner when you're adding people who are total strangers and it is going to cause me problems going forward. I have said this and he reacted by saying 'i know Its a problem, tell me who is on there that you don't like and I'll delete them, I'll gradually delete the random people over time' but I don't want to be dictating stuff in this way I would rather he just put more thought into his interactions in the first place. As things stand I think I would be taking a big risk moving across the country and giving up my house and the area I live (which I love) to be with him when there are some fundamental problems to do with respect. Lots to think about.

Re: Some fresh perspective please

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:37 pm
by jen
Hi. I just want to say that i'm totally with you on this one. Porn and looking at pics of other people is the norm for a lot of guys but adding 15/16 year olds (and various others) as 'friends' and liking and commenting on their pics would seriously make me feel uneasy. You're right, it is weird. Don't get me wrong some girls look a lot older but for a 38 year old man to add them and comment on their posts does sound a bit pervy. I can't really offer much advice apart from askinv if it's something you could put up with indefinitely? If not then it's probsbly best to say something now. I've nevee personally understood why some people have thousands of friends on facebook. Why would you be friends with someone you've never actually met or even spoke to before? Sordy i can't offer anything more, i just wantex to let you know that it isn't just you that thinks it's odd.

Re: Some fresh perspective please

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:32 pm
by Thedogsmother
Thanks Jen, it is very helpful to know how other people view it. He just appears to be using these networks a bit like a dating site in my view, or at least a window shopping site! And at the end of the day, he's either keeping his options open on the off chance that some contact or maybe even a date materialises with the next most impressive looking thing, or he's with me. But not both. I'm a mature intelligent woman I've lived and learnt (kissed some frogs in my time!) and there's really no room in my life for juvenile behaviour. I plan to bottom this issue out this coming weekend as I can't keep on wondering and not sleeping and I need to be moving forward. The fact is it affects me and so it will just rear its ugly head and bite us in the future. The 16 year olds thing, it just IS weird, end of story. I appreciate your thoughts.

Re: Some fresh perspective please

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:06 am
by rufio89
Sounds like you've already come to a conclusion, but for what it's worth I'm on your side too.

As you said, it's normal for men to watch porn, look at pictures of pretty girls online etc, but it's the even slight attempt at contact which is out of order.

If I were him, I'd get rid of my Facebook or whatever and start from scratch with only friends, family, & colleagues.

Re: Some fresh perspective please

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:28 pm
by Thedogsmother
Thanks Rufio89, I appreciate your feedback. At first When I discovered all of this I put it down to an issue of me setting out my boundaries and I was a little more patient with him as I figured it was maybe just a case of him not being aware of what they were. I can't expect him to be a mind reader after all. But I set them out and told him what they are and he has still reverted to the things he did previously so either he doesn't care or isn't listening. ](*,) Either way it isn't the basis for me making big life changing decisions and as much as I feel very deeply in love with him, sadly I don't feel able to sign myself up to a relationship that's going to be like this either. Part of me wishes I had realised all of this early on and then I would never have got so close :( if I had seen his Facebook pages/Instagram pages when we first met I would never have touched him with a 10ft pole.