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I've been dating my girlfriend for two years (I'm 20 and she's 19) but I often find that we're running into situations where I'm being held to a standard that she won't comply with, despite a joint decision to follow the rule.

For example, if we don't like each other personally texting the opposite sex. She'd be angry that there was a woman in my phone. I wouldn't like the same, so we make the compromise not to do said thing as a unit. The problem is, she will end up doing it anyway but avoid fault by basically playing a middle ground.

She'd say something like "OK, but you're just being territorial" and basically act like it was 'OK' because of what she believed/her excuse to avoid accountability. Yet if I did the same I'd get blasted.

How can I talk to my significant other about this double standard so that she will stop?


Some background:

I've never cheated, but we got together in a weird way: she lied about being with another guy , that she said she was technically separated with or something like that. And then I found out, she said it was because she was scared to tell him they were done.

When I had female friends in the beginning of the relationship, she wanted them all gone because she said "females aren't just friends with guys". When I talked to her about that she basically said that I am an attractive guy, and females aren't just friends with attractive guys without other motives basically, or that they are just waiting for an opportunity to get intimate. She makes it pretty clear that she doesn't want any other women around period.

She's explained that she really doesnt get along with or trust other women, and its like.. she doesnt want them to even experience satisfaction in interaction with me. Kind of like even if they smile at me, I must have done something wrong - I made another girl smile.

  • 6
    I've added some information from your other question but this would be improved if you could be clear about your goals and where you are in your relationship. Do you live together? Are you still generally happy with this relationship? Have you or she ever "cheated" (that you're aware of)? All of these things may play into why your girlfriend is trying to set one-sided rules for your relationship. – Catija Oct 31 '17 at 3:43
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    i've never cheated , but we got together in a weird way , she lied about being with another guy , that she said she was technically separated with or something like that. And then i found out, she said it was because she was scared to tell him they were done. she finally did but theres never been a problem she's dealt with , for me and women. She's explained that she really doesnt get along with or trust other women, and its like.. she doesnt want them to even experience satisfaction in interaction with me. – Pacified Oct 31 '17 at 3:58
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    kind of like even if they smile , i must have done something wrong , i made another girl smile... like serious. we want to move in together though , we arent financially at that level yet though – Pacified Oct 31 '17 at 3:59
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    Please don't use the comments here to make remarks about the OP's SO. If you have an answer, write an actual answer. Otherwise, please leave the comments clear to request clarification of the question. – Catija Nov 1 '17 at 23:49
  • @Pacified: Thanks for your comments. As they add important information about your relationship, they should really be part of the question. I edited the question for you to add them. Please review and re-edit if you feel I misunderstood something. – sleske Feb 20 at 10:50
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From what you've said here (and in your other post), there are three problems :

  • She wants to win every argument and discussion
  • She won't stick to agreements intended to fix problems
  • She plays mind games with you

On top of that there's the way you got together, which sounds like she was doing this to you and your predecessor from the start.

Be aware that some people never see themselves as being wrong, regardless of what they say or do. You cannot "fix" this if she is like that, because as far as she's concerned it already works fine for her.

I normally try to encourage people in relationships to work things out, but from what you've said about this, I'd recommend you break up.

I don't think she will change because people like this don't.

She will always be the aggrieved party in her own mind and compromise is just a word to her.

Now I'm assuming you're less than perfect, but you're at least looking for a solution. I think, from what you've said, that her solution is to keep things the way they are.

You haven't moved in together yet - perfect ! Don't move in together. Break up instead.

You sound like two people with different goals :

  • You're looking for someone to build a relationship with for the long term with whatever reasonable compromise is needed
  • She's looking for someone to fill a space in her life without compromise

Assuming things are as you say you'll basically be a "victim" in this relationship, but she'll be the one claiming it's all your fault. Trust me - you don't want this long term.

Bail now before you invest too much in the relationship.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Em C Nov 19 '18 at 14:35
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A lot of these answers are going into great detail, and they raise some good points. I'm going to do something slightly different. I'm going to be blunt, and cut straight to the salient points.

"Double standards" is a troublesome thing. It's ok to have a relationship where one person behaves differently, if that's been agreed. For example, I trust my fiancée entirely and have always been fine with her hanging out with her friends, of any gender. However, there have been times when I've deliberately avoided spending too much time alone with certain people, because I know those people make her uncomfortable. It's not a "double standard", it's just being mindful of one another's feelings. The key difference is that this was agreed by both parties - it was something I chose to do out of respect for her feelings. In your scenario, she's told you to do it, and not given any thought to your feelings about these people. Conversely, you've pointed out that you're uncomfortable with what she's doing, and she's told you that you're being territorial and she was totally ok to do it. She is disregarding your feelings here; there's no other way to put it. Do you really want to be with someone who believes that it's totally ok for her to do something that she knows will upset you?

Putting aside the inconsistent application of this rule for a moment, let's look at the rule itself: effectively, your SO has told you that she doesn't want you spending time with other women. In fact, you said in a comment that "its like she doesnt want them to even experience satisfaction in interaction with me".

Ooohhh, boy.

Your SO being uncomfortable with you getting close to other women is one thing. Your SO not allowing you to keep in touch with your friends is not ok, regardless of what gender those friends are. Your SO not liking it when any other woman is in any way happy to see you or gains any enjoyment from your presence... run. She is telling you to cut all contact with people you care about without making allowances for how might you feel about that, and without showing any willingness to make similar sacrifices. She's also cutting you off from anyone you might be able to compare her to, or have feelings for.

This gets even worse when we think about the fact that she got with you by lying about her relationship status. She told you that she was "technically separated", and then she said "she was scared to tell him they were done", and only finally broke up with him after you were together. I'll be blunt: you did not "get together in a weird way". She cheated on her ex, and you were the other guy. When she said they were "technically separated", what she was saying was that the relationship was over, but he didn't know it yet.

I'll say this once: there is no good reason to start a relationship without first properly ending the previous one. By seeking a new relationship without breaking it off with the previous guy, she showed a total lack of regard for his feelings. The only way for them to be "technically separated" is if they were married, they had split, and the legal matters of divorce had not yet been finalised. Otherwise, there is no "technically" about it: if she hadn't told him it was over, then she was still in a relationship, and anything that happened with anyone else was cheating.

To sum up:

  • She has shown a lack of regard for your feelings, and has done so in previous relationships as well
  • She has shown an unwillingness to reciprocate or compromise when it comes to "rules" she expects you to abide by
  • She is trying to cut you off from people you care about
  • She cheated on her last partner
  • She described her cheating as some "weird" scenario where it was "technically" ok for her to start a new relationship while still with her previous partner
  • She has a preoccupation - almost an obsession - with the possibility of cheating, despite the fact that you have never cheated on anyone

This has more red flags than a communist matador's convention. Run. Get out, be single for a while, do not go back when she inevitably breaks down and promises to change, ignore whatever she says or whoever she blames it on if things turn nasty, spend as much time as you like with your friends who are there to support you, regardless of what gender those friends are, and next time find someone who is single, who respects your feelings, and who understands that relationships are built on trust and compromise.

17

You can't have your cake and eat it too, dear!

(You could tell your girlfriend that!)

I'm teasing a little but this is what your girlfriend reminded me of. She wants to be able to have control over who you can or can't text, without allowing you to have the same control over who she can or can't text.

If you ask me, this is a bad rule that is going to be broken. Honestly, this is an effort to exert control on each other. Not a good start, not a good sign, unless you are both happy with that on principle.

In general, setting rules when there is no need, to begin with, creates more problems than it solves. And usually rules are meant to be broken. One of you will, sooner or later. Having a rule like that won't make you trust each other more or protect you from other people trying to interfere in your relationship or from yourselves (make you less likely to cheat).

Trust takes time and it's something that both people need to work on and help build. I don't know how many long term relationships you both had-not many I would assume because of your age-but this problem might just be a problem of different levels of maturity and commitment. Are you happy with her? Is she happy with you? Is feeling safe in a relationship important to you both? How would you like to achieve that (within reason)?

If you don't feel comfortable with your partner's behavior-any behavior-of course you should talk about it. I'm not saying you should accept something that doesn't make you feel good inside. But always remember, who has the actual problem, you or your girlfriend? (I'm talking about projections).

Also, being attractive doesn't mean you are willing to let some random woman seduce you and/or "steal" you from your girlfriend. While it might be true that some women might approach you with that in mind, what happens next is up to you, right? You are in control, not them.

She sounds a little insecure. If you care about her and your relationship, you could try to find out what made her insecure (she might have been cheated on, or she might have been lied to or she may have low self-esteem), but this will take a lot of honesty and opening up on her part. Is she willing to make herself vulnerable and expose these insecurities to you? What about you?

And please, may I suggest something? Reconsider that rule. Do you really need it? If you do, then again, this will only take care of things on the surface and for a little while, while masking/covering other issues in your relationship. Think about it.

13

If she firmly believes "females aren't just friends with guys", and is texting guys, I think its pretty clear you have deeper problems here.

Particularly considering how she got into this relationship. It really sounds like you've got someone always looking for the Bigger Better Deal, and that's precisely why she jumps to the conclusion that this is what you are doing whenever she sees someone of the opposite sex on your texts. On your end, because its mostly innocent in your case, you aren't seeing that it likely isn't in hers. Most people inherently believe everyone thinks and behaves like they do.

You ended up with a "double-standard" because you are each (incorrectly) applying your own thought processes to the other person's behavior.

The talk you need to have here is more along the lines of how seriously she's really prepared to take a monogamous relationship at this point in her life, and if you can live with her being a temporary psedo-monogamous girlfriend who is always shopping around for that BBD.

8

For the examples given, you should stop making ridiculous agreements based on controlling each other and jealousy. If either of you wants to cheat, those silly "rules" aren't going to help. Only trusting each other, and living up to it, will work long term.

If you trust her, tell her so and let her have friends and text whoever she wants. Then expect / require the same freedom from her.

What you're doing now is not going to help and it is not going to stop anyone from being jealous. It is a toxic behavior, which seems from your examples to be mostly from her part, but since you're the one asking, that could be biased.

If there are other problems with regards to double standards, something else might be a better solution, but for anything that is just about jealousy, stop getting pushed around.

If you have good friends of either sex, don't drop them because she wants to control you. Those friendships might very well outlive your relationship with this woman.

6

It's clearly a double standard and you two are both being territorial...

You're both young and relatively inexperienced and afraid of getting hurt. So, the "logical" thing to do is place barriers or rules that prevent you from getting hurt. Unfortunately it becomes unrealistic and a little silly pretty quickly.

Pretty much everyone has a good friend of the opposite sex/gender that they're close to that they would never dream of having a romantic relationship with. Most of my really good friends are women. I couldn't have been paid to date most of them... I'm sure you have friends that fall into that category as does your partner. When You meet her "guy friends" are you honestly threatened, or are you just reciprocating the rule placed on you?

With that out of the way, this situation should boil down to trust. Even if your female friends are just dying to hookup (unlikely) a good relationship is built on trust. Part of that trust is trusting that you wouldn't do that, regardless of opportunity.

In any relationship, acting on fears rooted in insecurity is usually a bad idea. Your partner is your partner for a reason. Despite having other options and opportunities, they chose to be with you for a reason, so get over it.

Anyway, the question was "what can you do about this 'double standard'?"

Like anything in a relationship, you talk about it. Once you get down to causes and conditions, it's probably an unfounded fear issue. Once you examine it, identify it, and discuss it a few times, it's pretty likely to be dismissed as easily as a monster under the bed.

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    Or you find a new person to date who isn't so untrusting. – Catija Oct 31 '17 at 3:26
  • @Catija... Granted, but assuming that wasn't the goal: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/40863396#40863396 – apaul Oct 31 '17 at 3:28
  • @Catija Sorry I know you didn't know. – apaul Oct 31 '17 at 3:29
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    very true , i honestly don't feel threatened , i feel as though because im not allowed the same , it is betrayal/ non reciprocation and just honestly unfair. – Pacified Oct 31 '17 at 3:40
  • @Pacified communicate, don't retaliate ;) – apaul Oct 31 '17 at 3:41
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I actually think some of this is your issue. You state that "she won't comply" with the agreed rule - you can't set rules for her.

It seems like you are interpreting her too - you talking to girls etc is making her angry (so it's valid to expect she has some abandonment fears), but trying to judge why isn't going to help. Those fears are there, and you can be mindful of them and try avoid them, but honestly if her anger makes you feel you are doing something wrong you need to relax and set boundaries. Her anger is not your problem.

You should discuss this and aim to get to the point where she acknowledges her feelings and owns them without overtly blaming you for them or hurting you. You can start by saying something like "when you stop talking to me when I do something you don't like I find it hurts my feelings, and I want to understand if you are upset about something so we should talk about it."

But don't try and get "solutions", or make rules to prevent it, etc, just talking and understanding her feelings and comforting her should be enough. You shouldn't have to change unless it is something you think other women also wouldn't like - like a general cultural thing - and you need to know their point of view sometimes so you do need some friends/interactions.

You should talk deeper with her on the topic of how she sees other girls having ulterior motives - that is her telling you how she thinks.

She is right to say "ok you are being territorial" if you are upset she talks to a guy - it is your issue and perhaps a good reminder, and she is right/ok to talk to other guys in most cultures so I'm sure this is ok behaviour.

What it seems you need to learn is how not to get "blasted", so you need to develop more resilience against her anger (learn boundaries - you don't have to rise to it), and work out how to say something similar to her "ok you are being territorial" and try calm her down.

Yes the circumstances of possible cheating, her anger, etc, are red flags, but talk about it more and calm down.

  • "She won't comply with the agreed rule - you can't set rules for her?" Am I mistaken here or wasn't this something they both agreed to? – Jennifer 442 Nov 5 '17 at 14:23
  • it sounds to me like he is pushing for the rule as a solution to some sort of trust issue between them (without actually identifying and dealing with it), and it sounds like she has said ok without actually meaning it. To me her actions state clearly that she doesn't really agree with the rule. The point I'm trying to make is that "making rules" is a bad idea anyway, as it's leading him to: feeling justified in trying to control her behaviour; and consequently feeling upset when it doesn't work. – Lance Nov 21 '17 at 20:51
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Lets not overlook the fact you are 20 and she is 19, neither of you can drink yet, you think you have problems now, just wait until you are 21 and she is 20 and you want to go out and get blasted on you birthday.

What this all boils down to is insecurity, in my 38 years, and two divorces has taught me is that trust is the #1 reason relationships work or do not, #2 in my personal opinion is respect. If she cannot trust you or you cannot trust her then you might as well break up now and move on.

I was first married at 20 worst decision I ever made, that being said 1 thing i noticed about my peers at that time, who also married early and are still married to this day, each of them you could not see we happy but could tell, they trusted and respected each other.

You both are very young and have a whole life ahead of you, in 10 years you will both be totally different people, dont get hung up on the people you are today.

To answer the question directly, some double standards are purely suspicion, you have no proof or past history that an event might occur but you 'feel' it might, I have a double standard in my relationship I dont like my girlfriend driving at night, she is not a good driver during the day let alone when the lights go out, she has had a couple fender benders, not her fault, so she says, I can drive at night any time. Sometimes this is not possible with jobs, or other activities, ones i really do not want to go to, ie. girls night out.

We have trust and respect and a very open line of communication. I know it hard to think about but having 100% trust in someone is hard given past experiences, for the OP's example, if you do not trust her around other guys then are you sure you are dating the right type of girl?

  • Sorry, but I have a hard time seeing how this answers the question. Could you edit to clarify? – sleske Feb 20 at 10:54
  • @sleske Sorry, this question Is over a year old, welcome to the internet. – Anthony Fornito Feb 21 at 14:56
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Four years ago, I relocated to another area to start a business with a man. Despite my protests, everyone (including his girlfriend) believed this was more (or that I wanted it to be more) than a simple business relationship.

On the other hand, since most shopkeepers and such are men, a woman wanting to reach out to get a pizza delivered (or whatever) must talk to men. So not allowing a woman to communicate with men is not really workable.

Having said the above, there should be an equal arrangement. If I were in your shoes, I would say, we have an agreement, and I expect you to keep your side of it.

If she protests, or if she once again contacts a man (and you know about it), say the agreement's over, and stand your ground. Just tell her you can now do whatever you want. (Be sure to let her know you won't be cheating on her.)

  • Hi Jennifer! Could you please tell us a little more on how OP could approach her SO with this arrangement? How should they talk to her about it? We expect answers to explain why this would be a good idea to follow the piece of advice given in these latter. Thanks :) – avazula Nov 19 '18 at 12:20

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