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He thinks another girl is cute... should I be worried?


Cheating, Flirting, and Jealousy Being unfaithful to your significant other or suspect them of the same? Can't stand the way they flirt? Jealous? Discuss your experiences here.

 
 
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Old 28th May 2005, 2:57 PM   #1
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Question He thinks another girl is cute... should I be worried?

this is a big one and sort of complex. i hope you guys can help.

i have lots of trust issues. i have had some crappy boys who sort of used me until they found something better and then took off, that sort of thing. well, i'm currently in an almost 2 year relationship with a guy who is 4 years older than me, and we live together.

our relationship is pretty crappy in lots of ways (we're working on it). he has plenty of self esteem issues and calls himself a loser (has job problems etc.) yet still believes very strongly in his own opinions and way of life, and tends to think that people who criticize him just don't understand. i do criticize him sometimes... mostly because i get stuck paying the bills sometimes, etc. as i said, it's not healthy right now.

but my question centers around this: there's a girl who works at a local thrift store that i have seen him flirting with. his way of flirting is to make jokes to make her laugh, and every time we go to that store together i seem to catch him giggling with her, blushing really hard etc. we talked about it once and he said he wasn't into her and he didn't mean to make me think that. he said she was a 'slut' and had a kid, things like that.

but he goes to that thrift store all the time by himself. that isn't hugely unusual, he buys things there a lot for his job (refurbishing furniture) but it makes me uncomfortable that he's there alone. whenever i'm there with him, the girl is rude to me and won't even look at me. this morning, he told me a story about how he'd been at that thrift store with a guy friend the other day. it took him a minute to say he'd been at that store, as if he knew i wouldn't like it, and then his words were 'brian was flirting with, you know, that girl you don't like. i mean, she's a slut, and- well, she's not THAT much of one but...' Basically it was a story about seeing his male friend flirt with a girl for the first time, but the fact that it was that girl made me suspicious. and the fact that he was sort of sticking up for her too. And then he added that he'd asked his friend 'don't you think she's cute?' So obviously he was there, talking with this girl even if he said his guy friend was doing the flirting, and discussing how cute they think she is....

i know this sounds convoluted, but i'm feeling really insecure now. I know he feels bad about himself and might be looking for 'approval' from another girl who thinks he's funny and flirts with him. He obviously has a thing for this girl, and i'm wondering if i should be suspicious that something else is going on, or if this is just me and my trust issues being paranoid!!??
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Old 28th May 2005, 4:20 PM   #2
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We all have insecurities which we try to cope with as best we can, and it sounds to me as if that's what you've been doing. The relationship isn't going great guns just now, but you're trying to work on it. You find yourself paying the bills, and are aware that's not healthy. Your boyfriend's self-esteem issues are a focal point - and perhaps your own needs have been put on the back-burner a bit.

You can only put your own needs to one side for so long before resentment starts to grow. It sounds to me as if you've been holding it all together - but now this flirtation has come along, pressed one of your buttons big time, and the old coping mechanisms are starting to get a bit wobbly.

Has your boyfriend noticed that this woman behaves in an unfriendly manner to you? If so, does he think it's supportive of him to carry on shopping there and flirting with her in front of you. Does he even realise that being in a relationship with you requires him to give, as well as receive, support?

I think you're right to be concerned by this flirtation. Having said that, I don't think it would necessarily help to turn it into more of an issue with your boyfriend than it has already become. There are things in life that you can control, and things that you can't. You can't really stop a partner flirting with someone. You CAN choose to leave if you don't like it, though I wouldn't see flirting in itself as being a reason to break up with someone. It sounds as if you're very undecided about this relationship right now. The flirtation is clearly not going to provide any reassurance at a time like that.

Maybe you need to focus on building up your self esteem. How are your other relationships? Do you have other people in your life - friends, relatives, workmates etc - who can help build your confidence up a bit? It sounds very much as if your boyfriend's a little too wrapped up in his own needs and problems right now to be able to help with yours. Building up your confidence might improve the relationship, or it might lead to you deciding to end it. Either way, you sound like someone who thinks she's "not all that" (to use a Jerry Springerism) and is pretty much resigned to it. That really makes me feel quite sad. I think you might need to look beyond this relationship, and previous bad experiences, and start to look for something - some new friends, a new hobby or a previously undiscovered talent - that will make you feel a bit more special.
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Old 28th May 2005, 4:33 PM   #3
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what a great reply. i think you hit the nail on the head with that one. i'm seriously amazed at how you pegged the situation.

i do NOT have close female friends, or really any for that matter. when i met my boyfriend i had a certain 'crowd' and i was a little tired of them, so pretty naturally drifted away. i did have one very close female friend but she ended that friendship around the time i met my boyfriend, by kissing a boy that i had been involved with- very messy trust betrayal, and we're no longer friends. all of my other friends are out of state, in the town where i used to live.

my self esteem and my personal self has suffered a lot from this relationship. it's times like this- when he's flirting and i feel so used- that i really see it. i'm supposedly working now to save money and go back to college, but nothing much has happened on that for the past few years. i'm trying very hard to start up hobbies and get my own life going- i know how much that would help the whole situation, relationship and all- but right now it seems almost impossible to do that. i'm just very weighed down.

i don't know if my boyfriend notices the way this girl treats me. i do know that he seems to have turned it around- making it 'that girl you don't like' instead of 'that girl that i made you upset by flirting with.'
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Old 28th May 2005, 6:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
[i]i'm trying very hard to start up hobbies and get my own life going- i know how much that would help the whole situation, relationship and all- but right now it seems almost impossible to do that. i'm just very weighed down.
What sort of hobbies are you thinking of taking up?
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Old 28th May 2005, 7:16 PM   #5
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i studied photography while i was still in school, and a few months ago i was given for a song everything i need for a home darkroom... i just don't have the energy to set it up and get printing. i also write constantly, always have, but lately journalling just makes me even sadder. i have thought about exercise but again, it seems to take too much out of me. i'm pretty sure i'm depressed in general right now.
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Old 28th May 2005, 7:37 PM   #6
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Originally posted by Luxie
i studied photography while i was still in school, and a few months ago i was given for a song everything i need for a home darkroom... i just don't have the energy to set it up and get printing. i also write constantly, always have, but lately journalling just makes me even sadder. i have thought about exercise but again, it seems to take too much out of me. i'm pretty sure i'm depressed in general right now.
Exercise needn't be about training for a marathon or doing 70 laps of your local swimming pool every day. There are hardy souls out there who do take up those sorts of regimes, and no doubt burst with energy and endorphins as a result - but it's certainly not for everyone.

What about yoga as a gentle re-introduction into exercise? If you've got the facilities, it would be nice to set aside a relaxing space and view it as a chill-out time rather than some dreadful, punishing exercise regime.

You probably need to find some people who share your interest in photography in order to get motivated into setting up the darkroom. Maybe if you visited a small, friendly photography supplies shop in your area they would know about local groups - or put you in touch with photographers who could do with some casual help. I'm sure there would be people out there who would be only to glad of the some assistance now and again (I doubt many freelance photographers can afford the cost of full time help). Could be a lot of fun too. I always think photography would be a fantastic hobby to get into, but the thought of spending all that money on equipment is a little daunting.

I don't know if you've ever tried St Johns Wort, but they do call it nature's prozac. If you think you're depressed, though, it's probably best to have a chat with your doctor to see whether you need to go on medication.

Best of luck with setting up the darkroom...I think that could be a really exciting project once you manage to get going on it.
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Old 29th May 2005, 12:11 AM   #7
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Its a good chance he is cheating but ya never know.....

I say the direct approach......ask him. He has cheated before so he has no right to get angry for you not trusting him. Your distrust in him is his fault and he has no one to blame but himself. Of course he could still lie when you ask. You should let him know that you will find out if he is cheating, that you know something is wrong and he's being dishonest.

The trust is already broken here, you may better of just breaking up with him now.
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Old 29th May 2005, 12:52 AM   #8
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Originally posted by Sal Paradise
Its a good chance he is cheating but ya never know.....

I say the direct approach......ask him. He has cheated before so he has no right to get angry for you not trusting him. Your distrust in him is his fault and he has no one to blame but himself. Of course he could still lie when you ask. You should let him know that you will find out if he is cheating, that you know something is wrong and he's being dishonest.

The trust is already broken here, you may better of just breaking up with him now.
Weird I left this reply on another entry and it appeared here. Ignore this lol.
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Old 29th May 2005, 2:50 AM   #9
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Sal, you gave me a heart attack there. "what do you know that i don't!"

Lindya, thanks for the suggestions. I totally agree that i need to open up my personal options and explore them and that will help me cope with this in a healthier way. i just wish i knew WHAT i was coping with at this time. i wish i knew. there have been times in the past- other boys, my best friends, etc.- when things have come so completely out of left field that i felt like i had been BLIND up until the moment of impact, and i'm terrified that i'm doing that now.

i'm driving myself crazy thinking of all the times over the past year we've had contact with this girl. my boyfriend worked at this store briefly a long time ago, which is how he knows she has a kid and something about her. He went through a period about six months ago where he wouldn't go to the store because he thought 'she is giving me unfriendly looks, i feel like i pissed her off.' She even came up to me once and told me that he had been there earlier that day, and she said it in a smug way like she wanted me to know she had seen him.

i just am so afraid that i'm missing something huge and obvious. i don't think he's cheating, necessarily... i do think there's a very big chance he's cultivating an interest in her, and in my book that counts as cheating.

i don't know how to weed this out of my head and find the truth.
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Old 29th May 2005, 4:56 AM   #10
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Originally posted by Luxie
Sal, you gave me a heart attack there. "what do you know that i don't!"

Lindya, thanks for the suggestions. I totally agree that i need to open up my personal options and explore them and that will help me cope with this in a healthier way. i just wish i knew WHAT i was coping with at this time. i wish i knew. there have been times in the past- other boys, my best friends, etc.- when things have come so completely out of left field that i felt like i had been BLIND up until the moment of impact, and i'm terrified that i'm doing that now.

i'm driving myself crazy thinking of all the times over the past year we've had contact with this girl. my boyfriend worked at this store briefly a long time ago, which is how he knows she has a kid and something about her. He went through a period about six months ago where he wouldn't go to the store because he thought 'she is giving me unfriendly looks, i feel like i pissed her off.' She even came up to me once and told me that he had been there earlier that day, and she said it in a smug way like she wanted me to know she had seen him.

i just am so afraid that i'm missing something huge and obvious. i don't think he's cheating, necessarily... i do think there's a very big chance he's cultivating an interest in her, and in my book that counts as cheating.

i don't know how to weed this out of my head and find the truth.

Yeah sorry about that lol. Good thing I sometimes check back on threads I've posted in or I would of never noticed.
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Old 2nd June 2005, 3:58 PM   #11
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I think that he may be seeking approval from this girl specifically because he doesnt feel it from you. Maybe you havent been laughing at his jokes lately? Or just flirting with him in general? We often dont realize how much flirting helps the relationship more fun, and take eachother for granted.

I'd say a good start is to be more playful with him. It might be hard right now because of your feelings, but men need to feel like they are needed...and if youre not showing him you like him/him being around, it may be the direct reason for him finding it elsewhere.

just a suggestion...
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Old 2nd June 2005, 4:14 PM   #12
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Let the "Thrift Store Cowboy" have his stupid little flirt Sessions........whatever boosts his ego. YOU will be the one who benefits that. Ive always thought that when two people are in a relationship where they are living together,..(hoping to be together forever) that the expenses are now shared....but not ALWAYS equally. I mean you arent ROOMMATES. You're a couple. So you dont always split it 50/50. I mean ALOT of couples are in the situation where the man works and the woman $pays$ nothing. So,...I wouldnt b*tch about the bills as long as he is paying something and working. I mean if hes totally taking advantage of that, then, yeah,...Id complain too, but you said you were "getting stuck with paying the bills". Does that mean ALL THE BILLS or what?
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Old 3rd June 2005, 9:16 AM   #13
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Yes, I do mean all the bills. at times. i once carried rent on our shared apartment for almost half a year. furthermore, i'm 24 years old and he is 28. he is unemployed for months at a time. i'm always employed (I work too much) and I'm doing whatever I can to afford tuition to get back to college. i am firmly against any sort of couples' sharing of money at this point- and so is he, at least in theory if not in practice. it doesn't become shared money until the income is closer to even and until we're actually committed to each other by either time or actual marriage. two years of dating in my twenties does not mean i open up my checkbook without expecting to be paid back at least some of it. that's just my belief.

i'm not saying that i'm being a hard-a$$ about it either. i let a LOT of things slide. sometimes i pay the bills and don't even tell him that i did so that he doesn't worry about paying me back.

as for flirting with him, at this point, with everything we've been through, it isn't easy nor is it in my nature. i'm not a stepford wife. i won't take all this and still be smiling in a negligee when he gets home. Respect first, flirting later. On both sides.
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Old 3rd June 2005, 10:52 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Luxie
two years of dating in my twenties does not mean i open up my checkbook without expecting to be paid back at least some of it. that's just my belief.

i'm not saying that i'm being a hard-a$$ about it either. i let a LOT of things slide. sometimes i pay the bills and don't even tell him that i did so that he doesn't worry about paying me back.

as for flirting with him, at this point, with everything we've been through, it isn't easy nor is it in my nature. i'm not a stepford wife. i won't take all this and still be smiling in a negligee when he gets home. Respect first, flirting later. On both sides.

Good response, Luxie

Given all the circumstances, I would also be cautious about doing the coupley finance thing. It doesn't sound hard-a$$ at all...just sounds like pure common sense. Sounds as if you might need to have a chat with the BF about the future of this relationship. Any thoughts on that,

What about the darkroom - any progress? Shame not to get out there clicking your camera now that summer's here.
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Old 3rd June 2005, 10:59 AM   #15
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does he ever inquire on where the bill is......if you paid it and didnt tell him? If a bill of mine was paid for me without my knowledge,...obviously Id think it still needed to be paid and would still be waiting for it to arrive. Id begin wondering where it was after a while.
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