Why would a guy treat my friend this way?

Also, please remember a few things. I’m not defending the guy here, but as a guy and as a person who has a number of female friends, remember a few things:

  1. You are not getting an unbiased story from your friend; neither have you gotten a clear history of the past five months. You’re getting things from her perspective- this might SEEM objective when nothing is wrong, but when things go Dixie, her version will leave out or misrepresent things that are either explanatory, exculpatory, or both.

  2. It is not unusual for a guy who has had an ex pull shit on him pull away violently from similar occurrences with the new girlfriend. Is it “right?” maybe not, but the kid on the witness stand doesn’t actually BELIEVE that the Child Services attorney is actually going to hit her when the attorney moves quickly near her, but she jumps anyway because she is conditioned to do so. I have endured two exes with psychotically controlling mothers, and I no longer “do” confrontations with parents.

  3. If he’s done with her and she with him, please, PLEASE, for your friend’s sanity, encourage her to let it go. Guys are generally not big on exposition or discussion, and “closure” is a myth. Would it be nice (would it be a decent thing for him to do) if he explained himself? Sure it would, but he doesn’t owe her one nor is he likely to give her one. She’s just going to hurt herself trying to get one.
    Your friend is lucky that she dodged these complications now rather than two years (or worse, an engagement/marriage) from now. Take comfort in that, stop responding to him, and move on.

Trust me, I know.

Well, I can’t, but I’ve seen it happen before. Hell, it more or less happened to me once, except that there was no problem with not returning calls because I didn’t have a phone at the time. I was 27, and in grad school, at the time. I was going out with this girl, we were all lovey dovey, then spring break came along. When it was over, she took up with someone else and essentially had nothing to do with me. Beats me why this shit happens, but it does.

Yeah, I forgot to mention that my previous girlfriend had been a complete headcase with a ton of baggage and a ton of drama, and I had sworn that I would never end up involved with someone like that again.

If you’re a guy who has seen this sort of behavior before and had to deal with it, seeing it again can trigger some really strong reactions. I’ve been drunk and done stupid stuff before, but never did it involve crying and screaming. I have seen a woman do it to me, and it is really unpleasant. “Uncontrolled crying” is usually accompanied by ranting and raving and saying nasty things. You’ll never know what was said, partly because your friend probably doesn’t remember it, but she freaked the guy out, and he ran away. Not mature, but understandable to me.

That is also my opinion, and I have said that to her but it does nothing to comfort her… She is very upset and there is just nothing I can say to make her feel any better. I agree that she should be glad to be rid of him, but and move on - but easier said than done.

Very good point. Now if he were only man enough to tell her this so she could at least have some sort of explanation from the horse’s mouth.

On the other hand, I think a “one strike and you’re out” attitude is pretty unfair. This is the first time they’ve had any sort of issues. She messes up once and she’s immediately kicked to the curb? Geez.

Sure, but I was 18, not 29.

If an almost-30-year-old does something stupid while drunk it might occur to me that such incidents are something of a regular occurence. Especially, as other people have pointed out, if I had an ex that made a habit of it.

You’re still knee-jerkingly taking your friend’s side.

I know you’re friends, but she did something- something more than she says she did. He’s not handling whatever it is in the best way, but in rushing to vilify him with “why would a 34-year-old man act like this?” you’re overlooking the very real possibility that the reaction might be warranted.

You might want to (not right now while the wound is fresh) sit down and talk to your friend about what ACTUALLY happened that night. Because maybe, just MAYBE, he’s not overreacting but reacting adequately.

Sometimes someone can do something and you just have an epiphany and you realize “Wow, this person is so not what I’m looking for.” It can be something that is rare and isolated too, or something totally trivial, but once you have that huge realization, there is often no going back. I suspect the crying episode was the trigger.

I was dating a girl who one day did something out of character for her, but it was enough for me to suddenly question everything and look at who she was with the love-is-blinders off. That was it. I knew it was time to get outta Dodge.

Now I was much more diplomatic about a proper break-up and truthfully it was NOT the one-time weird behavior that was the deal-breaker, it just made me wake up and realize that there really was no true long-term potential with her, no matter how good things were at the start.

A buddy of mine got dumped because, hesays, “I cut up my pork chop before eating it.” Ultimately, she didn’t really have an issue with the fact that this one time he cut his meat into cubes before eating it, it was just an odd little thing that tweaked something in his girlriend’s brain and she realize “He is not the one!”

I agree with others that something more happened during that drunken episode than your friend has told you. It was enough to end the relationship for the guy right then. He should tell her face to face, but it’s over and the drunken incident was the trigger.

Yep, I too agree that something more than just the crying happened. “Psycho” is a pretty strong word!
(Personally, I feel strongly enough about drunk driving that I would probably dump someone who tried to drive home drunk over that alone…)
Maybe it’s not fair to dump someone over one event, but people can’t always control their emotions and feelings. It’s better to admit it’s over than to keep stringing her along once he knows she’s not what he’s looking for.

Quite true. I agree it’s not very kind, but most guys are not particularly fond of emotional discussions - especially not with a girl he isn’t even dating anymore. Many of them feel it’s easier to just disappear than to rehash the relationship drama for “closure”.
All she really needs to know is that it’s over and they weren’t right for each other. Any other details really don’t matter at this point.
It sucks, but with time I hope she finds someone better for her!

The drunken crying jag would probably put me off and make me want to end things, too, and I’m a woman.
It’s not just a guy thing. Get your drinking under control, woman.

Yeah, when I was 21. By 29 I was way beyond that kind of thing.

How’s he supposed to know, after dating her for five months, that she *never does * this kind of thing? From his point of view it would look like she must do it approximately every five months.

I’m a little skeptical of people who say they’ve NEVER done something like get really drunk, and even more so when people say someone else has NEVER done something like get really drunk. Because unless you’re around a person 24/7 for their entire life, you don’t really know. I don’t know your friend, but I think you shouldn’t count out the possibility that she’s done things you would not have expected from her. It was, after all, something she NEVER did that led her to her current situation.

Yes, he’s a jerk. Yes, she’s dumped. They should both move on.

There was a Seinfeld episode or 12 about how single traits can cause breakups. I think they simplified it, but let me give you an example. I realized I really didn’t care for someone one day when I saw him eating pizza. It wasn’t that I have anything against pizza eaters, but the way he ate it personified the qualities in him that would ultimately drive me nuts. He was a fitness/health nut and came from a family of considerably overweight people. It was obvious that he was motivated by fear, heck, we had even discussed it. But watching him eat that pizza showed me that fear (of being fat) was always going to be more important than any desire (pizza or any food really) and that was the nature of his world and his life. (instead of just biting into the pizza, his entire neck and face tensed up and clenched into the pizza)

Your girlfriend getting drunk, even if it was uncharacteristic, one time, never before, never again, absolute statistical improbability, may have shown him an aspect of her personality that he had not noticed before. Maybe she looks terrible crying. Maybe she said stuff he didn’t want to be a part of, maybe she overstepped a boundary that he didn’t feel was right.

It doesn’t take much to turn people on or off. If he was that quick with “I love you” why in the hell wouldn’t he be that quick with “I don’t love you” even if he hasn’t exactly said it yet. I’m always nervous about people who give too much too soon.

My first thought, from experience, is that your friend’s ex had an abusive alcoholic parent.

If memory serves, it was either you or Larry Mudd (I get the two of you plus Larry Borgia mixed up all the time) who had a real horror story about a girl who seemed mildly attention-seeking at first, and then seemed like a little bit of a drama queen, but he/you kept shrugging off the red flags as minor things individually until the situation got so bad that things couldn’t be broken off without the GF attempting suicide and/or ending up in a mental hospital. Seems to me like a guy who sees signs of that, no matter how superfluous, and has experience with that himself, might prefer to cut out some false positives rather than to face that situation once (or one more time) in his life. Granted, he was a dick about it, but that might be an explanation (not excuse) for his behavior.

Could it be possible that the whole thing (and by this I mean the entire relationship) played out differently than how you’re picturing it, simply because she’d act differently while alone with an SO from how she ever would have with you? I’ve been shocked to find out how my very close guy friends have acted while alone with women on more than one occasion. People’s personalities come out differently in different contexts just because there are some behaviors that suitors will put up with and friends won’t, and vice versa. Also, as a friend, you may not be getting a 100% accurate portrayal of the entire relationship; a tiny untruth here, a minusucle omission there, a little white lie here can all add up to a whole picture that’s different from the real thing. Just playing devil’s advocate here.

And it is absolutely true that the picture an SO/lover/suitor/crush gets and the picture a friend gets from someone while they’re drunk can be completely different. I’m both very philosophical and very horny when I’m drunk (actually, when I’m sober, too, but let’s not get sidetracked here) and those traits come out to different degrees at different times with different people–even at the same party.

What, “man enough” to tell her “you kinda sounded like a psycho, so I ran”? I thought he already did that. I doubt you or your SO wants him to be any more specific than that. For all that people go on about how everyone owes everyone else an essay about exactly why it’s not meant to be, nobody actually wants to hear “You reminded me of the girl from The Exorcist. I was about to lop your head off with a machete if you came any closer to me. That’s how much of a nutjob you seemed like that night. I know it hadn’t happened before, but it freaked me the fuck out, and I don’t want anything to do with you ever again.”; your friend would rather get the cold shoulder than have her SO tell her he thinks she’s a nutbag and he doesn’t want anything to do with her, all Seinfeldian canards aside.

Update: I just talked to my friend. Last night, in a last-ditch effort at communication, she e-mailed him, and he finally called her. According to her, he said he never called because he “was busy” and was “waiting for the holidays to be over,” which is a lame excuse. He also said he needed time to think and “needs to be alone right now.” So all the typical stuff.

So, it seems that, just like Swallowed my Cellphone said:

He was pretty asshole-ish on the phone, which is good in that she finally feels relieved that it’s over.

She said what bugs her the most is that for 5 months, he pulled the wool over her eyes, and she really trusted that he loved her. He put forward an image of this really nice and sweet guy, and he turned out to be the total opposite.

For those of you who say I don’t really know my friend… I can see your point, and no, I am not around her 24/7. But a I do know her extremely well - she’s not only my best friend, but my cousin too, and we grew up together and have a very close family. Also I spent a lot of time with her and “Jonathan,” and knew him pretty well myself.

How much more closure does she need? She did something stupid (according to her, only one stupid thing), and he dumped her for it (in the most chickenshit way possible, except maybe for asking a friend to dump her for him). If he came back to her on bended knees right now, she should still consider it over - they have a fundamental incompatibility.

Or, you know, what Count Blucher said. :smiley:

As somebody who has been dumped approximately 8.1321 x 10^18 times, and as someone who has a compulsive need for closure and to discuss and analyze every single thing that could have gone wrong (the roots of which often lead to the dumping), I feel your friend’s pain, nyctea.

However, I have to wonder at some of the things you’ve said in this thread. You asked why he dumped her; everyone either said that he was not that into her and looking for an out, or that the drunken crying episode triggered some kind of really strong negative response. They for the most part also said that he was being passive-aggressive and a jerk, but hey, that’s men.

But at the same time, you continue to seem incredulous because 1) he is 34, 2) they loved each other, 3) she has never done this before.

As to point 1, 34-year-old men are not necessarily more mature or more aware of their own feelings than 21-year-old men, and (this will be controversial), but a man who is that age who is otherwise attractive and marrigeable who has never been married is likely to be 1) neurotic about some weird thing, 2) very picky or 3) commitment phobic. All possibilities make him more likely to shut down and run when something unusual happens.

  1. People who say they love each other, especially particularly early on (and you said he said it first) may mean something more superficial by “love” than what you think it means. Also, people who genuinely love can nevertheless also leave relatively easily.

  2. We don’t know that she has never done this before, and if she has never, sometimes, once is enough. It’s not fair, but people do react strongly to stimuli they’ve been conditioned to, and if he has an ex with the same problem, it seems clear that he has some issues with drunk crying jags.

So, everything I’ve said thus far has been fairly obvious and repeats of what has been said earlier in the thread. However, I have one last thing to add. This need to know why can be taken too far; in a way, it reminds me of my own obsessive behavior in relationships and I have to say that it’s not healthy. As someone upthread said, she should just move on. It sucks donkey balls, but the dating world is cruel and getting crueler, so if she wants to be even marginally successful, she really has to toughen up and play her cards closer to her chest from now on, and I guess that includes not assuming a comfort level that isn’t there.


Yes you’re absolutely right - there are two sides to every story, and yes, I was only hearing one side. I took a lot of what she said with a grain of salt.

But regardless of how bad she may have acted that drunken night, he made plans with her for the night before her trip so they could talk about things. He ended the call with “I love you.” Then he just never showed up, and never called to explain. Weeks went by, and she heard nothing. That’s just plain bizarre (and extremely rude).

I can completely understand that he wanted the relationship to be over… so why didn’t he just TELL HER? The way he acted was just extremely bizarre and not normal.