The Struggles Of Dating A Grumpy Man

August 12, 2019  |  
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negative grumpy partner

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We all know someone who is just with a grumpy dude. He’s probably loveable in his ways—he’s likely hilariously sarcastic and, at least when he is kind, you know it’s very genuine because he’s not quick to give out a compliment. Some women are just attracted to the recluses of the world instead of the gregarious guys that kick down the door at every party and are then the life of it. I have a couple of girlfriends who are dating and married to loveable grumps, and I have a little insight into their struggles. Their partners like me (luckily, because when they don’t like someone, they make it clear) so I get a close look at what goes on behind closed doors with these couples. Here are the funny and frustrating realities of loving a grumpy man who doesn’t like anyone but you.

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You have to ask him to watch his RBF

You’re always telling him to be conscious of his resting b*tch face. He has a hard time hiding the fact that he thinks a lot of people are dumb or annoying. It just shows all over his expression. You have a signal to let him know he’s doing it again.

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You prep him for interactions

You already know all of the things he’s going to find annoying or ridiculous about the people he’s about to meet. So you debrief him on those things now, in the car, before going into the party, so he can get out his sarcastic comments and disgusted faces now.

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You give him the don’t you say it look often

Any time someone says something that you know will bump your partner, you immediately look to him with daggers in your eyes as if to say, “Don’t you say anything. Don’t you comment on this. Smile and nod like a normal person!”

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But you secretly laugh—he’s often right

You have to ask him not to be critical of people but behind closed doors, you laugh, too. It is a little ridiculous that that one couple has calendars made up, every year, featuring professional photographs of their dogs in costumes. But they are nice people and you don’t want to make them feel embarrassed.

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You tell others he was joking (he wasn’t)

Sometimes, your partner lets his little comments slip out. He goes into a house, is asked to take off his shoes, and says, “Why? Your grubby baby plays with feces and crawls around on these?” and you have to instantly jump in and laugh and say, “Ha! My partner! Always cracking jokes!”

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You know he’s a softy at heart

You know that he’s a softy at heart. That’s why you love him. You know that he’s there, 110 percent, for the people he loves when they need him. You know that he’s honest and solid. He’s just too honest sometimes. But, it’s just one side of a trait you actually really like in him.

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You wish everyone else knew it

You just wish everyone else knew that he’s actually a good dude. You wish they could see what you see. In fact, you know that some of your friends’ more socially adept, outgoing, friendly partners really drop the ball in their relationships when it counts, even though they’re fun at parties. Nothing is ever quite what it seems.

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You have to sell him on every social interaction

You can never just say, “We got invited to this party!” and have it be an easy conversation. You have to do a lot of hedging. You have to sell your partner on the idea of going. He rolls his eyes the second you mention any event that involves other people, and leaving the house.

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He has that one best friend

He has just one best friend. That’s it. You tell him he has no friends, and his rebuttal is always, “That’s not true. I have Jerry.” But Jerry is weird. You know your partner just keeps Jerry around because he can tolerate him, but he doesn’t even love him. He just wants to be able to say he has a friend.

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You know why you don’t get invitations

You hear about couples you’re friends with going to concerts and going on trips. You don’t question why you weren’t invited. You know: you come with a total buzz kill of a man. They don’t want to deal with it.

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If it were up to him, you’d never go out

Truly, you know that if you didn’t make social plans for the two of you, you’d never leave the house. He could go years without needing to go out or see other people. It’s common that women are the primary social planner in the relationship, but this is extreme.

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You have to prepare others for him

When you’re going to introduce friends or family to your man who haven’t yet met him, you have a lot of pre-explaining to do. You try to tell them he’s just very sarcastic and shy but he means well. You tell them to, “Just give him a little time.” Then you pray and hope for the best.

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You’re always brokering deals

Every time he socializes, he’s doing you a favor. So you have to broker deals. “You come with me to this, we’ll see that stupid alien crocodile movie you wanted to see,” or “Come with me to this, and you can skip my friend’s birthday party next week.”

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You know you’re part of the problem

You aren’t helping matters. You let this grumpy man run rampant at home. You find his sarcasm hilarious, and you see through his gruff exterior, so it doesn’t bother you. But, really, you should probably tell him to soften up a bit at home. How else will he learn to do so around other people?

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Sometimes he feels bad, changes, and retreats

Sometimes, he pushes you to your limits. He can see how much you wish he’d just be a little more social. He feels bad. So he tries for, like, a day. And then he just can’t pretend for another second that he wants to be at your friend’s play that is an adult adaptation of “The Cat In The Hat.”

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