How Can I Get My Boyfriend To Stop Sharing Private Details About Our Relationship?

How Can I Get My Boyfriend To Stop Sharing Private Details About Our Relationship

I have a really sweet boyfriend. He’s giving, kind, and proud of me. He always wants to introduce me to his friends and I really love his “shout it from the rooftop” attitude. However, I’m a fairly private person and I don’t always like things that other people might find inconsequential to be discussed. When we are around his friends he often makes comments about my body, “my gf kills a mini skirt, have you seen her a**?” or if I’m on the phone he’ll say things to me like “I really liked that sexy [private] pic you sent me earlier today.” When it’s just the two of us he doesn’t talk to me like that. I’m embarrassed and angry every time he does it. He keeps saying he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it and seems really apologetic after I address it but to me it feels like a lack of respect. Am I hoping for change by sticking around with someone who doesn’t understand that the image I portray to my intimate partner isn’t necessarily something I want the whole world privy to? Or am I being picky?

Kelly

I’m of two minds about this, Kelly.

On one hand, I sympathize with you. You’re a fairly private person. You don’t run around shouting your most intimate thoughts from the rooftops. And since you don’t operate that way, you have a hard time fathoming how anyone does operate that way.

The problem is that your boyfriend feels the EXACT same way. He’s an effusive, public person. He’s comfortable in his own skin. He feels he has nothing to hide. It’s easier for him to shoot from the hip and be himself than to try to censor himself and be more like you. So he keeps putting his foot in his mouth, and while he’s indubitably sorry that he’s upset you, he can’t really help himself.

I know this, deep in my bones, for one reason: I’m just like your boyfriend.

I’m not defending it, by any stretch of the imagination. I had a best friend who felt I was a traitor for speaking my mind about him in conversations to friends. In his world, the role of a friend is to keep everything looking good from the outside. I completely get that. Except in my world, the role of a friend is to be able to be fully self-expressed and honest, and accept each other no matter what gets said. Puffery, secrets, lies, half-truths – all designed to paint a false public picture – are not for me, although I understand why private people want to keep things that way.

It’s rarely about “right” and “wrong.” It’s about whether you can accept each other despite your respective flaws.

My wife’s first marriage was falling apart – and no one around her knew until she got separated. That’s the way she rolls.

If my marriage were falling apart – every single one of my friends and acquaintances would know about it before we got separated. That’s how I roll.

Whether you side with me or my wife says a lot more about you than it does about me.

This is, of course, just a roundabout way of saying the same thing that I say all the time on this blog: it’s rarely about “right” and “wrong.” It’s about whether you can accept each other despite your respective flaws.

You can try to teach your boyfriend how you feel. “John, when you talk behind my back like that – even if you’re praising me – it makes me feel very uncomfortable and violated. I know you don’t mean to hurt me, but can you try to remember that I’m not as public as you are and I prefer to keep some things between us? Thanks, sweetie.” He’ll hear you. He’ll agree with you. He’ll tell you that he’ll do his best. And he will. Until he slips up again. Because that’s just who he is – an open book.

So, like I told the last reader who was debating whether or not to keep her boyfriend, you can either accept him as he is – and know he will be this way forever, or you can try to find another guy who is just like him who is private like you. Either way, you’re entitled to your opinion.

But from where I sit – admittedly in your boyfriend’s seat – having a boyfriend who is so publicly effusive about you is probably a crime that you can learn to live with.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Robyn

    Be happy that it’s your rear-end that he’s complimenting so effusively (as opposed to other women’s rear-ends!) 😉

  2. 2
    Karmic Equation

     

    You’re being picky.

    You wouldn’t want him to tell you to start opening up more because he’s an open book so you should be more like him.

    So are YOU disrespecting HIM if you don’t open up? No, that’s just not you.

    Him being silent when he’s proud and happy, is your telling him to not to be him.

    Respect is a 2-way street. It isn’t only about doing what the other person wants you to do. But also you accepting that the other person is the way they are. To understand that certain traits/behaviors are hard to change. If you can’t change to be more outgoing, why do you think it’s easier for him to change to be more private?

    If this is a dealbreaker for you, then break the deal. You’re entitled to whatever dealbreakers you want to have in a relationship, big, small, substantive, or trivial. But if this behavior is truly a dealbreaker, let him know it’s a dealbreaker, that if he doesn’t change you’ll break up with him.

    And you do know how silly that sounds out loud right? “Stop complimenting me to your friends, that is so disrespectful!” That’s why you won’t say it in those terms. Because what you want isn’t a dealbreaker, it’s something you just don’t like. And if you can’t change to accept his effusiveness, then you owe it to him to break up with him, so that he can find the woman (and there are plenty) who would adore him for being so proud and complimentary about her.

     

    1. 2.1
      Al

      There’s a difference between complimenting someone courteously and talking about her “ass’ in front of a group of people. Depending on the crowd, I’d find that immature and offensive too. Clearly, this is not something she feels comfortable with and she is well within her rights to tell him, “Hey. I really don’t like it when you talk about me that way. I’d appreciate it if you would please stop doing that.” In fact, politely letting the person you’re in a relationship know when they’ve hurt you is vital to a successful partnership. If there’s no room for you to express when you’re hurt or upset the whole thing is doomed. Communication and compromise are GOOD things.

  3. 3
    KK

    I am a bit of an open book myself, but I can certainly empathize with Kelly’s position. What stood out to me was that she said she felt embarrassed and that he was being disrespectful. That’s big. I don’t necessarily think she is asking him to change who he is. Why couldn’t she say something along the lines of:  “I love how open and honest you are. I appreciate that in our relationship and I know your friends do also. I’m not asking you to change that. You know I’m a pretty private person, especially when it comes to us. When you make comments about my ass to your friends, I feel like you’re not being respectful. I’m asking if you could refrain from sharing any of our intimate information with your friends or talking about my body parts. I fully support you being true to yourself and not trying to change just to please me, but in order to be happy in a relationship it’s very important to me that I feel respected.”

    1. 3.1
      Karmic Equation

      Unless Kelly wears muumuus to cover up her butt, it is not private. She wears miniskirts. You think miniskirts makes her butt private? Anyone with eyes can see she has a butt and probably legs underneath.

      If her bf had divulged her salary, her medical conditions, that her brother was transgendered, etc., he’s not commenting about “private” anything. I think Kelly is uncomfortable with compliments that are sexual in nature.

      If THAT is her problem then she needs to tell her bf that compliments that hints at her sexuality make her uncomfortable. Not that she is a “private person”. He hasn’t violated her privacy. But again, saying she’s uncomfortable with compliments that hints at sexuality makes her sound a little prudish, and she probably doesn’t want bf to start thinking she’s a prude-in-waiting. That’s why she doesn’t want to say THAT.

      So what are her options? Change him? Or change herself? She wants to change him. He’s not exposing anything private, just what SHE “considers” private. Her derriere is not private. Sorry, she’s got to be the one to change, either her perspective, or her coupled up status.

      1. 3.1.1
        KK

        KE,

        I just wanted to respond to this part of your comment when you said, “But again, saying she’s uncomfortable with compliments that hints at sexuality makes her sound a little prudish, and she probably doesn’t want bf to start thinking she’s a prude-in-waiting.”

        Thats a big assumption as to why she hasn’t talked to him about her concerns.  I certainly wouldn’t consider her to be prudish. As you mentioned, she wears miniskirts and sends sexy pics to her bf. There’s a world of difference between being prudish and not wanting to share your sexuality with the world. For all we know, she’s a freak in the bedroom. Maybe not. The point is she wants that to remain private and only between the two of them. Totally understandable and might I add, respectable. What is intimacy after all, if everyone knows your private business? It’s funny, I hear women all the time complaining about how women are over sexualized and objectified in our modern culture on TV and elsewhere. But when this woman complains about her bf doing that to her, you’re saying that’s just how he is. No wonder men are confused! As a woman, I do feel his comment to his friends was disrespectful and I can assure you I’m no prude.

        1. Karmic Equation

          KK,

          He isn’t sharing “private” info. Like, “I love the bj you gave me in the shower the other day.” THAT is private, absolutely positively and he would be disrespecting her.

          If he’s SHOWING her photos to his friends, that would be violating her privacy and disrespecting her.

          If he’s complimenting her ass and she wears abayas all the time, that would be violating her privacy.

          If he tells his friends she’s freak in bed, that would be violating her privacy.

          He’s complimenting her. Take the compliment with grace. And she can laughingly tell him, “I love your compliments, but tell them to me when we’re ALONE, kk?? I really don’t want your friends to know I send you naughty pix, please??”

          That’s it. Why does she have to dramatize it to “he’s violating her privacy” level? I guess THAT is what I’m reacting to, she’s making him “wrong” when in his eyes, he’s just showing he’s proud of her, paying her authentic compliments, and yes, he loves her body. Why make him wrong for that?

          If he is objectifying her, and that is what she’s reacting to, she just needs to keep that to herself and continue to monitor to see if he really has no respect for her and is only into her for her body or if this is just him being him.

          If his objectification of her is a part of a pattern of other disrespectful behavior, she should dump him.

          TBH, IMO, when a guy is “being himself” and you don’t like it, it is not the time to tell him to change, it is time to start collecting data in the databanks and seeing if it’s a pattern. If it’s a pattern, dump him. If it’s isolated, only happens occasionally, live with it.

          Our bfs/hubbies are not dogs to do our bidding whenever we bid them. Sometimes they do sh*t we’d rather they not do, but as long as it’s not illegal, immoral, or unethical, just let them be. Men don’t ask us to change all our annoying behaviors because they DO respect our individuality. We need to show them the same respect…or dump him. Making him change to suit our every whim or our sense of decorum, is disrespectful, too.

        2. Sunflower

          I agree with you KK.  Just because she wears a mini skirt doesn’t give her bf or anyone a right to comment on her ass.  It does come down to respect.  If something you do bothers your SO and you care about your SO, then you stop for sake of not wanting to hurt them or rock the relationship…..period.

        3. Russell

          I agree with Karmic’s post.  Don’t over think this.  It probably comes down to little more than he is proud of her and is showing her off.  It is likely that he means no disrespect for it at all.

           

          I was in a similar situation many years ago while I was in the Navy.  It was with the last girl I dated, who was also in the Navy, before I met me ex-wife.  I had bought a new pair of Levis, which was a cut I had never worn before.  I can’t remember which number it was, like 550, or something, but anyway, I washed them and wore them the next day.  She had some friends over, and I walked into the living room, and she loudly exclaimed in her words, that the new jeans “make your ass look sooooo good.” and then insisted that the other girls take a look.  They all made rowdy comments and I just blushed and said something like, “Down girls,” and went into the kitchen to get something to eat.  But, I didn’t get offended, or wonder if she only loved me for my body, or anything like that.  So, I think thicker skin would help this woman.   Stop putting guys through the ringer for no reason.  Would he rather the guy pull out playboy pictures of some other girl’s ass?  Be thankful he actually thinks you have an ass worth showing off.  Keep in mind that a lot of women who don’t have a great ass would love to be in your position.  This is one of the things that drive men nuts.  What’s the point of being with a hot women if you can’t actually enjoy the fact that she’s hot?  Stop making men apologize for being men already.  Enjoy it while it lasts.  One of these days you might not have a great ass and you will then be upset that he never makes a fuss about it anymore.

      2. 3.1.2
        Karl S

        She wears miniskirts. You think miniskirts makes her butt private? Anyone with eyes can see she has a butt and probably legs underneath.

        That’s exactly why he shouldn’t be pointing it out to his mates in her presence. The fact is self-evident and he comes across as juvenile by verbalizing it on top of that. The manly thing to do would be to take it in stride like it ‘ain’t no thang’ in public, but compliment her profusely in private.

        1. KK

          Spot on, Karl!

        2. Al

          Yes. Thank you!

      3. 3.1.3
        Chaka

        I think you hit the nail on the head — it’s compliments that are generally sexual in nature.  I think I would be uncomfortable if my boyfriend wanted his friends to share or join in the admiration of what my boyfriend likes about me physically/sexually.  I would appreciate my boyfriend lusting after me.  I would not appreciate his encouraging his friends to do the same.

        1. Rebecca

          “I would appreciate my boyfriend lusting after me.  I would not appreciate his encouraging his friends to do the same.”

          This.  Exactly.

    2. 3.2
      Michelle H.

      KK– I agree with you.  It seems Kelly may feel objectified, which is in fact very, very important.  Thanks for seeing that.

      Kelly– your boyfriend has not been demonstrating discrimination in his speech, trustworthiness with private matters, or class.  You know what to do when you’re ready, and you don’t need anyone else’s approval to show that you respect yourself.

      Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there!

  4. 4
    KK

    One more thing for those who find this behavior complimentary:

    In this situation, he was with his friends. But what if this guy was dating your mom, or sister, or daughter and made a similar comment? Would you still think that? Maybe so. For me, eh, not so much. I would be less than impressed.

  5. 5
    Skaramouche

    I don’t think this is about being an open book vs. not or about censorship.  Everybody should have the right to be authentically themselves as long as they are respectful of the feelings of those around them.  But does being an open book mean that you blurt out everything that comes to your mind right then and there even if it might make your partner uncomfortable?  This: “When it’s just the two of us he doesn’t talk to me like that.” is what made me pause while reading OP’s letter.  Unless I misunderstood, why DOESN’T her boyfriend talk to her that way when they are alone?  What better time to tell your girlfriend that you love the way her ass looks or that you were very turned on by the photo she sent? 

    @KK, #4…I hadn’t thought about it from that perspective but you are 100% spot on.  Gentlemen do not talk about their girlfriend’s asses in public.  If a woman has a great looking ass, everyone knows it.  They also know which man it belongs to.  There’s no need to announce it loudly :P.  I would find it very hard to respect a man who did so.

    1. 5.1
      Karmic Equation

      “I would find it very hard to respect a man who did so.”

      And that would be your right, as is hers. But that’s not who he is. So she should dump him to show that she respects his right to blurt out whatever he wants, but it’s not what she wants in a boyfriend.

      1. 5.1.1
        Skaramouche

        I think you’re missing the point.  This is not a guy “being himself”.  Granted that the information provided is limited but based on that, it seems he is, in fact, NOT “being himself”.  A person who is genuinely comfortable in his skin would not demonstrate different, counter-intuitive behaviour when he is with his alone with girlfriend vs. when he is not.  If he complimented her ass equally while alone, one might be able to argue that he is just that way but he waits until he’s with other people to point it out?  Is he announcing it in case someone missed it or inviting his friends to look or….?  It is crass in either scenario but one supports your argument and the other does not.

        1. Al

          Exactly. He is drawing attention to what a hottie he’s managed to score in order to make himself look cool to other people. Saying to just “dump him or accept his bad behavior” is assuming that this guy isn’t capable of learning maturity or respect, or that the GF shouldn’t strive toward communication or compromise in her relationship.  I find that very sad.

        2. Skaramouche

          You and I are in complete accord, good sir.

          Everyone is mostly agreeing with everyone else after some debate on this thread.  It’s kinda….pleasant :).

    2. 5.2
      Chaka

      I forgot about that part!  “When it’s just the two of us…” gave me pause.  That tells me that he has some kind of show-offy thing going on; that his “compliments” could possibly be a manifestation of insecurity.

  6. 6
    Julie

    My first feeling on this is that maybe Kelly’s boyfriend is really just a bit insecure about himself.  She said that “When it’s just the two of us he doesn’t talk to me like that.”  He seems to make references to how sexy and beautiful she is to others, but maybe it is an attempt to say “hey, look at this beautiful woman that I GOT”!  By him bragging about her, it is also saying something about him.  That he landed someone amazing.  If he did this all the time, i would say it’s just his personality, but since Kelly said he does not do this in private with her, than i feel it is more a way for him to brag to people in order to bring himself up in his friends eyes, even if just subconscious.
    When you commit to someone, you should love and accept them for who they are today.  If you can’t do that, then you shouldn’t be with them.  Don’t expect people to change for you, or date them based off of what their potential is.  Date them for who they are in this moment.  If you fall in love with someone but once they are yours you want them to change things about themselves, then you really didn’t fall in love with who that person is after all.  I agree with Evan.  You either accept him for who he is, or you don’t and move on.  There are no strings attached with unconditional love and acceptance.  Either you do … or you don’t

    1. 6.1
      Al

      Being in a committed, adult relationship requires both courtesy and compromise. If this guy can’t manage to reign in his insensitive bragging he isn’t mature enough to be in a relationship. She’s not asking him to change his nature. She’s asking him not to comment on her ass in mixed company as a means of propping up his fragile self esteem. Frankly, I’d be embarrassed for HIM, not her. That’s very childish behavior. It’s not that big of a thing to ask him to being inconsiderate. I’m sure he will have requests of her as well.

      1. 6.1.1
        Julie

        Al,  I agree with you that when you are in an adult relationship, it does require both courtesy and compromise.  But, him “disrespecting” her with those comments, that is just the problem on the surface.  Him being insecure, that is the real issue.  How can you reign in the insensitivity when you are trying to fix and feed an insecurity?  Yes, she is asking him to change his nature because this guys nature, one part of it at this stage in the game, is insecurity.  When she says to stop making those remarks, in essence she is saying “please stop being so insecure about yourself”.  Asking someone to stop being insecure, DOESN’T WORK.  That change has to come from within.  No woman is going to fix that for him.  So asking him “not to be inconsiderate”, yes it is a big thing below the surface because you are asking him to change how he views himself.  How easily do you think you could change how you view yourself???

        1. Al

          I tend to give people the benefit of being capable of changing negative behaviors. We all reign ourselves in everyday to coexist in society. If he wants to keep his sexy girlfriend he’ll find a way to alter his behavior. If not, he can explain to his buddies at the next party that the girl with the fine ass dumped him for acting like a douche.

    2. 6.2
      Nissa

      I too saw this as just a sign of the boyfriend’s insecurity, just bragging and talking loudly about the sexy pic she sent. It comes across as his wanting to be noticed and to feel important – really very little to do with her.

      If she can accept his acting out of insecurity, then that’s fine. Perhaps it’s enough for her to know the commentary is not about her, but about his wanting to feel important.

  7. 7
    Ronin

    Just another example of a woman’s superior communication skills…Most men is such situations have no idea that there even was a serious problem. It’s typical, rather than just say to him privately what bothers them, they adopt the old “I’ll just let this irritation fester until I explode at him over something totally unrelated” 🙂 If his compliments are deal breaker for you by all means tell him, but don’t get pissed later when he complies and you find out you miss them…

    1. 7.1
      Al

      I actually do agree with this, though I certainly wouldn’t accuse all women of behaving this way. By all means, she should just say, “Hey, stop acting like a childish dickhead or next time I’ll make a joke about YOUR cute little ballsack.”

  8. 8
    Al

    I’m going to veer off from what a lot of posters are saying on here and say that I think the BF is being inconsiderate and immature. The OP says ” When it’s just the two of us he doesn’t talk to me like that. I’m embarrassed and angry every time he does it.” The first part shows that he is not saying these things because he’s “an open book’ or “shooting from the hip.”

    If he only behaves like this in public, around his friends, he is trying to use her to impress other people. That’s a sign of insecurity. His GF is his partner, not his prop. Furthermore, if making comments about her ass embarrasses her he should respect her and stop it. How would a man feel if his GF talked about the unique shape of his penis in front of a crowd of people? Chances are, he wouldn’t like it.

    1. 8.1
      Karmic Equation

      A guy usually doesn’t walk around with his penis readily visible to the public. Those guys get arrested.

      Again, if she doesn’t like being objectified (and I do agree he is doing that) — then dump him. She’s not going to cure his insecurity.

      But if she likes him enough to want to remain his girlfriend, then she needs to accept his insecurity.

      Isn’t that what most women want from her guy? How come when a guy is insecure, he’s bashed and denigrated as “disrespectful”, but when a woman is insecure, he’s a jerk for not catering to her insecurity?

      Golden rule works both ways.

      If she doesn’t want to dump him, then she needs to accept him. It’s that simple.

      1. 8.1.1
        Al

        And I doubt she is “whipping” her bare ass out in public either. Still, if my analogy doesn’t work for you then just substitute any comment that he would find equally embarrassing.

      2. 8.1.2
        Skaramouche

        No, he doesn’t walk around with his penis visible but I doubt her butt cheeks are available for all to see either :P.

        I have to applaud you for steadfastly insisting on cutting men the same slack we want for ourselves.  On that point, I am 100% in agreement with you.  I also agree that it is crucial for us to accept our partners for who they are fundamentally.  No one is asking OP’s bf to change his personality.   Heck, even she loves his “shout it from the rooftops attitude”.  However, destructive or hurtful behaviours can and should be changed as they are (negative) manifestations of said personality.

         

        He’s insecure (or whatever his deal is)?  Great, she should absolutely support him and do what she can to make him feel more secure.  But let’s also recognize that there’s a problem with his behaviour and it’s inappropriate/hurtful.  It’s not bashing to state an obvious issue.  I’m not sure how one can construe routinely calling attention to a girlfriend’s butt in a group of friends, while she’s present no less, as anything other than disrespectful.

        Dumping him would be a quick and easy solution and perhaps she should.  But if he’s sweet and loving and all the other things she says, maybe it’s worth her time to explain to him, once again, exactly what she finds hurtful and why.  If he wants to keep her too, he’ll try.  If he doesn’t, well the writing is already on the wall then.

        1. Karmic Equation

          Miniskirts don’t leave a lot to the imagination.

          Men notice when good looking women wear sexy clothes. Since heterosexual women don’t wear sexy clothes to impress women, then of course, the clothes are doing their job when men notice.

          Some comment. Some stare. Some glance. Very few are oblivious.

          I agree that her bf is exhibiting insecurity of some sort.

          If he’s as wonderful as she’s painted him to be, then call this his fatal flaw. And unless she wants to nag him until he stops–in which case the nagging is going to harm their relationship–she’s got to just roll her eyes and ignore when he comments, or she’s just got to dump him.

          She’s tried to address it. He hasn’t changed. The ball’s in her court. It’s time to put up or shut up, if this is really bothering her. Or acknowledge that this isn’t the right battle to fight.

          If he’s really a disrespectful person, he’s going to disrespect her in other ways.

          If this is the only way his insecurity plays out, she’s just got to decide to either live with it…or not.

          Women have GOT to take “changing him” off the table as a solution. If a guy doesn’t change after the 2nd time you talk to him about the same issue, he’s not planning to change.

        2. KK

          Agreed. I also think there’s a big possibility this guy is just clueless. Don’t know if there’s much you can do to fix that one. Lol.

        3. Skaramouche

          And we agree.  Peace out, KE.

      3. 8.1.3
        Cat5

        I have an ex who how shall I say it politely – is very well endowed.  It was very obvious at times depending on where we were, what we were doing, and what he was wearing, for example, at the beach and he was just getting out of the water.  Are you saying that if I said to my friends in front of him – yo, yo check out the size of my man’s package ain’t I lucky one! – that he would be insecure if he asked me to not do so because the his size of his penis was clearly visible to everyone on the beach and he put it out there for all to see by wearing the swim trunks that he did?

        1. Chaka

          No, that is not what people are saying.  Your analogy is opposite of what everybody here is saying.  People are saying that the guy making the comments is insecure.  People are not saying the insecure one is the girlfriend.

  9. 9
    Al

    So she should just dump the guy without even talking to him about this and giving him a chance to rectify the situation? He might not feel that’s a win if he actually cares about her. Geez. If everyone bails at the very first sign of conflict in a relationship, no wonder there are so many lonely single people around.

     

    And there is a huge distinction between being “insecure” and being “disrespectful.” They are not the same thing at all. If her insecurity was embarrassing him in public then he would have just as much right to tell her it bothers him.

    1. 9.1
      Karmic Equation

      OP wrote:

      “I’m embarrassed and angry every time he does it. He keeps saying he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it and seems really apologetic after I address it but to me it feels like a lack of respect.” 

      She has told him. While apologetic, he hasn’t stopped doing it.

      The fact that she stays with him in spite of his “disrespectful” behavior says she doesn’t have strong boundaries or this isn’t such a big deal that she wants to break up with him. By HER actions (staying with him, despite giving him multiple chances to change), she’s saying she values him more than she is distressed by what she calls his disrespectful behavior. What incentive does he have to change? There aren’t any lasting consequences for him. For that matter, why would a woman with healthy self-esteem stay with a man who continually disrespects her?

      Why does she waste her energy by continually getting angry when he does it? Just let it go. Or let him go.

      1. 9.1.1
        KK

        KE, I totally agree with you on this point. I was reading some of the comments and thought, “Wait a sec, hasn’t she already tried talking to him and that’s why she’s writing in the first place?” So I re-read her letter and your quote above is the part that confirmed that. So, yes, she can accept it or move on.

      2. 9.1.2
        Al

        I actually can’t argue with at all on this. You are 100% correct. If she’s already spoken to him and seen no change in his behavior it’s clear she needs to either accept it or walk.

  10. 10
    Julie

    Karmic Equation ~  AMEN TO THAT !!!

  11. 11
    Gail

    If his girlfriend is hot, everyone will notice.  Having him go on about her “assets” in public is very off-putting.  What is he trying to prove?  And I would also be embarrassed if some idiot talked about me in public like that.  It’s not about being “private” or outgoing, it’s about appropriateness.  Something’s wrong with this guy.

  12. 12
    Adrian

    I’m surprised no one asked, “What was the context, and tone of his statement about her ass?” Hear me out before you scream it doesn’t matter!

    As a guy who has been in both the boyfriend’s and the letter writer’s position, I can assure you that with private/sensitive people, something mentioned that would be considered harmless to most, can still be considered a violation of their privacy.

    I’m not defending or accusing him, I’m just asking all the commenters to consider a time when they have innocently said something that most people would have thought nothing of, but someone close to you felt like you betrayed them by speaking it.

    Evan is right, in most of the situations, the person doesn’t even realise that what they said is something that you don’t want mentioned. One person’s secret treasure is another person’s aired laundry. Their personalities just might not be compatible.

    1. 12.1
      Christine

      Adrian I have considered that–in fact, that happened with me and my boyfriend just recently.  My boyfriend surprised me with some beautiful flowers.  I was so enthused about them that I wanted to snap a photo of them and post them on Facebook, to share with my friends–I just couldn’t help myself.  Well, my boyfriend hesitated and initially wanted to keep it just between us.  It just didn’t occur to me that this is the sort of thing he’d consider a closed book.  Some things are pretty obviously “TMI” category like, say, a couple’s sex life or something like that–but I didn’t consider flowers in that category. I told him I didn’t realize he felt that way, and if he didn’t want to share then I would respect his wishes and not post them.  However, he changed his mind and even helped me in taking the photo!  I think he eventually thought what Evan did, that a significant other publicly showing enthusiasm isn’t the worst thing.

      I know, “look at the pretty flowers” isn’t quite the same as “my girlfriend’s a**”–but it is sort of in line with unintentionally disclosing something that one person didn’t want mentioned.  So I can see where this boyfriend is coming from and it was probably unintentional.

      Well, I previously dated someone who refused to be Facebook friends with me and never even introduced me to any of his friends after months of dating–as if he was embarrassed by me.  So then I dumped him and saved him the further embarrassment of dating me.  Believe me that a boyfriend who publicly shows his pride in his girlfriend is definitely the lesser “evil” than one who treats her like a dirty little secret.

  13. 13
    Elsa

    This would bug me too.  However, it would bug me for a slightly different reason.

    I want praise from my partner, and I want him to love my body.  However, I want him to tell ME, not tell me via comments when we around friends.  That seems passive and immature.  To confidently deliver a compliment is a very attractive quality to me.

    Since the letter writer states that her boyfriend does not compliment her one on one, I have to wonder if he is unable to communicate other aspect of their relationship with her one on one, or if he needs a friend filter to communicate through.

    I would also be annoyed that he is interrupting me on the phone.  It reminds me of kids who nag their parents while they are on the phone because they want attention.  But since he is an adult, it really is just a lack of respect for the other person.

  14. 14
    judy

    Elsa 13 – I agree with you entirely on your second paragraph.  If he tells his friends, it sounds like a show-off (and, incidentally, rather rude as if she’s some kind of object).  I suppose it really depends on how he says it, i.e. the tone of voice.

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