My Girlfriend Broke Up With Me Because I Was Participating In A Forum on Sex and Dating. I Don’t Get It.

Girlfriend Broke Up With Me Because I was Paricipating In A Forum on Sex and Dating

I casually mentioned to my ex-girlfriend that I was reading and participating in discussion forums on sex and dating. She got furious and ended the relationship. I tried to explain to her that I was only using the forums to get information to make things better, to make her happier, and to address a bedroom issue we were having. I was emphatic that I wasn’t chatting with others or looking to cheat on her. I even showed her the discussions I was participating in so she could see my intentions, to no avail.

I’ve read some comments on your blog from women who said that they would dump a guy on the spot for doing this. If my partner was actively looking for ways to improve our relationship, I would be thrilled. The forum I was participating in was totally anonymous and there was no way anybody could have identified either one of us.

Honestly, what’s the big deal about participating in those forums the way I described?


Yeah, I don’t get this. I mean, I understand that it happens, but I don’t understand the logic behind it.

Now, if anyone should have a grasp on this subject, it’s me. I’ve been doing this since 2003, and am well aware that I’m a lot of women’s dirty little secret. I’ve had clients who’ve worked with me for a year, fallen in love, gotten married, and never breathed a word of it to their husbands — because they’re still afraid that they’re going to be judged or dumped. I’ve had women in my FOCUS Coaching program for two years, who, when asked about the online Forum to which they’re addicted, say “it’s a support group for women around relationships.” No mention of the male dating coach involved.

These women have been so burned by men that they see trouble at every corner — even when there is no trouble to be found.

This is just a roundabout way of saying that people are insecure. And they let their insecurities make their decisions — even when they’re bad decisions. Insecurity is what allows women to freak out if their boyfriend talks about an ex, finds another woman attractive, or has a conversation with another woman on Facebook. These women have been so burned by men that they see trouble at every corner — even when there is no trouble to be found. Then they confront you because they don’t trust you, you lash out at not being trusted, and the relationship starts to deteriorate. This is why I say it’s always “full trust or no trust.” There’s nothing in between. (Tweet this quote!)

If your girlfriend trusted you — that you were, in fact, a good boyfriend, who was looking online for answers to a specific relationship dilemma — this could have been seen as a sweet gesture. Instead, she looked at your actions through a negative filter — seeing the worst in you, projecting that you might cheat on her, and probably feeling very defensive about the fact that you sought outside answers to your “problem.” This is dimestore insecurity; the kind that sounds like it should be easily negotiated through an authentic and vulnerable conversation, but ended up blowing up in your face.

Consider yourself lucky. Otherwise you’d have to put up with this insecure bullshit for the rest of your life.

I say this as a guy who got dumped by a girlfriend because my friends went to a bachelor party at a strip club in Vegas that I wasn’t even at. Yep. She threw away a six-month relationship because I was friends with the kind of guys who went to strip clubs at all. Sigh. I’ll just tell you what I learned in the aftermath, Scott.

Consider yourself lucky.

Otherwise you’d have to put up with this insecure bullshit for the rest of your life.

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  1. 1

    Some women are so uptight!   Granted it takes time to get to know someone and establish a level of trust, but what’s the worse that can happen?   If they do something that challenges that union, you move on.   

  2. 2

    Hmmm…this sounds like it’s more about her feeling uncomfortable about the topic of sex and not being able to work through that issue, therefore breaking up was a way of not avoiding it.   I think being mad about an anonymous discussion was a red herring.

    1. 2.1


      I agree, she dumped him for another reason other than the one she gave him. The real reason is something entirely different. It could be anything so it’s useless to guess what it could be.
      Perhaps the OP could let the dust settle and then try to talk to her if he can but I think she is gone for whatever reason she has and that reason would be valid for her.
      I know it can be difficult when you really like someone and they don’t want to continue the relationship.   It’s best to take a big step back when someone isn’t that interested in being with you and respect their decision and leave then alone. Persuing them when they have said they want to break up is just busting their boundaries and makes you look like a stalker if you won’t go away. All that does in reinforce their decision to break up with you and as a lady I know found out when she wouldn’t leave her ex boyfriend alone, she had a court order served on her, to stay away and cease all forms of contact.
      Can’t say I blame him, she was angry and aggressive at being dumped and her attitude and the things she said and did to her ex made me think twice about continuing my friendship with her.   
      I digress … Best to leave her alone and move on.

  3. 3

    Wow, Scott.   If that was the extent of the issue, I’d say your ex-girlfriend is crazy :P.   I mean if this was an otherwise healthy relationship and she dumped you ONLY because you happened to tell her that you frequented a sex and dating forum, I’d say that you made a good escape.   I feel bad for her; I guess negative life experiences have made her so horribly distrustful.
    On that note though, I’m curious about exactly what you mean by “sex and dating forum”.     Is this considered a sex and dating forum?   My husband just laughs when he sees me perusing the blog.   While I would have no trust issues with forums, there’s a fine line for me personally between appropriate and inappropriate when it comes to sharing sexual/other relationship details.   While I enjoy my forum time, I try to be careful of what I say and I would expect my partner to do the same.   We’re pretty much on the same page so there’s rarely an issue there.   The anonymity of the Internet helps to relax the line a wee bit, I guess.   I especially understand if Scott was asking for help for a specific problem rather than trading sex stories with strangers, which seems to be what his ex thought!
    On the topic of the dating coach, I’m divided.   I cannot understand keeping something like that a deep, dark, sordid secret but if I were the other party, I might be a bit uncomfortable to find out that personal details had been shared.   However, some details would have to be shared in order to get benefit from the coaching so I don’t know.   Regardless, it is what it is and if the partner can’t understand it after the fact, maybe he’s not the right man.

  4. 4

    As a women I do not see what the problem is at all and I would be happy that my boyfriend was looking for ways to improve our relationship. I think if as a person you are interested in sex, dating and relationships you would naturally seek out information on it whether you are in one or not. I would also think she would not see it as a red flag becasue you are the one who was telling her about it. Perhaps you two were fundamentally incompatible and this was one of the ways it seeped through.

  5. 5

    It sounds like there were other reasons and who knows, maybe those reasons were a result of her insecurity too.   If he mentioned it to her and even showed her, he apparently had nothing to hide.   Isn’t that the kind of transparency there should be in a relationship?   It sounds like it would be very hard to be with someone who is that insecure.

  6. 6

    Regardless of what the real reason was, GF’s behavior/reaction was an over the top display of irrational behavior.   If it wasn’t the blog, something else would have triggered her eventually.   She needs help. OP needs to run and hide if she makes contact.   Been there, done that!

  7. 7

    The only reason for the girlfriend’s reaction that I can think of is that he was reading and commening on MRA or PUA sites. Which unfortunately and ironically, supports assertions made on some of these sites about women being over-emotional and irrational, incapable of making a decision sound decisions based around fact rather than feelings/impressions.

    1. 7.1

      Or he was participating in a forum on “how to get your girlfriend to a agree on a three-some with her sister” or some other sexual practice that is way beyond her limits.

      1. 7.1.1

        Yes, I can think of forums that a man would participate on that would cause me to leave him. There is some dark stuff on the internet. If its just advice on how to be a better lover, I wouldn’t care but if it was very dark or violent, I’d be outta there!

        1. Kay

          Sure, but he’s written to Evan. MRA types don’t seek help and advice here.

  8. 8

    While I agree that there are some crazy women out there, I can’t seem to escape the feeling that there is more to this story. Hmmm…would love to hear her side.

  9. 9

    Yep, something else going on here. I comment on a lot of rship blogs but tell no one and do not use my real name. Sometimes you learn about behaviors to look out for, other perspectives on an issue, sometimes physical issues such as ED. This chick is waaay too defensive. Not being allowed to discuss a problem with others is classic dysfunctional family dynamics. You dodged a bullet.

  10. 10

    Hmmm… maybe she felt that the discussions about their relationship and sexual issues would have been better served had the conversation taken place between them?   

    Many couples have a hard time communicating about those things, and perhaps he was looking to fault her in regard to the problems he mentions rather that taking ownership of his own part in the lack of success.   

    In that case perhaps she is the one that skated, because the insecure bullshit and the inability to communicate was perhaps not hers but her partner’s.

    1. 10.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You’re working pretty hard to turn this around on the guy, Adriane. Why do you think that is?

    2. 10.2

      Adriane-   What’s with all these “maybes” and “perhaps’s”?   I would suggest that you recognize these to be the signs of manipulation rather than open mindedness.

      1. 10.2.1

        The forum on Sex and Dating…Maybe she feels that he is planning to meet new women and wants to learn about sex and DATING when he already in a relationship.?    Sex and relationships, or communicating with my boyfriend/girlfriend might have had a different reaction.   I might go to a sex and dating forum if I am new on the market. Unfortunately, it’s hard to say since we don’t know their issues or how this was presented.



  11. 11

    I read the question and response and thought it pretty clear and the advice sound.   Read some comments and it made me realize that relationships are hard because women and men think so differently sometimes.

    There might be more to this story.   But in this instance, given what was shared, I don’t understand trying to create a backstory and/or reading more into the issue.

    It did make me rethink what might have happened.   For the guy it really was as straight forward as he explained.   For the girl it MUST have been more and she refused to see it otherwise.

    There are some really deceitful and manipulating men out there.   Not saying otherwise.   But a man in a relationship is usually quite simple.   And we tend to tell it like it is.   Try not to read between the lines.   It’s usually empty.

    1. 11.1

      I love the line, “Try not to read between the lines. It’s usually empty.”

  12. 12
    Anonymous Editor

    Despite being a happily married man, I regularly read advice and relationship/dating columns such as Dear Prudence, Dr Nerdlove, and Evan’s blog. My wife thinks it’s a bit weird, but she’s cool with it when she realizes that I just like to read tips on improving relationships, as well as learn what should people do when a particular scenario arises. Plus I like to think that if a single or married friend came up to me for relationship advice, I’ll be able to advise them accordingly.

    If the OP’s ex-girlfriend doesn’t trust him completely, then it’s a good thing that she left.

  13. 13

    I found it interesting that you are “a lot of women’s dirty little secret”. My boyfriend (yes I am with a really great guy and have been seeing him for about 10 months now) has said things to me like, “You are a great girlfriend, you could teach classes on how to be a good girlfriend.” and “How is it that you understand men so well?” To the last one I told him that I wanted to understand men so I read books and a blog about men written by MEN. I have mentioned your blog several times and some of the interesting discussions that have taken place there. He hasn’t seemed the least put off by the fact that I have read a dating/ relationship blog and participated in the discussions.  
    There was about a three week period when we were not together. He had something he needed to work through and I step back and let him go. (A story for another time.) I knew what I wanted and if it wasn’t him then I had to believe that there would be someone else. You have made a huge impact on my life and relationship. You gave me a window into that other world, the world of men. I am so grateful for that!!! You are not a dirty little secret for me. I tell other women about your blog all the time and I am NOT ashamed or embarrassed to admit that a large part of my understanding of men has come from you.  
    Thank you Evan, from the depths of my soul… I thank you!!!

    1. 13.1

      Good to see you posting again,  Lia, and congratulations on your success in dating.

    2. 13.2

      Hi Lia – I had a strong feeling he’d be back !   (He’d be a fool not too)   So glad to hear this !!!!!!!!!

  14. 14

    I’m the OP on this one.   
    Evan- thanks so much for responding to this.   You hit the nail right on the head.   She was terribly insecure, was burned bad by her ex and others, and I did lash out at not being trusted.   Actually, I was furious at her reaction because I tried so hard to be good to her, to demonstrate my faithfulness to her, to make her happy and as the relationship progressed, she pushed me away while at the same time pulling me in.   It was so confusing and she did some really mean things.   You’ve written about a lot of the things she did in many of your postings.
    The forum I was talking about was the POF forum.   I read it a lot before I met her and found it interesting and entertaining sometimes.   Yes, I did have a profile since one was needed to post but there were no pictures and no information on the profile.    I simply was there to get information on our problem and to be a better boyfriend, not to cheat.   Once she mentioned something about wanting me to be romantic so I searched the threads to get some ideas.   I simply was not there for any devious reasons and she did accuse me of being a devious fiend for frequenting the forums.   
    And yes, there were other issues and the relationship was more complicated than described in a couple sentences but, IMO, as Evan would put it, I was just being a guy, a pretty average mild guy.   And also, IMO, I was a damn good boyfriend but really, that’s up to her to decide and she probably wouldn’t agree.  
    She was an interesting cocktail of issues and she knew it.   I wonder how she’d feel if she knew this was about her.  

    1. 14.1

      She probably wouldn’t see herself in this story. My experience is that people (both female and male) who see others through such distorted lenses don’t see themselves very clearly.   I met a man much like your ex – serious issues and incredibly untrusting.   I think when they are willing to project such wild things onto another person and you know within yourself the things they are accusing you of aren’t you, then it’s a pretty good clue what they are doing or thinking in their own mind and time.   I agree with Evan here – you dodged a bullet.   The only way forward is through.   I also agree that most boyfriends don’t actively seek out info to make their relationships better so my estimation of that is you did everything in your power to make the relationship work. It’s a pity she didn’t appreciate it because she won’t find another you so easily. Don’t let this put you off from trying again.   Although, not being in the dating world a lot, I had no idea how many jealous, insecure men and women were out there!! I don’t get it but I guess it’s a learning curve for everybody.

  15. 15

    It is also about you why you chose her in the first place, considering she has all those issues. Bashing her here is really not what you should be doing either. It is understandable you want to feel justified however it is just not a nice thing to do.

    1. 15.1

      I don’t see him doing any “bashing”. To quote Morris’ wonderful line above:
      “Try not to read between the lines. It’s usually empty.”
      Boy, Scott comes across as actually owning his role in the relationshio and you label him a “basher”.

  16. 16

    She was looking for an excuse to end the relationship.

  17. 17

    That’s funny, because most of the men I dated before I recently remarried were people I’d “met” on online dating forums and blogs.   Seemed like a pretty good place to meet someone else who was interested in understanding relationships and forming a good one.   

    So, I say don’t sweat this break up and take a look around at the women who share your interest in improving yourself.   Who knows.   You may just end up in a relationship with one of them some day! 🙂

  18. 18

    What happens to these insecure people?   Do they find someone who makes them feel secure?   Do they figure it out on their own?   Do they end up alone at the end of life?   Just wondering…..

  19. 19

    One of my observations about women is that they almost always empathize and sympathize with each other and give each other the benefit of the doubt. I can see that in many of the comments here with the theme that “there must be more to be more to this story” or “I would like to hear her side of the story” whereas if a woman had written this, most if not all the women would have instantly agreed that he is insecure and needs to man up.

    Woman’s emotional predisposition is to sympathize with other women and view men with suspicion. This is not as much a problem in and of itself as it is that women seem to be unaware of it.  

    1. 19.1

      But we are always being told by the purveyors of truth about us, that we are each others worst enemies and are judgemental of other women and nobody judges a woman more harshly than another women? (I’m sure it’s us telling fellow women they are sluts, prudes, gold diggers, fat, old, crazy, isn’t it?) Surely, we can’t be both destroyers and defenders of each other?   I wonder if there is another man somewhere who could tell us all exactly what we are all like and how we behave, so we could know really how we women feel, think and act….

  20. 20

    Geez, I would love it if a guy cared enough to take the initiative to find out how to make our relationship work. No one has all the answers and I consider us lucky to have access to the knowledge gained from the experiences of others.

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