Did I Choose a Loser? Or Am I Just Insecure?

woman wondering if she is with a loser or just insecure

I’m 23 years old and I fear that I may be the product of my overly exploited-social media obsessed-generation. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while now and even share some of your tips on my radio show (I always credit and cite you). Yet, I still find myself confused sometimes.

I’m currently dating a bartender. Most people would view this as a faux pas and even cringe a little at this statement. I know I did when I first said it aloud. We’ve been dating for about a month and shortly after we first had sex I found him creating distance between us. This is not really what concerned me — in fact I expected that. What bothers me is that when I casually bring up the fact that it takes him 5 hours to text or call me back, he tells me I’m flipping out. I find that inaccurate since I don’t feel that I get overly upset or loud with him. Since the birth of social media sites and, in particular, Instagram, I know when and how long ago he was active and on his phone. I don’t mention this to him because I know this is somewhat insane behavior.

This really upset me, so I tried not to care or bring up it up. However, since we’ve been dating and I continue to frequent the bar, there have been some red flags. Given his current profession, there are always going to be women, flirting and all of the stuff that would drive a woman insane. On three separate occasions I felt disrespected. The one that sticks out and still bothers me is when one night I went to visit him and after a couple of drinks I decided to leave. Usually when I leave we kiss or do something sweet. This time when I went to kiss him goodbye, he pulled away from me like the plague and told me in this sort of coy and charming way to wait until I see him tomorrow. IMMEDIATELY, bells went off in my head. I felt like I was being tricked. I asked him what the problem was and finally he admitted that at the other end of the bar a woman he had hooked up with in the past was sitting amongst mutual friends and he didn’t want her to say anything.

I left the bar without saying a word to him. I felt humiliated and frankly pissed off.

Is it me or did I choose a loser? Am I being the stereotypical insecure woman or are my reasons for feeling uncomfortable just? Whether it’s him or anyone else, I tend to have this problem. – Kristina

His girlfriend is going to be the cool girl who makes him want to be a better man — not the one who spies on his Instagram account.

Yes and yes.

Yes, he’s a loser. Yes, you’re being the stereotypical insecure woman.

Wait, you want me to say more? Okay, twist my arm.

You were aware enough to realize that you’re dating a bartender. Bartenders are often cute guys who work late hours and pick up women at last call. They are around drunk women all the time and can often get together with whomever they want, at will. If that bartender is in his 20’s like you, it’s a really safe bet that he’s in no rush to get married, and so he will continue to keep a roster of women at his access. He can text any of them when he gets bored/horny/lonely and whoever responds, responds. That’s his desire.

This doesn’t mean that he is a jerk. This doesn’t mean that he can’t be nice to you. This doesn’t mean that he will not eventually end up with a girlfriend. It does mean however, that his girlfriend is going to be the cool girl who makes him want to be a better man — not the one who spies on his Instagram account.

And that’s where your tendencies — the ones you admitted in your last line — are going to trip you up. Doesn’t matter if you’re dating a bartender or a saint. You are acting from a place of fear and insecurity and you’re paying the price for it.

Therefore, you have two choices:

If you’re with a guy who does NOT really like you, does NOT want to be a boyfriend, and does NOT see himself as a husband one day, it doesn’t matter how cool you are or how jealous you are; you’re just wasting your time.

1. Find a guy who doesn’t have a profession which requires him to flirt and be surrounded by other women. An accountant. A contractor. A programmer. He may be less charismatic than your bartender, but he’ll be earnest, relationship-oriented, and single-minded in his attraction to you. This is the man you should probably date and marry based on your natural insecurities.

2. If you insist that you want to be with a confident, flirtatious, charismatic guy, you had better put all your fears aside and start trusting.

No getting on his case for flirting. That’s what he does.

No lectures for not replying to texts when you want him to. You’re not his boss.

No freaking out that he’s got a past with other women. Of course he does.

Now this does NOT mean that you should turn a blind eye to a man who is a player, a cheater, and a narcissistic jerk. Your bartender could very well be that man.

But I’m not.

And that’s the source of my advice — what kind of woman would I want to be with?

So, Kristina, if you are with a guy who really likes you, who wants to be a boyfriend, and who sees himself as a husband one day — the ONLY way to deal with him is to trust him and not micromanage him.

If you’re with a guy who does NOT really like you, does NOT want to be a boyfriend, and does NOT see himself as a husband one day, it doesn’t matter how cool you are or how jealous you are; you’re just wasting your time.

This is almost the identical situation to this post from a few weeks back (What Is the Definition of Monogamy?)

In short, you’re wrong to spy on your bartender and get jealous that he has other women in his rotation. You’re not his girlfriend. You have no rights to his time.

But your bigger problem is that you’re dating a young bartender who doesn’t see you as anything serious and you’re expecting him to hop to attention when you call.

Don’t waste your time.

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  1. 61
    Karl T

    Sparkling #61,
    But you didn’t ask us to elaborate about women on this blog.   You asked us to elaborate about our experiences with women and being on the other end of a casual sexual encounter.   Yes, maybe my example was in the minority of women, but it is NOT a rare example!! It happens far more than you think.   Like I said, I think you are out of touch with the current reality of dating or perhaps the reality of dating for people in their mid 20’s to mid 30’s.   Maybe it’s different for 50 somethings, I wouldn’t know.  
    And you only proved my point further that I judge people individually.   I don’t look at a person and say, she’s a woman she is not going to want a one night stand or she will be too emotionally upset if we have a one night stand.   Some women will have a tough time while others will have an easier time than most men.   I am good friends with a girl who had tons of one night stands in her 20’s.   I was actually shocked when I found that out because I would have never guessed that of her.   When I asked her why, she told me she was really into the bar scene back then.
    As for your comment about a woman having sex right away with the intention of a relationship and then breaking up……that is the same friggin thing as casual sex in my book.   If it makes it easier for women to put a label on it as the start of an offical relationship, let them do that if it soothes their conscience, but make no mistake it is the same thing.   There is no start of a relationship when you have sex on the first or second date.   That is BS.   I have experienced women placing such a label on things as you  described and I laugh at them.   Are they afraid to face the truth??   After the first or second date there IS NO RELATIONSHIP.
    When I mention “emotional BS” I am referring to the women on this blog that blame everything on oxytocin.   I did not mean that people’s emotions are BS and that I didn’t care about them.   Maybe I should start saying things like “It wasn’t me, it was testosterone that caused me to want to hump and dump you…” LOL.
    People have brains beyond chemical reactions and hormone levels.

  2. 62
    Tom N

    As a male, I agree with Michelle at #12. I actually like women to show vulnerability. It is endearing. I also dont mind a bit of neediness. It makes me feel needed. I really prefer women to be natural and feminine and to show they want a relationship (that is what I want, too). I do not enjoy chasing women and tend to go for women who show the most interest in me or who tend to be obviously the softest or most feminine (as well as good looking).

  3. 63
    Tom N

    In my last comment, I meant to say that I agreed with Michelle #14 (not 12).

  4. 64
    Sparkling Emerald

    Kart T #62
    Maybe I should start saying things like “It wasn’t me, it was testosterone that caused me to want to hump and dump you…” LOL.
    People have brains beyond chemical reactions and hormone levels.
    Maybe you should join the crowd, because men have been talking about being hardwired by evolution to “spread their seed” to explain their need to bed as many women as possible before settling down with one, or with no intention of settling down with one ever.   The thing I find laughable about the whole “seed spreading” excuse, is I highly doubt that any of these men want those seeds they are spilling to take root anywhere and grow into babies.   If they   or the seed recipient are using any kind of BC, then no seed is being spread. (Except in the case of BC failure)
    I agree that people have brains beyond chemical reactions and hormone levels, but pro-creation is still the driving force behind our sex drive, even tho with civilization and our complex human emotions, there is   much more to sex than pro-creation.   Men are drawn to women with a particular hip to waist ratio and particular boob size because those signal fertility, men are drawn to that trait even if they do not desire children.   Women are drawn to men who are physically stronger because they still enjoy feeling “protected”, even tho the big strong man could be replaced with a hand gun.
    You also said
    As for your comment about a woman having sex right away with the intention of a relationship and then breaking up……that is the same friggin thing as casual sex in my book.
    I looked through all my comments and didn’t see where I quite said that, but I guess   I can see how you inferred that.   Truth is, many women have a biind spot, and really do think (or hope) sex on a first or second date can lead to a relationship.   And, many posters here have claimed to be in LTR’s that started with sex on a first or second date.   So if a woman really is hoping for a relationship, and the guy gives her the cold shoulder the morning after, she would   just be compounding her mistake to chase him after that.   Unfortunately many women do.   But the women who just let the disappearing man disappear aren’t humpers and dumpers. (They’ve actually been dumped, but according to you, they are supposed to call the guy & chase any way)    Dating coaches have been warning women, “Sex won’t bond him to you, but it will bond you to him”     If a woman has first date sex in hope of a relationship, that’s not being casual, that’s being niave.  
    If she thinks to herself before hand “Hmm, definitely not LTR material, but I’m horny and he’s willing so I’ll go for it” and then flakes out, then she’s the humper & dumper. But I believe that she’s not typical.   I still believe the number of males who participate in pre-meditated H&D’s is far greater than women who do so.   Of course there are exceptions, and apparently you know all five of those women. 🙂

  5. 65
    Sparkling Emerald

    Tom N – 63
         Thank you Tom !   It is nice to know that some men don’t think of a woman’s desire for love and connection as some sort of pathology.   And won’t freak out, if something in her eyes, or voice tone , or her smile, or the way she gets all snuggly in response to his touch gives away the emotions she’s trying to conceal.   

  6. 66

    Bartender. That’s all I had to read.  
    1. Can’t get a real job.
    2. Probably doesn’t want a real job.
    3. Alcohol and substance abuse problems.
    4. Playa playa (high STD risk).
    5. Probably has at least one kid out of wedlock floating around out there.
    And you are your typical obsessed young-20’s girl that adds fuel to the fire. Well, we all have to learn the hard way…

    1. 66.1

      This is spot on.  

    2. 66.2

      I generally agree with you! Unless they are in college which they could be based on the age.   It may be a college job.   Otherwise yes spot on.

  7. 67

    I would say he’s a jerk and that creates insecurity.   A nice person wouldn’t say you are being insecure by casually asking why he didn’t get back to you. A nice person responds: oh I was busy. I do agree that if you aren’t committed you don’t have ‘rights’ to his time, but if he is behaving like a boyfriend a casual question like that shouldn’t phase him. He’s keeping his options open.   I would feel really bad if I didn’t get a kiss if that was the normal behavior. You’re with a good guy when you don’t feel jipped like this. I have to admit I have done a little cyber-stalking…but you know what? Everyone leaves their photos up to be viewed. My last jerk boyfriend had tons of pictures of exes, and not just friend pictures. Cuddly lovey pictures. It caused problems and did not make me feel any more secure with the relationship. If he could foster a secure relationship I probably wouldn’t have been bothered by it the way I was. I think it’s important to always keep your options open and try not to get attached emotionally at all in the beginning. That’s my next personal challenge. Don’t get attached!  

  8. 68

    I also wanted to add to what I wrote. The wisdom I gained from dating jerk-man is that you have to let them not text back. He was super heavy on texting in the beginning and I reacted incorrectly when he started focusing on his own life again. It looked to him like I didn’t have a life…and well, I DIDN’T. I bet frequenting this bar is putting this guy off. My last jerk-man was also a bartender and his flirting and even kissing his girl-friends on the cheek didn’t bother me. It was his psycho relationship with his ex girlfriend and constantly telling me about his experiences with his exes that made me feel threatened…Once again I wish I never got attached to this guy! Biggest thing I learned that you have to match their texts, you can’t text them more than they do to you. They feel bothered. I reread my texts and I can see how jerk-man thought I looked crazy. It was like…I want constant attention from you all day long! Recently I’ve been getting a life, it’s awesome. I will not prioritize for guys either unless it’s in my best interest. Slow and steady wins the race. Let them come to you.  

  9. 69

    I’m in my 30s but in my 20s dating was much different, at least early 20s.   No online dating, no social media, no texting.   Sure there were players and bartenders well generally people knew they were and still do.   But I feel for those in their 20s now because they never knew what dating was like before and it was a lot better.   Online dating has made a lot more men like the guy in this letter.   So while before it was maybe 20% now it’s is more like 60% and that’s men in their 30s in her age range it’s probably more like 80%.   Online dating and tinder and such have allowed pretty much any man that wants to to be a player.   Before men did not have these options or if they did they had no way of contacting them.   So even below average looking Joe Smo who in my college years could not get a date to save his life is s stringing along 10 women.   In areas like DC or NY where women outnumber men dudes have 10 and 15 women no matter the age range.   Women by nature are driven to settle down, most men are not.   Even those that are, get the kid in the candy store or I’m missing out mentality.   The only way a man stops this is if he wants to commit.   The problem is EMK over estimates the men that do.   So women put up with this because this is all there is.   It makes up such a large percentage of men the choices are don’t date or date them.   For younger women they may think this is how men are!

  10. 70

    Girls should really hold off on having sex – this would have created enough security in her.

    Just my quarter.

  11. 71

    Maybe don’t sleep with a guy within a month and no commitment.

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