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21-year-old's BF (30) criticizes her for acting 'immature' around his friends. AITA? UPDATED

21-year-old's BF (30) criticizes her for acting 'immature' around his friends. AITA? UPDATED


"AITA for coming off 'immature' in front of my boyfriend's friends when he wanted me to make a good impression?"

Here's the original post:

My (21) boyfriend (30) invited me to a party yesterday, in his hometown with a bunch of his lifelong friends from like high school. He was saying he wanted his friends to like me, and that I should "get out of my shell" some and get to know people. I do tend to be reserved around new people but I was willing to try being more extroverted.

Well, we got to the party and first we hung out with his two best male friends and their wives. Both couples had kids and one of the ladies was pregnant. They were talking about their kids and asked me about if I wanted to be a boy mom or girl mom'. I kinda laughed at the question and was like "oh neither, unless things go in the 'government mandated baby' direction ya know?"

His friend was confused and didn't get the joke so I awkwardly explained it was a joke about losing my reproductive rights.

So after that one of his friends asked what I'd recommend seeing on a road trip, because he was planning one to the same state I just came back from. The first things that popped into my head to say were...

1. A campground that was near empty, super chill about drinking and weed, and was only 6 bucks a night, on the lake.

2. A nude beach, which you don't actually have to get naked at, it's just a much more chill spot to enjoy nature than the family beaches with people blasting crap music and not watching their kids, most everyone just hangs with friends and is pretty laid back.

His friend was kinda noncommittally saying "that sounds cool" or "wow, you're brave to do that" and I didn't really catch that stuff was alkward until my boyfriend said that his friend was traveling with his wife and toddlers... I did feel silly for just listing my favorite spots without asking him what the vibe of the trip was.

I talked to a bunch more people but I think those were the things that upset my boyfriend the most Anyway, I thought I did well at getting out of my shell and getting to know people, but when we got in the ar afterwards, my boyfriend was angry. He asked me why I'd "acted so immature" and embarrassed him.

I asked him what he'd meant because I thought I was being fun and friendly and chill. But he said I talked several times about finding having a baby "ick" and not wanting to be around kids, talked about drinking heavily, talked about embarrassing shit I'd done with friends drunk, etc.

I said I was frustrated because he told me to "just be myself" and when I really tried for him now he says I'm immature? Like I just turned 21, maybe I'm not immature, maybe I'm just out of place being the only one under 30.

He got frustrated and wanted to talk again when I had sobered up. We haven't talked again yet. I'm trying to figure out if I should apologize or stand up for myself still... AITA for acting "immature" at my boyfriend's party with his old friends?

Yikes. What do you think about this situation? This is what top commenters had to say:

Objective-Elephant13 said:

Me reading this: this sounds like a 20 year old dating a 30 year old Me reading the last line: oh... OP, he was embarrassed by you, because the things you're into at 21 are not the same vibe as people who are 30 no matter how mature and worldly people think you are. And his friends were judging for sure. But his embarrassment comes from them judging HIM not you.

You were perfectly polite and I'm sure pleasant, and a normal 21yo behaving like anyone their age expects a 21yo to behave. But you are very clearly in a different life stage to him and the rest of his friends and unless he can get over his second hand embarrassment over that and let you just be you, this relationship is done.

yenderling1 said:

don’t apologize. if he wants someone “mature” than maybe he should think about dating people his own age instead of fresh adults. He can’t have his cake and eat it

Kris82868 said:

NTA. If someone is looking for someone mature probably best not to pick someone a decade younger.

[deleted] said:

He should be embarrassed at himself for dating a 21 year old and then being upset when you act your age! Don’t apologize for being yourself. NTA

Verdict: NTA (but the boyfriend is!).

And apparently she took everyone's feedback. Because she later posted this update:

We had a serious talk. And we broke up. So y'all were right. He wasn't angry I was "immature" he was wanting me to act like a 35 year old in a 21 year old's body.

When we talked I held my tongue a lot and asked a lot of questions. Like "what was embarrassing here?" "what would you have been comfortable with me doing instead?" "What did you find embarrassing about my conversation with this other person" "how did you want me to act?"

And I just listened... And when I wasn't saying a lot in return, he really just talked openly about what he wanted. I think he thought I was listening and humbly taking constructive feedback or some shit. While I was really just trying to understand if I was compatible with who he wanted me to be. And it hurt a lot to hear, but he described wanting someone who just was not me.

He wanted me to care more about my career than about "partying, weed, and my besties". And I feel like that's just condescending. Like I do care about my career. But on my time off, I want to have fun. And I don't think it's a flaw, that my friends are important to me.

He wanted someone religious or at least familiar enough with living in those circles that I'd know not to make pro-life comments or reveal I am bisexual (he had said me being an atheist before was ok and he'd respect our differences but it turns out he always was hoping I'd be open to religion.

And he had said he was accepting of my sexuality, but he apparently didn't catch the memo you shouldn't put someone back in the closet?)

He wanted someone who "respects themselves" enough to speak confidently about their achievements, instead of making self deprecating jokes and telling embarrassing stories to make people laugh. And that's just not authentic to me, I think it's rude and snobby to brag on yourself, and I love to make people laugh even if it's through telling a wild story.

So after all that, I told him that it sounded like he had a good idea who he was looking for. And it wasn't me. I told him about all the ways I'm different than that girl he just described. And that it was hurting me to say, but I didn't think a relationship between us could ever work out, since he wanted someone who was not me.

I didn't think I'd be happy faking being some other girl. And I didn't think he would be happy, so obviously wanting someone who wasn't me but being in a relationship nothing like he wanted.

Anyway, I'm still honestly freaking out that we broke up. It wasn't a super long relationship but it was intense, and I'm second guessing whether I threw something amazing away. But it really cut me to the core, hearing all the ways he would want me to change. It felt like he wanted me to not be me anymore.

Especially when he wished I didn't let on that I'm bi. I've had trauma around being in the closet, being outed, complicated feelings about both. He knew about them and knew how much that hurt. And he still expected me to go back in the closet around his family?

In the comments, people offered her support and urged her not to second-guess her decision.

[deleted] said:

Ok you’re hurting and second guessing right now which is normal but I’m freaking proud of you! You know who you are and you don’t change for anyone EVER. I’ll let you in on a little secret-your ex will never find what he’s looking for. No one has the right to change anyone. You will find plenty of guys who love every single thing about you. Proud of you!!

And Embryw said:

What you did here is INCREDIBLY mature. This is exactly how you handle this situation. YOU DID AN AMAZING JOB AND SHOULD BE PROUD OF YOURSELF.

Sources: Reddit
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