Do you think this request is reasonable?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Do you think this request is reasonable?
7
Sun, 06-08-2014 - 11:17pm

I have a friend who just started seeing this guy  long distance (about 5-6 hour drive).  He is from the area that she grew up in and her uncle & aunt actually introduced them.  They are late 50's.  So they met I think in April because then he came to visit her (with his grown kids, which is another story) on Mother's Day weekend.  Then I think she visited him one more time.  They have decided to be exclusive.  Since I haven't seen my friend in about a month, I was dying to hear how things were going with this guy, so we were talking this weekend.  She was saying many positive things about him, how they got along so well, easy to talk to, etc.  Plus he's handsome.  So everything was sounding good until I asked her why she hadn't come to our school's monthly dance on Sat night and she said "oh well he doesn't want me dancing with other men.  I'd probably feel the same way about him doing that"--but of course this is a guy who doesn't know how to dance but is interested in learning with my friend so he is not really giving up anything.  My friend has been taking ballroom lessons for over 2 yrs and was even going to do a performance with the teacher.

Now my first reaction was that if a guy told me to do that, I would wonder why he didn't trust me.  I have to explain that we aren't talking about regular nightclub drunken guys who might grope you and want to pick up women for sex, or even a singles dance.  I do think it would be odd for someone in a relationship to be going to a singles dance where the object is to meet someone to date.  We are talking about ballroom or swing dances where there is no alcohol served and the most important thing is whether you can dance, not what you look like or how old you are.  Some of the guys that my friend dances with regularly are very old and some are good friends but not interested in her.  In fact the only guy I have known who has ever tried to ask her out was an African American guy who is about 20 yrs younger than her and she just laughed him off cause he was like her kids' age.  My feeling is that there are people of the opposite sex all over and if someone wants to cheat, they are going to do that and if someone is in love with you and doesn't want to cheat, it doesn't matter where they are or how many cute guys are around, they just won't do it.  

I guess I am upset for 2 reasons--one is that I know my friend loves dancing more than almost any other activity (except maybe going to church) so to ask her to give it up (apparently she can't even take lessons any more) seems to be inconsiderate if he really knew how much she loves it.  The second is a selfish reason on my part.  I know if she ends up marrying this guy, she will move and we will never see her again--yeah, I know people can stay in touch but realistically I know we might send some emails but that will be it.  So I feel like I am already losing a friend.  Most of our weekend activity is going out dancing.  She doesn't like to go out to bars anyway (which I don't do that much unless there is a good band--but I guess this will be banned too since there are men there).  I like going out to movies also but for some reason she has never come with me so basically I guess that leaves the occasional dinner or something.  My group of friends generally doesn't shop together.  I would certainly be open to doing other things if they came up but I feel like she is going to be one of those women who is just going to center her whole life around this guy now even though she has only known him 2 months--because she really really really wants to get married and is someone who won't have sex without being married, so I can even see this happening pretty quickly. :(  Yes I know I am supposed to be happy for her so I'll try to be mature about it.  I guess in our group I was close to her and now our other friend even said "I guess she dropped you like a hot potato" when this guy came along.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 2:06am

Well seeings they've only been dating a couple of months it seems really early in the relationship for him to be making request like this. It would be a bit different IF they were engaged or married. One could perceive this as him being somewhat controlling. On one hand I can see his point about not wanting her dancing with other men if they are in an exclusive relationship, but does he fully understand the atmosphere of these dances? That this is in no way like going out to a bar where there's drinking and dancing? On the other hand she should not have to give up something she loves to do either so I'm sorta on the fence on this one. But in the thralls of "new relationship high" we often do everything we can to please the new love in the beginning. 6 months or a year from now she may feel totally different about giving up something she loves to do for this guy.  Hopefully he doesn't have trust  issues that carried over from previous relationships. And hopefully his "requests" don't become more and more as the relationship progresses.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 11:58am
A similar thing happened with a former friend of mine. He forbade her from even hanging out with me because I'm single. He's a controlling jerk. They got married, and I've been exiled from the group. It hurts to see pictures on FB of them all hanging out without me, but I have to remember that someone who dropped me so quickly wasn't a real friend anyway.
Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 12:11pm

On the face of it, it sounds like he's insecure or controlling, or both. But if he doesn't dance himself, then he probably just doesn't understand. If he's interested in dancing then why can't she bring him to a dance/lesson when he visits? Then he can see he has nothing to worry about. I personally would have a hard time if a man told me I couldn't do something I loved to do. Perhaps your friend is more of the "whatever the man says, goes" type woman and is really OK with doing what he says. But they've only been together 2 months--a lot of other things are going to come up for them as they get to know one another better. If he is controlling, then more of these incidents will come up, and she'll just have to decide if she wants to be with someone like that.

As to the other part, yes, it's a drag when a friend either moves away or becomes fused with her partner. And you're right: no matter what they say, it will just turn into an occassional get together. I like to think that because of the years I've spent single (and been dumped by coupled friends) that I would do a better job of keeping my friends.

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 2:09pm

I would be bummed too if I were in your shoes.  I think rather than tell her she can't do what she loves anymore, he could go with her.  That's a bit of a jerk move if you ask me...it's funny because my brother's ex GF was a ballroom dancer and he also asked her to quit and she did...but they are over now, LOL. 

I'm sorry you are losing a friend to some guy - that stinks and it's happened to me more times than I can count.  Don't feel guilty for the way you feel, though ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 3:59pm

I guess the older I get, I want someone to accept me the way I am and part of that would be that I have certain interests that I love to do.  For ex, when I was doing OLD, if a guy said that he loved skiing, I'd just know that he wouldn't be for me.  I tried skiing, didn't like it and I'm afraid of getting hurt.  It wouldn't be fair for me to try to limit the time the guy spent at that activity and I know I wouldn't want to do it.  so I'd rather have someone who was more compatible.  At least this guy does want to learn to dance.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2006
Tue, 06-10-2014 - 2:43am

Music lover,

While reading this, my first thought is that have just started dating, so he shouldn't be trying to tell her that she should attend these dancing events. Perhaps the two of you can remain good friend and come up with different ways to stay in contact.

Good luck

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Fri, 06-13-2014 - 8:38pm

Dancing is a very sensuous activity.  The couple have their HANDS on their partner, in an obvious "embrace".  Why do you think so many fundamental religions ban dancing? Many people dislike their partners dancing with other people.  It's not that their partner is going to be hit on by the dancing partner, but simply that they don't like the idea of their bf/gf being touched in such a sexual way by someone of the opposite sex.  My husband dislikes me dancing with other men--has from the getgo. We've been married for 36 years, and together for 41.  He doesn't think I am going to cheat on him.  He doesn't think the guy is going to hit on he.  He just doesn't like other men TOUCHING ME, and frankly, I pretty much feel the same way about him.  So I find this to be a very reasonable request.  Especially since you said this gal's 2nd most favorite activity was going to church.  Odds are, her bf is a "churchy" guy also, so having other men touch her probably makes him very uncomfortable.

And I'm going to have to disagree with this statement also.  "...For ex, when I was doing OLD, if a guy said that he loved skiing, I'd just know that he wouldn't be for me.  I tried skiing, didn't like it and I'm afraid of getting hurt.  It wouldn't be fair for me to try to limit the time the guy spent at that activity...".  Why would you limit the time your partner would spend on an activity he enjoys?  Why would you need to do all your partner's activities with him?  My husband & I have many activities we enjoy doing separately, and others we do together.  When I first met my husband he went hunting and fishing.  The only thing I said was, "Do not bring any dead thing back here, and expect me to cut it open and clean it.  Bring me cleaned and cut up pieces, and I will try cooking anything.  I have cooked frog, rabbit, goose, and venison, but I certainly did not sit next to dh in a blind, with a gun, for 6 hours in the cold.   My husband played racquetball for years, till he blew out his knees.  I tried it ONCE, got hit in the nose, and was done.  He goes crosscountry skiing, & he plays golf.  I do not, and will not do those things.  I go to botanical gardens, the opera, musical theater, and out shopping with my dds and my gf's.  He would sooner have a root canal.  He goes out to the bar with his buddies.  I go to breakfast with mine. 

There is no reason that you cannot have a relationship with a man who does things you do not enjoy.  Even tho peiople are in a relationship, they still need to have their own identities.  Having separate activities, constantly gives you new and different things to talk about, and helps keep a relationship fresh. 

That's not to say you can't have an opinion about your partner's activities, just like my Dh didn't like me dancing with other men.  I didn't like him hunting, and told him that even when he brought things home in pieces, it still bothered me to know that he killed an animal that didn't NEED to be killed.  He eventually stopped hunting in favor of target shooting.  I don't do that either, but it does not bother me that he does.