One of the most intimidating moments of beginning a new relationship is when the time comes to meet the significant other’s family.
This can lead to stress, so determined are some to leave a good first impression.
Sometimes contributing to that stress is when one’s significant other makes suggestions as to how they might make a good impression.
This can include changing things about their personality or outward appearance.
One Redditor recently made such a suggestion to her boyfriend ahead of his meeting her grandparents, asking him to reconsider wearing one of his trademark items of clothing.
But her boyfriend did not take this suggestion well at all, leading to some unexpected strife in their relationship.
Wondering if she was out of line, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my bf he’ll need to take his hat off during dinner when he meets my grandparents?”
The OP first shared her boyfriend has one highly defining physical trait, resulting in one constant addition to his daily wardrobe.
“I (22 f[emale]) have been in a relationship with my bf (30 m[ale]) for six months now, casually dating for much longer, and my family has been itching to meet him.”
“It’s important to note that he has very long, sternum length hair that he rarely brushes.”
“To the point where large mats will form, he’s had me cut some out in the past.”
“So he almost always wears a hat.”
The OP’s parents didn’t appear to be fazed by his hairstyle, or his hat, but her father hinted that other members of her family might not be as taken by either.
“He met my parents for the first time last weekend and he’ll be meeting my grandparents for the first time this coming weekend.”
“I will be driving the two of us around 1.5 hours to my grandparents’ house for dinner cooked by my grandma.”
“Yesterday I was chatting with my dad and he said, ‘we like your bf very much, yada yada yada, does he always wear hats?’.
“I explained that yes, he is almost always wearing a hat.”
“My dad then went on to explain that his parents, the aforementioned grandparents, had a very strict no hats at the dinner table rule when he was growing up, so it would behoove my bf to take off his hat during dinner out of respect/general table manners.”
The OP shared this with her boyfriend, assuming it would not be much of an issue, but found herself in for an unpleasant surprise.
“That night I tried to casually explain this to my bf and he became very upset.”
“He got really defensive and raised his voice saying things like ‘I don’t like to be told what to do… Why do I always have to change who I am for people… I never tell you to do anything around my family… how would you feel if I said you can’t wear makeup anymore?’.
“And at one point implied that my dad didn’t actually say that and that I was making it up to get him to take his hat off during dinner.”
“Frankly, I don’t care if he wears his hat or not at the table, but I would never want to risk offending my lovely grandparents by disrespecting theirs rules in their house.”
“I tried explaining this to him but he shut me down and said he didn’t want to talk about it anymore.”
“Later that night I texted my dad ‘Are [grandparents] really gonna care that much if he wears his hat at dinner?’.
“He responded, ‘Yes. Sorry’.”
“I took a screenshot and decided I shouldn’t bring it up again for at least a few hours.”
“Today I sent my bf the screenshot of the exchange and followed it up with ‘Sorry babe, I tried :(‘.
“I was foolish to not expect another tantrum.”
“He responded with, and this is verbatim:”
“’Why did you try?'”
“‘That makes it worse.'”
“‘Jesus OP cmon.'”
“Now I look like a f*ckin idiot.'”
“JUST F*CKING DROP IT OKAY.”
“Why the f*ck would you ask your dad such a dumb question like that.”
“‘Now he thinks that I’m against taking it off wtf why on f*cking earth would you keep stirring sh*t up.'”
“‘That’s just completely setting me up to be in an awkward position at this dinner that I’m already not thrilled about.’”
“His response was so repulsive to me that it’s been several hours and I still haven’t responded.”
“I don’t understand why it’s so hard for him to respect my grandparents enough to take his hat off for thirty minutes at their table to eat the food they prepared.”
“Now I’m questioning if I’m really the asshole his reactions make me out to be.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believe the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community overwhelmingly agreed the OP was definitely not the a**hole by asking if her boyfriend would take his hat off during dinner.
Just about everyone agreed the OP’s boyfriend sounded like bad news and she should seriously contemplate how healthy this relationship is.
“You sure this is what you consider a keeper?”
“At 22 you have plenty of time to set your sights a little higher.”
“Like, someone who washes their hair.”- Reasonable-Bear-1374.
“If you are dating a 30 year old man who does not brush his hair to the point you have to cut out rat’s nests, he’s got problems you can’t solve.”- Shaggymaggie.
“The issue isn’t your bf wearing a hat to dinner, which is inappropriate, but that you’re dating a 30 year old man who fails at basic hygiene and throws tantrums.”
“You may want to rethink this relationship.”- Consistent-Leopard71.
“NTA he doesn’t practice basic hygiene like brushing his hair and he’s upset that he looks bad?”
“This sounds like an exhausting future for you.”- princessofperky.
“He can’t take care of himself how is he ever going to take care of you? “
“There’s a reason he’s 30 and dating a 22 yr old.”
“I rarely bring up age differences but this time I think it’s warranted.”- murphy2345678.
“NTA, but honestly, why are you with him?”
“He seems extremely rude and unhygienic.”- ArrowsAndLightsabers.
“I promise you as someone who has dated every shade of red flag in my 20s, the fact that at 30 he insists on having long hair but can’t be bothered to actually care for it…there’s a rabbit hole of other major issues.”
“Save yourself and runnnnnn.”-Aggravating-Street28.
“30 year old that wants long hair but doesn’t brush his hair and thus, wears hats to cover his head?”
“That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard.”
“Break up with him.”
“He lacks basic self care.”
“From the get there was a massive overreaction on his part about this.”
“You need to get rid of this guy because at 30 he shouldn’t be acting like that, and the reason he’s going for younger girls is because no woman his age will put up with it.”-JCBashBash.
“Your boyfriend sounds dirty. Who wouldn’t brush their hair that long? Why not just cut it off if he can’t even bother with it? How embarrassing. That’s probably what it is, he’s embarrassed. Still though WTF.
He’s 30 dating a 22 year old. Honey there’s a reason he can’t get women his age to date him.- glaciummm.
“Honestly this is one of those posts where it’s impossible for me to imagine what OP finds attractive about her boyfriend.”
“Long matted hair, wears a hat at all times, soesn’t realize no hats at the table is standard social convention, has a tantrum when OP even makes a suggestion to him, which OP fully expects and yet is still with this guy.”
“He sounds like a prince among men!”
“If there were one and only one man left on this earth, I would still be single forever rather than choosing this guy.”-anon28374691.
“If he wants long hair, he needs to take care of it.”
“Brushing/combing is the MINIMUM, along with washing it.”
“Does he wash it?”
“And how can you stand being with someone so unable to care for his own basic hygiene?”
“I mean, you have no problem cutting matted hair off his head?”
“I’m sorry, that’s just so unpleasant.”
“You are NTA, except to yourself.”-columbospeugeot.
“Don’t date ‘adults’ with matted hair.”
“Kempt dreads are a different thing, but your man’s hair just sounds gross.”-Gatorae.
“Your bf sounds gross as f*ck.”
“Does he think he’s kid rock or something?”
“He’s 30 and acting like a teenager.”
“You can probably do much better.”
“I don’t think YTA, but maybe you are for staying with the loser and subjecting your grandparents to him.”
“I bet your bf doesn’t have a job or a place of his own too?”-habitsofwaste.
If his resistance to simply not wear a hat at the dinner table wasn’t enough of a red flag, perhaps the fact he seemed to openly state how he was not looking forward to meeting the OP’s grandparents was.
It’s hard not to agree with the rest of the Reddit community in that the OP might want to give this relationship a second thought.