As good as the dating life can be, and how promising a relationship might be the longer it goes, making it accessible to other people can ruin it.
This can be true of having an open relationship, but it can also be as simple as introducing friends and family, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Wild_Statistician837 thought that she was in a wonderful relationship with her boyfriend, who she’d been seeing for nearly a year.
But when he introduced her to his friends and used her heritage as a butt of his jokes in front of them, the Original Poster (OP) immediately questioned their relationship.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for leaving my boyfriend at a bar because of a joke he made?”
The OP really enjoyed her relationship with her boyfriend.
“I (22 Female) have been dating my boyfriend (23 Male) for about nine months now.”
“I am Asian and grew up in my home country pretty much all my life until I was 19 and went abroad to a European country to study.”
“My boyfriend is from the country I’m currently studying in.”
“He has shown interest in my background a bit, and I honestly like talking to him about it.”
But one night out with his friends may have ruined it.
“I never questioned anything about our relationship until last night when we went to a bar with some of his friends.”
“One of his friends asked if my boyfriend was trying to learn my native language, and we told him no.”
“My boyfriend went on to joke about how my language sounded too rough and weird for him to even try.”
“I gave him a confused look.”
“He said that he would’ve tried if it were more like Japanese or Korean.”
The boyfriend’s comments really hurt the OP’s feelings.
“I was completely silent after that and made up some excuse and left.”
“It wasn’t subtle at all but I didn’t care at the time and felt like crying.”
“He’s been blowing up my phone with messages and calls, and all the messages say is that I overreacted and embarrassed him in public.”
“I haven’t replied or picked up any of his calls.”
“I am in no way saying that he must learn my native language, but the way he explained his reasoning hurt me.”
“Now I’m wondering if I really did overreact and am looking too deep into it, so was I wrong for doing that?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some found the boyfriend’s comment to be hurtful and potentially racist.
“I can’t get over him saying if only her language sounded nicer, then it would be worth his effort. I’m sorry, what now?”
“How about you either don’t want to learn a new language at all, or you do because it’s the language of someone special to you.”
“But this weird judgment that her language is not worthy of his time. Bizarre.” – ShadyGreenForest
“The specific examples the boyfriend gave as more pleasant sounding languages also make him sound like a white guy with yellow fever to me.” – alleswaswar
“Japan and Korea being considered the ‘good’ Asian countries and languages is a racist/fetishizing trope I’ve heard before, so this raised a red flag for me too. NTA.” – PangolinFromSpace
“NTA. Yikes, that sucks and is honestly weird how there’s some sort of hierarchy of Asian languages to him, as though your language, and heritage as implied, are worth less than others to him.”
“Like, is he going to jump ship on your relationship when the first Korean or Japanese girl shows interest in him, since he seemingly values their cultures more?”
“Sorry you experienced this, it was insensitive at very least and definitely concerning…” – anachronistika
“NTA. My ex was from Vietnam and it was actually quite the bonding experience for me to learn her language (try to at least!).”
“A good partner would want to learn, especially if they wanted a long-term future with you. I understand some of the tonal languages are frankly very difficult for some people to learn but to joke about it sounding too weird or rough, well, that’s really rude, to be frank.” – Classy_Debauchery
“Imagine your partner joking about it, then telling you to your face that if you had a ‘nicer’ language, he would have bothered to learn it. The comparison makes it so that OP’s language is unworthy.”
“If your native language is English, you’ve probably never been othered because of your language. It f**king hurts when someone judges something so integral to your identity, and even more so when it’s your SO (significant other) doing it.”
“And, ignoring all that, how would being hurt by that make OP the a**hole? She was upset, so she left. She didn’t make a scene. She didn’t (rightfully) tell him to f**k off. She just left. She has every right to do that if she were uncomfortable.” – hchnchng
Others agreed and thought the boyfriend’s later reaction spoke volumes about him.
“On top of his criticism, he’s concerned about how he looked in front of his friends. Not a thought about how she felt for her to leave. This is definitely going to happen again because he doesn’t actually care.” – orangeshrek
“He blew up her phone but apparently hasn’t apologized for being rude about her native language, and therefore her, in front of his friends. He’s only concerned about himself. He needs to apologize to you OP. You are NTA.” – RookCrowJackdaw
“NTA and the fact he’s blaming you for having a reaction to a jerk comment instead of apologizing and trying to shift blame is a major red flag to me.”
“He embarrassed himself, you’re not responsible if he was given crap because he said something unkind.” – Ikfactor
“NTA. My first thought was that sometimes our explanations for things don’t come out right. What he said was clearly hurtful to you but could have simply been a misunderstanding.”
“However, if that were the case, you’d expect him to be leaving you messages like ‘I’m so sorry for what I said, I didn’t mean it the way it came out, can we talk about this? Are you ok?’”
“But no, that’s not what you got. He’s the AH.” – LousView
“I am from Southeast Asia and living in the US. My ex is Hispanic.”
“He used to make fun of me every time I spoke in my language, one time even saying it sounded like ‘caveman’ talk. He used to talk down on my food, always saying it was weird and wrong.”
“I shouldn’t have let him disrespect me and my culture, all while he was trying to push his own culture on me, always claiming his culture was the best and the only one that’s ‘right.'”
“Your boyfriend showed you how he really feels. He can either choose to see where he went wrong, apologize for hurting you, and correct his ways… or he won’t see anything wrong with how he thinks and what he says, completely disregard your feelings, and you should 100% dump him if this is the path he takes.” – omgits123
“How do you feel about him saying that SHE embarrassed HIM? She’s NTA, he criticized her mother tongue and then implied that he would feel differently if it were a different language.” – Annabel398
But some agreed with the boyfriend that the OP had overreacted.
“I can’t with all of these NTAs.”
“You are not the AH. But yes, you DID overreact, and this is coming from someone who is from an Asian country. I find some languages rough and prefer others.”
“You could have asked about him there and then and cleared your doubts, but you LEFT. It must have been humiliating for him.” – winteronpluto
“YTA. I wouldn’t be offended if someone called English, my native language, rough and weird. It most definitely IS a rough and weird language. Many languages are rough with weird noises and pronunciations, and there’s nothing wrong with someone having an opinion on this.”
“I love how Russian, German, Japanese, and Korean sounds for a small example but throatier languages with short/quick syllables like Thai, Tagalog, etc. just don’t hit right to me, and that’s okay.”
“It’s one thing to be protective of your homeland, but the topic at hand is a language. Words. A dictionary. You definitely took it way too far.” – ZroMoose
“I think you acknowledge he meant it as a joke. I won’t say you aren’t justified in feeling attacked, but the mature approach would be to tell him, ‘Look, I don’t appreciate what you said. Don’t do it again,’ THEN, if he does it again, you can ignore him.”
“My ex spoke a language that could sound very angry the moment voices were raised, be it in excitement or otherwise. When I teased her about it, she would reply with, ‘At least I can speak more than one language.'”
“Very soft YTA. You are entitled to feel attacked or not to like the joke. I think you handled it wrong. I doubt this is the first time he has mentioned this opinion, and if you ignored it before, then you are to blame.” – Lucien_chris
“YTA. He was just being honest. You, on the other hand, went completely silent, didn’t let him know that it upset you, made up an excuse, and then ignored him.”
“If it came from a place of spite rather than blasé, honestly, then maybe I’d say it wasn’t an overreaction. I’m Welsh and people tell me it sounds like someone choking on nails (a lot of Ys and LL is a ‘voiceless alveolar lateral fricative’) so I wouldn’t be offended.” – WelshWolf93
“YTA. In my opinion, that was not an insult that you should be taking personally (and honestly, that direct communication is typical from Europeans, so get used to it).”
“It is the way he perceives your language, and he is also entitled to have impressions, feelings, and emotions about the new world you are exposing him to. But it’s not the way he perceives you.” – Remarkable-Station-2
Though they could understand why the OP was upset about this, the subReddit was divided over whether she should have walked out of the room, and possibly her entire relationship, or not.
Most felt the boyfriend was incredibly insensitive and likely a reflection of how he really felt about her, but a few thought it was a simple misunderstanding that any couple could talk through and establish new boundaries around.
Either way, the boyfriend should likely know how his girlfriend, whoever she may be, feels about comments like this before using her as the butt of a joke to his friends.