They say that one bad banana can ruin the bunch.
An analogy is often tied to friend groups, where one member of the group is known for bringing the overall mood of a gathering down significantly.
This is perhaps most obvious on game nights, where one person’s competitive nature or another’s lack of enjoyment results in the evening becoming much less fun than everyone hoped.
A recent Redditor and their friends loved to get together and attempt escape rooms.
When the original poster (OP) began to bring his girlfriend (GF) along, her problem-solving skills became readily apparent.
Over time, however, her presence at these gatherings began to become less and less welcome, leading the OP to leave her out of future outings.
Worried he was being unfair, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for no longer inviting my gf to the escape room with my friends?”
The OP explained why he and his friends felt that their visits to escape rooms would be more fun if his GF didn’t join them.
“My friends and I (25 M[ale]) often go to escape rooms in our city for fun.”
“Like, every two or three weeks or so.”
“At first, it was just us, and then one guy asked if he could invite his gf.”
“We said sure, and she seemed cool; everything was good.”
“I started dating “Beth” (24 F[emale]) about seven months ago, and she showed some interest in going to the escape rooms with us.”
“So I checked with the other guys and invited her along.”
“And this is where the problem started.”
“All of us (4 guys, counting me, plus my friend’s GF) are pretty evenly matched when it comes to figuring out the puzzles.”
“We all find it fun to put our heads together and figure it out.”
“But my GF is considerably better at it than the rest of us.”
“Which is great and all, but she started doing all of the puzzles basically by herself.”
“She was having a good time, but the rest of us weren’t.”
“We were basically standing there watching her do puzzles while trying to get a solution in edgewise.”
“This happened twice, and then my friends said they didn’t really want her there anymore.”
“I asked to talk to her first, and then I told her what they said and asked if she could just sit back and give all of us a chance to solve some of the puzzles too.”
“Then we invited her along again.”
“And it was the same thing.”
“We got to solve the first couple of puzzles together, and then she just stepped in and did the rest herself.”
“My friends were pretty unhappy, and I honestly didn’t have a very good time either.”
“She was the only one having any fun.”
“She’s still invited to everything else we do, but I told her that we weren’t having fun with her doing all of the puzzles like that.”
“She’s mad at me, and I honestly don’t know what to do.”
“I don’t want to hurt her, but I also don’t want to forego something that’s important to me for a new relationship.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed 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 agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for not including his GF in future escape room visits.
Everyone could understand why the group wasn’t having as much fun with the OP’s girlfriend doing all the puzzles, even though some suggested that maybe rather than exclude her, the group just asked her to maybe let them try some of the puzzles as well.
“She shouldn’t be mad.”
“Everyone recognizes that she’s the best player by a mile, and it’s no fun to watch her solve the puzzles.”
“One solution might be to put her in a room on her own while the rest of you play in another room & see who finishes first.”
“I’m betting she wouldn’t love that, either, though.”- pineboxwaiting
“If she’s better at it, then tell her to play with other good players. She was making it boring.”
“You’re there to have fun, not necessarily to compete.”- jimmiefan48forever
“What is the point of even going when you cant take part in the riddle solving.”
“If she doesn’t see that she is the AH.”- Nitro114
“You asked her to tone it down so everyone could have fun, and she refused.”
“The whole point of the Escape Room is to have fun as a group.”- LtColShinySides
“So I started playing Terraria with my kids, 18m and 10m.”
“18m doesn’t live with us, and had some school stuff going on (sports, grades, work, you name it) and didn’t join us for a couple of months, but 10m and I continued playing.”
“10m and I got to know the game systems, memorized what we’d need to fast start, shortcuts to get better gear, etc.”
“So when 18m rejoined us, even when we created a fresh world, he was completely out of his league.”
“This was obviously not intentional, and I made a point of not twinking at him or running ahead of him so much, but 10m is 10, and he just blasted ahead to the next thing as fast as he could so he could summon the next boss because boss fights are his favorite part.”
“18m got a little butthurt about it, and we had to move on to another game.”
“I mean, I was glad in a way because it gave me a chance to point out the issues to 10m, hoping he’ll learn something about playing nice, so to speak.”
“But there’s no question in my mind that your GF is basically my 10 yr old writ older, OP.”
“If she refuses to hold back, you basically have no choice but to pick her or your friends.”
“Compromise is absolutely key in any relationship, and I worry this may be a tough thing for her, compromise of any kind.”
“You’re NTA, OP.”
“Good luck.”- Immediate-Season-293
“I think NAH. It feels like a no-win situation.”
“If she participates, you and your friends don’t have fun.”
“If she tones it down, she gets bored and doesn’t have fun.”
“If she doesn’t go at all, she feels like she’s missing out.”
“I’m sure it’s not malicious.”
“She just likes puzzles.”
“Liking puzzles and knowing the answer and having to just sit on it must suck.”- melonlady13
“Lol I feel for your girlfriend. My family REFUSES to do escape rooms with me because I solve them all too fast!”
“Sorta TA, she should really learn to take a step back and let other people participate, but I get how hard that is.”
“Hence, my own ban.”
“I’ve been left out of video games, sports, and meets before because I’m just plain better at sh*t than other people.”
“Can’t help but feel hurt about it, though.”
“Nobody wants to be ‘unwanted’ for any reason.”
“I’m adult enough to see that I have to ‘hold back’ in a ton of sports and games I do, which has kind of softened this for me over my life.”
“It’s like if you were a professional tennis player versus kids, would you just smash them into the ground?”
“You’d throw hints and step back.”
“Maybe she’s never had to learn this concept so far. 24 is still young in the grand scheme of things.”
“Depends on how your life goes.”
“It’s too late for your friends and the escape rooms, but she should definitely take it to heart for the next situation that comes up.”
“NTA, but technically neither is she. She’s just good at stuff.”
“No shame in that.”
“Need a compromise here.”
“Neither the a**hole, but this is a very raw touchy situation where she can be hurt emotionally quite easily.”- Vivid_Practice_9005
“She isn’t respecting your friends and process.”
“She may be showing off or impatient.”
“You don’t need to include her in everything you do.”- feminist1946
“You don’t sound compatible for this activity; when there is a really big skill difference, either she does it and others don’t have fun, or she stands there knowing the solution watching others fail at something she figured out ages ago.”
“If your local rooms offer different levels of difficulty, maybe you could all have lunch, and then she could do a hard room while you guys do an easier room.”- AntipodeanAnise
“I’m the Beth in my friend group.”
“I won’t lie, it sucks and kind of hurts to know my friends go do escape rooms and play games without me.”
“It has negatively impacted my relationships with friends.”
“However, yeah I’m just quicker at games and problem-solving.”
“I understand why my friends don’t find it fun to do them with me.”
“I’d suggest finding some other ‘fun’ activity to do together to supplement for her missing out on this.”- kdspiralz
Part of the fun of an escape room is working together, so when one person takes charge, it doesn’t make for a particularly collaborative experience.
That being said, it’s also never fun to be deliberately left out of anything, particularly by your boyfriend.
Here’s hoping everyone will come to a solution that pleases everyone and avoids hurting anyone’s feelings.