The often ignored hurdle when entering a new relationship, is adjusting to the different lifestyles between your partner and yourself.
As a result, compromises are needed from both sides in order for the relationship to remain harmonious.
This isn’t a problem for many couples, but Redditor Gymimportancethrow found himself putting his relationship in jeopardy when his lifestyle became at odds with that of his girlfriend.
Concerned he did not handle things as diplomatically as he could have, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), asking fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my girlfriend that yes, the gym is more important to me than her and her daughter?”
The OP first revealed that he was under the impression that his relationship was going well, particularly in regards to one extremely important factor in his girlfriend’s life.
“I (32 m[ale]) have been dating my girlfriend (gf) (29 f[emale]) for about 18 months.”
“She has the cutest little 4-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.”
“As our relationship has progressed I’ve been spending more and more time at my girlfriend’s place, to the point that I’ve all but moved in with them.”
“This is mostly just because it’s logistically easier for me to go to her place since she has a kid and I don’t.”
The OP did not follow a common work schedule, but revealed he came up with a day-to-day routine which left him mentally and physically healthy.
“I work from 4:30 pm to 2:30 am.”
“I get to bed by 4 am and then wake up around noon and then on most days head off to the gym and spend about two hours there total.”
“I like to work out; it makes me feel good, keeps me healthy, and I also consider it a professional responsibility to stay in shape.”
“Working 10 hour shifts means that I don’t have a ton of time in between shift but that I also have more days off than most working people.”
However, he eventually learned that his routine might have been working for him, but did not work well for his girlfriend or her daughter.
“This was never a problem until I (basically) moved in with my girlfriend.”
“Suddenly lately when I wake up and try to head off to the gym she’s all ‘Oh, it’s all about you, huh?’ or ‘you only care about doing what you need to do. [My daughter] doesn’t understand why you are leaving and why you don’t want to spend time with us.'”
“The last time things came to a head.”
“When my girlfriend started objecting to my going to the gym I told her ‘I’ll see you and [your daughter] for a little bit before I go off to work and then tomorrow I’m off and don’t have a workout scheduled so we’ll have the whole day together.'”
“”But I have to get my workout in today.'”
“‘It’s a priority.'”
“She then responded ‘So, the gym is a priority, but me and [my daughter] aren’t? ‘”
“‘If you want to be part of this family it’s not all about you anymore.'”
“‘So what’s more important to you?'”
“‘The gym, or us?'”
“I responded ‘well, if you’re going to force me to choose instead of making room for something that you know is important to me, then I guess I have to choose the gym.'”
“I then left.”
“I’m sitting in my own apartment now.”
“Things may be over.”
“In fairness I should note that she wasn’t insisting that I never go to the gym again; she just wanted to renegotiate my schedule.”
“But I was unwilling because I felt as if that would get in the way of my goals.”
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 was fairly divided on whether or not the OP was the a**hole for the way he behaved towards his girlfriend.
Some felt that the OP and his girlfriend’s lifestyles were just too incompatible for their relationship to succeed, and neither of them were really at fault.
“This feels more like incompatibility than AH territory.”
“I also kind of feel like you were backed into making a choice, she gave you an either or question which of course sounds terrible.”
“I’m going NAH because it just seems like your lives don’t seem to be a good fit.”
“Not everyone fits together and that’s okay.”- Katreborn.
“This is just a pretty weird situation overall.”
“When do you even see your girlfriend and her kid?”
“Only on the weekend but you’re just sleeping in her house for half the day while they are awake and then you get up and leave?”
“How does anyone benefit from this situation?”
“No knock on your lifestyle at all it just won’t work with a kid.”-Friarchuck.
“Y’all are incompatible and need to just go your own ways.”
“Your clearly not ready to date somebody with a kid, and she clearly needs someone more involved.”- Quirky-Barracuda5597.
“I feel like more info is needed…this post is very carefully worded…”
“Was she asking for help on this particular day that she normally doesn’t ask for, or was this purely because she feels she is competing for your time?”
“You say you have more time off than most people, do you spend most of your off time with her and her daughter?”
“What does your actual work out schedule look like?”
“How many hours a week would you say you’re at the gym?”
“Have you always had this gym schedule or is it something you started doing after you met her and she is not used a new time constraint?”
“I feel like you shouldn’t have to give up your gym schedule if it’s part of who you are and was something you were doing before you met her…on the other hand if she was just asking you to give up your gym time for just that day for a special reason…then more flexibility might be needed on your part…”
“I think more info is needed before a**hole status can be assigned to either party.”- ButterflyGirlie.
On the flip side, there were those who found both the OP and his girlfriend at fault, finding both his behavior as well as her ultimatum inexcusable.
“She wants to spend time with you.”
“I can see why saying ‘the gym is a priority, seeing you isn’t’ would be hurtful for her.”
“You can have multiple priorities.”
“You should be able to compromise and find time to spend time with your partner also.”
H”er comments of ‘Oh it’s all about you ‘ and asking to choose between gym and them is over the top.”
“Work on y’all’s communication.”- ProbablyMyJugs.
“People in families, especially ones with kids, simply do not get 2 hours of personal hobby time every single day.”
“It just doesn’t get to happen.”
“I do believe you failed to pick up and act on your girlfriend’s many previous suggestions that you needed to make changes.”
“Scaling back to 1 hour daily would still be pretty big for most parents, but would have helped if you’d done it, especially if you changed to a time when the kid was in preschool or else where so it didn’t feel like you were hiding out at the gym.”
“By your own admission, you are essentially only available from 2pm to 4:30pm (if that, because I didn’t include travel).”
“That is 2 1/2 hours on an average day, which is not very much.”
“The day to day is more important than the weekend, which is likely why she is upset even if you have more frequent days off (which she can’t take full advantage of, since she herself would be working).”
“Are you even taking time to eat lunch with her and her kid (if that’s an option) before you take off for your workout?”
“I don’t think your girlfriend handled this very well, with the passive aggressive sniping, escalating to aggressive demanding, but you really should have been making adjustments to joining a family all along and talking about how to do so with her.”-millac7.
Some, however, felt that the OP and his girlfriend were incompatible owing entirely to the OP’s lifestyle, thus finding him the a**hole.
“So let me get this straight – you work from 4.30pm until 2.30 am and are home at 4 which means you have a commute of around 1.5 hours.”
“I assume you need to leave home by 2.00pm to get to work on time.”
“So if you are waking up at 12.00 and going straight to the gym for 2 hours that leaves you 0 minutes during the day to see your gf and her kid.”
“You haven’t said how many days you work but let’s assume you work 4 days a week and have 3 days off.”
“How much time do you spend with her during those 3 days?”
“I also assume your gf is doing all your laundry, cooking, cleaning up after you and making your lunch etc?”
“If so, then her workload has increased for what I can’t see is any benefit to her at all considering you don’t seem to ever be there.”
“Your ‘goals’ don’t seem to be compatible with hers so IMO the best thing for both of you would be to be split up so she can make space for a man who is available to be a partner and father to her daughter.”- Born-Inevitable264.
But there were also those who took the side of the OP, finding his girlfriend’s ultimatum the true source of the problem.
“NTA workout today, hangout tomorrow was a good compromise but she didn’t want that.”
“She wanted to force an ultimatum and she got what she wanted.”
“Just be ready to move on mate because it sounds like the two of you are probably pretty incompatible here.”- DeliciousMilkTea.
It seems pretty clear that if the OP doesn’t make any changes to his routine, his relationship with this girlfriend won’t work.
But it also seems like it is very much in his best interest to carefully examine whether or not there is, in fact, room for change, as this relationship otherwise seemed to be a happy one.
Here’s hoping a solution will be found which benefits everyone.