Dating life is one of those subjects that people tend to have a strong opinion about.
While some are willing to respect other people’s differing outlooks on dating or single life, there are others who will insist they know what is best, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor throwaway_294847 was perfectly happy with remaining single in her twenties while pursuing her career.
But when her sister set her up on a surprise date, the Original Poster (OP) discovered how adamant her family was about dating life.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for embarrassing my sister, BIL (Brother-in-Law), and his friend after I was set up on a surprise blind date?”
The OP and her family did not agree about the dating scene.
“I (25 Female) have never been interested in romantic relationships. It just doesn’t appeal to me. I’m very busy with grad school and work, and I like being on my own.”
“I have friends and a dog, and that’s honestly enough. I’m happy with my life.”
“My family thinks this is weird beyond belief, and the pressure has ramped up now that even my younger brother has gotten married, and I’m the only one left ‘on the shelf.'”
“My older sister’s husband has been offering to set me up for years because I’m ‘too hot’ to stay single, whatever that means. I’ve always tried to refuse politely, but it’s wearing thin.”
The OP discovered how strong the divide was when her sister decided to step in.
“I was home visiting my parents this weekend, and my sister invited me out to dinner at a new restaurant. It was an upscale place, so she said to wear something nice.”
“I thought it was just going to be the three of us, but there was another guy in the car when they picked me up. He said he was BIL’s friend, Joe. Awkward, but not too unusual.”
“We got to the restaurant and sat down, and Joe kept trying to make conversation with me while BIL and my sister egged it on.”
“I finally joked, ‘Am I on a date or something? What’s with all the questions?'”
“My sister straight up said, ‘Yes, we thought you just needed a little push, so we decided to set you two up.'”
The double date took a very negative turn.
“I asked Joe if he knew about this, and he admitted that BIL told him he wanted to set him up on a blind date but that he was glad he came.”
“So I was the only one that didn’t know it was a date.”
“I was pretty mad but didn’t want to cause a scene in the restaurant, so I finished dinner and gave really short responses to questions (‘So you’re in a Ph.D. program?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘What’s that like?’ ‘Busy.’), and the evening just stayed really uncomfortable and awkward.”
“Joe apologized in the car, and I told him it wasn’t his fault but that he probably shouldn’t let BIL set him up again. I also confirmed I wasn’t interested in dating anyone.”
The group was divided over what happened.
“Apparently, he told BIL off in the car about making him look bad so that he didn’t even have a chance. He hadn’t known that I didn’t know a date was happening, blind or otherwise.”
“My sister is mad because I was rude and embarrassed them when they were just trying to help me out of my shell.”
“My parents think I should have appreciated the gesture and given Joe a chance because ‘you never know,’ and want me to apologize.”
“AITA for embarrassing my sister and brother-in-law?”
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 understood why the OP was so frustrated about being tricked into a date.
“NTA. What is with people thinking single women need to be in a relationship? I had a coworker’s husband say that I need a husband. Why? I’m quite happy with life. I’ve dated, and all have ended badly. Not interested.” – Electrical-Chard-968
“I’m a dude. It was pretty constant. I was uninterested in dating for a few years after a difficult breakup; I dove into work and spending time with friends/family. My friends were never an issue with the topic, but I had some family that wouldn’t accept it. It got to the point where some of them asked if I was gay.”
“Sometimes you just can’t win. NTA, OP.” – cawkstrangla
“A few years before I realized I’m ace, all three of my siblings, on separate occasions, revealed they suspected I was a closeted lesbian. Well, guess they were half right.”
“NTA, OP. We’re indoctrinated to believe everyone needs a romantic partner to be happy AND that nobody who isn’t interested in romance can possibly be mentally and emotionally healthy, but it’s all untrue.” – JuliaX1984
“I’m 34 and single. I’ve dated a bit here and there but am so much happier in my own space, with my own hobbies, and hanging with my dog. I have a really strong circle of friends, being close with my family, and have a great career.”
“People think it is really weird. All the time. I have moments where I think, ‘Will it always be like this? What if I look back in 20 years and regret not having a husband/wife/kids/etc?’ But I still feel like I’m hitting the milestones that matter to me; writing books, buying a home, having a pet that I love dearly, adventures around the world.”
“To be honest, I have no interest in pursuing anything. I hear comments periodically, but over time they have fallen off. People assume I’m asexual. I’m not, although sometimes I don’t bother to correct them.”
“I don’t need someone else’s experience to define mine. I think there have been several studies that show that unmarried and childless adult women have the highest happiness rating and live the longest lives. I really enjoy my life. There isn’t some giant gaping hole in my heart or between my legs. If I find someone, great! If I don’t, I have enough to keep me busy until the end of time.” – 11211311241
“I’m in the same boat. I just got out of a four-year relationship, and all my friends are totally pushing me to start dating again.”
“Look, I’m 45, had two divorces and three other relationships. Obviously, I’m doing something wrong, so I’m in therapy and working on myself. I have a great career, my dogs, my 20-year-old kid lives with me, I have friends, and my mom lives right down the street. This is the happiest and most fulfilled I’ve ever felt in my life. Leave me alone!”
“NTA, OP. Just tell them, ‘I am happy and fulfilled. I have no interest in relationships. I don’t appreciate you pushing your ideas for how I should live my life on me. If it happens again, I’ll have to consider lowering contact.’ And then follow through if it continues.” – bookworm1421
But others didn’t think the OP should have taken her frustrations out on Joe.
“You didn’t have to be rude to the guy. He didn’t realize they were setting you up. He could have turned into a good friend. Now you just look like an id**t that can’t be polite and say I’m not interested in dating. This will never turn into anything, but let’s have a nice dinner and good conversation.”
“Instead, you took it out on an innocent person who could have been an interesting conversationalist for the night. Just turn it from a date into friends out to dinner. No big deal.” – Less_Ordinary_8516
“NTA with regard to you and Sister/BIL (who were AWFUL, and I concur with everyone else’s condemnation of them) but a total a**hole with regard to Joe.”
“From what you’ve described, Joe doesn’t seem to possess mind-reading powers. So when you ‘didn’t want to cause a scene in the restaurant’ and remained, Joe did the same and engaged you in conversation. You may call it 20 Questions, but I call it normal conversation at a dinner table with someone I don’t know.”
“I’m very chatty, and I would have asked you the same questions Joe did if I had sat down with you on a cruise ship or at a wedding table, or anywhere else. That’s what normal, sociable people do. And since, again, Joe doesn’t have supernatural powers. He didn’t know your family history of pressuring you in this regard or your complete contentedness with being single. Your behavior toward him was rude and uncalled for.”
“Instead of engaging in passive aggression in response to his normal questions, you could have simply said, ‘Actually, I don’t feel comfortable answering questions.’ But you kept stringing him along with answers, albeit short ones.”
“The ‘evening just stayed really uncomfortable and awkward’ because of this gross exchange. Did it ever occur to you that Joe was also embarrassed and tried to make the best of a bad situation? Did it ever occur to you that Joe was asking questions because the deafening silence would have been ten times more cringe-inducingly uncomfortable?”
“It’s okay not to want to answer questions from a veritable stranger, but treating Joe rudely when he was almost as much of a victim as you was wrong.”
“Those who engage in passive aggression are not always as obvious as they think they are. People on the Autism spectrum are particularly incapable of reading social cues like passive aggression, sarcasm, and the like. Whether or not this was the case for Joe, the simple solution would have been to tell Joe as soon as the ruse was revealed that you were not interested in any kind of date.”
“But you didn’t, so he thought you were still on a blind date. You were an a**hole to him during dinner because you were justifiably angry with your sister and BIL. Joe didn’t deserve that. Ergo, you’re the a**hole with regard to Joe and not the a**hole with regard to your horrible sister and BIL.” – LordOfGoo
“NTA, but Joe dodged a bullet.” – Stiffiththering
“YTA. ONLY for how you treated Joe, who did nothing wrong here.”
“Being short and passive-aggressive towards him was uncalled for. He didn’t put you in that situation, and he probably felt just as awkward, if not more so, than you.”
“You don’t have to date the guy, but you could have treated him like a human and just talked with him. Women and men can just be friends, you know. Why not just enjoy a nice meal and get to know someone new instead of ruining his night and making him feel awful and embarrassed?”
“What your sister and BIL did was wrong, but you could have waited for a more appropriate time and place to discuss with them the issue and not drag Joe into family drama.”
“Imagine going on a blind date, which is terrifying enough, only to see the date is an attractive woman (from BIL’s description), and then she openly rejects you in front of everyone and ignores you for the rest of the meal. That had to suck so hard. Holy heck, girl, why are you so cold!?” – SpookyTeaTime
“Since he didn’t do anything wrong, I think it wasn’t fair to be monosyllabic to him. He just came expecting a nice date and spent the night in an awkward situation. Just like you did. But your family sucks for doing this. You are NTA with your family, but you are the AH with Joe.” – asianinindia
The subReddit could empathize with the OP about her desire to be single and her ill reception of the surprise date she’d been cornered into. But while everyone could agree the OP’s family was meddling and wrong for what they were doing, some were concerned about how the OP had treated Joe, who was technically only an innocent bystander looking for a nice date.