The subReddit AmITheA**hole is no stranger to relationship posts, but a recent post from user klojn6 is a bit more ridiculous than the usual fare.
They read a book on philosophy and decided to start telling people that they have only been dating their girlfriend (of 6 years) for a single year because at one point they had a fight and "broke up" for about an hour and a half.
klojn6 felt the need to add the qualifier "technically" when describing the length of their time together, so things were going pretty poorly right from the first sentence.
A big argument about life choices and grad school led their girlfriend to dump them in the heat of the moment.
"For reference my GF and I technically dated our last year of HS and all 4 years of college. However, last year when choosing grad schools the one that was the best for my research interests that was realistic for entry and I had already been accepted to was 3 states away."
"My GF and I had a big argument about it and she was angry that I was choosing to move so far away and broke up with me during the argument."
The pair quickly calmed down and really thought about the situation and decided to stay together, though.
"We ended up cooling down and agreeing to try long distance and got back together during the same argument. It ended up not mattering because I actually got accepted to a closer school that was much better but I thought was basically a lottery ticket for me."
A misapplied and misunderstood lesson from a philosophy book threw a wrench into things recently.
"We both thought that we were together for 6 years until now, but I realize that's not actually true. I recently read a philosophy book about the vagueness of language and how we mostly just use inexact descriptions of things and that any true clarity is impossible using human language, but that we should still strive for precision whenever possible."
This doesn't sound promising.
"I thought that was interesting and now I realize it's not exactly true to say that my GF and I have been together for 6 years. If someone asked you how long is your string is you wouldn't say that it was 6 inches if you had a 1 inch piece of string and a 5 inch piece of string."
"They're two different things. If someone wanted to know the sum of the lengths of your string, they'd ask that. But the actual question, as well as someone asking for the length of your relationship, implies continuous measurement, not a discrete sum."
The girlfriend, understandably, doesn't appreciate klojn's ill-informed attempts to apply this philosophy to their relationship length.
"My GF vehemently disagrees with that. She says that it's pedantic, disrespectful to our relationship by minimizing it, and actually communicates less than I think it does since she feels the need to correct me every time I say it."
Probably because it makes her super uncomfortable that her partner is failing to mention a full 5 years of their time together when talking to people about their relationship.
"I pointed out that she doesn't need to correct me and that I always tell people that we dated for a couple of years before a break then got back together if they ask. She says that one and half hours during an argument isn't a break and that it's stupid to frame it that way."
"I think that she's in the wrong, as the way she frames it fails to communicate vital information, and she's been framing it as if my side is silly."
Users quickly reached a concensus that klojn6 was, in fact, the a-hole in this situation. And also that they are being silly.
"YTA. Nobody who is asking how long you have been together is interested in what the current stretch of time since you last agreed to date is—they want to know the overall amount of your life you have spent dating this person. By answering 1 year, you are giving a less precise answer than if you had said 6 years."
"If you wanted to be very precise, you could say '6 years except for a 1.5 hours of 2019' but at that point everyone around you will know exactly how pedantic you are being since that break does not communicate anything vital to people's understanding of your relationship." -agreywood
"Your GF is right here. You're being a pedantic twit and diminishing your relationship. Why do you feel the need to do this? YTA" -stienbabe
"If he really subscribed to this "precise clarity" model of philosophy, he'd also specify that she dumped him during that snip in the linear string. If OP doesn't smarten up, GF might as well interrupt the timeline again.YTA" - Mufumack
"Wow. Yes, YTA. Rude as hell and honestly a little snobby just from reading some dumb philosophy book that doesn't apply to everything or everyone."
"You guys dated for 4 years, 'cooled down' and resumed like before. Saying one year is a joke. Perhaps even saying 6 years on and off would even be better than you throwing out one year. I feel bad for her." -amorwraith
"YTA, and you're being pedantic in a way that no one who speaks to either of you would expect. Your string analogy doesn't apply here anyway because relationships are cumulative."
"If someone gave you two 20 dollar bills a week ago and someone gave you 10 dollars today, and then someone asked you how much money you have, you wouldn't say I have 40 and 10 dollars because you got the money at different times."
"It's a straightforward question with a straightforward answer, someone asks you how long you've been together and you've been together six years."
"It honestly doesn't even sound like you're using your language philosophy in the way that it's meant, which is hilarious since you're being such an over the top stickler about it." -TheLostHargreeves
"how long have you worked here?"
"well ackshully I go home every evening so I count my employment in discreet blocks of time" -AmITheCornHole
"YTA - to use your analogy, you don't have two pieces of string. You have one piece of string that has a small fray in it." -5oco
klojn6 probably didn't expect the wholeheartedly negative reaction he got in the comments, but hopefully it taught him a valuable lesson.
Relationships are more important than pedantry.