We all have our fair share of dating history, right? And if we're honest with ourselves, we've made our fair share of mistakes, too.
In some cases, that might even include barking up the wrong tree, or, in one young woman's case, a very wrong tree.
The situation is even more embarrassing when one of your friends decides it's their job to never let you forget about it.
The woman, now in her mid-twenties, shared on the "Am I the A**hole?" (AITA) subReddit the story of how, even 8 years after dating a guy who later came out, some of her friends still refused to let it go.
Redditor 29299171 wrote into the sub, wondering if she overreacted recently when one of those friends made an over-the-top joke about her dating history in front of her husband, who is also expecting a child with her.
The Original Poster (OP) asked the sub:
"AITA for snapping about my gay ex boyfriend?"
The OP dated her ex-boyfriend for nearly a year before he came out to her.
"When I was 18, I dated 'Chris'. We were both freshmen in college and dated for around 9 months. During that time we were certainly happy emotionally, but physically we could never "connect" (use your imagination to guess what that means)."
"We chatted about it and were about to go and talk to a therapist when Chris sat me down and told me that he thought he was gay, and that might be why we have trouble physically."
"I was surprised because we'd talked about sexuality (I am openly bisexual) and he never said anything, but he also had a rough upbringing with very religious parents, and so might have suppressed thoughts and feelings over time. We obviously broke up but stayed in touch, and a couple of months later he came out publicly."
Though most of her friends were understanding, some of the OP's friends saw this as great comedic material.
"Although the vast majority of my friends were supportive, a couple of my oldest friends thought that it was the funniest thing in the world that I had dated a guy who turned out to be gay."
"They tried to nickname me 'Hag' but I said that that was a step too far."
"Internally I chalked it up to immaturity, and eventually the jokes stopped (to my face anyway, I know they kept it up for a fair long while afterwards among themselves)."
Eight years passed, and the OP has created a wonderful life for herself.
"I'm now 26. I've been married for a year to my lovely husband, and am 4 months pregnant with our first child."
"This past weekend we had a socially distanced gathering in our garden with some friends and family to catch up, including a friend who had found it funny 8 years ago that I dated a guy who later came out."
Apparently, the jokes about her ex-boyfriend are long from dead.
"We were all sitting and chatting when the topic of my cousin's wedding came up. My cousin (girl) is getting married to another girl, but due to the global situation it's been postponed."
"My friend started laughing, and said that in another world I would be sitting there with Chris, unmarried and not pregnant, wondering why he always turned off the lights when we were intimate."
"I was shocked, and my husband (who obviously knows about everything) said that that was a really inappropriate comment to make."
"The friend said that it was just a joke, and that 'Hagatha Christie' knew she was kidding."
By then, the OP had heard enough.
"At that point I just snapped, and told her to get off our property and never speak to us again, unless she learns how to be a decent human being."
"She tried to defend herself but a friend of my husband told her that she'd better leave, and escorted her away."
Despite the support given at the gathering, some friends and family have had their doubts about the OP's reaction.
"Ever since, I've had friends and even a few family members who heard about what happened contact me and say that I went too far over a simple joke, and that I shouldn't be so sensitive about something that happened years ago."
"I don't know whether I overreacted and need to reach out to apologise."
Fellow Redditors wrote in, anonymously rating the OP's reaction on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You're the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some Redditors confirmed the OP was not in the wrong for setting boundaries, especially for a joke she didn't find funny.
"NTA it's only a joke if everyone is laughing. Are all your friends 12? Their comments were unforgivably rude and disrespectful." - SpicyMustFlow
"jokes that you have been told to stop saying several times already are no longer jokes. its just bullying dressed up as one" - Gaming_nerd1183
"And making fun of someone, or mocking someone, is not joking. So many people want to pass off bad behaviour as a 'joke' when they get called on it."
"What they actually mean is 'How dare you be so sensitive and call me out, for having fun at your expense. No one should question me, it doesn't matter if I hurt anyone'. Their poor behaviour should be called out every time." - Ok-Beginning-5922
"That wasn't a joke. That was her being an a**hole. She probably knew this was a bit of a sore spot for you and did this anyway. It's [a] good thing that she's gone."
"Also, she should know that if she's the only one that's laughing, that means the joke wasn't a funny joke to begin with." - Mareepsheep99
Others questioned why this was a joke in the first place, let alone eight years later.
"Honestly, after having an ex come out the closet (he came out while we were together) the jokes are funny for the first few days to a week later. anytime afterwards is just straight up rude. NTA. S**t happens." - kattonicx
"Why are people still harping on something that happened 8 years ago between a couple of teenagers? And why is it so funny or remarkable that her ex is gay? Do they not meet a lot of gay people? The whole thing is so strange." - myohmymiketyson
"Some people have really odd homophobia. They are trying to say in a roundabout way that he's gay because of her due to she's wasn't good enough in bed or as a date. It's a load of hogwash obviously, but it doesn't stop people from trying."
"A lot of people seem to need people to be gay for a reason in order to make sense of it for whatever dumb reason. You don't need a reason to make being straight make sense. You don't need one for being gay. Sexuality just happens." - LeadingJudgment2
"How immature. If OP's ex realized he was gay during their relationship, my guess is that it's BECAUSE OP was an excellent partner. That's often what it takes for someone who's in the closet to realize they can't stay there."
"When someone's who's in the closet has a not great partner, they can leave and blame the relationship. They can say to themselves 'it's not me, it's them' and maybe they're even right, to an extent."
"But when they have love and understanding and support. When they realize they've found the perfect partner EXCEPT they aren't the right gender, it can be a real eye opener to how hard it is to ignore your sexuality."
"If your partner comes out to you, don't take it as an insult. It means they trust you. And that you were probably a great partner, just not the right gender." - Seqka711
Some agreed and suggested the joke was more of a sign of power play and homophobia than genuine humor.
"I was wondering about the friend's relationship status and that power/control issue too. OP is 26, happily married, and has a baby on the way. If her friend is in similar circumstances, then maybe she's just a s**tty person who doesn't know when to stop."
"More likely, the friend's life is in some way worse than OP's life (relationship, children, income etc) and so she keeps bringing up a time when OP was in a 'worse' situation than her because it makes her feel superior."
"Also, major props to OP's husband and his friend for calling out the homophobic remarks and backing OP up! NTA" - cynicallycharged
"This is crazy homophobic. When a person is 18, they are just discovering their own self. This vile 'friend' is carrying around a torch of homophobia years later after someone came out and declared their truth. How very odd and sad. NTA, obviously." - TexanLady1
"NTA, it's heteronormative bulls**t. It's sexist, homophobic, immature, and a tired trope. Its the sort of thinking that on its best day breeds willful ignorance and homophobic attitudes, and on its worst day, supports systematic discrimination. It's not just a joke, it's people's lives. They need to wise up or GTFO. Good for you!" - Off-Modernist
"NTA - your friend sounds like the annoying, catty character in a bad sitcom, except real life doesn't have canned laughter. Not only is it irritating to you and your family, but it's insulting to everyone who has been in your situation. It's 2020, why is being gay still a source of comedy to some people?" - d**nmoon
This is one of those situations where it totally depends on the group dynamic to decide whether this was laughable material or not.
But even if it were appropriate to the group, the joke is surely long past its expiration date.
Maybe it's time for the OP's friends to find something more age-appropriate, and 2020-appropriate, to laugh about.