Her boyfriend is annoyingly paternalistic

He is treating you as if you’re his child or his pupil — and not only that, he’s putting on a performance of his superior virtue for bystanders.

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December 4, 2020 - 2:33 PM

Hi, Carolyn: I’d like your perspective on a certain behavior my new boyfriend is exhibiting that I find very irritating. I’m not even sure how to describe it, and I would like to have an intelligent conversation with him about it before the behavior becomes ingrained.

Carolyn HaxCourtesy photo

First scenario: A friend who was moving offered to give me some furniture, and I asked my boyfriend to come along with me to help. As we were working in her home, she was looking for a certain tool, and before I could even offer to help her, he admonished me in front of everyone there to help her out.

Second scenario: We were riding bikes and I accidentally veered into another biker’s lane. My boyfriend asked me to watch out. Then he said, “SORRY,” very loudly to the other biker, before I had a chance to say it myself, which I would have done.

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