He's Rude to a Waiter
Q: I have been dating on and off for a few years now. Over the past three months I have been seeing this incredible man who I feel I really have a connection with. He's attractive, funny, charming, and an all-around sweet guy. The other night, while at a fancy restaurant, we were sitting down to a nice meal. While our waiter was very kind, it was a very busy night and so he couldn't give us the attention my boyfriend preferred. When it was time for desert, the waiter brought my boyfriend the wrong meal. The waiter apologized and went back into the kitchen. But when the waiter came back, my boyfriend was sure to tell him how unhappy he was with the service. When the waiter explained to my boyfriend that it was a very busy night, and that they were down three servers, my boyfriend insisted that the waiter try harder. I am worried that deep down inside there might exist a bit of a nasty, controlling side to my boyfriend. Is this grounds for a breakup? Laura-35
Dr. Pamela: Let's not toss him to the curb just yet; even "incredible" men can have a bad day. But, you're right to be concerned about what lies beneath his rude behavior. Think for a moment about people you've dated in the past. Ask yourself whether anyone who was ever rude to waiters turned out to be kind and compassionate. Don't be surprised if you can't think of any, because people who are rude to waiters usually have a mean streak. Your friend's behavior may indicate a situational value system — turning the charm on and off depending on a person's status. But calling it quits without finding out more may be rushing things. Why did he behave that way? Does he agree he should have apologized to the waiter. The way your friend responds will tell you much about how red this red flag is. However, if it happens again, your date and relationship should end. A man who consistently treats someone as an inferior will soon start treating you that way.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.