To make a long story short, after a decade-long relationship that lasted from my early twenties to early thirties, I’m now dating again. I’m a straight woman in a major urban area. I’ve been relying primarily on dating apps, which has had some ups and downs. I recently met a really nice guy and we’ve gone on a couple dates. He’s been very respectful, attentive, and has never pressured me in any way. He’s actually a breath of fresh air in comparison to some of the other guys I’ve met from the apps.
Except (there’s always an except, right?) that on occasion he has espoused incel-type beliefs and terminology, including the 80-20 thing (that the top eighty percent women are drawn to the top twenty percent of guys), made a joke about how that’s why women always pick the assholes, and talked about Chads when I was sharing some of my funny dating app-related disasters. (It came up organically in the conversation.) I’m frankly confused. He’s an intelligent, good-looking guy, a good conversationalist, and overall a fun date. He doesn’t come across as being misogynistic at all, but I’m worried that if I continue going down this route and become invested, I may discover too late that’s he holds really toxic beliefs about women. I’m not sure if he’s sort of part of the less extreme wing of that community, a full-blown incel, or just a nice guy who’s been kicked around a little and taken comfort in some of the incels’ self-comforting fantasies without realizing how toxic they come across as being to other people. Whenever the subject comes up, he’s very straightforward about it as though relaying a normal fact about life, and doesn’t act ashamed or embarrassed at all. He’s older than me and hasn’t mentioned much about his dating history.
At this point in my life, I know better than to do battle with someone’s beliefs, and it’s not like he’s a long-standing friend or family member so I would be justified in making that type of intervention. The easiest thing to do would be to walk away, but I like him. I also know that I’m gun-shy due to some of my own past baggage, mostly related to how my long-term ex treated me, so I’m not sure if I’m looking for an excuse not to commit and avoid being hurt again. Since you’re a guy, I thought you might have a better take on this than me. What do you think?
Does That Make Me Stacy?