Being obsessed with anyone or anything is always a relationship red flag. But the thing about an obsession is that usually the person who’s doing the obsessing is the primary resident of Denialsville.
So although everyone around them can see the obsession, they’re usually the last one to notice that they may have a problem, or maybe they never notice it before it’s too, too late. When that happens, a normal person would just cut their losses and work on making themselves better.
Or they could double-down on the denial and then turn to strangers for help and advice in a subconscious attempt to justify their obsession in order to come out as the blameless one. Which is exactly what happened with this dude when he posted to the Jordan Peterson subreddit for some relationship advice.
Dr. JP is a Canadian clinical psychologist who’s developed quite a following, and some people take the man as a sort of guru for life advice. And there’s nothing wrong with looking up to someone for help and mentorship. It’s a beautiful thing when you feel like someone’s looking out for you or has your back.
But this young man seems to have taken his devotion to Jordan a little too far, so much so that his girlfriend couldn’t take it. When asking the internet for advice, it became abundantly clear that this dude’s girlfriend dodged a bullet.
“I took my girlfriend to see Jordan Peterson. It did not go as well as I hoped. Let me give you a bit of a back story. I am using a throwaway because my girlfriend knows my main Reddit.
I found out about Jordan Peterson about a year ago and since then I became a huge fan. I was never a big reader, but I got all of his books. (They are the only books on my bookshelf and also a book about John F. Kennedy my aunt gave me but I never read. So I don’t have many books and it’s a small shelf.)”
I am 19 years old now. I met my girlfriend when we were 17 in high school. When I was 18, I moved out and began to go to the local university. My girlfriend is the same age as I am and she started classes there too. When I moved out is around the time I started reading Dr. Peterson’s work and I took the battle against chaos to heart. Mostly because I was a very messy person before. So I kept my new room very clean (I have a roommate who helps) and I was finally able to decorate it the way that I wanted since I moved out. Mostly I kept it simple and tasteful but I also have a big poster of Dr. Peterson in my room.
When I began to see how important Dr. Peterson had become in my life, I started trying to get my girlfriend interested. But she did not seem very interested. I thought he could help her a lot, because when we met and she lived at home, she was a very messy and chaotic person also. We both were then. Since she moved out also and got a roommate, it has gotten even worse for her. I would say her room is about fifty percent messier than it was. She is slouching a lot. She is also very disorganized with her classes and note-taking (somehow she is still getting all As, I got all As too my first semester but I also got two Cs). I can’t even read or understand the notes she takes for her class. I tried to tell her to be more organized and less chaotic with it, that it would help her more, but I think it got annoying for her to hear it.
Anyway when we would hang out, I would try to get her to listen to Dr. Peterson’s lectures but it always seemed like a chore or like she didn’t really want to. I found it really frustrating because he was so inspiring for me. Eventually I stopped putting them on because I would hear and see her sigh in an exaggerated way when I would put YouTube on with his lectures.
Not long ago, it was coming up on the day that we met (our anniversary) and we had a nice dinner at a seafood place we both really like. A few days later, I got us tickets to see Dr. Peterson speak. I had hoped that it would be better than the videos. She seemed excited to go and we had a nice night together.
The next day we didn’t talk, which is normal these days with school and stuff. I sent her a text message the day after and she didn’t respond which I thought was weird. Then I did it the day after and still no response. She didn’t write back to me for four days! Until I sent her a long message just asking for an explanation for why she ghosted me or at least let me know she is okay.
A few days later, she finally sent me a long email. She said that she wanted some space and that she needed to think. That things were changing and that they weren’t the same as they were. She actually blamed Dr. Peterson for changing me! Which is true but I thought I changed for the better.
She said I was being really strict with the cleanliness now and that I was saying too much about her being messy. That I wasn’t fun any more. And also she said that she wanted to see other people and that she wasn’t sure I was the person she wanted to be with forever in a relationship. This was very disappointing to see her go against monogamous relationships.
That isn’t all though. I talked to a mutual friend of ours and she told me some things really candidly. Our friend said that after seeing Jordan Peterson in person, my girlfriend was really weirded out. Because I cried a little bit there and there were other men crying too. (I didn’t think this was fair, there is no shame in crying.) Also that she felt like following Dr. Peterson’s advice made me kind of less fun and more boring than how I was when we met at 17.
Basically that she thought I became a little too “obsessed” with him. She also said that my girlfriend thought some of the things Dr. Peterson said about relationships were chauvinistic and unrealistic. And then she (not my girlfriend but our friend) said she researched Dr. Peterson and that he hated women and kind of scolded me.
I told her that was just SJW … propaganda, that Dr. Peterson wasn’t really like that and she just didn’t understand him. She said I was “talking down” to her and that is why my girlfriend left me. (I don’t think she left me, she never said she didn’t want to see me any more btw.)
Anyway what do I do? How do I fix this and get our friend and my girlfriend to be okay with Dr. Peterson?
Yikes. I mean, where to begin with this one? There’s a lot to unpack here, and there were more than a few people who were willing to throw in their two cents.
Some graciously left out mentioning that he was crying at an event and didn’t ridicule him for that, but pretty much everyone in the comments section tried to make the obvious apparent to him: that his obsession was clearly an unhealthy one.
There’s nothing wrong with a man crying for something or someone that he loves or cares about, but that, coupled with the fact that he’s painfully unaware of his girlfriend’s own desires and needs and was totally self-absorbed makes it especially cringe-inducing.
This one Redditor’s response, however, pretty much breaks down everything that was wrong with the young man’s statement, and broke it down for him, point-by-point, in case there was any confusion. It’s actually impressive, because I promise you that this man has helped this Redditor more than Jordan Peterson ever did:
You are being dumbed because you are prioritizing an internet personality over your actual relationships.
I’m sorry that nobody here is going to tell you the truth, but hearing the truth is how we learn as people.
Let’s review, shall we?
>She is also very disorganized with her classes and note-taking (somehow she is still getting all As, I got all As too my first semester but I also got two Cs).
If she is getting better grades than you, why are you trying to correct her? Overbearing and controlling behavior.
>Anyway when we would hang out, I would try to get her to listen to Dr. Peterson’s lectures but it always seemed like a chore or like she didn’t really want to.
How would you feel if someone was playing feminist podcasts every time you hung out with them? Like they were trying to proselytize or recruit you into something?
>She actually blamed Dr. Peterson for changing me!
You started your post by saying that he did change you. You buy his books, you keep a poster of him in your room, you do as he tells you to and you try to recruit on his behalf.
He DID change you, by your own admission. Why would there be any “blame” ?
>This was very disappointing to see her go against monogamous relationships.
“See other people” means “We’re done.” She was trying to let you down easy.
>Basically that she thought I became a little too “obsessed” with him
If someone only owned Stephen King books, had a Stephen King poster, constantly played Stephen King films to people who weren’t interested, would you say that person is “obsessed” with Stephen King ?
> I told her that was just SJW … propaganda
So instead of actually having a conversation about the objections, you resorted to defensive, in-group approved language.
>she just didn’t understand him.
Again rather than actually having a conversation, you opted to defend an internet person who sells you books, rather than engaging in an actual relationship.
>my girlfriend to be okay with Dr. Peterson?
Your final concern is not in fact your relationship but proselytizing your internet personality.
God bless youdonegoofed1, if this kid takes his advice seriously and works on all of these things, he could really learn something from this whole debacle.