This couple regularly go to a climbing gym together, but the boyfriend’s competitive nature and tendency to insult beginners makes the woman feel self-conscious about her abilities.
Sarah and her boyfriend, Mike, were regulars at the climbing gym, but Sarah had only recently started climbing and was still a beginner. Mike was very competitive and often made quiet insults about other climbers who weren’t as good as him, which made Sarah feel self-conscious.
She Smashed IT!
One night, they were at the gym, and Mike was working on a V6 problem that several other climbers were also trying to complete. A girl came and easily flashed the problem, but she didn’t hold the final hold for five seconds, which is considered the “right way” to finish a route. Mike called her out on it, but she laughed and told him he didn’t even start the problem correctly before walking away.
Sarah was impressed by the girl’s climbing skills and gave her a high five as she walked by. However, Mike was upset with Sarah for not taking his side and accused her of not having his back.
He Was Angry
“You couldn’t be trusted to watch my back if you chose to take a stranger’s side over me,” he ranted on their way home. Sarah hadn’t seen this side to Mike before and was confused as to why he was so mad about the situation.
Sarah was shocked that Mike was making such a big deal out of it and tried to explain that the girl had climbed the problem correctly and that she was just impressed by the girl’s skills. However, Mike argued that Sarah should always take his side over people she didn’t even know.
She Did Good!
“I just don’t think it’s fair to nit-pick someone who clearly climbed the problem correctly,” Sarah said. “I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I just wanted to give her a high five because she did an amazing job.”
Was He Too Competitive?
Mike didn’t respond and remained upset with Sarah for the rest of the night. Sarah couldn’t help but feel frustrated with Mike’s behavior and wondered if his competitive nature was starting to affect their relationship.
“I love climbing, but I don’t want it to become a source of tension between us,” Sarah said. “I just wish Mike could be more supportive and less competitive when we’re at the gym.”
The Internet Responded
This person commented their opinion and said, “He was being petty, jealous, and a bit sexist by calling her out. None of his business, and she told him off.”
More Internet Comments
Another commenter wrote, “I think sexism is a strong possibility here. We already know he likes to punch down by his bad talk about beginners. It is not much of a leap to think he wants to punch down to women because he thinks they SHOULD be inferior. I’m not acquainted with the bf to know if he is sexist or not, just that it is a strong possibility.”
A Final Comment From the Internet
This last person posted this opinion, “It is possible that he changed his criticism just for being outshined though. Guys do this towards other guys and its just a way to detract from someone else’s win because you are overly competitive. BF should have been more willing to congratulate climber on the successful climb (which is 99% of it) instead of pointing out the tiny 1% detail that kept it from being perfect. Fragile ego. Not necessarily (though quite possibly) magnified by the fact that it was a female who did it.”
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