While having your period isn’t exactly a joyful experience, it’s an accepted inevitability in life. Women menstruate once a month, it’s involuntary, and it just happens. It’s frigging MOTHER NATURE, for goodness’ sake.
Surprisingly, some people have difficulty wrapping their heads around this rather simple fact.
An anonymous Redditor recently posted to /r/Relationships using a throwaway account, and described her recent falling out with one of her platonic friends. She claims that her friend (who is a guy) broke off their friendship because she accidentally got some of her period blood on his couch.
I’m sorry, what?
I mean, I know boys are notoriously squeamish when it comes to subject of period blood, but this seems to be taking the whole thing a little too far.
The Redditor shared her full account of the story, and the whole thing sounds pretty outlandish (and un-gentlemanly), to be perfectly honest. She says that she’s been friends with her male friend name Jake for roughly three years, and that he recently let her crash on his couch:
Well Reddit, I’m pretty mortified about posting this, but I’m so utterly confused by this incident that I need some fresh perspectives. Sorry for the length.
So anyway – Jake and I have been close friends for about three years… We don’t hang out as often as we used to anymore, but it’s still great catching up and hitting the bars with each other every once in a while. Our relationship is completely platonic. Jake is gay.
Six months ago Jake and I went out for a night on the town. He offered me his couch to crash on for the night so I could sober up before driving home in the morning. I thanked him for the offer and I crashed.
In the morning, her friend calls her with a friendship emergency, and she has to dash off without waking Jake.
Eight a.m. arrives and I get a frantic call from my friend who’s crying incomprehensibly over the phone. I’m pretty concerned so I shoot Jake (who hasn’t woken up yet) a quick text saying that I needed to rush out of his apartment, but thanks again for letting me stay over. I hop in my car, drive over to my friend Hannah’s place. It turns out that she has had a messy fight with her boyfriend and they’ve just broken up, so I just hang out with Hannah for a bit and comfort her.
Unbeknownst to the anonymous Redditor, however, she had apparently gotten her period in the middle of the night while sleeping on Jake’s couch — which she didn’t realize until she went to the bathroom at Hannah’s house.
Then I go to the bathroom after feeling “off.” It turns out my period’s come a week early, and my underwear had a bit of blood on it. Enough to be noticeable, but not an awful amount. I sheepishly tell Hannah what just happened, she laughs and hands me a tampon. I assume that my period has just started and after checking around Hannah’s floor, where we had been sitting, to make sure there weren’t any stains, I go right back to comforting her.
It was then that all hell broke loose, via text message.
So maybe it should have occurred to me to ask, “Jake, did I leave any stains on your couch?” at this point. It didn’t, because I was too focused on Hannah. But LUCKILY for me, about an hour later Jake sends me a stunning barrage of texts calling me disrespectful and disgusting for bleeding on his couch and not telling him. I obviously had no idea. So what do I do? Take responsibility for bleeding, offer to clean the couch or pay for its cleaning or even to replace the entire couch itself, apologize, and tell him I just hadn’t realized I had bled on it because I hadn’t even anticipated my period coming early. Jake never responds.
Um, okay, cool. So Jake yells at his friend for accidentally (and “disrespectfully”) menstruating on his couch, even though it’s completely out of her control and obviously came as a complete surprise? That has to be the most bizarre friendship power move on the planet.
The Redditor says that the situation somehow became even weirder when Jake went behind her back to talk sh*t about her with their mutual friends.
This is where it, to me, just gets bizarre. Jake tells a bevy of our mutual friends that he wants to end our friendship with me because of “my disrespectful actions.” He shows them the texts he sent me. According to my mutual friends, what they told him upon seeing the texts was something like “Jake, we actually can’t believe you would send that to her. You sound insane in these texts, and she obviously didn’t do it on purpose. You are being an asshole.” Jake apparently got huffy with them and said, “really? You think I’m being irrational here?” I think, maybe my girlfriends are being overly sympathetic because they’re women. I want to understand why Jake would be so upset. I tell my boyfriend and his friends what happened. They are also all aghast and think Jake is crazy.
In summation: this dude named Jake is seriously unhinged if he thinks it’s worth ending a friendship over a few errant period stains.
The Redditor says that she’s vastly confused at being cut out of her former friend’s life, and wishes she had a better explanation.
So I’m sad. Sad about the end of the friendship, but also just…confused. This was so inexplicable. I keep racking my head for times I was a bad friend that would justify Jake’s behavior – I’m sure I have been, I’m not perfect and I recognize that and would like to work on it – but am I still right by saying this was completely out of nowhere? Tbh though, after this, I’m not trying to be friends again. I just want some insight from other people, since Jake refuses to have a conversation with me.
However, the majority of responses to her thread all essentially said the same thing: Girl, he should be apologizing to you, not the other way around.
The Redditor said that she appreciated everyone’s support, and wasn’t going to let a rude friend make her feel like an assh*le just because she happened to be going through her cycle while couch-surfing at his apartment:
I would hope that Jake is embarrassed at his own behavior because that would at least suggest to me that he knows that his reaction was out of bounds. But the more I think about it the more it stings. I feel that I am the one owed a sincere apology now.
While it’s painful to lose a “good” friend over something so petty and trivial, these incidents always serve as an important reminder over which friends actually have your back, and which friends are only hanging around conditionally.
Hopefully Jake finds the non-menstruating friends that he’s looking for — and hopefully he finds a health textbook too, so he can learn that having your period isn’t a voluntary action.
Related-ish: 12 Women On How They Describe Their Periods To Men