My Ex Used To Steal My Jokes & Then Use Them On People In Front Of Me

On his dating profile, he said that he was looking for a “great girl with an awesome sense of humor.” I read that and smiled before swiping right. I thought being with someone who could make me laugh and vice versa would be a good thing, but it was no laughing matter when he started stealing my jokes.

  1. He was always telling me how much he appreciated my wit. When we first started dating, he always complimented me on my sense of humor. He’d say I made him laugh more than anyone else in his life. That was awesome and gave me a nice ego boost… until he started stealing my material for himself.
  2. Seriously, who does this? He’d laugh at many of my jokes, after which I’d think that he forgot about them or they’d become inside jokes, which is what happened sometimes. But then one night we were at a party and he used one of my jokes on his friends, who thought he was hilarious. At the time, I didn’t think it was such a big deal even though it did feel a bit weird that he’d remembered a joke I’d said days ago and felt the need to use it without crediting me.
  3. It wasn’t a one-time thing. I forgot about the incident, but then I started noticing that it was happening more regularly. Whenever we were out with friends or new acquaintances, he’d use one of my jokes on them. WTF was happening? Was he memorizing my jokes so he could steal them from me later? Was he writing them down in a notepad?
  4. He loved the attention. I could see how much he basked in the attention from other people when he told them my jokes and they laughed. He’d even smile at me, as though completely ignorant of the fact that those were my jokes.
  5. I didn’t want to be childish but it was really getting on my nerves. I really didn’t want to be silly about things and cause a scene because he was using my jokes. They were just jokes, after all. It’s not like I had copyright on them or anything. So why did this behavior of his bug me so much?
  6. He wanted to be the funny one. One night, after my BF entertained friends at a bonfire party with his amazing humor (read: my humor), one of my friends said that he was definitely the funny one in our relationship. I realized that’s exactly what he wanted to be: the one who made everyone laugh and have a good time.
  7. His punch line was a punch, all right. After that party, I told my BF what my friend had said and he was super pleased about it. He then joked that I was the serious one and added that maybe I was a bit too serious. Wait, what? He was stealing my jokes and benefiting from them because they made him more charming, but that wasn’t enough. He still had to insult me. It might have been petty to do so, but I told him that the only reason why he was the funny one in our relationship was that he was always stealing my jokes. Ha, who’s laughing now?
  8. He insisted that I was overreacting. He claimed that he was naturally funny and didn’t have to resort to such tactics. He then said he was funnier than me, and I was just being competitive. WTF? He was the competitive one!
  9. I decided to steal back some of the attention. He always basked in the spotlight when we were out in public and I’d sort of let that happen without wanting to be the center of attention. However, I decided I wasn’t going to be a wallflower anymore. If he wanted to see who really was the funny one in the relationship, I’d show him.
  10. He didn’t like sharing the spotlight. By being more charming and letting my naturally funny side show when we were out at parties, I soon discovered that my BF really didn’t like being upstaged. He became moody and withdrawn. At one point, after he caught me laughing it up with one of his female friends, he told me that I was ignoring him. He seemed so put out by me showing more of my personality and being liked by others. In fact, I feel like he was really jealous!
  11. I learned a lot. They say you can tell a lot about someone by their humor, and clearly this experience was showing me some serious stuff about my boyfriend. The problem he had was about much more than just stealing a few of my jokes. He needed to be flattered and loved and he’d go to great lengths to ensure that happened. Ugh, I just can’t deal with attention seekers!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.