V's Take

Dear V: Tired of being girlfriend’s emotional tampon

Dear V,

I’ve been dating my girlfriend for about a year. I love doing cute stuff for her, like taking her out on dates, giving her spur-of-the-moment flowers, things like that. I’m what you’d call “The Perfect Boyfriend.”

Yet, it never seems to be enough. My girlfriend calls and texts me all day, complaining about little things like spilled coffee, a bad grade or a small fight with a friend. There’s always an issue going on with her 24/7, and she expects me to be “on call” to listen to her vent.

I feel like her emotional tampon, not her boyfriend.

I tried talking to her about this and asked her to give me some space, but she just freaked out and assumed I was interested in someone else or considering ending our relationship.

I want to work things out with my girlfriend, but only if she’ll stop needing me to console her all the time. It’s not that I mind texting – I’m on my phone all the time anyway – it’s just that it’s always about her and never about me.

Should I dump my girlfriend or try to work things out?

Sincerely,

Tired Trevor

Dear Trevor,

It sounds like you’re dating the type of girl who always needs constant drama. I’m sure she’s got plenty of other lovely qualities, or else you wouldn’t put with her complaining, but this drama can get pretty exhausting at times. She’s too wrapped up with worrying about things that just aren’t important in the big picture.

Odds are, your girlfriend isn’t fully aware of her behavior. She probably thinks she’s just catching up with you or checking in, and she doesn’t realize she’s turned you into her own personal therapist.

You tried to do the right thing by asking for space, but to your girlfriend, that translates into, “I want to break up with you but haven’t decided how to do it yet.” It’s no wonder why she panicked.

Instead, you need to be more direct about the real issue: her constant negativity. Next time you talk to her, explain that her endless complaining kills your mood, and that you’d appreciate if she’d try not to sweat the small stuff.

If she still doesn’t give you a break, then consider moving on.

If all your girlfriend wants is an emotional tampon, it’s time to pull the plug.

– V

February 1, 2017

Reporters

V

Advice Columnist


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