Be honest with girlfriend: Ask why she ditched plans with you

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Be honest with girlfriend: Ask why she ditched plans with you

Too nice: My girlfriend borders on being too nice sometimes. Between work travel and visits to family, we haven't had a lot of alone time lately and had tentative plans to hang out — just us — this weekend. Now she's having two guests: her younger brother, who lives a couple of hours away, and a friend who's coming to the city for other reasons and needs somewhere to stay. Due to the size of her apartment, this pretty much means I can't stay there. I love that she's so supportive of her younger siblings and so willing to help people out, but sometimes I wish she would just say "no" and put us (okay, me) first. Am I overreacting?

Carolyn: Doesn't sound like it, but "too nice" might involve some mislabeling. It's not "nice" to blow off one plan for another, certainly not without first consulting the companions in plan A. And if she really wants these visitors, it's not "nice" of her to act as if she couldn't say no (assuming that's what she did?), versus admitting plainly, "I want to see my brother and friend."

You could be right, of course, that she's just a pushover. But if that's the case, then the question becomes, who is it she's afraid to confront? On the surface, it might look like it's the brother and friend — the old, can't-say-no-to-someone-asking-a-favor problem.

However, it's also possible that she loves the drop-in guest thing, is excited to have visitors, and doesn't have the spine to say to you, "I realize this weekend was going to be ours alone, but these two visits are a happy surprise."

If she had said that, then you'd be asking me a different question, along the lines of "I'm getting the sense my girlfriend isn't all that into me — am I reading this right?"

So, maybe the best way to figure out what's going on is just to say to her, "I wish you would just say no and put our weekend plans — okay, me — first," or, even better, on the spot: "Hey, what about our weekend plans?"

Being honest about what you want is the only reliable way to answer the question you're really asking: whether this is about her warm and inclusive personality, or her lukewarm feelings for you.

Lack of intimate bond won't lead to long-term relationship

Second-guessing: I just ended an eight-month relationship with a wonderful guy who was kind and fun, because we lacked that strong connection that allows people to talk and laugh together with ease.

But now that I'm alone again, I'm starting to doubt if such a connection exists, and I'm second-guessing my decision. I wonder if I didn't give enough credit to his other great qualities (warm, active, outgoing, etc.). At the time, I thought our shared activities were only getting us so far, and that the ability to talk was more important. Now I'm torturing myself. How important do you think that intimacy is to a long-term relationship?

Carolyn: Essential. To live, people need air, food, water, shelter. To have a fulfilling relationship, people need intimacy, trust, respect, and compatible needs.

Be honest with girlfriend: Ask why she ditched plans with you 01/29/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 29, 2010 3:30am]

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