ADVICE WANTED Girlfriend troubles

Discussion in 'COUNSELING' started by Thomas McTavish, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. At times, I can be very analytical and fact-minded, viewing the world in an objective way that would creep most people out or make me seem like an arrogant, intelligent dickwaffle. The only people I display this to are one or two of my absolute closest friends, because sometimes when this personality trait manifests strongly it is perceived that I'm being an asshole when I don't mean to be, and these friends relate. My girlfriend of three years is not one of the people I show this side of me to, for that exact reason. I can't help it when it happens.

    She doesn't often give me straight answers for some things, particularly when I ask about certain behaviors of hers (flicking my forehead after a very mild annoyance, refusing to show or accept affection for short periods of time after very minor disagreements, etc., supplying inquiries as to why with only "Because I said so," or even worse "Because."), and this annoys me immensely. She is aware of this. I never bring it up because I don't want to seem like an asshole and cause her to react as previously stated.
    Likewise, I've noticed she displays affection at levels inversely proportional to the likelihood of us being seen doing so, compounded by how high the individual who could potentially observe it is ranked in her personal respect hierarchy, and proximity to the person(s) (many long, passionate kisses when alone together v.s. sparingly few smooches when in close proximity to people, esp. family, and only when I insist, even if the people are in other rooms, unable to see us, and unlikely to approach). This is starting to make me feel like she's almost embarrassed for people to see us being affectionate. It doesn't help that I already have anxiety problems and generally don't like myself, and even after three years together still do not fully understand what she sees in me (I simply accept it as it makes me happy and it seems to make her happy). Furthermore, I do not have very good people skills (again, anxiety and self-doubt bordering an inferiority complex).

    How do I address these issues with her without seeming like an asshole, like a robotic weirdo, or like I've been hiding a part of myself from her?
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  2. Hmm... This is an interesting case because I can relate to both parties, actually >.<

    I have expressed my thoughts/perceptions/feelings in ways that are either terribly worded, or just... Well, in a way that is difficult to comprehend before, and I find that this often leads to me either coming off as annoying, weird, a plain jerk, or well... Being mean.

    That on its own is probably a factor that either your partner will inevitably have to accept, unfortunately, to have the relationship to blossom, or at the very least be able to put up with. Though on the other hand, I suppose one could also try and make a few personal adjustments to "make it work", but this option is very risky, and well, frankly in most cases it allows the problem to "brew", and overtime, causes much bigger tensions.

    Hmm, and as for the affections thing... Well, I suppose since I am also terribly shy when it comes to romance, even when it is very unlikely that someone would for instance, see me in a public display of affection (hypothetically, since I haven't really... Had an IRL relationship yet), I prefer to keep romance and the like... As discreet as possible I suppose. So perhaps this portion of the relationship may also be something that may strain the whole thing... Or, perhaps, if you can steadily work with her on this aspect, she might be able to overcome her shyness or what have you.

    On the other hand, this sort of reluctance to show affection in the public may also just stem from the lack of... Acceptance of these displays from say, school teachers in the past, or perhaps those in a higher place of power than they were, either in the past or the future.

    In short, or uh... "TLDR" as they say, I would advise, when there is time, to talk these things out in one way or another. It doesn't have to be a straight, on the nose conversation at first, but the bottom line is that it is best to address these issues overtime, and perhaps work out a way to either work with, or work around them. While these things may be subtle, there is no doubt that they can cause the relationship to well... Go stale, or awry in one way or another sooner or later.

    Perhaps just... Initiate the conversation with an "We need to talk" or something like that (as steriotypical as it may be), and then, edge into the... Finer details. However, even when taking this slow, do try and work out the best way to word things to minimize the chances of those words to well, be taken the wrong way. It may help to "rehearse" conversations like that in your head when you can, and perhaps try and think about how she might percieve what you say and well... Reword accordingly until things seem to have been ironed over.

    Granted this isn't a pitch perfect technique, it is one that should, hopefully, help things out a little, though well, I can't exactly say for certain, so it is more of a "don't knock it till you tried it" sort of thing.
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  3. Communication is key. Things will only get worse if you just let things fester. You need to be honest with each other and talk out your problems.

    And that goes for her, too. I know she isn't reading this post, but, shutting things down by just saying "because I said so" is like... what? That's something that parents say to their kids (and even then, it still kind of pisses me off), so saying that to your significant other is just... no. Unless it's obviously just being said in a joking manner, this is just... not something that couples should do. You need to talk to each other about what's wrong. And, hell, maybe she doesn't even realize how much it actually bothers you. Maybe she thinks it's just playful trolling, as opposed to something that's actually bothering you to the extent that it is. (But if she is being completely serious, then, yeah, that ain't right. o_o )

    All this being said!! When you do sit down to talk to each other, try to remember to use "I" statements. For example, instead of saying, "you're embarrassed to be seen with me", say, "when you [do whatever], I feel like you're embarrassed to be seen with me". Talking in this kind of way helps you avoid sounding like you're just throwing accusations at the other person. You're not saying that the other person is doing something wrong. You're just being honest about how you feel when the other person does or says something. This allows you to bring these concerns to the table without making it sound like a personal attack. (And if you're worried that it will still be interpreted as a personal attack, you can always re-iterate that this is just how you feel, and that you're not trying to accuse her of anything. Still, "I" statements are a great place to start.)
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