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How do I make my girlfriend happy when we are apart?


PatMan

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My girlfriend and I have been together for around 15 months now. We met at our place of work and she lives at home with her parents. I'm not local and currently live in rented accommodation and we are approximately 25 miles apart. We see each other most days at work and often at weekends. She is 21 and I am 23. When we spend time together we are incredibly happy, we click very well together and we always have fun. We both love each other very much and it is evident. We very rarely fall out and when we do it is reconciled almost instantly. However when we spend time apart she becomes completely different. Her mood becomes very negative and she is almost unresponsive at times. She will make a point of saying how unhappy she is and that it is not my fault but I can't help feeling that is not entirely accurate. As with anyone, myself included, these moods are intensified when she is tired or hungry or often a combination of the two. I have in the past turned up unannounced when she is feeling particularly miserable and her mood changes straight away, she is always happy to see me and after a kiss and a cuddle she is back to being my gorgeous, happy girlfriend. We will end up having long drawn out conversations either by phone or text, which end up being very melancholic but eventually she will retort with something like "i'm so sorry for tonight and being miserable, you're the best and i'm so lucky". She has in the past been known to say things like "i really don't think we should be together anymore" before almost immediately retracting and saying how sorry she is. I understand the perils of growing up and for me 21 was when my life seemed to pass at double speed. It was a very confusing time for me and I think she is finding that too. I've just about settled down into a routine now but I think she is still maxing out her stress levels. Currently juggling work with a degree course and a relationship is bound to take it's toll and i completely understand that.

 

Moving in together is definitely on the cards, and it's something we have discussed openly and are both keen to do once both of us are ready, but the time between then and now is getting increasingly difficult. I'm struggling to find ways of communicating with her when we're not together, as I often seem to make the situation worse. I also think I frustrate her because generally i am quite easy going and it takes a lot to phase me. A bad mood for me often doesn't even register with her because hers can be so much worse. I love her to bits and I think the world of her, I want to do anything I can to make her happy, and when she isn't happy it does kinda break my heart. This is something i'm very open about and she knows, we talk about it a lot. She likes to have her alone time, and I always respect that. I'm never pushy with her and I can tell when she doesn't want to talk. But it's the times she claims she doesn't want to talk and will then proceed to tell me how naff she's feeling which is confusing me and it's becoming more frequent. She also has a tenancy to become quite self-destructive; she will go out of her way to make her mood worse by doing daft things like cancelling hotel reservations, or dinner dates that we may have coming up just on the spot.

 

I'm a very open book and she is very closed, but she does wear her heart on her sleeve (if that makes any sense?!). You can always tell when there's something up but it's very hard to establish what it might be. I'm a fairly romantic person, and I am quite prone to random acts of kindness; last week she was particularly down and I bought her a sweet little mug to go on her desk at work and it made her week. She just lit up, and that's who I want to see more of.

 

I'm basically looking for some advice on how I might go about making her happy when she gets down?

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You need to stop trying to make her happy. She is becoming dependent on you for happiness. She needs to learn how to make herself happy. It seems almost like she is testing or manipulating you into doing these nice things for her. She acts all sad and then waits to see if you prove yourself by buying her a gift or randomly showing up to see her. It's not healthy. I know because I used to be like this and no matter how much a boyfriend would do for me I still wasn't happy because I needed to find my own happiness, not make someone else my source of happiness.

 

She may benefit from therapy or something so that she can learn to be happy without you. Does she have any other friends or social outlets besides you? Why can't she go out with friends when you have to be apart? You see each other every day at work and hang out on the weekends, how is that not enough time together to make her happy? She seems quite insecure. Happiness ccomes from within, no one should be responsible for another persons happiness.

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In many ways your post was very sweet , the way you talk about her and the understanding you have of her , it sounds like a lovely relationship ..however you could almost be forgiven for thinking this was a father talking about his daughter ...( not in an innapropriate way obviously) the nurturing , the wanting her to be happy , making allowances for her age , justifying sulky behaviour ....and I think this is where you will make a rod for your own back if you are not careful .

 

If she is unhappy because you are not there , which is what you are suggesting ,then that is a dependancy that is going to always cause problems ... and the more you feed it ie trying to make it all better to bring her round again , the more she will act like this .

 

Being 21 is not an excuse to act like this , you are only 23 yourself , and you shouldn't be having to find reasons as to why she acts like this , we all have stresses 21 or 81 .

 

It is her responsibilty to amuse herself and have a life outside of you , she is an individual and she has to take control of her own life and her own feelings and stop acting like a child every time you are not there and the only way she will is when you stop trying to make it better .

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