Dear Dr. Love,Hello, I am having this little problem with my girl friend. I really love her, but I am not sure she feels the same way. She thinks that i don’t love her, and when i tell her i do, she just says,’no you don’t.’ She is always complaining that i don’t act nice, but i really do. Also, she says she wants me to show her tons of effection in public, but then when i try to kiss her, she backs away.She always is telling me about other guys hitting on her, and asks me if i think she should go out with them. I don’t know what to say, so i usually say something like,’do what you want, i don’t want you to.’ I just don’t know what to do. Then whenever i think we had a good time, or i was acting really nice and sweet she tells me i wasn’t. i am so scared to care about her so much because i am so scared that i might lose her. What should i do. Please help me.Thankyou so much
You are being psychologically tortured by your girlfriend. She invites you to give her demonstrations of love, then trashes you after you offer these gifts. She also threatens you with abandonment when she asks you if she should date other guys. That question is also a set-up: It invites you to say more warm things, like please don’t date someone else, I love you, so that she can, once again, trash your love offerings. This girl is certainly not ready for love. She needs to hate and destroy.The bigger issue here turns around you. Why would you want to date someone who treats so badly? It feels like you try to be extra kind and good, hoping that she will finally love you 100%. But, the kinder and sweeter you are, the more she walks all over you.We must find out why you want this person. If you’ve been reading my column for a while you know that we humans unconsciously choose lovers that recreate the relationships we experienced in our first families. We do this so that we can, hopefully, heal what went wrong the first time around (see my Archives under Repetition Compulsion). These repetitions rarely heal us because we choose lovers who are damaged the way our parents were, so they can’t give us any different or better treatment than our parents did.At this point, you need to find out what aspect of your early life is being replayed with your girlfriend. Hint: Somebody in your early life showed you that love is inconsistent and hurtful. You need to figure out which parent drew you in close and then dropped you on your head.Next, you need to figure out what type of healing you need to repair the original wound. It is my impression that you crave a consistently loving partner. But, you aren’t receiving what you need. Why? For one thing, this girl isn’t capable of providing that kind of love and for another, she has a sadistic streak in her personality, which means that the more senses your need and vulnerability, the more she refuses to respond to what you need.So, where can you go from here? For one thing, you need to get it through your head that this woman isn’t capable of giving you the love you need. She has her own unresolved issues that cause her to be very angry and cruel.One thing is certain, you will never obtain any better treatment by kissing up to her. In fact, the more you kiss up to her, the worse she will treat you. In order to break this impasse, you will need to upset the applecart, by refusing to give her the power to torment you. This will yield you respect, if not love. And, to do this, you must stop taking her bait. When she asks you to tell her loving things, say,’Why would I want to tell you something nice? You’ll only throw it back in my face?’Keep in mind that if you don’t allow her to set you up and torture you any longer, she may lose interest in you.I know you don’t want to lose her (because your unconscious desperately hopes to heal your early wound through this relationship). What’s more, your unconscious mind also thinks that losing her will mean that your chance of healing will be washed down the drain. But this isn’t so. In fact, your only hope of healing is to lose this relationship. Staying with her will merely replay the worst pain of your childhood. You will never get your happy ending with this woman.If you want your happy ending, you will need to choose someone who is capable of offering the love you desire. Unfortunately, like all people locked in a repetition compulsion, you feel the’compulsive’ urge to stay with a damaged lover and struggle to fix her. In other words, we want to receive the healing from lovers who resemble the parents that let us down, so that we can feel that our parents are actually giving us what we needed as kids. This explains why lovers that aren’t like our parents hold little appeal.So, you are basically stuck. Waiting for her to love you is like wanting blood from a stone. You need to talk to yourself and face facts. This is a painful place to be. And, one that doesn’t often resolve without therapy. Contact me again in Private Consulting if you want to work this out.