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Parallax - Advice            October 2, 2000



  He adores his girlfriend, but she treats him like dirt

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My girlfriend has this bad habit of making fun of me in public. She says rude things and is always putting me down in front of her friends, as if it's cool or something. She called me an idiot in front of half of her sorority. She always tells me I look like a dork, or that my comments are stupid, or that I'm going nowhere and I'm not interesting. I'm beginning to wonder why she goes out with me at all. The problem is, I'm so into her. I try to be smarter and funnier and dress better, but nothing seems to be working. Please help!

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Her view:

Dear Chump,

No, not acceptable. She is a snob. You should leave - I know you know that. But since you say that's impossible, how about a couple of options? You could reverse the tables and become overly critical of her to show her what that feels like - maybe she'll pick that up on that and develop some grace.

You could stop catering to her every whim, and just be yourself. Tell her you'd like to work things out, but you are who you are. Tell her you'd love to improve, (wouldn't we all?) but you need some praise as well!

Develop other interests. It sounds like you spend all your time trying to please her; frankly, I don't think she's worth it. Go out and have some fun. You must be thinking that you suck, and I'm sure that's not true, so stop humiliating yourself. Try to work things out, but realize that this girl is just not into you, or she wouldn't treat you this way. Maybe one of your hobbies should be something that places you around some other girls - your present life sounds like it's no fun at all.

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His view:

Dear Chump,

Not to sound overly dramatic, but have you noticed those things lying in front of doors, where people wipe off their feet?

The sensible thing to do is to get up from where you've been lying for some time, dust yourself off, and find a new girl. However, I think you may be one of those men who (for no apparent reason) tends to find women who can walk all over them. If I'm right, then you may want to stick around with your current Cruella De Vil and see if you can learn to hold up your end of the relationship.

If you've never asked her to stop humiliating you in public, you should do so the next time the opportunity comes up. Don't be mousy - give her a believable ultimatum. The next time she does it - and she will - walk out on her. This will be particularly effective if you leave her stranded in a highly-inconvenient location. Then deliver your 'Out to Lunch' sign, and don't resume things until she apologizes.

Of course, this all depends on your ability to show a little spunk. If you don't, you can continue to dress up and try to be smarter…but you'll just be a better-looking, more intelligent doormat.

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