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Parallax - Advice

April 16, 2001

Love Leech

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!My girlfriend and I have been dating for four-and-a-half years - ever since high school. I often think she's just using me because she doesn't have anything in common with me and we are complete opposites. But what bothers me the most is since she moved out of her mother's house and in with me, she has done nothing to contribute to our relationship. I've tried reasoning with her but I end up having the same conversation each time. Do you think it's worthwhile to carry on, when every month I have to repeat the importance of contributing to our relationship? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Frustrated,

Nope. No frankly, I don't. I'm not sure why either of you stay in this relationship, based on what you've written. It sounds as if there is unhappiness at home, and after four years, one should feel that their mate is devoted and interested in their happiness. Your relationship fails on both fronts. I would try to get to the bottom of things before packing her off (maybe she just likes your apartment). Try having a lucid conversation and see if you can at least find out what she's thinking.

If you still can't figure her out, and she is still insufferable to live with, then end the relationship and ask her to move. This unhappiness cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely. What would be the point? You might as well get on this before you become really unhappy.

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His view:

Dear Frustrated,

I agree with you. Having to repeat the same sermon every month can get tedious. You are right to feel exasperated with your girlfriend and to wonder whether she is just using you. It is also noble of you to try to reason with her, especially since prior attempts at such reasoning have consistently failed.

But I do worry about the fact that you spent four-and-a-half years with her.

You should consider graduating from the 'high school sweetie' to the newer, college-era variety. If we attribute the fact that you two have nothing in common and are complete opposites to your inexperience with choosing women (rather than to poor judgment in general) then there is a good chance you may fare better next time.

However, you may also want to spruce up your early-warning system. It is not necessary to be used by someone for four-and-a-half years before you start questioning whether the relationship is worth preserving.

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