When your girlfriend is literally the girl next door, familiarity breeds contempt

Sandy,

I met my girlfriend in my dorm my freshman year – we go to the same school – and we really hit it off. The next year we ended up being in the same apartment complex (we don’t live in the same apartment, just the complex) and have been for the past quarter.

At first, I really didn’t think anything of it. I mean, I love the girl and we have a lot of fun together. But, recently I’ve just become increasingly pissed off at her. I could tick off several features that drive me crazy just typing this right now, but I won’t…We literally spend every waking minute together and she gets mad when I end up doing something that doesn’t involve her. I’m on the edge here, but I can’t shake this enormous feeling of guilt that I’m annoyed at someone wanting to spend time with me.

Sometimes I feel like it’s totally justified, and at other times I feel terrible and selfish. Am I wrong to feel this way? And what can I do about it?

-Two Crowded

Dear Two Crowded,

It’s totally normal to feel the way you do. It’s especially common in high school/ early college relationships but can happen to anyone since this topic deals with boundaries and personal space. You should certainly not feel selfish at all. It’s important for every person to have some time to themselves outside of their relationships with friends and loved ones.

You need to be able to discuss this with your girlfriend one on one before the confrontation happens again (I.E.: NOT the night she barges in on your all-guys’ poker party). Let her know that, while you love her, you need to be able to develop yourself as a person outside of the relationship as well as within it. This includes being able to have nights with your friends as well as time by yourself. Encourage her to do the same.

She may react negatively to these suggestions as it could be interpreted as an attempt to simply spend less time with her. Tell her that this is something that you need personally and does not have anything to do with your feelings for her. Currently, the time that you are spending together is cheapened by routine and how constantly you see one another. Tell her that you can’t stand to see your relationship cheapened when you have an opportunity to make it work and, should you employ the new plan of allowing each other to have independent “nights off,” you will both be significantly more grateful for the time you spend together and will appreciate one another much more in the end.

Sandy

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