BedPost, I have a problem. My girlfriend and I have been dating for about three months, and while I really do like her, she is a stage-five clinger. I tell her where I’m going to be and she just shows up without an invite. I do like having her around, but she has nothing in common with my friends and honestly, I just need my space once in a while. I just want her to get some hobbies or some friends, but she’s basically dropped everything for me without me asking her to do it and isn’t interested in anything she used to be anymore. How do I tell her this without losing her altogether?
This one is a doozy, friend. To start with, in my opinion, relationships don’t work unless you both have some semblance of a life.
I don’t like to talk to people who don’t have passion about anything in particular or don’t have things going on. What exactly do you two talk about if she doesn’t have a life of her own? One can only assume that the mating patterns of geese would have snuck in there at least once because you must’ve covered every topic known to man. Inquiring minds want to know.
From what you made it seem like, she had a life when you two started your courtship but has basically abandoned it to shack up with you and be your shadow. If that’s the case, there are a few things you can do that are probably not what I should tell you to do, but as the kids say, “YOLO.”
Try asking about her major, how her old friends are doing, if she has plans for a job or internship this summer, if she’s seen any clubs she wants to join.
Basically, drop hints like they’re hot in hopes that she may have her interest piqued.
But, if this doesn’t work, if you’ve read any of my columns, you’ll know I spout off my favorite word a lot … No, not catawampus, the other c-word — communication. You have to talk with her about it in the kindest, most delicate way possible. I would suggest not referring to her as you so eloquently did as a “stage-five clinger.”
Let her know you want her to be happy, let her know you want her to be fulfilled both personally and professionally. Because honestly, if you two were to go south, what is there to fall back on? Mass amounts of Netflix and ramen can only go so far … Trust me.
If she doesn’t take to this too well, stay calm. No one likes to even be hinted at that they’re clingy. It sucks royally. If this makes her run, it makes her run. The truth will set you free, I suppose.
One issue I feel it is my civic duty to address is whether you actually like her or not. From what you’ve been saying, she doesn’t have much in common with you and doesn’t seem to be passionate about much.
It’s one thing to date an opposite, but a whole other animal if you date someone who you can’t admire or even really know what they like or want to do for the rest of their life. There’s a big difference between liking someone and liking the attention they give you. Figure that puzzle out first, smalls.
Do you have a shadow you need to get rid of? Email Kristin at email@example.com.