So, you’ve been through more than your share of girlfriends and you feel you’ve learned a few lessons along the way and become a better person for it. Consequently, you want your next relationship to be the best one ever. Or maybe, you just just want some insight into why you can’t make your relationships last. Either way, to ensure your next relationship is a HEALTHY one, you need to figure out just what kind of girlfriend you really are.
Here’s a mostly harmless confession for you: Since the age of twenty, I’ve dated a grand total of seven women. And here I am, at the age of thirty-three, single again. Now it would be really easy to blame all of my ex-girlfriends for my relationship failures but I can’t do that because a few of them read this column. Also, I need to accept responsibility for my actions.
In order to determine what kind of girlfriend you are, it’s fundamentally important to ask yourself two questions and answer them honestly: “What type of girlfriend was I?” and “Why did I behave that way?” Well, thanks to a lot of introspection, a few bottles of wine, ok many bottles of wine, and some very wise friends, I’ve narrowed down the types of girlfriend we’ve all personified at some time or other, and tried to pinpoint what causes that behaviour.
The knight in shining armour:
I’ve played this role more than a few times. There’s something about coming to a girlfriend’s rescue that is incredibly gratifying. Whether it’s loaning her some money so she can pay her rent, or helping her clean her messy apartment before her parents come to visit, or talking her out of an anxiety attack, it just feels really good to be the hero.
Why are you behaving this way? It can be for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s just easier to deal with your girlfriend’s problems rather than your own. Or it could be because you have low self-esteem. You only feel good about yourself through so-called “selfless acts”. Lastly, it could be an issue of co-dependency – you need to be needed. The problem with this behaviour is that you can easily neglect your own wants and needs and become emotionally burnt-out.
I’m not saying you should never help your girlfriend during tough times, but don’t you deserve to be your own hero and take care of yourself first and foremost?
Another role I hate to admit I’ve played often. A lot of women out there, whether straight or gay, do not like confrontation. We hate fighting. We can also be very delusional at times. Just because our partner is taking advantage of us doesn’t mean we’re going to communicate this. We actually convince ourselves that they’ll realize their actions are unacceptable and will change them accordingly. Meanwhile, we’re being walked all over.
Why are you behaving this way? Again, it could be for a number of reasons. Sure, you want to make your partner happy. But when you have a doormat personality, you tend to attract people who want to see just how much they can demand of you, not to mention that they aren’t happy people to begin with. Also, there’s obviously a serious lack of self-esteem. You feel the only way you’ll be able to keep your partner is by doing everything she asks, no matter how miserable you are. Her needs come first.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t compromise every once in awhile. However, if at the end of the day you strongly feel you’ve done your best, and the other person still isn’t satisfied, it’s time to walk away.
This takes care of part one of What Type of Girlfriend Are You?. If you don’t see yourself in the first two types of girlfriend, maybe you’ll see yourself in the next ones: the clinger, the control freak, and the black cloud.