Hippo Manchester
December 22, 2005

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Pinings: Broke Up
by Sherry Hughes

Dear Sherry,

I really need some help. My girlfriend and I have been dating for about eight monthsÖbut we just broke up. I think she is trying to change me. I am this kind of guy: I donít take nothing off of nobody. I mind my business. I donít go places where Iím not invited. On Friday nights Iím tired and want to just relax. She seems to feel as if we always have to be doing something.

Now she wants me to go to counseling and she says if I do that, she may want to get together with me in the future.

I donít think I need counseling. If she doesnít like me the way I am, arenít I better off without her?

Richard

- Dear Richard,

Well, you havenít given me any indication of why she wants you to go to counseling, but the rule of thumb on this one is if you genuinely feel as if you may benefit from counseling and have a clear goal in mind (grieving, anger, jealousy, substance abuse, etc.) then by all means, go. If itís just sort of a ďyouíve got issuesĒ kind of thing, well, it seems that it would be a waste of time to go into counseling without knowing why you are there.

Your girlfriend may very well want you to change, but she also may want for things to be better than they are. Do you have common goals and dreams? Do you have activities in common? If you like to stay home on a Friday night and relax, thatís what you should do. But occasionally, she may want you to go somewhere with her, and it makes sense for you to be flexible and go with her.

Relationships are always about compromise; some couples have to do it a lot, others just jibe more. If the two of you are often at odds about how to spend your leisure time, it may be time to think about moving on.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers at sah103@hotmail.com.