More threads by awthedude


I am currently in a relationship with a great girl. A lot seems to be going right in the relationship but we both have a few problems. I was wondering about others' opinions on the issues.

First, I really dislike big group settings. Like bars or parties. Those kind of situations make me really uneasy. I told her this when we started dating and she was allright with it. Now, I can tell it still bothers her. I know this is a problem I have and I need to work on. Hanging around in big groups shouldn't be such a big deal. She is an outgoing person and likes to do these kind of things and I need to learn to deal with it too. Any suggestions for making these situations fun?

Second, she says sometimes she feels smoothered. I've been there before in past relationships and realize that it is because we spend too much time together and sometimes people need space. But, it seems like everyday we end up together somehow. How do I (a) let her go on by herself without feeling hurt and (b) suggest that we spend some time apart also?

When she feels stressed she sometimes gets really nasty towards me when I am not the one she should be angry at. How do I divert this from happening?

Also, when we get into arguments they always seem to escalate. I try to simmer them down but I end up getting frustrated and angry too. What are some tips for diffusing fights into a situation where we can compromise and make the most of our differences?


hey! there's many people who would rather spend their time in smaller group settings or in a more quiet environment or even just you and your g/f alone, there's nothing wrong w/ that. you were upfront w/ your g/f about this at the beg. which is a good idea, but as you said your g/f clearly likes going out in big groups etc. You have to respect that about her as she has to respect the fact that this is not your idea of fun. I think you can compromise on a few occasions, ie. if it means a lot to her if you come out one night or if you would rather just stay in one night and do something low key... or go to dinner just the two of you etc. But I don't think forcing yourself to go or forcing her to adapt to your comfort level would help much and there isn't a reason why you would have to. I have many friends whose boyfriends don't enjoy going out to a bar or party or they claim they do and then just sit in the corner, sipping their drink, and being reluctant to dance etc... which I personally think can be more damaging than not going at all. If you're fine w/ sitting at a table and having a drink while your g/f socializes and does her thing and she's okay w/ this too then there isn't a prob, but if you're uncomfortable or you g/f is then why bother going, right?

What is it that makes you uncomfortable in these situations? Do you just not like loud and crowded environments in the first place or do you feel excluded when she has a good time w/ her big group of friends and so you end up feeling like the third wheel? Why don't you take a buddy of yours along to chat w/ instead of relying on "getting through the night" or hoping you'll run into someone... have you ever tried joining in conversations w/ her friends? Do you guys have any joined friends or only speperate ones, ie. they're either her or your friends? The thing about these settings is it's all about small talk and having a good time, going w/ the flow... you don't have to worry about going into this deep phylosphical discussion, so anything goes really..... maybe you could ask your g/f to try and include you more in her conversations? but again, I don't think it should be her responsibility to make sure you're ok every second, b/c she will get annoyed...

I find that if you spend a lot of time w/ one person you're bound to feel "smothered" eventually... well, in most cases. But as much as you are a part of each other's lives, you still have seperate lives and it would do her and you some good to spend some time apart, in terms of doing some activities by yourself or w/ other people instead of each other. For example, instead of studying together every day, maybe you could do this w/ a friend and then meet up later, so you're not together 24/7. You need to let her live her life for her own good and yours in the end... you shouldn't feel hurt if she chooses to do something w/out you, b/f you were together she had her own life too, you can't realistically expect her to give up her independence, nor should she have to. Try making a deliberate effort in spending time apart, start w/ small things, like studying apart from each other (these are just examples..) or making several weekend plans, not all of them w/ each other. Plan a guy's night out (whatever that means to you) and let her have her girl's night out. If you give her her space and end up doing "nothing" yourself in the end, you will probably resent this so that's why I'm suggesting that you finf something to do by yourself or w/ other people and she does the same... what about going to the gym? or watching a sports game w/ your friends?

ironically, the people that we get mad at when we're stressed, irritated, angry etc. are those closest to us. why? because we know we can. but that's not a reason to justify getting mad at someone close just b/c you know you can... but then again, if you're around each other 24/7 then she's bound to take out her anger or stress level on you... because you're always around! would she still call you up every second if you weren't together so much? maybe. maybe not so much though. relationships can be stressful too so even if nothing is "wrong" it can be stressful to know you're affecting someone else w/ your decisions etc.. try listening to her and talking to her if she asks for an opinion but don't let her take eveything out on you and vice versa, it's not part of a healhty relationship if the other person always ends up being blamed. maybe she's resenting feeling like she's stuck almost... try some conflict resolution tactics... and compromising as you said. maybe just give her and yourself some time to cool off. again, spending some time apart (in terms of activities etc.) would probably help a lot in itself.

here's some links on conflict resolution:
He said, she said...

Fair fighting


Thanks for the reply and the web site links. I found all that information helpful. I liked the friendly reminder at the beggining too that people are different and some people just don't like group settings. I think I will ask a friend to tag along next time so I don't feel so obtrusive when Im with her friends that would probably help a lot. I can handle big group situations if I've got close friends there so I think it's the fact that I don't know her friends that well.

It really bothers me that she brings up past problems when she has a new problem. She seems to lump them all together and blows things way out of proportion. I'll admit, I've been known to do that too. I was wondering what is a good way to defuse that kind of situation and divert the past problems since they have already been discussed. She seems to bring them up to make me upset and it seems to always work.


if it comes down to you not feeling comfortable in these situations b/c you don't know her friends or at least not well enough, then taking a friend of yours along would definitely help... have you told your g/f that you feel like you're "intruding"? If she understands why you react the way you do, it may help her not be mad about it etc... also, why not try getting to know her friends in a different setting? bars or parties etc. are great "social events" but there's really only so much you can say or find out about a person w/ loud music, massive amounts of people, a crowded space, and most likely drinks...right? Try planning something w/ them (but DO invite your friends along too) like a pot-luck over at your place or a BBQ or to watch a game (assuming you and they are into some kind of sport) or even just going out to a restaurant is better than a bar, but a place where you can be casual and low key and have room to move around would probably be the best to get to know people... I say go w/ the idea at your place. If you get to know some of her friends and vice versa all of you would probably feel more comfortable in these situations... but give it some time, friendships aren't build in one day. Just make an effort, that's all you can do really. Btw, I know you are making an effort even just by posting here...

do you mean that she brings up past problems from your relationships? or in regards to her own life? If she dwells on problems from the past they either haven't been resolved or she's using them to her advantage almost, ie. to make you feel bad. If you feel like it's something that's "over" you can tell her that but give her a chance to voice her opinion, ie. why is she still so upset about this? If there isn't a clear reason then she's choosing to live in the past and there isn't much you can do about this, except for not letting this get to you... but I don't think you should always be the scapegoat if she is just using the past to blame you etc. On the other hand, sometimes someone can only take "so much", so maybe all of the little things just add up to one big thing, and at one point people just have enough... what is she upset about? is there an underlying theme to all her discussions of past problems??? does she feel hurt in any way, neglected, misunderstood? When you "discussed" the problems in the past, was she able to have her say too? How was the problem discussed?

I think the way you react and deal w/ this when it comes up depends on a lot of different factors, as I mentioned so it's difficult to say what to do.. but if you have any doubt about this or don't actually understand why this always happens, I'd suggest thinking about some of those things and trying to talk to her about it. You can't really "diffuse" a situation if there's things to deal with or talk about. You can learn to react in ways that don't reinforce her doing this (if it does actually come down only to her using "dealt w/" issues to make you upset, which wouldn't be ok). It's difficult to change someone's ways though so you have to think about how much this means to you and she means to you and what you are willing to put into this and at what price. Give her a chance and try talking to her but have some clear ideas on why you get upset when she does this and whether she could have a reason to do so etc... good luck w/ everything.


Relationships can be so hard. There have been two reasons why I have brought past things up with my boyfriend (we've been together 2 1/2 years). One - it's something that I haven't yet been able to get over/ I've been really hurt by/ doesn't necessarily have anything to do with him/ have caused me to have trust issues in a relationship. Two - It's something we fought about before, but I feel that the situation hasn't changed and that he's continuing to do whatever it is that bothered me before.
I have no idea if any of this applies to your girlfriend, but the next time she brings up past things, think if maybe it could be for the reasons above. It's not always fair to do that, but sometimes when we're feeling at our worst, frustrations come up. Being in a close relationship can be a very wonderful thing, but it also means that you're probably going to see that person at their worst.
My boyfriend is Korean, and I am here in Korea teaching. We had more friends when I was working at the private schools, and it was closer to see people in Seoul. I had a really good offer at a public elementary school outside of Seoul and I took it. I like it out here. The mountain air is great and we're not in the middle of nowhere. But, it is different than Seoul. There are no other foreign teachers at my school, so I haven't developed any close relationships. My boyfriend's friends are scattered all over Korea. And for a while my boyfriend couldn't find a job. Needless to say, we were always together. He was there when I got up in the morning, when I got home in the afternoon, when I went to bed at night. And, then there was the stress of money and him not having a job on top of that. We enjoy doing almost everything together, but it was getting to be too much. Well, now he's working, but I can understand about feeling smothered. I'm assuming you don't live with your girlfriend - yet - so take this time to figure out how much space each of you needs. My boyfriend and I moved in together very quickly. Fortunately, we still love each other very much which has kept us together, but there have been times when I thought that maybe we should have taken more time to get to know each other.
Anyway, now I'm rambling about myself, but what I'm saying is take this time to get to know each other and your boundaries. The next time your girlfriend brings something up from the past, maybe you could try this...
Ask her if she's bringing it up because it's something that still hurts her or something that she thinks you're continuing to do. Don't say, "Oh, there you go bringing up the past again!" See what her reaction is. and good luck. It sounds like you really care about her.


Thanks for the replies, Taking a look back at my reation to her whole "bringing up the past" thing has lead me to believe that the underlying reason she is probably bringing it up is because either she thinks we haven't got past it or because she thinks im continuing to act the same way. We had a talk about it yesterday and I think we really cleared some things up. I realized I am not offering her enough space and it is starting to tense things up because she isn't allowed enough time to hang out with her friends, do her homework in college, etc. She has said that sometimes she overreacts to little things. We both also discussed that we are probably in the negotiation phase of the relationship using info I got from a site mentioned above. I really appreciate all of your feedback it has helped me out significantly. I really like her a lot and want to make it work. I know she would like to make it work too so I am doing all I can to work past any barriers in our relationship.

I was also wondering, on a lighter note, if anyone had any good ideas for going on dates. We plan on going out this weekend and Im trying to come up with some ideas.
Thanks :)


it sounds like you guys were really able to talk through some things, that's so good to hear! just keep the communication open, that's your best bet for now.

re: the date ideas, I thought it'd be fun to google

Romantic Song Lyrics - Famous Love Songs & Romance Ideas
- this site has A TON of ideas... some really good ones, some a little "strange" (ie. hopscotch, visiting a pet store..) but I guess there's something for everyone!


20 Date Ideas
1. Play miniature golf
2. Roast marshmallows and make smores
3. Visit a carnival or festival
4. Go disco bowling
5. Watch the sunrise or sunset together
6. Read a book aloud together
7. Take a pottery class
8. Buy the ingredients to make an ice cream sundae, and create it together
9. Go to a comedy club
10. Visit a museum
11. Ascend to the top of the highest building in town
12. Make a picnic in the park
13. Go sightseeing in your own city
14. Attend a sporting event
15. Rent canoes and paddle around the nearest lake
16. Take a cooking class together
17. Go to the zoo
18. Play a board game
19. Bake cookies together
20. Drive to a nearby town you have never visited before
from (the site has a lot of ads, links etc. but this part was good)

Personally, I think trying something new and fun is always a good idea and bound to guarantee a good time for both of you.... something besides the "standard" going for dinner idea, which is nice but not very creative. Is there anything your g/f has always wanted to do that you could incorporate? If $ is an issue, there's lots of things (some mentioned above) that don't cost a lot of $. If you plan something and put effort into it your g/f is bound to appreciate it. Have fun!!


It always feels so rewarding when you have a "talk" and it turns out well and you clear things up. Your girlfriend said that she often reacts to little things. Well, this could be just her personality, but usually when someone is feeling somewhat smothered/frustrated, they'll be bound to do this. This even happens with roommates, even when they have different schedules. Since my boyfriend started working again, I'm happy when he comes home at the same time as me. But, he isn't ALWAYS there when I get home, and I think that's the key. I have some time to watch what I want to watch on TV, or clean what I want to clean or play with the ferrets, etc. on my own.
Well, have fun this weekend! Man, I don't think I have many more suggestions for dates. But, I would say that if you decide to catch a movie together, do it fairly early, even in the afternoon. This way you'll have time later to concentrate on each other, and even have something to discuss (the movie). Good luck!
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