More threads by eddiedeandt

Hi. I have had this gal as a friend for years, and recently we started going out. I knew from observing her over the years that she had commitment problems. I tried to tackle this head-on, and for a while things were smooth, but I am now being avoided.

Here's the other thing; I know that she had some...difficulties as a child. At first I didn't relate her detachment now to those childhood problems. But then I remembered that, during our Psychology class last semester, she had compared her attitude towards her father (who left her at a young age) to men in general, using a thinly veiled hypothetical. I'm not even sure if she was aware at how obvious it was that she was using events from her life to argue a point.

She doesn't have a problem with being friends with a guy, but once a relationship starts with her things always seem to go downhill FAST. How should I tackle this apparent connection between childhood torments and current behavior? What do I have a right to do?
 
Hi. I have had this gal as a friend for years, and recently we started going out. I knew from observing her over the years that she had commitment problems. I tried to tackle this head-on, and for a while things were smooth, but I am now being avoided.

Here's the other thing; I know that she had some...difficulties as a child. At first I didn't relate her detachment now to those childhood problems. But then I remembered that, during our Psychology class last semester, she had compared her attitude towards her father (who left her at a young age) to men in general, using a thinly veiled hypothetical. I'm not even sure if she was aware at how obvious it was that she was using events from her life to argue a point.

She doesn't have a problem with being friends with a guy, but once a relationship starts with her things always seem to go downhill FAST. How should I tackle this apparent connection between childhood torments and current behavior? What do I have a right to do?
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
How should I tackle this apparent connection between childhood torments and current behavior? What do I have a right to do?
That's the real two-part question, isn't it? (1) what can you do? and (2) what should you do?

You indicate that you've been friends for a long time but are now "being avoided". I'm not sure what that last part means but you could certainly ask her whether it's true and if so what it's about. If you are able to have that conversation as a friend, you might even ask her whether she thinks there might be a connection between her reluctance to commit to close relationships and something from her developmental history but do bear in mind this is an assumption on your part and may not be correct. Even if it is correct, she may of course be disinclined to discuss it with you. And even if she is willing to discuss it, that doesn't necessarily mean that she has any interest in changing it.
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
How should I tackle this apparent connection between childhood torments and current behavior? What do I have a right to do?
That's the real two-part question, isn't it? (1) what can you do? and (2) what should you do?

You indicate that you've been friends for a long time but are now "being avoided". I'm not sure what that last part means but you could certainly ask her whether it's true and if so what it's about. If you are able to have that conversation as a friend, you might even ask her whether she thinks there might be a connection between her reluctance to commit to close relationships and something from her developmental history but do bear in mind this is an assumption on your part and may not be correct. Even if it is correct, she may of course be disinclined to discuss it with you. And even if she is willing to discuss it, that doesn't necessarily mean that she has any interest in changing it.
 
"Being avoided" means that I have had trouble contacting her. We don't live that far apart, and I worry about being a pest or overbearring.Te small number of e-mails and phone calls I've sent out have not been responded to.

Of course you're right; my assumptions on her behavior are just that, and I could be way off base. However, at the very least, she herself has seemed to make this connection in the past, and the courage to speak of it aloud (as a hypothetical, of course--she does that often. )I also agree that, even if I bring my suspicions to the forefront, I could wind up with something far less enjoyable than a resolution.

When and if I get the oppurtunity to approach her again, I plan to use your advice and bring up this issue as a friend. My main concern at this point is helping her out if that's even possible.
 
"Being avoided" means that I have had trouble contacting her. We don't live that far apart, and I worry about being a pest or overbearring.Te small number of e-mails and phone calls I've sent out have not been responded to.

Of course you're right; my assumptions on her behavior are just that, and I could be way off base. However, at the very least, she herself has seemed to make this connection in the past, and the courage to speak of it aloud (as a hypothetical, of course--she does that often. )I also agree that, even if I bring my suspicions to the forefront, I could wind up with something far less enjoyable than a resolution.

When and if I get the oppurtunity to approach her again, I plan to use your advice and bring up this issue as a friend. My main concern at this point is helping her out if that's even possible.
 

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