Push-Pull Relationship

Q: My girlfriend says that she does not want a high maintenance relationship with me. I have a temper and have yelled at her. There has also been some job jumping on my part. I was injured on the job and have to sit out right now, and another time I had to quit a job for health reasons. She seems to play the push pull thing with me. What do I do to show her that I am advancing and she has nothing to worry about? -- Clint, 22

Dr. Susan: But she does have something to worry about, Clint: your bad temper. You're 22 and you're losing it to the point where you've yelled at her? She may worry that your temper will get worse over time, as it often does, and that someday you'll be hitting her. I know you can't imagine that now, but no one can imagine it until they start doing it. She may not be playing a push-pull game with you. Perhaps she's genuinely ambivalent and likes you a lot, but can't see herself dealing at this young age with all your health problems, job insecurity, and temper. That does sound a bit high maintenance, to tell the truth. The best thing you can do is show her you're a good relationship bet by calming down. Telling someone you're advancing won't work. You have to show her, and that will take time. Ask her to give you a chance, and then make the best of that chance.

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