She's Too "Tired"
Q: My girlfriend and I have been dating for 10 months, and we've been through a lot together. She just recently got a job working part-time. Now when she comes home she acts totally weird toward me. For instance, she doesn't want to be touched, kissed, or hugged. I ask her what's wrong a million times and I keep getting the same response: "I'm tired and I don't want to be bothered." This is really confusing and frustrating for me. If it keeps on I'm thinking of letting her go but deep down I want to know what I can do to try and fix this problem. -- Dave, 22
Dr. Susan: I assume you've tried the obvious, which is to give her a half-hour calming down period when she walks through the door. She may feel utterly drained by her workday, even if it is only part-time. Some people have trouble making that transition and need a period of private quiet time before rejoining their loved ones. But if your girlfriend continues to rebuff your efforts to connect with her even after a cooling down period, especially efforts that aren't meant to lead directly to sex but are simply signs of affection, then something is wrong. Ask her again, on a weekend or when she hasn't been working, if her feelings for you have changed. Ask her to be honest and let her know you aren't going to be angry with her no matter what. Some relationships simply run their course and there isn't anything you can do to fix them when one partner is no longer interested.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.