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Is my girlfriend too needy, or is it me?

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Question - (28 August 2005) 26 Answers - (Newest, 9 April 2010)
A male , *0:50 writes:

I have been going out with this girl for almost a year now but I think she is becoming a bit possessive.

To give a specific example, towards the end of this week I spent Thursday and Friday night with her and Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon I had to go and visit a friend in hospital as he had broken his back earlier in the week. Now my girlfriend seems to be in a mood because I haven’t spent all weekend with her. I’m quite independent and I can’t spend every single second with my girlfriend as I have other things I need to do.

Is it worth trying to talk to my girlfriend about this problem or should I dump her and find someone who doesn’t need 100% of my time?

To give a bit more background to this situation my girlfriend's previous boyfriend was quite possessive and they spent every second together and I think she expects me to behave the same.

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A female reader, Bera United Kingdom +, writes (9 April 2010):

What if a woman's insecurity is justified though?

I am sitting here taking deep breaths and keeping my hands away from the phone. I've called my bf 3 times this evening, and left 2 messages. I know that the fact I called him 3 times will make him mad and yet it's hard not to keep trying, because I want so much to talk to him.

But is this all my fault, my problem, really? I've been away from home working (we live together) for 4 days and in that time he hasn't contacted me once or returned any of my calls (which have not been excessive... one a day until today.) I know he enjoys his time when I'm away, hanging out with his mates and getting drunk on the couch and stuff. But it seems to me that not calling me back is just plain rude.

We don't always go into a relationship feeling insecure. I may have a tendency towards insecurity, but acting like an asshole, refusing to offer reassurance when it's asked for, never saying 'I love you' or offering compliments, and not returning calls will eventually drive any woman into bunny boiling mode.

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A male reader, sigmanu68 United States +, writes (19 March 2010):

Folks, there is a theme here. Most of the posts of from "needy" women and what you hear is they are just that. "Needy" "possessive" "overbearing" "demanding" etc. is all codespeak for insecurity or much deeper emotional and psychological issues and before you get in too deep run the other way. An insecure significant other will ultimately destroy the relationship because their insecurity will eat them alive and eventually crowd out and dominate the relationship. If your significant other is keeping you from your normal activities and relationships or work, or placing you on guilt trips forcing you to choose between the former to spend all your time with her, she will eventually suffocate you and the relationship. And regardless of your efforts to talk to her/him about it and all of the promises to change, it will be virtually impossible to change, even with professional help. So those of you who are insecure yourselves, stop being selfish and let this poor lad in on the truth about your insecurities and how you allow them to dominate and control your lives and those you possess to love and care about. I realize this may sound insensitive, but its true and if those out there who have their own issues with insecurity are being honest with themselves, they know I am telling the truth. My recommendation to this young man is be nice but run, don't walk, the other way or out the door as fast as you can and long before you have intested too much in the relationship and lost a lot of time that will be better spent finding someone else who will let you be who you are and is a partner, not a rehab project. There are plenty of secure women out there for you.

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A male reader, rawar777 United States +, writes (1 March 2010):

My situation is very similar to most here except that my girlfriend's neediness is almost impossible to point out to her. I don't have any real hard evidence. It's all a feeling she gives me. It's the tone of her voice, it's body language or facial expressions that tell me she is sad or disappointed when I can't hangout. She always wants me to dig and pick up on hints which I think is very unfair but she has me more than trained. I can sense nervousness our sadness in her from the slightest look in her face or tapping or biting her nails and I KNOW she's not OK. She is very insecure & jealous and it seems like no matter how many compliments i dump on her everyday, no matter how much opening the door for her, buying flowers or taking her on nice dates and ALWAYS paying I cannot get her to feel OK about herself :(

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A female reader, ydeengirl United States +, writes (20 January 2009):

Wow, as a woman who is in "recovery" for being needy, I feel for you man. When the light bulb finally went off and I saw my ridiculous, needy, desperate behavior, I was so grossed out. I really couldn't believe what I was doing to myself and to my boyfriend. But it took a while for me to really understand and see it all from his perspective. I really thought it was his job to make me feel this way or that way about our relationship. We all need reassurance but it doens't always have to be constant, mushy, and too much.

Don't get me wrong, I was aware that I was feeling needy and even looked on websites to learn. I have the right books to read and learn from. I have quite a handful of gal pals that are true blue who even tried to talk to me. Even an ex-boyfriend finally confessed to my neediness. I was able to know this and digest it but not able to change it. It was a harder process than I thought.

What finally happened to wake me up, after a week long episode of nonesense and driving him crazy, is I saw myself as pitiful and pathetic. I can't explain it well, but its like I snapped right out of it.(If you have ever seen the movie HItch with Will Smith you'll know the scene where he looks pathetic. He was so needy!)anyway,my boyfriend WASN"T giving in to my insecurities. He did nothing to try to help me make sense of it all with this crazy episode because he had already, the week before. He told me he cared, said great things to me but I still had all these neediness. In hindsight, he didn't do anything weird to make me feel weird or insecure. And you know what? I think that was the best thing he could do for me.PLus the poor guy was just so tired of being overwhelmed and dealing with nonesense. He rejected my insecurity, rejected my foolishness but did not reject me. Make sense?

So, the advice to stick by her is good, but she has to lighten up, get some confidence and sort through her own stuff. She has to practice, practice, practice. But I can tell you that no one change a person. They have to want to change themselves.

Its going to be hard. But your love for her doesn't have to end. Stick up for yourself, reject her craziness and abuse. Stick up to her and tell her to get it together and that you will still be there when she comes around but that you are not putting up with Abuse. That emotional craziness is not good for either one of you. Sorry that you have to go through this.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (22 April 2008):

Yes she is to needy.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 February 2008):

I'm another one of those "needy" girlfriends, and like the others on this site, hopefully I can help shed some light on how we tick.

I live about 20mins walk away from my boyfriend's house, and we used to always spend the night at one or the other's houses. But recently, he asked me whether he could have one "night off" a week when he can go to the pub with his mates and not worry about having to be back by a certain time, although I've never set a time limit on him, he says he still feels obliged to come back home so I'm not on my own. I agreed, although it hurt a lot at first, and still does, because I was upset that he didn't want to spend every second of every day with me. But he talked me through it, and he was very reassuring, complimenting me throughout and saying I was the only one for him, so it eased it quite a bit.

I would recommend, like others here have said, to be upfront with your girlfriend about it, but be really gentle and give her genuine compliments, about her being the only one for you and you really love her (obviously don't make it up, you've gotta be honest).

I'm a naturally jealous person, and I know I'm possessive and can be very needy at times, but I'm still not able to shake this neediness away, even though I know it could potentially ruin my relationship.Chances are that your girlfriend does recognise her own neediness, but recognising and being able to get rid of it are two very different things. I think that as long as her insecurity lasts, which might always be there, some element of neediness will stay too. It is possible to wean her off you and hopefully make her less dependent on you, but it has to be gradual. But do bear in mind that she probably just really really loves you.

Best of luck with your relationship, I hope it helps and I hope you think really carefully before you make any definite decisions.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 February 2008):

Guys, you really need to wake-up and see 'needy' women for what they are - 'broken'. That's not to say you can't help them heal. Sometimes, you can. However, you can't do all the work for her. Never, ever, EVER allow yourself to play the 'mentor', 'father-figure' or 'savior' roles in a partner's life. That'll mean the death of the relationship. IF you love her, tell her there's a problem. Explain, logically and calmly, what that problem is and how it makes you feel. If she argues immediately, or doesn't work with you to correct things between the two of you, see that as a massive red-flag - then dump her kindly and move-on.

Ultimately, she's either mature enough to handle a relationship - or she isn't. The question you have to ask yourself is; "Do I really want to deal with this long-term?"

I wouldn't want to - but that's me.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (3 February 2008):

It is SOOO nice to hear all these people in the same boat I am. I've been with my girlfriend for 9 months now and it's gotten to the point where we can not spend a single night apart with out her getting really sad and laying a guilt trip on me (though I'm not sure if it is intentional).

She just seems so fragile and innocent that I don't want to hurt her, so now I find myself in a predicament where I might have to miss the superbowl just to go over to her house to show her that football is not more important than she is. Obviously it isn't, but I would like to watch the game with my friends ( who I live with). Seriously, I hate guilt trips, and she rules me with them. I really wish I could man up and tell her to stop that shit, but then she'd cry and I just would fold again..... jesus christ.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (19 October 2007):

Say this to yourself, "Why do I love her?" Write it all down. From time to time try to make it a habit to do that. Always have something good to say about her, honestly. Insecure woman need confirmation. Tell her the things that you have collected, a little at a time. Otherwise she will ask you and you won't be prepared. Insecure woman have learned to use this against you to make you try harder, it's a not something evil about them, it's a protective measure. That's why they start lots of fights for no appearant reason. They use pressure and always seem to find some test for you to prove your love, support etc. Did her dad hug her too tightly as a child, did her mom do nothing as her aunt talked bad about her? There are so many things that went on in her life before you that you have nothing to do with. However, you are in her life now and you HAVE to go through it with her, on a daily basis because she may try to 'forget' those things, but it won't happen. Is it fair? Well, ask yourself is it fair to her when you get a flat tire and she has to wait for you to change it, or you stay late at work? Give and take. - Her mind can not rest, it can only be occupied and if she is unable to occupy it with a hobby or an occupation then she wants you to be there to protect her and keep her occupied. For the male figure, you have to do your best to make them understand that you need time to replace your radiator in your car, you can't do it in 15 minutes during your lunch break, you need an afternoon, you need the right tools, the right fluids, that takes time. Try to make them understand, give them information, tons of it so they don't think that you are making up reasons not to be with them. Insecure women will test you because if you don't want to spend all of your time with them then you had better be able to explain why. Why do it now? Give her options for doing something else later. They will control every part of your life, then berate you because you are not taking control and taking care of them. It's a no win situation but if you love someone, you have to do your best to deal with it and make it work. She will always find something wrong with anything and everyone. You have to do what you can to be her better half,Although she will view herself as the better half. Try to offer positive views. Remember, anything negative you say about anyone, even when she wants you to be negative about them, she will think that you will be negative about her too. Just try to be logical and when you are being yelled at, don't yell back.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 October 2007):

Well, your girl sounds excessively needy and insecure. The fact is, this has nothing to do with you personally but something that she has to improve on. YOu shouldn't be in a dilemma to choose between your friends and your girl; it's simply unfair. Perhaps you can spend some lunch hours with her and a few with your friends...you know share it up...not equally of course. Nonetheless, this may have been an issue with her (feelings of insecurity) from her past...something or someone may have not validated her or affirm her enough as a woman so now the baggage follows and you happen to be the one she wants to carry it. Now, I wouldn't leave her especially if I loved her; but I would help her...reassure her; romance her; dine her; be affectionate with her; compliment her; pray with her and be a good listener. You can't be her personal saviour; but you can help her to grow and be less insecure....you get what i am saying

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 October 2007):

I'm facing the same exact situation and we just had a 3 hour converation regarding her "needs" and how I'm being inconsiderate and tend not to take her feelings into account. We've been together for almost 2 years now. I guess it started getting worse when she started working in the same office as I am. She tends to be insecure, and has bouts of low self-esteem especially when it comes to work. She has plans of not working (she's mentioned this many times as one of her goals) and letting things take care of themselves. Her current beef is with me spending time with my office mates during lunch/break (she's always invited, but she declines saying she cannot blend in) and she's not comfortable with me having fun without her. She cannot blend in with my other friends but expects me to blend in with hers because I can. She has given me an ultimatum to choose my friends or her. To which I said ok, I'll do what she wants. I do love her, but I think this is not healthy and I dont want the relationship to go on this way.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 June 2007):

Hey, Man

I'm going through a similar issue with my girl. been dating for just over a year and a half.... and i feel my girl is very needy... i don't live with her. i spend every weekend with her and once a week at least, but i feel sometimes i'm being strangled, cos she always wants to be with me. she reads my sms's. she is very jelous of other woman.

say we watching a dvd she will literally luy on me... If i want to do something she'll want to do it with me because if she doesn't she's missing out. and she often does things just to be with me and to watch me... i mean i love her but when i'm out in public i am bubbly and i like to socialise, with her i feel as though i have a leash around my neck...

If i see my mate once a week it's a god send and even then she gets a bit funny, cos i can hear it in her voice when i speak to her.....like i'm seeing my mate and she isn't and it isn't fair.

She is terribly insecure about her self, she has no friends and revolves her life around me. Part of me wants to leave her, because i don't see it ending but it's unhealthy, but i love her and it isn't like that all the time. i often try and express myself to her and she just gets defensive. sometimes after she ponders on it she will agree and say she will try, but then does the same thing again...

i'm totally searching for an answer....thats why i've come across this site and read what you're going through...

so i can't help you, cos i don't think you can change someone. it isn't fair. so i dont have an answer but i feel what you're going through like so many other guys.... woman are much more emotional than men... i wish they would understand that.... and just because we not in the mood for a cuddle doesn't mean we don't love them...

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 May 2007):

What would you consider to be the normal amount of time that bf gf should be spending together. Views from guys and girls appreciated.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (26 May 2007):

So, not letting you see a friend in the hospital sounds extreme.

If you havent explained this to her before, tell her that you would love to be spending time with her, but feel that you need to do this. If she doesn't get it, maybe give her a freebie this time. If it becomes a continous thing where you feel trapped, then the relationship is unhealthy.

Also, dont act like it is impossible to take her along with you. Often girls seem to get mad because they feel excluded.

That doesnt mean take your girlfriend to monday night football, but you know what I mean. If she isnt the type of girl that can go to do the things that you love to do with you, then maybe you two aren't compatable.

The biggest tip i can give you is not to be an asshole. Sounds dumb, but the way you handle yourself and the way you say things is more than half the battle when it comes to preventing stupid fights like the one you just laid out for us.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 March 2007):

I feel ya brother... I am in the same boat. I have talked to my GF about this subject on several occasions, but things are not getting much better. If I even get ONE night a week to myself I am doing good. Anytime I ask to stay apart, I end up feeling guilty because I know that she doesn't like to. GIRLS - do yourself a favor and, if you are stuck up your boyfriends ass, remove yourself from said location and get some hobbies or friends.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 March 2007):

I actually am the 'needy' type girlfriend who got snapped back into reality this morning after i was calling my boyfriend 10 times and each of his friends phones ten times just because he didn't call me last night and said he would, (mind you i already spoke to him twice yesterday). We have a terrific and loving relationship and see one another at least three times a week and still i sometimes get a bit possessive and crazy like most women do. Therefore, my boyfriend was straight up with me and said i was too much and needed to stop it as it was getting too much for him, and yes i agree with him as i would be freaked out a little if he was calling all my friends phones 100 times aswell as mine to get through to me. Talk straight to your partner and if she listens and understands..perfect! She will stop being too much and you may find your the one wanting that extra time more often spent with her.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 April 2006):

ps....in addition to what i said below...

I agree with taking steps to include her, I know that I really appreciated being included in hospital visits to mates and stuff and it made me get to know his friends (stop being a threat) and made me able to be a leaning stone in hard times.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 April 2006):

I say give her more chances, it may seem like she is jus being an unreasonable bitch but sometimes women can become very dependent. I suffer from anxiety, depression and insecurity and I have been insanely jealous and moody on countless occasions when it was completely unjustified- I recommend talking to her now because it took my boyfriend eighteen months to confront me and it has made it so much harder to deal with.

Just take baby steps and remember to reassure her.

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A female reader, willywombat United Kingdom +, writes (13 February 2006):

willywombat agony auntI think she sounds more selfish than needy - what sort of girl would get a gob on because her BF went to visit an injured friend in hospital? Is anyone else missing the point here, it's not even like he went out with his mates!!

I am a throughly independant person, but I also like being married. Luclily for me my hubby is the same way. We love being together but we both have our own interests and friends as well. If we didnt what would we have to talk about and share. I cannot understand why you GF was so upset about you spending time with a sick friend.

Talk to her and tell her that you are getting a bit fed up with he rbehaviour. If you dont tell her you will end up dumping her in the end anyway because she will get too possesive and eventually you will kick back!

Share with her what you have shared with us on here and hopefully she will learn to live with not having you by her side 24/7.

I wish you luck and hope your friend gets better.xxx

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 February 2006):

Well I will admit I want to spend time with my guy too. Not just time but a lot of time. I feel that way because I am too insecure with myself to trust that when he's not with me, it's not because he doesn't want to be, it's because he needs to do things or be with his friends. Perhaps that's her reason too. It's hard for me to remember that sometimes, but I do my best. Don't dump her, just tell her the truth, that you can't be together all the time, you both have things to do. Constantly remind her that she's who you want to be with, and that the other girls can't compare. Both of you have responsibilities, and you can't always be together. If you're honest and talk to her, and ask her why, I'm sure that things will get better. They won't change over night, but they will start to get better.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 January 2006):

Well... As a needy person posting I have always been that way. Its something that has been with me and something you cant change over night. I feel sometimes maybe I am being too needy and feel bad about it. I want to Slow it down some... as well and I have but when I am with a guy they are never honest up front about what they look for in a girl.. and if they are affectionate as well...I mean I understand if you had to be someplace at the hospital thats what you have to do... if she was telling you Noo dont go.. thats wrong. to mee I feel a few times a week seeing your mate isnt alot... I mean everyday isnt alot but I mean to give my guy time with his pals or family thats cool with me. As long as he calles me and talks to me its all good.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 January 2006):

I am a lesbian who finds herself in the same situation as this poor man. My gf is lovely but she is needy and not even as needy as the gf he mentions because she is happy enough to let me be best friends with all my ex-gfs and lovers and so I can go off as I like (most of the time). If she was as needy as his gf, I would have already dumped her.

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A reader, schlottjl United States +, writes (29 August 2005):

schlottjl agony auntNeedy is in the eye of the beholder but I agree with those who have posted before me. If you never talk to her about it, you will never know the potential.

Perhaps she wanted to be included in your visit. Do you always separate your life between her and everyone else? If so, she has a good reason to be upset. She may think you are up to no good and I would have wondered for her in that case.

Certain behaviors tend to trigger certain reactions. If you unintentionally do these things, she is not wrong to be a bit nervous. So jik, talk to her and keep an open mind to what you may be doing that sets her off. Let labels be for the shrinks since sometimes they give us excuses to behave poorly.

After a year of dating, if you do not hang out with friends and her at the same time (sometimes- not always,) think about why that is. Is it her or them or are you afraid it is her or them? I'm not saying every time you see your friends but it is strange to keep them so seperate (if you do) at the one year point.

You are now hitting a point in the relationship where it gets a lot tougher to maintain the status quo. Consider that you or she has many fears that start showing up now. Fears often present themselves as an uneasy smoothering feeling. That is normal.

Don't fear direct communication it is the only way to stop things you do not like. And expect that things that feel wrong might just be a misunderstanding.

So- If she is too clingy, tell her you are feeling overwhelmed by her and need to be able to breath without feeling guilty. Give her a chance to change or to say how she is feeling. If she is afraid of being abandoned, ask her what you could do to help her feel more loved. Reassure her and tell her you love her. Women need to know that more often than you might think. ( Consider that all women do have certain needs that you are not used to dealing with and shake your head and roll your eyes when she can't catch you or in a humerous, she-is-not-defective- way and women-what-can-you-do! kind of way. :))

If she IS too needy. You will know after your talk with her and after giving her a chance. Then you are not a jerk who never gave her a chance. Only she knows what she is thinking for sure.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 August 2005):

Give this a chance and talk to her, first. If you are being straight up about doing nothing to make her feel insecure in this relationship, I would suggest you sit her down and make her very aware of what she's doing to the relationship, This is the type of behaviour that clearly displays her insecurities and that is unhealthy.

The sad and ironic thing about possessiveness is that while it may kill the relationship, it may also show just how intensely she loves you and how much she values and needs this very relationship she is helping to destroy. She needs to remember is that it does not mean necessarily that you are rejecting her.

Sometimes, people find a bit of possessiveness to be kinda okay at first. It makes one feel like that person really wants you. But early signs of possessiveness are big red flags; they're clear indicators of what will worsen over time. But if it's oppressive, it’s a force of destruction. It's a clear sign of insecurity and THAT is not sexy, anymore.

Talk to her first and allow her to make constructive, healthy changes to her possessive behaviour before you call it quits. At least give her a chance for now. If she continues to stifle you..then you may ahve to ease out of this relationship. Good luck

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 August 2005):

I think I can help you here as I believe that Im very much like your girlfiend but sometimes its not intentionally done!!A girl starts to live her life around you to a certain extent, she wants to do things together because thats when she feels most comfortable.She loves you and wants to be part of your life,in that situation maybe you could have asked her if she would have liked to have come with you to the hospital?it sometimes goes a long way just to let her know that you wouldnt mind her being there with you?I know how you are both feeling as im losing my boyfriend to it now but we have a very different situation as he lives away and I only see him on the weekend. I would say sit down and talk it through with her find a middle ground and tell her that she is more than welcome to join you in most things you do, you will find that she will turn this down but the thought and the idea is there.always talk thats what I can say,my fiance didnt and now its me up at stupid oclock in the morning waiting for him to come home tomorrow so I can try and save our relationship,it hurts so just talk. hope this helps

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A female reader, Anastasia Trinidad and Tobago +, writes (29 August 2005):

Anastasia agony auntWait...don't discard her just yet! Hold on there partner! Talk to her and refer to her previous relationship, tell her you are not like that and yes you love her and care for you but like all humans you need your space to do stuff that you need to. Not spending time with her does not mean that you don't want to be with her. I don't think it is possession , I just think it is what she is accustomed to from her last relationship. Don't break up just yet. Give her a chance to see what you are saying and give her a real chance. Good Luck

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