I Don't Feel Like I'm Worth Anything Anymore. Please Help

Dear Dategirl,

I've just passed the two-year mark with my man. From afar, we're looking good, but sometimes I wonder....

He's in some debt, so I realize that I'm not going to get a call telling me to meet him for a swanky dinner, or get back to my apartment to find gifts waiting for me. And that's OK. But, recently, I've been wondering, why do I put in all the effort? He doesn't even attempt to be romantic on the cheap. So, I try to ignore it and remember how much I love him.

I would be remiss not to mention the fact that I am rather codependent. I don't need things or dinners, but I do need attention paid to me. Little notes left around, spending lots of time together, etc. And I think that's fair. But my boyfriend seems to be pulling away from that behavior now, and I feel totally abandoned, even though we live in the same apartment.

Am I the freak? How do I not resent him for everything he doesn't do? I love him. I don't want anyone else. I just want him to take care of me and make me feel wanted and needed.

What should I do? I don't feel like I'm worth anything anymore. Please help.

The No-Frills Girlfriend

What we have here is a man who takes his girlfriend for granted, paired with you, a lady who derives all her self-worth from her man. Similar to the jealous partner paired with a flirt, this is not a winning combination by any stretch. However, if both of you can manage to yank your heads out of your puckered poopholes long enough to see the error of your ways, your relationship can be salvaged.

You, my dear, need to learn a couple of important things—starting with your communication skills. If you want your boyfriend to do something, you have bite the bullet, do the unthinkable, and tell him. I realize talking isn't as romantic as a tattoo of your name across his forehead, but most men need instruction sometimes.

Now when I say talk to him, I do not mean passive-aggressive mentions of all the myriad smarmy gestures your best friend's boyfriend performs for her. Nor do I mean reminding him how much more you contribute financially or emotionally to the relationship. You need to sit down and announce, in a nonthreatening manner, that you love him but you need to see a little more effort on his part. Then take a minute and explain what you mean by that.

If you want him to cook dinner more often, say that. Need more sex, ditto. Maybe you just need a pat on the head and a simple "nice ass" once in a while. Whatever it is—spit it out already.

Just don't get all ridiculous and demand idiotic crap you read about in some dopey woman's magazine. Most guys aren't going to join your book club or slip a little love note in with the bag lunch they got up early to make. Be realistic.

After you're done with all that, take a look in the mirror. While I can sympathize with your situation to a point, I wonder why you would want someone else to "take care" of you. Blech. Wouldn't you feel better taking care of your own damned self? If there's one thing I learned from being a dating fool, men will come and men will go, and in the end, the only person you can ever count on 100 percent is yourself. So it's best if you like yourself, whether or not there's some dude farting in bed next to you.

Dear Date-a-Girl [sic],

I'm writing to you inquiring about your services and was wondering if you'd please send me an information packet.


Oh, happy day! Prisoner mail has returned!!! I used to get letters from the incarcerated, if not weekly, at least monthly. Then, suddenly, one day it just stopped. I wasn't sure whether the paper wasn't being distributed on the inside anymore or what. But now they're back and better than ever!

Michael, send over $500 in unmarked 20s and I'll see what I can do about that "information packet." Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Dating dilemmas? Write Dategirl at dategirl@seattleweekly.com or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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