Help With Girlfriend Problem

Okay, so I have been dating this girl for about five years now. We have a pretty good relationship, I would say, and I love her a lot.

We have hit rough patches and have been under a lot of stress lately. I just bought a house, I’m under employed and I can’t help out as much as I want to getting the house set up and cleaning and cooking because I work 40+ hours a week to pay bills. She winds up doing all of the cooking, cleaning, housework as well as trying to go to school full time to get a degree and she’s trying to start up her own small company. We are both in our mid 20’s.

She is my first long-term girlfriend and I have only really had one other girlfriend before her so I’m not as much of an experienced boyfriend as I want to be.
She always mentions I don’t act “boyfriend like” and I always promise to try harder. In reality, I just don’t know what to do. She mentions flowers, cards, surprises, etc but I am very bad at finding the right thing to do and I just wind up getting depressed. When I get home from work, she’s usually sleeping and if she stays up for me to get home, I usually can’t go to sleep with her anyway because I’m wide awake (work late night shifts).

I sometimes get her a gift for her birthday, we usually go out somewhere expensive for Christmas, and I took her to dinner on our Anniversary. I don’t do the card thing much because I don’t know what to write in the card. I have trouble getting her gifts because in order for me to get something, I have to see something that pops out and reminds me of her.

Sex has slowed down A LOT due to the stress she is under (she says she’s not in the mood a lot and always tired) and I also think due to the fact that I have trouble acting “lovey” and come off as just wanting sex/sexual favors. I don’t know how to do romantic things and I think it’s hindering our relationship. I don’t have much money to work with either, which also is not helping at all.
Also, she has trouble relaxing and just swimming in the pool or watching movies because there is always so much to do. On my days off, she seems like she’s always running around like a chicken without a head trying to get things done.
Can anyone give me some pointers on what they do for their girlfriend to act romantic or “boyfriend like”? I want to try a little harder and surprise her every now and then! I feel that our relationship has kind of hit a dry spell and I want to be the one to try and turn things around.

**Lots of advice would be great! I’m desperate!

When she says she wants flowers and cards and stuff, it means one of two things:

  1. She wants that stuff all the time. If this is the case, you probably won’t be able to make her happy (not that anyone else will) and should move on, or accept that she’ll bitch a lot.

  2. She wants to be surprised once in a while. This is how most women work; buy her flowers “because it’s Tuesday” and she won’t expect you to buy her flowers every Tuesday. She’ll remember that she bought you flowers this Tuesday pretty much for ever. It’s concrete evidence that you’re thinking about her even when you’re not together.

Romance can be free.

Make it clear that you want to make her life easier because you love her. This usually includes doing something you don’t want to do, like cleaning things when you are dead tired, or going to the store for milk when you would much rather watch TV.

Rent her favorite comfort movie, pop some corn, and snuggle on the couch.

Touch her without asking for more. A footrub, backrub, snuggling without a subtext of “I’m only doing this because I want you to have sex with me, can we get on with it please.” Magically, if you give loving touch without asking for more, just because you love her, you often get more.

Ask her to go for a walk in the evening, just around the neighborhood or to the park. Hold hands and talk. (Way more girls like walks than guys. Not universal, but often.)

Can’t afford flowers and she wants them? Pick some from the yard, or ask a friend if you can pick some out of his yard. Or get some at the farmer’s market–cheap! The point of flowers is really to do something nice, unusual, surprising, and without any point except to convey the message “I love you.” Something else will do just as well–a slice of cheesecake after a long day, a silly Lego sculpture, whatever you’ve got.

There is a book out there called “The 5 love languages.” It has a somewhat Christian bent, but the basic advice is universal. Find out what makes her feel loved, and do that. The usual categories are time, gifts, service, loving touch, and words. If she wants to hear you say things, and that’s what makes her feel loved, then backrubs will be nice but not what really does it for her. If she needs words, then man up and give her words.

Gotta go make dinner.

I feel sorry for you, brah.

Does she surprise you with flowers? I didn’t think so. :stuck_out_tongue:

“I’m under employed and I can’t help out as much as I want to getting the house set up and cleaning and cooking because I work 40+ hours a week to pay bills.”

Do more housework is my suggestion. Romance isnt the only way to be boyfriend like.


I am very lucky to be married to a man that is very romantic. But the thing that makes it so special is it isn’t forced. It is how he is. Your post says you don’t know how to do the things she needs to feel your affection and therein lies the problem. I can tell you that my husband is glad to see me when I get as he greets me with a hung and kiss. Can’t walk by me without touching me or grabbing my butt, leave my favorite type of candy bar on the counter every once in a while and sends me cards at work out of the blue. Sometimes flowers, sometimes a random text saying he misses me when I saw him two hours before. But that obviously isn’t you. If it is forced you’ll stop so it won’t make a bit of difference in the long run.

I know this isn’t very helpful but it is how I feel. Some men are romantic and affectionate and some aren’t. Some women require men who are affectionate and some don’t. BTW, we’ve been married 12 years and it is exactly the same as it has always been since the day we met if not better.

You don’t need to buy cards with pre-written sentiments. We girls like to know that our guys are thinking about us and that can be done without expense; a simple post-it note stuck somewhere that she will find on her own, later stating simply, “You are important to me and I appreciate/love you.”

Does she have a favorite food or ice cream? Get it and put a ribbon on it to make it special.

Don’t worry about the expensive meals - try a cheap picnic instead; get some deli sandwiches and a bottle of wine and go to a park.

Hold her hand.

What things DO you like about her? The way her hair smells? The way you two fit together when you cuddle? The way she fidgets? Anything innocuous like that? Tell her.

I don’t know. I think that would more be about her feeling taken advantage of than not loved. Picking up someone’s boxers is a lot easier if he cuddled with you all night after bringing you your fav starbucks frappachino out of the blue.

Aside from flowers, card and surprises, how has she defined “boyfriend-like”?

You say that you are very bad at finding the right thing to do when it comes to flowers, cards etc. I believe you may think it’s more involved than it really is. You don’t have to get the perfect bouquet, just some pretty flowers. You don’t have to be Cyrano when you write something in a card. Saying you love her, think of her and are happy to be with her is enough.

Think of it this way, she doesn’t have to live up to porn standards to satisfy you does she? You don’t have to live up to Harlequin romances standards to satisfy her.

“I don’t know. I think that would more be about her feeling taken advantage of than not loved.”

One can lead to the other.


Strange to stumble upon this OP.

There are other factors, but my girlfriend of 10 years just dumped me for many of the same things you have been saying up there. I realized I was not a very affectinate person, and I tried to be a better man. It wasn’t enough. She always focused on the negative. She always found the thing I didn’t do, and didn’t see the thing I did do. She says she needs more. She’s given me a chance to be that person, and to change, but it wasn’t enough. I tried, but could only do so much naturally. She’s leaving me.

You sound a bit like me in some ways. I find it not in my nature to do those things naturally, either, and I’ve been spending so much time trying to figure out why.

So there are 2 options here, I think:

  1. Perhaps you actually don’t care about her enough, and if you were with someone who you were truly madly deeply in love with, you would show it naturally, and she would feel it, and it wouldn’t be an issue (notchimine’s situation)

  2. No matter how madly deeply in love with her you truly are, your base person and personality is not what she is looking for. She either accepts that, or finds someone who better fits what she needs out of a relationship.

I know that the end result of both of those options are that you 2 won’t stay together, and are not compatible. That is sad and horrible. But maybe there is someone out there for each of you that fits better. Maybe you’ll find that person that makes you do those things naturally. Maybe you’ll find someone that loves you for who you are and doesn’t need those things to feel loved and be happy.

I probably shouldn’t be commenting on this OP, given that I writing this from the spare bedroom of my house, that I have moved into while she figures out how/where/when to move out. But, we’ve been going through this for months, and we’ve discussed many of those things above over and over, and here I am today, so I have some insight.

(disclaimer - situations are not exact. I do 50% or more of the cleaning/cooking/around the house stuff, and we both work 60 hour weeks. That has never been an issue. Ours was mostly the emotional factors you talked about, plus a couple of other different things)

You don’t have to get fancy bouquets from florists. A few cut flowers from the grocery store will do.

Rub her feet or back after a long day, without expecting anything else in return.

The suggestions others have made are good too.

Man, I just want to apologize for my downer post again. I guess I didn’t really give you an answer to the question you asked, and I kind of highjacked your thread with my own story.

I’m very sorry about that. Feel free to call me an asshole and ignore my post.

Here’s a big one. Look around for things that need to get done, and do them. *Without having to be asked to do them. *Women, mostly, go through life with a long to-do list in their heads, that is there all the time. They look around the place and see 40 things that need to be done. When you take things off that list without having to be asked, it’s really nice. When she has to ask, it feels kind of like being the mom instead of being the partner, and it feels like being forced into the mom position. Guess which role is more romantic?

The way my husband puts it is, look for things that are annoyances to her and take them away.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Did you act all boyfriend like when you first started dating? Candy flowers cards and such?
If she was happy with you then what is different now? Have you changed? Or has what she wants from you changed?

40+ hours. Seriously? Poor baby! An actual adult schedule. I’m sure you couldn’t possibly take care of your other responsibilities with a schedule like that!

Throughout most of my 20’s and 30’s I averaged 70 hours a week, and I still managed to make dinner, do a great deal of volunteer work, and get the laundry done. No, I didn’t scrub the toilet every week, but it never turned black either.

So “I” bought a house, but “She winds up doing all of the cooking, cleaning, housework as well as trying to go to school full time to get a degree and she’s trying to start up her own small company.” and “Also, she has trouble relaxing and just swimming in the pool or watching movies because there is always so much to do. On my days off, she seems like she’s always running around like a chicken without a head trying to get things done.”

Your problem is that you are a lazy sunofagun who doesn’t want to lift a finger or ever make an effort for anyone else. Get off your lazy @$$ and do your half of the work. More than half, since anything to do with the house is obviously your responsibility.

I work 40+ hours a week too. I still have time to clean the house, cut the grass, take care of my son, cook dinner and I’m twice your age.
Your GF has already told you she feels overwhelmed and has alot to do. Maybe she is growing resentful of you because she feels you are not doing your part and taking advantage of her. That’s one way for a woman to lose that lovin’ feeling.
Forget all the flowers and romantic stuff. Tell her your don’t want her feeling so overwhelmed anymore and want to do things 50/50 around the house. If you’re not sure what should be done, ask her to make a list of things to do and help her tackle everything on the list.
What do you do when you are off work? Lay around the house while she runs from room to room feeling exasperated with the mountain of chores ahead of her? Do your part of the work which will free up her time and she’ll feel like you truly do love her.

My husband and I both work 40+ hours a week. I still cook dinner every night and clean the house & do laundry every week. He still mows both lawns (we’re trying to sell a house) and maintains the vegetable garden… he even cleans up the kitchen half the time.

Welcome to real life.

Amen. Depending on what she’s going to school for, she could easily be putting in 40+ hours. Lack of house-help is so not romantic, it’s not even funny.

OK, so you’re working 40+ hours a week…just how many hours do you think that SHE’S working? I’ll give you a hint, it’s way more hours than you.

You need to be doing a couple of hours of housework, EVERY DAY, including the days that you work. For a start, do all of the dishes and all of your laundry, and all of her laundry that she’ll let you do. Every day. Not just on weekends. Also, if you get home earlier than she does, you can ask if there are things you can do to start dinner. You could put potatoes into an oven, for instance (making sure to turn the oven on). Or fix a salad.

If you will just pull your own weight with the housework, that will relieve her stress, give her more energy, and make her feel loved and valued.