Handling Plan Changes

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Visitor's Question:
My girlfriend and I have been together for 10 months now, and we have begun to fight very often. About a month ago she almost broke up with me because of how often it has become. After talking a lot we found the our key issues were that she was selfish, not wanting to sacrifice anything of hers for me, and I have become very upset trying always to go above and beyond for her and not getting anywhere close in return.

Several times she has gone to hang out with her friends or visited family for days at a time when we already have plans. Yet, when my friends ask me to do things when I'm simply going over to her house, I deny on grounds that it is time I have set aside for her. This weekend I had a secret romantic date planned and she is now going to visit her friend ALL weekend.

Am I wrong that I get upset when she chooses she would be happier doing something else than being with me? I try my best to sacrifice my happiness for her, yet I have begun to feel like she doesn't feel the same and only wants to please herself? We keep arguing about it and I want to fix this before our relationship is destroyed.

Our Suggestion:
Relationships are always about compromise - but I'm concerned that you feel it is a "sacrifice" to spend time with her rather than with your friends. Why would it be a harmful thing to you to be with your girlfriend? Shouldn't that be a great thing that you want to do? If you honestly would *rather* do something with your friends, then I would ask her if it is all right and then go do it if she doesn't mind. It doesn't make any sense to cause yourself pain because you think she'll appreciate the pain. Hopefully if she loves you what she wants is for you to be happy. She wouldn't want you to "suffer and be with her".

Now, that being said, it is also true that partners should be able to be depended on. If I got out of work at 5pm and my boyfriend said he would pick me up, I'd be really annoyed if he went out with friends instead. I want to know I can depend on him. The same is true in any relationship. So if she agrees to go off for a weekend with you - and then calls you up 5 minutes before departure time to tell you she's changed her mind - then that is not dependable.

So part of this depends on the nature of the event. If it is just a "if you're free tonight, I'll come over and we'll hang out" then that is a casual thing open to flexibility. However if it's a larger time block being reserved, along the lines of "I've set up reservations at a ski lodge for the weekend, bought the supplies, and paid for everything" and she bails 2 minutes before you're heading out, then that is showing a lack of respect.

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