She Keeps her Friends Separate from Me

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Visitor's Question:
My girlfriend and I have been dating since October, so about 6 months now. We work together, that's actually where I met her. We have a pretty good relationship but lately we've been fighting. She always seems to act as if I am smothering her. We'll hang out everyday for a week, then she'll want to hang out with her friends everyday for a week. I don't stipulate that we have to hang out so much, but when I get kinda pissed because I haven't done anything with her in so long she'll be like,"We hung out everyday last week!"

What I don't understand is why the hell can't we just be together every other day, or just hang out together with our friends. She makes it seem like she can't hang out with her friends and have fun if I'm in the picture. I don't understand this.

Granted, everyone needs time away from their significant other, but she seems to block me out of her life when she's with her friends. If I call her to say hi or she what she's doing she acts like I am checking up on her to make sure she's not doing anything wrong. So I guess either I am really making her feel like this, or she's doing something wrong and it shows up in her behavior by being defensive. What should I do?

Our Suggestion:
All humans need to feel independent. We all have different ways of handling this. If you guys work together, then she doesn't get any time alone when she's at work. That's when most people can "be on their own" away from their partner. So when you guys are together for a week solid - both and off work - it builds up and she wants time on her own. So she has that time with her friends.

Arguing with her isn't going to help, and in general fighting is a sure way to destroy any relationship. The best relationships involve people who can talk about issues and find compromises, not have to fight them out. So instead of arguing about this, work quietly and proactively to relax her fears. Don't bug her when she needs to go out with her friends. Heck I like to go out with female friends sometimes without my boyfriend, it's part of being a person and not a leech :) He knows where I am, but he doesn't call every 10 minutes to check up on me.

So give it 2 weeks of her coming and going as she pleases, so that she doesn't feel like she's being parented. Once you establish that, then start a new pattern. Spend a day or two with her. Then suggest that she see her friends for drinks or whatever, because you'll be busy. Then the next day, you go out with YOUR friends and let her know where you'll be. Call her from there just to say hi and to let her know when you'll be home. If you set up that pattern, and have it be a natural pattern in your life, then she won't see it as you forcing her to do this or that. You are simply spending time with her, and with your own friends, in a casual relaxed way.

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