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Dear Todd Parker (05-25-2016)

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Dear Todd Parker,

My girlfriend and I have been dating for a year and a half. We've been through almost everything I can imagine and when it's good there's nothing else I would rather do then be with her. On the other hand, when it's bad I don't know what to do with myself; it brings me down, I don't feel like doing anything and I break down.

About two months ago we stopped being intimate, and recently she said she needs more time to herself, so I've been trying to give her that time. The past few weeks, she was really busy with her finals. After that, she said she wants more time with her friends, which is fine but I don't get any time with her anymore. I do everything I can possibly do to make her happy, I feel like all I do is give and I get nothing in return.

What should I do?

Out of ideas in Orono

Dear Ideas,

What is it with you dudes out there? Seriously.

Look man. You guys have been together a year and a half; there are going to be issues. I don't care if you're talking about Mother Teresa and Gandhi - spend that much time with another human being and you will inevitably irritate each other. Accept the fact that it isn't always perfect and you'll feel better.

Ever stop to think that maybe this isn't about you at all, Skippy? That maybe your girl really has been incredibly stressed out by school and work and, well, you? She probably just needs some time away from 'the relationship.' That's normal, and probably good for you, if you can just get past your codependent panic long enough to see it.

If it is true that 'all you do is give,' then you might have a problem. Thing is, Todd Parker's not buying it. My guess is that whenever she wants to have a drink with a friend or spend time alone at home, maybe you get a little clingy and/or passive aggressive about the whole situation. Which, in case you were wondering, is not particularly sexy. Perhaps that explains the disappearance of intimacy. Just a hunch.

All right, dude. Here's what I'm going to tell you. Give her some damned space already! She's done everything but send up smoke signals to tell you she isn't super happy right now and needs just the littlest bit of separation. If anything, it seems like she's trying to figure out a way to not break up with you.

And always remember don't do or say anything out of desperation. A desperate maneuver is almost always a d-bag maneuver.

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