Please Help Me Not Kill My Boyfriend (Because He's Better Than Me)

Dear Miriam,

My boyfriend is so good at getting over fights. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I really feel like an ass when I say something mean, and he refuses to say anything mean back. Or when he tries to make me laugh after a heated argument, and I’m still fuming. How do I learn to calm down and agree to disagree, before he starts looking like a saint dealing with my temper tantrums?

Most Argumentative,
Ellyn

Dear Ellyn,

My boyfriend is so much better at real life than I am. He deals with all the insurance companies, he knows when to get oil changed in a car, he understands the nuanced differences between various household electronics. As I type, he is literally making copies of his passport, writing down all his credit card numbers (along with the international call lines), and printing out his packing list for our trip. Umm, how do I compete with that?

Not enjoying that my boyfriend is better at anything than I am,
Miriam

Dear Miriam,

I did a little Facebook stalking, and Bryan is in fact 6 to 7 years older than you, which means he actually does have more real life experience. Give yourself some credit, there are still things we just don’t know how to do yet as 25-year-olds. I know how to check my oil, but not change it. Because I always had an uncle to do it for me. And now I don’t have a car. Dealing with insurance is stupid, so if I have someone to take care of that stuff for me, great!

For Bryan, it’s half “been there, done that,” half the way he thinks. It has to be a balance in any relationship. You’re better at eating steak (and other things!), he’s better at planning ahead for a trip abroad, which is okay. You’re there to help and complement each other. Shaun knows all about mortgages and negotiating, but I’m the one that reminds him to make doctor appointments and pay bills on time. Of course, we should be independent and know how to do all of these things on our own. But the thing about real life is that you learn as you go. Don’t worry about growing up until you really have to (like when you have a kid or something… you know in the distant future.) Also, it’s not a competition with him! Just relax, and let him take care of you sometimes.

Real life is overrated,
Ellyn

Dear Ellyn,

Women do not have temper tantrums. Men mess up.

That said, it sounds like what you need is a little space post-fight. Now I’d recommend you get a time-out room, like we have, but you live in New York, or at least the Trump Tower in Jersey City, and unless you win the lottery like tomorrow, that’s not happening. So whenever you do have a heated argument and/or full-fledged fight, go do something for yourself afterwards. It could be taking a walk, putting your iPod in at full blast, hanging out in one of those chill lounges you’ve got in the Las Jersey, whatever works. And before you say “but then I’ll feel like I’m always the one who has to leave,” talk to Shaun. Explain that even when a fight is resolved, you still fume, which is just the way you are, which means that you need some space and peace and quiet after. Ask him not to try and make you laugh – instead, if he wants to help, ask him to get out of the apartment for a little while so that you can calm down.

And don’t worry about being meaner than he is – the important thing is to say what’s bothering you before it blows out of proportion, even if you occasionally wind up looking more like a sinner than a saint. Which by the way, nobody is anyway.

Voila, you are relaxed,
Miriam

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2 Responses to Please Help Me Not Kill My Boyfriend (Because He's Better Than Me)

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Our Boyfriends Are More Mature Than Us | JFKLAX -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: Please Help Me Not Kill My Boyfriend, He's So Well-Behaved! | JFKLAX

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