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Relationship Health Message Board

Relationship Health Board Index

Hey all, hope everyone is well :cool:.

Basically, I've been dating a girl for nearly a month now who I like a lot. It's exciting to be with someone again that I feel could go somewhere in the future, as opposed to my more recent "one date and done" scenarios.

My problem is more a personality quirk than anything else I guess you could say, and it is basically that I can be pretty passive aggressive at times. The deeper issue is that I feel (especially in the very new stages of a relationship) like I should avoid fights, issues and conflicts to keep things going smoothly. I was raised with an extremely aggressive and confrontational father, and a very "eager to please" mom who would basically tell us to agree with dad and make him happy. I turned out getting many of my mom's personality traits. I'm an extremely easygoing person, I hate confrontation and all the things that go along with it. This leads to me keeping many of my gripes and annoyances to myself, things that probably would be better off if I just brought them up and dealth with them immediately.

An example is yesterday, we went to a movie. One of my major pet peeves is when I'm out with a girl and she is constantly fiddling with and checking her phone (texting, answering calls, etc.), especially during conversations or movies because it is distracting. About twenty minutes into the movie she had probably already checked her phone and text messaged nearly 5 or 6 times, and it was bugging me. I finally told her that she was driving me crazy with the texts in a kind of half-joking half-serious way, and she was immediately apologetic and said that sometimes she doesn't even realize how annoying it can be because she doesn't even think about it. She was almost embarrassed and asking me if I was mad, and I said not at all, its just a little annoying.

The thing is, I felt good that I told her it bugged me but I also felt really bad immediately afterwards! I kept thinking oh man, what if she thinks I was being an a**hole or that maybe I should tell her she can use her phone if she wants. I have such a need to avoid confrontation and please people that even a necessary but stupid, small thing like this drives me crazy when I have to tell somebody.

What can I do to get better at this? Passive aggressive behavior (from both people) was probably the hugest factor in ruining my last relationship. It led to really good times where everything seemed fine, and then really bad times when we would both unleash everything we had been bottling up for so long during fights and arguments. I'm trying so hard to avoid the same patterns with this new girl, but it's still hard. It's not that she has tons of annoying habits or anything, I just really want to try hard to make things work and I know that being passive isn't going to help matters.

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