Boring girlfriend problem
January 9, 2007 8:36 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend is not fun. What do I do about this?

I've been with this girl for about a year. She is actually everything I looked for in a girl - gentle, lovely, from a rich family, jewish, intelligent, has a lovely accent, excellently dressed, neat, and rubs my back right.

But she is not fun to be with! She is intelligent, and gets very good grades at school. But she does not say intelligent things! She only thinks about boring things, and has no interest in any half way intellectual discussion. Her favorite activity is just staying at home and lying in bed. I feel like we never really say or do anything worthwhile.

Also, we never do anything really fun together, because of her lethargy. I like doing things like running, climbing, going through bars, visiting wierd stuff, but with her, her lethargy just infects me and all I want to do is chill and watch TV.

And she is the type of person that wants me to always do things with her, she expects a boyfriend and girlfriend to always spend time together. Basically, she wants to be my best friend, but is not able to intellectually interest me like my usual friends do!

It's a confusing situation, what could I do?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (46 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
"She is actually everything I looked for in a girl..."

Apparently not. You just didn't think to include 'has a personality' when making your list.

That said, that sort of pervasive lethargy does hint at a mild depression.
posted by kmennie at 8:42 AM on January 9, 2007

She is actually everything I looked for in a girl

No she's not.

It's really that simple.
posted by Leon at 8:43 AM on January 9, 2007

Get a new girlfriend. This statement:

She is actually everything I looked for in a girl

Is proven false by the rest of your post.
posted by mkultra at 8:43 AM on January 9, 2007

Well, it doesn't sound like she really is everything you looked for in a girl.

Have you talked to her about this? Have you tried to see what she's interested in? She's clearly interested in something, since she wants you to "always do things with her," but what? Is she physically unable to do the active things you want, or does she just not like to do those things? (Jessamyn has been known to post follow-up responses from anonymous posters, if you're inclined to answer these questions.)
posted by danb at 8:44 AM on January 9, 2007

You can ask a bunch of strangers to validate your decision to break up with her. (Just so we're clear: break up with her.)
posted by sonofslim at 8:44 AM on January 9, 2007 [5 favorites]

Probably time to dump her.
posted by dead_ at 8:48 AM on January 9, 2007

Break up with her, and consider re-thinking and prioritizing your list of "everything you look for in a girl." Maybe you really do care more about the loveliness of her accent and the wealth of her family than you do about her personality, but it doesn't seem that way from your question.
posted by amro at 8:51 AM on January 9, 2007

How old are you? Your description of what you want in a woman sounds kind of immature. In particular, you want someone to go out and be fun with you, and that's the source of your problems with your current girlfriend, but that's not even on your list.

It's a tough lesson to learn that the superficial aspects of a person which may not define how it will feel to be around that person (how she dresses, how much money her family has, etc.) are less important than how you feel being around the person and whether you enjoy spending time with her.

You should be able to find another girlfriend who has all the qualities that are important to you, but it sounds like you need to reexamine your own priorities a little. Or, if she's really want you want on certain levels that are important to you, stay with her. There are all kinds of relationships founded on qualities more superficial than hers. Just be honest with yourself about what you really want.
posted by jcwagner at 8:53 AM on January 9, 2007

Marry her. You're never going to do any better.
posted by box at 8:53 AM on January 9, 2007 [18 favorites]

If her behavior has changed since you've known her, it would be definitely worth suggesting a depression screening.

By the way, lots of people thrive - academically, creatively, and professionally - with a melancholic personality. It's said that existential angst made possible the greatness of Abraham Lincoln.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:57 AM on January 9, 2007

I wonder if your girlfriend is composing an anonymous askme post right now in which she posits the same thing, but about you.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 9:00 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

She was everything you looked for. You found her. She's not what you want.

Welcome to dating, where you meet people, spend time with them, learn about them and at every step of the way determine if the ways in which they are fucking annoying (and we all are) outweigh the ways in which they make your life better.

Actually, scratch dating and replace "interacting with people."

She's not who you want. Move on so she can find someone who does want her and you can go looking for who you think you want now. You'll be wrong in that list too, but at least you've gotten the chance to improve it since last time.
posted by phearlez at 9:02 AM on January 9, 2007 [4 favorites]

She is actually everything I looked for in a girl - gentle, lovely, from a rich family, jewish, intelligent, has a lovely accent, excellently dressed, neat, and rubs my back right

That's what you looked for in a girl? Rich family? Lovely accent? Look, if you're searching for your girlfriend in shallow waters you really don't have much room to complain that she's got no depth, do you?

Also: Her favorite activity is just staying at home and lying in bed does hint strongly toward depression.
posted by stefanie at 9:04 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

She is actually everything I looked for in a girl - ... lovely, from a rich family, ... has a lovely accent, excellently dressed

Yup, those are important traits. I can't see why you would be unhappy.

she is not fun to be with....she wants to be my best friend, but is not able to intellectually interest me l

Now that sound like a problem. Perhaps it is time to move on. However, what you describe in her behavior sound like symptoms of depression. Are you sure there isn't a fun and interesting person just waiting to be awakened?
posted by caddis at 9:06 AM on January 9, 2007

posted by caddis at 9:07 AM on January 9, 2007

I like doing things like running, climbing, going through bars, visiting wierd stuff

She may be everything you were looking for, but it seems to have turned out that you weren't looking for all the things you need or want.

My advice is that you start looking for someone who fits this new criteria that you have discovered about yourself.

If you don't want to take my advice and you want to stay with her, then I suggest you make actual dates, ahead of time and marked on calendars, to do these activities you enjoy. If you aren't living together, then it'll be easy to make a date to meet at the location (trail head, museum, etc.) and start from there.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 9:07 AM on January 9, 2007

Be strong my friend. Tell her what you have come to realize and explain that you cannot spend your life with her for that reason. She'll say she is going to change (just as all people to when they are facing this...) and you need to be strong enough to say "I know that is not true, and I am not happy."

Then, move on with your life. The first thing I did after a recent break-up was realize that I had gained 20 pounds in two-and-a-half-years with someone. That is really disgusting. I was shocked and now work out every day and am eating loads better. Plus, I'm having more fun.
posted by parmanparman at 9:22 AM on January 9, 2007

You didn't say whether she enjoys coming with you when you do the activities you like. When you go running or climbing does she come along?

Some people have never had a chance to do certain activities previously and just need to be pushed into trying them to start enjoying them. I never enjoyed dancing until a certain point in my life then really started enjoying it only after a few years of attempting to learn. Assuming she is willing to experiment with new things, she may be worth some extra effort.

Luckily, even though both my girlfriend and I have some varied interests and social interactions, we are both willing to experiment, so it isn't difficult for us to adapt to each other. She is much more outgoing than I am but I give a wholehearted effort when I am out with her and get along tremendously with her friends. Try getting your girlfriend to adapt to your lifestyle. If it succeeds then all is good, if not then move on.
posted by JJ86 at 9:28 AM on January 9, 2007

You have to give 'fun' its due. It's important to you. Quit thinking it's some kind of optional feature. She's inactive, she doesn't like to converse, she doesn't have much curiosity. Theses aren't small things if they matter to you. Some other guy will adore her because she won't be trying to drag him out to clubs, on hikes, or anyplace far from a TV. Let her go so she can find that guy.
posted by wryly at 9:55 AM on January 9, 2007

gentle, lovely, from a rich family, jewish, intelligent, has a lovely accent, excellently dressed, neat

Welp, there's yer problem.

You weren't looking for a girlfriend, you were looking for a lifestyle accessory, and, like most lifestyle accessories, it isn't working out.

So break up with her. It's the honorable thing to do. You don't need to explain yourself beyond the fact that you're not happy and you don't believe that will change.

But here's the thing, and I'm not going to beat around the bush here -- you appear to have a really dysfunctional relationship with women. The accent? The rich family? The good grades? The loveliness? These are incredibly bizarre things to be attempting to base a romantic relationship on; it's no wonder it's not working out. I suspect that until you resolve this issue for yourself you will date a series of "boring girls," and wonder why life has foisted these duds off on you.

I suggest you throw the bullshit about wealthy families and accents out the window and start from scratch: you're looking for an athletic extrovert who's a good conversationalist.

Finally, do not blame the breakup on her -- your dissatisfaction is an entirely personal experience, and not related to a failure of objective reality to provide you with an "interesting" girlfriend.
posted by Coda at 10:11 AM on January 9, 2007 [10 favorites]

You are not in love.

If you were in love, then staying home and lying in bed next to her would be the best thing in the world. If you were in love, her "accent" and her family and all of the other attribules you list wouldn't matter.

Now that you have discovered that this is the case, it is time to move on, either to someone you do love, or to another person who can amuse you for a year or so of serial monogamy.

(But could you ask your current girlfriend to post her perspective on this relationship? I'm curious what she'd have to say about you...)
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 10:24 AM on January 9, 2007

Just go out and do the things you want to do. Have fun. If she wants to be with you, she will come with you. If she doesn't want to be with you, then she won't come with you. If she doesn't want to be with you often, then you will know what to do next. This is advice my therapist gave me when I was in the same situation. We eventually broke up, and I found the woman I married, because we liked to actually spend time together, doing things.
posted by Roger Dodger at 10:47 AM on January 9, 2007

There's a few things you could try to do before declaring it a lost cause. To begin with, turn off the TV and get a book or newspaper for yourselves (sharing the paper will fall in line with her thoughts about sharing time, etc). I started reading the news more and my "intellectual" conversation levels increased. Mostly, I wasn't up on current events, so people would try to talk to me about stuff and I couldn't contribute more than a, "Oh, huh, interesting" which made for some not interesting conversation.

Further, drag her butt off the couch. Lethargy is continual unless you break the cycle. Sure, it's fun to stay in bed all day and chill, but if you get her out of the house and doing fun things, she might be less likely to stay in bed in the future. Surely she has interests outside of the couch and TV, what are they? You should be doing stuff that interests her and stuff that interests you, even alternating if you have to.

Was she fun at one point? If so, maybe she's a tad depressed? It doesn't seem like she was "not fun" the whole time but you were just with her for a whole year because of all the other things you mentioned. If that is the case, then yeah, break up.
posted by ml98tu at 10:55 AM on January 9, 2007

She is actually everything I looked for in a girl...

Well, when you go looking for a Stepford Wife, you can't really complain about this, can you?

You achieved your goal of scoring a trophy wife, so pat yourself on the back and then cut her loose so she can go find someone who actually likes her, and you can go find someone you enjoy being with.

Or talk to her about it and try to work on it together, but that would involve you thinking in terms of her and her needs as well as your own, not ways that she can benefit you/make you look good. As in, you could try being worried that your girlfriend is depressed and lethargic, instead of only worrying about your current level of fun.
posted by heatherann at 11:00 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

is there any way you could ruin her parents' business or otherwise de-richify her? a kidnapping/ransom could be a good first step at shaking things up -- and possibly give her something interesting to talk about in the process. otherwise, buckle down and settle for someone who is naturally interesting and fun to be around.
posted by white light at 11:10 AM on January 9, 2007

Yes, ditch her. You'll be miserable if you let it go any further.
posted by jayder at 11:12 AM on January 9, 2007

You say that the girl’s intelligent, right? So I’m just wondering why she won’t indulge you in any intellectual conversation. Is she shy?? Do you think she’d be more comfortable in a setting that was more attuned to her sensitivities—it doesn’t have to be in front of the TV; you could both go out for a movie. Does she like the theatre, maybe you could try that. Or how about a walk in the park—there are a lot of people there that she could get to meet if you both were to get together and bump into someone. I don’t know—from the sounds of it it looks like you have a very good girl on your hands, and I’d hate for you to lose her.
posted by hadjiboy at 11:49 AM on January 9, 2007

You should break up with her if she is not 'fun'. Not only will it enable you to look for another woman, one who enjoys being your Rubik's Cube, but she will be able to find someone who can appreciate her as a human being and not as a status symbol.
posted by winna at 11:51 AM on January 9, 2007

Also, you said that she was Rich, Has a lovely Accent and Excellently dressed… are these things that important to you? Just wondering. (Are they that important to her too??)
posted by hadjiboy at 11:52 AM on January 9, 2007

no offense, but you sound a bit like an asshole, so my suggestion is: dump her. you'll do her a favor, and you'll be happier with your intellectually stimulating buddies. it's win-win
posted by matteo at 11:54 AM on January 9, 2007 [2 favorites]

She is actually everything I looked for in a girl - gentle, lovely, from a rich family, jewish, intelligent, has a lovely accent, excellently dressed, neat, and rubs my back right.

Show that to your girlfriend, and give her the satisfaction of dumping you.
posted by AV at 11:57 AM on January 9, 2007 [3 favorites]

Why not just be honest with her?

Also, it sounds to me like you're blaming her for your lack of motivation and boredom.

Why not just do stuff and then invite her to do stuff with you? Or, maybe, talk to her about being bored and work it out together.

Or, if none of this really appeals to you, then it sounds like you probably just want to leave her - so do.
posted by soplerfo at 11:57 AM on January 9, 2007

I agree that your comments about this girl are pretty shalllow, and that your "she's everything I want" sentiment is demonstrably false — but I have to snicker at people who draw deep psychological conclusions from your 200-word post, like "She's obviously depressed" or "You have a dysfunctional relationship with women."

Here's the lesson: An essential part of dating is learning about yourself. You don't just set out on a journey at age 13 saying, "I want a girl who X and Y and Z," then find her and live happily ever after. Maybe you meet a girl with Y and you learn that actually being with that trait isn't what you imagined; or maybe you meet a girl with Q and you discover that that trait, something you'd never anticipated, is what you really need.

You should probably break up with your girlfriend. What I implied above about drawing psychological conclusions over the Internet is true, but I'm leaning on a different principle, here: The idea that, generally speaking, for you to stay with a girl you find boring is unkind. Nobody wants a partner who finds them boring, and your girlfriend deserves a boyfriend who doesn't find her boring. Chalk the experience up to your education: If you can learn from this, and apply those lessons to your next relationship, then you'll be in good stead.
posted by cribcage at 1:04 PM on January 9, 2007

Break up with her. If she's boring, and you want someone who's not boring, and that is a make-it-or-break-it factor for you (as it probably should be), then why would you want to be with her?

The whole point of having a significant other is that they make you happier than if you weren't with them (and, of course, that you do the same for them.) If she's boring the crap out of you, why bother?

You can't un-boring a person. You need to like them as they already are.
posted by Kololo at 1:17 PM on January 9, 2007

Okay, she's intelligent, but doesn't say intelligent things? What do you mean by that, exactly?

You: Hey, what do you want to do tonight?
Her: Empirical evidence would seem to indicate that the probability of at least the consumption of strings of carbohydrate-based nutritional vehicles, surrounded by the liquid remains of pulverized red chlorophyll-producing organisms remniscent of nightshade (with a smattering of dessicated herbs and spices added, naturally) being an enjoyable experience approaches unity. While I am making this assumption based on anecdotal evidence, the sheer mass of the data would seem to lend a strong weight this being true.

Is that what you want? You're not going to get it with her. Actually, with the kind of attitude you've displayed here, you're not going to get it with anyone.

If "from a rich family" is seriously something you look for in a girl, you have a lot more issues than just a boring girlfriend. Break up with her.
posted by Verdandi at 1:42 PM on January 9, 2007

"would seem to lend a strong weight to", rather. The "to" was there in preview, really!
posted by Verdandi at 1:43 PM on January 9, 2007

You've been with her a YEAR but she has "only boring things to say", you have no activities or interests in common, don't do anything together because she just wants to "lie in bed all day," etc. .... doesn't sound like someone who ever quickened your pulse but you're staying because she's a good dresser, from a rich family, has a nice accent, "neat" (and not in the "neat-o" sense) and gives a good backrub??

Are you looking for a girlfriend or a beard?
posted by availablelight at 1:47 PM on January 9, 2007

this is what happens when people skip the dating phase and move straight to the relationship stage.

move on
posted by Señor Pantalones at 1:50 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

you are rationalizing why you should like someone you don't.

the egg is scrambled.

it would be mean of you to make her invest any more time and energy into this relationship. it will never have what you are missing now. don't be an ass, end it.
posted by krautland at 1:55 PM on January 9, 2007

this is what happens when people skip the dating phase and move straight to the relationship stage.

move on
posted by
Señor Pantalones

In all fairness, this may also be what happens when people are in....high school, which I'm guessing may be the age of the OP, given the language, style and content of the question, and the kind of relationship described.

And as I recall, many relationships in high school were based on status rather than actual compatibility. I'd still recommend he take back his letter jacket and try for someone he can actually, you know, talk about intellectual non-boring stuff with, and do things instead of laying in bed all the time.
posted by availablelight at 1:58 PM on January 9, 2007

I agree with the witty acerbic comments above. But here's something you need to know. You can not change people.
posted by b33j at 2:09 PM on January 9, 2007

looks good, sounds good, can't stand the taste syndrome.

as has been said many times already - next!
posted by narakunate at 2:50 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Umm, you look for girls who come from rich families? How goldiggerish of you!

Seriously, break up with her. You'd be doing her a favor. I can't imagine someone who'd want to date me because my family has money.
posted by mintchip at 7:42 PM on January 9, 2007

You say she never wants to do anything, and that she also does not intellectually interest you. So she won't go out with you and do anything fun, and when you do stay in, you're bored to tears because she isn't exhausting herself by being witty for your entertainment.

Without offering a non-response like "you're getting what you deserve", I can offer something, hopefully, that may help you move forward. You say she is in school, which leads me to believe that she is likely between the age of 4 and 22, which leads me to assume that you are of similar age. People in this age group (equally across the board, might I add) generally know jack shit about what they want out of a partner.

At some time again in your life - hopefully not too often, though - the person who should be perfect for you will turn out not to be. C'est la vie.
posted by littlelebowskiurbanachiever at 11:43 PM on January 9, 2007

Why would "rich family" be something you would want a girl to come from? Just curious.
posted by onepapertiger at 9:08 PM on January 11, 2007

Surely what you "actually look for in a girl" is someone who you can laugh with, feel relaxed with, someone you're physically and emotionally attracted to, whom you can care about regardless of whether you're together or apart?

If you look for superficial features in a person, the only person you can blame for your resulting disappointment is yourself. The fact that you liked her accent (seriously, WTF??), family wealth, dress sense and how she gives you a massage makes you look worse than shallow.

I feel very sorry for your girlfriend, and suspect that actually, the reason she wants to spend so little time out and about with you might be partly down to the fact that you don't enjoy her company as a person, you enjoy her as a fashionable, superficial accessory display. And I'd be willing to bet she can tell.
posted by angryjellybean at 8:05 AM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

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