Dear Miss Emily:

So me and my "guy" have been on and off for a while now.  We both agreed that there were changes to be made if we were going to be together, and I've made most of them but they never seem good enough for him. It’s like he likes all the perks of a girlfriend just not the responsibility.  And when I’m upset and willing to walk away, he makes me feel guilty about it and I’m never allowed to do that to him. I know I’m always there for him, and I always forgive him. I need to make him realize what he has and to appreciate me before its to late and I’m gone.
Damned If I Do

--------------------------Miss Emily’s advice---------------------

Dear Damned:

I tend to think that the most critical people are those who are really not satisfied with themselves. It’s easier for this type of person to pick on others, and even try to control them, rather than fix the problems within. I see no reason for you to think in terms like “I’m never allowed to do that to him” unless deep-down you need him to play the role of a surrogate daddy.  Figure out what you want in a relationship and go after it.  If you lived on a desert island and he were the only other inhabitant, then maybe I’d tell you to suck it up because, bottom-line, humans have their basic needs.  If he doesn’t appreciate you by now, he probably never will. You can continue to be his personal yo-yo, but I’d advise against it.  It’s unflattering and shows you really don’t take issues of respect seriously.