Dear Miss Emily:

Where do I begin?  Well, my girlfriend has been sitting her university exams lately, and for the past 6 weeks she has been completely engrossed with her studies. The only time I have been able to see her is if she invites me over to her place to help her study. She is now in her 2nd yr. She repeated her 1st yr, last yr, due to failing it the first time round and, because of that, her confidence is low.  She feels that she needs me to tutor her to help her study, and I have gladly obliged.. I want her to succeed in anything and everything she wants in life – plus I get to see her so that’s a bonus (btw we have a non-physical and chaste relationship). The thing is, her exams end on Monday. She’s decided she'll need alone time on Monday, after the exam and, fair enough, I understand that.  It might not go so well, so she may opt to sleep it off. But come Tuesday, she’s going out shopping with friends, and Wednesday to see another friend who is depressed of late.  My girlfriend feels she owes it to her friend to support her. Come Thursday, she’s getting picked up by her mum to go on a VALENTINES DAY weekend, to de-stress.  I’m her first boyfriend, and she my first girlfriend.  We've never had a Valentine’s Day before, let alone together. She had a tradition with her girlfriends to spend that day with each other – but she feels she'll have to talk to them and be chit-chatty if she upholds the tradition, so she’s opted to go with her mother, someone whom she can afford to be a bit quiet around (in case exams went badly), and who'll understand.   But where does that leave me? She didn’t even consult me if that would be ok., when her mother asked her, and how I would feel. She casually stated I’d be ok. without asking me!  Then, when she does bring it up, asks me how I feel, and I say I don’t mind (I clearly do), she claims she thinks I don’t want to spend time with her. I only agreed because shed already made plans and, on top of this, her mother is rather fragile.  If my girlfriend makes plans, and then cancels, her mother would be hurt. so I agreed, for her and her mother’s happiness.  She has the cheek to say I don’t care.  Come last night, she brings up what fun stuff we're going to do once her exams are over.  But when?  She’s clearly not given me any time slots, though I didn’t mention that.  Knowing her plans, I decided to take the week off uni and go back to my parents, having spent the last month teaching her.  I’ve sacrificed by own studies for her(not to mention free time with my friends), and have fallen behind., so I need this time off to get back on track. Having told her I’m going to take the week off, she again states I’m not wanting to spend time with her.  I feel like I can’t win.  I keep giving her so much – my time, my support, my patience, my love, yet it seems she doesn’t want to make the time with me, and. I’ve said this to her. But we haven’t raised a voice, or lost tempers yet. I’ve been calm about her irrational behaviour, because she is stressed and hormonal. Thing is...once these few days are past, where will she be and where will I be? I won’t see her. She admits she’s being selfish. What is going on? What do I do?

---------------Miss Emily's advice-------------

Go back and read what you have written to me and try to see if you seem like the kind of person who would complain that your friend shot a cat, yet you gave them the bullets to the gun. Whining behind her back, and playing the martyr are  unflattering personality traits. Yeah, she’s selfish, and you are a patsy.  Selfish people look for your type, because you are easy to manipulate.  She’s no fool. She may not be an academic whiz, but she’s smart enough to have you wrapped around her finger.  Enough of your silliness.  Maybe you should get a little angry that she’s used you to prep her for exams, but shined you the week after, and Valentine’s Day!  I don’t care whether she’s hormonal or not, if she’s your girlfriend (God only knows why there's been no physical intimacy), there should be a slot for you as soon as she’s through with exams – despite the fact she may be depressed after them if she doesn’t do well.  Gee, Mom’s fragile, she’s fragile, and you’re fragile.  How convenient!  Get a grip man, and belly up to the bar with some honesty about your feelings. You should never have allowed your own studies to falter in order to keep her afloat. You have become (beside everything else), an enabler.  By suggesting that you have snubbed her by deciding to go to your parents, she's transferring any guilt she's had, onto you.  Now she is justified for ditching you the week after finals. You two need a heart-to-heart talk filled with honesty -- for a change.  I hate to be brutally frank, but if you don’t want to be treated like a wimp, don’t act like one!  I know this is your first girlfriend, but the time to start learning about relationships is now