General Question

robotmonkeyarm's avatar

Girlfriend is attending so many summer camps. It's irritating me.

Asked by robotmonkeyarm (151 points ) July 31st, 2012 from iPhone

I’ve been with my girlfriend for a year now. We talk every day and are very close, but over the summer we don’t get to talk much because she is so busy attending summer camps. Every other week it’s another camp retreat. But that’s not even what bothers me, though. These are Christian camps and she is meeting all these guys who are getting her number on grounds of wanting to talk “jesus” and “keep in touch”; although I know they want otherwise from the stories I’ve heard and the things that’ve happened. She spends the majority of her time meeting new guy friends and getting all “buddy buddy” with them at camp and comes back with more guys texting and calling her than before. I’m getting sick of her spending so much time with (and talking on the phone to) these new guys all summer. Yeah, I know she comes back to me once the camps finish but it’s hard on me because she is just too friendly and close with them. How do I deal with the mental pressure of knowing she is spending her days at camp on the beach or playing games with other guys, and her nights sharing the same hotels with them? (Not the same room, but the girls sneak out to be with the guys at night) It’s getting to me.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

30 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Get a job or find yourself a camp to go to.

Distract yourself.

It sounds to me like you have too much time on your hands to over think about what kind of fun your GF is having this summer.

josie's avatar

If she bothers you so much, why is she your girlfriend? Seems to me you want a girlfriend that pleases you, not one that bothers you. In my opinion, that is a pretty simple principle.

DrBill's avatar

you are too jealous and suspecting her of things you have not witnessed. If she was going to a bar and picking up guys that would be one thing, but she is at a religious camp. If you are that jealous now, your relationship will never last.

jrpowell's avatar

I don’t think we can tell you how to stop being jealous. And if you want info on how to control her you are a dick and she is better off without you.

Mariah's avatar

You need to trust her more if this is going to work out.

robotmonkeyarm's avatar

Good responses except for @johnpowell. No need to throw insults. Yes, I’m a very jealous guy, I admit, but it just bothers me that she is meeting tons of guys over the summer. I’m not suspecting she is doing anything without witnessing it, her friends have told me all about what goes on and I have witnessed the same things at camps that I go to. I just want to know how to deal with my mental response. Absolutely no need to call names here.

jrpowell's avatar

I was the jealous guy in high school. It will never end well until you deal with it. I was you and I am 35 now. If you act like this you will end up naming your goldfish.

You can’t control, you need to trust.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Your frustration is very understandable. Having spent all of my summers at various camps as a teen, I recall a few friends there having a partner back home that felt the same way.

Here’s what happens at a lot of these camps. They are put into an essentially isolated situation and are working as a team towards common goals. That type of atmosphere builds very tight relationships with each other. I’m still in touch with some of those friends from 30 years ago.

So, how to deal with the ‘mental pressure’, as you call it. If, when she returns each time, is still desiring to be in your company, then there is nothing to worry about. Try to focus on her needs and not your own. If she chose to go to these camps, then she is probably learning more about herself and possibly building new skill sets. That is really important in personal development.

By the way, how have you been spending your summer break? If it is just sitting around, then @SpatzieLover has good advice. Find something productive and that you like to keep busy. It will also give you something to share with her when she returns.

Good luck, and let us know how it plays out.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther. This is a good question.

You’re young and immature yet, and that’s the main problem here. I don’t mean this in a pejorative way as if to call you “a baby” or anything like that, but… this is a fact that you may not realize yet. (Obviously you know that you’re young; you may not be aware that you are immature. It’s not a bad thing to be immature when you’re young. The terrible thing is to never outgrow that.)

You need to start growing up now.

Part of the way we do that is by developing our own self-interests apart from what our friends want for us, and very often apart from what is expected of us. It’s time to develop some of your own independence.

Make new friends, for example. Read more. (Not television; it doesn’t offer the same time for reflection and realization about how the characters you read about are the same as you in many ways, and also different in key ways, too. Not to mention that reading will help you develop your vocabulary and means of expression.)

You need to start reflecting on how to build your own life completely independent of others for when the time comes that you need to do that. That time comes to nearly all of us at one time or another. For example, your friend may move away, or you may, and then where would you be? You can’t plan your life around her and when she may be available. By exactly the same token, she can’t live her life around your wants and needs. That would be unhealthy for both of you.

The jealousy that you feel is fairly normal for someone who is young and uncertain of his or her own place in the world. When you start to develop your own spirit of independence, your own character, your own interests, then you should stop being jealous of how your friends spend their time away from you. Not only does it make you a better person on your own, but your friends will start to recognize your growth and you will become more interesting to them. (That may be kind of paradoxical, in fact, that you’ll be growing more interesting as you display more interest in the rest of the world and lose interest in “what everyone else is doing” and needing to be a part of that.)

Finally, you’re at an age when you might be developing feelings for boys yourself one of these days, or (this is possible, but I’m not suggesting that it’s likely or the certain reason for your feeling the way you do), your feelings may not run to boys. Perhaps what you feel for your friend has a shade of “desire” in it that you simply haven’t realized yet.

These are all feelings that are worth pondering and thoughts worth developing, but it’s up to you to do the pondering and developing. That’s how we grow.

When you can start to be happy for your friend because she seems happy, even if she has less time for you as a result, then you can know that you’re maturing. Let’s hope you can get to that point sooner rather than later.

Good luck with the process.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
robotmonkeyarm's avatar

Thanks a ton for the advice guys. After thinking about what has been said here, I realized that I have a HUGE jealousy problem. My girlfriend and I are just so close that the thought of her having fun with other guys just eats at me. I have no control over this.

So, after coming to the conclusion that I struggle with jealousy (and over-attachment, maybe?) What can I do to get to fight the way I currently react to these situations? I am being completely honest: knowing that she is making such close friendships with so many guys and exchanging numbers with them is killing me here. (I DO have a job and I DO have friends) but this always lingers in my mind. It seems like she is keeping so many open doors by meeting all these guys, it worries me because I am not doing the same. I have my mind set on her, I never go out of my way just to meet new females and I don’t maintain as many open doors as she does.

Is it wrong that she is doing this while I’m not, or is it my fault that I am not making friends at the same rate as her to keep an even field here? I’m a bit naive to this, so I really don’t know what I need to do. I do my best to keep my mind off this, but it’s ALL summer long and I miss my girlfriend.

What do I do?

Mariah's avatar

You guys don’t need to have an equal number of opposite sex friends, so don’t worry about assigning blame either way. There’s no blame to assign. But she’s allowed to have opposite sex friends. If this makes you uncomfortable, that’s something to work on.

It’s understandable that you feel upset that you haven’t been able to see each other much. Does she know that this bothers you?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@robotmonkeyarm Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who’s in it not because she genuinely enjoys being with you, but because she doesn’t feel like she has options? (Though, it should be noted: just because someone doesn’t know that they could get a new date by next Saturday night doesn’t mean they won’t dump their date anyway.)

You don’t need to have the same number of friends, but she isn’t doing anything wrong by having male friends, or making male friends. Just because she’s friends with a guy doesn’t mean that’s an “open door”, and for that matter, just because she’s friends with a woman doesn’t mean it’s a “closed door”. (Hey, you’re both young; you never know.) And if you’re not making friends with women in an effort to prove your faithfulness, well, that really says more about how you view women as for dating and not friendship more than it says about your commitment to her.

Coloma's avatar

If your girlfriend is clearly committed to you and she is a naturally friendly and outgoing type I wouldn’t worry. BUT..if you get the feeling she likes all the extra attention and has some wild oats to sew still, well…..

I agree that everyone needs freedom to be and do what they enloy in relationshios, only YOU know, deep down, if you feel she is trustworthy or just out for the attention. I really like what @CWOTUS had to say.

robotmonkeyarm's avatar

Great advice here, I am keeping this all in mind guys, thanks.

@Aethelflaed I am confused by what you said here:

“Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who’s in it not because she genuinely enjoys being with you, but because she doesn’t feel like she has options?”

Are you saying that she has no options, or are you giving an example on my behalf, e.g: me not making an effort to meet new females as often as she meets males? If the latter: I would not like that, I want my partner to want me for me; are you saying the she may be in it because of a lack of other options?

Shippy's avatar

I understand where you are coming from oddly and I am nearly 50, so not sure if that makes me immature. I think the real threat though is that the people who text her or whatever, share a common ground. Whereas in a sense you do not fit into this picture. What I am saying is, if her belief is so strong that it takes up a lot of her time, and you don’t feature in this huge structure then you could be left by the wayside. I also don’t want to make you anxious here, but how about you getting to meet the guys? that way they are not faceless threats. Also is there no way you could go on a camp with her, or partake in some of her activities revolving around this? So it could be more of a case of not being an integral part of her life that is making you uneasy?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@robotmonkeyarm No, I’m saying that being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t come home every day and think “gosh, I love being with you” but rather ”::sigh:: well, who else would I date” is someone who isn’t really with you. So it doesn’t really matter if she has a thousand other men lined up, dying to date her, or zero; what matters is that she really enjoys being with you. That’s part of why jealousy is so pointless; it mistakes her not liking other men for her really liking you.

wundayatta's avatar

Jeolousy is hard. Really hard. The thing that I wonder is whether you miss being with her, and all these other guys she is with remind you of that, or if you doubt her and think she will probably hook up with one of those other Christian guys. By the way, if I knew how much Christians were getting around, I wonder if I would have remained a virgin so long. Never mind. No way I could have acted like a Christian.

I think you just have to learn to practice patience. Assume she loves you or whatever, and that she isn’t doing any hanky panky with guys other than yourself. And look forward to September. It’s only a month away. Take it one day at a time.

The reality is that this relationship is unlikely to last even if she were standing by your side the whole summer long instead of going to camp. Most relationships at your age don’t last.

You could try to break it off now, preemptively. But that won’t work. Most likely things will blow up when you get back together in September. You’ll break up after a week. I’m sorry, man, for being so pessimistic, but I think you’re up against it, and it isn’t likely you will succeed in saving the relationship.

If you want to save it, then don’t let your jealousy affect you. Let it go. Be grateful when you do see her. Love her in all ways. Be positive. Express your good feelings. Let go of the negative ones. Don’t pressure her, though. You pressure her and she runs. If you let her come to you, then you have a chance. But practice thinking positively about her. Try not to put any credence into your thoughts about what she is doing with others. I’m not saying not to think those things. I’m just saying to recognize that those thoughts come from your jealousy and htey don’t help you.

Best of luck. This is a hard one!

JLeslie's avatar

I am not a jealous person, but I think I would be bothered also if my SO was away all the time, and constantly communicating with other people from the camp, especially if I did not feel included, that it was a separate life from our life together.

Can you go to camp with her? Would you want to? Are you Christian? If she is connecting to these people through religion, and is very absorbed in that, and you are not religious or a different religion, I think you need to really think about if the relationship can really work. Religion can be a big deal.

I am going to assume she is loyal to you, but it is also probably safe to assume at least some of these guys are trying to get down her pants. Sorry, to be so crass. But, there are guys all around trying to do that probably. It seems to be the nature of the beast. Being a man yourself, I guess you know all to well how men think.

You have to occupy yourself for the summer, don’t just sit around pining for her, and letting your jealous thoughts run wild. The more you do this, the more it tortures you, and also makes her more powerful in the relationship in a way. There shouldn’t be a power struggle. You should both feel equal and trusting.

If the real emotion is not jealousy, but more a feeling that you just don’t trust her, then I think maybe consider breaking up. Even if she is doing nothing wrong, if she does not do things that help you feel secure and loved she isn’t a good partner. Listen to your gut.

Jenniehowell's avatar

yep – I’d say you’re a bit too jealous. Of course, based on your answers and comments I gather you know that & that me stating the obvious when you are looking for real answers isn’t a helpful thing. That said & considering you are talking about religious camps I’m going to assume you are open to a bit of a spiritual view on this, but of course if you aren’t a believer in some form of spirituality on a significant level this answer may be pointless – it all depends on your particular perspective but here goes…

I’ve found that the best way to get over jealousy is to focus on my own spiritual path & ignore my urges to control whatever others do. In the end most spiritual paths guide one down a trek toward releasing the ego in some way or another and ego is the thing that fuels any human feeling the need to control another human beyond situations where they are that person’s guardian or supervisor at a place of employment etc. (i.e. logical control/authority positions).

When we release our needs or desires to control the freedoms of others (even if they are in a relationship and have committed to being monogamous therefore forfeiting certain freedoms) and when we release the ego’s attachment to expectations then it makes a big difference. By releasing ego’s attachments and need for control we can often just let things be as they are and accept that it is in Divine Order and that there is an omniscient spirit of some sort taking care of it all for us. If you ask me – I’d say anyone on a spiritual path who works on any level to control the life and actions of any other sound minded human who can make their own decisions is in need of a stronger spiritual focus anyway.

Considering most spiritual paths preach/teach that God or Spirit is an all knowing being that is omniscient/omnipotent and therefore has everything under control – it seems hypocritical of someone who would claim to be a believer or have faith in that God or Spirit and yet still try to control the freedoms of others be that through rules placed upon someone in a relationship as opposed to trust and mature discussions or be that through something more broad such as voting on representatives or issues that would serve to remove the freedoms of other human beings.

The thing about faith is that it is an all or nothing deal – if you believe then you let go and let God take care of it all. If you are shaky in your faith then you allow your ego to trick you into thinking you must do something to control the situation or that you must do something to “save” another person from themselves etc. whether that be as I said through one on one attempts at control/expectations or whether that be on a bigger scale through voting away the freedoms and equal rights of other individuals under the guise of morality standards or saving them from their own selves because their freedoms serve to harm them on some moral/spiritual level. Either way – it comes down to letting God do what God does or trying to take God’s place.

So does letting go and letting God mean that all things turn out perfectly and just as we dreamed? Nope… Being that we are largely fueled by our egos and insecurities that isn’t likely until we grow and learn a lot more than we have so far. Hence, the quote “some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”. The point being, we don’t know God’s plan but we can bet that no matter what happens pleasant or not – those things that happen are definitely a part of the plan. By releasing the expectations of your girlfriend and just trusting that she will abide by whatever agreements you have made with regard to commitment to monogamy in your relationship & by releasing your ego’s urge to control what she does, you will probably take a bit of stress off of her and yourself & that removal of stresses and controls will allow for things to happen in a way that will likely reveal just what is meant to be revealed – whether that be that your girlfriend is totally committed to you and you have nothing to worry about or whether it be that your girlfriend has some insecurity issues which end up getting the best of her and having her lose a good thing (i.e. YOU) or whether it be that you and your girlfriend both learn that you are still growing and learning and exploring life and yourselves and to tie one another down with controls is premature in your personal growth as individuals because you are so young and you have your whole lives ahead of you to choose to get tied down. Either way – painful or happy as it may all turn out – you can bet that it’s a part of the bigger plan & that’s a plan you likely don’t know unless at some point in all of this you yourself have actually taken the place of God or Spirit and become omniscient.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Gotta love that it’s a “Christian” camp and the girls are sneaking into the boys’ rooms at night. You’d think the point of a camp like that would be to worship and form friendships with other Christians, not find dates and hook up.

Yeah, jealousy jealousy, blah blah blah. It’s never a good thing. However, I know that if I was constantly texting or getting phone calls from random guys, my husband would probably wouldn’t feel great about it. That may be jealousy, but it’s human nature. If he was constantly texting other girls, I might take issue with that. Am I going to tell him who he can and can’t text or hang out with? No. Am I going to go on a jealous rampage and demand to read his texts? No. But it’s not very considerate of someone to be too busy talking to other guys to spend time with her boyfriend.

If she likes going to these camps, she should go, even if it takes time away from you during the summers. But it’s normal for you to feel left out, jealous, or even threatened because she’s got all these new guy friends, especially if they are actually interested in her. And if I was her, I’d be considerate about that and chill out on the texting a little bit. But that’s just me. If she’s trustworthy, you have nothing to be jealous about. But sometimes, jealousy is warranted.

CWOTUS's avatar

Okay, I guess I completely missed that this is a “boyfriend / girlfriend” issue. (Let’s completely ignore why I thought this was a “gal friend / gal friend” issue.)

So maybe only half of what I had said earlier is relevant: It’s still good to develop one’s own independence, even from a romantic partner. It’s good to develop one’s own interests, to read, and all of that.

But apart from that, and getting back to the root of the “romantic” jealousy that’s bothering the OP, I do have some advice that’s been valid to my own life and may work here, too.

If your girlfriend is flirtatious and friendly and cute and easy to befriend – all of the things that probably attracted you to her in the first place, right? – then you need to accept that she’s going to continue to be that way. You should want that, or learn to want it. Because if you attempt to clamp a lid on her, suppress her nature and forbid her to explore the rest of her relationships with the world (within nominal bounds that you should both set), then she’ll change to a prisoner, and you’ll change to her jailer. It won’t be fun then for either of you.

If you don’t want a girl who flirts, who talks to other boys, who has conversations sometimes that you’re not a part of, then you need to set your sights on that kind of girl. It’s really that simple.

You should also be realistic enough to realize a couple of things about this girl, this relationship, and this summer in particular, too:
1. She’s not going to camp on her own. Her parents are sending her. It may be that they are doing this very deliberately because they want to put distance and time between you and her. They may have valid reasons for that. I’d work on my relationship with her parents if I were you, when she returns from camp.

2. You’re both young and immature (that much is still true from earlier). I repeat that there is nothing wrong with that – for now. But if you attempt to act too adult, too soon, by expecting her to conform with adult notions that you have about love and loyalty, then she may not yet be on your wavelength, or she may have even grown beyond your level.

3. If neither of you has had romantic relationships in the past, then you may both be exploring (you should be exploring) other relationships. First love is very rarely last love. That’s a fact of life that you should know and be prepared to deal with. When she finds a new guy that she thinks is “the one”, then you should be prepared to congratulate her (no matter how much it galls you, if you really do love or like her) and step out of the way to do your crying in private. And then get over that. You don’t want to be her choice out of obligation or your need; you really don’t want that, or you won’t if it ever happens.

robotmonkeyarm's avatar

Wow, some absolutely phenomenal advice here. Thanks so much, you guys. I will try to keep all of this in mind and I will definitely be returning to this page often to re-read all of this! Thank you all, I really wish I could tell you all how amazing you guys are. Seriously, thanks so much.

JLeslie's avatar

@robotmonkeyarm Well, stick around. Try some other questions. Welcome to fluther.

CWOTUS's avatar

Thanks (on behalf of all) for the acknowledgement. Lurve is nothing. Reading a sincere “thank you” is much appreciated. We’re only here to help, after all. Well, that, and to kill some time, exercise our fingers a bit on the old keyboard, work on English composition, maybe learn a little bit, keep from killing ourselves or each other, that sort of thing, whatever.

robotmonkeyarm's avatar

@JLeslie
@CWOTUS

Sure thing guys, I’ll be around :) thanks a lot for all the perspective :) You guys are amazing.

Also @johnpowell You seemed to have pretty thick skin at first, but you seem like a cool dude with a warm heart on the inside so thank you, too! Your advice was great because you related it to yourself and that truly helped me.

I feel really great from the help I got here.

@everyoneelse

<3

I’ll be staying around, I like the community here!

JLeslie's avatar

Yay! Glad you are feeling better. Let us know how it goes.

Response moderated (Spam)
concordeluvr's avatar

can I have some help too?
I got the same thing happening to me but I just feel empty without her
we are both Christians and I do truly love her but my mind wanders at night about if she is picking up other guys at camp

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther, @concordeluvr. You’ll be better served by asking your own question, rather than attempting to piggy-back on a question that’s this old. The only people who will see this are the (relatively few) who may have joined the thread when it was active 11 months ago and are still following it.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther