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Overprotective boyfriend worries about losing girlfriend

Dear Harlan: My girlfriend has given me one more chance before she breaks up with me. She says that she doesn’t like how protective I am of her. But I care so much I don’t want anyone to hurt her. I don’t want to lose her. What advice can you give me to help earn her trust back?

— Trust Issue

Dear Trust Issue:  One piece of advice: Listen to her. You’re not really protecting her. You’re protecting yourself from getting hurt. It might be hard to see, but she can take care of herself. Keeping her close means that she will be less likely to meet other people. And the fewer people she meets, the less likely you are to lose her. What you can’t see is that being around other people will just make her see why she chooses you. If she gets hurt, she can turn to you for advice and support. Being protective and controlling just makes her want to keep secrets. The closer you watch her, the more she will push away. Listen to what she is telling you. Give her space to miss you. Give yourself room to find more interests and have a life that’s not dependent on the relationship. When you have interests and passions outside of a relationship, it’s easier to let her have room and trust what you have. If you want to earn back her trust, trust that she wants to be with you. This will bring her closer, and if it doesn’t, this relationship was not meant to last much longer.

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