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Talks with girlfriend are all about timing

November 22, 2009

Dear Amy: My girlfriend wants to "talk" again. She is currently experiencing her monthly cycle.

Can I ask her to wait until this is over? She usually gets a bit worked up and later apologizes.

I do not want to come across as inconsiderate. Based on past discussions, I'm sure she wants to talk about our future together. This is important, but shouldn't it be done when she is a little more balanced?

Can you offer a caring way to frame this statement of concern to talk at a later time?

Matt

Dear Matt: You might think: "Let's have this conversation at a time when I don't think your head will spin around and fall off."

What you should say is, "I want to talk to you, too, honey -- because this is important. But for now, why don't you enjoy these flowers? Oh, and by the way, have you lost weight?"

In short, dodge. Dodge, deflect and duck, if necessary.

You should bring up the relationship topic during a relaxed time when you feel your girlfriend is more even-tempered. Don't always wait for her to bring it up.

You should also talk about her hormonal issues. Many women, myself included, don't realize the patterns in our monthly moods until someone else lovingly points them out.

Do this in a respectful, concerned and open-ended way -- again, during a calm time.

There may be ways for her to regulate her reactions (medical or otherwise), and she should be willing to try.

Even though some women seem to experience a sort of psychosis when they are at their most hormonal, if your girlfriend regularly behaves in a way necessitating an apology, then she needs to work hard to find alternatives.

Send questions to Amy Dickinson by e-mail to askamy@tribune.com or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

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