Is she losing it? Or are you?


Dear Hillary,

My girlfriend and I live in a studio in town. We have had a good relationship up till now, except for the fact she keeps losing her keys and her mobile phone. This is very annoying as she always wants me to find them, or send a spare set over. It is spoiling our relationship, how can I stop her doing this?


Dear Annoyed,

Have you ever considered the fact that your girlfriend is losing keys and telephones as a subconscious way of expressing her lack of satisfaction with the relationship or simply as a device to annoy you? It is very difficult if not impossible to change an adult’s behavior unless you change your own behavior first. I suggest you change the way you respond to her. One quick fix is to either don’t let her see that it annoys you or simply don’t speak to her for days every time she loses things. We women have used that ploy for years. The best way though is to “Give her the monkey and let her feed it.” Which is a Thai expression for allowing her to take the consequence of her own actions. Do not let her have or use your mobile phone ever, keep a spare set of keys for you, but never unlock the apartment for her, and never give her another set after she has lost one. If this is too tedious, maybe losing this girlfriend would be less frustrating.

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