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Maybe your anger towards him is because you’re incompatible, says Mariella. But be gentler on yourself

The dilemma I’m concerned that being in a relationship with a (wonderful) boy has brought out the worst in me. He is selfless and endlessly giving, but I find myself transformed into a far uglier and less considerate version of myself when we are together. I am impatient and hyper-emotional, crying and feeling angry far more when I’m with him than when I am with friends or alone. We met two years ago when we were both 14 and a lot of change was happening in my life. My parents had unexpectedly had a second child the year before, and shortly after meeting him I went on hormonal contraception. I’m worried I have attached my unstable emotional state from that time to him, forcing him to be a sponge for my petty adolescent worries. I’m also worried that my mood swings and impatient behaviour are hurting him and that he is too kind to say. Though we have lots of fun and he is a fantastic companion, I tend to focus on his downsides and think a lot about us breaking up. Should I leave him, to protect him and me from the nasty version of myself that I put forward in his company? Or is that just a lazy way of getting out of my bad behaviour?

Mariella replies In the nicest possible way, he’s irrelevant. He sounds like a decent guy and if you feel like continuing the relationship, you should. On the other hand, if you genuinely feel happier when he’s not around you might want to try a spell apart. Either way the most important thing to focus on at the moment isn’t him, but your own state of mind. He’s not inspiring this behaviour in you but it certainly sounds like he’s letting you get away with it. That isn’t always the kindest thing to do.

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