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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My girlfriend has seemed very distant lately. We have been

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My girlfriend has seemed very distant lately. We have been together for over 4 months and the first few were awesome. We hung out every weekend, had sex multiple times a day, and it was the best sex either of us have ever had. We would do it in the shower, on my couch, and just all the time and she said i was the best she ever had. She was very affectionate. She used to text me everyday and tell me good morning have a good day at work. The last couple weeks she has not seemed herself. The sex has gone to only before we go to sleep and has not been as good as it was. This is partly my fault because I haven't performed as good as I usually do. When I brought up me not lasting as long, she said she didn't care beause it was still good and she sometimes wants to have sex be quick. We got into a little argument last week because we didn't hang out at all during the weekend. I asked her if something was wrong and she kept saying no. I also brought up how we don't have sex as often and she said its only been this weekend where we haven't spent it together and haven't had much sex. She did say she's never had a boyfriend that wants to spend as much time with her as I do. So I'm trying to give her a little space but I'm wondering if her feelings for me are changing. She still tells me she loves me but has just seemed distant lately. I'm not sure if I should try to talk to her about it because bringing up what I did last week made me kinda feel like I shouldn't have and I don't wanna seem like I'm really nervous. What do you think?
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective

Dear friend,

Something is troubling her and it may not have anything to do with you. It could be the time the month, or perhaps it has something to do with a friend or family member, including illness, or something to do with school or work, or even something that is troubling her about what is going on in the world in general, or just in her world.

Rather than trying to discuss it with her (it didn't work well last time), try to ignore, be cheerful. be very positive, tell her how lovely and beautiful and sexy she is, take her to a nice restaurant or club or concert or whatever she likes).

Don't tell her that things are different. Act as if they are great and that no matter what, you support her. I understand this is making you very anxious and you feel troubled, but she is probably feeling troubled about something as well, and it is probably not you.

Just be there and be positive and ask nothing from her. Just try to be giving, kind, and attentive and she may very well open back up to you.

I wish you great success and shall keep the both of you in my prayers.

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK I will see how that works. As far as our sex life, its not the same. Like I said we used to have sex multiple times a day and I would give her multiple orgasms every time. She would tell me she loves having sex with me and I'm the best she's ever had. We used to take showers together and just randomly start having sex in my living room. The last few weeks she has been not really into it and sometimes doesn't want it at all. Since we haven't had sex much lately when we do, I'm so excited that it doesn't last as long. We talked about that and she said she still enjoys it and she still orgasms and having long sex isn't all that good. It has gotten boring between us and even last night when we went to sleep I asked her if she wanted to have some fun and she said "I don't care". We did and she enjoyed it but it wasn't the long multiple orgasm sex I want to give her. How can I get it back to where she wants to have sex a lot again and wants to have good long sex instead of sex seeming like just a chore?


Thanks for getting back to me.

This doesn't really seem to be due to anything that you are doing. Your behavior seems fine and supportive and I do not think that the problem lies with you or how you treat her. You are patient, attentive, and kind from what I gather from your description of your situation.

It seems to me that your girlfriend may be suffering from depression and may need to get some therapy for it.

Here are the official criteria for depression. See if she meets some of these criteria:

Major Depressive Episode

DSM IV Criteria

A) Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure

Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations

1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.

2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)


3) significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.

4) insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day

5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)

6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day

7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
(which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)

8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)

9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

B) The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode

C) The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

D) The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism)

E) The symptoms are not better accounted for by Bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation.



If you feel she has depression (and it seems quite possible) you can get her this professional workbook, particularly if she is hesitant about seeming a counselor or therapist.

Product Details

The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression, Second Edition by Mary Ellen Copeland and Matthew McKay

I wish you great success.

Warm regards,


Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't believe she is depressed. She is busy and works and has school. Our sex life just isn't what it used to be. i don't know if we just went through the honeymoon period and now things are just getting normal or boring. I just want our sex life to be what it was because it was amazing. I don't know if or how to bring this up because I don't want to upset her or make met mad. I'm crazy about her and want us to have as much fun as we did when we first started dating. We are going on a week long vacation next month were both excited for, if things keep going the way they are, should I ask her if there has been something bothering her lately? I think a good week to relax will do us good and would be a good time to talk about any issues we are having. Is that a good idea and how should I bring it up and what should I say to her? And what can I do differently to get her in the mood until then.

Dear Tim,

Going on a vacation is a great idea and may help a lot. It is NOT, however, a time to bring up issues that may be troubling her. If she feels happy, secure, and loved, then she will be most likely to tell you what is on her mind, if there is something to tell.

She may have some depression that you do not notice. Her reduced interest in pleasure is a definite symptom. She still wants to be with you but is not as enthusiastic as before.

Most relationships taper off in that regard, and there are ways of recapturing those feelings - enough, in fact to write a book about it. In fact, one successful writer on relationships just released his latest book on the subject and it is receiving high praise.

Let me recommend it to you:

The Honeymoon Effect: The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth by Bruce H Lipton Ph.D and Bruce H Lipton Ph.D

In the meanwhile, be attentive, kind, and try to work with her level of feelings and desire. You will be more successful if you choose self-restraint over trying to get her to go beyond her current interest level. Go for the best that you can get for now, and use this vacation as a time to find emotional closeness. She still needs you and this is the time to be there for her at her level of need in order to best succeed.


You seem like a very attentive and loving man and she will love you more for supporting her when she seems to need it.


I wish you both great success.

Warm regards,



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So I should be even more sweet to her and maybe spoil her a little more to show her how much I care for her and that should help works things out?

Dear Tim -

YES ! Exactly.

I wish you great success.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I still think there's something going on between us. When were spending time together, she seems OK and happy, but when were apart she is hardly her old self. She used to respond to my texts instantly and always text me good morning have a good day at work, and goodnight I love u. Now I have to wait hours for her to return a text and she doesn't answer calls sometimes when she never used to miss them. Any advice? Should I try to talk to her? Should I give her space? I really want this relationship to work and she has told me in the past she wants to spend forever with me. She doesn't say things like that anymore and I wanna know if she still feels that way or is having doubts?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Dear Tim,

I apologize for not being there when you want an answer but was with a client in my office. I try to be available as much as possible.

As nobody else picked up your question, I shall be happy to continue helping you.

You should definitely stay connected and engaged with her, but you must also give her some space. You will have to walk a fine line between what is enough and what is insufficient.

As it stands, you do not even know why she has become so distant. I know that it makes you nervous for you are naturally afraid of hearing something negative, but it is really essential that you know what is causing her change in behavior.

What could the reason be:

-depression (and perhaps something personal that she hasn't discussed with you)

-illness (thyroid condition or other hormonal problems that she is not even aware of)

-something that you did OR that somebody else said you did

-she met someone else

-because of childhood issues she is afraid of being abandoned and hence want to sabotage the relationship

-delusional thoughts for other reasons

The best way to approach her is to ask her why she has distaned herself from you.

Don't be afraid to tell her how much you love her and how much you want to make this relationship work. Tell her you see tremendous potential and you want to have a happy life with her.

I believe that this is the best approach that you can take to get to the bottom of this.

Tell her you want to see her and if she agrees take her to a place where she likes to go (restaurant, park, beach, etc.). If it is too public then you can find some privacy to talk afterwards, or just to hold each other, if she is willing.

On the one hand you must respect her space, but on the other you must also keep in touch with her.

Be patient and ask her if she has an answer for you and wants to continue. Make it perfectly clear that you love her and that you want to continue and will do what needs to be done, if you can, to make this work.

I definitely encourage you to be direct, honest, and open. This is too important for anything less than total honesty. Hopefully, she will agree with you.

Be positive, try to be as warm and positive as possible even though your heart is in pain. That is all you can do, and I know that you are very capable of doing this in the best possible way.

My prayers are with you.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.



My girl has seemed to be OK lately. The time we have spent together, she has seemed very affectionate, and we have been communicating and talking about things bothering us lately. She tells me she loves me so much and even said something about a honeymoon when we were talking about vacation spots so I know she wants to be with me.There is another problem though. She lives about 30 miles away and we both work and go to school full time. The weekends are the only time we get to spend together. We used to spend the whole weekends together. The last month or so, I only get to see her a day or two instead of Thursday thru Monday. I understand we both need our space, but there are other issues. Last weekend she was supposed to come over Saturday night from her moms house who doesn't live far, maybe 15 miles. I had to work til midnight so when I got off I called her a few times and she didn't answer. The next day she said she had fallen asleep watching a movie with her little brothe and that she would come over that day because I didn't work. I sat around for hours and didn't hear from her. When I called there was no answer. Finally midway through the day I got a text asking what I was doing and I said I'm getting a movie for us to watch and asked her what she wanted for dinner. I got no response and called her a few times over the next few hours and she didn't answer. I finally got a call at around 11 pm and she said she wasnt feeling good and said she would call me back. She ended up going to sleep there again. And never said anything. The next day I told her I was mad because she blew me off and never gave me a text or call telling me. I told her it was my only day off from work and school all week and all she needed to do was send a Text to tell me she wasn't coming. She was very apologetic and said she wouldn't do that again and she was sorry for making me mad. I saw her on Thursday night and some of Friday during the day and she was pretty affectionate and loving. I had to work til midnight Friday and she had to work late to. She had planned on coming back down after work but said she had to babysit the next day so would just stay home and then come out after she babysat. The next day, yesterday, when I talked to her, she said she would get done around 4 or 5 and come out here even though i worked til midnight. We texted back and forth while I was at work a little and she said she was watching a movie at her place and would come over when it was over. That was the last I had heard from her. I was again very dissapointed that I didn't get to see her and that she didn't text me and tell me anything about not coming. Like I said we used to spend all weekend together and noe its turned into a day a week or two if I'm lucky. I want to talk to her about this because I am sick of feeling ignored and not so important to her anymore. I'm starting to think that when we first started dating she tried so hard to get me to fall for her, and now that I have she doesn't have to try so much. I need your advice on how to talk to her about this because I am pretty ticked off about getting neglected lately, and I don't wanna be too hard on her or too mean. I want her to know that I don't want us to spend too much time together but I need more than a day a week and she needs to communicate better because I am feeling very ignored and neglected and like I don't matter to her as much as she says. I basically wanna tell her that actions speak louder than words but I wanted to get your opinion on how to handle this with her because you have had good advice for me recently.




Dear Tim,

Action does speak louder than words. However, she may be suffering from depression, which would explain the way she was acting.

It is a reason but it is not an excuse and you should tell her that you are feeling very neglected because she does not make the effort to see you and she does not even make the courteous effort to respond to you.

It is very rude to keep someone hanging on waiting for their promised reply which never comes.

You can tell her not in terms of her being wrong but rather in terms of how you feel when you sit and wait for a reply or visit that never happens. Tell her it makes you feel sad. Let her ascribe the blame to herself instead of you doing it. Tell it without anger or judgment. Let her hear your sadness (which is authentic).

Next time she promises to do something tell her that you are counting on her keeping her word and that you are looking forwards to hearing from her or seeing her at the appointed time or within the time window she sets.

If she does not then you can hold her feet to the fire and tell her that she has lost credibility and you cannot trust what she tells you any longer.

If she cares, then she will respond positively and will know that she can no longer treat you with disregard.

If she doesn't, then it may mean that you are approaching the end of a relationship that has been faltering, and has been one-sided.

It ultimately depends on how much abuse (yes this is abuse) you wish to accept to maintain the relationship. It seems that the status quo is not very satisfying. All you can do is to try to effect positive change.

If she cannot live up to the terms of mutual self-respect then you have to decide if you wish to continue in this way, or not.

You can also talk to her about depression and see if she needs help, for this could change things for the better, if she can pull out of depression.

I wish you success and hope you can make this work on more favorable terms.

Warm regards,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Its been a weird few weeks Elliot. Me and my girl were supposed to go to California for vacation last week, but she got very sick a week before and was unable to go. I was upset that she wasn't able to go, but understood that she was unable to. She ended up with the flu and a vitamin deficiciency virus. She could hardly move, not eat or sleep and was just miserable. I went alone and while I was gone I was very upset with her because I hardly heard from her and she wouldn't even tell me what the doctors said when she went to the hospital. I had to find out from her mom. After a few days of her ignoring me I asked her if she even wanted to be with me anymore because the last month or so she hasn't shown it. I had had enough and wasn't going to go on if I wasn't gonna be shown that I was loved by her. She texted me back and said she does love me, she doesn't want to lose me and thinks I'm perfect. She said we can talk when I got back. I seen her today for the first time and I asked her if she even wanted to be with me because she had been so distant for a while. She said she did and that she has been depressed and unhappy for awhile(you were spot on). She said she gets depressed because her dead is a piece of sh*t. I'm not going to get into details but he really is scum. She said she got depressed in high school over him and responded by partying and drinking. She said she hasn't know how to act lately being so depressed over her situation with him and how he treats her mom and younger brother(they have split custody). She said she didn't mean to push me away and wasn't sure if I would even want to be with her anymore. I told her I was crazy about her and want to be with her and would do whatever I could to be with her. I told her I understand why she has been so distant and although I don't like her being depressed, I'd rather it be that than her losing interest in me or being interested in some other guy. She said she had already talked to someone about her depression while I was gone but didn't like the lady and plans on talking to someone else about it. I was wondering what u think I should do as far as helping her along through her hard times. I don't know if I should back off some because I don't think she needs me smothering her right now, but I do want to do whatever I can for her. Not only because I want her treating me the way she used to, but because I do generally care about her and want her happy.


Thanks for everything


Dear Tim,

It is possible that you expect too much of her. You were annoyed because she was not communicating with you when you went to California. She was sick and in the hospital. Perhaps you could not have put off the trip, but you were not there with her when she probably needed as much attention as she could get.

Do you think that you expected too much of her when she was so ill that she had to be hospitalized?

She obviously love you but you seem to be a bit insecure and cannot accept or support her when she is depressed. Depressed people are less enthusiastic about things they usually like, including people they love. That is part of depression and you should understand that.

She talked to some woman (therapist or counselor) while you were gone (you were not there) and presumably it was to help her. YOU didn't like the lady and she has changed.

This doesn't sound right. If she is depressed she needs to talk to a professional and she should decide if the professional is helping her. That is what she needs and you would be a lot happier if you supported her and not be so critical of her when she is ill and depressed. That will only make her worse.

Please have patience with this woman who loves you.

I wish you great success.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I never said I didn't like the lady she talked to. That is what she told me. She told me that she didn't like her. I tried to be supportive of her while I was gone. I texted her multiple times asking how she was doing and she wouldn't respond. I had to text her mother to find out she had the flu. I still would text her and tell her that I loved her everyday but when she did finally respond, she just kept saying she would call me and never did. i don't think I was expecting too much of her when all I wanted was a text message telling me what the doctors said when she went to the hospital one day. I told her if she was really bad I would come home, and right before I left she said she would probably feel better in a few days and come out there later. I have supported this girl through everything the best I can but have never dated anybody going through depression. I want to be there for her the best I can but don't know how right now.

Dear Tim,

You have to understand that your girlfriend does love and need you. When she is so depressed then you have to expect her to be somewhat irritable or distant, like everyone else who is depressed.

She probably wished you were there but was not going to say anything to spoil your trip.

Sometimes it is very tough to try to be cheerful and attentive to a depressed person, and you have not had the experience before.

I have a great book that I urge you to buy. This will put you up to speed and make things a lot easier for you.

When Someone You Love is Depressed: How to Help Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself by Laura Epstein Rosen and Xavier Francisco Amador

While I am making recommendations let me suggest a workbook for her which she can use in addition to her therapist:


The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Move Through... by Patricia J. Robinson and Kirk D. Strosahl



I wish you both great success in moving past this period of your lives. You seem to have what it takes to make a good relationship, but you need to iron out the difficult parts.


Warm regards,



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Real quick, is it normal for a girl going through depression to just ignore:me for a week. The last time i heard from her she said she was getting better. I said I had to go to sleep and she said she loved me sooooo much and really missed me and to call her the next day. I tried calling her, no answer, I've texted and Facebook messages her a few times and no answer. Its been 6 days. Should I ask her about it or just say nothing til she gets back to me?



Dear Tim,

A person who is in deep depression often wants to be alone and has no interest in the things and people that are usually important in her life.

If you ask her about it you will just put her on the spot. The best you can do is to be patient and just send her an occasional message saying that you are thinking of her.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I still haven't heard back from her. I texted her and told her that I loved her and that I know she's going through hell. I told her she will get over it and everything will be OK. I told her shes the best thing to ever come into my life and that I will not give up on her. I told her to not worry about me or hurting me and that I'll be here for her whenever. Did I do the right thing? I also sent her a box of chocolates that'll be there in a couple days. I'm just worried she might break it off with me for guilt over hurting me. I am willing to go through this for her because before this all started I had never been so happy in my life and I know someday it'll go back to that. I don't care if it takes six months for her to get better.

Dear Tim,

She did not exactly jump for you when you texted her your swee message and sent her a box of chocolates on top of it.

She has already broken it off with you in deed, if not in word.

If six months is your line in the sand, then give her the six months and continue to text her occasionally, but don't pour out your heart as you did in your last communication. Just say hi or thing of you. Anything more puts pressure on her to respond in kind and she is not ready for that.

I wish you continued perseverance and patience.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Y would she break it off with me and not say anything to me? I have told her that if she wants to break up just tell me because there are plenty of other ppl out there. She hasn't received the chocolates yet I said they would be there in a couple days. And six months isn't my line in the sand, I've read that an episode like this usually lasts two weeks to six months so I was saying I will wait however long it takes. I have told her that if she doesn't want to be with me anymore to say something and she has always responded with I love u and want to be with u forever and that I'm perfect. So I don't see how she has ended this in deed

Then hang in there Tim.

Warm regards

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Elliott. I finally found out what's been up a couple days after we last spoke. My girl came over to talk and told me she's been on heroin since before we got together. I had no clue. She was sick because she was going through withdrawals at her moms house. She said she has tried to get clean over ten times and that is the reason she was acting weird and her sex drive was down. She didn't speak to me because she didn't know how to tell me. She thought I would just end it with her. She told me to think about staying with her before I made my decision. I have a brother who is a heroin addict so I understand their situation. I decided to stay with her for two reasons. Because I know she loves me and leaving her could hurt her and cause her to relapse. And because I love her and want to be with her as long as she can beat this addiction. I know your a relationship advisor, but I'm trying to get as much advice as I can for my situation so I figured is ask you if you could tell me anything about this. She has been very distant, probably dealing with depression. Doesn't answer the phone sometimes and doesn't call back or text back. Sometimes she does and we do talk but sometimes she seems like she just wants to get off the phone. We have hardly seen each other but I have read that depressed people push those they love away. I don't think she has lapsed or relapsed, but I of course have my suspicions. The thought crosse my mind that she could be avoiding me because she has lapses and is ashamed of it. When she first told me she said she was a 'piece of shit' and a bad person. I told her she has nothing to be ashamed about, and that she just made a mistake and needs to do what is necessary to correct it. She has been going to acupuncture and outpatient rehab for it and says she is scared to relapse because if she does she is thinks she is going to die. She says she will not let anybody control her so she's definitely not going to let a drug control her. Shes ashamed that it did control her and she's not going to let that happen again. She even agreed to tell me if she relapses, but said she's not going to. She's saying all the right things but I know heroin addicts will tell you what you want to hear. She hid this from me for 5 months so she knows she can probably hide it from me some more. She has told me she thinks I'm perfect, that she wants to be with me and doesn't want to lose me, that I'm the most amazing guy she has ever met, so I know she wants to be together. I have given her chances to break up with me and she doesn't want that. She says she tried to be somebody else when we got together and she's a miserable depressed person and has done drugs for a long time. She says I don't know the real her. As much as I love this girl, I guess I don't know who she really is, but I want to give her a shot to find the real her because of the feelings I have for her. If she gets clean and we don't click, we can always just be friends. If she's anything near what she ways towards the beginning I wanna marry this girl, and I'm pretty sure she wants that to because she has given hints about being married to me. I have told her I support her and will do anything for her a few times( actually a few times too many) and she told me the other day she is getting annoyed with everybody telling her that. She says she hasn't wanted to be around anybody lately and is ways 'on edge'. Our relationship comes second to me right now. The most important thing is that she learns to live sober. I know its all up to her and I can't really do anything but support her, but I'm just asking if u have any advice for this situation. I know this is long, but I wanted to make sure you could give me the best advice possible. If u don't know much about it, that's ok. Like I said I'm doing as much research as possible and figured it was worth a shot to ask you. Thanks for anythingyoyou can tell me and thanks for the past advice.

Dear Tim,

If she is using needles make sure they are new ones as you don't want her (and subsequently you) getting hepatitis or HIV/AIDS.

I know that you truly love her and must get her on an effective rehab program and be there to make sure that she sticks with it 100%, as if her life depends on it, because it does.

She needs to get away from her suppliers and if she could move somewhere away from her sources then it would be harder for her to continue.

I shall keep both of you in my prayers.

Warm regards,