Tips with TRISH: Don’t Be A Doormat

Dear Trish:

I have been hanging out with this girl for several months. We are obviously into each other. We have a great time together whether we are doing homework, watching Netflix, or whatever. The intimacy is also great. When she needs something, I have been right there to help out, whether it’s when she doesn’t feel well or needs help with a project. Problem is, she seems to want me around only when it is convenient for her. I’m starting to wonder if I’m a doormat. I can tell that I have strong feelings for her because I have shared more with her, emotionally, than any other girl. I think it’s the same for her too but she won’t admit it. Whenever I talk about making it official she says she’s “not ready.” She still wants to do everything that boyfriends and girlfriends do in relationships, but can’t commit.  How do I know when it’s time to give up since I’m not getting what I really want?

Feeling like a Doormat

Trish says:

Being treated like a doormat sucks. It usually starts out harmlessly because you like someone a lot or because you are just used to pleasing people. The problem is, you often don’t realize you are a doormat until you are so far into a relationship, you can’t get out. The more it happens, the more you feel like you can’t change it. And it’s usually not obvious because the person taking advantage of you is not an outright jerk. In fact, it would be easier if she was one. Chances are, she doesn’t know how to have a balanced relationship or she doesn’t trust herself in one. It’s easy to look at yourself as the problem in the situation by thinking you are not enough. In this case, however, the cliché is probably true. “It’s not you, it’s her.”

You can’t change her, but there are some things you can do for yourself. If she is devaluing you, look at how you feel about yourself. Be honest with yourself – do you feel like you are worthy of respect and love? You need to know that you deserve these things.  Let me guess, you got her something for Valentine’s Day and she got you nothing? When she texts wanting to get together, you jump at the chance but she is “too stressed” when you request her presence? If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to take some time to build yourself up. Look at your strengths. Sounds like you are a very thoughtful guy. Lots of young women are looking for a nice guy who is not afraid to put energy into a relationship with the chance of something real.

It’s time to set some limits with this gal and take the time to work on your confidence. The only way to stop being treated like a doormat is to not act like one.


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Tricia Borelli is the Director of Counseling Services at Loras College. In Tips with Trish, she will answer student questions concerning anything that relates to keeping it together while doing this crazy thing called college. Send questions or comments to Ms. Borelli, Loras Box 100, or to the e-mail address All names of those sending questions will be kept confidential.

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