My partner is mad I'm late.
- What My Therapist Recommends: I understand you're upset. I wasn't demonstrating that I valued your time, and that's not right. I also think it's possible I triggered your fears of abandonment from childhood, and your reaction could potentially be a projection, but I want us to work together to ensure that you feel confident in this relationship.
- What I said: I'm not late, you're early.
My partner is upset my apartment is messy.
- What My Therapist Recommends: You're right. I should tidy up to foster a comfortable and stress-free environment for both you and myself.
- What I said: This isn't your royal castle. If you don't respect the way I live, this will never work.
My partner is pushing me to spend too much time with their family.
- What My Therapist Recommends: I really appreciate that you're bringing me into your life, but I have responsibilities of my own, so I'd like to keep the dinners with your parents to once a month for right now. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I don't want to rush into things too quickly.
- What I said: Your mom's a lot, and I'm not the only one who thinks that. Mmmmm-kay?
My partner's mother is putting a lot of pressure on me to have kids.
- What My Therapist Recommends: You're concerned about your bloodline and who will take charge of the family business, and I understand that. Still, this is something he and I would like to discuss separately, so it'd be much appreciated if you didn't tell reporters that I'm soon-to-be carrying the heir to the throne.
- What I said: Pry my IUD out of my cold, wet vagina. Or, if we're being honest, dry vagina.
I don't like being hounded by paparazzi.
- What My Therapist Recommends: Hey, could we maybe get a place somewhere a little more remote? I'm just a private person, and having the paparazzi around makes me feel anxious.
- What I said: If you don't get rid of them, I will walk outside nude. How would the Queen like that?
We can't agree on a theme for a wedding.
- What My Therapist Recommends: I know tradition is important to you. Maybe we can find some middle ground where I can respect your family history while also not wearing white, because I could menstruate at any moment. Like, any moment.
- What I said: I don't want a royal wedding! I want it to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer-themed; I've been saying this from the first day we ever met. Do you not remember? You were like, "Don't bring up your wedding, we just met."
My partner wants me to give up my career to fulfill my duties as a royal.
- What My Therapist Recommends: As you know, my career is very important to me. This has always been true, even though I did quit my job three months ago to focus on my lifestyle blog (I told you, I'll do the first post once my homemade kefir successfully curdles), but still. I think we can find a way for me to attend formal family balls and use your parents' private island without me compromising what I've worked for.
- What I said: No offence to your family, but being a royal is not a "job".
My partner doesn't understand why I feel trapped.
- What My Therapist Recommends: I feel trapped when you tell me the only thing I'm ever going to be is a princess or queen, and that I'm your country's last hope. If you guys would be willing to compromise on the patriarchy thing, maybe your sister could rule? She's way more adult than I am. Like, she puts ice cream in bowls before eating it.
- What I said: This is not what the Disney Channel said it would be.
I'm not getting the attention I need from my partner, so I'm acting out.
- What My Therapist Recommends: I recognize where you're coming from. You told me from the day we met that if this were to get serious, I'd have to be a professional royal. I'm sorry I smashed your dad's 800-year-old plate that apparently some king gave him, and I shouldn't have done that. I also definitely shouldn't have done that while yelling about how Anne Hathaway never would have stood for this shit in The Princess Diaries. I'm sorry again, and upon further reflection, yes, she would have stood for it. She had no spine. She couldn't even admit to her best friend she straightened her hair.
- What I said: Look, the king whose plates I smashed was probably really racist 800 years ago.
Okay, yeah, I probably shouldn't have stolen the crown jewels.
- What My Therapist Recommends: I was feeling stressed out about my responsibilities, and I resorted to an unhealthy coping mechanism. I understand that my actions made you feel like you can't trust me anymore, and I'm sorry.
- What I said: Lol, crown jewels. Like, penis.
But do I deserve to be beheaded?
- What My Therapist Recommends: Hey, I know things didn't go as planned, but I really value the connection we had, and I think we should try to remember the good times before we jump to swift action.
- What I said: F*ck, are you serious? They can't still do that – where is the United Nations!? Doesn't the Geneva Convention outlaw this sort of thing!? If you don't let me out of this dungeon, I'm gonna blow you guys up on Twitter, you'll be sorry! Dammit! There's no service down here!!!
My partner has dumped me and now blocked me on Instagram.
- What My Therapist Recommends: Thank you for communicating your needs. It's probably better if I don't IG-stalk you anyway, so we can both move on.
- What I said: Sucks to suck, I set a Google alert for your name, Prince Doofus. And I'll keep stalking you until the moment they chop off my h–
I’m More Dateable than a Plate of Refried Beans, Ginny Hogan’s new humour collection, will be published by Chronicle Books on May 3rd.