Dear EFAP: I leave things to the last minute and it drives my girlfriend nuts

Feb 1, 2018 | News

Thank you to those who have written to “dear efap” for input on your dilemmas. As you are aware, we read every inquiry that comes in but we are only able to print a small selection of responses. Our “pithy” answers are modeled after the lighter hearted Dear Abby style and are grounded in common sense. If your issues require a more personalized level of support please call Employee Wellness/EFAP (1-800-505-4929) and we can confidentially book you a counselling appointment with a senior level therapist.

We welcome all inquiries – please submit these to All printed responses use the anonymous descriptor that you sign your inquiry with and do not reveal any identifying information. Our goal is to support you through insight and common sense.

Below is our response to the next selection – enjoy!

I always leave things to the last minute and it drives my girlfriend of many years nuts. She's even threatened to leave me due to it. She's amazing and I adore her and I don't want that to happen! She wants to plan things like dinner parties and theatre tickets and weekends away. I want to do all of those things but I just can't plan them ahead… How can I resolve this? 
- Last Minute Larry

Dear Last Minute Larry,
Is it that you can't plan things ahead, or that you won't plan things ahead? There is a distinction. If, for instance, you are on call one week and you don't know if you will be called in, that would legitimately fall on the “can’t plan ahead" side. But if you really don't have anything that precludes you from committing to a time, that falls on the "won't plan ahead side". And that my friend, is a different matter altogether. I would invite you to ask yourself “why can I not commit to make plans ahead of time?” Do I just have this issue with my girlfriend or is it with everybody?

You asked me how to resolve this and asking yourself these questions is a start. You might find that commitment is an issue for you to look at. I note from what you wrote that the woman in your life has been your girlfriend for many years. I'm thinking that perhaps there are some other lifelong things that she would like to plan with you, but if she can't get you to plan dinner a week ahead, she certainly will be cautious to speak of higher commitment events. If you want to really look at this issue, one of our trusted counsellors can help. I would encourage you to do so, as this woman sounds lovely and it sounds like you care for her and really don't want to lose her. Ignoring this issue might just prompt that. So please know we are here to help (604-872-4929).

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The advice offered in this column is meant to be used as general guidance based on the facts provided. The opinions or views expressed should not be relied on as treatment or counselling services. If you are a PHC staff member and find yourself in need of counselling or support, please contact Employee Wellness/EFAP toll free at 1-800-505-4929 or 604-872-4929, your family doctor, or another appropriately trained and qualified specialist.

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