Your girlfriend is sick and you’ve decided to put on your white knight helmet as her caretaker. The only problem? She’s driving you insane!
While playing doctor with your girlfriend may give you those fuzzy tingles that only result from doing a truly good, giving and charitable act, you may feel your joy diminish as the days of running for chicken soup and ginger ale pile up – especially if you’re living together.
You’ll have to suck it up whenever she demands things that will make her feel better, whether it’s a glass of water, a bowl of hot soup or freshly fluffed pillows to lay her weary head on. You’ll also have to deal with the mess of snotty tissues, empty foil packets of medication and a potentially irritable girlfriend who just might pick a sudden fight in her pain-ridden situation.
Taking care of a sick partner
So how do you deal with your sick girlfriend in a loving manner, without driving yourself insane? Fear not, there are ways you can deal with your sick mate that won’t result in an emotional lobotomy on your end. In fact, these tips may just score you some brownie point!
#1 Embrace your role as caretaker. First things first, you need to embrace your caretaker role. Remember, there is more happiness in giving than in receiving! So embrace your boyfriendly role, and make it fun. You can do this by being your charming, adorable self and showing up at her place with chicken soup and an oversized teddy bear.
You may also opt to make a caretaker gift basket. This is also great to give her on a day you can’t be with her while she’s sick! Fill her basket with cute tissue boxes, Tums, chicken soup packets, Gatorade, ginger-ale, Nyquil, candies, and something sweet like a chocolate box, hand-written letter, or a personal item that represents an inside joke.
You can even theme your box, like doing a “movie night basket” complete with a chick-flick, tissues, popcorn, pretzels, gummy candies, chocolate-covered almonds, and one of your shirts for her to sleep in.
#2 Take time for yourself. It’s essential you don’t get so wrapped up in taking care of your sweetie that you forget to take care of yourself. Take some “me” time from your nurse duty once in a while, even if you can only spare an hour or so. You can hide the selfishness of this act by masking it as a sweet thing for her, like running her a warm bubble bath for one, or giving her some much needed sleep time.
This is key to not get overwhelmed. Whether she had a case of the flu or she’s chronically ill, never forget to take care of the caretaker. While it may make you feel selfish, it might also free your mind. You need to take a night where you do your own thing, away from your SO. Otherwise, you may just go crazy. [Read: 14 quick stress busters to help you relax]
#3 Doing shift work. By sticking around a cranky, sniffly, sore girlfriend 24/7, you may be in line for the boyfriend of the year award, but you may also end up a very impatient, emotionally-drained man. This is why the aforementioned step is so important. However, you need to make sure your taking a night off doesn’t leave her to fend for herself. Get one of her friends or family members together and make a game plan for “shift work” with your sick lover.
#4 Make it fun. Catching a cold certainly isn’t a life sentence when it comes to living together. If you’re trapped under the same roof with a sick lover, then why not try to make it fun. Yes, you’re probably not having much sex while she’s knocked down, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of her down time.
Use your imagination and head back to being 11. What was fun to do before there was the promise of sex at the end of the day? Games! Try having a game night with your girlfriend. Grab all the snacks you can and bust out the old board-games. Play in bed to make this a sick-girl friendly experience.
#5 Don’t get frustrated. This will only cause the both of you to fight. If you feel like you’re going to lose it, take some down time or try to have some fun together to let the steam out. Nothing will make her feel even worse than seeing your frustration while she herself is dealing with her sickness.
#6 Drop the pity party. Yes, you’ve been taking care of her and yes, you’re probably not getting the appreciation you deserve for all the ways you’ve put yourself out for your woman. But relationships require a couple of sacrifices along the way.
#7 Never complain to your friends! Yes, taking care of a sick spouse can be frustrating, but complaining to your friends about your new caretaker role may just get back to your girlfriend. Odds are, in her sickened state, she isn’t going to appreciate your gossiping about her. If you’re tempted to complain, just remember: She hates being sick more than you hate taking care of her.
#8 Don’t push for sex. If she’s feeling violently ill, odds are, sex and blowjobs are probably off the table for a while. After all, stuffy noses and queasy stomachs don’t make for good head-bobbing. Do her a favor and don’t push for any hand action either.
If you have to have sexual contact while you’re playing nanny, do your woman a favor and be the giver instead of the receiver. She’ll love all the efforts you’re making to make her feel better, in every way. [Read: 13 annoying boyfriend traits and how to avoid them]
#9 Remember the forthcoming brownie points. Your girlfriend isn’t going to have the sniffles forever. In fact, by a week’s time she’ll be back to her smokey eyes and that little black dress you love so much. The best part? She won’t have forgotten how sweet you were to her in the past days, and she’ll probably reward you for your gallant efforts.
Girls appreciate a man who’s willing to emotionally put out for her in her times of need. Be the guy your girlfriend will be thankful for and learn how to be patient with her when she’s sick. She’ll definitely think you’re a keeper if you do!