Dear Pastor
August 13, 2004
Caught in the web of an ending relationship

Dear Pastor,
A young lady has maintained a good friendship with a couple for a number of years. This couple has been together for over eight years and this young lady always visited their home, attending birthday parties and sharing many other special moments with them. A short while ago the couple broke up and the man has since moved out. Now, the young lady had nothing to do with this breaking up, it happened for other reasons.{{more}} In fact she was one who, along with other friends, has been trying to get them back together but it just hasn’t been working.
Now the lady in the relationship still wants to make it work but whatever caused the break up has turned the man against her and he is dead set against it. The problem is that recently he has begun to track the young lady who is their friend, claiming that he wants to explore the possibility of a relationship. The young lady does like him but because of her friendship with both of them never even let such a thought venture in her mind. But now that that relationship really seems to be over she is having a hard time getting him out of her mind. He is also making it hard by asking her out, giving her little gifts and things like that. If it was any other person she would have been with him but she is afraid that it may be unethical, is it, she likes him bad and he seems to like her a lot?

On behalf of a Friend

Your friend is in a real predicament and I can understand why something like that can have her confused. The reality of life is that relationships break up, we never like when it happens but it does. Sometimes for stupid reasons and other times well justified reasons. Now, in your friend’s case, her friends’ relationship seems to have come to an end from what you have explained and the young man’s adamant resolve hints that his girlfriend may have really done something to hurt him or erode his trust. So if it is really over, then one can understand why if he wants to move on, he would be drawn to someone who is already a friend he may have liked but could go no further on account of his relationship. So that in itself is not far out or devious.
However if the two of them are to be together, then the bond of friendship can very well be destroyed between the two young ladies, which will be sad.
So, in my mind, this young lady has a couple of choices. She can resist her temptation and maintain her friendship with both parties, explaining her desire to the young man to do so. Her next option is to be straightforward with her female friend, letting her know of the young man’s pursuit. Of course the friend will inquire about her feelings. Be honest, let her know that the situation is complex because of the existing friendship she shares and shared with them during their relationship. Honesty is still the best policy. So if she desires to pursue the possibility of a relationship she must make sure that her friend gets it first hand and not have to “find out”. It may not change her reaction but it will be above board and leave room for reconciliation in the friendship if the friend’s anger strains it somewhat.
She should also stretch it out as long as possible, giving every opportunity for the friend to win her guy back. It may seem foolish in this day and age, but that is true friendship.
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