Dear Pastor
October 1, 2004
Ex-girlfriend still around

Dear Pastor Jackson,

I am dealing with a dilemma that has left me quite befuddled. Upon reading your last article I came to the conclusion that your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Lately, I have been feeling quite at odds with myself. You see, some months ago, I met a young man who subsequently became my friend and we were progressing nicely, at least that was the given impression, until his ex-girlfriend called him with quite distressing news, which I do not wish to get into. Although they ended their relationship they continued to be friends. {{more}}

Now, it seems as though I am getting mixed signals from him – one time he wants to be my friend and the other times he seems to regard me as something quite strange. I do admit that sometimes I may come across as being an aggressive female, but that is part of the culture I am from. I have made it quite clear that regardless of whatever has happened in his past and will occur in his future I would like for us to remain friends.

I have also felt for some time that he has been confused about certain things in his life and I was trying to help him. Pastor, should I turn my back on him, the one person I have connected with since my arrival and leave him to his own devices or should I continue to see him and risk being hurt in the process?

I really do admire this young man and would like our relationship to progress. But I feel resentful towards his ex for intervening in my plans and this is hurting me as well. Pastor Jackson, what should I do?


Hi, Thank you for your vote of confidence as it relates to my work in this column. I am glad that you have seen fit to get my spin on the situation that you are facing.

Now, you have not elaborated on the situation your “boyfriend’s” ex is facing which has warranted his attention. However, you did mention that they had remained friends after ending their relationship, so you knew this from the beginning. But, from what you said, I wonder if this “aggressive” nature you speak about so lightly may not be manifesting itself in irrational jealousy; please think about it.

Outside of knowing the details of that young lady’s problem, so as to determine its legitimacy, I can’t help but lean to the side of thinking that you are making much ado about nothing.

Do not get me wrong; anyone who sees their love interest still closely attached to someone they were involved with before, is bound to have some antennas of observation lifted. But there must be a limit to this suspicion.

If you feel ignored, you can express it, but if this “Friend” is hurting, then you should understand, unless you see a clear reason to believe you are being “played”. Have you considered that your attitude may be the reason why he is pulling back; he might just be seeing a side of you that scares him?

All things considered, though, you guys need to talk, express your concerns and fears; no relationship can survive without such conversations.