She Still Talks to her Ex

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Male
My girlfriend still sees her ex-boyfriend. She says that they are just friends. She told me that he openly admitted to her that he is trying to get her back, and he doesn't care if she has a boyfriend or not. She says to me that she won't go back to him but still wants to be friends. I am not comfortable with her seeing him as long as he is not ready to be her friend.

How do I tell her to stop seeing him till he is ready to be her friend. Without sounding unreasonable.

What I really want her to tell him is "I'm sorry, but I can't see you until you are ready to be my friend." She will probably agree that it needs to be done but I think she has a courage problem doing that. How do I help her? I realize that it is going to pressure her a little. But I really feel that it needs to be done. Am I being unreasonable or am I asking for too much? If its a reasonable request, is there a gentle way to do it? Advice
One of the most important things in any relationship is to accept each other the way we are and to not pressure each other to change. If you start trying to get your girlfriend to change the way she deals with her friends because it would make you happy, that's a sure way to having her view you as a "controlling parent" in her life. A relationship should be about two people who respect each other, never about a person pressuring another person into doing something he or she is hesitant about. If you can do it about friends, can you do it about sex? About commitment? About all those other things that are important in life?

Look at this as a minor speed bump in your relationship. Believe me, MUCH more serious things come up in relationships that people have to face. This is almost a training situation for you guys to figure out how you handle problems in the relationship. He's not even a real threat, because she knows what he is like and is dealing with it.

So the basic answer is you can NOT tell her how to live her life. You can express to her your worries, which it sounds like you have. But SHE has to make the decisions about how to handle her own friends. And you have to accept her and her choices. That's part of love - accepting someone for all they are, good and bad, without forcing them to change to meet your own particular needs.

So all of that being said, if she really IS this guy's friend, she will help him get over her so he goes on and finds a girl that is actually available. If she keeps 'nurturing' him, he's going to focus on her and not look for someone new. Which is just going to keep adding to his pain. If she DOES care about him she will help him see that he needs to find a new girlfriend, and get him on his way. If instead she keeps "comforting him" because it makes HER (i.e. your girlfriend) feel nice to be needed, she's only prolonging his sadness.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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