Thursday January 23 2014

I think I’m in love with my friend’s ex

The problem
Dear Heart to Heart, I am 26 years old and I have been in devastating relationships. I had decided to give dating a break but at the end of last year I met an old friend from campus. She was my friend’s girlfriend but they broke up four years ago. We hung out for a while and after sometime she confessed that I was the only one to heal her love wounds and I also believed that she was the only one to heal mine. Although I am not scared of her recent broken relationship, I worry about how my friend will look at me. Will he forgive me? (Never mind that he is set to introduce his fiancée). Can I go ahead with this girl? She is eager to bear me a child as soon as I agree. She has also entrusted me with her bank pin numbers, which I look out as a sign of love. I love her so much. Please advise me.
your solutions
Dear Andy, take a little more time to carefully study the intentions of this lady. Often times women in her situation will want to hook up with a friend of their ex just to get back at him. They will feel an attraction to their ex’s friend(s) just because they know it won’t go down well with him (the ex), and the knowledge of that is exciting and appealing, hence the attraction. Please ensure that this is not where her attraction to you is coming from before you make the commitment.

Dear Andy, it seems as though you already have answers figured out and it is only you who can decide whether to go ahead with her or not. In this type of relationship, we love those who love us back- which you say she does. The fact that you love her so much is reason enough. I, however, can’t guarantee that being entrusted with bank pins or any other materialistic thing is a sign of love. Opposites may attract, but that is not a good rule when it comes to values. I encourage you to take enough time to study her character such that history doesn’t repeat itself. Have you found out why your previous relationships were devastating? If not, re examine yourself too. While dating, use this time to discuss your future, make plans of how you intend to spend the rest of your time together. Money and wealth do not make a good family or home but wealth is necessary in a home. Listen to your heart but think with your brain.
Pr Allan

But Andy, I don’t even get your problem. Your friend has clearly moved on so I don’t see why he would have a problem with you dating his ex, unless the two of you subscribe to the “bro code” about never dating each other’s ex. In that case, that ship has already sailed. If he is really your friend, he should be able to get over his ego and be happy for you. Otherwise, talk to him and sort it out with him.

Andy, that is really sad for you. But if you are truly in love you can go on and date the girl. Only thing is dating this girl means you will have to sacrifice your friendship.

Andy, if you love this girl so much and you are absolutely sure that she loves you too, there is no problem for the two of you to start a relationship. However, it is very important that you notify your friend as well. He will feel obviously betrayed if the two of you started a relationship without telling him. Whether or not he gives you his blessings, make a decision that makes you happy at the end. The important thing is that you have come out of your way to tell him and besides, he is moving on too.

Dear Andy, quit that relationship immediately. Chances that this girl is using you to get back at her ex - your friend - are high. You have only started dating but she has already entrusted you with some of the most confidential aspects like ATM pin number and eagerness to bear you a child. Ask yourself about that important thing you have done to earn that much trust and love. You must avoid getting into relationships in the hope of “healing past wounds” because a relationship’s sole purpose is companionship. The rest are secondary. If you didn’t discuss the relationship with your friend when you started it and are waiting for him to discover it himself, that will be the end of your friendship. Open up to him. It will not come out easy, but it will clear the air and reduce your guilt.

Andy, maybe you first need to investigate the cause of their breakup. This is important because she could be using you as a way to get back at your friend. But now that your friend is actually going to introduce, that means he has given up on past affairs. Tell him about your relationship and see if his reaction shows whether he still likes this girl or not. He could also tell you her weaknesses and why they probably broke up. I know this is hard but you will be relieved. A relationship is between two mature adults, not the whole society. That is why when you decide to break up, you don’t consult the whole clan or village. So, what people are going to say shouldn’t be your concern. If you think she is going to make you happy, take her on.
Bro Sif

Do you realise that you have your own life and that you have a responsibility to make it enjoyable or unhappy? The way I see it, you may not be aware of this. As your friend has shown by going ahead and introducing his fiancée, the choices you make are your own. You could tell him, not ask, about your relationship with his ex-girlfriend. I am assuming she was not that important, otherwise he would not have let her go. Let by-gones be by-gones. You are now in love with this woman, so man up and do the needful. If your friend is not happy with it, no problem, he is not the first nor the last friend you will make in this life. This is your decision to make and hers too but not your friend’s, despite the history. If you love this girl and feel she is the one, go ahead and make it official.

counsellor’s take : Hope Nankunda Mwijuka, Healing Talk Counselling Services

Dear Andy, I understand when you say you have been in a traumatic relationship in the past and decided to give dating a break, which was good. However, as regards your current relationship, I would like you to know that an ex is an ex and your friend has already moved on seeing as he is introducing his fiancée. Why should you be worried anyway?

One thing you should know is that two wounded people cannot heal each other. It is obvious you have both suffered from failed relationships in the past and as such this relationship might not last long because both of you sound desperate, which is not good.

I must add that bearing somebody a child or declaring bank pins is not a sign of love. It does not necessarily mean that the person is in love with you. This girl sounds desperate and as such is willing to do anything to have you in her life. Why would you want to bring a child into this world when you have not healed yet?

It is not yet safe for you to think of having children unless you have clearly tested and known that this is the right relationship for you. Let the relationship mature with time.

Next week’s

Dear Heart to Heart, I am in love with a married man, but his wife recently came to know about it and she knows who I am. I feel terrible hurting people’s feelings, that is why I have chosen to play tricks for this man so that he can let go. The man has, however, promised to hurt me if I abandon him. He says I am the reason he is on good terms with his wife back home. I am determined to let go of the affair but it looks like my hands are tied. Please advise.
- Name withheld