Love, Sex, and Real Life
I Can't Get Over Her
Q I'm going through a really hard time right now. My girlfriend dumped me after 10 months. She'd already started going out with other guys before we broke up.
I've forgiven her for this, and I'm trying to get on with my life, but it's really hard. Since I hang out with some friends who go to her school, I still see her a lot. It's hard to see her flirting with other guys. How I should deal with this?
A It takes time for wounds of love to heal because those wounds can be very deep. With that said, I'd like to give a couple of cautions: In your effort to get over your pain, don't try to start a relationship with another girl right away. You need time to heal. A relationship would only complicate matters for you. Second, don't try to pretend you're not hurting. In other words, don't bury your feelings.
Instead, you need to deal with your feelings. It sounds like you've got some good friends to hang around with. They can help you heal. Talk to a caring friend about what you're going through. Ask him or her to pray with you and to help keep your spirits up as you recover from your breakup.
But I think the best solution to your problem is the most obvious one: Stay away from your old girlfriend. Do you have to hang out at a place where she's always around? Can you find some other place to go? Seeing her is bound to bring up all the old, painful memories. Someday you'll be able to see her and not have these feelings, but for now, you need to try and keep your distance. Try to hang out with your friends elsewhere.
You've already done the very best thing you can do: Forgive her and move on. Now, it's time for you to literally move on to another place.
My Friend's Having Sex
Q A friend of mine has gotten far away from God. She's dating a non-Christian, and I just learned they're having sex. I'm not sure what to do. I know she's heading for trouble. Should I tell her parents? What can I do to help her?
A Start by praying for her, daily. It's the best thing you can do because it calls on the most powerful force in her life: God. You may be able to help her, but mostly it's up to her and God. So pray.
Then, tell her what you're praying about. I realize this is very hard to do. She may not want to listen to you. Even so, tell her you're going to keep praying for her and being her friend. Don't bug her about it. Once you've made your feelings known, give her the time and space to think about her choices.
There's also the chance that your friend may want to talk. I've known people who acted calm on the outside while they were dying on the inside. They knew they needed to change, but couldn't see how to do it. Your friend could be feeling that way. You won't know unless you talk to her. Let her know you're worried, that you care about her and want to help her in any way you can. Don't preach at her or judge her. Just be there for her and listen to her.
Whether or not you tell her parents depends a lot on the kind of people they are. Not all parents handle such news well. Some get extremely upset, which only makes matters worse. So before you decide to tell them, think about what their reaction might be. You probably don't want to be thought of as a snitch, but you're not obligated to cover up for your friend. If you think it might help your friend, talk to her parents.