I am a longtime fan of yours and I think it’s really sweet that you answer emails from your fans and give advice. I could use some myself right now. So there’s this guy (haha, i’m sure you hear that a lot!) and we recently started dating. He is such a great guy. Here’s the issue…. his ex girlfriend. She and my boyfriend dated on/off for a year, and they recently broke up for good. The reason their relationship was so rocky was because she apparently suffers from bipolar disorder. She would lash out at him for no reason and start screaming, and then would randomly be really sweet and loving, and sometimes really clingy and insecure, and it was hard for him to deal with. The problem is, they just started talking and he told me that he isn’t really fully over her. She’s apparently been suicidal and he wants to help her out, but it’s really hard to date him with her ALWAYS around. It’s clear that they still have feelings for each other, but I just don’t understand why! I mean, she’s a pretty girl and all, but I don’t get why he would still want anything to do with such a crazy, clingy girl. She went and left notes on his door after they broke up and would always call him consistently. It really hurt the other night when he told me that he is trying to get over her, but can’t, and the reason they broke up for good was because his mom didn’t like her, and that he never really stopped loving her. I just don’t know what to do, I really like this guy and he’s my first real boyfriend, but I can’t stand the fact that he still has feelings for this bipolar ex of his. I’m not sure what I should do- if i should just ignore her or give him time to get over her. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’m sorry it was so long.
You really don’t have to understand why your boyfriend still loves this girl; you need to accept that he does. He may not understand it either, but who can ever say why exactly we fall in love with someone? The reasons can be extremely complicated. He is being honest with you; there is an attraction he can’t fully explain, but if she is treating him badly, this is his problem to deal with. I get a fair number of letters from both girls and guys saying they worry that if they leave, their friend will commit suicide. This is the way some people hold on to their boyfriends, but it also says that the boyfriend likes to feel needed. My advice is to tell your boyfriend you understand, that he is free to go back to this girl. As it is, he has you for a respite when things get tough, and his ex-girlfriend’s love when she’s in a good mood. It’s time for him to face the reality of dealing with her without a second-choice standing by. Don’t be angry with him; don’t be weepy. But definitely make yourself available to other guys who are more independent.