Last updated on June 8, 2021
How far do I go as a boyfriend to consider the feelings and concerns my girlfriend has about other girls?
To make a long story short, last year my girlfriend and I broke up over major disagreements we had regarding how I should have handled concerns she had about another girl, who is also a Christian. This other girl would occasionally text me things that weren’t inherently inappropriate but made my girlfriend uncomfortable. One of the messages I can remember off the top of my head was that she was telling me how cool it was that I was in another state visiting my girlfriend. Nothing was ever said by this other girl to me that really sounded any alarms in my mind.
As far as I can remember, the things the other girl would occasionally text me were just friendly things. I didn’t have any issues with what she was doing, but I wasn’t about to allow another girl to interfere with my relationship with my girlfriend.
Looking back in hindsight, I most certainly was not considerate, fair, loving, nor patient toward my girlfriend and the way she felt about this other girl. I was convinced my girlfriend was being overly judgemental toward the other girl, as well as overthinking things, and that she was the problem getting in between our relationship as opposed to the other girl.
I came to the conclusion that I should have addressed any concerns my girlfriend had regarding this other girl by having my girlfriend and I talk to the other girl, so she could know what she was saying to me (and not to my girlfriend) was making my girlfriend uncomfortable.
Basically I am grappling with this following question:
I know that I need to not be prideful, stubborn, or arrogant regarding when I think I’m right about something and my girlfriend to be mistaken. I know I need to act upon the needs and feelings of my girlfriend, rather than drop the ball and disregard her feelings and make it so she can’t trust me to handle things.
But with my obvious shortcomings repented of and realized, how far should I have gone to accommodate my girlfriend’s feelings about this other girl or other girls in general? Even if I am convinced that she has nothing to be worried about? I don’t want my girlfriend to be feeling she cannot trust me, and I believe she had every reason to think that since I fell short and didn’t communicate rightly be her and this other girl — I’m just very confused right now.
I’ve been striving to right any wrongs between my girlfriend and me, and I am unsure if it would be wise for me to get back with my girlfriend, or with anyone at all.
I apologize for the long message, and I hope I made sense.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (I Corinthians 13:4-8).
It is really difficult to analyze why a relationship failed when you a part of it. There are to basic reactions: to blame everything on the other person or to blame everything on yourself. Rarely is either extreme the correct answer.
Your former girlfriend was not confident about her position with you; thus, she saw every other girl who interacted with you as potential competition for your affection. In this, her love did not reach the goal of not being jealous. We all interact with other people, both males and females. We all have friends, some males and some females. To demand that there cannot be any communication with another person because of their gender is not reasonable or righteous. One of the interesting statements by Solomon’s new bride-to-be was “Your oils have a pleasing fragrance, tour name is like purified oil; therefore the maidens love you” (Song of Solomon 1:3). Rather than seeing the other maidens as competition, this young woman saw her man as so attractive that it was no wonder other women loved him as well. When those women told Solomon how glad they were to see him, the maid’s response was “Rightly do they love you” (Song 1:4). Here was a young woman who wasn’t jealous of others because she knew where she stood with her loved one.
When you learned of your girlfriend’s jealous concern, the proper answer would be to tell her you are not interested in anyone else. It would not have been proper to pull the other girl into this conversation because the other girl had not done anything wrong and so she did not need to be put in a position where she would be trying to defend herself.
The second thing you should have done is look at your relationship and see if there were things that you were doing or saying that would make your girlfriend uncertain about your love for her. This might be harder to accomplish because girls tend to pick up on clues that boys completely miss. It would have to be something your former girlfriend would have to identify. I would not be surprised if she simply read too much into the things you said. Boys tend to be direct and to the point. Girls tend to be subtle and indirect. Thus, girls often don’t accept what a boy plainly says because they “know” that there most be something more that he is not saying — and usually there isn’t anything more.
I can’t answer whether you should get back with your girlfriend or not. Half of the decision is hers to make and you have no control over that. However, consider that if she doesn’t change, would you want a wife who struggles with trusting you?
Thank you for your wisdom and insight from the Word, brother!
I wanted to also add that the other girl did end up apologizing to me and my girlfriend because she was trying to win me over by texting me, even after I and my girlfriend were ‘going steady.’ Thus, my later realizing that perhaps I was insensitive to not address those concerns sooner.
I also wanted to add that my girlfriend believes that for me to engage in a conversation with another female could be placing myself into temptation if that female texted me semi-frequently or casually. She cites how things can start off as innocent, and turn into a problem, with which I agree. My girlfriend doesn’t seem to be against me ever communicating with another female period, she just believes that it should only be over spiritual things, work-related things, but not really ever over things that they don’t have to text me for. However, I don’t see the issue of simply being polite and responding to someone, and just being mindful of the things they’re saying and how often they’re doing such. The other girl did eventually admit that she thought she was cooler than my girlfriend and could win me over, so I understand that my girlfriend saw some red flags and was uncomfortable, yet I just brushed those concerns to the side.
The main issue after the fact was not so much that my girlfriend thought I was going to leave her for the other girl, but that I didn’t communicate rightly with her or the other girl about her feelings.
I believe my girlfriend and, to some extent, her family (mother) are extreme in their standards for how far you go to prevent temptations to cheat on your girlfriend or commit adultery if married. It has definitely been a confusing year for me and a learning experience.
My answer remains basically the same. It is not reasonable to expect people not to have friends with people of the opposite gender. While the other girl was trying to get your attention, it still sounds like she did not say or do anything in appropriate. I get the impression that your former girlfriend was attempting to treat a dating relationship as equivalent to an engagement or marriage. It isn’t “going steady” just means you prefer being with one girl but you haven’t decided if you want to marry her or not. It is not an exclusive relationship.
Your former girlfriend was trying to control your interactions with other people under the guise of eliminating temptation. She was placing unreasonable limits and as far as I could tell, you were not being tempted to do anything inappropriate with another girl. It still comes down to your girlfriend being unsure of herself or unsure about how much you loved her.
Absolutely. I appreciate your responses. They have helped me to see clearly in a lot of ways.
Thank you, and God bless