I am a twenty-five-year-old young woman. A year ago I fell in love with a twenty-five-year-old guy, and he indicated that he felt the same way about me. Two months went by without him telling me that he had a girlfriend that he has been together with for two-and-a-half years. When I found out, he told me that he had kept the secret because he was afraid he would lose me. A few days after I discovered his secret, he had sex with her, and since that time they have been living together. In spite of all of this, the guy keeps calling me, texting me, coming to where I work, and telling me that I am the one he loves and that he can’t forget me.

I’m still in love with him, and I’ve been hurting during all this time. I don’t understand why if he loves me, he hasn’t left her…. Please give me some advice. What can I do?

Dear Friend,

Falling in love is wonderful, but being in love is not supposed to hurt. We are glad that you have told us your story, and we hope that you will follow our advice.

To begin with, make a list of all the qualities that you are looking for in a man. Probably you want someone who is kind and considerate. Maybe you want someone who is smart or someone who is funny, or both smart and funny. You may include qualities like extroverted, organized, or ambitious.

After making your list, try to put the qualities in order of most to least important to you. At the top of your list should be those things that you are not willing to compromise or give up.

If it were my list, I would have character qualities at the top because a man’s character will ultimately influence all of his actions. For me, the character qualities of honesty, integrity, self-discipline, and compassion would be the most important. A man who is honest has the courage to tell the truth to everyone, no matter what the consequences will be. A man who has integrity does the right thing, even when no one sees or knows. A man with self-discipline controls himself and prevents situations that will get him in trouble. And a man who is compassionate always thinks of how his actions will affect other people, and he tries to avoid hurting others. Are these qualities important to you like they are to me?

When you have finished your list, make a list of this guy’s qualities. Begin with dishonest, and make sure you also add unfaithful and disloyal. Now compare the two lists. If you find that the guy does not have the qualities that you are looking for in a man, then get your phone number changed and tell the people at your work that he is not welcome. If he comes to speak to you, refuse to speak to him privately. Tell him in a firm voice and in front of other people that he should stop harassing you. Tell him to leave and not come back.

You say that you don’t understand why he stays with the other woman if he loves you. She may be paying the rent, or maybe he works in her family’s business. However, it is more likely that he doesn’t want to risk losing what he has until you are willing to live with him. He wants to keep his sexual relationship with her until you take her place. If you give him what he wants, he will probably stay with you until his next “love” takes your place.

We recommend that you pray and ask God to give you the strength and courage that you need to face the future. He is your Heavenly Father, and He cares about your pain and disappointment. If you invite Him into your situation and into your life, He will be with you every step of the way.

We wish you well,