Dear ShanTellem,

I’m seeing a woman that I used to date a few years back again. She has two kids and was going through a divorce when we tried to kick something off and her husband did a lot of damage to her trust in men. We are not in a relationship. I am always trying to surprise her, but she seems to accuse me of being malicious. For example, when it was snowing outside I got up early in the morning, drive to her house in the freezing cold and cleaned her car off. Instead of welcoming me with open arms, she snapped because I didn’t call before I came by. “What are you doing here?! We are not in a relationship. You can’t just be popping up over here.” It completely threw me off because she said she wants a relationship with me, has had me around her kids and introduces me as her man. I’ve never cheated or lied to her. I want to be with her, but she has a lot of insecurities and I just need to know if I’m wasting my time.


The Confused Nice Guy

Dear Confused,

You have a right to be confused, and honestly, that’s all you will be with this woman because she doesn’t seem to know what she wants. I do not know a woman who wouldn’t appreciate her love interest surprising her by cleaning off her car, especially if it’s someone who she’s already been involved with. It just doesn’t make sense unless she A) had someone else over there and/or B) just isn’t ready to see a good man. As of right now, it seems like she’s allowing fear to guide her instead of her intuition.

My suggestion to you is to leave her alone. She simply isn’t ready to let go of past pain, and that ultimately will affect your emotional state and perception of love. As someone who has been in both positions, I can tell you that (yes, cliché ahead) hurt people hurt people. It doesn’t matter if it is intentional or not. If you’re not quite ready to say “goodbye” just yet, you can try letting her know how her distrust of you makes you feel, which also seems a little silly given the fact that you’ve dated before and know each other pretty well.  Remind her that you are not her ex-husband, and that you deserve a fair shot. But as I previously stated, she should be able to see that on her own.

I hate to say it, but you’re going to have to give her an ultimatum. Either she chooses to see you for who you are or she continues to allow her past to dictate her present. No one should get attacked for thinking of someone else, and her accusations did just that–or revealed a guilty conscience. Because no matter how well you may treat someone, they’ll never appreciate it until they’re ready to.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

Shantell E. Jamison is an editor for and Not confined to chasing headlines, this Chicago-based writer, radio personality and cultural critic is also the author of ”Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self.