[AskShanTellem]The Ex That Won’t Quit

Dear ShanTellem,

I have been dating a guy for close to six months now. He has a close friend (that he actually dated in the past) and he and I also have a mutual friend. What I let slide is the fact that the ex, on a consistent basis, comments excessively on everything he posts, tweets, and puts on Instagram. 

I know firsthand from conversations with him that they’ve known each other well over 10 years and I’m okay with the friendship, but why the “extra-ness?”

Secondly, she consistently calls the mutual friend that we all have and tells him about the conversations that she and my boyfriend have as it relates to his relationship status. So then the mutual friend comes to me because he sees me as a little sister and doesn’t want me to jeopardize myself based off of what she tells him. 

But here’s the “gotcha”her time has passed and is LONG GONE. They are old news, so why is she so concerned and busying herself with where we are and what we have? I live in Maryland and he lives in Texas. Distance doesn’t ease the anxiety that’s associated with these Aesop’s Fables that she does continue to fabricate. 

He and I have had numerous conversations and I tend to trust him until he gives me a reason not to. However she is doing the absolute most at doing NOTHING. 


Very Respectfully,

#RudeJude With An Attitude 

Dear #Rude,

First of all, this woman doesn’t sound like a friend. Friends are respectful of their friends’ relationships, regardless of what past they might have had. They also do not attempt to disrupt the flow of any current romances. She could actually want your guy (her ex) back, or she could just be going through a period of possession, meaning she just wants him because someone does. Either way, it is not cool.

While I understand that your mutual friend is telling you what she’s telling him in the interest of you not looking like a fool, I wonder if he is telling her to chill out as well. A real friend would attempt to calm the brewing storm and not fuel the fire with gossip.

When it’s all said and done, ultimately, the responsibility lies in your boyfriend’s hands. For whatever reason, he’s still entertaining this ex-turned “friend,” and it is up to him to establish proper boundaries for the sake of every relationship. If she is being disrespectful, I would question his motives for keeping her around.

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My advice is simple. Tell your boyfriend to keep his “friend” in check and tell your friend not to come to you with any nonsense unless he’s willing to speak to everyone in the same room, at the same damn time. That is how you find out the truth.

And if this woman is actually a friend, perhaps you should have a conversation with her one-on-one. Just flat out ask her what her deal is.

While you cannot determine how someone responds to your requests, you can at least control whether or not you speak up and how they respond determines their level of respect for you.

You say that her “time is LONG GONE,” and if that is the case, then her and your man’s actions should speak to that notion. But trust and believe, there will always be someone who wants who you got.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

Shantell E. Jamison is an editor for EBONY.com and JETmag.com. 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.


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