The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a girl in my third year of high school. My ex-boyfriend just got a new girlfriend. I am seething with hatred for her.
I go to the same school as my ex, and in our second year, he confessed his feelings for me and we started going steady. He was my first boyfriend and I really liked him. We introduced each other to our parents, and our parents even met each other.
After that, my boyfriend broke up with me, saying he was too busy with club activities. He didn’t cite any other reasons, but I suspect the cause was my complaining. I realize with regret that I have a strongly jealous nature.
Recently, he found a new girlfriend. They were friends before, and I was suspicious of their relationship while we were dating.
She often bad-mouths people, goes against school rules by wearing makeup, and is friendly with other boys. Maybe I’m just being self-conscious, but I feel like she’s trying to show me how close they are.
It’s not like I’m obsessed with him, but seeing them together stirs my imagination. I feel that she looks down on me, so I can’t stand her. What can I do to ease my mind?
M, Kyoto Prefecture
Dear Ms. M:
How can you ease your mind? What in the world are you talking about?
You should suffer. You should suffer deeply. This has hardly started for you. You should feel more and more pain, as if you’re being tossed and tumbled about.
That’s this thing we call love. Because of your strongly jealous nature, a love that had your parents’ blessing was torn apart. You’ve learned the horrors of jealousy the hard way. At least, you have learned something. Ah, such is the effect of love.
And now you’re agonizing again over the same issue. You’re not moving on at all. You haven’t suffered enough, I suspect. You require even further anguish.
You feel like the new girlfriend looks down at you. OK, what should you do? You hate, and your hatred grows more and more. Is it all right to continue like this? What do you think about trying to get the best of her?
Just how would you get the best of her? What ways are there to be in a more favorable position than her? For example, work to get a better boyfriend than hers. To do that, you have to polish your character.
Suffering in love makes people grow. Mental anguish is a part of growing up.
Tatsuro Dekune, writer