Carolyn:

A month ago, I got back together with a girl I dated for a year and a half. When we split in March, she said that "we are on two different wavelengths" and that she just needed some time to herself. I was rather upset and did not look to date anyone else, while my ex-girlfriend had an isolated rendezvous. Now that we are back together, I am happy to be with her but still quite resentful of this particular incident. She wants to forget it altogether and go on being a couple, and I don't know if I can. Is this just crazy?

-- Torn

If you're ready to let a nice future tank over a past that's not about you, then, yes.

But she's bonkers, too, for thinking you both can "forget."

It happened. Which means you can't pretend it unhappened. It says, to you at least, that she wasn't as upset as you were, and that hurts. Right? (It has nothing to do with her in any way betraying you or being damaged goods now, right?)

You also can't let pain make all your decisions for you, not unless you want your next and future intense emotional attachments to be with "SportsCenter."

And you also can't lose sight of the fact that this was one (1) apparently dead-end, post-breakup fling. I mean really.

The only reliable way to make an Issue disappear is to make sense of it -- to leave nothing for your insomniac brain to gnaw on. When she left you last spring she was feeling . . . what? And this fling occurred . . . when? And it helped resolve her doubts . . . how? And she came back to . . . whom? And you are blowing this way out of proportion . . . why?

It's pass-fail. Penmanship doesn't count.

Dear Carolyn:

I am in a relationship with a wonderful guy. I very much believe he's committed to this relationship, but sometimes I feel threatened by his female friends. He has lots of them. During the past year, he became friends with a woman who is single and very attractive. I happen to admire this woman myself, but I get this terrible knot in my stomach when I see the two of them together. I, too, value my friendships with members of the opposite sex. Should I come right out and say I'm jealous of this particular woman, or is this really an issue of trust?

-- A.N.

If this must be an either-or question, then, yes.

Yes, it's entirely an issue of trust -- in him to be honest, in the relationship to thrive or fail on its merits, in the female friends to respect your primacy. Mostly, though, it's about trusting yourself enough to realize that any relationship you have is about what you have to offer, or not. It's never about how you measure up to whatever else is out there. Think about it: Do you want to be described as the person he's with because he couldn't do any better?

And, yes, you should come right out and say you feel threatened by this woman, and that you don't know why, and that you'd like to talk about it. Better to flush it out than to fake it.

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