Last month, I shared my tips for dealing with a painful and unwelcome break-up. But for everyone who’s dumped, there’s someone doing the dumping – and with that comes responsibility. If you decide a relationship isn’t going anywhere and you’d be happier alone, you have every right to move on. But even if you’ve reached the point where you don’t even like the other person much and can’t wait to get shot of them, you can still treat them with dignity and kindness. In fact, being a Christian demands nothing less. (The exception is an abusive relationship. In that scenario, forget courtesy – just get out fast and don’t look back.) So if you’re planning to finish it, here are my top three dos and don’ts for a kinder break-up…
Most of us have been through a painful breakup at some point in our lives – maybe several times. Sometimes, the news that the person you’re dating wants to end the relationship comes as a bolt out of the blue. Other times, you know something’s not right and you get that sense of impending doom. Either way, when someone you’re in love with decides they don’t feel the same way, it’s a deeply painful experience, especially if you were hoping the relationship was leading to marriage.
‘My boyfriend and I have just got engaged – I’m madly in love with him and I believe God has told me he’s the one,’ said the Facebook message. How lovely! I got ready to offer my congratulations. She continued… ‘However, my friends and family think I’m making a big mistake. Should I listen to them or follow my own heart?’
Ah. Complicated. But many of us can relate to this dilemma.
Whether you think Valentine’s Day is a delightful celebration of love, or a cynical commercial affair, there’s nothing like all the hearts and flowers to remind you that you’re single. Don’t let it get you down – here are our top tips for enjoying the day…
‘This Christmas was a tough one for me,’ confided a friend. ‘Over the festive period, I was surrounded by nephews and nieces and my friends’ kids. I love spending time with them, but it reminded me just how much I’m missing out. I feel that God put a deep longing in me to be a parent, but I’m 39 now – what if I don’t meet someone in time? Can a single person adopt on their own – and is it fair on the children?’
‘I can’t believe it, HopefulGirl – I’ve been ghosted!’ said the Facebook message. ‘I’d been on six dates with this guy after meeting online. We were getting on well, we’d shared a few kisses, and it was all looking positive. Then, three weeks ago, he just… disappeared. He stopped getting in touch and didn’t answer emails and texts. I was worried something might have happened to him so I called a couple of times, but there was no response. Now I can see he’s active on the dating website again. I can’t believe he’d scarper without a word. Surely I deserve the courtesy of a goodbye… don’t I?’
‘I feel painfully deprived of hugs and physical affection,’ sighed a friend over lunch. ‘As a single Christian, it’s really tough to deal with. Hardly anyone touches me from one week to the next. It makes it difficult not to get drawn into inappropriate relationships, because I’m so desperate for someone to put their arms around me. If I don’t find a partner, I don’t know if I can live like this for the rest of my life.’
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