Boy and girl meet. There’s attraction. This leads to a first date, first kiss, and first “I love you” (should it get that far). It’s all new and exciting.
But, what happens if that summer love comes to a screeching halt? Is there a way to break up without a blow up? As the relationship ends, are there ways to honor that other person?
I work as a pastor where relationships can abound. It is a sizable church (we were called mini-mega a few weeks ago…haha!) where the average age is under 25 and 70% are single. Realistically, these men and women are going to meet one another and some will start dating. So, I have a front row seat to all that is happening. Some of these relationships end with the guy buying a ring and the girl buying a dress. But, not all of them.
One person (the question of “Is a break up ever 100% mutual?” can be left for another time) shares that it’s time to break up. What next? At this point, I have seen a mixture of Clint Eastwood’s 1960’s movie The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
But, even as I share some things below, this topic is best suited for MANY responses. What has your experience(s) been like? Or what are ways that you have seen people honor one another in the midst of a break up?
In reverse order:
- THE UGLY – The manner with which you break up with someone says something. It puts your character on display. Those of the opposite gender are watching to see if you were honorable. If not, why would they consider putting themselves in a position to be treated similarly in the future? I have seen this come out in apathy, faithlessness (in the disconnecting from God sense), carelessness, and unkind words.
- THE BAD – The issue I have seen most often here is lack of wisdom. Young people make quick decisions void of wise counsel. The two scenarios that have played out dozens of times are:
- The relationship goes deep fast. It becomes physical. She departs.
- The relationship goes deep fast. It becomes future-oriented (i.e. life dreams, marriage, etc.). He departs.
In the end, this departing may be the best thing. But, I have also seen a rush to action cause what I perceive to be unnecessary pain.
- THE GOOD – The person shows honor from the start of the relationship. Then the break up also takes this form. It is a recognition that the other person is great, but just not a great fit for you. No doubt about it, rejection hurts. But, if this person has been pointed to God and continues to be pointed to God, is that not consistent with what we’re called to as believers?
You’ve heard a few of my thoughts. What are yours?
- Do you think it’s possible to have a break up without a blow up?
- Do you have some examples of UGLY or BAD that you want to make clear to the opposite sex to NEVER do?
- What are some ways to honor the other person in the midst of a break up?