Last week I posted a blog called “Long Distance Relationships, Dating People You Won’t Marry and the Gift of Singleness” where I answered relationship questions I recently received from Air Force Academy cadets. I promise that this blog won’t be turning into “Dear Abby” but, due to the strong response, I decided to answer a couple more including a few questions that “Sarah” posted in a comment.
Is it possible to become friends after a break up?
It is possible but not likely, especially if the relationship was serious. The idea of “just being friends” smacks of idealism. After a relationship ends, healing and readjustment to single life are normal and will happen best when there is time and distance. One of the dynamics I have seen repeatedly is the desire to be a “friend” after a break up and take care of the other person. The motives are good but you have to let it go, know that you aren’t the one to offer comfort and help, and trust that God has someone else to walk alongside them. Jumping straight from dating to friends is nearly impossible due to the history and emotional ties. My recommendation is that you separate and let the relationship become whatever it becomes. Don’t put pressure on it.
What are some helpful ways to overcome break ups, especially when someone breaks up with you but you still love them?
The goal is to let them go. The best way I know to help that process happen is to forgive and break soul ties. If you still love them and didn’t want the relationship to end, then I would guess that you are hurt and need to forgive them. You might feel that they owe you an explanation, an apology or a second chance. When we are in pain from someone else’s decision, forgiveness releases them from the debt that you feel they owe you. Depending on how serious and/or physical your relationship was, chances are that you formed emotional, physical, and spiritual soul ties with that other person. Soul ties are deep, binding connections that happen between two people – they can be positive or negative. For example, a husband and a wife share a soul tie. This connection is both positive and necessary. Negative ties are broken through prayer, repentance and renouncing (Renouncing is simply verbally agreeing to break connections with the other person.) Here is a simple sample prayer to break soul ties.
"God, my desire is that my heart belongs completely to you and that I would not be connected in unhealthy ways to others, so I break any negative soul ties I may have with __________. I renounce the emotional, physical and spiritual ties I established with _________, and ask for complete separation and healing in my heart so I would be available to move forward and embrace all that you have for me. Amen."
What is the hardest part of marriage?
Selfishness. The biggest temptation that every married person will fight throughout their lives is living for their own good. The commitment made in the wedding vows to lay down one’s life and live for their spouse’s good is more than just pretty language. These commitments are made daily and the opportunities to violate them are endless.
How do you build a solid friendship without getting into a friendlationship?
For anyone that doesn’t know the definition of a friendlationship, it is a relationship that is not solely a friendship or clearly a committed relationship. Most dating relationships go through this phase, even if it is for just a short period of time -- the goal is to not stay there. Living in “friendlationship land” is dangerous as it involves the sharing of emotions and the building of intimacy without any commitment. The key to keeping a friendship from getting into the friendlationship zone is communication. Talk about where you are at in the relationship, what you do or do not want, and your expectations for the future. If, without communication, feelings start to build in a friendship, a friendlationship will ensue