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« Long-Distance Relationships, Dating People You Won't Marry, and the Gift of Singleness | Main | Contentment in Singleness: is it possible? »

April 06, 2009


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Aaron Stern

Grace - you all definitely have challenges but all relationships do. So the question you have to figure out how to answer for you and your boyfriend is, "What challenges are we willing to navigate?" It is ok to say...these challenges are too much for me. Better to figure that out now than than after you say "I do."



I've been dating this guy for two years. One year long distance, and two more years left of long distance before I finish my school. He is in medical school in another country, which means visiting is only Christmas and Summer. It's very tough to find time to talk because he is continuously studying/studying/studying. I'm trying to be optimistic but am really struggling. I love him. But I can't go there, and he can't come back here. I don't know if I can even get a job there after I graduate, the future is so uncertain and our plans are very shaky. But the worst part is I can't fight the negativity, I feel sad and disconnected and my needs are not being met. How do you determine whether a long distance relationship is worth it? Especially if the other person wants you to make all the compromise? Been praying about it and we are both Christians, he has always been such a great example and inspiration to me with his faith. But despite how great he is, our situation isn't ideal, and it's harder then I could have ever imagined.

Aaron Stern

Sarah - thanks for your comment. You're friendship with your ex-boyfriend is case and point to the need for time and distance making it possible for something after the break-up. It seems that it is almost like the friendship has to have the opportunity to start over rather than continue on after the break-up.

San Diego ca auto glass - i try. and I have no idea how i got such a following by auto glass repair enthusiasts!

DFA - thank you.


Me and my first boyfriend are now good friends. However - a few things took place. We didn't talk for several years. We were friends BEFORE we got into a relationship. And - we were involved very little physically. 5 years later, we can laugh about all the good times, we've let go of all the bad, and we can tell each other about our new relationships knowing that the other will share in our joy. Its a God-gift, really.

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Attempts to shed some light on the flimsy arguments against unhealthy marriage.

Debt Forgiveness Act

Good point. Glad to see that someone understands the issue.

Aaron Stern

Offer and Compromise - thank you. I do!

Arizona auto glass - congratulations!

April - it is always best to obey God but I often think we can identify what the issues are that answer the "why?" question. Blaming God has become an excuse for many to avoid honesty and responsibility.

Free Chat lines - it can be helpful for new relationships to be in place as there is less pull to re-establish a romantic relationship but I don't think it is a requirement for success. Healing emotionally and clarity about life can also make it possible.

Offer and Compromise

Great to see someone love what they do!

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I've been married 21 years and would shutter to imagine life without my wife. She's a great woman and I am a lucky man.

April Suits

I was very interested in the comments about breaking up with someone with the explanation of "God doesn't want us together" or "God told me to". I actually had this happen a few years ago, when I went under a huge conviction that I needed to break up with my current boyfriend. I didn't understand at the time, except that I knew God did not want me with this person. Later down the road, as my emotions cleared, I saw the specific moral reasons and red flags with that person that supported the conviction God had given me to break up. Even though I didn't understand at the time, in hindsight I'm sure glad I broke up "because God told me to", even though I'm sure the other person thought it was only an excuse.

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I agree that we have to let go of the past. Yes, friendship after break up is possible but this will only be successful if both people are in love with another person.

Aaron Stern

Court - I think you can let him know you feel since he already asked you out. Be honest and graceful not too strong and overbearing and give him space to respond.

Brooke - I answered these questions specifically in the CO-ED girls talk at theMILL on April 17 - you can listen to it on podcast at I gave some guidelines for who to go out with and how to say you aren't interested.

Ann - great question. I think the role of a parent moves from director to advisor when they are in college. So give your input - preferrably when it is invited - and hope they take it. She wants to be treated like an adult so let your daughter know how you feel and try to discuss options and expectations - just like any healthy adult relationship.

Auto Glass - In a few cases I have seen ex's become friends but only when they broke it off cleanly and the friendship started later down the road. It was not pushed, it started like any new friendship.


Aaron, I just listened to themill podcast because I attend the one at Northern Hills and it was cancelled last week. My question for you is, what do you do if you told a guy that you just wanted to be his friend, and then a few months later realized that you like him a tad bit more? Are you suppose to tell him or wait to see if he possibly feels the same way, having him make that move?


I've listened to a lot of podcasts from the Mill, and in one of your relationship sermons you said you think a girl should say yes if a guy asks her out on a date. I've kinda run into problems with this. I get asked out more often than i would prefer by people that either i know and aren't interested in, or people I barely know but are clearly not walking with the Lord. I do feel really bad saying no to just going on a date with a guy, but it seems totally unfair to spend time with him and get his hopes up...and like it would lead to hurt feelings. So my questions: are there exceptions to your suggestions not to say no to a guy that asks you out? and what's the best way to let a guy know you're not interested (from a guys perspective)?


Hi Aaron, Thank you for your guidance for our young people. As parents, we'd like to know where we fit in the dating aspect of our adult kids. One of our children is dating a young man long distance. They are both in college. She is out of town and he goes to school here. When she's home on break, they want to spend the majority of their time together. What is our part in their dating? How should they balance their time with family and friends and where do that spend that time? Thanks for your insight.

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I wanted to let you know that I absolutly agree with you... I tried to be friends with an x once but the whole relationship turned out where we would only talk when one of us was going through a tough time with the person we were currently with and do the whole What if stuff... I will have you know that I have grown up and gotten honest and stopped that relationship. He was mad at me but I know it better for his girlfriend,my current relationship, and me. Thanks for your honesty...

Aaron Stern

Alie - Most of the time "Good told me to" is a cop out to avoid saying the real reason that they want to break up. Sometimes though the person who gets dumped like that reacts in such a way to reinforce that the person who broke it off made a good decision. In the end, even if it is a cop out, walking away is the best option. Fighting it will only cause more mess and pain.

Carol - I don't think "Dear Aaron" would go very far!

Colin - It is a privilege walking with your brother and fiance through this time in their lives. I didn't make the word up but I have developed the meaning.

Terra - I agree that kids reveal areas of selfishness like nothing else. In general and completely my opinion, I think that marriage pushes on men and their issues of selfishness more than it does on women and kids push on women's selfishness more than it does on men.


What do you do when someone breaks up with you claming "the Lord does not have us together any more." I find this really hard with I was also seeking the Lord's will. I feel like I cannot argue or say anything back without feeling like I am questioning their walk with the Lord. However, in all honesty I feel it is a cop out.

Carol Prentiss

Excellent Aaron! I can see it now--Dear Aaron. You may be on to something here! jk lol but great word! Even middle schoolers and high schoolers could benefit from this info.


Awesome relationship advise Aaron, I walways loved listening to you talk at God Chasers to the guys about this kind of stuff-God's really gifted you with wisdom in this area. I'm thankful you're counseling my lil bro and his fiance too! Friendlationship...great word, I've loved it ever since I heard you use it a few years ago? Did you invent it?

Terra Fisk

While I agree that selfishness is one of the harder parts of marriage, I found that having kids revealed more of my selfishness then getting married. Nothing like dealing with another completely selfish human being to reflect our own selfishness! :)

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