Sadly, dating doesn’t always end well. This story is from one of my friends who wanted to share her experience. She wanted to be real about the pain caused, and share how God helped her more than any of the conventional wisdom from friends, and what she learned through her dating story.
This story was originally written a while ago now, but I was praying with a friend recently about someone they know and their relationship. The relationship this person was in sounded very toxic, and it reminded me that dating can really hurt people.
I wanted to re-share this story because it’s important to hear these kinds of stories, learn from them, and help others in similar situations. So here it is, in her own words:
There is one word that I find so difficult to say…No! ‘Can you lend me some money, I promise I will pay you back?’, ’Will you do this work for me, I just haven’t got the time?’ or ‘Can we take this relationship to the next level?’
I keep thinking, just say it – SAY NO! But I immediately convince myself that if I say no, they won’t want me anymore; they will leave. I am a people pleaser, seeking approval from others – especially boys. I thought that was what I needed to make me happy. I have never been so wrong.
He Used The ‘God Card’
Sometimes, you can think you do everything right – and it still doesn’t work out. Me and Jon (not his real name) were close friends for years, and as we began to get closer and feelings started to develop, we sought God. Praying to Him and acknowledging Him; we knew that He would guide us to the right way – His way (Proverbs 3:5-6).
From the word go, I felt God was telling me that if we centered our relationship on Him, then it would work, but Jon took longer to be convinced. He just couldn’t make up his mind – but in the meantime, we found it difficult to resist temptation. He told me he loved me, and that he wanted to be with me, but that it couldn’t be official because he wasn’t sure it was what God wanted.
But if I did, would I lose him forever?
Jon asked me to keep ‘us’ a secret then maybe one day – if I waited – we could be together properly. If only I could have said NO…. I knew I deserved more than to be a secret girlfriend, but if I did, would I lose him forever?
Things Should Have Got Easier
As we continued to pray and seek God together, I began to get angry with God and blame Him for this situation. I believed that I was doing what He wanted me to, that it was His will and couldn’t understand why he wasn’t making it easier and bringing us out of this situation.
I wanted so much more than to be a secret
Three years went by… and I had fallen completely in love with Jon. I couldn’t imagine my life without him, but I wanted so much more than to be a secret.
Just when I thought things were going to get better, Jon grew distant. I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong – I’d stood by him, I wanted to make him happy – but he said those words I had been dreading; ‘I can’t do this anymore, I’ve moved on.’
I had given everything to this guy, and it wasn’t good enough. He admitted that although he did care about me, and he did love me, he was just using me – holding on to me in case someone better didn’t come along. I had never felt pain like that, and I didn’t know what to do.
My friends told me to go out and find a new boy to try and make me happy. But nothing did. The world tells us that in order to be happy we need to find the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect partner and have the perfect kids – and if we don’t have these things, well then there is obviously something wrong with us…right?
It made me feel inadequate for being single.
This is what so many people in my life have made me believe, and what is scary is that most of these people are Christians. They’ve felt sorry for me for ‘missing out’ and not being in a relationship. It made me feel inadequate for being single. (Read 5 Clichés Said To Singles, Have You Heard Them All?)
But my God has been teaching me something different – everything and every situation can be used for His glory. Job 22:21-28 says:
‘Surrender to God All-Powerful! You will find peace and prosperity. Listen to his teachings and take them to heart. If you return to God and turn from sin, all will go well for you. So get rid of your finest gold, as though it were sand. Let God All-Powerful be your silver and gold, and you will find happiness by worshipping him. God will answer your prayers, and you will keep the promises you made to him. He will do whatever you ask, and life will be bright.’
I have been blind to God’s goodness, but through this hard time God has been teaching me and revealing to me that true happiness can only come from Him.
I have the All-Powerful God by my side
This doesn’t mean that He doesn’t bless us with things or with relationships, but that when he does, it will be in His perfect timing and for His glory. Right now, God is all I need… and I will live my life to honour Him.
I have the one person in my life who will never use me, will never make me feel inadequate, and who will never leave me. I have the All-Powerful God by my side – what else could I possibly need?
Imagine if we realise dating is meant to be a blessing, it is meant to be fun, but it can really hurt people. We need to really think about how we act and how we can learn to do it better. (Read I Want To Trust Them, But I’ve Been Hurt Before).
No matter what our relationship status, putting God at the centre of our lives, is the only constant we can truly rely on.
What do you think is the main lesson here? Comments welcomed below