So, dating isn't always the terrific thing we see on television. It's not always happy endings or riding off into the sunset. Unfortunately, sometimes heartbreak comes along to ruin the joy love has brought into your life.
If you're one of those Christian teens who dates in high school and college, then you probably know what it feels like when you break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Sometimes a breakup is mutual and easy, like you've drifted from one type of relationship to another. For others, though, breakups can feel like your world has been turned upside down and the air becomes so thick it is hard to breath.
So, what if you are one of those Christian teens in the middle of a heartwrenching, stop-the-presses breakups? How do you get over something when you feel like the pain will never go away?
Experience the Pain
Wait? You mean actually feel the hurt? Yes. Emotional pain is uncomfortable for those around you, mostly because they don't want to see you hurt. So, they try to cheer you up and do things for you to make you feel better. Sometimes those actions make you think you shouldn't be feeling pain or sadness for the loss of your relationship. Allowing yourself to feel the pain by crying, journaling, praying, etc. gives you the opportunity to explore parts of yourself and know what you are handing over to God as you go from heartache to moving on.
Give It to God
It sounds cliche, but there is a point when you may start wallowing in your breakup mode. It's okay to experience your pain, but it's not okay to let it take over your life. As you explore why you feel sad and you understand that it's okay to feel loss, you need to also be handing over the breakup to God to help ease all the bad feelings you have.
The process is not simple. Sometimes it is easier to hold onto feelings for your ex or anger than to move forward. By asking God to take it over, you allow him to free you from those feelings. Yet, you have to be willing to let him take those feelings away.
Take a Break from Dating
As God moves you forward and away from your breakup, you will be amazed at how the doors and windows open up to other dating relationships. Some Christian teens find comfort in what is sometimes called "relationship jumping," when they go straight from one relationship to another. The problem with relationship jumping is that Christian teens who do this tend to look to others to complete them rather than God. If someone really special comes into your life, it's okay to date again soon after a breakup, but be sure you are entering into the relationship for the right reasons and not use the other person as a crutch.
Do Fun Things...When You're Ready
When a dating relationship ends, it's not the end of the world - even if it feels that way. It is important to get out and live life. Yet, you also want to enjoy the things you do. When you feel like God is ready to take over your pain, get out and have some fun. Spend time with friends, go to a movie, join a pick-up game of football...whatever you find enjoyable. As you spend time with people doing the things you love, you'll find that the pain starts to lift.
Don't Force the Friendship with the Ex
Your ex may want to stay friends. It's fine for many Christian teens, but sometimes breakups aren't all clean and easy. Sometimes they are messy and emotional. If it hurts you to be around your ex, be honest. It can mean feeling isolated a bit, especially when you share a group of friends. Yet, denying your own feelings and re-opening wounds isn't good either.
Yes, it's the biggest cliche piece of advice, but it's also true. Breakups hurt, and time and distance from the relationship will allow you to heal. God has a way of working in your heart to heal the hurt. Every day the pain will lessen bit by bit until you're really over the relationship. Don't worry if it takes you time to get over the relationship, everyone heals at different rates.
Accept a Helping Hand
For some people, moving on from a relationship is extremely difficult. These people hold onto the pain and never seem to be able to let it go, and often they don't want to. If you're having trouble letting go of a boyfriend or girlfriend, try talking to your parents, a youth leader, or pastor. Seek help. If your friend is having difficulty, ask how you can help him/her move on. Sometimes it can help to see a Christian counselor.