Risking the Breakup
Dating doesn’t need to be as high stakes as the Christian culture has made it. When we make our single and dating life completely aimed at “finding the one”, we put a lot of unneeded stress on ourselves. What if I’m not their type? What if they aren’t interested? What if we breakup? That kind of pressure can cause us to give dating up altogether because we’re so scared of pain. But the truth is, to love is to risk! Risk can feel scary when we’re so used to our comfort zone, but it’s risk that can spark a really good thing. So as you step into dating, keep the following in mind:
Fear is not a good leader
Refusing to risk is normally backed by a form of fear: afraid of being rejected and ending up alone, afraid of being seen then declared to be not worth it, afraid of the pain of the breakup, afraid of what others may think, afraid of wasting time, afraid of missing out on someone else. Protecting yourself from this pain by not engaging in relationships doesn’t actually protect you from pain. If anything, it keeps you trapped in it by convincing you that fear is safer than love. Every decision we make with fear as our leader will eventually lead us to the pain we were trying to avoid! Of course we’re not just throwing our hearts out to untrustworthy people in the name of risk, but we don’t want to live so shut out from love that we never have the chance to get hurt. As great as it sounds to live in a pain-free world, the reality is that if we never experience it, we will never fully understand the weight of genuine love.
Remember the goal
I remember when I was going through a hard breakup and I found myself wishing I had never dated this person at all. As I was venting my vulnerable thoughts to my friend, she reminded me that the goal isn’t to marry a bunch of people, the goal is to eventually marry one. That means breakups are bound to happen along the way, but that doesn’t mean either of the people involved are inherently bad-- it just means the relationship didn’t work! What I learned is that breakups are a bridge to your final destination. They are not the end of the world, they don’t determine your value, and they don’t mean you’ll never find love again. We’re still allowed to grieve the expectations and hopes we had, but when we shift our beliefs surrounding breakups from a negative to a positive, it gives us more space to learn from the relationship rather than sit in bitterness. Be proud of yourself for risking pain to love in the first place!
Know your identity
When it comes to dating, we attract what we believe we deserve. So if we believe we’re unlovable and not worthy of a good relationship, that will most likely show up in our dating life! The longer we carry that belief, the longer we’ll find ourselves stewing in fear and self-punishment. 1 John 4:18 says “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Perfect love is a person, Jesus. His heart for you forms your identity- not fear, not the opinions of others, and not the lies the enemy wants to feed you. It’s His love that defines you! As you walk, step out in courage and know that He’s got your back. Regardless of what the outcome looks like, you’re already loved by a God who is stronger than fear!
So what’s that risk you’ve been wanting to go after? What would it look like if fear didn’t stop you this time? Invite God into the fear and lean into it to hear what He has to say. We challenge you today to go after it knowing that regardless of what happens, you’re fully loved and together, you’re capable of running at fear head on! You got this!