I talk a lot about relationships, and break ups, and how they relate to your worth in Christ and as a daughter of Christ. In doing so, it may seem that I lay most of the blame on the heart-breaker. After all, they walked away. They didn’t see your worth. They are missing out on all the awesomeness that you have to offer. And while all of that may very well be true, I want to offer a different perspective. Not in any way to hurt you or to diminish your worth, but to help you understand why things aren’t working out the way you’ve wanted them to.
This is in no way a comprehensive list of all the mistakes that people can make in relationships, but simple truths and habits that girls especially are prone to fall into that hold them back from successful relationships. So without further ado, here are just a few reasons why it might actually be your fault.
1. You are too accommodating.
So many girls just jump at the chance to date someone they like that they immediately become the ultimate accommodators. They make it so easy to be with them that a guy loses all interest. Each stage of a relationship should take work on the man’s part. “You invest in me, and I will decide to invest in you.” I’m not saying it’s a one-way street. You also are required to make investments too, but as a RESPONSE to his. Guys are the pursuers. It’s in their makeup- in their blood. God made them this way. You can fight me on this till you are blue in the face, but pursuing and accommodating a man into a relationship will not last long… if it even gets that far.
A girlfriend is something a guy wants to earn. A wife is something he wants to win. If we give it to him without any work on his part, he is not going to place value in what he has. Ultimately because YOU didn’t place value in what you are giving away so cheaply. It’s definitely not about games or playing “hard to get.” It’s about placing value on yourself and not sacrificing your money, time, energy, emotions, needs, feelings, anything and everything for someone who is not making equal sacrifices for you. It’s about not doing all the work and ending up with a weak man. Knowing your worth is one thing. Being able to put it into practice is much different.
2. You are looking to fill a position.
You see a guy walking into church that you’ve never seen before. He’s tall, cute….. and you immediately think, “Oh my goodness, HE COULD BE THE ONE.” You don’t know the first thing about this guy, and you have already named your first three children. Eek. How shallow is that? But we all have done it. The truth of the matter is that you really don’t want to date THAT guy, you want to date ANY guy, and who wants to fill a position that just about anyone could fill?
I always find it so odd when single people say, “Okay, 2014- this is the year I will get a boyfriend/girlfriend.” Really? You’re just going to take anyone willing to say yes? Guess he/she will be very special to you. Why not wait to find someone worthy of your heart? Why not wait for someone to come along that just simply knocks you off your feet and you can’t imagine living without? That seems a whole lot more romantic and enjoyable than scrambling around for just someone that will do.
When we have a desperate mindset, we settle for less than what we should, and we end up in heartbreak. Instead, be fulfilled enough in Christ to be patient enough to wait for someone really worth dating.
3. You ignore red flags.
I know how it is. You are getting to know someone who seems just perrrffecccct. It’s a match made in heaven! Or is it? Seems that little red flags are popping up one by one and you are squashing them with excuses.
“Well, he has a really busy work schedule and can’t make it to church that often.” “Well, I don’t really like how his friends behave, but surely that can’t be what he is really like.” “Well, it makes me feel unwanted and insecure when he flirts with every other girl in front of me, but I’m sure that will stop once we become more ‘serious.'”
It is a gut feeling, moments of hesitation, an intuition that you know something is wrong, but you don’t want to see it because you like him so much, and you’ve already invested so much time in it, and you really want this to work out. It is the stupidest thing we can do, girls. If I have learned one thing in all my years of dating, it is NOT to ignore red flags.
So what do you do when red flags pop up? Address them. As hard as it may be and as risky as it might be for your relationship, you have got to remember that you are in charge of the relationship that you are in. You get to make the rules of how someone else will treat you. No one can do it for you.
4. You are stuck in the past.
“All guys suck!” No, the jerk you dated who cruelly and unfairly hurt you- he sucked, but all guys do not suck. If you really believe this then I feel bad for the men in your life, and If you are going to hold your past against your future, you are headed for heartache at a million miles an hour. Yes, it is hard to be healed, and then open up your heart to be hurt again, but it is possible. How?
a. Learn from your past. Learn exactly what you did wrong in the relationship. Did you ignore red flags? Did you not speak up when you had the chance? Did you let things go too far and give away too much of your heart? Accept responsibility, forgive the person who hurt you, and….
b. Trust God with your love life. When it is hard to trust others, when it is even hard to trust yourself, you can always, always trust God. Pray and ask him to guide you every step of the way and show you immediately if this relationship is not one that you should be a part of. He is always faithful to protect his children as long as we are seeking his will.
Get this down- the past is the enemy of your current relationship. Of course we all have experienced heartbreak, but I have realized that it’s foolish to live my life feeling afraid that history will repeat itself because I’m not the same person that I was back then….not even close! I do feel some sadness for my former self, I feel sad that she had to endure so much pain but I’m really happy she did because if she didn’t, then I wouldn’t know as much about relationships as I do. Through those painful experiences, I am a better person and better able to help all of you deal with your pain, and I must admit, that makes it all worth it in the end. No matter how justified you feel you are in your anger/hurt/resentment, there comes a point where you have to just close the book on it and let it go. These things can not only take a toll on your psyche, they can deeply impact your relationships. Nobody wants to feel like they’re paying for someone else’s mistakes. The past is the past and we’d be doing our relationships (and ourselves!) a great favor if we left it there.
5. You play games.
I understand that dating in the 21st century is the most ridiculous thing ever. People are so complicated, and there are all these silly rules to follow. You have to act like you don’t care even if you do. You must date multiple people to keep the attention of one because its just casual. You must be unavailable because if you are too available then people get turned off. You have to ignore phone calls even if you want to pick it up. Basically, if you are an honest, loving, well-intentioned person, you have to resist everything that comes natural to you to play this stupid game that everyone likes to play…… Right?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not attractive to a mature man of God to be flirting with other men to makes them jealous, or to put them through a series of constant little quizzes to test their affection for you, or play the role of the victim and give them the silent treatment when there is a problem. We are not in Jr. High any longer, and this simply will not do.
If you want to have a grown up relationship with a grown man then the games have got to go. Be honest and kind, know your worth, keep your heart guarded, weigh your options, be smart, have fun, but get rid of the meaningless games. They only drive men away. Can I get an AMEN?
Look, I know the dating world is a scary place sometimes, and its tiring to be heartbroken. So, these are some tools to make your relationships less complicated. Know your worth and put it into practice. Wait for someone you actually want to be with not just someone who can fill a empty position. Don’t ignore red flags. Let go of the past. Quit the games.
God knows the plans that he has for you. He knows your heart and your soul. He has promised to take care of his children that seek after him. He has promised that you will not be ashamed following in His steps. So don’t give up on Him and don’t give up on love. Keep the faith. Keep seeking the Kingdom of God. Believe that when it is right, you will be able to be perfectly YOU, you will not have to play games, and you will be able to trust God every step of the way. You are lovely, and, mark my words, you will love and be loved, and it will be magnificent.
Read the post for guys! –> “Guys, 5 reasons why it might be your fault.”