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Why is it so hard to get over a boyfriend?

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Why is it so hard to get over a boyfriend? And, what can I do to forget about him?—Hurting, 16, AK


Shayna Answers:

Dear Hurting,

Last week we said that grieving a lost relationship is normal, because God created us to be social beings (Genesis 2:18; John 13:34; 1 Peter 4:8, 9). We also said there are certain things that can intensify grief, such as replaying old voice mail messages, rereading old e-mails, etc. But as you grow and learn better ways of coping, you usually feel better.

We talked about a few important things you should do to forget about him, including giving yourself some space, not talking to him unnecessarily, getting involved in activities that you didn’t have time for when you were dating, and talking to your parents about your feelings. This week we’ll talk about what you shouldn’t do to forget about him.

Some of this advice may sound like common sense, but it never hurts to restate the obvious. OK, first and foremost, don’t rebound! Even if he hurt you, even if he didn’t realize how awesome you are, and even if he made you long for someone who’ll treat you better, don’t do it!

To have healthy relationships in the future, you need to take time to reflect on relationships that didn’t work out. You need to take time to think about what you can do better next time. You’ve heard me call this a breathing period, and the amount of time needed for a breathing period varies for each person.

If you don’t give yourself the time you need to do this, you’ll find yourself continually dragging issues from old relationships into new ones and blaming current significant others for hurts you never grieved in the past. Doing these things will hinder you from having successful relationships.

Next, don’t try to hurt him like he hurt you. Revenge seems sweet, but God can work it out infinitely better than you can. Romans 12:19 tells us not to take revenge. Proverbs 25: 21, 22 tells us to be kind to those who’ve hurt us, because this is more painful to them than openly spiting them. Even if you did nothing wrong in the relationship, be the first one to forgive. First Peter 4:8 says: “Love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Also, resist the desire to slander him. We all learn confidential, personal information about our significant others when we’re dating them, but blasting it all over school doesn’t make you look better than your ex. It shows immaturity and an inability to handle difficult emotions.

Finally, don’t make a fool of yourself trying to win back his affection. Proverbs 21:30 and Jeremiah 29:11 remind us that God always has a plan for us. His timing is perfect, too (Ecclesiastes 3:1). So, if this relationship is within God’s will, He will facilitate its growth without you stalking your ex’s Facebook page or leaving notes on his car windshield every day.

Breakups can be miserable, but use this time to grow in your relationship with God. He, better than anyone else, can help you have healthy relationships in the future.



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