How do you ‘move on’ from a broken relationship?
Jed Brewer replied:
Hey my friend,
Sometimes in life, there are answers that are simple, but not easy. This is one of them. How do you move on? Simple – you move on.
Generally speaking, most of us know what it means to move on from a relationship. In the case of a messed-up romantic relationship, that means leaving it completely behind. Cutting off contact on Facebook and Twitter, etc. Shipping anything of theirs that we still have back to them so they don’t have a reason to be in touch. If it hasn’t happened, having a conversation with that person where we state – clearly and succinctly – “We are over. I don’t want to talk further. I don’t want to hang further. There is no more us. This is the end.”
But, as simple as that is to describe, it isn’t easy. In fact, taking steps like that are terrifying, because, what if you’re wrong? What if this is your last shot at love? What if no one else will ever want you, ever again? What if, deep down, they’re a really cool person, and you’re really just a jerk?
We’ve all had these thoughts.
When we’re dealing with a platonic relationship – say, with a family member – the details are different, but the principle is the same. If it’s not something where we can or should completely cut contact, we set firm boundaries. We make it clear what we will and will not put up with, and what the consequences are for violating those boundaries. (Ex: “It’s not cool for you to be disrespectful about my faith. When you do that, I’m going to get up and leave Thanksgiving dinner.”) We spend as little time with that person as possible. And we do so in a guarded way – we’re not revealing anything intimate about our lives.
But, again, what if you’re wrong? What if family is the most important thing and you’re just terrible? What if “they’re just loving you in their own way” and you’re too selfish to appreciate it? What if?
Again, we’ve all experienced this line of thinking.
What we need here is courage – that little talked about Christian virtue. Courage means walking forward in the face of fear. It means saying to your doubts, “I can’t prove that you’re wrong, but I’m moving forward anyway.” And it means one more thing: taking hold of something new.
The last part of moving on from a broken relationship is going out, and building new, and good relationships.
There exist in the world cool, kind-hearted people that would love to be a friend to you. There exist Christians that would love to walk this life alongside you, and be a family to you. And, yes, there exists a total hottie who loves Jesus, and would also love to date you.
The thing we need is to go find these people – at church, or Younglife, or school, or whatever – and strike up a conversation. We need to be vulnerable enough to build new relationships. To offer people the trust they earn, so that intimacy can grow. To not hold the sins of our old, broken relations against the new friends we are meeting.
You can do that. You can do this. Pray up, and take that first step. I believe in you.