EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: My boyfriend and I have broken up and gotten back together 22 times in the time span of 3 years. I love him so much, yet he leaves every time, and it doesn't get easier. He means so much to me, and it's so hard to let him go. I have no friends and no one to talk to about it because it's happened so many times that no one wants to talk to me about it anymore. So I'm just stuck, alone and heartbroken.
Since you really haven’t asked us a specific question, let me respond to what I hear.
I have known of couples who have had their ups and downs, on and offs, break-ups and reconciliations, but none of them has had a track record like yours. I can’t even begin to conceive what your “relationship” is based upon or the foundation on which it is built with that many interruptions.
You say “he leaves every time,” and I wonder, what reason does he give you for breaking up?
From the little you have shared, this sounds like a possible case of suffocation.
While some couples are meant to be in each other’s presence every waking moment, be a part of every aspect of one another’s life and be connected at the waist, there are others who need a little more independence.
You may be the type who wants the constant connectedness and he may be in need of a little more space, thus the constant break-ups.
Do you have an idea what he does when you’re not together? Is he seeing other people? Is he hanging out with some of his other friends? Is he spending time on furthering himself in his career?
Knowing this may help you to understand his reason for leaving so often.
You love him so much you’ve gotten back together with him each time. Would it be safe to guess your boyfriend has never doubted you wouldn’t?
As for your personal growth, a life outside of a relationship might be a good place to start.
Your lack of friends is probably the result of your constant focus on you and him. Generally, I have found people lose interest in being with those who are solely focused on their own well-being, their own specific needs, and their own world.
Sometimes we get too close to a situation (especially when dating) in order to see the big picture. We think with our heart, hold on to someone too tight, drop connections with everyone else and not allow ourselves and others to grow in the way God desires.
Give it some time and give it some space.
God has given you the right answer through many friends! This man does not love you, he just enjoys you. Here is the bottom line, he is attracted to you not out of love, not out of following Christ and a deep respect for you, but out of enjoying some aspects of your relationship. He is basically getting some of his needs met without any real commitment to you. If someone else came along, and perhaps they have at times, he would be gone.
You have become comfortable and way over-trusting. You have become a door mat. He is using you. You are way more valuable to God than this man will ever know. God wants the best for you, and this guy is not the one. Please know, as much as you love him, your love will not change him. Only God can change him. He has to come to a place of surrender to God for his behavior, for leading you on, for disrespecting you. He needs to apologize to you and move on. He needs to live by the Spirit and not by his flesh. And you need to move on, too. You are precious to God; he will bring you a man who will love you every day and just not when it’s convenient for him.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of three books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
Publication date: December 11, 2014