Saturday, May 12, 2012

Good Goodbyes In Dating

There are times when relationships just don’t work out. There is too much damage or too much pain. Or no matter how hard you try, you seem to keep missing each other. You are just too different. All relationships are not meant to succeed. When you are dating, this is sad. When you are engaged it can be devastating.

The decision to separate usually comes after a lot of frustration and maybe a lot of blaming and defending, or even worse behavior. Tempers may be high, and feelings of self-worth may be low. You may feel emotionally depleted, with nothing left to give.

Does it have to end badly? Fortunately, the answer is “NO”

We can have a good good-bye.

Nan and I have been witness to several break-ups, and although it is never easy, it can be constructive and redemptive.  

What does a good goodbye look like?

When the decision has been made and the dust settles, usually a kind of sad peacefulness rests on the relationship. The conflict is over and it is time for the healing to begin. We encourage couples to take turns affirming each other and asking for forgiveness for the ways they have hurt or disappointing each other. It is time to remember all the good parts of the relationship, to express the things that they will miss. The relationship started out hopeful and positive. There was attraction and excitement. These are the words that need to be spoken before parting.

Next the couple goes before God, confessing any wrongdoing or sins connected with the relationship and asking for His forgiveness. The couple finishes by praying for each other and releasing them.

Usually there are many tears of sadness and regret, and some of relief. But there are not the feelings of guilt associated with a bad break-up.    

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