Dear sweet, precious, amazing person reading this article,
Hi, there. I don’t know you, but I’m glad you’re here. Even though we’re connecting through a screen instead of sitting face to face sipping on a latte, I’m thankful for the opportunity to connect with you through this article today. Because it means something that this title caught your eye.
Maybe you’ve been there. Or maybe you know someone who has.
Maybe you find yourself in a dating relationship in which things aren’t the way you had hoped.
Maybe the disappointment has just started settling in — or maybe you’ve been struggling for years.
Maybe you’ve even spent your energy trying to block out the still, small, voice telling you that something just isn’t right. And now, here it is again.
Whether a newbie to crappy relationships, or a veteran….you’re here because there’s a relationship in your life that’s just not the way it should be. Something is wrong.
Maybe it’s that guy, who doesn’t seem to be as interested in you as you are in him.
Maybe it’s the girl who never seems to take initiative in your relationship.
Maybe it’s that person who keeps saying “I’m going to change” and then never does.
Maybe it’s that nasty argument you had last night, that keeps happening again, and again, and again, like a bad song on repeat.
Maybe it’s those lies and secrets that you keep trying to pretend don’t exist.
Maybe it’s the fact that you’re not, and never have been, on the same page spiritually.
Maybe it’s because you find yourself always having to be someone you’re not.
Maybe it’s that on again, off again, emotional roller coaster ride that you’ve been dealing with for God only knows how long.
Or maybe, just maybe, it’s even more severe.
Maybe it’s abuse.
Maybe it’s addictions.
Maybe it’s betrayal.
No matter what it is for you, crappy relationships exist when there’s a pattern of unhealthy behaviors, feelings, or interactions in a dating relationship. Things that keep coming up, time and time again. Unhealthy patterns that aren’t changing and aren’t going away.
Sometimes, you can be in a relationship for so long that you stop seeing how unhealthy it really is until someone points it out. And even then, you try to make excuses. You try to ignore it. You try to pretend that it’s all okay. But deep down, in the silence and quiet of the night, you find yourself struggling with that sinking feeling.
How did I end up here?
I wish I could answer that question for you. I wish I could sit down with you, and hear your entire story from start to finish, and help you work through that important question.
But what I will tell you is this: the more you love yourself, the faster you’ll notice when something in a relationship just isn’t right.
The more you love yourself, the easier it will be to recognize a relationship in which you’re not really loved.
Because LOVE isn’t a feeling. It’s not an empty word.
Love is a decision.
Love is not just something we feel, love is something we see. It’s an action played out day in and day out that portrays patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. It doesn’t display envy, it’s not rude, and it’s not arrogant.
Love is a choice someone makes to treat you the way you deserve to be treated.
And maybe you know that. But maybe, just maybe, you just needed to hear it again. Because the truth is, relationships don’t just magically change when you get married. What you see in dating, you will ALWAYS see in marriage…multiplied by a factor of one hundred. Because marriage is like a pressure cooker, and everything you put in there get’s magnified and intensified. So if there’s something in a relationship that’s not changing…maybe it’s time to let it go.
My prayer for you is that this coming year you learn to see yourself for what you are TRULY WORTH. Loved, valued, and worthy…because of a God who made you in His very image. That same God looks at you and longs for you to seek out a relationships that reflects the deep and ferocious love HE feels for you. Because love like this….well, it’s all part of His plan.
Whoever you are, whatever you’re going through, and whatever you’ve done…May this be your year of new beginnings. May this be the year that you finally LET GO of crappy relationships once and for all, and open your heart to something greater.
*If you find yourself struggling to let go of a bad relationship, or constantly involved in unhealthy ones, I challenge you to pick up a copy of this book and read through it before the New Year. It’s time to make some changes in your life, and there’s no better time to start than RIGHT NOW.
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!