When Relationships Fail: I Love You, But...

     Have you ever loved someone, but they just didn't love you back? Maybe you felt you were all in, and in your mind, you believed they were the one. Perhaps, when you imagined you both together, it was God sent, purposeful, and a love stronger than you had ever imagined. Unfortunately, the only problem you encountered was the fact that you were in love, and the feeling wasn't as mutual. Or perhaps, it just didn't work out and in your heart you felt that it was the one love that got away. 

     You're not alone. Join the thousands of people who have felt the love of their life slip away by chance, circumstance, bad timing, or by default. The thousands who have been "head over heels" for someone that never expressed the same mutual feelings toward them. The thousands who found themselves at the edge of disappointment as someone they loved walked away, never to return.

     Well, I have good and bad news for you. I prayed and asked God to give me wisdom on this topic because so many of us have felt this way! I know for me it was almost devastating to realize someone I'd been investing into wasn't the least concerned about returning the favor or facing the fact that this love that I desired was crumbling before my eyes. It's that moment when you realize the feeling isn't the same. The love isn't the same! The connection isn't the same. And, in that moment, it can leave you lost and feeling confused! Especially, if you're a Christian, you may begin to ask God why and in that moment the purpose may not seem visible. 

     So, today I write from the perspective of God's heart. He showed me the complexities of a functioning healthy relationship and how to provide insight on this topic in love. Here are some truths to consider if you find yourself or someone in this situation:

1. Ask yourself: Was it really love?

     Many people often think they are in love with someone. But, if you find yourself doing things for them to get a response out of them. That's manipulation, not love. If you find yourself being impatient, that's not love. God tells us that love is patient, love is kind, love does not keep record of wrongs, love does not force itself upon others, love is not always putting yourself first, love does not look for the worst, and love does not quit. So, ask yourself the question, was it love, lust, or infatuation? Furthermore, God is the only one who can show and teach us what love is and how to receive love and how to give it to people with his heartbeat. 

2. Was it premature? Was it the wrong time?

     If you've passed the first test above, ask yourself was it the right time! A lot of people meet and love each other, but the timing is off. Even though, God wants us to be happy and in love, he honors our choices and he knows where we are in life. Sometimes we may think it's the right time, but God knows down the line how we will change and if our compatibility will grow together or grow apart. There have been a lot of men I've dated, that at the time, I felt would have been perfect for me. But, now that I see how I have changed over the years, and I know those relationships would have failed. Sometimes, you may sync with a person right now, but 10 years later, that could change. And, we have to trust Gods judgement and his will knowing that he will complete every good work in us.

3. Love is a choice. Was I their choice? Were they my choice?

     People who are married will tell you that love is a choice! You choose to be committed! You choose to stay in sickness and in health. You choose to come home every night to the same person. Sometimes it's not that it ended because of you, sometimes it ended because they chose to walk away. God gives us the power of his choice. Just like we can choose to be obedient to God in our own life, we can also choose to be obedient concerning our interaction with someone else. Sometimes things don't work out, simply because we chose to not work it out. When we commit to God's process or even his will for our lives, it can be taxing because the first thing that we must abandon is our concept of "self". And, honestly, some people are not able or ready to dump the "I" to become "We". 

4. Does God have better for me? Do I trust him to have better for me?

     I know this sounds cliche, but "God has better for you!" You never want to settle in a relationship that doesn't fulfill you or meet your needs as well. Being emotionally available to someone who is emotionally closed is draining, and will only lead you to discouragement and despair. I believe God wants his best for us, he wants us to be happy, fulfilled, and in love with someone we can grow with. 

5. Does God really know what I need versus what I think I need?

     When we receive Jesus Christ in our lives, we relinquish our control over our life. We exchange our worldly wisdom for his supernatural wisdom, and we trust that his instructions are the  best for our life because he knows what's best. Sometimes we meet people and we assume that everything is fine and that it is the best that God has for us. But, the truth is that God knows the heart and motives of people. He knows how they will change, grow, and evolve. He knows the intimate parts of the person that you may not be able to see. Sometimes what looks like a relationship failure is actually God saving us from future trouble or pain. Honestly, we have got to trust God enough to know that his purpose for us is great! The bible tells us that he will perfect everything that concerns us, and that includes our love life as well. We have to trust that whatever God allows to happen is in our best interest. And, even if we blatantly messed up or made a mistake, that his grace is sufficient for our lives and that he still has better on the way. 

6. Honesty Check: Did I make a mistake to make the other person change how they perceived me?

     Sometimes, honesty is the hardest policy. We say that we want to be honest but, we are usually not truthful with ourselves. When you are examining your relationship, did you do some things that were non-negotiables for the other person? Were you clingy? Controlling? Selfish? Mean? Emotionally Up and Down? Were you truly vulnerable (allowing them to see the person behind the mask) with them? These are questions we have to ask ourselves because it helps us grow and prepare for a greater relationship.n Sometimes the issue was not necessarily the other person, sometimes the issue is that we still have some growth and development in that area. 

     In conclusion, it is important to note that God loves healthy relationships. He loves when we are in a relationship that mirrors the other person with him in the center. He loves when we depend on him to change a person's heart, and not us ourselves. Sometimes we can do too much in relationships and we have a tainted perspective. In our viewpoint, everything looks great but, when we take an outside look, there may be some issues we need to address. And, finally, it's important to note that your last relationship is not the end of relationships for you. It may ultimately hurt when you realize something you've invested into is not going to work, but God restores broken hearts. And, in those moments, we just have to allow him to fix us. Don't sweep it under the rug and pretend like everything is okay when it isn't. Trust the process. Trust God! Trust him to lead you to the person that will reflect his love to you in every way. 

As always, like, share, and comment. Please send to someone who may need this encouragement 

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This video by Korin Deanna explains how one can feel after a bad break-up. 

 Alicia Watson, Author @turquoisenote

Alicia Watson, Author @turquoisenote