You thought he was the one, he seemed to tick all the boxes. It was like a dream come true until you woke up to a far from perfect reality. You realized he was never what he seemed. That you were naïve and wanted a fairy-tale, so you held on for so long. You were hoping your dreams will come true.
But they never did. You dove straight into the nightmare, and you are only just getting your life back together.
Is this you? Have you been hurt by past relationships and are now weary and tired of dating?
You’ve probably been told that there are great men out there, that God will give you the man after his heart, but deep down, the pain makes it so hard to believe.
Dear friend, don’t lose heart. You are not alone in this. I have been there and was in my own cycle of pain for far too long. At that point, it seemed like I couldn’t move on.
If you’ve ever felt this way, I need you to know that God is still there. He was there even while you were hurting and will be there through your healing. We need to let go and trust God.
“Pain will leave you, when you let go.”
Learning to Move Past the Hurts
A big part of moving on would mean being able to date again. I know after your past relationship, you were probably a hermit, always at home and only venturing out, on rare occasions, to church and family gatherings.
But you can’t live life this way. No, I’m not saying you shouldn’t take time to grieve the end of that relationship. I’m saying there is a danger that we will wallow and waste precious time on something that is in our past.
I should know as I spent over 5 years grieving a relationship and I wasted so much time on something that I should have moved on from. I was so caught up in my pain that I failed to see all that was before me, the wonderful plans the Lord had placed before me.
“He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
You have to accept that that those relationships are now in the past, especially if it ended because he was the wrong one for you.
Three Dating Tips for You
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1. Understand Who You Are
Okay, you have been through one or more bad breakups. This has probably made you skeptical about men, but it doesn’t mean you should put your head down in shame. Rather than focusing solely on the reasons those ones didn’t work out, I want you to think about who you are and who you want to become.
If you haven’t done so already, this is the time to define your principles and standards. What are the things that matter to you? In doing this, remember that we are all different and probably want different things from the men we date or marry.
This is also about growing into the woman God wants you to be. Beyond marriage, there is a plan and a purpose for each of us. God created us to be his light on earth. You have to be that light. This will mean working in obedience and making sure you are setting the right priorities.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
It may be that in your previous relationships, you were focusing on the wrong things. This is a great time to find what works for you.
Be true to yourself and speak your truth.
2. Set The Right Boundaries
You’ve probably heard a bit about setting boundaries, but what does it really mean? It is defined “a point or limit that indicates where two things become different.” Merriam Webster Dictionary
Every relationship needs boundaries. This was something I wish I had known in my previous relationships (better now than never).
As Christian ladies, we don’t want to defile ourselves, (in mind and body), which will mean saying no to any form of sexual activity, or unhealthy habits.
What are the sort of boundaries you need to set? Setting boundaries are not just for the other party, it’s also about us.You know your weaknesses and the areas where you are likely to succumb. Here are a few boundaries:
- No kissing, hugging or cuddling
- No extended periods of time spent alone
- Most Dates and meet ups to be around friends and family
- You don’t travel alone
- You don’t expect him to always be available or place too much reliance on him
The key is to build healthy relationships that will ultimately lead to marriage.
3. Be Open Minded
This may be difficult because of the hurt, but you need to realize that your new boyfriend is not your former boyfriend or that he will hurt you in the same way.
Being open minded means, you don’t over think things, including his words and actions.
It’s about letting go and letting God do his will. It’s about trusting God with your life and relationships and knowing that he is able and willing to protect you from harm. His plans for you are certain. Jeremiah 29:11
It also means being flexible to change. You may have wanted a Baptist Christian that works in a prestigious industry, but you get a Protestant who blogs. Rather than focus on these differences, it will be more meaningful to focus on his character and if he has a heart for God. At the end of the day, that matters way more than what he does.
Make The Most Of Your Present
The most important tip of all lies in nurturing your prayer life. Not just when you are ready to date but every time. We are told to “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17. That should be our motto.
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Whatever happens, don’t forget to find joy in where you are and to enjoy your singleness. It is a time to work unreservedly on your kingdom mission and to get to know yourself better. Here are a few ideas on fun & healthy activities for you.
Have you tried to get back to dating after a failed relationship? Never forget that God’s got your back and will see you through.
Hope to hear more about your story. Stay blessed.
Chioma Oparadike is a Christian Blogger and Writer. She is on a mission to encourage and inspire single Christian women to live intentional and purposeful lives. She blogs at www.chiomaoparadike.com.
thank you chioma , quite inspiring , i will really want to a medium to share my experience and i would like a mentor i can talk to
God bless you
Great post. This article is definitely how I have been this last year, after ending my relationship with a “Christian man.”
Hi Charlene, thank you for your kind words and for sharing your story. May continue to remember that we matter and are endlessly loved by an amazing God.
Chioma, love this practical wisdom you shared. Most of us have had at least one failed relationship. But there are lessons to be learned through every life experience.
Thank you so much, Wanda. I’m so glad you found it useful. I definitely agree, there are always lessons from every experience.
Gail Goolsby says
It is always right to “work on yourself” while wondering about the future. Get close to the One who always loves, always delights, always encourages. Humans fall short, even married ones!
So true, Gail. We need to continuously improve and grow, not because of a man but for ourselves and the one who made us.
Great stuff, I can definitely relate to this having been hurt more than once!
Hi Alice, thanks for your comment and I’m glad you found the post helpful.