Knowing When it is Time to Break Up

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2015 is well underway and although January and February are tough months for me, personally, (because my favorite season is Summer) the one thing I do enjoy about coming in to a new year is the clean slate effect. We get to start all over, try again, resolve to move forward, not backward. So why not begin with a resolution to always be honest?

Honesty is always the best policy is the old adage, a policy which I fully subscribe to. But truth be told, honesty can be tricky sometimes, don’t you think? To illustrate my point, here is an excerpt from an email I received from a young woman who felt she was in a deep dilemma. She wrote:

For several months, I’ve been dating a man I find extremely attractive and things are going well, except for the fact that the more I get to know him, the more I know he is not the one for me. When we first began dating I was head-over-heels for him, but now I’m starting to see him more as a friend. He, on the other hand, is getting serious. It seems our passion for each other has been on opposite ends the whole time. I believe the best thing for me to do is to end the relationship, but I can’t bring myself to do it because it will hurt him and I don’t want to do that. What should I do?

First of all, isn’t this what dating is all about? Figuring out if the one you’re dating is the one you’ll spend your life with. But, this is a common dilemma for men and women alike because no one likes to be the one to break it off. My short answer is it is better to be upfront and honest than to continue pretending to feel what you don’t feel. There will be hurt when you break up, of course, but living a lie is never a good thing. Remaining in a dating relationship with someone who loves you but whom you do not love not only perpetuates lies and hurt, it keeps you both from finding the right person, the one you are supposed to marry and be happy with. Not being honest in a situation like this is exactly how people slide into marriages they don’t really want and eventually end up in divorce. The pain and suffering from that is immeasurable and I don’t want anyone to experience that so… tell the truth!

Take The Truth Challenge

I’d like to offer you a little food for thought on this issue as well as a little challenge for the new year. Since we are just coming out of the Christmas season, I think it’s appropriate to look to the readings from a few Sundays ago when we celebrated the Epiphany of the Lord and the story of the three Wise Men.

The Bible tells us very little about these three kings from the Orient. What we do know is that they were seeking the Christ child. And if you think about it, it’s not typical that a king would seek out another king with the intention of paying homage to him. Kings typically seek homage from others. So the fact that these three kings were seeking to pay homage to a tiny baby and they were willing to make a difficult journey with very little instruction to go by just to adore this child means they were humble men. They were humble men seeking the truth of their lives. Christ was their savior—he was the truth they were seeking.

So as we begin this new year and we have our clean slate let’s make this a year where we seek the truth and live it to it’s fullest capacity. Seeking the truth in your life is like having a key to unlock that cell you’re stuck in. It opens the door and sets you free. Being honest and accepting the consequences that go with being honest is an act of humility. Just as the three kings, who were indeed royalty and were adored by others, bowed before baby Jesus, so must we.

Here are a few questions to reflect upon should you take up the challenge:

  • After taking some time to reflect, in which situations are you most likely to hide the truth from others (family, friends, dates, co-workers, etc.)? Do you honestly set expectations with your date, such as your commitment to remain chaste or if you’ve been dating a while, whether or not you are ready to get married?
  • Are you able to admit your mistakes or are there people in your life whom you are blaming for your circumstances? Why are you blaming them? Is it possible that they are not completely to blame and that you may be partly responsible?

If you want to make 2015 your year of truth I’d like to propose working on the virtue of humility because in order to hear and receive the truth, we must be humble. And remember, humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.

Thanks for all your emails and feedback and keep them coming to asklisa@catholicmatch.com. If you’d like to read more about being the role honesty plays in becoming more attractive and finding a lasting relationship, check out my new book, The Catholic Guide To Dating After Divorce, due out this Spring at LisaDuffy.com.



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11 Comments

  1. Patrick-341178 January 31, 2015 Reply

    I think most of us on this site have a hard time even getting a date so we are not exactly gonna lose sleep over this… LOL

  2. Tom-995241 January 23, 2015 Reply

    What a depressing subject matter.

  3. Tanya-1049211 January 16, 2015 Reply

    Christina, you are still hanging on to this guy by being friends with him when you want something more that he can’t or won’t give. I am sure it is keeping your emotions in a upheaval. You said that your heart is still aching, I would definitely move on and still pray for him.
    my thoughts- God Bless:)
    T

  4. Christina-931661 January 16, 2015 Reply

    Truth be told I was enamored by a fella I met her about a year, he came to the conclusion on more than one occasion because of family issues he’d been struggling with at home it was very hard to have a romantic relationship. He changed his mind a couple of times then I finally got the message (I can be naive). So now we are friends but my heart is still aching. God has been good to me and I know I can trust Jesus to let go of the pain I feel but it is the right thing to do and I respect him for that. He had to stay focused and I was too distracting. Knowing that is half the battle. I pray for him and his family daily. It is tough to move on though.

  5. Tanya-1049211 January 16, 2015 Reply

    Hi!
    I met a divorced gentleman at church, we attended daily Mass together. He called me and we started spending time together. I really was getting “sappy” over this guy. Then something interesting happened, he started to be friendly at church one day and ignore me the next day. My emotions were going everywhere because I would never know what to expect from him. I prayed about it, asked some others about it. It was bringing stress into my life and I didn’t need it so I knew I had to stop being around him. He just didn’t know what he wanted so I started going to another parish for Mass and I started feeling so much better emotionally-being free of seeing him and being around him. He called after a few months and said he was thinking of me and that he was hoping he would see me at church. I listened to him talk but never told him that I had purposely put distance between us and why. If he had asked me , I would have been honest. That was last April, he turned down my invitation for coffee and I haven’t heard from him since. It was hard but I knew I wasn’t putting up with the back and forth behavior from him or any guy.
    Blessings,
    Tanya 🙂

  6. Mary-352352 January 16, 2015 Reply

    Wow…this is just what I needed to read. I am in the EXACT same position as the email sender. This relieves me a lot. But…definitely going to suck. It always feels like I’m the one making the break. 😛 I’ve only been dumped a couple times and it was always a “soft” break. I think I actually got the “I think I’m called to the priesthood” line. 😀 Man…I was so mad at God for that one.

  7. Rachel-1164616 January 14, 2015 Reply

    I am a highly sensitive person. I found this article very helpful. Thank you.

  8. John-992356 January 14, 2015 Reply

    All the more reason to keep it light and friendly while dating. The fact of the matter is that when we start to get deep and intimate, even without actual coitus, feelings start to entwine the hearts. Pulling those two hearts apart is going to hurt…and if doesn’t hurt you…you might want to contemplate why not.

    Sweet to the mouth but bitter to the stomach?

  9. Jeannie-822585 January 13, 2015 Reply

    Christopher, I just wonder if it is emotion talking or a leading from God. You’ll only know through prayer. If it is of God, then call her and explain honestly. God’s blessings. Try not to have regrets in life 🙂

    Jeannie

    P.S. Our priest just spoke on the scriptures concerning the Epiphany and no where is mentioned that there were three kings. He’s right.

  10. Christopher-1100043 January 13, 2015 Reply

    I closed my messages with a girl on CM form Kansas but I am worried that I did it too soon and because I was afraid of being hurt by her. I ask Mother Mary call her to this concern of mine and if she still finds me desirable, then ask her to call me on the telephone. Amen Her name is Michelle.

  11. Ann-99279 January 13, 2015 Reply

    This is a great article as well. It is always two people in the relationships that are both responsible for what happens. The only way to move forward either in the relationship or deciding to end it is to be honest with yourself and take responsibility. Part of this I think is being realistic and up front about your needs and expectations in a relationship while you are dating, and not waiting until there is a commitment.

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