Monday, February 13, 2012

What should I do?

Another recent high school question: "If I'm in a relationship and I don't think my boyfriend really loves me, what should I do?"

Short answer: Break up.

Long answer: Why are you in this relationship? Are you staying and settling because you aren't confident that "anything better" is waiting for you? Are you comfortable where you are now? Are you hoping that your love for your boyfriend will miraculously transform him into a man who loves you?

Chances are, staying in this relationship is not going to "make" him love you. In fact, you can't make anyone love you. Love has to be freely given.

If your boyfriend is abusive, disrespectful, rude, selfish, or any other characteristics that are the opposite of authentic love, the pain of the break up will be less than the pain of staying together for a longer time.

The truth is that we learn how to love in our friendships and relationships, including our dating relationships. If a pattern of authentic love is not in your current dating relationship, this blueprint will remain with you in future relationships. The sooner you end it, the sooner you will be able to strive, with God's grace, to a new and more complete pattern for love.

Staying in the relationship is also not doing your boyfriend any good. He will be learning love from this pattern too, and if you allow him to continue in selfishness, abuse or any other non-loving practices, then you are (unintentionally) allowing him to become comfortable in a pattern that is not really love.

So, do both of yourself a favor and end the relationship. Wait for someone who will truly love, respect and cherish you. Begin developing the virtues that you will need to learn love and to help another person to grow in love in the future. Pray for your (ex-) boyfriend, that God will lead him to become the man He wants him to be.

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