Sometimes when we think we are involved in a seemingly wonderful and fulfilling relationship, the carpet is pulled out from under our feet and we find ourselves alone once again – and not sure why our “significant other” left.
I met someone online and the relationship was going great – but then he/she left abruptly. What did I do wrong?
Emails are often received with a story of how the person met someone online and enjoyed an awesome experience. This experience ranges from just one meeting to several months in length. All seems to be going supernaturally well, then suddenly the person either disappears OR says that they have met someone else. Were there signals that should have been seen? Is it something that someone did wrong?
The answer to both theses questions is usually NO. Often there are not signals, no one did anything wrong, and no one was playing games. Building a healthy and successful relationship is a time consuming process. One should not rush this process because a strong foundation must be built – over time.
Dating is risky business. I wish it were not so, but it always has been and it always will be. However, the reward for building healthy relationships far exceeds the risk.
There is validity and wisdom in having an approach to how you go about dating. Let me suggest some ingredients to consider as you develop your own plan:
- Include God – It may seem obvious, but so many single adults set out for the adventure without including the most powerful, positive force available. Asking for God’s guidance and trusting Him to do so can bring a peace and confidence in the process. It also provides a healthy perspective to the process as it unfolds.
- Include friends – Developing 1 or 2 buddies of your own gender is the second most powerful force you can bring to your dating process. These buddies can provide support, guidance, feedback and above all – accountability. How To Make Friends.
- Do not rush – When you meet someone (online or in person) who appears to have all the traits, etc. that you adore, do not rush and allow your emotions to get ahead of the process. Anyone can put on an act for short periods of time, but true character is revealed over time and events.
- Confirmation – Count on your ‘buddies’, family and other friends to affirm what you are experiencing. Those close to you want you to have the best and will share concerns that they may have – ones that perhaps you are not able to see. These concerns may not be accurate, but each one should be taken seriously and tested to ensure that you are making a wise choice.
- Confirm again – When both of you believe that this is the relationship that can lead to marriage, and it is been confirmed over the period of at least several months, you are ready for professional input.
- I recommend the premarital inventory that has been developed by Life Innovations. This has been given to over 1,000,000 couples and has an excellent record of revealing compatibility areas in a relationship. You can find a local counsellor or clergy who is certified to give this inventory at http://www.lifeinnovations.com/csearch.html
- Find a Christian counsellor or minister experienced in counselling to do premarital counselling.
- These steps are taken to AFFIRM the relationship and to provide ways to continue to build upon your strengths.
How to approach online dating and build relationships
Hopefully the previous comments will prompt you to give some thought to how you approach dating and building relationships. I wish that I could give you a guide to pain-free and assured success dating. That is not possible as long as humans are involved.
I love the words that God has in Jeremiah 29:11 – ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.