Breaking up, regardless of the situation, sucks. There’s not a good way to “break” anything in all honesty. There’s the exchanging of stuff, the telling of mutual friends, and the quietness of phone calls and texts. The Dude (or should I say ex-Dude) have been broken up for a few weeks now. Seven months was a good run, but I think we both saw it coming a few months before it happened. I don’t believe in pointing fingers or over-sharing personal stuff here (since someone from his past relishes reading all the things I post it appears).
What I will say is that in every relationship I have been in, I have learned things about myself and how to grow from each of them. I have written about that before, and this relationship taught me alot about the man I need to be my life-mate. But there’s no real manual on breaking up…well, there are but each break up is significantly different than any other. Alot of things and issues, and people for that matter, can play into a break up. For each couple that parts ways, there’s the hardness that follows. In learning to do life again on your own…alot of times, when we are in relationships, we take for granted this person has not only become our significant other but they have become a friend (at least I hope).
That loss of a friend is much harder than the loss of the significant other, if the relationship was grounded in friendship and faith first. In studying the meaning of marriage from both Gary Thomas and Tim Keller, I am seeing over and over again the heartbeat of a truly God-centered, successful marriage is one that is rooted in friendship and commonality of faith. You can’t fake that for long. You can try, and you might look like you have it but faith is lived out in your actions not just the words you say or post online. It’s how you respond in trials and in joyous times. It’s how you love your neighbor when your neighbor isn’t lovable. Most of all, it’s exhibiting that faith comes before all else, even your own pride or another individual. That’s what connects friends deeply.
Losing that friendship and common experience is hard, but it’s knowing and growing in how you are a friend first to others that really gets to the heart of coping in break-ups. Breaking up is hard. But not learning how to change and grow yourself for the next relationship, for the next friendship, is even harder.