I can’t take credit for that wisdom, but in my experience, it is true.
When a relationship ends, it’s almost as if a whole person dies. When 2 people come together and form a dating relationship, the dynamic of the couple is like a 3rd friend. When that time is over, it’s like the third friend has left on bad terms, or even died but no one wants to acknowledge it. It affects everyone around, even those who weren’t involved. The two newly single people can catch a glimpse of each other from across campus and everyone within the local zip code feels the tension. I think it has something to do with quantum physics, but I’m no science major so don’t quote me on that.
There are 3 major people groups involved in a break up, as listed below:
1. The Hurting: The one who got broken up with- maybe didn’t see it coming.
2. The Healing: The one who broke off the relationship.
3. The Hating: The friends of the couple, or highly opinionated acquaintances.
Keep in mind that in whatever I’m about to say, I’m on your side. I’m writing as the completely unbiased third party, and won’t give you half-truths. There are absolutely situations that one person is completely wrong, but this is from the stand point that things just didn’t work out. If you are in any of these positions, I feel for you. It’s aca-awkward. So let’s dive in and relieve the tension.
To The Hurting: Be glad you’re not in a relationship with someone that doesn’t value you for all that you’re worth. Last week I kind of put Bruno Mars on blast, but the dude also has good things to say. For example, I wake up to “Treasure” every morning. The whole song is a booster, but there is a line that is fitting for this subject.
“You’re wonderful, flawless, ooh, you’re a sexy lady”
Lady or gentleman, you are wonderful. You are flawless. You are sexy! These are all Biblical. Don’t mistake a relationship fizzling as a reflection of your identity. The addition of a significant other does not change who you are. The absence of a significant other does not change who you are. I have no reason to lie. You are a dream come true. A masterpiece- Don’t get in your head and make everything a reflection of you. Start listening to the truth and tuning out the lies. To quote B. o. B., “You the whole package, plus you pay your taxes.” I know for a fact the first statement is true, and if the second is true, then you’re set for life.
To The Healing: Props to you for having the courage to end something that isn’t going any further. It’s never easy to let someone down, but the shorter the delay, the better. You may be concerned that your sig (or in this case ex-sig) is drowning themselves in tears or cookie dough ice cream, but don’t take that on. Don’t give yourself the credit of making or breaking someone’s life. Sure, this is painful for everyone involved, but you’re not the center of the universe, therefore, you cannot send anyone into an apocalypse. They will be fine and so will you. Be prepared though- this takes time. Don’t expect to go back to being friends within moments of ending it. That’s not good for you or them. Let them lay low for a while, and don’t force a conversation or moment to happen.
To The Hating: This blog is mostly for you. If you are a friend of a sig, then there’s no such thing as a third party. You probably have opinions. You probably have the best of intentions in supporting your friend. Sometimes, the lines of supportive and destructive get blurred. Things that start so positive end really horribly, like the riot in the movie, Hot Rod.
If you’re not familiar with the movie, the main character, Rod, played by Andy Samburg, is trying to raise funds for his dying stepfather’s heart transplant. While on his way to the fundraising event, the whole community comes alongside him and walks together with him. The song “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham plays over the dialogue and it is truly an inspiring moment in a weird, satirical movie. (Side note- this is my FAVORITE movie ever! Watch it if you haven’t because your life will be CHANGED!) Then the inevitable happens: a riot breaks out and the whole moment is killed in a matter of seconds.
I’m going to go as far to say that this actually happens more often on campus than we acknowledge. For example, a couple splits and the girl and guy go back to their respective same gender friends. The said friends both start consoling The Hurting and The Healing, and come alongside them in support. Somewhere along the lines, the opposing party (usually, The Healing,) becomes the enemy and it is a battle to get as many people in your army as possible. Tearing others down won’t make anyone any higher. This brings me to my first point:
Blowing out someone else’s candle will not make yours shine brighter.
One time, it was one of my professor’s 50th birthdays. My friend Emily and I got a small cake for him with 50 trick candles on top. We waited for him to go to class and proceeded to light all of said candles with the intention of disrupting his class and having a good laugh. The plan backfired. We definitely disrupted his class, because the flames came together and created one HUGE flame measuring up to 2 feet in height and nearly causing the entire business building to burn down. We busted into class, sang happy birthday, and then he made a wish, and tried to blow them out. This was the moment when I decided I hated trick candles, because the flames came back with a vengeance. The Lord was on our side, as it was a rainy day, and we RAN through the first floor of Metz, burst outside, and launched the now wet candles into the bushes. The cake was covered in rainbow wax and riddled in holes.. DEFINITELY inedible.
What if we, took our candles, and put them together to burn bright, instead of using them like torches to lead a riot? Maybe this is corny, but what if we loved our neighbors by supporting the good instead of condemning the bad? When talking to our Hurting and Healing friends, let’s make a point of reaffirming their qualities instead of bashing the bad. Forget boyfriend bonfires and remember the candle fiasco: it will change your paradigm.
What do you do if your Hurting friend is bashing their Healing ex-sig? It’s easy to jump on the wagon and want to join in with what they are saying. This brings me to my next point:
Not everything is black and white.
Keep in mind that the side of the story you are hearing when your friend is upset is tainted and not the most accurate. Don’t take those statements to the bank. Reaffirm your friend, and keep their candle shining, maybe even relight the flame. Use your powers for good and not for evil.
Do we all remember when Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were married? They were my favorite Celebrity couple second only to Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. I remember the day like it was yesterday: I was watching Newly Weds on MTV and the screen went black for a Public Service Announcement: that Brad and Jen called it quits. People went nuts! If people were in support of Jen, then they wore pink ribbons, but if they were for Brad, they wore blue ribbons. It originally had to do with Aniston backing Breast Cancer Awareness, known world wide for the pink ribbon, and Angelina Jolie with the blue ribbons for Child Abuse Awareness, and because Brad switched partners he switched causes or something… the point is that choosing sides and viewing things as black and white gets you no where except for down a destructive road leading to drama, and nobody wants that!
Real talk though- One of the things I think Christians miss the most is unconditional love. It’s a tough concept to grasp. This brings me to my final point:
It is possible to support a person without supporting their decisions.
We’ve all heard the stories about the engaged couple we don’t agree with and the battle among the friends on deciding if they are going to go to their wedding or not because they don’t support the marriage. Perhaps you’ve had to decide whether you’re going to a wedding or not, or maybe you’ve just had to decide if you’re going to buy Miley’s new song because it’s catchy but you don’t want to support her craziness. Similar principle.
I don’t preach often. But this is a subject that gets me hyped.
I don’t think Jesus died to give us the power to judge and condemn and make known our opinions. He died to give us life abundant. To not support someone because of their decisions is the farthest thing from the Jesus way of life. Jesus went to the cheating tax collector’s home and shared a meal with him. He hung out with the prostitutes and touched the sick and unclean. And what’s cool is, despite my decisions, regardless of my actions, and irrespective of my choices, He’s there for me and continues to support me. If He didn’t, that would be conditional love, and our gospel would look a whole lot different.
Let’s now apply this to a break up among our friends: You may not agree with The Healing’s decision to end things. That doesn’t give you the right to step in and assume the role of God by judging them based on their actions. This does not give you divine permission to hate them, start a riot and put people against them. That is called slander, and the Word of God is clear about this. You may not have agreed with The Hurting’s decision to date The Healing in the first place. That doesn’t give you the right to bash anyone. People of the Christian world: Can we please eliminate the expectation of meeting a certain living standard to start loving and accepting others? If this were the law we lived by, we would have no need for the cross, and I, personally, would be screwed.
I want to leave you on a lighter note- and I think this video below sums up everything nicely. Watch how Sophia Grace builds up Miley with the truth and just radiates with love for her. Let’s love both The Hurting and The Healing the way these little ladies love everyone!
If you made it this far, then well done!
Over and Out!