To be completely transparent with you guys, I’m not a dating expert. I’ve had exactly two real boyfriends in my lifetime, and just got engaged to Mr. Right, formerly known as Boyfriend #2.
But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my tenure of dating, it’s this: Mr. Right Isn’t Mr. Wrong 2.0. He’s not the same, jerky guy who at one point screwed up your outlook on love. And he’s not going to give up when the going gets tough.
Hear me out, girls. This may be a crazy concept, but so many of us suffer a romantic PTSD from a first try at love and often compare future relationships to it, scaring ourselves into thinking it’ll all go downhill again. But, that’s simply not the case.
At twenty-six years of age, I’m currently in my second relationship. I’ve been dating Josh for four years, and he asked me to marry him on April 24th. And as cliché as it sounds, he’s the answer to every prayer I’ve relayed to God about my hopes for a relationship during my previous single season.
He’s hilarious, he’s a movie nerd, he encourages me to follow God. He’s an absolute goober, he challenges me to better myself, and he supports my dreams of becoming a successful indie author. He’s completely different from what I expected when we first met, yet he’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of. *Cue sappy romantic music* and he’s taught me that it’s okay to open my heart to someone again. ❤
Yet, even though my fiance and I share an amazing relationship, doubts from my former relationship and single season continued to arise within the first couple years of our relationship. There were times when my old anxieties reared their ugly heads, saying things like he’ll become annoyed with you after a while, or he’s embarrassed by you.
That is because I became used those types of situations during my last relationship and single season. The guy I used to date was good at saying sweet things but never treated me well. He often made me feel bad about myself, from the clothes I wore to the perfume I used. He often flirted with other girls in front of me. He was embarrassed to bring me around his friends. Guys I talked to during my single season treated me as if I was disposable; they would text me for hours on end, only for me to discover later that they were also texting quite a few other girls as well. Thankfully, God guided me away from dating any of those guys.
But, this post isn’t about bashing the guys that have treated me wrong in the past and created the Heartbreak Syndrome mentality within me. This post is about overcoming that mentality, and approaching new relationships as God intended.
Overcoming Heartbreak Syndrome
I’m by no means an expert on overcoming Heartbreak Syndrome. As I said earlier, it took me a while to learn that Josh isn’t like those guys, that he will fight for our relationship no matter what.
I used to compare my fiance’s actions to those of a former heart-breaker, though my fiance did not intend for those actions to be taken that way. Thankfully, he’s a very understanding guy.
But, my fiance couldn’t save me from that mentality. I had to turn it over to God.
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”
God heals the broken-hearted. Some may argue that this verse is meant for more extreme cases of heartbreak, such as divorce, homelessness, or having someone close to you pass away. And yes, I don’t discredit that. However, God is also willing to heal those of us with wounded hearts. God is willing to listen to all of us, to be the shoulder we cry on, and to be our refuge from heartache.
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.”
And another thing: WE have a say in what we think about. If we constantly remind ourselves of our heartbreaking past, we’re going to reflect our past on our current relationship. Your new, sweet boyfriend doesn’t deserve that! I had to apologize to my fiance quite frequently because of this.
Note to self: Your boyfriend isn’t your ex. Your boyfriend isn’t that jerk that treated you wrong. Unless he’s done something to warrant this type of thinking, DON’T THINK IT!
Instead, remind yourself of what a sweetheart he is. Tell him how much you appreciate him for treating you well. Treat him well in return. Worship God together and make Him the center of your relationship, and the time you spend reflecting on the past will diminish.
So, to recap:
1) Determine your scope of Heartbreak Syndrome.
2) Cast your anxieties on God. Let Him heal you.
3) Don’t focus on those old, blah guys. You’re in a new relationship. Focus on how great it can be instead.
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
Have you had the Heartbreak Syndrome before? How did you work to overcome it?
What other dating, relationship, or singleness topics would you like to see on Authoring Arrowheads? Let me know in the comments!