This is a very personal answer to a comment in the post about starting a new relationship. What to do between two relationships? I wrote about finishing one, starting a new one but in between? I don’t have all the answers but I have my opinion which has proven to be valid for some people that’s why I’m writing again…
I think there are some stages of engagement and levels of “mourning” (if I can use this word for the feeling we endure after breaking up… )
The first moment really depends on how you ended. If it was both or just one of you who decided to break up. If it came out of nowhere or if you’ve seen it coming… but I think the first moment is always to suffer the separation… to rethink the plans without the other… to accept that is over and to let the pain goes lighter to carry on.
I want to make clear that there’s no measure of time during these moments because it depends on ones feelings and this is too personal for me to say how long does it take to heal a wound.
I think the second moment is to move on. Accepting it is over continuing with our lives. Make plans, start new projects. But most important stay single! It is important to have a time for yourself. I don’t think it’s good for nobody to search another person to forget the one we had two weeks before. There is no feeling of self-sufficiency its just not fair to the new person to show affections we don’t yet have cause its impossible… Some of the most important things in life is to have it in our hands so we can be able to hand it to the One and the ones we love. If I don’t master my feelings it becomes difficult to give them to someone. So take a time to reassemble yourself.
Next moment. Don’t go hunting! Well to “hunt down” a boy/girlfriend is not a good idea… first because it might scare someone who’s close to us and may be interested. This behavior just shows a small lack of confidence in God who has just the right person for us, and pushes away a person who might be interested but “not so fast”.
So don’t go hunting but what to do?
A couple things, first live intensely your friendships and be open to new ones. We can kind of chose the perspective boy/girlfriends but in the same way we choose our friends. I think we can also be attentive to the signs and give an appropriate answer to those we get closer to. I don’t think it’s fair to show interest or feed the person with hopes of something more when we know we don’t feel the same way the person is showing to us. But at the same time why not give some signs of interest when we are…
When the sings are given and the answers are positive I think its time to read the post about starting a new relationship.
After writing about the time to break up, I thought it was fair to write about the time to start a new relationship.
I have to start by saying I don’t have a closed answer on this matter either…
When speaking about ending a relationship I talked a lot about prayer, and it’s not going to be different now. First of all I believe in friendship before an actual date. I believe the most important thing even before thinking about dating is to cultivate friendship; to know the person, know his/her values. For me it’s just fundamental the sharing of Christian values.
Having feelings for the person.
Then what do we do? we find someone fine, Christian, with which we get along and then we decide to give a step forward? Not yet… Because these things as I was saying on the other post has to be moved by a decision from the heart but also from a feeling. I don’t chose a parter for my life because he/she fits perfectly in my list of requirements for a good companion. I almost fell for that once, it was my mother who woke me up asking: ok she’s a good girl but how much do you love her? Wow… that hit me like a baseball bat… in fact I was just calculating the possibilities…
It was also mom who “saved” me from another crazy move that was to start something with someone just because I like her… Of course being in love is amazing, and nothing feels just like it, but we can’t not listen to our reason. I can’t tell the reasons why it wasn’t possible cause it’s exposing too much both of us. But the point is we have to use also our heads before giving a step forward in a relationship. So before you ask someone out, or start to let him/her know the way you feel about him/her take some time to think about it before the Lord, this is also prayer, I suggest before the Blessed sacrament if possible.
Ok that’s it! I like one of my friends, I think about it then I ask her out? No so fast man!
Give her time to know you, spend some time talking, deepening the friendship… at one point you both will know that a line was crossed without the need of words or becoming “official”, you’ll see that you’re more than friends. Then is the time to speak, to share the feeling and time to pray together.
An external eye might help
I just told you about how my mother was a great help out of trouble. In my post about Listening to God I talked about obedience, now I think it’s a good time to remember that most of the times people outside can have a better look in our lives than ourselves. So asking for help is never a bad idea. Ask your parish pastor or your spiritual director for orientation he/she will be glad to help. Just ask if you’re blinded for example. Is this guy/girl taking me out of God or helping me to be closer to Him? (This is the kind of question we ask ourselves in prayer too)
In my Community we think it’s necessary a time of silence and prayer before starting a new relationship, during this time we present our feelings to the Lord and – without the “stress” caused by publicity of the relationship – talk and pray with that person about something we are about to start. Sometimes this is difficult to happen because the other person don’t belong to the community, sometimes because the other person don’t want to wait, and for each case we have to deal with God’s wisdom not to get people hurt. But time has shown us this is a very healing way of starting (or not) a relationship.
We can see when two friends start to be very close there is a “pressure” around them that sometimes forces them to do what they weren’t thinking, this time of silence suggested by Shalom comes very handy to help the parts involved to decide in no hurry or obligation, and if it doesn’t work out fine, for both to be at ease cause they never “officially” stated anything.
You may say this is in a perfect world. Yes sort of. But we can do our part if we understand the importance of these steps, which aren’t carved in the stone, we can adapt to our reality. I think there are some important things to do before the decision.
1- Be friends (to really know the person)
2- Have feelings for the person
3- Think if this can work out
4- Talking to someone else we can trust
5- Pray (alone an with “the one”)
These are simple steps I think very useful if you want to start a relationship under God’s blessing.
God bless our relationships.
It’s been a while since I wrote about prayer for the last time. Christmas is at our door So I decided to put a post about prayer and about the Birth of Our Lord. What follows is one suggestion for Lectio divina that My father writes every month to “Shalom Maná” a magazine of Shalom Community. For those who don’t know this method of prayer and meditation with God’s Word I have another post about it that might help.
Here’s what my father wrote:
I announce to you a great joy
Whoever reads the gospel according to Luke has certainly noticed that one of its most striking features is the joy. We suggest that you pray with the Word of God according to the method of Lectio Divina, the language relating to the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.
Read today, at least two times LK 1,5 – 2.20.
Within a large segment as suggested, we should choose a few verses that have touched us most. See for example, the verses that speak of joy (cf. Lk 1,22.214.171.124, 2.10).
The evangelist speaks of the messianic joy foretold by the prophets in the OT (Cf. Zeph 3.14-15, Jl 2.21 to 27; Is 12.6, Zc 2.14, 9.9). The joy of the arrival of Emmanuel, God with us. The joy for the presence of God among men. That was the joy announced by angels and experienced by the Anawin, by the poor of Yahweh, of which Mary is a prime example. To human eyes, the facts in this joy might seem, otherwise, reason for sadness or at least concern. The announcement of Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit took questions into the heart of Joseph who was appeased only after divine intervention. The high-risk pregnancy of elderly Elizabeth must have worried his family. The birth of Jesus in an overcrowded city like Bethlehem, a time of census ordered by the Romans must have worried Joseph And so on. But the contradiction is only apparent. The joy of God’s presence makes all relative. Honour, health, property, comfort, security… Everything loses its value before the real Good, the only absolute value. This is what is said or implied in the verses read.
Faced with these verses, meditate how is the joy (or lack of it) playing a role in your life. Do not be afraid to confront your difficulties with situations that are reported in the passage of the word you read. At Christmas time and at the end of the year, many feel an indefinite sadness, not seeing reason for joy. We must let the joy of the birth of Jesus relativize all other facts or feelings. Then, says St. Paul to the Romans, “what will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?”(Romans 8:35)
Your prayer may start like this: ‘Thank you, Lord God Almighty, who hath humbled to the point of making you one of us, like us in everything except sin. Thank you Lord Jesus because you have hidden these things from the wise and doctors, but revealed them to the little ones. Teach us to be poor and humble as you, and give us experience true happiness … ‘ you can put all that God showed your in your meditation.
To complete the last step of lectio, I suggest contemplating a manger or at least a picture of one, with the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph Immerse yourself in this great mystery of the Incarnation, the mystery of love and joy.
At the end of your Lectio take your notebook to write down the graces and the good intentions for this day.
O God of goodness, who gave us the Holy Family as an example, grant us to imitate in our homes their virtues, so that united in the bonds of love, one day we can come to the joys of your home. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, our family is yours!
This video made me think a lot, so I came to my blog and then I realized that I was doing exactly the contrary of what I thought was the best to do…
I’ll write about it latter.
What are you still doing in front of this screen?
See you around!