“Look at her. She is a dream come true. Sweet. Respectful. Gorgeous smile. Everyone who meets her likes her. She seems to be enjoying our time together. I think I want to court her seriously. I could honestly see myself spending the rest of my life with her. What is stopping me? All fingers and common sense points towards us making a go at this friendship, but something is nagging at me. Almost like unfinished business in my gut. What is making me hesitate? It is not the Lord. I have prayed about this relationship and feel confident in moving forward. My mentors and family are on board. What is my problem?”
Is something haunting your otherwise awesome relationship? Are you with someone truly remarkable, but you cannot seem to get over a speed bump in your own heart? People are complex and we come into courtships – even tremendous ones – with baggage.
Who (or what) is haunting your relationship?
The Ghosts of Ex-Boyfriends or Ex-Girlfriends
I can remember dating an upstanding young man when I was about sixteen. He was respectful, everyone loved him, and (from what I could tell) He loved the Lord. So, I loved and cherished him, right? Wrong. I sat in his truck and repeatedly played Michael W. Smith’s song, In My Arms Again, while staring longingly out the window. He could tell I was still caught up in feelings for an old boyfriend, and the relationship did not last very long. Granted, I was quite immature at the time, but had I been closer to marrying age, the ghost of my old “flame” could have ruined a promising relationship.
The Ghosts of Relationships You Once Respected
How many of you found the love of your life, then shortly thereafter discovered your parents, grandparents, mentors, or friends were divorcing? Did it throw an emotional grenade into your world? I would imagine so. We come to trust the stability of certain relationships and when they do not last, we are left wondering, “If they do not have what it takes, what hope do I have for making my relationship work?” Though that is an understandable question to work through, it is important to remember that couples have public and private faces. Just because everything seemed great all along does not mean it was. You and your sweetie can take safeguards to keep your connection from dissipating. Resentment and unresolved anger are common relationship weeds that choke out beautiful love stories.
The Ghost of Your Old Self
“He is wonderful. Look at that amazing man. Is he even real? Children love him. He has never met a stranger. When we are together, he makes me feel like the only person alive. He looks me in the eye when I talk. He gives me sweet surprises to brighten my day. I do not deserve this person. When he finds out who I used to be, he will go running. He is a prince, and I am a beggar.”
How many relationships are never given the chance to grow because one or both people do not feel worthy of the other? How many people sabotage their relationships because the other person is getting too close? “What if he (or she) cannot handle my past?” We can fear rejection to the point that we become self-fulfilling prophets of our own doom.
If you are in a promising relationship, but something is haunting you, expose it, confront it, and put it behind you. Combat lies with the truth. Maybe you were a jerk ten years ago, but that does not mean you are incapable of being a fine boyfriend or girlfriend now.
You may have witnessed many failed marriages. Talk to the couples. Ask them what they believe caused those splits, and then take precautions against falling into those same traps.
Say Goodbye to the Ghosts
If old boyfriends or girlfriends are still in your head, show them to the door. If this relationship is worth your investment, it is worth cutting ties with old sweethearts who are holding you back – even if your ties are mental. If you are struggling to get past the hurt or damage done by an old relationship, it is not a bad idea to seek the help of a pastor, counselor, or trusted mentor. If something preventable is coming between you and a potentially amazing love story, take the bull by the horns and make some changes.
We are seldom haunted by the fears and situations we face head on. Monsters tend to flee when we stand up to them. Identify what is haunting your relationship, replace any lies with the truth, lay it to rest once and for all, and continue towards a happy and fulfilling relationship with a great guy or gal!
Who or what is haunting your relationship?