Strings Attached, Ending a Relationship
I tweeted this earlier today…
"If a relationship ends because expectations were not met, it means that strings were attached and it was never a relationship to begin with."
Needless to say I got lots of reaction. Both in agreement and in disagreement.
Twitter is a great place for starting conversation, but not necessarily a great place to continue it, so I thought it would be appropriate to expand my thoughts here.
We all are led by convictions, beliefs, morals. These things allow us to be well equipped as we choose who we enter a relationship with.
One person I spoke with on twitter today posed this situation…
"If I started dating someone and my expectation was that he was stable, loved Jesus, and lived a godly life, but then he really didn’t have a strong faith, had a lot of baggage, wasn’t trustworthy, etc then I would not consider that one sided if I ended it."
I agree with this statement, which is why I wanted to expand in this post.
2 things stand out to me in this interaction on Twitter over my tweet.
#1 Context is King. This person believed I was telling people who ended their relationships over held convictions or beliefs were in the wrong. This of course isn’t true. My context? Ive experienced strings attached to relationships and sometimes the healthiest thing to do was to end those relationship. In my tweet, I was supportive of ending relationship because of strings attached that led to an unhealthy or possibly dangerous relationship. Or in my case, expectations that could never be lived up to.
#2 A relationship is one of disagreement and conflict but full of grace and acceptance. When we enter a relationship, we are guided by our beliefs and convictions as to what is good and right. Once in a relationship, we are connected and trusting of our friend/spouse/family member. Eventually, we will disappoint each other. We will hurt each other. We will make mistakes that cause regret or bitterness. But, true relationship pushes through this. allows for grace. Allows space for healing.
But, there are times that a relationship is beyond repair. So, back to my tweet…
When expectation is what determines whether or not we have a relationship with a friend/spouse/family member, string are attached, it is a take relationship, there is no give. This is not a relationship, this is unhealthy. And these kinds of expectations can lead to control, manipulation and abuse.
We should always be cautious that we do not create strings for our relationships. This means I need something from you, so that you can have the privilege of being my friend, etc. When we force this on someone, we take control of something that was never ours to control.
We should also be well aware of our beliefs and convictions and protect ourselves from unhealthy, abusive relationships. We need to be able to recognize when we are being asked to give, with no reciprocation. This is a true sign that a relationship has strings attached and if it isn’t dealt with or protected against it can lead to something dangerous.
All this to say that relationship is..
Two sided, not one sided.
Reciprocal, not unequal.
Full of trust, not rejection.
It builds up, it doesn’t manipulate.
Its gracious, not judgmental.
Its up to us to create these kinds of relationships. And its up to us to know when they need to end.