I am twenty-six years old. I was in a relationship with a woman that began three years ago and ended five months ago. The reason we broke up was that I wasn’t sure if I should take the next step of getting engaged because I still didn’t know my sweetheart that well. Now I feel that I love her very much, but she has another boyfriend now. I feel guilty. What do you advise me to do?
We regret to hear that what you did is making you feel so badly. But we believe you did the right thing regardless of how it makes you feel now.
Even though you love your ex-girlfriend, you made the right decision when you broke up with her! Not knowing her well enough was an excellent reason to not let yourself be pushed into an engagement. Most people who eventually get divorced say that they didn’t really know the person that they married. Others often claim that after the wedding their spouse turned into someone they didn’t know, but it is far more likely that they didn’t know the person well enough beforehand either.
Romantic love and physical attraction may bring two people together, but love and attraction are not enough to keep them together. That is why many divorced women say, “I loved him, but I couldn’t live with him.”
The problem with western-style dating is that it is almost totally focused on having a good time. The girl and the guy are each trying to make a good impression and put their best foot forward. They want the other person to see all their positive qualities but not to learn about their faults and failures. So they often hide former romantic relationships or skew the truth about what really happened in them.
Before getting engaged, each one needs to know and agree with the life goals and ambitions of the other. Here are some questions that they need to ask each other: Where do you want to live? How many children do you want to have? Do you have educational goals for the future? Exactly how much are you planning to care for your parents as they age? Do you have any debt or any other financial obligations? How many hours per week do you plan to work in the future?
Furthermore, they should ask themselves the following questions about their possible future spouse: Do they have the character qualities of honesty, integrity and determination? Can they be trusted one hundred percent of the time, or do they have frequent excuses for why they didn’t do what they said they would do?
The most important questions that you need to address, however, are: Do both of you have the same faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ? And, do both of you agree on the church that you want to attend in the future?
The fact that your ex-girlfriend got into a new relationship so quickly is all the proof you need that she is not the one for you. It is fortunate that you found that out before it was too late.
We wish you well,