How Do I Get Out of This Bad Dating Cycle?

January 28, 2016 at 9:00 am


Diary of A Future Spouse


Here is another archived post from our Diary of A Future Spouse!

Dear Duke,

Well to start off, I am finding myself feeling frustrated and almost hopeless in believing that I can find true love God’s way. Don’t get me wrong, I know God is able, but sometimes I just wonder if He is able and willing to perform such a miraculous work in my life.


I met my first boyfriend at 18 when I was a freshman in College. I was a virgin then, and I stood firm on the fact that I wanted to wait until I was married to go all the way.


Although he stayed around, he was not on the same page, causing us to eventually go our separate ways. Little did I know, we would be off and on for the next three years. He was verbally and physically abusive towards me, and was a chronic marijuana and alcohol user. Yet, I found myself emotionally attached to him, with hopes that he would eventually change.


After I realized he wouldn’t change, he and I went our separate ways. Afterwards, I found myself in the arms of yet another man who liked to drink and party, and that just was not the lifestyle that I craved. Therefore that relationship ended. The most recent relationship that I have indulged in since the last two guys happened about seven months ago.


He and I dated for five months, and I thought he was the perfect guy. He told me he was in school, working, and interning at the same time, which made him appear ambitious. He also told me that he was active in the church, which was also a quality that I liked. Lastly, the best thing that I liked about him was that he didn’t smoke or drink!


Everything was going great until… his GIRLFRIEND of six years called me to tell me that I was the OTHER woman and there were other women involved besides me. I was in complete shock. Everything was a bold face lie. Now I struggle with trying to believe that real true love exists. I struggle with wanting to give up on the idea of love, and look for someone who can be a temporary fix in my life.


I’m scared to let my guard down, and I’m even more afraid to give God full control over this area of my life because it seems like when I do, it never turns out right. On top of all the men that I’ve dated turning out to be no good, my own father was a drug user who cheated on my mom. It’s hard for me to believe that God could bless me with His best when it seems all the men in my life are the worst.


I really want to be in love, and I want to try to wait on God, but when do you see the fruit of your labor? I’ve been faithful to God in my spiritual journey, now when will He be faithful to me?




Hurt, Broken, & Confused


The Duke’s Response: Thank you for entrusting your heart with me. I can sense your sincere frustration through your words, but I can also sense a bit of confusion. You did allude to it in your signature. You said you were almost hopeless that you can find true love God’s way. However, the only way to true love is God’s way.


It sounds like you have faith in God’s abilities and you want to trust Him with everything, but you don’t trust that He will work in your relationships. I know there is an emphasis and a sense of urgency in that area because it’s something that you want bad enough. So, you have a magnifying glass on your relationships. You want to be in love with someone who is in love with you and you wanted it yesterday.


You have faith in God to do some things, but because this area has caused grief in your life, you are afraid to fully let go. You still want control in the area of relationships. You’re not as frustrated with God as you’re really frustrated with yourself. You may have prayed for God’s will in relationships, but let’s look at the pattern.


You were unfortunately with a guy who totally disrespected you. I applaud you for upholding your standards at the beginning and not allowing the pressure to persuade you at 1st. However, you went back after the breakup and it sounds like that’s when you began to compromise on your standards in hopes you could make the relationship work. So, you made a choice to go back to him after he showed you who he was. God didn’t do that.


That was free will. It was a choice you made. It’s nothing to beat yourself up over, but it was a lesson you learned. The good thing is that you had the strength to get out of it. God showed you the signs. God gave you the strength to move forward.


The same God is able to connect you with the 1 He has for you, not the 1 you chose for you. We all go through life experiences that teach us lessons. It definitely doesn’t feel good to feel heartbreak in relationships, but keep in mind that you’re trying to get to the 1.


You brought up a very important point about your Father. He unfortunately abused drugs and cheated on your mother. You have now attracted men who either abused drugs and alcohol or who cheated on you. You were with the exact type of men you probably were determined you wouldn’t be with because you saw what happened in your own family.


However, it is often in cases like this when a woman looks for characteristics of their Father in another man. Unfortunately, you attracted the characteristics you were hoping to avoid. I know it was difficult being in an abusive relationship because a lot of manipulation goes on.


You probably tried to leave numerous times and something he said or did manipulated you. He may have made you feel like you would have not been able to move forward without him. He probably made a lie sound like truth. I’m glad you finally gained the courage to walk away.


Your second relationship was a guy with some similar characteristics, but I saw progress there because when you noticed the pattern, you got out of the relationship. You may have felt like you didn’t make progress because the relationship ended and you saw some similarities from the past. However, you made progress because you didn’t try to force it to work. If you did, you didn’t try for long.


I also noticed you said you were emotionally attracted to the guy in your 1st relationship, but you didn’t say spiritually. It’s evident that there was no true spiritual connection in either of your 1st two relationships. So, you must ask yourself was God really priority in your relationships?


Clearly, they weren’t the 1, but you seemed to feel like God did or didn’t do something because of all you went through, but was God ever invited to truly lead in the area of relationships. It’s not to say that Christian relationships are perfect or that every Christian man you meet will be the 1, but from your examples, it appears God was put to the side; yet you wanted God to honor something He never wanted you in to begin with.


That leads me to the last guy you dated for 5 months. You mentioned a list of things he said he did. You saw his potential because he was ambitious. He “said” he was active in church. Going to church and living for Christ are two different things. Also, you only mentioned what he said. Were any of those things verified?


I know you were happy that he wasn’t like the other guys because he didn’t drink or smoke. So, for you that was a step up from the others. So, you saw potential and really hoped it would work since he was different. Being different didn’t make him the 1. You still have to get to know people. 5 months is a short time to know a lot about a person. You can learn a good bit, but there was much more to see as you discovered.


However, I can still see progress. You are still getting to know what you really like. You know from experience that you don’t want a guy who drinks or smokes. You knew it because of what you saw your Father do, but it wasn’t enough to make you not accept it in previous relationships.


It wasn’t until after the first two relationships that you finally were convinced you didn’t want to be with a guy who specifically did any drugs. Rightfully so! However, you said that he was active in church, but the best thing you liked was that he didn’t drink or smoke. You were more excited about that than him being active in church.


So, again I want to point back to the fact that I believe you love the Lord and want Him in your relationships, but you must put Him in it and have expectations for those you date. You must know what your standards are and maintain them. I think you knew from the beginning the 2nd guy was not a fit. The 1st guy was your 1st experience, so you gave him more benefit of the doubt in the beginning. He showed you his true colors before the breakup and even more after you got back together.


The 3rd guy seemed like a change of pace and looked promising, but he cheated, which was something else your Father did. So, these are deeper issues that must be addressed. You’re somewhat mad at God because like you said, all the men in your life hurt you.


Not only that but you got so frustrated, you considered just being with someone as a temporary fix? All that would do is add more hurt. You would be abusing yourself, but instead of drugs or alcohol, you would be using men. That’s what Satan wants. He wants you to stay in that trap. However, writing this letter shows you still have faith in God, and that God will fix things.


You’re still hurt and you’re attracting more hurt. You must 1st heal from what your Father did because that impacted you. I’m not so certain you really got to the root of that issue. I believe you suppressed it, and now it’s time to face it.


If your Father is alive and you haven’t talked to him about how what he did impacted you, I think it is a good idea. Either way, you should pray for God to heal that area. You can be an adult and still a child in another area. You’re still that little girl when it comes to relationships because of what was unresolved with your Father.


You’re attracting the very thing that hurt you the most. It’s attracted to you because it’s still deeply rooted. You have been trying to love the wrong in people hoping to make it right because it’s the same thing your heart did for your Father.


You getting to the 1 is already taken care of. I assure you true love exists, and it exists for you. God has that under control in His timing. We don’t know when that exact time is, but what we do know is that you can do something about this issue with your Father. That issue can be addressed in more ways than 1.


You said you were faithful to God on your spiritual journey, but have you been faithful to Him when it came to truly surrendering in relationships? I would say no. He has been faithful to you, and He’s being faithful to you right now to help you see that it goes beyond dating. The issue with your Father must be addressed. You identified the pattern, but didn’t put all the pieces together. Now you have it and must take action.


I will be praying for you, and I’m certain the Single For 1 family will do the same. That vicious cycle must be broken, and it must be broken with you so that you don’t pass it on to your children when it should have ended with you. It must end with you! God is doing a work in you, and the path towards your healing begins today!


As always, remember that you are Single For 1. That is all for now.

Your Relationship Advisor,

The Duke logo 1



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