Ask the Rev: Advice for All Situations

Dear Rev,

I’ve been hooking up with this girl for about a month and really like her. The other day she decided we should cut it off, and I came to terms with it. But then she came back two days later and told me she had made a huge mistake and wanted to be in a relationship. What should I do?


Back and Forth

Dear BaF,

I’m glad you wrote in. At moments like these, taking the time to talk and reflect on the situation can help you process the situation in your own head and heart. Often you end up learning more from what you hear yourself saying than from what you hear others saying. The best advice I can give in a situation like this is to keep communicating: it will help you with all your transitions, and this is clearly a time of densely packed, emotionally draining transitions. Although the passage is narrow and rocky and the waves of emotion push and pull you, you can navigate through this, and there is peace on the other side.

Your relationship with this person has gone through several transitions in quick succession, both in her mind and in your mind. She was the one that decided she wanted your physical and emotional engagement to be “cut off” —a very illustrative phrase to describe the change, like snipping the cord in the middle of a bungee jump.

But what about the transition in your mind? Now that you’ve somehow survived the plunge and managed to reach the top of the bridge again, I can understand that you would be hesitant to tie the rope she’s holding out to you around your legs again. How are you supposed to feel safe? How are you supposed to trust her? I understand that, and I’m sure she does, too.

When someone hurts us, we often withdraw and shut down. Then someone wants to come back in, and you have to reopen your mind, which takes a whole new effort! Well, opening your mind is always worth the effort; staying closed-minded takes even more out of you. Don’t waste your energy holding it against her. Everyone makes mistakes, and if you choose to resent her despite still having feelings for her, you could be making the same mistake she did. Besides, mistakes are not as big a deal as we think they are. Sometimes, trying is the best and only way to discover the truth. You can always change your mind again. It happens.

Life and love are not safe. Nobody goes bungee jumping because it’s safe, they do it because it’s risky and it brings you close to death and, in doing so, makes you feel incredibly alive. The risk was always there. If you engage in risky behavior, you will eventually get hurt—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Just like broken bones, broken hearts can heal (if treated properly). Truly living requires you to follow your heart, no matter the risk. Now that your cord snapped once, maybe you can even learn from it: Try using a stronger cord.If you want this, don’t be afraid to take the chance again.

All love,

The Rev

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