The Bridge Chicago is a way to offer the resources of Mission:USA to help people do good ministry.
I am in my very first relationship. I am 19 years old. Years ago, there was a boy that I thought was my friend that took advantage of me and did some awful things to me. It freaked me out, and it literally took me four years to get the courage to actually see anybody. This year, I met an amazing boy who loves God. I was terrified to get involved at first and pushed him away for months. He pursued me the whole time. Finally after four months, I have him a chance and I fell fast and hard for him. We’ve now been together for 5 months, but i find myself closing up to him. Im afraid, because I realize now that ive given him most of my heart. He knows a lot of stuff about me that my best friends of 6 years don’t even know. Ive become completely transparent with him, and now i’m terrified. We’ve gotten to serious to quickly. I feel that I’ve trusted him way to easily How do I handle this situation? I can’t unsay the things Ive told him. (we haven’t gone far physically. only kissed, no french)
It’s perfectly understandable that someone taking advantage of you would have a seriously adverse effect on your ability and desire to trust people. Taking it slow and being cautious was very wise. Finally taking the leap was a very brave step, it is very easy to let past hurt and fear control us and you chose to move forward, that is a huge victory to be celebrated. It also makes sense that after 4 months of pursuit and waiting, you jumped in with both feet once you started dating each other.
All that makes perfect sense, but here is where you lose me: what on earth is “giving someone a piece of your heart”? That phrase is all over Christian dating books and talk, but it seems to be a phrase void of meaning. What it is loaded with is guilt and fear. How do you give your heart away? You still have it. Sometimes these buzz phrases run wild without anyone thinking about that the idea might be…you know, dumb.
You’ve shared a lot about yourself with the guy your dating sooner than you may have been comfortable with. If you are uncomfortable with that then you can certainly talk to your boyfriend and maybe get a little space. The problem is if you are only freaked out because some dude you’ve never met wrote a Christian dating book saying that you should feel guilty. Are you worried this guy will go around telling everyone what you’ve told him? Has he given you reason to not trust him? If so, then that is something you can address with him, openly and honestly. If you don’t have those concerns, then you should look at where these feelings are coming from.
It is perfectly natural to get a little freaked out at a certain level of intimacy, especially if you’ve never been in a relationship before. No one likes putting themselves in a position to be hurt, but that is part of the deal with romantic relationships. That’s why the “don’t give away part of your heart” stuff is enticing, it offers the idea of love without risk, of relationships where you never take the chance of being hurt. But that is not the way people work, and it is not the way love works. You can and should be level headed and thoughtful, which it sounds like you have been, but there is no eliminating risk in relationships.
As for what to do in your current relationship: if you decide that things have moved too fast, then you need to communicate that honestly and slow things down a bit. Just shutting down without saying why will be destructive to the relationship and unfair to both you and your boyfriend. If things don’t work out, you will go through the hurt of that and then you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off and learn from that experience for your next relationship. Making mistakes, working through them or not, getting hurt and gaining wisdom is all part of the dating thing and there is nothing wrong with it.
-Matt from The Bridge