In this article, I’m going to talk about 4 things God may lead you to do that often seem counterintuitive when someone pulls away from you. Points 1 and 2 are counterintuitive things you should do if you sense God leading you to move on. Points 3 and 4 are counterintuitive things you should do if you sense God leading you to remain open to being with this person.
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1. If Someone Pulls Away from You, You Can Prayerfully Just Let Them Go Without Trying to Talk It Out, End on Great Terms, Be Friends Still, or Have Closure
Counterintuitive means “contrary to intuition or to common-sense expectation.” The intuitive thing to do when someone pulls away from you is to do one of two things. You will either want to do something to reconcile with this person or you will want to do something that will hurt them like they have hurt you.
Christians have the urge to reconcile and end a romantic interest on great terms because there are so many Bible verses about living at peace with people and reconciling whenever possible. While Christians may have the urge to talk it out when one of them is pulling away from the romantic connection, it’s a misapplication of Scripture to apply all the verses about reconciliation to a dating relationship.
Why? Because a dating relationship started on a different agreement than two church members or two brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in the same social context. From the start, a dating relationship was formed on the grounds that this could end at anytime by either party. So it’s really okay to just move on. Ideally you can both be respectful and mature as you bring things to an end, but if someone is pulling away you don’t have to force them to talk it out with you.
But again, you also have to guard against the urge to lash out and hurt this person like they hurt you. You don’t want to pull away from them in a spirit of revenge or bitterness because that is going to hurt your own heart and damage your ability to move on in a healthy way.
Rather, just prayerfully let this person go. Sometimes to obey the command to live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:17-18), you have to just let them go peacefully without putting up a fight. Talk to God about it. Forgive this person of any sins they committed against you, confess any sins you committed to God, and then just keep walking forward.
2. If Someone Pulls Away from You, You Can Communicate Your Official Ending With Them Even If They Don’t Respond So You Have Closure
The advice in point 1 may be rubbing some of you wrong. After working with countless Christian singles, I’ve learned that some people just really need closure while some are fine to just move on without having a big discussion where everything is fully explained.
If you know you are someone who really needs closure, accept that about yourself. It’s okay. I don’t think there is one absolute right or wrong way to handle a situation like we are talking about here.
So if someone is pulling away from you and you are finding it difficult to understand why, sometimes the best step is to be proactive and verbally end this relationship on your own terms rather than waiting around for this person to give you a reason for why they ended it.
You can communicate something like, “I’ve sensed you pulling away lately. I respect that but I also want to have some closure, so I just wanted to say goodbye. I’m moving on now too as I don’t want to live in this ambiguous relationship anymore. I wish you nothing but the best but I’m officially moving on now. Don’t feel pressured to respond if you don’t want to. I just wanted to let you know where I was at for the sake of clarity.”
Use your own words of course, but just speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) so you can have the closure you need. You can tell them something like this face to face if possible or you can leave them a voice mail or you can even write them an email.
But if someone is pulling away from you, you don’t have to feel powerless. You can regain control of your own life by clearly communicating the official ending of your connection with them.
3. If Someone Pulls Away from You, You Can Pursue Them Even Harder
Points 1 and 2 were for those of you who feel like God is telling you to let this person go. But sometimes someone will begin to pull away from you but you will sense God telling you not to give up on them.
One counterintuitive option is to start pursuing this person even harder than you were before you sensed them pulling away. There are people who are so afraid of love and relationships that they will test you by pulling away to see how you react. If you pull away too or you just give them space without pursuing them even harder, they will interpret this as you not being that serious. Because they are so afraid of getting hurt, they will only give someone a chance if they know for certain this person is really serious about them.
I know a couple where the woman did this to the man. They had been talking for a while and they were headed towards dating, but then she started pulling away, acting distant, and coming up with excuses of why she couldn’t see him. But the man knew enough about this woman to know that she was doing this out fear. He sensed she did like him but she was too afraid to get close to him.
So instead of getting all insecure or getting his feelings hurt, he just pursued her harder. I’m paraphrasing, but he basically told her, “Look, I know you like me. And I like you too. You need someone like me because I’m not going to stop pursuing you.” They are now married with two children.
I’m not saying that line is going to work for everyone. Some women would hate it if a guy said that to her. It could be very arrogant and prideful for someone to say something like that . . . unless it’s actually true.
While it’s counterintuitive, sometimes the best option when someone is pulling away from you is to pursue them even harder. If they keep pulling away, don’t be a stalker. Eventually you have to accept that they don’t want to be with you. But some people who have been badly hurt in the past will test you by pulling away and then seeing how you respond.
You’ll have to walk with the Lord and ask for his wisdom to know if this is a good option in your situation (James 1:5).
4. If Someone Pulls Away from You, You Can Let Them Know You Are Still Open to Them But You Are Also Not Waiting for Them Either
I think it’s a mistake to wait for someone if they are pulling away. It can be tempting to wait because you may be getting mixed signals. It may feel like they liked you a lot, but for some odd reason they are now pulling away. Perhaps they then act like they want you again, but then start pulling away once more.
In a situation like this, you can tell the person how you really feel. Tell them you would like to be with them but you are also not going to wait around for them. Tell them you are moving on and will continue to date other people, but if they ever decide they want to actually commit to you, you would be open to that if they showed you with their actions that they were serious this time. But if they just want to keep playing games, they should stay away and you are moving on.
As you can see, there are a wide variety of options that God could lead you to take when someone you like starts to pull away from you. I wish I could tell you exactly what to do in all cases, but that’s just not realistic.
So above all of this advice, my main advice is to truly walk with God and follow his leading. Don’t just rely on what is intuitive. Rely on his personal leading in your life (Proverbs 3:5-6).
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the deadline to enroll in AGW University will close tonight in just a few hours at 11:59pm. I certainly cannot guarantee that if you enroll in AGW University that God will send you a spouse right away. These training courses are not magic and I would never want to mislead anyone by making them think I know a secret marriage formula.
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