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  • Writer's pictureAnna

taking your heart back

Updated: Dec 17, 2017


“The Holiday” has always been one of my favorite movies. It’s one of those movies that just get you in the Christmas spirit (while tempting you to vacation in snowy Surry in an adorable cabin where Jude Law knocks on your door in the middle of the night). If you’re not familiar with the movie (which why the heck not), two women with bad luck when it comes to love, switch homes for Christmas. One of the women, Iris, escapes Surry, England after she has just been heartbroken by the man whom she loved for three years. We see glimpses of Iris and Jasper’s toxic relationship throughout the movie as Iris attempts to move on.

Unfortunately I understand why Iris has such a hard time letting go of Jasper. She invested so much of herself in him and emotionally bonded with this man whom at one point, she loved and cared deeply for. Unrequited love, though painful and confusing, is somehow addicting. Iris describes it best:

“And then, there's another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. Its called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? … And I have willingly loved that man for over three miserable years! The absolute worst years of my life! …These years that I have been in love have been the darkest days of my life. All because I've been cursed by being in love with a man who does not and will not love me back.”

Of course Iris is a fictional character, but I think she’s on to something. This type of one-sided love is all too common and it usually manifests itself in the toxic roller-coaster relationships that leave us utterly confused on how to even describe the relationship. We say something like “I don’t really know what we are. We kiss, we hold hands, we hang out a lot, but he always says he doesn’t want a relationship. Sometimes I think maybe he likes me but is too afraid to admit it.”

Can you relate? Have you ever found yourself saying something similar to this? I have as well as far too many of my friends. Probably half of all the cute love stories in movies have plot lines based on this type of relationship. The “not-a-relationship-relationship” and the “I have no idea what this is” thing.

Honestly, if I hear or utter the phrase “I don’t know what this is” one more time I might throw up.

I’ve become so sick of this cycle and its time we break it.

How would we define these types of relationships? Are they dating? Are they just friends? They are certainly more than friends. They act as if they are in a relationship but there is no commitment or clarification of that relationship.

Maybe he just found her insanely attractive and she provided interesting conversation, but he wasn’t ready to commit to anything. He just thought they were good friends while she had every reason to believe he was falling hard for her.

Somehow we’ve created this in between phase where we can use someone for emotional and physical closeness without any sort of commitment or clarification.

Ladies I am begging you to stop letting this happen to you.

Trust me, I’ve been here. You really like this guy and after all the time you’ve spent with him, you can’t help falling for him. He is so sweet; he treats you well and puts butterflies in your stomach. Yet you are constantly confused about his feelings so you dissect every word he utters. People ask about him but you have no idea how to explain it.

So you decide you’re done. He’s taking way too long and you have a life to live so you pull away. Then you see his name on your phone and the butterflies in your stomach prove you haven’t moved on. So there you find yourself once again: On the couch in the arms of your confused “friend” who happens to be your kryptonite.

Somewhere along the way you fell under his spell. You bend over backwards for him; defending him to your friends and family, convincing them that underneath he really is a great guy. You find yourself doing things you never imagined and you don’t know what happened. In reality, this boy has no concern for your heart and has strung you along causing you to believe lies about yourself.

You’ve fallen into the hands of a devious puppeteer and you must break free from his strings, but first you must know the real puppeteer is the enemy of your soul.

I know it is much easier said than done, but you can break free from this unhealthy cycle. Here are a few things that helped me.

First you must identify the lies you believe and replace them with the truth. Here are some of the lies you might relate to.

  1. IF HE DOESN’T LOVE ME IT MUST MEAN I’M NOT WORTHY OF LOVE.

This is one I have heard far too often. I even remember asking myself “why am I not worth committing to? Am I more than just a pretty face and a cool conversation?” We have this tendency to allow a man to give us validation. If he thinks I’m beautiful, then I am. If he loves me, then I am worthy of love. So when he doesn’t love us back, our world momentarily shatters as we ask ourselves why we are not worthy of receiving love.

  1. UNDERNEATH IT ALL HE REALLY IS A GREAT GUY.

You see his potential even if he can’t see it. You dream up what he could be in the future and unknowingly you fall in love with that man. You hope one day he will come to his senses and realize he is ready for a relationship and the two of you will live happily ever after. You’re willing to wait around for him to change and grow up, even if that means months or years of heartache.

  1. IF I LET HIM GO I MAY NEVER FIND SOMEONE ELSE.

This is a big one. You’re afraid you will be alone forever. Sometimes the pain of this confusing relationship seems better than the pain of being single any longer. There are many things you like about him and you’re afraid you won’t meet anyone else who shares those qualities. The thought of never meeting anyone and being that lonely cat lady is petrifying.

Whether or not you’ve had a Jasper in your life, I’m sure you can relate to at least one of these lies. The enemy loves to derail us by leading us to believe these kinds of lies that tear down our own self- worth and keep us looking to earthly sources for love. Now let me shed some truth on these lies.

  1. YOU HAVE BEEN MADE WORTHY OF LOVE BY LOVE HIMSELF

In Jeremiah 31:3 God says to His children “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” It’s true, at one point you weren’t worthy of love because you were dead in your sins. BUT how unbelievably gracious is our God to send His very Son to take our death upon himself, to take the punishment we deserved and set us free. In doing so, He declared us worthy of Himself and worthy of His love.

Apparently the Mona Lisa is worth 780 million dollars! It would be absolutely ridiculous to sell this painting to someone only willing to pay 100 dollars. Yo


u are worthy of a perfect, unconditional, selfless love; don’t settle for conditional, toxic, posers of love.

  1. SOMEONE’S POTENTIAL CANNOT LOVE YOU BACK

I’m sure he really is a great guy but if he does not know how to properly pursue you and protect your heart in the process, he has a lot of maturing to do. He has some potential, and sadly it is his potential you have fallen in love with. You must realize that even if he may realize his potential one-day, the point is that right now he does not. You have to let go of the idea you have created in your head, because that guy does not exist. The problem is not that he doesn’t love you, it’s that he doesn’t know how to love you yet. Pray that one day he will mature and learn how to lo


ve someone, but in the meantime you cannot wait around for who he could be.

  1. IF YOU LET HIM GO YOU WILL BECOME SOMEONE BETTER.

When you finally let him go and 100% emotionally break up with him, you will find someone better: you will find yourself. When I was fully able to let go of my fear of being alone forever I actually ended up falling in love.

I fell in love with Jesus and was able to allow Him to fully have and love my heart. In turn, I became myself- myself without anyone else. I fell in love with who God created me to be. I found contentment and truly came to a place of satisfaction without a boyfriend or even an almost boyfriend.

Trust me, though it seems that being completely single (including emotionally single) is the absolute worst pain, it’s not. The pa


in of loving someone who does not know how to love you, or waiting around for someone to love you is torture. I now live in the freedom of knowing what I am worth and knowing full well that I am loved unconditionally.

Ladies, take your heart back. It does not belong to a boy who has no idea what to do with it. Let him go, put your heart in the arms of Jesus, and you will find freedom and peace. I promise you. There is life off this roller coaster- go live it.


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