Thursday, July 23, 2009

How Do You Let Go of the One You Love?

For several months now, going on a full year, I have found myself in love with one of my friends. I never planned on these feelings coming about, and I’ve done my best not to encourage them. But as I’ve grown closer to this friend, the more these feelings have grown. I’ve not told him how I feel about him. But I know that I love him more than I’ve ever loved anyone else. I’d love to spend the rest of my life with him. I want to take care of him. I want to love him. I want to spend time with him, to share my life with him.

I know some people may want to suggest that the feelings I have for this friend are based more on lust or infatuation, or an emotional dependency, but they’re wrong. This man I love isn’t a great looking man—in fact he’s rather ordinary. And I can and have went long periods of time without being around him and without falling to pieces, so I am far from emotionally dependent on him. And it’s not about sex. I just want to be with him. I love him. When I think about him, see him, or hear his voice, I feel as though a missing part of me has finally been discovered. I feel warm, almost giddy. I feel complete and comforted in a way that nothing else has ever made me feel.

But as a Christian, I know I can never be with him. Because he too is a Christian, I know I can never be with him. I can never be with him.

Can someone please tell me how I am to let him go? How do I let this person I love leave my heart, without feeling as though I’m giving up the person I’m meant to be with, and feeling as though I’m giving up the only real chance I’ll ever have at having a relationship with someone? How do I not have these feelings anymore?

How do I let go of the one I love?

10 comments:

jennypo said...

There is only one word for any of us when we are faced with such a choice - Nevertheless...

Then comes Jesus with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, Sit you here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then said he to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death: tarry you here, and watch with me.

And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will. And he comes to the disciples, and finds them asleep, and said to Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, your will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then comes he to his disciples, and said to them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that does betray me. (Matthew 26:36-46)

My heart hurts for you tonight, Brandon. I don't know any way of turning off feelings or of prying open the heart's grasp. But there is One - One who took a human body and knows what it means to want what he couldn't have - and He is able to keep us, even when we've lost the will.

RikFleming said...

Brandon,

What you are going through is common - been there, done that.

I don't think the answer is to "let go" but rather "not grab on so tight." I think it was a 38 Special song that said, "Hold on loosely, but don't let go."

This is something we must mature and grow through, not escape or run from. There are a few things which I think can be helpful.

First, don't focus your attention on just one guy. I know this may be difficult for some people, trying to develop one close personal friends can be tough, but to have several can seem impossible. Trust me, it is harder at my age than it is at your age. Yet the Lord has given me several very close, mature Christian friends all of whom I can call on but don't necessarily get to hang out with on a regular basis. Essentially, you need to spread your love around and not focus your affections on just one guy.

Second, realize that what you FEEL may not correspond with reality. We may FEEL like "I can't live without him" but in time and distance we can learn not to hang on so tight.

Third, be careful about idolizing your friends. The weird things we can actually cause friction and tension with other guy friends if they feel like you are overly "needy" towards them. The result is the more you "grab" the more they instinctively withdraw, which then causes you to reflexively try to grab on tighter.

As you get older, more and more of your friends will get married and 99% of their attention will be on their wife and children - just as it should be. This makes it tough as you become an older and yet still single man. Very soon I will be the last and only one in my church as my best friend is soon to be married. He doesn't call and we don't hang out anymore and I doubt that I am ever even on his mind. So, without hard feelings I am focusing my time and energy elsewhere, developing new friendships, looking for new opportunities for service and seeing what the Lord has in store for me.

Well bro, I'll be praying for you.

Love ya always,

Erik

Lead_Worshiper said...

I resonate with this a lot. So I'm curious as to why you used the phrase "in love" with this guy. In all seriousness, what do you suppose constitutes being in love?

Sweeney said...

Brandon,
I know exactly how it is to love a guy and know that it is not right. Just remember, Jesus loves you much more than you love this guy. I know you know this and have heard it a bunch. But just think, you said this guy is a Christian, well then you are going to be able to spend eternety with Him in heaven. You don't have to "let him go", you just need to put your relationship with Jesus in the first place. When you really do this, and all you other "relationships/friendships will fall in place where they need to be.

In Christ,
Sweeney

jim said...

Reading your post breaks my heart. Did you ever stop and consider that God has sent this man to you? God loves you and God did not make you broken. I believe that God programs our hearts and sometimes he makes men fall in love with men.

I will pray for you. I will pray that you will have the strength to follow your heart. Love is the greatest gift that God as given us. It would be a shame if you refused it.

-jim

Jay said...

Is this guy straight, gay, or struggling? It's not my business, but I suppose it would affect what advice I give.

I'm with Erik. Don't run away and further isolate yourself. It is perfectly acceptable to love another person. It is not acceptable to idolize them. I know that's a difficult distinction to make, but you have my thoughts and prayers, and I'm always willing to talk. God bless, brother.

Brandon said...

Sorry for my delay responding, everyone.

Jennypo and Erik, thanks for the advice, comfort, and the prayers.

Lead Worshiper, what constitutes being in love? I think that is probably different for each person, at least to a certain degree. However, I would say that it is when a person feels great love for another person. All I can speak on is my own experience. Really, I'm not sure how to explain it. I have a lot in common with my friend, we both enjoy each other's company, I see him and it's like I become putty. I care about him, and want him to be happy and safe. I know if he were a woman I'd not hesitate for a second asking him to marry me. It's a feeling that tells me I always want to be with him, to belong to him. I'm not quite sure how to describe it any other way.

Sweeney, I want to thank you especially for what you said. You're right, if we can't be together in this life, we will nevertheless be together in the next life, and in a way that couldn't be compared to whatever we could manage to have together in this life. And you're right: Jesus should be my first love and He certainly does love me more than I could probably ever imagine. Thanks for helping me see a little bit beyond the moment.

Jim, I do think that God led me to know this friend of mine. But I don't think he intended me and him to be anything but good friends to each other.

Jay, he is a Christian and also likes other guys. He believes he should be celibate (spare should he someday find a woman he wants to marry). I appreciate the offer to talk sometime. I may take you up on that. Yeah, I don't want to isolate myself, or run from this friend.

A thought occurred to me. If I love him, I won't do anything to cause him to sin, or to hurt him. I can't do that to him. And it does help knowing that eternity with him in heaven is so much better a prospect than a few years with him here on earth. There's some degree of strength and comfort added in knowing that.

Thanks for commenting, everyone.

jennypo said...

Brandon, you amaze me again and again. Or rather, God amazes me in your life. Glory to Him!

Tit for Tat said...

Dont worry about it, just keep loving Jesus. Leave the real time love to the heterosexual people. Afterall youre gay and you arent allowed.

Learner Man said...

Hey Brandon,

I've been off the radar for a while. Life has been pretty hectic, but I thought I'd say hello and see how things are going. I can relate to how you feel about your friend. I'll be praying for you man.

D