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Hello All,

Thought I'd share my testimony of a challenging, trialing situation. Would love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and how to navigate this. Will share the details below.

Relationship

C (24F) and I (27M) dated for 7 months, after talking for one month online. Both strong in our faith and walk. She's a nurse, I'm a pharmacist. We had an engaging relationship, focused on God (prayer, scripture reading, church, etc.). We'd talk daily and pray every evening together.

In addition we did numerous overnight hikes with Church Community, learned to scuba dive, and attended family functions together. I talked to her father at 4 months about my intentions, and he wanted us to wait until 1 year for engagement. C and I started premartial (engagement) classes 5 months into our relationship. We also worked through parts of "100 Questions To Ask Before Engagement". Challenging to date during COVID, so we'd visit each other's houses, spend time with family, each other, and enjoy that time. In all, our relationship involved unconditional love, companionship, God-centeredness, family and intentions.

Conflict

My family is divorced and lost. Conflict arose when there was passive aggressive comments made by my Mom and I would withdraw which created distance. I also appeared "less warm" to my Mom in comparison to C - especially since C thought my Mom was loving, kind and had no manipulative side.

This lead to a few episodes throughout our relationship where C felt distant, that I wasn't ok, or there was something up. The big episode happened Xmas, where the distance led to C crying, me consoling her, and us moving on. A few days later Mom and I got into conflict about C crying, where I stood up for her and my Mom felt she should have "pulled up her big girl panties", "grow up", and respect the household.

C called me that night and I shared the stressful incident and how I tried to navigate it. C was upset I didn't consult her first, that I didn't lead it well, nor advocate properly. I apologized, affirmed her feelings, and explained this was a lesson for first as it's the first time I've had a woman this close to family dynamics.

Ending

In Jan, C and I were on a dinner date and I checked to see if she felt the conflict was resolved. She started crying and expressed it felt like this was a dealbreaker: not being a man and leading in "Big Girl Panties" tall hurting family relationships, acting distant to Mom, and being distant in conflict.

We spent two dinners (10 hours) going through this together. I told her I didn't have biblical wisdom in this, and so, let's take a week to pray, fast, and seek council in resolving this. We sought council and she had spoke to our premartial councilors with huge concern on how I handle conflict, family relationships and if it would transfer into marriage. They talked her down and mentioned to bring forth questions to me about this. Their conversation ended on a positive work-it-out note, nothing about breakups. At the one week, we went for coffee walk. She said she had a bunch of solutions and was excited to pursue them...yet felt no peace or rest about it. She felt the Holy Spirit undeniably gave her unrest and lack of peace in pursuing courting/dating/engagement. Because of this, we had to go separate ways. She seemed torn, frustrated and angry that their was a difference in the Spirit and then in her heart/mind. Note - I don't have this same discernment from the Spirit. My message is "surrender", "wait", "patience".

Follow-Up

I've gently followed up once a week for 2 weeks post breakup. There will be no more correspondence since we've left it on a good note. She affirms there is peace in following the Spirit, and that any thought of courting/dating/engagement is met with unrest, lack of peace. This pops up when she thinks about visiting to pray, read scripture together. All our council is confused and thought we were an amazing team, yet encourage us to follow the Spirit in this.

She clearly affirms she loves me, feels that I'm her companion, soul mate and yes, wants me to be her husband. There is genuine excitement in those thoughts and serving Him together. She feels it got cut short and there was unwritten future. She doesn't know why or how long she'll feel this way and it's not directed AT ME, but moreso the path of courting/dating/etc. She's looked for any source and can't find any, so she's going to a relationship therapist. I mentioned that I'll be taking this month to spend with family, work on my functioning relationships with them, and lean into God.

She mentioned touching base in 3 months, yet doesn't want to lead me on and encourages I date other women. Because of the direction she is called to, there have been emotional boundaries and is treating me like a brother in Christ. We talked about how we've left it in a beautiful state (no toxicity, healthy relationship, supportive community for our relationship) and have open yet respectful lines of communication.

So Everyone, please share your thoughts and ask any questions. I'd love your guidance, counsel and support.

Edited by DruggistDoggo
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Update

Reached out on Ash Wednesday. "Happy Ash Wednesday! Free for a call C?"

Her reply: "Good Morning! Yes, Ash Wednesday- may it be a meaningful one for you Chris! Cannot believe it’s already Lent! Thanks for reaching out. My counsellor has recommended that I take some time and space to reflect, and dedicate time in solitude to thought and prayer. I fall within that time right now. Can we reconvene when I’m done the fast? 8 days remaining."

My final reply: "Sure C - If and when you want to initiate, give me a shout"

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