Christian Breakups: How to Handle It

Breakups are hard. The truth of that statement is on par with other statements like “evil is bad” and “hell is hot.” It’s a universal fact that breakups are emotionally painful and draining situations, but we’re here to help you get through it with how to handle each situation.

It may feel like nobody knows what you’re going through, but almost everyone has experienced a breakup of some sort. Romantic relationships that aren’t part of God’s will for your life will inevitably come to a conclusion. This guide will help you process getting or giving the bad news and what actions to take when you’re part of the same Christian community.

Sad Woman

Getting the Breakup News

Breakups are hardest when the final decision about the relationship wasn’t made by you. It’s never a good feeling to hear someone say the dating relationship is over. It’s heartbreaking to hear news like that, and getting the news is often a moment of shock and surprise.

These initial feelings might turn into anger, sadness, depression, embarrassment, or fluctuate between them all. It’s normal to wonder where the relationship went wrong and what could have been done differently. Those responses just demonstrate that you cared deeply for the person.

People handle stressful news and situations differently in the short term. Someone might conduct a lengthy analysis of the relationship as part of their own healing process while someone else just needs to vent with a friend. This period is crucial to healing, but it’s key not to get stuck in this stage of the healing process. We readily admit that’s much easier said than done.

Long-term healing after a breakup comes from returning to the dating scene. However, you shouldn’t jump to this step too quickly. Immediately going from relationship to relationship is wildly unhealthy and can cause damage instead of healing. You should only return to dating once you’re emotionally stable and secure enough to do so. When you do, don’t punish your new partner by projecting onto them your feelings about your ex.

Giving the Breakup News

On the other hand, perhaps you’re the one giving the news about a breakup decision. You should be aware that this message will be easier for you to deliver than for them to hear. Please be careful with your words and how you choose to break up with them.

If they didn’t do something morally wrong to you, it’s important to stress the fact that the breakup isn’t their fault. Their default response afterward will be an attempt at finding the deficiency within themself that caused this outcome. It’s your responsibility to reassure them that this decision isn’t due to their inadequacy. This is an emotionally important point of the conversation.

Always leave them with the opportunity for future friendship. This is an impossible goal to accomplish immediately after the relationship ends, but over a long period of time, a healthy friendship can be salvaged. Unfortunately, if you plan on dating someone else, that friendship must be maintained from an appropriate distance for the sake of your future partner.

Spiritual Suggestions after Breakup

There are important actions to take after getting or giving the bad news. Depending on the seriousness of your relationship and the current situation, breakups can be a time-consuming process. You will need to create some space away from them until it’s fully dissolved, especially as related to the spiritual spaces shared together.

With that in mind, you should have a spiritual breakup plan also. We want to help you with that by equipping you with some suggestions for what to do next. Here’s some practical advice for when you and your ex are part of the same spiritual communities.

Part of the Same Church (Large)

Creating spiritual space isn’t that big of a problem if you’re part of the same church. There are two or three changes that need to be made. Doing them will help ensure you don’t run into each other for a while. 

You should find new seats within the congregation. You shouldn’t be sitting anywhere near each other during the healing process. Plus, new seats ensure that you will hear the pastor’s sermon without being distracted by the presence of your ex.

You should also find a new parking spot far away from before. It’s the smartest way to avoid an awkward conversation, and it makes it harder for yourself to live in memory lane by trying to sneak a peek at them. Staying out of their sight helps keep them out of your mind.

Part of the Same Church (Small)

Creating spiritual space in small churches is more difficult. The above suggestions aren’t adequate enough to be a solution to the problem. We recommend talking with your pastor about the breakup and asking about a sister church for the interim of healing.

It’s very likely that your pastor has encountered this type of situation before. He might already have a premade solution for it since romantic relationships are commonplace in churches. 

If you can’t talk to the pastor, inform a trusted member of the church about the breakup. Tell them that you will be visiting another church until healing is completed and it’s appropriate to return. This alleviates personal tension and questions in the congregation. You know this trustee has your best interests in mind when they’re telling others about why you’re currently absent.

Part of the Same Small Group

Creating spiritual space within the confines of a small group is impossible. These discipleship programs are created with fellowship in mind and designed to be emotionally intimate groups of people. One or both of you must find a separate group to plug into. 

This can be especially difficult if one or both of you have become emotionally close to others within the group. In some cases, it’s possible for one of you to remain while the other leaves. This can only be accomplished if no offense is taken by the person agreeing to leave.