“Your full identity can’t be in that person.”

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This a bit weird but I’m going to quote a seemingly wisened Justin Bieber. I’ve been on a series here of how too many people contort themselves to find love or to fill that need to be lovable. This “series” may be consistent throughout the content of Brave Dating Coach because it is core to fixing what is wrong with so many bad relationships these days.

To quote the wiser Biebs (from a cover story in Complex)

Complex: You also fell in love at an early age.

Justin Bieber: Yes.

Complex: What did you learn from it?

Justin Bieber: Don’t fall in love. No, I’m just kidding. I learned a lot. I moved in with my girlfriend when I was 18. Started my own life with her. It was a marriage kind of thing. Living with a girl, it was just too much at that age. But we were so in love. Nothing else mattered. We were all about each other. But when it’s like that and you get your value from that, people will always disappoint you. Your girl or your dude, they’re always going to disappoint you. Your full identity can’t be in that person. My identity was in her. Her identity was in me. When stuff would happen, I would lose my freakin’ mind, and she would lose her mind, and we would fight so hard because we were so invested in each other. Love is a choice. Love is not a feeling. People have made it seem in movies that it’s this fairy tale. That’s not what love is. You’re not gonna want to love your girl sometimes but you’re gonna choose to love her. That’s something in life that I had to figure out. I can’t lean on people. I got to lean on God.

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Quotable quote: “Your full identity can’t be in that person.”

Yet this happens so many times. Has it happened to you? Is this why a break up with someone had you so lost for so long? Are you in a relationship like this now? You have so lost yourself that you don’t know who you are but you also don’t know how to get out?

At least you know you are lost. First step completed. Now to get you moving forward and into healthy so you can attract that healthy person who will love you.

Do you have good people in your life? Lean on them as you take these steps forward.

You can do this.  Hebrews 12:12-13 (NLT) –  So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

Find your boundaries. To have good boundaries means you know where you end and the other person begins. You know how to set limits and when to say no. When you have good boundaries you are free to be honest, clear, direct, and able to confront when necessary. As Dr. Henry Cloud says, “Boundaries create autonomy, which creates freedom, which is essential for attraction and love.” (How to Get a Date Worth Keeping) With boundaries you will keep your identity and you will have what is needed for attraction and love. I know you thought you needed to lose yourself in this person to keep him/her attracted to you and loving you. You actually hurt your relationship by living out that belief. That is a truth that probably hurts but I need you to feel it. Find your boundaries. Let your team of good people help you find your boundaries and then watch what kind of man or woman you will attract and have love you.

Also live in vulnerability. Yikes, right? To be brave enough to be present with your heart, mind, and soul in a relationship requires some brave vulnerability. Note all of this requires for you to be present. Not the fake version you allowed to be lost in the other person. You lost yourself in the other person as a way to numb yourself from vulnerability. It became easier to contort yourself to keep the relationship than to remain your true self and expose yourself to the pain of a failed relationship. Anything that causes you to numb vulnerability knocks the bravery right out of you and you start living a half-life of coping. Be brave. Live vulnerably. You are worthy enough to do this. You are worthy of being loved by someone who will love the true you. The true you is worthy of love.

And remember this core Brave Dating truth:

Live your life to the full bravely following after Jesus. Now.
As you are living bravely, who is keeping up with you?  That is the match for you.

More profoundness from the Biebs for a later blog: “Love is a choice. Love is not a feeling… You’re not gonna want to love your girl sometimes but you’re gonna choose to love her.”

Another blog post that may come from this interview: 18 is too young to be in love. I believe that for many good, logical, and learned-from-experience reasons in my 34 years of youth ministry.

It happened. Justin Bieber has some great truths to teach us.

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