It is a well documented fact that if a girlfriend/boyfriend ever says, “we need to talk,” what they mean is, “I am about to break up with you.” A good conversation never starts with “we need to talk.” Another bad one that I have mentioned before is, “FYI.” No one ever tells you, “FYI, you are really, really good looking.” or “FYI, your bonus is going to be bigger than we planned this year.” No, instead it’s usually, “FYI, I need those papers on my desk at 7AM tomorrow” or “FYI, I did eat the last donut and it was spectacular.”
Those are easy to understand, but the (G)DTR is much more confusing. Most relationships, Christian or not, have a Define The Relationship conversation. That is by no means a uniquely Christian thing to do. It’s that somewhat awkward talk where you try to determine where you are headed, what you are looking for, etc. But it gets all the more complicated when you bring G into it and create the (G)DTR.
The (G)DTR is more complicated than the standard DTR because now in addition to trying to understand your boyfriend’s needs you’ve brought the Creator of the universe into the mix. Now in addition to saying you don’t like that he is playing so much Grand Theft Auto 4 (came out today, that was wicked topical of me to mention it by the way) you have to factor in what Yahweh wants in the relationship. That’s why I have created this handy guide. It translates the things you most often hear in a (G)DTR and tells you what is really being said. Enjoy:
1. They say: “I need to unpack some things and reassess my boundaries.”
They mean: “I’ve secretly gone to counseling and learned some new words that are going to make your head hurt. I’m breaking up with you.”
2. They say: “I feel that I need to spend more time with God.”
They mean: “I feel that I need to spend more time with God and less time with you. I’m breaking up with you.”
3. They say: “I think God is calling me into missions.”
They mean: “The first place God wants me to visit is a land called ‘somwhere you are not.’ I’m leaving tonight. I’m breaking up with you.”
4. They say: “I think God has gifted me with a life of celibacy.”
They mean: “I’ve just dropped the equivalent of a dating atomic bomb. Good luck with all that. I’m breaking up with you.”
5. They say: “I feel like we’ve grown apart.”
They mean: “I represent the word ‘grown,’ you represent, ‘apart,’ as in your falling apart. I’m breaking up with you.”
Wow, those all came out kind of dark and like something the band “the Cure” would have written. I think a (G)DTR can go really well. It can be the start of something really good and I would have written about that except my experience at Samford University was more like one of the five conversations above. And my wife and I are probably going to write a book together titled, “Love in a time of sarcasm.” We’re both going to wear matching cream sweaters and we’ll probably rent a Golden Retriever to sit at our feet when they take the photo by a babbling brook that is saying, “babble, babble, love, love, babble, babble.” So I don’t want to give away too much of the book by writing about all the cool stuff that can flow out of a good (G)DTR.