Each week, PhilSTAR L!fe addresses a reader's concern about relationships, career, and anything they want to talk about through its advice column: Asking for a Friend.
Dear L!fe friend,
I just saw your post. I'm asking for advice. We had a four- to five-year relationship but we couldn’t be together because I'm a Muslim and she’s a devoted Christian. No one wanted to convert from each other's religious belief so we decided to break up.
Unlike any other relationship, this one really hurts because we both love each other but we cannot be together. It's been a month now but we still talk, update each other and stuff, but we don’t say “I love you” anymore. What do I do so that I can move on?
—Man of Different Faith
Dear Man of Different Faith,
Struggle is always a component of every heart that is hurt. You need to struggle just the same. The inconvenience of pain is necessary to move on. Recognize everything that comes in between. But don’t let a day pass without feeling happy. It’s possible.
It’s been a month since you broke up. It’s still early to mend the pain. Daanan mo lang. But don’t stay there too long.
When both parties have a strong affinity to their religious beliefs that run counter to their desire to be together, the impossibility of a relationship-for-keeps is a reality.
Love, many times, is not enough.
My high school friends M and V, of different religious beliefs, were sweethearts for 10 years. They, to this day, are of different faiths. Just like you and your ex, M and V also did not want to embrace other religion different from what they were introduced to when they were still young. They reached an amicable settlement of parting ways so they could also plan for their future independent of each other. I saw them suffer emotionally and they tried to reconcile a few more times. But in the end, they both chose their respective belief.
Love, many times, is not enough. As faith is also an intrinsic part of one’s life, faith becomes all together a culture of an individual. And culture is the soul of a person. Faith becomes one’s moral aptitude. For many, it’s a no-no to abandon their faith. And the two of you belong to that population.
Because moving on is your concern, you can begin distancing yourself from her. Easier said than done, more so when the flesh is weak. But there’s no other better alternative than accepting the fact that both of you cannot be together because neither one of you will give up your religion. There’s no other way. When you light the fire one more time, the embers will be extinguished by your separate, different faith.
My friend C and his lover I ventured into same-sex relationship. On their third month, I opened up that in two years, he will take a course to become a pastor. His mother is a pastora.
C asked: “When you become a pastor in two years, what will happen to our relationship?”
“That’s the end. I have to be righteous,” I answered honestly.
“Why then should we prolong this relationship when you already put an expiration to it? I will never get in the way of your love for God,” C said.
And that night, they parted ways. Both are still hurting.
Pain, however unwelcome, is necessary. It’s an ingredient to moving on—however strange.
Pain, however unwelcome, is necessary. It’s an ingredient to moving on—however strange. Keep yourself busy. Let go. Cut communications with her. Don’t give each other false hopes.
Pain doesn’t last. Tough people do.
Take care of your heart.
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