Unrequited Love – Sven’s Story

Not long ago I had the pleasure of meeting a rugged outdoors man type man, well into his forties, whose name was Sven.  He had emigrated to the U.S. from Norway when he was only nineteen.  Completely alone, without any family, he was determined to make it on his own and became self-employed.  He remained so for twenty-four years.

But Sven had a dream – a dream so big that it would require tremendous focus and dedication, and a good many years to fulfil.  He took great pleasure in telling me about his realistic and well thought out plan that would help save our planet.  I couldn’t help but like Sven.

But, while trying to make his dream a reality, Sven met a young woman fifteen years his junior and quickly fell in love.  Her name was Bridget.  He showed me her picture and described her personality in great detail.  She had blonde hair, blue eyes, and a smile that would light up a room.  It was easy to see why Sven had fallen in love with her so quickly.  But the more I listened I soon realize he had placed her atop a pedestal.  Nobody could possibly be that perfect.  I knew Sven was headed for a fall.

But the fall had already occurred.  She had ended the relationship so she could begin dating someone else.  Sven was devastated.  When I asked him what I could do for him, he said, “Tell me what I can do to win her back.”

I was a little taken aback by his request.  When someone ends a relationship, that relationship is over.  It is time to move on.  I told Sven that what he wanted was likely to cause him more pain, and if Bridget made it clear to him that she no longer wanted him in her life, any contact with her could be perceived as stalking.  He didn’t care.  He was certain he could win her back, he just didn’t know how.

I asked Sven if Bridget had contacted him since ending the relationship.  She had not.  I then asked him if he knew whether or not Bridget would be open to him contacting her.  He believed she would be.  So I suggested he text or email Bridget to let her know that if she ever wished to contact him, she could.  But under no circumstances should he call her.  He said he could never do it that way – he had to call her.

At that point Sven asked me to pray with him.  I agreed.  But he insisted on leading the prayer.  In Sven’s prayer he asked God to make Bridget fall in love with him again, to make her want what he wanted, and to remove the other man from her life.  While I was fairly certain God wouldn’t fulfill his prayer the way he had asked – there are good reasons why God doesn’t fulfill all of our prayers – I couldn’t be certain, of course, so I secretly asked God to do whatever was best for Bridget and to help Sven get over his obsession with her.  I was worried about Bridget’s safety.

When one person in a romantic relationship is more in love than the other, the relationship has nowhere to go.  Eventually it will end.  While it’s relatively easy for the person who ended the relationship to move on, the one whose love was rejected has to go through the painful process of getting over their hurt feelings.  But getting over the pain of a broken relationship is far less painful than trying to win the person back and failing.  Even if you’re lucky enough to win your loved one back, the reason they broke up with you doesn’t go away.  In fact, it often intensifies and the likelihood of them breaking off the relationship again is good.  And those once felt hurt feelings will have to be dealt with all over again.

Praying to God for help, support, and guidance through the healing process will hasten the process, but it won’t stop the process.  Those hurt feelings have to be dealt with before healing can begin.  Delaying that process by trying to win someone back, will only cause greater pain later on, and could result in a restraining order.

Growing up my mother always used to say, “When the bus breaks down get off and wait for the next one.  It’s more likely to take you where you want to go.”

Think about that.


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