I'm Being Bullied - What Can I Do?

Dear REAP Team,

When I get bullied at school, I feel like I should yell or fight back, but I know that's not what God would want me to do. So what DO I do? Do I sit and take it?

Read more »

My Parents Don't Trust Me

Dear Rachel,

Recently I did something wrong and I got caught. Also, my parents have also found out that my friends have been making bad choices, too. My parents don’t trust me any more. What can I do?

  Read more »

I'm Concerned About the Faith of My Family Members

Dear REAP Team,

I recently have been getting really involved in church and being closer with Jesus. My family, on the other hand, just goes to church and thinks they are done! Every time I tell them they should get more involved they yell at me and tell me to mind my own business. I think I should just give up! What should I do? Read more »

Am I too picky in dating?

Dear Heather,

I'm a 23-year-old female who is completely happy with every aspect of her life except the fact that I cannot seem to find a good guy or even a good date. I do not seem to be attracted to many of the good guys interested in me, but then other guys seem to be fake and only interested in me for superficial reasons. Are my startands too high? Just how picky is too picky?

- High Expectations

Dear High Expectations, Read more »

Why didn't he call?

Dear REAP,

I really like this guy. He talks to me a bunch when we are together and then says he'll call or something, but he never follows through. I don't understand. What should I do?

Dear Friend, Read more »

I’m dating a ‘weird’ guy; what should I do?

I am dating this guy that everyone thinks is weird. He is really sweet - what should I do?

Dear Friend,

My initial reaction upon reading your question is, "Who cares what other people think - you need to follow your heart!"

However, there is another part of me that has to ask you some questions that I really encourage you to reflect upon: "What is it about him that other people find weird? And who are these people - mere acquaintances or dear friends?" Read more »

How can I turn around an impure relationship?

My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for a little over a year, and though we have not had sex, I know there are parts of our relationship that aren't so pure. We want to be sexually pure in all ways, but are having difficulty. It seems really hard to introduce true chastity when we have already done things. How do I steer our relationship out of this bad direction?  Read more »

How can I stop thinking about my ex?

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When moving on seems impossible, there are a few things that can help you work through the loss and start fresh. Check out my top 4 tips for getting over your ex.

Dear Heather,

My boyfriend of 6 months recently broke up with me and I'm having a very hard time letting go. I prayed that God would help me, but I can't stop thinking about him and can't stand seeing him with other girls.  We stayed friends since we started as friends.  What can I do to get over him? -

Sincerely, Heart-broken


Dear Heart-broken,

First of all, I can sympathize completely with your concerns. A few years ago, I experienced a situation in which it was difficult to let go. And, I too prayed that God would guide me in moving on. And, God was faithful in answering my prayers, but it wasn't as I expected. Below are my top 4 tips for getting over your ex.

Let's Just Be Friends?
But, before I get into that, I want to address the idea of "being friends." I think it is noble of you both to attempt to keep a friendship, however, it is also important to be realistic about your feelings. After dating for 6 months, you're probably very attached emotionally to this guy. If you want to be friends at some point, I recommend spending a good deal of time apart from each other. If you continue to talk on the phone, IM or just chat at school, it'll be nearly impossible to stop thinking about him. I know it might be difficult to stop most communication (if not all), but both of you need to establish your lives apart from one another. After a long while of re-building your confidence and spirit, who knows if you're meant to be friends again. At least you'll be at a much better place--not emotionally dependent to each other, so you can enjoy a friendship and support one another no matter who they are dating, etc.

1. Consider Your Priorities
If you're in high school, this should be a great time for you to learn so much about yourself-what you like to do, who you truly are, etc. I didn't have a serious relationship throughout high school, but I had the time of my life. I created a bunch of friendships with guys, got involved in everything that interested me, volunteered, held a job or two and just enjoyed the freedom and friendships. Is your priority as a teen to find the love of your life right now or become more fully the person God created to be? Although every movie and television show makes you believe it should be the first, consider making your priority the latter. We have too many screwed up young adults, relationships and marriages because people believe they are not "whole" without a boyfriend or girlfriend. With God's grace, you can feel completely loved, accepted and even attractive and sexy without a guy. Check out my blog I'm in Love for details on having a great love life anytime.

2.  Open Up to Something Different
Believe it or not, sitting at home, watching romantic movies is not the best "medicine" for letting go. Even praying about the guy, in particular, keeps him always in your mind. Therefore, each morning for a while after my breakup, I would simply ask God to guard my heart and help me move on, but I wouldn't spend hours or tons of prayers on it. I opened up my heart to God in a new way - asking Him to fill the hole in my heart from losing my boyfriend. I needed to trust God that He was helping me through it. When I found myself dwelling, I thanked God for the relationship I had and then thanked Him in advance for all the cool stuff He's got in store for me. This tough situation in your life might be one of your best personal growth times ever. Be open to what God wants to teach you - how He wants to fill your heart and lead you to other cool experiences.

3. Get Busy
Also, to keep your mind off him, as I mentioned before, get busy. After my big breakup, I've been trying to invite friends or family over for dinner parties. There are many people I really want to know better-here's my perfect opportunity. I've filled my evenings with going out or hanging out with a variety of people I care about deeply. I've read some adventure books I've wanted to read for years, played cards a bunch with my grandma and babysat. I helped out on a softball team and picked up some little sides jobs. Consider going to a cool youth group. I could give you some suggestions of youth groups based on where you live if you don't know of any. All of these things aid to the healing process tremendously because doing them reminds us that life is so much more than just romantic relationships.

4. Rely on the "tangible" God
There are friends and mentors in my life who constantly reveal God to me in a variety of ways. I spend as much time with them as possible. First of all, I love their friendship, but I also need them to keep me accountable. When I am tempted to call the guy or I'm lonely, these people know me well and support my struggles. They will pray with me, or chat or even take me out somewhere. I keep them updated on how I feel as well...even if I feel stupid for still liking the guy. We need to go through our battles, as much as possible, with those who love us. I also tell my parents when I am struggling, and they offer things for us to do together. So, include others in your battle...God will equip them as He works in your heart as well.  And, find God in the tangible Eucharist.  I have a friend who would go to a Eucharistic Adoration Chapel for her Friday night "date" with Jesus.  I like to go to daily Mass as much as possible to remember that the space in my heart I think a guy will fill can really only be filled by Jesus.  Lastly, even though it seems intangible, like in the "Footprints" story, ask God to hold you.  When I'm struggling, His arms is always where I find peace and rest.

In case you want some extra resources, chastity pro, Mary Beth Bonacci, writes to young adults about "dumping." It might be tough to read, but it's a good reminder that serious dating is for eventually finding a spouse and that "dumping" is unfortunately part of the package. Check out her article...
Dating is about Dumping
Also, check out our Chastity Resources on Chastity might really enjoy the books "When God Writes Your Love Story" or "Passion and Purity".

Over time and through God's healing, you'll start to desire something other than your ex and your mind will shift to all those people and things. Trust in Him and your heart will not be disappointed.

NOTE TO READER - Since this has been one of our most-read articles on our website, we recently had a roundtable discussion of this issue among REAP Team staff members, which you can listen to here or by clicking on our podcast player at the top of this page.

Freak dancing is okay, right?

From my own experience with freak dancing, I know it's tempting and easy to fall into, but it's far from chastity. Let me explain why. Read more »

How far is too far?

As an intelligent person, you know that there is a lot you can do (physically), without actually having intercourse, right? So, how far is too far to go, physically, with a member of the opposite sex? To answer this question, we'd like to invite you to consider this question from a father's perspective:

As I describe to you my relationship with my daughter, I'd like you to pretend that you're me.

Before she was even born, I loved my little girl. Through the miracle of ultrasound, I could see her, present in my wife’s womb. We chose her name before she was born. Many nights of the pregnancy, before I went to sleep, I laid my hand upon my wife’s womb and prayed for my little girl, by name, imploring God’s protection upon her.

I had the privilege of being there when she was born, holding her in my arms within seconds of when she entered this world. There were times when she was an infant (as there are times now) when she would cry — and simply being held by me was enough to dry her tears and calm her fears. I watched her grow up, as she took her first steps, made her first sounds, and said her first words.

When she cried, my words brought her comfort. I loved holding her in my arms. I watched her go to preschool, where she would often create drawings that she'd proudly bring home to me; others would consider them scribbles, but to me they are treasures far greater than the Mona Lisa. I watched her grow up and perform in her first dance recital, start kindergarten, receive her First Holy Communion, and move on from grade school to high school. 

She will certainly become increasingly more attractive to members of the opposite sex. There will be guys who begin to think that my little girl is 'hot'; that will make me very nervous. We will probably allow her to go our on group dates in junior high and early high school, but she will have to wait until she turns 16 to be able to finally go out on a 'real' date  alone, with a guy, in his vehicle…

Before I know it, she will be a sophomore in high school, 16 years old, and I will probably be more nervous than she is about her first date. Pacing the living room floor, I will await his arrival (coincidentally, I will be cleaning my deer rifle on this particular evening - because I want this young man to know that I own one). As I pace the living room, waiting for this guy to show up, my daughter comes up to me and says, "Oh, Daddy, by the way, the guy who's taking me out tonight is also a sophomore... in college."


And before I can say or do anything or even know how to react (because I have slow processing), I look out the picture window of our house and see that the guy who is taking my daughter out on her first date has arrived. And he's driving a van. And it's not a mini-van, either — it's one of those full-sized vans with a seat in the back that folds out into a bed... onto the side of which, he has airbrushed "The Shaggin' Wagon."

Now, pretending that you are me, answer a question as honestly as you can from my perspective: how far is too far? How far do you really think that I want my little girl to go, on this date, with this young man, in this van? If you're honest with yourself, from my perspective, I think that's an excellent perspective on how far is too far for you.

Why? Well, the reason that I don't want her to go too far at all is not because I hate her guts. It's not because I want to ruin her life. It's not that I want to keep her from having fun, or impose my morality upon her. It's not that I want to ruin the evening of the young taking her out.

The reason that I don't want her going very far at all is because I love her. She's my little girl. And I only want what's best for her. 

Ladies: I hope that you have a good relationship with your father here on Earth. If you don't, I'm really sorry about that. But please trust me when I say that from the perspective of your Father in Heaven, you are Daddy's little girl. And He only wants what is best for you  and for every person you ever date, who is also His little girl or boy.

Young men, two things: First of all, you're daddy’s little boy. There is no double standard on this issue. And I feel the same way about my sons as I feel about my daughter. You, too, deserve to be treated with nothing nothing but respect. And I hope you know that.

But also, some of you men went there. You were pretending that you were me, and felt some of my feelings toward my little girl on her first date; you wanted to protect her from any harm. And that's awesome because that desire to protect is how God feels. He is a protector. And we should strive to protect all of the beautiful women God has placed in our lives. As St. Pope John Paul II said, “It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman.” Our world has far too many men in it who aren't protectors, but predators. God is calling you to so much more.

So, just to reiterate: If you are ever in a situation where you are curious as to how far is too far, just pretend that you're me.

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