When Your Boyfriend is Negative About Everything
Guys tend to have such high expectations for themselves (and even for others). It's pretty usual to find then that for some season, your boyfriend is negative about everything. Hopelessness just abounds, and you're left to wonder: what do I do with a pessimistic boyfriend?
Well, instead of giving you tips from my (Meki) perspective, let's hear from Natz--my boyfriend who was negative about everything during a time in his life, and how we dealt with it.
Story from a Boyfriend Who Was Negative About Everything
Hello! The first two blog posts here were shared from Melody's perspective, and she has painted me in quite a good light that may make it seem like I'm a guy who constantly and without-fail followed Jesus and acknowledged His grace. The truth is that this is not always the case.
Just recently, after a badminton game with friends, Meki and I had to stop at a fast food restaurant to discuss one item that's been affecting our relationship for the previous week: My attitude towards problems. Meki expressed frustration about my reaction to certain things, as she couldn't take the always looming pessimistic outlook that I had. There were external factors impacting our relationship, and I was being very negative and hopeless about the case. I was overthinking everything -- trying to make sure that each move I'd take would not disappoint this person or that person. And it was eventually turning into worry and dread, as I couldn't think of a way to fix the issues we were facing. (This was the time when I turned into a pessimistic boyfriend--a boyfriend who is negative about everything!)
During our tense conversation (at 10:30 pm, by the way, while we were eating chicken and rice), there came a time literally out from nowhere (but maybe due to the inis of my dear Melody), she said, "Parang wala kang Jesus. (It's as if you don't have Jesus.)" I was shocked and offended big time. How can a person like me -- one who's actively serving every Sunday in church, being involved in multiple ministries, and even studying as a Bible student -- be told that I don't look like I have Jesus? Other than the initial offense, the phrase actually cut me and exposed what was really in my heart.
As a man, I always want to be in control. I feel like it is my responsibility to drive the relationship to where it should go, and it is my job to iron out all issues and problems. Who doesn't want to be the knight in shining armor anyway? I constantly check & validate if I am doing a good job in leading the relationship...and it throws me off when things come up that are beyond my control. I tend to go into "fixing" mode and focus on myself and what I can do to solve the problem. This leads me to think ahead and try to anticipate what the worst is that could happen given the circumstance, so that I can set Meki's expectations and not keep her hopes up. I don't want to get her disappointed, so I panic and get tense at the slightest hint that I may not be able to 'save the day'. (You see, boyfriends who are negative about everything do not CARE LESS--we actually CARE A LOT but are just pressured and worried.)
Melody and I do always express our desire that for our relationship to glorify God, but while I was staring at the piece of chicken and bowl of gravy, I knew that something was amiss. Meki was right. I seem to have forgotten that I have Jesus. I have forgotten that there's someone who cares for me and my relationship. I was so bent on being the superhero in our story that I forgot about the only One who could really save the day. I needed to hand over what I had and what my concerns were, and I could trust that God would come through and do His miracle. I can let go and open my hands in surrender to the Lord because He's the real knight in shining armor and the one who's ultimately in control and in charge.
I was reminded by the stories in the Gospels that show people getting "better" (in various ways) whenever they came to Jesus. We have the blind man whose eyes Jesus touched and the man ended up received healing (Mark 8:22-25). We have the crowd of 5000 that needed food, which Jesus solved by taking the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, blessing it and having distributed. It's a consistent thought in the Bible: everything that Jesus touches gets better and prospers. He can do this to my relationship as well.
It has long been my prayer to God for Him to give me a partner who loves Jesus and has the same heart for the ministry. I know many young couples today want the same thing. People think that being a Christian and having a Christian partner will automatically give you a Jesus-centered relationship, but it's really much easier said than done. It's not just a matter of going to church together, or posting Bible verses along with your couple pics on Facebook. Making Christ the center means surrendering control and submitting to Jesus on a day to day basis. It needs practice and discipline to put God first and think less of self. It's acknowledging that even as the man who "leads" the relationship, you will have shortcomings and flaws and it's up to God to cover for them. It means letting Jesus handle your concerns and casting all your cares upon Him. It means trusting that the Lord will meet your partner's needs even if you couldn't. It means believing that God holds our future and that He is true to His promises, even if we don't see it just quite yet.
We may not be superheroes or knights, or these perfect creatures we've always dreamed that we could be -- saving the princess, defeating the monster, and making everything in our relationship as seamless as a fairytale--but we can still be confident that we can lead with wisdom and strength because have a God who's on our side, eager to help us and to save the day. We really just have to admit that on our own, we can't. But with God, we can.