Romantic Relationships End in 3 Ways:
— John Green (p.16 of ‘Katherines’, Dutton)
This is not necessarily pessimistic, nor is it nihilistic. It’s realistic but with hope. Let me explain (with 2 digressions): My least favourite of the three is divorce — it’s complicated legally, financially, and emotionally. I think I’d be okay with break-ups (or at least I assume I would be, I’ve never experienced one. But I have been rejected heaps, and they are still sucky). They hurt but hopefully not as much as divorcing does. If I had to choose between the three, I would choose death: specifically, my death (although, not by suicide or murder; sacrifice, perhaps, but ideally ‘natural’). It seems easier. And being that Jesus rose from the dead, I know that I would gain eternal life with him and everyone else I love who are in Jesus.
And this brings me to my first digression.
It is wise to be in a romantic relationship (dating and marriage) between Christians. For although it is less preferable that your beloved dies, you know that when Jesus returns both of you will have even more fulfilling marriage because it is between Christ and the Church.
My second digression is that it is unwise to see marriage as an end point (or goal) of dating* because (1.) dating shouldn’t end even after you’re married, and (2.) because it puts an unnecessary standard for dating. A good goal for dating should be ‘friendship‘. Moving in this direction prevents you from finding ultimate meaning in your romantic relationships (as the Renaissance peeps? had sought). And it allows you to see that there are other ways of finding fulfilling relationships apart from romantic ones (also from John Green).
If you are a Christian, all your relationships should function with edification in the direction of Christ. because, in that, there is hope.
On a somewhat related note, I do think that love is the thing that brings meaning to something that is inherently meaningless, such as death. And I know this because I have a fascination with the love that is expressed in funerals, and ultimately the love that is expressed by Jesus on the cross: transforming something that is meant to make him meaningless into something that makes him the provider of all meaning for all of humanity.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
— John 1.1-5 (another John)