To the Man I Thought Was ‘The One’

AlmostLoverTo the Man I Thought Was “The One,” or my “Almost, Not Quite Love”:

This is the last time I will ever write about you. I’ve given you pages, chapters, BOOKS of my life…but now it’s time for me to write a new story now. One without you in it.

I’m ready to do that now. But to start a new chapter, you must first close the old one.

For years I asked God to bring closure to this relationship with you…or if not closure, at least a little clarity about what it all meant. This on again, off again, never quite together, never quite apart, yes and no, back and forth relationship. What was your greater purpose in my life, if not to be my forever love? It just didn’t make sense to me. But then again, I guess that’s what faith is all about: Trusting God and moving forward anyway, even when it doesn’t make sense. And that’s what I did. For seven long years. I thought I knew the ending. I thought I knew God’s plan.

But I was wrong.

Instead of walking down an aisle to you, I walked down a long, often heartbreaking path with you…one that tested me, challenged me, tried me, and always, always pushed me closer to God. I spent years trying to get closer to you, but God in His infinite wisdom knew that what I really needed was more of Him. And that’s what this relationship represents to me. It’s what it will always represent to me: A giant question mark in my life that pushed me ever closer to the One who is the answer…the One who is the beginning and the end…the One who loves me enough to heal any wounds left by someone who could never quite love me enough. It wasn’t until I was willing to finally surrender you 100% to God that He was able to show me the reason for you. The bigger picture. The purpose of every tear, every disappointment, every one of the seven long years I spent waiting for you to love me back.

You see, my almost, not quite, love…the number seven in the Bible represents “completion.” And God showed me early on in that seventh year of you and I that it would be the year of our completion, one way or the other. And over the course of that seventh year, the meaning of our relationship came completely into focus: You weren’t the one I was meant to share my life with. You never were. You were the one who was there to teach me how to share my life, my whole life, my whole heart and soul, with God. Completely and unequivocally, holding nothing back.

“Pursue Me the way you want a man to pursue you, Mandy…” God had whispered into my heart during one of our many quiet times.

You see, my almost, not quite, love…there came a day when my eyes were opened to the fact that the way you had been with me for all those years — wishy-washy, lukewarm, undecided, half-in, half-out – was the way I had been with God. Never fully committed. On fire one day and ice cold the next. Unwilling to invest my full self into the relationship. How it must have broken His heart.

The same way you broke mine, over and over again.

And one final time, on a summer day of that seventh year, when you looked me in the eyes, and finally told me once and for all:

I don’t love you.

You could have told me that at any point during those seven long ears…but you didn’t.

And you know what? I’m glad you didn’t. Because the further away you pulled from me…the closer you pushed me to God. Oh, the conversations I had with God that started off about you but turned into intimate, precious, communion with Him about every topic under the sun! I spoke, He listened. He spoke, I listened. So many heartfelt, transparent, real, raw, candid moments I shared with my precious Jesus…all because I was driven to my knees in prayer about you and for you.

So you see, my almost, not quite love: I don’t regret you. How could I? We had some beautiful moments over the years, yes…but the moments I had with God as a result of our not-so-beautiful moments are ones I will cherish forever. No, I don’t regret you. You taught me how to embrace the Beautiful Uncertainty of my life and to trust that nothing, absolutely nothing bad can happen to me that God can’t find a way to turn for good.

You taught me that giving one’s heart away is always brave, regardless of whether or not the other person chooses to accept it.

You taught me how to love myself better. You taught me how to love other people better. And most of all, you taught me how to love GOD better.

Without you, I might not be the woman I am today.

Thank you…
Mandy

You can read more about how I finally said goodbye to my “almost, not quite love” in my new book Beautiful Uncertainty, available at any bookstore.

 

53 Responses to “ To the Man I Thought Was ‘The One’ ”

  1. Ginger Phillips
    March 25, 2016

    Your story with Mr. E reminds me of my ex-husband and I. Before we finally divorced it was a roller coaster of up’s and down’s twist and turns. We were together then we weren’t. It’s been 8yrs of this. I finally realize he’ll never change and I can’t compete with his alcohol addiction and his lies. Thank you for your inspiring words. God bless you Mandy!

    • miss wafa
      April 5, 2016

      Hello,
      Is it a true story?.How can anyone not love Mandy hale,I as a lady say that.Mandy,please do come up with writings on regrets of letting the perfect n right person go.
      Thanks and regards,

  2. Goabaone
    March 25, 2016

    Wow! I am touched…

  3. Dee
    March 25, 2016

    I see myself in this.
    Thank you for putting it into words.

  4. Jen
    March 25, 2016

    This is something I’m struggling with right now. We’ve been friends for awhile now. He has seen me through difficult times and good times too. We’ve opened up, shared our thoughts and our lives. He is very honest and open…very real, and he encourages me to be the same. We pray with and for each other. We have a very close friendship and a true bond in Christ. I’ve been having feelings for him that run deeper than just friendship lately. I know he’s not there, because he told me so. Said he doesn’t know the future if that’s a possibility. I’m content to remain his friend, but what can I do about the stronger feelings I have for him? It’s difficult to stuff them. Is it silly to ask God to change them??

    • Denise
      April 5, 2016

      No it is not silly to ask God to change your feelings.

    • T
      May 29, 2016

      Jen-His feelings for you will not change. Please trust me. I’ve been where you are dozens of times. Pray instead for God to change your heart so you can let go of this guy and move on. Don’t fantasize about him seeing you differently if only you change x,y or z. He won’t nor will God change his mind. It doesn’t happen like that. Deep down you know that, too. The only thing you can change is yourself some so pray that God take away the feelings you have for him.

  5. Brittany Collins
    March 25, 2016

    That is a beautiful story and I am very familiar to this type of situation.

  6. Dianna
    March 25, 2016

    Thank you. God has used your words in this post to finally give me understanding of and set me free from my almost love.

  7. Sandra
    March 26, 2016

    I have been quite through the same. It didn’t take him 7 years to Tell me, he doesn’t love me. He told me One day- by email. Very sad, he was not brave enough to Tell me to my face. But it only showed his real Character that I should have Seen Long before- he was full of lies, betrayal. And Even though I survived, I became stronger and moved closer to god- the wound in my Heart does not Heal- the disrespectful Manner he told me he does not love me. I keep Praying every day for my Soul to Heal- but i keep asking myself: god, when?

  8. Susie
    March 26, 2016

    Thank you! This has made my struggle with a failed 20 year toxic marriage so crystal clear…I too ran to Him for shelter and he continues to see me through. God has never abandoned me…
    Proverbs 3:5-6New International Version (NIV)
    5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    6 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]

  9. Soni
    March 26, 2016

    You are amazing Mandy.

  10. Jacqueline
    March 26, 2016

    As I read this I see me in it perfectly. I’ve been doing this for over 3 years with my almost perfect love. My heart broken so many times. Thank you for sharing your heart and helping me see more clearly.

  11. Melissa
    March 26, 2016

    How timely our Father is that you shared this and I read it just when I needed to hear these words. Thank you, Mandy.

  12. Lourdes Vanessa Basco
    March 26, 2016

    Beautiful! I read my thoughts and feelings in this article. Thank you for sharing it.

  13. Davina
    March 26, 2016

    This is exactly what I went through ,thank God for unanswered prayers…Davina

  14. March 26, 2016

    How Wonderful to know that God had Your back during those 7 years, & always will. Hugs & Blessings, Jeanne

  15. Diana
    March 27, 2016

    Wow, Mandy, we may not have had the same kind of “relationship”, but after 7 long years of my on again, off again thing with him – sometimes even months and sometimes a year between this guy reappearing or I should say, letting me in just a bit and promising me the moon, I’ve learned and am learning the same beautiful truths you’ve written about. This was like reading my own story! Wow!! Thank you, I always felt so alone and wondered how could I have fallen like I did. But now knowing I haven’t been alone, others have suffered the same – and that there was a Greater purpose in it, makes it all worthwhile. It has turned into a beautiful journey, and my heart is healing in a way I never thought possible. 🙂

  16. Jl
    March 27, 2016

    Mandy- you helped change my perspective of “me” a few years ago when i was single, and now you continue to inspire me even tho I am married now- I am struggling in this marriage, it isnt what i had hoped it would be – but it is drawing me closer to God , and that could have been His plan all along- Instead of asking “Why?” I am trying hard to ask ” what now? What do You want me to do with “this”? It is so very hard, but reading your blogs help me to realize Im not alone and that if i open my eyes , mind and heart, God is telling me that thru you.
    Thank You
    JL

  17. Twlsted
    March 27, 2016

    i love you <3

  18. Deneen
    March 27, 2016

    I give you credit for giving him any credit at all!

  19. Danielle Rogers
    March 28, 2016

    AWESOME! I’m SO happy for you and always love your writing style!

    You rock Mandy!!!!

  20. Dee
    March 29, 2016

    Thank you for this! I finally said adios to my almost love, after 3 years. He finally told me what I already knew but needed to hear – he doesn’t want me..but let’s be friends. I’ve walked away with my heart bruised ( for the last time) but ready to let someone else in, who is deserving of the love I have to give. Thanks for reminding me, I’ve done what is best for mexample.

  21. Andrea Summerlin
    March 29, 2016

    Mandy, you just don’t realize how much I needed to hear this. My story is nearly the same but nearly five years. I often ask myself how much longer should I wait. The answer is no longer – it’s not the direction I need to go in. This was the “nudge” I needed to refocus my eyes on my Father and reach out my hand to Him. God Bless you!

  22. March 30, 2016

    Hey Mandy,
    I love this post. You just explained what happened to me when he said it was all over. I am loving God the more each day, no half – in, half – out…once I speaks, he gently listens, He speaks and I give to him a great deal of my attention and I obey. He is awesome.
    Mandy, now I understand that God wants me to chase after him just like I would want that guy to chase after me. I shall not lack once I willing do that, for His word admonishes me to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and every other thing including that guy He has prepared for me would be added.
    Mandy, you are Godsent to me today.
    You truly rock.
    Thank you.

  23. Jasmine Quarterman
    March 30, 2016

    Wow this was an eye opener! Especially they way you compared how he treat you in & out of your life to the way you ( me too) sometimes treat God. I think that’s a word we can receive to pursue God the way we would want someone to pursue us! As always I love your transparency!

  24. Norma R Naser
    April 2, 2016

    Wow – i feel soo much better after reading this – I am struggling now – i was in a 3 yr relationship we were living together with my 3 teensge kids And i thought Wow this is going great – We had broke up 1 yr ago he thought i was Not honest in our relationship And he left me – after 1mo of begging him back we were on again – This time he became sick (shingles And bells palsy) And my life became complicated with my Job And my kids – he thought i was Not in LOVE any longer with him And That once again i was hiding something from him (another relationship) – we argued And once again apologizing for i dont even know what i did – nothing – he packed all his belongings And left but this time Not just me my family did Not realize the affect on my kids even With them being teenagers – he was the first man in 15 yrs i bought into my life after being divorced And i was devistated – until now – Thank you for your words of wisdom of God ❤️

  25. […] successful career in the gospel music industry, took to Twitter to reveal that Hale’s recent blog post for single women is helping her to […]

  26. […] a successful career in a gospel song industry, took to Twitter to exhibit that Hale’s new blog post for singular women is assisting her to […]

  27. April 9, 2016

    Thank you for sharing your heart. Those of us who can relate know the strength it took to write this and to truly let go with love still in your heart. Keep writing and sharing your gifts.

  28. […] successful career in the gospel music industry, took to Twitter to reveal that Hale’s recent blog post for single women is helping her to […]

  29. […] successful career in the gospel music industry, took to Twitter to reveal that Hale’s recent blog post for single women is helping her to […]

  30. Grace
    April 17, 2016

    I see me in this too! I love your new way of writing, Mandy. . #bless 🙂

  31. Rebecca
    April 19, 2016

    Wow! This is exactly what I’m going through right now. Same amount of time, same on and off relationship and just the same scenario. I woke up this morning and read your email which had the post about “When I lose myself, I find myself” and that post led me to this one. I’m getting closer to God as well. My prayers with God usually begin with asking him to clear my mind from the thoughts and memories of him and develop into an amazing time in his presence. Thanks for sharing this and through it this will touch many broken hearts like mine who ultimately are in the process of getting healed internally and getting prepared for a higher blessing. I love your books, post and the incredible woman that you are. Thank you and God bless you.

  32. Christian
    April 19, 2016

    The last man I gave my heart to didn’t want me. I even walked away (physically, not emotionally) from him. He played with my heart, more after things ended than when they were going on. He told me I wasn’t worth dating. He said that whatever we were it didn’t mean anything. The biggest issue was that we worked (still work) together. He told others that nothing happened. What ended up happening, long story short, he continued to play and ended up bullying/being verbally abusive and I had to take drastic measures to stop it. All along he was with someone else who he wasn’t honest about to me at first. And now they are starting a family, yeah seeing baby shower invitations at work isn’t fun. This has been one of the hardest trials I have ever endured. But God has been faithful. He knew that this man was not the one for me. I even knew. I’m coming on the other side of this and I know I’m stronger for it. One day I will completely forgive him and let go of the past. I don’t excuse his behavior or mine, but I’m ready for the anger and hurt to be done. Praise Jesus, in his time it is going to happen.

  33. Diana
    April 21, 2016

    Mandy, I highly recommend you reading anything and everything by the author Natalie Lue. She hits the nail on the head for every scenario possible if you’ve encountered unavailable relationships and/or men. She is no BS about all of it too

  34. Kenya
    May 3, 2016

    So while I’m sitting at work, reading this blog and listening to Pandora, something magical happened. The song “Almost Lovers” starts to play on Pandora, could this be a sign? I love all of your blogs, stories and books. I have a been a follower for some time now. I just ordered my hard copy of your new book. I’m excited to add it to the collection (I’ve purchased every single book). Thank you for always being transparent, authentic and true.

  35. Vicki
    May 13, 2016

    Bethany K Scanlon’s bible study “Want to find your mate?” is also fantastic. Rips apart the mixed messages churches send singles – that we’re supposed to be contented in singleness and not want to be married, while also teaching marriage is somehow central to God’s design. Scanlon gives you permission to want marriage, without shaming you for wanting marriage, and some practical, scriptural steps to move toward marriage to the right man, while side-stepping all the counterfeit men.

  36. SusanMichelle
    May 17, 2016

    “You see, my almost, not quite, love…there came a day when my eyes were opened to the fact that the way you had been with me for all those years — wishy-washy, lukewarm, undecided, half-in, half-out – was the way I had been with God. Never fully committed. On fire one day and ice cold the next. Unwilling to invest my full self into the relationship. How it must have broken His heart.”

    THIS has hit me like a TON of BRICKS, in a pillow sack, to the face; leaving me with a shiner, busted nose and two fat lips. 2 years I cycled in and out of a toxic relationship, one full of hope, manipulation, and BAD decisions on top of bad decisions. I alienated family and friends. I failed classes and almost lost my job. I found myself looking online until the wee hours of the morning diagnosing myself as Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissism…you name it, I was sure I had it.

    Mandy Hale, God has blessed you with the most amazing gift. He led me to this site on this day to have me read this when I have been begging for him to change my heart and make me realize WHY I shouldn’t be depressed thinking I made the biggest mistake of my life the last time I walked out his door.

    Thank you.

  37. Rebecca
    May 20, 2016

    I have been through this same long experience for going on now 7 years also. My head tells me to walk away and never look back but my heart and emotions fall apart every time I try. We break up, we get back together, we go on trips, he disappears… its the same cycle year after year. I have lost many friends, respect, dignity and I am sure so many other things trying to make this relationship work. The first time I was able to let go was after reading your Vegas book. It is what helped me turn to God. I have not had faith or religion in my life ever but turning to God, giving myself to him and learning to pray has helped me get through so many tough times. I am still on again and off again and seeking help to get control of my life to walk away and focus on being a good mom and single woman. Thank you for all your words of encouragement. I have re-read all of your books each time I need support and strength you are there to give that and I am so very thankful to have your blog and books to read. You are an inspiration.

  38. Nikki
    May 24, 2016

    Have you been spying on me? This is my life to the ‘T’. Thank you for reminding me who I need the most in my life.

  39. […] Last April, Williams shared how the author had helped her to overcome toxic relationships by writing about Hale’s blog titled “The Man I Thought Was the One.” […]

  40. […] Last April, Williams shared how the author had helped her to overcome toxic relationships by writing about Hale’s blog titled “The Man I Thought Was the One.” […]

  41. […] Last April, Williams shared how the author had helped her to overcome toxic relationships by writing about Hale’s blog titled “The Man I Thought Was the One.” […]

  42. […] Last April, Williams shared how the author had helped her to overcome toxic relationships by writing about Hale’s blog titled “The Man I Thought Was the One.” […]

  43. […] Last April, Williams shared how the author had helped her to overcome toxic relationships by writing about Hale’s blog titled “The Man I Thought Was the One.” […]

  44. […] Last April, Williams shared how the author had helped her to overcome toxic relationships by writing about Hale’s blog titled “The Man I Thought Was the One.” […]

  45. […] Last April, Williams shared how the author had helped her to overcome toxic relationships by writing about Hale’s blog titled “The Man I Thought Was the One.” […]

  46. Mayra
    June 17, 2016

    Dear Mandy and all women out there who have cried, wondered and spent long hours in the never answered questions. It didn’t take me 7 years, it took me 3 but non the less it finally came to an end. As I always said, he had to be the one to break the chain for me to let go and he thankfully finally did. I shed tears I must admit however in the end I understood that he would never give me what I needed, looked for or wanted. All of this time I wanted and hoped to find a man that would love me….not one that would disrespect me. The one I thought was the one, failed short of it….and with pain in my heart it was a chapter to be closed. My healing has been waiting since the first time he broke my heart…and it is now finally time. Thank you for sharing your stories, it helps to know that I am not alone. To understand that there are many stories a like and the The Ones We Thought Were the One….Thanks for finally showing me (us) that you weren’t.

  47. […] Last April, Williams shared how the author had helped her to overcome toxic relationships by writing about Hale’s blog titled “The Man I Thought Was the One.” […]

  48. […] Last April, Michelle shared how the author had helped her to overcome toxic relationships by writing about Mandy’s  blog titled “The Man I Thought Was the One.” […]

  49. Erica
    August 21, 2016

    Thank you for this.
    I have been an emotional wreck today due to the thoughts of an ex-love.
    I can never understand, even after years, why I still hang on so hard.
    He was the man I thought was the one. The man I imagined life with, even up to this very day.
    The on again-off again, wishy-washy relationship was the most detrimental thing to my heart.
    I have never thought about it in this perspective. The way you described that you were treating God the way your lover was treating you struck me hard; it brought me to tears.
    I pray and pray to God to take my heart, take my feelings, take my thougths; this weekend I was convicted and asked God, once again, to take him away. God was faithful and sent a sign. Once the sign came, I fell to my knees. Not to praise Him, but in the devastation that it was actually over- that the one I thought was the one, was not the one. Even after asking God to take him away, I still did not trust in this, and got caught in gut-wrenching anxiety.
    I ponder: it wrong to still love this somebody? How can I not, I gave him 100% of my heart, and I had his.
    I don’t know how to get passed this. I know in my heart that our relationship was toxic, but why, oh God why can I not trust in you and let it go? My heart, my body, my mind, and my soul all ache to let him go.

    I happened to stumble onto your website after searching for devotionals for young women who are struggling.
    I truly believe that I was called to stumble across this tonight. The feeling that I am not alone in this, am not stupid for believing a lie, is comforting.
    I am still heartbroken and hurting, but our God is so good. Waiting is not easy, but God will provide when the time is right.

  50. Cam
    January 25, 2017

    As a man who just transcended I was so so very happy to hear your mirrored side of this. You have given me so much hope in my own mission. Thanks. Peace and love

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