Sex on Friday

I Got Broken Up With... for Jesus

Broken up with for Jesus illustration by Jason Hoffman
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

While on vacation when I was 18, I fell head over heels for a man named Jon. We bonded over a mutual love of scuba diving, and also over a faith in God. 

Jon lived on the other side of the country, but we talked to each other from our respective colleges every day and made plans to see each other at Thanksgiving. Then, out of the blue, Jon cut me loose. He said that the Lord had told him not to talk to me anymore. 


There were plenty of perfectly fair reasons for Jon to call it off: we lived far apart, our lives were just getting started, there were a ton of pretty women at his college... but a message from God? Come on. Turns out, this is actually a breakup line that's been used on plenty of people.

Woman praying over bible

Religious "epiphanies" are always possible for the intensely spiritual

"My high school boyfriend and I went to the same (Christian) college, and he broke up with me within the first six weeks of freshman year. He quoted that song from Top Gun, 'You’ve Lost that Lovin' Feelin.' He said he prayed about it and that God said it was the right thing to do. He proceeded to ignore me for the next four years. Pretty sure God did not tell him to do that." -- Helene, 29

"My girlfriend and I were pretty serious. We went on a retreat with our church for couples who were married or considering marriage. At the end of the weekend, she said that God had told her I wasn't 'the one' for her, and she dumped me." -- Lee, 31

"My ex-boyfriend Kevin said God was leading him in a different direction. At the time, I thought, 'Yeah, right. He doesn't love me.' Thinking about it now, though, maybe it was true. Kevin is an evangelical minister now, and Lord knows I ain't cut out to be a preacher's wife." -- Shonda, 29

"I meet a lot of religious guys because I work for a church organization. A few of them have played the 'God card,' and it always feels like it comes out of nowhere. It is almost enough to put me off dating religious men, but then I do want to raise my future children in the church, so I don't know." -- Kim, 31

"I was dating a girl who I never saw so much as say grace before a meal. She breaks up with me, and when I ask her why, she said it was to focus on her walk with Christ. I was like, 'Maybe go to church once in a while and quit doing coke?'" -- Pete, 27

Religious woman at window
eldar nurkovic/Shutterstock

God: a convenient breakup bargaining chip

"Sometimes when someone tries to break up with you, you can sort of talk them out of it. You can say you will change or try to work things out. When someone brings God into it, you can't really do that. God is the trump card." -- Steven, 36

"I always assume I am the problem when I get broken up with, and I am sure that is sometimes true. When my ex told me the Lord had told him to dump me, I assumed I had done something to displease Christ. I prayed and wept over it for months before I realized the breakup might not have had a thing to do with God." -- Lila, 26

"I was 17, she was 16. We had dated for a year when she sent me a letter saying I was getting in the way of her relationship with God. She didn't even have the guts to tell me face to face." -- Chris, 25

"I was away for a week, and while I was gone, my girl spent time with her ex. While they were together, she heard a voice from God saying, 'This is as it should be.'" -- Dean, 43

Praying hands

Does God really take sides?

"I thought, 'When did God start liking you more than me?'" -- Helene

"I don't see how God could be telling me 'this is your future wife' and yet telling her I wasn't 'the one.' It definitely put me off church for a while." -- Lee 

"It was like... in theory the relationship is acceptable and good… and then for some vague reason God says it's not?" -- Lauren, 30

"She said I made her want to do things only the devil would want her to do." -- Ray, 28

Let's just leave the good Lord out of it

My homegirl Susan B. Anthony said it best: "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." 

It's entirely possible my ex, Jon, really did pray about our relationship. Maybe he even thought God wanted him to ditch me. But he should have just said he wasn't into me -- bringing a deity into it was just kind of a douche move.

And though it probably made Jon feel like he was less of a bad guy, it made him look way worse to me.

Whether derived from spiritual motivation or not, playing the God card in breakups is just a convenient excuse. At the end of the day, he or she is really just saying, "I don't want to see you anymore." And isn't that all you need to know?

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Elizabeth Walker is a freelance writer and hasn't been scuba diving in years. Find her on Twitter: @hydeyourfyres.