Want to know what warning signs to look out for as a Christian dater? This post covers 18 warning signs in dating for female Christian believers.
I have been there. He’s dreamy and he is charming…… but something about the dating relationship is making me feel increasingly uncomfortable. These are lessons I learned the hard way. If you see these warning signs in your dating relationship, consider ending the relationship promptly. It will avoid much heartbreak down the road.
1. He is very controlling.
Telling you what to wear, how to spend your money, whom you should have as a friend are all examples of controlling behavior in dating. Checking up on you and needing to know where you are at all times are equally very controlling. In dating, these are not normal behaviours. Sadly, these can be indicators of a potentially abusive partner. This is a big one.
2. He doesn’t hear or respect your feelings.
I know you are thinking, “that is normal for a guy”. Well, if you want a healthy relationship this is a deal breaker. If you tell him something he has done has hurt you and he brushes it off and then proceeds to do it again, you are in for some major heartbreak if you proceed.
3. He is not independently taking care of himself.
Ok, for some millennials out there this may be difficult. There is a generation that will be living with their parents well into adulthood. I may be old-school, but I believe a man should be working and supporting himself before he is fit to marry.
I once dated a man from my church. He was a 50-year-old man (when I was 38) who was living with his 83-year- old momma. He was totally financially dependent on her. Further, he used her car, her groceries, she did his laundry and cooked all his meals. Whenever this divorced dad of 3 had his kids, they also came to stay with his mother. He never helped his mother financially in any way. He was looking at me to become his next mother, and I walked (well, ran….) away.
You need a fully grown man whom you can depend on. Fully grown men take care of themselves financially.
4. He has a big chip on his shoulder.
You know the type, they see themselves as victims, and everyone owes them something. For anything that goes wrong in their life, they have a long list of people they blame. This can be a characteristic of a narcissistic abuser. If you see this early, walk away fast.
5. He has a history of angry outbursts or violence and has done no serious psychological work to deal with it.
I once dated someone from my church (a gun owner also….) who had an ex-wife with a restraining order out against him for threatening to shoot her. Obviously, that information only came out after I started to date him. He had frequent angry outbursts despite having had counselling. Even though I broke it off after two weeks, he stalked me for months. This is a definite sign of an abuser and I say get away right away.
6. He has close friends who are immoral.
We are the average of our 5 closest friends. Thus, if you meet his friends and they are all players, gamblers or they have no relationship with the Lord, you best walk away.
7. He is struggling with addiction.
Addiction becomes the primary relationship in an addict’s life. He is not ready for a relationship until these issues are dealt with.
8. He is currently involved in criminal activity or has been in the past and has done nothing to rehabilitate.
9. He is sexually impure.
Sex outside of marriage dishonours God and even our own bodies. If your partner plays fast and loose around this, walk away. Someone who cannot control their sexual urges before marriage is unlikely to keep to sex within marriage after they marry.
10. You are shocked at how dysfunctional his parent’s relationship is and he has done no therapy or counselling to deal with how this may affect him.
We learn about how relationships look from our parents, and because we learn when our brain is young and soaking everything up -it is unlikely someone without therapy/counselling can walk out of a highly dysfunctional home and have a happy married relationship.
11. He is extremely selfish.
12. He has a superficial shallow faith.
13. He is a different (usually worse) person with people he doesn’t think matter.
See how he treats wait-staff when you are not looking.
14. People who know him well try to warn you about him behind his back.
15. You have an uneasy gut feeling something isn’t right.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit will make sure you have no peace to warn you about a bad relationship-follow that.
16. Your friends don’t like him.
If you have Godly friends who love you, ask yourself what they may be seeing that you don’t –and pay attention.
17. You find out he is not actually single-he is still married (even if he is separated).
Don’t date married men, it is dishonouring to God and to yourself.
18. You find out he lies.
Relationships are built on trust. If you are with a liar, you will have no trust and that is no way to build a healthy relationship. Dump him now.
Lastly, one of my favorite books about finding a person who is good for you in relationships is called “Safe People” by Drs. Cloud and Townsend. Take a look if you are interested in finding out easy ways to know if someone is interpersonally safe to date (or even to have as a close friend).
Please let me know of other red flags you have come across in dating.
Key Take Aways: Extricating yourself from a potentially dangerous or damaging relationship is better done earlier than later. If you see any of these 18 red flags when dating, run.
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