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Red Flags To Look For In a Romantic Relationship

By: Bethany Beal

The red flags were there, but I ignored them. I didn’t want to believe that my hours, upon hours, upon hours, of invested time would come to an end.

Instead of facing the facts and acknowledging the “red flags” in my relationship, I ignored them.

Why did I ignore them? For similar reasons many of you do (or have done) as well. I didn’t want to have to face the truth. I didn’t want to be honest with myself. I didn’t want to think about my future without him. I didn’t want to imagine being single. I didn’t want to face starting over. I didn’t want to deal with the pain of a broken heart.

Looking back I wish I would have acknowledged the “red flags” much, much sooner.

I now realize that ignoring the warning signs in my relationship was a really bad idea. It didn’t save me from heartache, it only caused the situation to drag on. More emotions, more time, more heartache and more pain.

I so encourage you to be wise and honest in your romantic relationships.

Please don’t ignore the red flags. Don’t push them under the rug and expect them to go away. Look at them for what they truly are and bravely face the issues head on.

Here are some “red flags” to look for in your current (or future) relationship.

1. Your Family Doesn’t Like Him

This is a big deal, girls. God gave you your family on purpose and for a purpose. They know you better than most anyone else. They live with you and understand your strengths and weaknesses more than your friends do. If your family has major reservations about a guy, take that super seriously. They have a great unemotional perspective on the relationship and can offer so much wisdom.

2. Lot’s of Talk, Little Action

When a guy spits out a lot of big ideas, but fails to follow through on them, that’s a big problem. Words should lead to action. If your guy is talking a lot, but producing little action, you need to take a step back. You need a man who is more than “big talk.” You need a man you can trust. A man who will follow through on what he says.

3. He Conforms to Who You Want

“You love overseas missions? I do too!” “You’ve always wanted a super big family? Same here” “You’re passionate about feeding the homeless? I am too!” The problem isn’t that you might have similar interests, the problem is that the guy is conforming all of his passions, beliefs, and desires to fit yours. If a guy is going to be the spiritual leader in his family, he needs to have convictions, passions and purposes of his own. If he is simply conforming to whatever you are passionate about, you’ve got problems. You need a leader, not a chameleon.

4. He Has Few Personal Convictions

Conviction leads to passion. If your guy has few personal convictions, you need to figure out why. A guy who is seeking after the Lord, studying His Word, and striving to live out Christ-likeness, will have convictions. If your guy lacks conviction, there is a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.

5. He Pulls You Down Spiritually

Does your guy push you forward or pull you down? If your guy isn’t taking the lead and pushing you forward spiritually, that’s a problem. The Bible says,

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

6. Many Unfulfilled Promises

Every girl wants to marry a man that she can truly trust. A man she can rely on. A man she can feel safe and secure giving her entire life to. When a man doesn’t fulfil his promises (big or small) it creates a serious lack of trust in the relationship. When your man says he is going to do something (i.e. spend time in God’s Word daily, abide by a curfew, workout 3 times a week, etc.) but regularly breaks his word, that is a problem. You need to be able to trust that what your man says he will do, will get done.

7. Habitual Sin Issues

Habitual sins do not disappear in marriage. They may get covered up by dreamy days and fluttery hearts, but they will rear their ugly heads quicker than you could have ever imagined. If your guy is stuck in a habitual sin (i.e. porn, lust, anger issues, alcohol and drug abuse, gluttony, etc) you need to stop and seek outside counsel. Don’t just plunge forward and naively hope it will disappear; it won’t.

8. He’s all Rush, Rush, Rush

When a guy is in a massive rush to move forward, you’ve gotta put your antennas up. You need to stop and figure out the “why” behind his “rush.” If there is a good reason for his rushing, you need to know what that is and you (and your parents or mentors) need to be on board. Don’t let a guy’s passion and speedy mindset overtake you. Take a deep breath and slow down. Time is on your side.

9. Overly Concerned About Himself

Life isn’t about us, it’s about Christ. If a guy doesn’t have a proper view of Christ he will be overly concerned with himself. His needs, his wants, his feelings, and his comforts will be his main focus. Trust me, you absolutely want to marry a guy who is striving to put Christ first in his life. He won’t be perfect in this area, but he will be striving! Don’t settle for a man who isn’t at least striving to make Christ his all-in-all.

10. Shallow Relationship With God

The foundation of your guy’s life should be his relationship with God. If your guy isn’t spending time in the Word, involved in church, seeking outside wisdom and accountability, you need to take a double look at his foundation.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).

That’s a wrap!

I’d love to hear from you now. Have you noticed any of these red flags in your past or present relationships? Do you you think any/all of these should be concerns? Why?

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