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Red Flags To Look For In a Romantic Relationship

By: Bethany Baird

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?

Photo Credit

Guy girl on rocks by beach

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  • Girleide

    It’s important to aknowledge and take action on these red flags because they tell wether a man is a Godly man or not. We woman easly get cared away on our emotions towards guys (“..but I’m so in love with him!”) and turn our eyes and ears away to the truth that is right in front of us, I know it from personal experience. Ironic how I always ask God for windsom in relationships and refuse to admit the guy in stake is just not good for me. I could say I should start asking God to work on my stubborness and trust the signs He sends me towards people.

  • A.A.

    This convicted me to stop liking the guy I’ve liked for a long time. Thank you.

  • Great post! I feel like these are the most important red flags that we so easily try to ignore. I’ve had to let go of a relationship recently in which thankfully I was able to pinpoint some of these early on. God has a beautiful love story for each of us and we can trust Him.

  • Sarah A.

    This is a really great article! I’m only 17 and I’ve never been in a relationship, but this was a good reminder for me to remember in the future. One thing my parents have always told me is to look at the way a guy treats his mom and sisters, because that’s the way he’s going to treat his wife.

    • Amaris Lancaster

      Yes. I have been told that as well and think it is amazing advice. I am 19 (20 in September) and have still never been in a relationship. I am trusting God to bring the right guy along. I have always loved the quote, ‘Dance with God and He will let the right guy but in.’ I pray that I will be so focus on God and that my ‘Mr Right’ will be so focused on God that he will have to make us trip over each other to notice. 🙂

      • Sarah A.

        I like that quote you said! One thing I remember my parents also saying (I think they heard it somewhere else, but I remember them telling me) is to run as fast as you can towards God and then look around to see who keeps up. I think that’s some pretty good advice too.

  • thehappygirl

    Another *huge* red flag is a guy trying to separate you from your family/friends (if that makes sense). A guy I dated a year or so ago did that to me (and pretty much all the other red flags mentioned here). He basically drove a wedge between my parents and me by speaking badly of them and disrespecting them, and would get very angry with me when I would defend them. He even encouraged me to disobey them!

    I remember defending my mom once when he was talking poorly of her (and of my 9 pm curfew) without cause. His reply was: “You’re 20 years old! You are your own person and can do you want without her permission. You must not be a real woman because a real woman would stand by me no matter what.” At that point, he had driven such a wedge between my parents and me I felt I couldn’t even go to them for help. I immediately broke it off with him after that remark. He tried bullying me back into being with him for months, almost a year! I finally got my pastor involved, and he helped take care of the problem.

    I said all that to say this: If a guy has red flags, especially multiple ones, run. It’s not worth staying in the relationship! God has so much better in store for us than that 🙂

    • Jesusfreak17

      Thank you for sharing! That’s such a powerful story. I’m sorry that happened, but it sounds like God used/is using it in a beautiful way.

      • thehappygirl

        He did @Jesusfreak17! That was a true turning point in my spiritual life. Even though I felt isolated from my earthly father my Heavenly Father was still there for me. It’s amazing how He takes what seems like a horrible situation and uses it to shape and mold us!!

  • Jesusfreak17

    This is kind of off topic, but I need some prayer. I’m going on a trip with my youth group next week and recently a few of the guys have started giving me hugs. (The awkward, friendly, but not romantic kind.) However, I am concerned because my love language is physical touch. I had one of my crushes hugged me awhile ago (it was only a SLIGHT crush, faded pretty quickly later on) and then I dreamed about it 3 times (I’m also hypersensitive, which doesn’t help). It wasn’t sensual or anything and I think for others its totally appropriate but for me I try to avoid hugging guys as much as possible for my own mental purity. However, I’m not sure how to turn them down in the moment. The guys that have recently hugged me are fine, and I don’t think anything weird will happen with them in particular, but my current crush will be on this trip and I just don’t want it to go there. So anyway, any advice or prayer would be welcome, thanks!

    • Grace

      hmm. Maybe when he comes over to hug you, casually step back and hold out your fist for a fist bump or something? But I’d be glad to pray!!

    • Sarah

      Praying for you! 🙂

      • Jesusfreak17

        Thank you! 🙂

    • Amaris Lancaster

      I have the same problem sometimes. Maybe you could use your dad as an excuse and say that he doesn’t like you hugging guys??? After all that’s what dad’s are for. Or even better, just be straight out honest about it. As a friend they should understand and be fine with it. I have had to straight out tell some guys I didn’t want to drive in the same car, alone with them because I felt uncomfortable about it, they were completely fine with it and nothing was weird or awkward. Hope this helps! 🙂

      • Jesusfreak17

        Thanks! Good idea, I might need to use that. 🙂

    • Eliza Noel

      Wow! I’ve been having this same problem. Idk if I would say my love language is physical touch but I did think that I would just save hugging for girl friends, family and my future husband. The guys who hugged me are like barely aquantainces but I don’t want to be rude and run away because I know they’re just being friendly. I’ll be praying for you!

      • Jesusfreak17

        Good to know I’m not alone! Thank you so much!

  • Macey De La Vega

    Now, this is excellent post! but I just feel a need to point out a possible situation in section six (unfulfilled promises). you may want to ‘stalk’ your man one day to make sure he is not a super hero…you don’t what to break someones heart just because they were ‘late for dinner with your folks’ or ‘didn’t call first thing in the morning on your birthday’. for all you know they were pulling three drowning children from the sewers in Spain, or stopping a runaway train full of pregnant women and nursing mothers. So… chew on THAT ladies.

  • Kaela Schultz

    Thank you so much for this post!!!
    I am positive this post will help me in the future. i have never been in a serious relationship or dated anyone, but this is super helpful for the future. you guys are AWESOME!!!!


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