Today's column is specifically different because there is a topic that I am going to address from a distinctly Biblical perspective. So if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, you will probably and definitely disagree with me and that's okay. Also, if you are not an adult, this is really not for you. Stop reading now.
But before we jump in to that, here's our first question, from a reader we'll call Roach Motel. The roaches move in, and they just don't move out! So here's the question:
Q: What are some red flags that should send me running from a potential relationship?
A: This can be a subjective question because there are personal preferences that either are a giant NO in your dating book or you may have some grounded beliefs that you are not moving from.
For example, I know a guy who won't date a girl who doesn't eat meat. So there's that. Or me, personally, I am a super extrovert and am not interested in dating someone who is going to be a wallflower at a party -- I want to date someone who is able to handle himself in a social situation.
But then there are some definite red flags that you need to run, not walk, away from:
- Anyone who makes you feel like you are crazy
- Anyone who is physically abusive
- Anyone who is involved in illegal activity
- Anyone who speaks poorly of his/her mother (because he/she will never treat you better than he treats his momma)
- Anyone who has a reputation for being unfaithful in a relationship
Some walk-away-from situations are:
- He/she wants to borrow money from you after a few dates
- He/she is unkind or brusque with wait staff
- He/she is habitually very late to your dates (ask yourself -- what is he/she doing that he/she is always late??)
- You are of differing opinions on topics very important to you (and this can be anything -- church, alcohol usage, children, first kiss at the altar (by the way, I am not a subscriber to this), beard/no beard and, believe it or not, "she's too heavy," "she's too skinny," "I only like redheads" (a real thing from a group conversation I was part of); you get the point.
- If the other person is getting serious much quicker than you would like or feel comfortable with, this could be a recurrent pattern of his/hers that will leave you with a broken heart. Might be a walk away.
There are more, but generally speaking, if a person is inconsiderate or rude to you or anyone else, you need to walk away. Don't get stuck in the idea that you will never have another date. You will. And you will be glad you walked away from someone who did not respect you.
Q: How do you know if someone is in it just for the hookup or is really looking for a relationship?
A: This is where if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, you may want to put on your seatbelt because this is going to be a wild ride.
There are men AND women in the church who act like they are God-fearing, God-seeking people that are only concerned with your well-being and honoring you.
Key word: ACT.
Reality: He's a hormone in a suit (or whatever people wear at your church). And this applies to women too! If someone you are dating is puttin' on the hot and heavy right away, it's going to end in sex. It just is, unless one of you is Superman and has superpowers to refrain in compromising situations. Or you keep a bucket of ice nearby at all times.
Reality #2: If you are in your 40's-50's, it's very safe to assume you have been in a sexual relationship before, whether you've been married or any other situation. It's not like when you were 15 and "sex"was a far-removed romantic idea that you knew you were not supposed to do. It's going to be difficult to avoid sex if you put yourself in situations that, well, are compromising.
So how do you know if it's just for the hookup or for a relationship? Well, here's one way to find out: Wait 40 days to kiss this person. If the other person is just in it for sex, they obviously will find a way to not call or text you after one or a few dates. If they are down with 40 Days of No Kissing, then he or she is probably really looking for a relationship. This is from Joby Martin, who is the lead pastor at the Church of Eleven22.
If you're interested in more dating advice from Joby, check out the dating and marriage message series at the church website. It's good stuff.
Encouragement: Adult believers, pursue holiness! It's not easy, GOODNESS KNOWS IT'S NOT EASY, but it's doable. Stay away from the easy, quick hookup that takes away a small part of your heart every time you give in. Hold out for the person who is also pursuing God and wants to put Him #beforeallthings.
BONUS (because you made it this far): If you are dating, seek out places where you are not tempted to compromise your beliefs. Watching a movie at his/her house by yourselves is NOT going to end well. How do you think the term "Netflix and chill" became so popular? Go out with people, do things in groups, even arrange to meet somewhere if you like, because you KNOW your grandma told you not to sit in a car with a boy (or a girl). Plan to be in the right situation and your choices are so much easier!!!
Thanks for reading. Share this if you liked it! Send me your comments and questions! email@example.com