There’s nothing more uncomfortable in dating than having a serious interest in each other but not being on the same page about how to move forward. Here are some serious red flags that can take place during this time which can help bring clarity on how to pursue the relationship if you both address them.
1. Confusion About the Relationship
A lot of times we find ourselves going through a wave of emotions when in pursuit of a new love interest—excitement, fear, insecurity, doubt and frustration—simply because we have no idea where the relationship stands or where it’s going. While I do believe guys should step up and define the relationship, it is also a woman’s responsibility to put her foot down and set that standard for herself. The Bible calls us to guard our heart, yet many times girls give their hearts away too quickly to a guy who is honestly unsure about his own direction, let alone seriously getting involved with another person. We have a generation of people who are “talking” but not communicating. The safest and wisest thing you can do at the start of a relationship that looks like it’s getting serious is have a real discussion about where the relationship is going and what his intentions are. You’ll find the same questions that scare off the wrong guy will challenge and affirm the right guy. This is a good weeding process. You are worth a purposeful relationship.
2. A Misunderstanding of Commitment
When it’s been made clear that you guys are in this together and serious about where you’re going, it’s important to be on the same page about what commitment looks like. I say this because I’ve seen so many times in a couple where the guy’s idea of loyalty differs from the girl’s and vice versa. For example, what is your stance on communication with exes or the opposite sex? What do you think ongoing communication between the two of you should look like? It’s pretty frustrating if you don’t hear back from someone that day or that week, right? When you’re committed to each other, there should be two people investing in that relationship. This all builds security, and security is oh so important. What kind of boundaries should be in place to protect and foster the growth of that relationship? It’s good to talk about these things over time.
3. Unevenly Yoked Beliefs
Our core beliefs direct our lives. The truth is that not only does the Bible warn about unevenly yoked relationships, but it’s going to be very complicated for you to be in accord with someone who differs from you on the things that matter. In the beginning, the relationship is usually a bit more lighthearted and more emotionally charged, so things like beliefs might not interfere right away. However, as things grow and get more serious over time, this conflict can become a real make-or-break. If things like purity, how you involve God in making serious discussions, the spiritual support of prayer or biblical encouragement are all a big part of your lifestyle, it’s important to know where the person you’re sharing your life with stands on these things as well.
4. Insecurities and Triggers
We all have them, and it’s vital to know what those insecurities are in one another. This will at some point take a pretty deeply honest conversation, but it could save the relationship in the long run. Maybe it wouldn’t be good to make a cute joke about his ears because he was teased about them his whole life. While sarcasm may be cute to you, it might be highly annoying and undermining to him. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable with him talking to other girls after a certain time of night. Whatever those triggers and insecurities are, at some point they should probably be discussed. It’s a good idea to start knowing your triggers and insecurities for your own awareness, too—not only to discuss them with a potential mate, but to work on the root issues so you can be free of them.
5. A Lack of Foundation
These are the basic principles you are in unity about when it comes to the culture of your relationship. Trust, honesty and deciding to communicate in love and perseverance during enduring times are a few key examples. A foundation provides structure as to how the two of you will intentionally act, no matter what comes your way. This also brings safety to the growth and experience of the relationship.
Now, I’m not saying to sit down and have a five-hour long discussion about all of these things (unless you both feel free and comfortable doing that—then by all means, go ahead). Timing is key and a lot of these types of conversations will take place over time as you grow closer and closer to one another. However, at some point, discussions about these topics should happen. The more these red flags are conquered, the healthier the relationship has a chance of being in the long run and the less confusion you should have about where you stand.
Do you agree with these? Is there anything you would add? Comment below!