Friday, May 20, 2016

Dating--Part 2 "Signs of a Bad Date"

Lucy seemed so perfect for Charlie Brown...or so he thought.  But it seems every time he made himself vulnerable to her, she'd blindside him...and he just never seemed to learn.  How do you know when someone is bad for you?  It doesn't just come from the person you're dating disappointing you one time--we can all do stupid stuff every once in awhile.  But if they consistently show any of these signs, you need to take notice.  Here are 9 signs of a bad date:
  • SELF-ABSORBED...If the person you're dating only thinks about themselves, it may manifest in different ways.  They may never ask you what you want to do on a date, they always keep you waiting, they turn every conversation to themselves, they only spend money on themselves or they insist that you spend your money on them, they want your undivided attention, they want you to look good so they look good, they demand a physical relationship, or they have an ego bigger than life which constantly needs stroking.  If you're dating a self-absorbed person, you can probably add to this list.
  • RUDE, CRUDE, INDECENT...This person doesn't care who you are or who they're around, they will tell off-color jokes, make racial slurs, sexist comments, or totally degrading critiques of a person's anatomy or personality.  They won't value you.  
  • ANGER...This is a huge red warning flag!  It may start off small like being angry about a rule their parents have made or how unjustly they were treated in class.  But it won't stop there.  They may become angry because you're doing things "wrong."  Or they're angry because a person made a questionable comment on your Facebook wall.  If their anger only intensifies and becomes directed at you, you should run as fast as you can.  If they become angry enough to put their fist through a wall or dent their dashboard, you can know it may some day dent you.  You can't change them.  Most people in an abusive relationship will tell you in hindsight that they saw the warning signs...they just didn't heed them.  *See below.
  • IMPATIENT...This characteristic is a cousin to so many others.  They may be impatient because they're angry or self-absorbed.  But this person has no grace for others.  They want to win at all costs.  They may constantly tap their foot or look at their watch.  They consistently drive in the speed lane.  They're dangerously impetuous and  they want things done their way--NOW!
  • JEALOUSY...Jealousy is a relationship killer.  It may seem sweet at first--it appears your boyfriend or girlfriend is being protective of you because they value you and want you to themselves.  The signs that it's moved beyond that is they want you to give up friendships, family, or shut down all social media.  Their world with you will become smaller and smaller until it's just you and them.  They will be highly critical of you, constantly asking where you've been or who you've talked to, and become very demanding and controlling.  They may even exert control by belittling you and destroying your confidence until you believe you deserve that kind of treatment.
  • PRIDE...This person is never wrong.  They brag constantly about who they are, how important they are, or how much money they have.  They're highly arrogant.  They also have an unteachable spirit--because they already know-it-all.  You'll never have a chance in their world.  They are the president of their own fan club.
  • TRUST ISSUES...This is a close kin to jealousy.  A lack of trust indicates this person will never believe you.  You can tell them the truth until you're blue in the face, but they just don't trust what you're saying.  They will doubt you and question you.  
  • UNKIND...Unkindness may start out as thoughtless or heartless and end up as mean, cold-hearted, and even inhuman.  Signs may show up early as being unkind to animals or making fun of small children or handicapped people--those who can't defend themselves.  It usually doesn't stop there.
  • LAUGHS AT INJUSTICE...This person will laugh at wrongdoing and will find it especially funny when they get away with their wrongdoing.  They think there's nothing wrong with cheating others, stealing, breaking the law, racism, or corruption.  They'll probably ask you early on in your relationship to do some minor infraction to make sure you're on the same page.  
The thing is...any of us can have some of these traits at any time.  But assuming you're dating a believer, if they're exemplifying one or more of these traits a lot, they're not walking in the love of God.  They're walking in their flesh.  I Corinthians 13 tells us what love looks like.  And it's the opposite of the things on this list.  Love is patient, love is kind...  It is NOT being self-absorbed, rude, crude, and indecent, etc. This isn't my list.  It's God's list from I Corinthians 13.

Charlie Brown never could change Lucy.  And the only person we can change is ourselves.  And it actually takes us agreeing with the Spirit of God for any real change to take place.  If you find yourself in a bad dating relationship, take a step back.  Talk to a trusted counselor and be willing to listen and even hear hard truth.  The worst thing you can do when you see definite strongholds in a person's life you're dating is to proceed in that relationship and ignore the warning signs.  God wants you in a healthy, loving marriage.  And it starts with being highly aware of any red flags while you're dating.

If you see yourself on this list and want to change, you can.  Turn to God and ask His forgiveness and ask Him to change you.  Then find a trusted Christian counselor to guide you into wholeness.

*If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, please check out this free app for your phone.  But even more than that, please tell someone you trust who can find you help to get out of that relationship.  

Dating--Part 1  "Dating Standards"
Coming up:  Dating Part 3  "I love you?"

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