Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
Follow your own path

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Believe What You See - How to Spot the Red Flags

Single? Lonely? Looking for Mr. Wonderful? Holding on to Mr. Right Now? Too many times when we meet someone we see them through rose-colored glasses, and ignore the red flags. Why? Because we are lonely, bored, tired of waiting, and isolated. Or we are in a relationship, and we know in our head this person is not right for us, but we stay in it anyway, because we are emotionally involved.

Recently, I spoke with two single gals who are in a predicament, shall we say. They are stuck in unhealthy relationships hoping things will change. The years are going by and nothing has changed and both these gals are making excuses to stay. Now I totally understand because I've done this very thing and listening to their stories reminded me of how difficult it is to extricate oneself from emotional ties.

Today's post is dedicated to helping you:
a) spot the red flags early on so
b) you don't get emotionally entangled with the wrong guy.

Several years ago, I met a guy online on a supposedly Christian dating site. When I read this guy's profile, my heart was aflutter. He sounded like my perfect match - on paper that is. All the externals I was looking for seemed to be in place - good job, owned his own home, attends church, willing to learn how to dance etc etc. Well. After two years of a conflicted spirit, late night "disagreements" and much heartache, the light bulb finally went on and I put all the pieces together. The guy was lying to me about who he really was. The signs of jealousy, immaturity, and insecurity had been there all along, I simply chose to minimize them. I made excuses and rationalized his behavior. All because I was approaching a milestone birthday and I had set my mind of being engaged by that time.

Lesson #1: my timetable is not always God's timetable.

Lesson #2: Listen to my spirit.

Anyway, fast forward several years. I was still single so decided to give online dating another try. Another guy contacts me wanting to get together for dinner.

"Here we go again. They think wining and dining me is going to do the trick." This time I was determined to keep my eyes open and my heart protected.

Don't ask me what I was thinking. The guy had posted photos of his red Porsche, his motorcycle, his flowers, and his dog. Nothing against any of these, but I kind of felt like there were conflicting messages being sent. Now I always give people the benefit of the doubt, so I went out with the guy. The Porsche and the motorcycle were signs that screamed one word - FAST! He wanted to move quickly in more ways than one. By the grace of God, it only took me 3 dates to figure out the truth and am so glad I did not let myself get emotionally or physically involved with the guy. I chalk the whole experience up to a re-test and I think I passed with at least a "B". Maybe a B+.

Bottom line of these stories is this. When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. Don't allow the wining and dining, the flowers, the jewelry or the romance to blind you or override your good sense. If you're not sure what to do, get counseling or talk to some wise friends who are courageous enough to give you an objective perspective. If we want to avoid unnecessary hurt and pain and stay out of wrong relationships, it would do us well to face the reality of who people are before getting physically and emotionally connected to them. Take your time evaluating the person. Three dates seems like a reasonable amount of time.

If any of my story resonates with you or if you have helpful tips you'd like to share, please leave a comment below or on Facebook. Love to hear back from you.

Until next time, keep looking up!

Ariel