Six Signs The Dating Relationship Is In Trouble…
One of the things I love to teach on is the subject of relationships…and since we are in a series on parenting here at NewSpring, today I thought I would address the awesome single peeps in our church. In working with college students and singles for over a decade…here are six signs you can use to see whether or not your relationship may be in trouble.
#1 - You Are Not Spiritually Compatible.
I hear it all the time, “But Perry, I know he/she is not a Christian, but dating me will change that.” Let me be very clear…God did call us to be missionaries, but not on the dating field. He is very clear in His Word that Christians and non-Christians should not date (II Corinthians 6:14-15). And trust me, this always leads to problems down the road—always!
AND…you are NOT the Holy Spirit—He changes people—and not through dating. “But Perry, I know this one couple and…” Yes, I know…you know a success story or two, trust me—I know MANY more stories that didn’t turn out so good.
One more thing on this—even among Christians you need to decide if you are spiritually compatible if the relationship gets serious. This will require some serious conversations and a serious seeking of Scripture on a personal level to really own what you believe and why. (I Peter 3:15)
#2 - You Have To Continually Defend The Relationship—Especially To Those Who Love You.
They say love is blind…and I would say that is just about right in many instances I have seen. He/she begins dating someone and, after a few dates the term “reasonable decision” is thrown out the window. People come to you, confront you…but you just won’t hear it because you are determined that this is THE one. (If you say that with everyone you date—face it—you have issues!!!)
The Bible says in Proverbs 27:6 that wounds from a friend can be trusted. So, ask yourself, if your friends who love you keep expressing concern should you ignore it—OR—at least be willing to lay the relationship before the Lord to just see if He might be trying to communicate to you through your friends.
#3 - PDA
Couples who make out in public make me want to throw up! Lucretia and I were on an airplane once and the couple in front of us in their 40’s were on some sort of romantic fling. After the plane took off they reclined their seats (which REALLY cramped me) and then began a make out session. FOLKS—I SAW TONGUE! It was SICK!
It is great when couples affirm their love for one another publicly; however, is putting your hands in each others back pockets really that necessary?
PDA usually is prevalent when there is an extremely insecure person (or people) in the relationship. They think that by showing the world that they are practically obsessed with one another that somehow that will solidify the relationship—when it actually causes it to erode because a solid relationship is built on trust—and if trust is not present when two people are with one another—how can it be present with they are apart. (PDA guys usually tend to be overly possessive as well…and PDA girls…like it or not, have a reputation because people think, “If that is what she does in public—what happens in private?)
My advice—go with Ephesians 5:3 on this one!
#4 - Sex IS The Relationship
If you want to create insecurity, guilt, mistrust and confusion in a relationship…then by all means, have sex. BUT if you want the I Corinthians 13 kind of relationship that honors God then sex MUST be avoided…no matter what.
I have seen couples who really do love Jesus choose to have sex, thus creating a tension in their relationship with God and one another. (I almost said, “fall into the sex trap;” however, people do not trip, fall and accidentally have sex on the way down (oops, sorry about that)...it is a choice.) AND as a result of this choice the relationship no longer becomes about getting to know one another—it becomes about how the couple can manipulate time and circumstances and even other people so that they can get alone to have sex.
Sex is a STRONG temptation! But I Corinthians 10:13 promises us we can handle that temptation. I know it’s tough to not have sex before marriage, trust me, Lucretia and I dated for almost four years before getting married!!! BUT…we went into marriage with no regrets in regards to our relationship with one another—it wasn’t always easy…but it was the RIGHT thing to do.
#5 - You Hope That Marriage Will Change The Person.
I say if often around here—marriage is a magnifier…if he/she is that way before marriage then they will REALLY be that way afterwards.
When you decide to get married you need to have an “as is” attitude—that meaning that you are willing to marry that person “as is,” and if that person NEVER changes a thing that you will be committed to loving them for the rest of your life.
Too often couples go into a relationship thinking that, once married, things will change…and that is NOT the case. I can honestly say that I spent a lot of time thinking about this before asking ‘Cretia to marry me…I married an awesome woman, but I didn’t change her into one—she was already awesome before EVER marrying me!
#6 - You Find Yourself Trying To Bargain With God.
If you are currently in a relationship and, every time you pray and sincerely seek the Lord about it you just KNOW it isn’t right—then—it isn’t right.
I remember a relationship I was in once that I knew I shouldn’t be in…but could not figure out why. She was a great girl, loved Jesus and we enjoyed one another’s company—but something just was not right.
Finally I began to bargain with God and say things like, “OK God, if I feel this way in two weeks then I will end it.” Two weeks later, same feeling…so I would say, “OK, what I meant to say was if I REALLY feel this way and a green monkey appears to me the next time I go to Wal Mart…”
Get the picture?
If God says it’s wrong then He’s not changing His mind. He’s never had to say “oops” or “My bad” in regards to anything. The reason I held on to the relationship I knew I didn’t need to be in was because of my personal struggle with insecurity. I finally obeyed the Lord and made the painful decision to trust Him instead of the dating deal…and through that experience He led me to establish a solid friendship with and eventually marry the most awesome and incredible woman on the planet.
God is TOTALLY into relationships…marriage was HIS idea—AND—when dating and marriage are done in HIS ways…things just work.
That’s all on the subject for now—any relationship questions you would like to see me try to tackle on this site?