Imagine you’re at an event and every time you walk up to someone their face changes, (and not in a good way). This happens a few more times and you start thinking maybe something is wrong with your appearance. You head over to the bathroom and realize you have a huge stain on your shirt. Embarrassing, right?!?
It’s easy to spot the stain on someone else’s shirt than it is on our own. I started off the process of writing this article by asking different groups of people who are mostly single, in a “situationship” or dating what would be red flags for them if they were getting to know someone in one of these scenarios.
The responses varied, and some were very hilarious. “If they chew loudly, I just can’t do it”, “If they slurp their drink, I will have to call it a day (hot drinks were an exception)”, “I can’t date someone with no sense of style, he didn’t even have a fade” someone said, lol! Brother’s your haircut could be a deal breaker, LOL! There was a whole lot more, but I’ll leave it for now. These are obviously things that can be easily changed and if this is the reason you would stop seeing someone, it may be that you just don’t like them.
Out of the responses I got some of the answers really stuck out and made me wonder if I’m giving off red flags when I meet someone new. It’s easy to point out someone’s flaws, but a lot harder to so see our own. Matthew 7:1-5 (MSG) says, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbour’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbour.”
I’ve narrowed down the list to 9 questions we should ask ourselves that may be red flags to a potential partner;
1. How is my relationship with God? Am I really a Christian or is it something I’m saying to broaden my dating pool? Is my life glorifying God? Our walk with God is a personal journey and should be something we work on every day.
2. Am I Bruce Banner in public, but turn into the Hulk when I’m alone? Is the presentation of myself authentic and honest? – sometimes we put on persona’s when we are around someone we like. We project what we think they are looking for in a potential partner, only for them to later realize that “they were scammed”. Allow people to see the real you, that’s the best thing about you.
3. Am I loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and do I have self-control? These should be basic, but a lot of times we may miss the basics.
4. What does my relationship with money look like? Am I working towards being financially stable? A lot of the singles mentioned that they weren’t comfortable being with someone who isn’t a good steward of their money. According to statistics, one of the top causes of breakdowns in marriage is finances. So, let’s start saving and do better with our money.
5. Do I keep my word, or am I making promises that I don’t intend on keeping? One of the biggest frustrations, particularly from the ladies was meeting guys who oversell themselves. Prematurely making declarations and commitments before you are sure that this is the person you want to be with.
6. Who is in my circle of friends? Are your friends a good influence on your life. It can be said that your friends reflect who you are. Or are you on the opposite end of that, “I don’t have any friends, I’m okay being on my own”, “I like being alone”. Fellowship with other Christians is important, it creates room for accountability and healthy relationships.
7. Am I living a purposeful life? Am I intentionally making plans towards achieving my goals, helping others, and being a better member of my family and community?
8. Am I always in a rush? It’s only been 5 days and you’ve already started calling them “babe”. Take time to get to know a person, become their friend. This will help avoid a lot of heart break
9. Am I person of integrity? Do I live my own truth or am I saying one thing and doing another.
Andy Stanley says, “become the person the person you’re looking for is looking for…” So before we start noticing the red flags in others, let’s take a closer look at ourselves, and work on being better versions of ourselves.