Often when we talk about the notorious “red flags” of dating, we focus on the negative traits of a potential partner.
He doesn’t tell you you’re beautiful? Red flag! He follows some scandalous/promiscuous social media accounts? Red flag! He likes to seek attention by DMing/Snapping/texting other women? Red flag!
Amen to these red flags. They are definitely signaling problems that we should not ignore. But what about the red flags that we don’t address as much? The ones that… well… maybe we cling to ourselves?
Here are 3 Red Flags That Need a Little More Attention
The Online Dating Spree
While online dating may be the new “we met at bar”, this easy way to find a date is not all sunshine and flowers.
Now, quick disclaimer, before we explore the dark underbelly of online dating, it’s important to address that it’s not intrinsically evil by any stretch of the imagination. Many people have been terrifically successful at finding a wonderful spouse by swiping right. And that is absolutely fantastic!
So, where is the issue?
When we become so accustomed to seeking out people via apps, we are groomed to pick partners solely based on looks rather than values. We start to prioritize the superficial. In turn, we market our own bodies using online dating as a means to attract a mate. If we are not careful, we can end up devaluing our personhood and dignity by trying to ensure that we are eye-catching. Ever notice the crazy number of scantily clad photos that consume the virtual dating world?
The expediency of apps make affirmation and sexual interest cheap and easy… like online bargain shopping. I can place my order and pick it up later.
When we become overly consumed with online dating, we can easily enter into the territory of using people; forgetting that we are viewing individuals with hearts and souls who God calls to be saints — not eye candy to objectify.
Not Really Single
Many people today are incapable of being alone. As a result, people continuously seek out attention.
Not being able to truly be alone — having no one of the opposite sex to correspond with flirtatiously, meet up, hook up with, text good night, etc— is a HUGE red flag.
Essentially, if this is you, you’re a serial dater and this kind of flirtatious addiction builds an emotional dependency on just having somebody to make you feel good.
Many people are addicted to dating and cannot go for a period of time without seeing/talking to someone. We might think of this as “boy-crazy,” but it’s indicative of stunted growth and a huge lack of confidence in our own value — which comes from God, not the people we flirt with.
A romantic interest is not meant to be a crutch, but if we go through life constantly needing someone, we’re preparing ourselves for a future that lacks boundaries, has blurry judgment, and ultimately consumed with emotional baggage.
It’s not only good, but healthy, to go through seasons of solitude and embrace them with peace and trust. This is where we learn to stand on our own two feet, cultivate character, pursue our dreams, and make wonderful memories.
The happiest memories we cultivate before we meet our spouse are not going to be the times we spent with exes, flings, or fleeting crushes. Instead, we will remember the times we spent with good friends, growing as an individual, and becoming better than who we were yesterday. So take time and learn to love being alone; it will help prepare you so much more for the man of your dreams.
Let’s Get Physical
There isn’t anything wrong with going out on dates, in fact, they should be really good things! They should help us discern if we’re going to get married and WHO we are going to marry.
However, if we make a habit of going out on numerous dates, getting flirty, and a little physical with Joe, Tom, Harry, and the rest of them… red flag!
A kiss is NOT just a kiss. You share breath with a person— you share life. Your body releases bonding chemicals even in something so “minor” as a kiss. You’re more valuable than sharing that with anybody (and everybody for that matter).
If you give a part of yourself to someone, even if it’s just a “small” part, and then brush it aside saying it meant “nothing” you’re being dishonest and selfish.
Yes, our hyper sexualized anti-culture has made a many signs of love seem mild, banal, or meaningless, but in doing so we end up cheapening ourselves, destroying romance, and throwing out love for use. Your body isn’t meant to be used, it’s meant to be loved. And things that are loved are cherished, not thrown about carelessly.
The sooner we get physical with people, the easier it is for our judgment to get hazy. Then what? We lower our standards. Remember, when you are physical with someone, you bond with them on a deeper level, and that will make it harder for you to determine if you are with Mr. Right or Mr. Wrong.
Ultimately, any honest woman wants to respect the man she ends up with. She wants to love him for who he is and be confident in his character and discernment. So, instead of jumping the gun and making out, PAUSE! Take time to get to know WHO he is. If he is a good man, he’ll respect you all the more for it.
Most people who have managed to find good healthy marriages don’t regret waiting on the physical stuff, but do regret the times they became physical all too soon.
In the world of love, it’s important that we are brutally honest with ourselves.
It’s easy to put the blame on someone else or see the faults in others. However, if we cannot see faults in ourselves we are always going to have a skewed perspective. It requires a lot of humility and maturity, and there will be days we just want to be entitled and self-righteous. Yet, in the world of love there is no place for pride. So, instead let’s encounter our own red flags and trade them in for virtue, love, and grace. It’s really the most radical and cool thing you can do anyway.