We’re all too familiar with the saying, “Hindsight is always 20/20.” This is especially true when it comes to dating. No one is perfect; we all have problems. But if you’re dating and looking to find the right person to marry, there are some red-flag people you should avoid dating and—especially—marrying.
1. They Are Too Good to Be True.
Here are some clues: They put on an act, exaggerate their positives, lie to cover up anything negative about themselves, resist admitting their failures, and express their feelings of love and devotion too soon. Date people who show you they are honest and real; make sure you exhibit these qualities, too.
2. They Consume Vast Quantities of Something.
Avoid dating anyone trapped in addiction. “Any activity, substance, object, or behavior that is a controlling focus of a person’s life can be an addiction,” says Steve Arterburn. If he or she struggles and is unwilling to get help while you’re dating, they’ll probably struggle after you get married.
3. They Always Have to Get Their Way.
If you’re dating someone who is demanding, angry, controlling, and always has to get their way, be careful. It’s a red flag that you will be treated poorly. Date people who treat you as an equal, affirm you for who you are, and accept your input without criticism.
4. They Worship Themselves.
Does the person you’re dating believe they’re the center of the universe and that everyone should orbit around them? If so, it won’t take you long to recognize that your relationship is all about their needs and wants—not yours. You need someone who gives; not someone who just takes.
5. They Are a Spiritual Dud.
If you put God first in your life, it’s a big mistake to be in a committed relationship with someone who is not growing spiritually as you are. The Bible calls this being “unequally yoked” (2 Cor. 6:14, KJV). It is much better to date—and eventually marry—someone who will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.
6. They Are Tangled in Apron Strings.
People who can’t let go of their parents are red-flag people because they won’t have much room for you in their lives. As far back as the Garden of Eden, God gave instructions on the first marriage. He said, “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).
7. They Have Mommy or Daddy Issues.
Having issues with our parents is common, but we have to get over them. Stephen Arterburn puts it this way, “It’s your job to get over your mom or dad.” Avoid dating anyone who is looking for you to parent them. Instead, seek someone who has healed from their past issues and has a lot to bring to the table.
8. They Are a Ticking Time Bomb.
We all struggle with anger from time to time. But someone who can’t control their anger is a red-flag person, and their anger could blow up in your face. A ticking time bomb is anyone who is physically or verbally abusive. Date someone who can forgive others, themselves, and you.
9. They Have Off-The-Chart Fears.
People dominated by fear can profoundly hurt your relationship and future marriage. Unhealthy fears can manifest as a fear of not being loved, fear of failure, fear of what people think about them, and fear of germs or other paranoias like that. Look for a person who is secure, confident, and fully trusts the Lord.
10. They Don’t Connect on an Emotional Level.
Opening up to someone you are dating about your emotions and having them be vulnerable with you sounds scary, but it’s an important part of a close relationship. If they are emotionally unavailable, this is a red flag. You need someone that can connect with you emotionally.
If you are struggling with your dating life and tired of dating unhealthy people, get a copy of Steve Arterburn’s book, Is This the One? Call 800-NEW-LIFE to order this book; we can also help you find a licensed counselor in your area who can help you with dating!