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How to Spot a Bad Relationship


How do I spot a bad relationship?

Shayna Answers:

Dear Reader, Unfortunately, we don’t tend to spot bad relationships until we’re already in them. After all, most of us don’t intentionally put ourselves in situations in which we’ll get hurt.

In some cases, the person you’re dating can change so much from the time you meet them, that predicting later behaviors is often impossible. In other cases, however, there are very particular warning signs. Sometimes we don’t notice, or worse, we choose to ignore them.

The first warning sign is how your boyfriend or girlfriend treats others. It sounds silly, but if a guy or girl is mean or hurtful to people who may not be in their social circle or in their dating “league,” take a number, my friend. Your turn is coming. We all start out treating our significant other with more love and care than we would give to our regular friends. Once the initial infatuation fades, how-ever, we witness his or her real character!

Second, look at the kind of activities your potential mate is involved in. Are they the sort of activities you approve of or are engaged in yourself? I’m not suggesting “activities” only like smoking, drinking, vandalism, and other things that are bad news.

If your significant other is involved in extracurricular activities that you don’t like or approve of, ask yourself if this is something that you can handle. For example, would you be OK with dating the president of the Young Republicans if your family is die-hard Democrat or vice versa? Would you mind dating the founder and current president of the Evolutionary Biology Club? If you recognize that you would have a problem with something a potential mate is doing now, it’ll get worse when you start a relationship with them. Pay attention to little things, such as how long it takes him or her to return a phone call or a text message. Do they seem too busy? Not ambitious enough? The cliché about “what you see is what you get” is completely true. Don’t expect someone to change radically when they start dating you.

Finally, evaluate your potential boyfriend or girlfriend’s relationship with God. Is he or she attending church simply because of parental pressure? Or does this person really know God? This is the most important thing for you to consider, because this will influence everything else we’ve already talked about.

See, once we know God, our attitude about everything around us immediately changes. Your potential significant other will be more likely to make the same life decisions that you are making if he or she is a Christian, and this will help to avoid some of the conflicts we mentioned before.

More important, however, your significant other will have a Godly view of how your relationship should function and be more willing to work toward it even when things are bad. Identifying potential sources of conflict are important, but don’t forget that you play an equal role in having a good relationship. Make the effort to treat your significant other the way that you expect to be treated, and make sure that you’re praying for God’s guidance every step of the way.

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