Here are 5 subtle things that will happen when God is actually protecting you from a bad relationship.
1. A Non-Answer to Your Relationship Question About Someone that Slowly Causes You to Lose the Possibility of Dating This Person Is Often a Sign God Was Protecting You from a Bad Relationship
One common experience for many Christians who are wondering about a certain person that they are interested in is that they will ask God about this person but it does not seem they get an answer one way or the other. This can be frustrating because for a period of time you will just not know if you and this person you are interested in will progress one day or not.
But then, because of the lack of activity, over time what often happens is that this person and you just drift a part. Perhaps they just stop attending a group you both were going to and now you have no idea where they are. Perhaps because of COVID you stopped seeing this person at church and now you aren’t even sure if they still go to your church. Or perhaps you just watched someone from afar but then realize they are now in a new relationship with someone else. All of this can make you feel like you missed your opportunity.
While inactivity can be a negative sometimes, when God gives you a non-answer that causes you and this person to drift a part, oftentimes that is your answer. This can actually be God’s subtle way of protecting you from a relationship he did not want you in. Even in the smallest details of our lives, we can trust the Lord because he has seen the end from the beginning.
As Psalm 139:16 explains, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
2. If Your Best Efforts to Get to Know Someone Seem to Keep Falling Flat, Sometimes This Is Just the Lord Protecting You from a Relationship that Would Turn Bad
If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you know I believe that being proactive is usually much better than doing nothing when it comes to relationships. While I do believe you should seek the Lord’s wisdom and wait when God tells you to wait, I also believe God often speaks through what happens once we do make a move towards something or someone we want.
For example, I believe it is wise to actively try to get to know someone that you are interested in. Just waiting for that other person to interact with you is giving away your own responsibility for your own life. But this does not mean that if you try to get to know someone that it will work. Many times, no matter how hard you try, your efforts will just keep falling flat. It can feel like there is just a wall between you and this person and for whatever reason you can’t get past it.
Some people end up feeling like a failure when this happens as though the reason there is this wall is because they were doing something wrong. I believe that is a mistake. Sometimes God will just prevent a connection from sparking between you and this person because he is protecting you from a relationship he does not want for you.
So while it is wise to try to connect with someone that you are interested in, it’s also wise to accept that when it’s just not happening this could be God giving you a loving “no” for your own good.
As Proverbs 16:9 explains, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
3. If Your Internal Hope About This Person Always Surpasses Your Internal Excitement When You Are Actually with This Person, This Is Often a Sign God Is Protecting You from a Bad Relationship
Everyone seems normal until you get to know them. While that phrase is kind of funny, there is real truth to it as well.
No one is exactly like you imagined them to be before you really got to know them. While first impressions are important and while there should be consistency between who someone portrays themselves to be compared to who they are behind closed doors, no one will ever be exactly like you imagined them to be when you first see them but don’t really know them that well yet.
In a healthy relationship, this is also a part of the joy of getting to know someone. It is a pleasure to get to know someone and learn all the things you did not know about them. But we must also be honest with ourselves and not let our former hopes for a relationship dictate the reality of a relationship either.
Sometimes your hope for a relationship far exceeds your internal excitement when you are actually with this person and getting to know them. When God wants you with someone, the reverse will actually take place. This person will be different than you imagined them to be, but this will make you like them more and not less. But when God does not want you with someone, oftentimes he will show you this by pointing out your lack of excitement about this person as you learn new things about them.
Listen for the Lord’s leading and be honest about the feelings he’s giving you for someone. Your lack of excitement for this person might just be the Lord’s protection. As Psalm 32:8 teaches, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
4. If You Sense That This Person’s Qualities Do Not Compliment the Call You Believe God Has Placed on You, This Is Often a Subtle Sign God Is Protecting You from a Bad Relationship
When we hear the term “bad relationship,” it’s easy to imagine dramatic thinks like a toxic marriage, abusive behavior, or someone cheating on you. While those types of issues certainly would create a bad relationship, it’s also possible for two godly people to just be a bad pair for each other, thus creating a “bad relationship” of a different type.
For example, perhaps a Christian single man and Christian single woman both truly love God, both have similar beliefs, and both attend the same church. They start out by mutually sensing a strong connection, so they start dating. But as they get to know each other, they also realize their personality traits are very conflicting and would make their future’s together very tough. Perhaps the young man is very extroverted and social and wants to be the head pastor of a church one day; but the young woman is very introverted and feels like throwing up in her mouth at the thought of having to constantly be around people in a church-plant environment. Perhaps she feels called to live a quiet life doing mission’s work in a third world country. This is just one hypothetical situation. The possibilities for a mismatch are endless.
The point is, it’s possible for two great catches to just not fit with each other. If you sense that someone’s personality or life goals are too misaligned with where you sense the Lord leading you, this could be a sign God is subtly protecting you from a bad match.
As Psalm 138:8 says, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”
5. If You Just Have a Bad Feeling Around Someone, This Could Be God Protecting You from a Bad Relationship
This one is very subjective and should be used cautiously. But I do believe your feelings are a much better gauge when your feelings are negative towards someone rather than positive. What I mean is that the opposite of this point would not be true. In other words, just because you have a good feeling around someone does not mean that God is telling you that you and this person would form a good relationship together.
A good feeling is necessary to proceed with someone, but a good feeling is not enough to be a clear sign that God is telling you to proceed forward with someone. You also need to observe their actions to see if they are living biblically.
But let’s say this person seems to have great qualities and is showing interest in you but you still just have a bad feeling about this person for some reason. In a situation like this, I would say the wise thing to do is to just let it go and move on. Why? Because romantic relationships are an option in the Bible for those who want them and not a command. So if you internally just have a bad vibe about someone for whatever reason, this doesn’t automatically mean this truly is the Holy Spirit. Your bad feeling could be from the Holy Spirit given as a warning about this person, or it could just be your personal preferences speaking to you.
But either way, your bad feeling about this person does mean that for whatever reason you personally are not interested in this person, and you should not ignore how you feel about this person because biblically romance is only an option if you want it. So whether your bad feeling about this person is the Holy Spirit or just your personal preference, either way, this is a sign you should not proceed with this person.
Submit to God and he will lead you, as Romans 12:2 teaches us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”