Here are 5 things that will often happen when God does not want you to keep waiting for someone.
1. If This Person Is in a Relationship with Someone Else, This Is Usually a Sign God Does Not Want You to Wait for Them
One principle that will greatly help you know whether or not God wants you to wait for someone is that you must assess people and relationships for what they are right now and not by what they could be. Many people end up waiting for someone longer than they should because they are waiting for what “could” happen.
In other words, the wrong question to ask is, “If I keep waiting for this person, is it possible that this person and I will get into a relationship one day?” The answer to that question will always be yes. But it’s a flawed question. You should never base your life decisions upon what “could” happen because there is a small chance that any number of different things could happen. You could win the lottery, you could find gold in a river, and you could get struck by lightening the next time you walk out of your house. These types of things have truly happened to people. But while these things could happen, they are certainly very unlikely to happen and thus it would be very unwise to plan your life around them happening.
This same idea should be applied when you want to be with someone who is with someone else. Could they break up and then could you and this person get together? Yes, of course. That could happen. Has this type of thing happened before and could it happen to you? Yes, definitely. But is it likely? Definitely not.
If this person is with someone else, not only is this a clear sign this person wants to be with the person they are with, it is also a clear sign they have made the choice that they don’t want to be with you. While that might sting at first to accept, their actions leave no other interpretation. So even if they do break up with this other person, this other fact that they don’t want to be with you will still be true in almost all cases. And if this person is now married to someone else, this is for sure a clear sign you should not wait for them any longer.
As Exodus 20:17 commands, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
2. If This Person Has Asked You to Wait for Them More Than Once, This Is Probably a Sign that God Does Not Want You to Wait for Them
Sometimes two people want to be with each other but one of them has something going on in their life that makes them feel they cannot enter into this relationship right now. The two have openly expressed romantic interest in each other, but the one person is not ready to commit for some reason, and so they ask the other person to wait for them.
I would not consider this a red flag. At this point I would consider this a yellow flag. While I think it is best to not express romantic interest in someone if you are not willing to commit to them yet, I don’t think it needs to be an absolute dealbreaker. However, if that first time period of waiting passes but then this person asks you to wait for them for a second time, then I would see this as a red flag. This is no longer a request. This is now a trend. You now have a pattern of this person saying one thing but showing you something very different with their lack of commitment.
Proverbs 26:11 states, “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.” Perhaps someone is still growing in maturity and will ask you to wait and then commit to you after they deal with whatever they need to deal with. But if someone “repeats [this] folly” it’s more likely they are not just immature with relationships but are actually a fool just playing games with your heart.
So if someone asks you to wait for them more than once, I believe this is a good sign God is telling you to not wait for them.
3. If You Are Not in a Relationship with This Person Because of Their Current Spiritual Immaturity or Because of Character Issues, This Is Usually a Sign God Does Not Want You to Wait for This Person
As I said in point 1, in wisdom we must assess people on who they are right now and not by who they could be in the future. The Bible doesn’t say that you should assess people on the possibility of what they might be if the Spirit one day fills this person’s heart. God doesn’t want you to look at someone living in sin and then imagine what they would be like if they were not living in sin. This causes us to live in an alternative universe that only exists in our minds.
Again, could this person change, become a deeply mature Christian, and develop the characteristics of a godly spouse one day? Yes, of course they “could.” But God can save anyone, but none of us know who that will be. So the likelihood of this person you are waiting for to become more mature is like waiting for an imagery person to come and find you because at this point that person you are hoping for does not exist in reality.
If they are not spiritually mature enough to date you right now, this is the fact you must base your decision upon. Don’t make decisions for yourself based upon what someone could do. Base your choices for yourself based upon what they are doing, because that’s the only guarantee you have. In reality, this person could become even more ungodly than they are right now. What’s likely to occur is that this person just keeps walking down whatever path they are walking down right now because the best indicator of the future is the past.
2 Timothy 2:22 states, “. . . pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” It says to join with people who are calling on the Lord right now. It doesn’t say wait for people who might join with the Lord one day.
The point is, it’s not wise to wait for things that don’t currently exist. So if you are waiting for someone to turn into a completely different person than who they actually are right now, this is a good sign God does not want you to wait for this person.
4. If You Are Waiting for This Person Only Because You Had a Sense that This Is What God Wants, Oftentimes This Is a Sign God Does Not Want You to Wait for This Person
I’ve talked a lot about how to hear God speak to you in other articles, so I won’t review that content here. For more on how to know God’s will for your life, you can read my serious called How to Hear the Voice of God.
But one mistake that often happens to Christians is that they only rely on one means of hearing God. They feel like God says something to them in their heart but then they do not look for biblical and circumstantial evidence that would confirm they heard God accurately.
The danger in basing big decisions only on what you sense God saying is that this way of hearing God is easily manipulated by our own personal desires. Certainly it’s possible that the Holy Spirit gives you a clear word in your heart that encourages you to pursue the very thing you wanted to hear him say. I don’t think it is biblical to assume that God will always tell you to do the opposite of what you desire to do.
But the fact remains that we can mislead ourselves by imaging we heard God but in reality we just heard our own voice and desires. So if you have no other good evidence in your life to wait for this person other than the one fact that you feel God said this to you in the past, oftentimes this means God did not say that and you should not wait for this person anymore. Again, I do believe God speaks to us personally in our hearts (John 10:27), but I also believe he will confirm what he says through his word and the events happening in real life.
5. If Waiting Is No Longer Wise Based Upon the Discernment the Holy Spirit Is Giving You, This Is a Good Sign God Is Telling You Not to Wait for This Person
Each of you have a unique situation so it’s not possible to tell everyone the exact same thing. Some of you should keep waiting for someone and some of you should not keep waiting for this person. Therefore, what we all need to do is seek the Holy Spirit’s discernment.
One way the Holy Spirit gives us discernment is by giving us biblical wisdom. Biblical knowledge is knowing what God says in his word. Biblical wisdom is knowing how to apply that knowledge to your life. So here are some of my thoughts on why it is usually wiser to not wait for someone in most cases.
While it’s unlikely God puts you with this person if all the signs are telling you to move on, even if you were wrong and you moved on when God wanted you to keep waiting, God could still put you with this person even if you did decide to move on. He is able to correct this type of mistake and make his will clear.
On the other hand, if you do decide to wait for someone when God is telling you to move on, God cannot bless you with something new when you are still holding onto the hope of something he doesn’t have for you. When we refuse to walk into the future blessings God has for us, he does allow us to miss out if that is our choice.
I truly believe that if you are genuinely trying to follow God and your heart’s desire is to submit to his will for your life and relationships, you don’t need to worry about missing what he has for you. If you are living in sin you should worry about that. But if you are genuinely trying to please God and you decide it is the wise thing to do to stop waiting for this person, in the rare instance that you are making a mistake God will faithfully show you this later on and bring about his will for you.
The point is, not waiting for someone is usually the much wiser option when all the signs are telling you to move on. When in doubt, ask God for wisdom, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).