Nobody wants to be hurt or abused in a relationship. But how can you avoid getting into a bad relationship? Isn’t it impossible to really know how someone will treat you until you actually start dating them?
There is certainly always an element of risk when it comes to any relationship. We can’t control other people, therefore it is always possible that you could start dating something who will hurt you deeply. However, there are ways to minimize the risk of this occurring to you.
Here are 7 signs to look for if you want to avoid getting into a relationship with someone who will eventually mistreat you.
1. If This Person Appeared and Then Disappeared and Then Appeared Again in Your Life Before You Started Dating Them, Odds Are They Will Mistreat You
If they seem interested for a while only to then ghost you, but then they reappear again in your life and try to act like nothing happened, this is a big red flag. It’s okay if someone isn’t sure if they like you or not, but they should always treat you with respect. If they did this type of thing when you first met them, it is very likely they will act this way later in the relationship as well.
Look for someone who treats all people with transparency and respect, even people they are not romantically interested in. Look for someone who lives by the simple rule Jesus gave us, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them” (Luke 6:31).
2. If This Person Immaturely Expresses Interest in You, This Probably Means They Will Act Immature if You Date Them
Relationships are tricky and certainly everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to romance. Some people are not awkward at all and some people will be awkward for a while until they get to know you. This is not what I am referring to in this point.
I’m talking about people who express interest in you through childish, flirtatious, seductive, or even disrespectful ways. For example, if a guy tells you he likes you but his main focus is on your body and external beauty as he is expressing his interest, this is a sign of immaturity. Or if a woman is trying to get you to date her by flirting with other men to make you jealous, this is also a sign of immaturity.
The examples of this type of behavior are endless, but the point is that if someone is expressing interest in your through immature or inappropriate ways, do not give into the flattery. Everyone likes to be liked, but the way someone expresses interest says a lot about their character.
3. If Someone Is Cruel to Their Family or Friends, Do Not Date Them
How we treat strangers is not the best test for our character. The best indicator of a mature person is how they treat people close to them when they are not in the public eye.
If someone is cruel to the parents, their siblings, or their close friends, it is very likely they will treat you poorly if you get close to them too. They may be nice to you while you are just getting to know them, but if you start to date, eventually they will mistreat you like they are mistreating the other people in their lives.
You want to look for someone who obeys Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
4. If Someone Is Very Sarcastic and Cynical, Eventually They Will Act This Way Towards You
When people are uncomfortable in their own skin, one of the ways they make themselves feel better is by making fun of others. While there is certainly nothing wrong with lighthearted joking with friends, there is a big difference between someone who is severely sarcastic, cynical, and tears others down.
This type of dark humor and worldview might not bother you at first, but over time it will hurt you. Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) states, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
In dating, or any relationship for that matter, you want to be around people who use their words to bring life rather than death.
5. If Someone Is Deceitful in Small Ways, Eventually They Will Be Deceitful in Bigger and More Hurtful Ways
It’s a principle in life that what we do in small ways will be what we do in bigger ways as well. If you are willing to cheat your way through school, it’s very likely you will be willing to cheat on your taxes as an adult. If you are willing to be a bully in high school to achieve social status, it is very likely you will act unethically in the business world to get ahead as well.
In Luke 16:10 Jesus said, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” You must apply this truth to dating if you want to be in a healthy Christian relationship one day. Don’t ignore someone’s small forms of deceit because eventually they will hurt you in a much bigger way if you start to date them.
As Proverbs 26:18-19 (NIV) states, “Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, ‘I was only joking!’”
6. If Someone Wants You to Compromise on Your Convictions Before You Date Them, It Will Only Get Worse if You Do Start to Them One Day
People are not content to sin alone. Misery loves company. If you start hanging around someone who does not share the same biblical convictions as you, usually they will not just leave you alone and respect your beliefs. Usually they will want you to come down to their level. Proverbs 13:20 explains, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
If someone wants you to go out drinking even though you told them you don’t drink, if someone wants you to watch a movie you told them you prefer not to watch, or if someone wants you to engage in sexual activity with them even though you told them you don’t do that type of thing – these are all big signs that this person will mistreat you if you start to date them.
7. If Someone Is Disrespectful to God, You Should Not Date Them
There are no guarantees when it comes to dating. Sometimes there is just nothing you could have done to avoid the pain you experienced in a relationship. However, when we see that someone is disrespectful to God but then we date them anyway, we are acting very unwisely.
When God is not at the center of a relationship, it lacks the foundation all healthy relationships were meant to have.