I asked more than 50 singles in my Relationship 101 class what some of the red flags are in relationships.
I also asked what would be a “deal breaker” to end a relationship. I was surprised by the silence. They didn’t know how to answer the questions.
As I thought about this, I realized that when it comes to relationships and marriage, many singles don’t have much of a plan. They haven’t thought through a criteria or a “must have” and “can’t stand” list. We tend to go with the flow or follow our gut instincts.
I tried to jump-start the conversation by offering one thing that ought to be a deal breaker. If a guy uses any kind of hurtful physical force on a girl, it should be an immediate deal breaker for her. The class seemed to agree. But I didn’t get many others answers.
In the resource notebook I give to each participant, I have fairly extensive lists of positive and negative qualities to consider. I include “must have” and “Cant stand” lists also.
Most singles could likely give more detail about the kind of car they want than the kind of mate they’re looking for. Perhaps some are following the well-intentioned but misguided advice that “you’ll just know when it’s the right one.”
When you realize how little thought often goes into the marriage decision, it’s not too surprising that over 200,000 marriages a year end in divorce before reaching their third anniversary.
Let’s be more careful in the way we make one of the biggest and most life-changing decisions!
If you want a copy of the lists I offer, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a starter, consider this list:
20 Questions About “The Right One”
- Can you talk ?
- Can you play?
- Can you work together?
- Do you have mutual friends?
- Are you proud of each other?
- Are you intellectually on the same level?
- Do you have common interests?
- Do you share the same values – honesty, cleanliness, Church, roles?
- Do you feel comfortable with how you make decisions together?
- Do you help each other emotionally?
- Do you have absolute trust in each other?
- Are you more creative and energetic because of each other?
- Do you help each other grow closer to God?
- Can we accept and appreciate each other’s family?
- Do you have unresolved relationships in your past?
- Is sex under control?
- Have you spent enough time together?
- Have you fought and forgiven?
- Have you talked about each area of your future life?
- Have you had counseling?