A number of Christians are now searching for love online by using dating apps and websites. Just like in the regular dating scene, there’s online behavior that you should recognize as red flags for the future. Knowing what to look for is key to noticing them before it’s too late.
No one likes to waste their time or energy, and that’s why we’ve compiled a few red flags to look for online. It’s best to avoid the people exhibiting them because they’re recognizable signs of larger problems. The red flags in this article are specific to a person’s online dating profile and their behavior towards you.
Red Flags for Online Dating Profiles
Red flags are warning signs that indicate an underlying problem beneath the surface of the behavior itself. Ultimately, as Christians, we recognize these types of problems to be rooted in spiritual matters. Sometimes they resolve themselves over time through personal maturity and sanctification by the Holy Spirit, but they often go uncorrected and continue to affect future relationships.
With that in mind, we want to arm you with a handful of red flags to watch out for when using online dating. They’re able to be noticed by observing the details of their dating profile and their behavior towards you in conversation. Choosing to ignore these red flags is setting yourself up for failure and eventual heartbreak, but heeding these warning signs will help you discern the Christian that’s right for you!
Looking for Trouble
Almost all dating apps and websites will have a profile section where people can select what type of relationship they’re looking for in a partner. The options range from “casual hookups” all the way to “marriage.” Depending on their answer to this question, it might be a red flag.
As a Christian, you’re looking for the people who answer in one of two ways: Marriage and Relationship (long-term, not short-term). Sometimes people can think “marriage” sounds a bit too desperate and opt for “relationship” as a more palatable option in the eyes of others. Nevertheless, these are the only two types of people to consider pursuing romantically.
Any other type of answer to this prompt is a red flag. Someone desiring a casual encounter or a hookup isn’t taking you seriously, and they’re inviting you to be sexually immoral through rebelling against what God has outlined as appropriate Christian behavior. Someone looking for a short-term relationship smells of having commitment issues, and someone who doesn’t know what they’re looking for isn’t ready to be in a dating relationship of any sort until they figure out their priorities.
You can get great insight into the character of a person by what they are and aren’t willing to post photos of themselves doing. As a Christian, you should be looking at their photos for more than just scoping out their physical appearance and attractiveness. Their photos are windows into the world of what they value as acceptable behavior.
We want you to be on guard for photos that indicate anti-Christian behavior. Just because someone claims to be a Christian doesn’t mean they are acting as a Christian should. Remember, a good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit (Matthew 7:15-21).
As Bible-believing Christians, we understand drunkenness to be wrong (1Corinthians 6:10). There are plenty of ways to drink responsibly and not become drunk, so don’t mistake this red flag as us telling you drinking is sinful. However, a photo of someone doing a kegstand at a party is hardly called responsible drinking but easily called drunken behavior.
That last example is stereotyped for the male audience, but females aren’t exempt from creating their own examples; they just tend to hide it better. Photos of comically oversized wine glasses that hold entire bottles of wine (sometimes multiple bottles) subconsciously promote drunken behavior. Be mindful about what kind of photos you post for the world to see and discern the photos of others before making a decision to romantically invest in them.
Bad Conversation Starters
Everyone likes a witty pickup line. Even cheesy pickups lines can be good conversation starters. That’s not the type of “bad” that we’re talking about here. You want to be on guard for conversation starters that reveal evil intentions.
For example, it should be recognized as a red flag when someone attempts to start a conversation with you by making an overtly sexual comment. That’s not respectful or normal behavior, and from a Biblical perspective, it’s morally wrong to do. You can be certain this person isn’t taking their Christian faith seriously.
Another example involves giving out personal information before getting to know each other better. Simply because you matched with someone doesn’t mean they should start the conversation by asking for your phone number. Everyone knows it takes an appropriate amount of time to feel comfortable enough with someone before giving them your personal information. Additionally, this type of behavior stinks of a scam; always be careful who you trust with your information.
An angry person is someone to avoid at all costs. Anger is catastrophic to the atmosphere of romance, and your relationship can eventually feel like a prison. Over the course of enough time, a feeling of dread will begin to surround you anytime you’re near that person.
The best way to spot an angry person online is through their responses to your own. This type of person will become overly upset if you don’t want to do what they suggested or if you didn’t respond to them in a certain way. Their desire to control all aspects of the relationship turns into anger when they don’t get their way.
Don’t continue talking to people exhibiting this kind of behavior. Consider yourself lucky to have noticed the warning sign and move on before it’s too late. If you allow yourself to with someone who is consistently angry behavior, their anger may eventually turn into violence. It’s not a chance worth taking.