Christian Dating: Red Flags for New Relationships

New dating relationships are exciting and full of hope for the future. They’re marked by an early stage, often called the “honeymoon” phase. During this period of time, it’s hard for either partner to do any wrong in the eyes of the other.

Unfortunately, like most things, these euphoric feelings will come to an end at some point. Your more rational senses will resume their function as the priority mode, and you might start perceiving strange behavior from your significant other after it happens. No, they haven’t changed; you’re just noticing red flags that you were love-blind to seeing previously.

Christians aren’t immune to overlooking red flags during the honeymoon phase of the relationship. Therefore, it’s wise to search for a way to mitigate that factor as much as possible in order to avoid future heartbreak. We hope to help you by providing a list of red flags to look out for during the honeymoon phase of a relationship with a new person.

Pathway to a storm cloud over a field

Red Flags for New Romances

Red flags signify an underlying issue that will likely become a problem later in the relationship. In the context of Christian dating, red flags usually have an element of spiritual brokenness to them. They indicate a deeper flaw of some sort. 

Red flags don’t always manifest themselves on the first or second date. It can take a period of time and multiple dates before they start becoming noticeable. Below are some red flags that can develop over the course of a new romance.

Emotional Dependency

It’s nice to be wanted by your significant other. It might even feel good to hear that you’re needed by them, but no one completes another person. This red flag warns about people who are emotionally dependent on their partners.

Contrary to popular culture, there’s no such thing as a romantic soulmate. Theologically speaking, Jesus is our only soulmate. He is supposed to be the person that completes us, not our husband/wife. This truth is amplified when it comes to dating relationships, and if your partner needs you in order to feel secure, they have a problem with emotional dependency. 

Ultimately, these people are struggling with an identity crisis. They need constant validation from others to feel like they are valued, and as their partner, you are functioning as the primary source of it. However, we should be deriving our value from what God says about us and not what other people say about us. 

A person with a healthy Christian lifestyle won’t let their emotions be overly affected by what others say [or don’t say] about them. Dating someone like this will definitely be taxing and a drain over the long-term course of the relationship. However, a proper realignment of their spiritual understandings will help to remedy this red flag.

Testing Boundaries

Nothing is more frustrating than giving someone rules only to have them broken by the person you gave them to. The story of the Bible is a great example of this red flag in action. God gave us rules to respect and abide by, but humanity constantly tests His boundaries by stepping over the line.

People get a taste of that feeling when their own personal boundaries are tested by a romantic partner. The feeling intensifies over the course of repeated infractions, especially after expressing the expectations clearly and multiple times. The inevitable result of these actions is feeling disrespected, and the constant pressure might lead to transgression of the moral boundaries in the relationship.

The physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries of a romantic relationship are outlined by God and should be instituted by the couple. Someone that habitually tests these boundaries is disrespecting both you and God. Christians should avoid these types of people because these patterns of behavior influence spiritual compromise in their personal life.

Manipulative Behavior

Manipulation is forcing someone to do something against their will by means of passive-aggressive behavior. Discouragement, strife, conflict, dread, and discomfort are some of the characteristics associated with the results of manipulative behavior. By its very design, it’s a hard thing to spot, and that’s especially true if you aren’t looking for it or don’t expect it from that person.

A person that consistently gets their way every time is likely skilled in manipulation, and people can be manipulated in many different ways. They typically use words to paint your desires as those of a bad person, even for something trivial like where to eat. They could orchestrate fake events to garner sympathy from you. They might even resort to unconfirmable lies (gaslighting) to make you believe something that furthers their agenda.

Deception is the name of the game when it comes to manipulation. Deception is spiritual sleight of hand and the favorite trick of a manipulator. It can leave you feeling defeated, upset, exhausted, or outright questioning your sanity.

Every healthy romance fits within the dynamic of a give-and-take relationship. No one should be getting their way 100% of the time, and no one should feel like they’ve “lost yet again” if they don’t get their way. Relationships should foster feelings of mutual happiness with one another, but If you recognize like every decision between you all has a win-or-lose feeling attached to the result, there’s a good chance you’re incompatible or being manipulated.

Lack of Privacy

Everyone needs a bit of privacy, even with those they’re closest around. We instinctively know this is true and apply it to certain areas of life like bathroom etiquette. But there’s cause for concern when your partner doesn’t give you any privacy at all.

Sometimes, they are searching within you for the fault that resides within them. Cheating on someone is an excellent example that illustrates this point. An unfaithful partner might become intrusive to your privacy because they are looking for evidence of infidelity in you after something they did.

Other times, this is a sign of emotional insecurity. That would make this red flag similar to the first one on the list. Under this premise, their intrusion into your privacy is a side-effect of wanting to meet the desires of their emotional dependency.