Every romantic relationship begins with a first date. Each one is an invitation to experience something new with someone different. Though they may follow the same dating patterns (restaurant, movie, coffee, ice cream, etc.), they also open up new possibilities to be explored.
However, sometimes you’ve seen enough to know that you don’t want to explore those potential possibilities. That’s right, there are first dates that make you realize there’s not going to be a second one. Yet, all too often, it takes multiple dates to realize there shouldn’t have ever been another date at all.
What if there was a first date cheatsheet for Christians? What if you had a list of red flags to watch out for during the date? That way you’d know if a second date was a responsible idea. If only there was a website with an article about that sort of thing. If only…
Red Flags for the First Date
Red flags are behaviors that indicate something isn’t right. They’re often little things that signify bigger issues. Noticing them when they happen could save you trouble later down the road.
First dates are all about putting your best foot forward with someone new. Making a good impression is important, and people are typically on their best behavior during the first date. But if their conduct is full of red flags, you can be sure their behavior is anything but the best. Keep your eyes peeled for these red flags on the first date.
Phone on Table
This red flag is a public service announcement. It might even sting a little bit because it applies to so many people, and one of them could be you. If it does, then consider this a wake-up call (no pun intended).
When someone puts their phone on the table, they’re sending you a subconscious signal. It’s an indication that they’re open to something more important coming up during their date with you. There should be and definitely are things more important to them than you and vice versa, but the first date is not the time to put this fact on display to the world.
When a relationship develops, it’s normal to get more relaxed about this behavior [if you’re both okay with it]. Nevertheless, it sets the wrong tone and is bad manners for a first date.
Addicted to Phone
This red flag is almost born out of the previous one. If someone displays this type of behavior, they’ve definitely got the phone on the table when it’s not in their hand. They’re addicted to their phone.
You know exactly the type of people we’re talking about here. We’ve all encountered someone who makes more eye contact with their screen than with any other person around them. When someone does this on a first date, you should see it as a flashing neon sign that says “I’m selfish.”
Do yourself a favor and refuse to go on a second date with this kind of person. We wouldn’t blame you for leaving in the middle of the first date either. After all, they may never notice that you’ve left until after you’re long gone.
Likes to Gossip
This red flag is rooted in Biblical teachings. Proverbs 20:19 warns us that gossipers tell tales and reveal the secrets of others. The latter half of that verse instructs Christians not to even associate with those who gossip.
Gossipers aren’t hard to spot or hear. They’re people who want to talk about the private affairs of mutual acquaintances or become concerned about things like keeping up with the Kardashians. They feed off the latest rumors and controversy as a form of entertainment.
If you’re on a first date with someone who’s sharing a rumor they heard about someone, the chances are almost certain that they’ll do the exact same thing to you one day. Don’t say you weren’t warned when your reputation comes under attack from them behind your back. We suggest you close your lips and your heart around these people.
Behavior towards Staff
This red flag is concerned with loving your neighbor as yourself. No matter what you do for your first date, watch how your date acts towards the staff (if there is any). How a person treats waitresses, attendants, and other service-related employees is a telling characteristic.
You’re hoping to find somebody that treats everyone with the same dignity, no matter their job or social position. If they are rude or discourteous to the staff, you can be certain that they aren’t someone you’d want as a partner. People like this want to be seen as above others, and that mentality will eventually bleed into your relationship with them also.
Avoids Spiritual Conversation
This is one of the more troubling red flags for the first date. We recognize that blind dates and other unorthodox dating tactics might land you on a date with someone outside the faith. Nevertheless, this red flag presumes that you’re out on a date with another Christian.
Seeing as how Christianity is a mutual belief, it could become a natural point of your conversation while on the date. We always suggest asking if they go to church anywhere for a couple of reasons. If you don’t already go to the same place, this gives you an opportunity to invite them to yours and also opens the door for them to invite you to theirs.
However, there’s cause for concern if they don’t want to talk about Christianity when you bring it up. There could be many reasons for why this might happen, ranging from church-hurt to hypocrisy or anything in between. If this happens, change the subject to another facet of the Christian faith and see how they respond to that.
If the behavior doesn’t change after going through a few topics of Christian conversation, there is cause for concern. A Christian who doesn’t get excited or animated about any aspect of their faith has a spiritual problem. It’s worth noting because it’s an issue that will definitely reappear later in the relationship.