5 Signs Your Romantic Relationship
Isn’t All That You Think It Is
So you like this guy. But you’re wondering if he’s the right man for you. If you have doubts, listen to your gut. And just in case your gut is mumbling, here are five signs that your current romantic relationship isn’t right for you.
1. He’s married (even though he talks about getting a divorce).
A man who has serious marital problems won’t experience them get any better by being in a relationship with you. I hope that doesn’t sound harsh.
But think of it like this.
If he’s telling you how difficult his marriage is and relies on you for hugs and cuddles and kisses, late night texts and secret meetings, a shoulder to cry on, and an eventual sexual encounter, he is CREATING more relationship trouble for himself, not solving it.
Now the problems in his marriage (if you can even believe that he has them as bad as he says he does) have just been made more complicated by an adulterous affair with you.
I know it’s an unpopular notion, but sex with a married man is wrong. The Bible is very clear on the subject:
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Hebrews 13:4, New International Version)
Don’t give him your body.
“He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.” (Proverbs 6:32)
Leave that man alone.
2. His gifts are over the top.
- Gigantic balloons
- Oversized stuffed animals
- Fancy dinners and tickets to plays
- Flowers (especially, if the flower delivery comes at time when he thinks your friends will see the delivery and be impressed by his romantic gesture)
As special as it is to receive such gifts, it doesn’t take any special commitment to give them.
If any man has ever seen a single scene from a romantic comedy, read a random chapter from a romance novel, or watched a Hallmark commercial on TV, then he knows that women are supposed to swoon over such expressions of affection. Don’t swoon.
At the very least, all of these purchases bring into question how wise this man is with money. In the long run, there’s nothing romantic about overspending.
At the very worst, the over-the-top gift giving suggests a number of problems with this man.
- He could be more of a fan of romance itself than he is of you as a person.
- He needs to impress you and your friends in order to feel good about himself.
- He has little or no depth and can only mimic what he has seen other men do.
- He’s trying to win you over in order to take advantage of you later.
Watch his actions not his gifts.
In between each gift, do his actions match what his purchases suggest? Is he genuinely kind (not just “nice”)? Is he patient? Does he really listen to you and respect your perspective?
Are you able to have meaningful conversations during which you learn about his character? And then do you see those character traits actually play out in the way he treats you and others?
You are special. Believe me when I say that. And receiving sweet gifts and being taken to nice places are delightful experiences. But a steady stream of that kind of behavior isn’t sustainable as a regular form of interacting with a potential mate.
Don’t stay with a man just because he gives good gifts.
3. You argue with your friends when they try to warn you about him.
Let’s face it. The people around us see things going on with us before we see it ourselves. You know it’s true, because you’ve seen things in your friends long before they saw any of it within themselves.
So if your friends are telling you that this guy is no good. Listen. If family members tell you the same thing, don’t get defensive. Listen to them. If you hear negative stories about this man from people who aren’t friends or family, pay attention to that, too.
Ok, you might be thinking, “But, Elizabeth Anne, it’s not fair not to give this guy a chance. Just because everyone else says these terrible things about him, doesn’t mean they are true.”
I beg to differ.
And I don’t disagree with you just because of my experiences or my opinions. I disagree based on what God says about it.
First, God says that a person is known by the way he acts.
“Even a young man is known by his actions—if his behavior is pure and upright.” (Proverbs 20:11, Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Then, people talk about how that person acts.
“He was well spoken of by the brothers . . . “ (Acts 16:2, English Standard Version)
Next, we are responsible not to lie to ourselves about what we hear others saying.
“But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the LORD and serve and worship other gods.” (Deuteronomy 11:16, New Living Translation)
Or else, we will bring trouble on ourselves.
“Keep company with the wise and you will become wise. If you make friends with stupid people, you will be ruined.” (Proverbs 13:20, Good News Translation)
I can’t say it more clearly than that last Bible verse.
4. He tells you himself that others don’t get along with him.
Now, I can’t imagine any man telling you just how awful he is in his relationships with other people, but if you listen closely, he’ll reveal the truth.
- Does he complain about all or most of his coworkers?
- Does he laugh at or judge his friends when he tells you about them?
- Does he point out how he doesn’t get along with anyone in his family?
Who is the one person involved in all of those relationships? Him!
If he can’t get along with anyone other than you, don’t think yourself special. Think of him as having some serious relational problems.
In fact, if his other relationships with people he has known a lot longer than he has known you are that much of a problem for him, it’s a good sign that he is showing you an untrue version of himself that won’t last very long.
5. He’s a little too proud of himself.
A confident man is an attractive man. Absolutely. But if he is more excited about himself than anything else, do yourself a favor and walk away.
I knew a guy once who literally could not walk by a reflective surface without slowing down to take a look at himself. Sometimes, he even commented on how much he admired what he saw. Handsome men know they are handsome, but don’t waste your time on one who keeps pointing it out.
Intelligence is a wonderful quality in a man, but no one likes a know-it-all. If you find yourself stopping before you speak because you’re afraid he might think you sound dumb, do the smart thing and drop him.
Cars are important to some guys. Others like electronics. Still others, read tons of books, watch lots of movies, or collect unusual things. It’s good for a man to have hobbies, as long as those hobbies are right-sized.
If you find that he spends more money on his hobbies than anything else, his priorities are off balance. If you’re bored with his conversation about his interests, then he’s not capable of talking broadly about lots of subjects and may not be capable of showing a real interest in you.
You shouldn’t be the center of his universe, but you don’t want to be knocked out of orbit by his vanity, intellect, or hobbies.
Romance can be very exciting. But if the relationship isn’t right, the excitement will soon change to disappointment. You owe it to yourself to be honest about what’s going.
You may like him or his gifts, but don’t sin with a married man. Don’t argue with people who see what you refuse to admit. Don’t let a self-centered man take up your time. And don’t be the stand alone person who can get along with him.
None of these qualities qualifies as genuine romance.