By: Stacey Pardoe
He drives an amazing car, smells like a dream, and the way he looks at you across the room does something to your heart you can’t really put into words. He’s funny, romantic, and attentive. You really hope he’s the one you’ve been waiting for, and the fact that all but two of your closest friends are now married only magnifies the hope.
There are a few red flags, but you brush them under the rug. Surely, he’ll mature out of his obsession with the weird games he plays on his phone at all hours of the day and night. Nobody’s perfect, right?
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It’s a conversation I’ve had with dozens of women over the course of a decade of mentoring younger women and doing life with close friends. I see it in her eyes: She desperately wants this guy to be the one for her. However, what I hear beneath the current of her hopeful optimism tells a different story. He’s not the one, and somebody needs to tell her.
Here are four signs the guy you’re dating isn’t the right one for you to marry. Even one check on the list ought to send you back to the drawing board of assessing whether this relationship is really worth pursuing. I know it hurts. I know it’s disappointing. But let’s avoid a lifetime of heartache and misery before it’s too late:
He’s unkind to his parents
This is a big one. Watch the way he treats his parents. If his mom is a part of his life, especially watch the way he treats her, the things he says about her, and his overall attitude toward her. If he’s not kind and gentle with his family, chances are his kindness will wear thin when you become and actual member of his immediate family by marrying him.
A man can put on a good show for months, even years. He can be tender, compassionate, and attentive for a long time. But when life gets hard, his true colors will come out. His true colors are on display for you in the way he treats his immediate family. If he’s not kind, he’s not a good candidate for life-long companion.
He’s rude to strangers
How does he treat the waitress at the restaurant? Does he hold the door for the person behind him? How does he react when someone cuts him off in traffic? If he doesn’t treat the waitress with honor and respect, cares only about his needs, and blows a gasket when slighted in traffic, it’s only a matter of time until he’s frustrated with you and acts the same way.
He doesn’t sweep you off your feet
His inability to communicate his feelings might be because he’s not sure about you. He’s trying to figure out if you’re the one for him. In his calculating, sweeping you off your feet isn’t a part of his plan. While everyone has the right to think through whether or not a partner could become a life-long partner, it’s important for a man to pursue a woman. Call me old fashioned, but time and time again, I talk with women who aren’t sure just where their potential suitors stand.
If he’s not making it a point to romance you, tell you how he feels, and sweep you off your feet, he’s probably not committed to you. If you’re not committed to him, this is all ok, but if you’re looking for a long-term companion, the guy you can’t quite read needs to get over his indecision quickly if he’s going to stick around. If he hasn’t swept you off your feet, consider looking elsewhere. Every woman deserves to be pursued and swept off her feet.
He doesn’t inspire you seek Christ in deeper ways
You know this guy. He’s so attractive you can hardly take your eyes off him. He has a bad boy edge, and you’re so into to him that you’re willing to overlook his flaws – like the binge drinking, stack of dirty magazines in his closet, and the way he sometimes jumps the bill at busy restaurants.
Step back and ask yourself, does this man inspire me to be a better person, or is he slowly dragging me down? If his he’s not encouraging you to go deeper in your walk with Christ, he’s not going to be a good spiritual leader for your home.
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If you’re feeling pressure to settle down, if you don’t like the idea of going to dinner parties alone, or if the fear of life-long singleness is keeping you in a relationship with someone described in this list, please embrace this truth: You’re better off without him. You deserve better. Don’t settle until you’re treated like a treasured prize.
Can you relate to these words? Have you experienced the pull of a relationship that seemed so right but ultimately pulled you down? We’d love to hear about your experiences.
Stacey is a wife, mother of two, freelance journalist, mentor, and certified special education teacher. She’s on leave from the classroom for a season of investing in little lives and catching frogs along creek beds. She writes weekly at www.staceypardoe.com.