WHY is it that all of the signs that a relationship was doomed to fail become so clear after the relationship ends?! Too many times, I’ve found myself replaying the lives of my failed relationships from “hello” all the way to “goodbye” and taking a tally of the signs along the way that were pointing to the fact the this person was definitely not the one. I’m going to share 3 of the signs that I seemed to ignore most often when beginning new relationships that ended up costing me time (so so much time) and sanity. Now, the “filtering process” is quick, clear, and painless. And it only took me 28 years to figure it out! (Fix it Jesus).
Sign #1: Blurred lines
Do your values and standards get clearer or a little fuzzy when you’re with this person? When someone is meant to be in your life, they make you more of yourself when you are with them. You won’t find yourself acting out of character or compromising those things you always said you would “never do.” Assuming that they have values and standards (if they don’t, that should be the first and only sign that they need to go), whatever theirs are should either align with yours or make you upgrade your current ones. They should challenge you to be a better person while at the same time accepting you for who you are. “The one” entering your life can be compared to getting a pair a prescription glasses: Even the things that were fuzzy before suddenly becomes so clear when you “try them on” (so to speak lol!) You’ll wonder how you managed life thus far without them and can’t imagine going back to the blurry life you lived before.
Sign #2: They look more like your preference than your purpose
Think about the things that attracts you to this person. And figure out the main reasons that he/she is attracted to you as well. Do these reasons lean more towards preference or purpose?
Preference appeals to your desires- tall, dark, and handsome; beach body, long hair, nice style; 6-7 figure income, good reputation in high places, nice condo in a downtown high-rise, amazing dancer and singer, etc.
Purpose appeals to what you believe your calling is- you both are “growing” in the same direction at a similar pace; you want the same things in relation to marriage and family; you uphold similar values, morals, and standards; you have some of the same passions and discontentment with certain world issues, etc.
It’s completely possible, ideal even, to have both your preferences and purposes all in one person! Don’t feel like you have to settle for one or the other. But your preferences should be more like bonuses, not deal breakers. The qualities dealing with purpose are the ones that should hold the most weight in determining whether or not you and your boo are on the same paths in life.
This is when it’s super important to have a list of things you desire from a potential mate versus the non-negotiable qualities that your mate needs to have. Your “non-negotiables” are going to be those things that you absolutely will not budge on. I suggest having about 5 non-negotiable qualities that could be deal-breakers for you. Having these things established before opening yourself up to dating will save you a lot of time and confusion. Which brings me to my next point!
Sign #3: You are confused
I believe that there is an innate part of us that always knows what to do in every situation. But our emotions and our logic can often say two completely different things and cause us to vacillate, producing confusion. If you experience any amount of confusion at all about a person and whether or not you should move forward in a relationship with them, then don’t. Ask for some time and space from them to determine if:
you are simply over-thinking, causing you to smother your discernment about them and a potential relationship with them
your past hurts are causing you to experience fear
you know what to do you just don’t want to do it
you’re afraid of hurting someone
Whether you think it’s one, all, or maybe even none of these reasons, any type of confusion is not a good sign. The relationships we choose have the power to change our lives, for better or for worse; you can’t afford to make a decision this important in the midst of confusion.
And don’t feel like you have to have a clear understanding of where your confusion is coming from. Don’t feel pressured to present the person with a clear reason for not going forward. Your confusion is reason enough. Think about it: When you ask a married couple how they knew they had met “the one” the majority of them answer, “I just knew.” Yeah…no confusion there.