Dating isn’t exactly the easiest thing on the planet. Let’s put it this way… I’m grateful to be married. More and more people are randomly hooking up online, feeding their addictions to internet porn, abusing drugs to escape the pain of their parents’ divorce, and more. Has destruction and pain become the undertone of dating in the 21st century?
This addiction to variety, selfishness, and escape has made destructive behavior the new normal in our culture. So what can a person do to recognize “the crazy” in their dating-life, and land themselves in a healthier relationship? You may not be dating a sex addict, but you’re seeing signs – like red flags on a hill – that something is not quite right in your relationship. How do you know? Have you talked to your friends about it? Have they expressed some concerns? Here are 4 signs I’ve seen cause destruction in a relationship …
1. You’re ALWAYS the Giver: Healthy relationships are reciprocating relationships. There’s a healthy flow of give and take, serving and being served. Both people in the relationship are equal contributors of time, money (in most cases), and energy spent in making the relationship work. If you’re in a relationship where, you are constantly the “strong one”, always giving and caring for the other person, it’s time to remind yourself: this is not a parent-child relationship. You deserve to receive and have needs just as much as the giver in a relationship of equals.
2. Your Partner Expects You to Meet EVERY Need: We all have needs. But are your partner’s needs constantly being shoved to the forefront of your relationship? Have you ever heard the expression: “Two beggars trying to borrow from each other”? How can beggars, with nothing to give, lend to anyone? The point is, they can’t. If you’re in a relationship with someone who’s consistently acting like a beggar – it’s likely that your partner will cause your own well to run dry if you’re not careful. The healthiest relationships are those which overflow with servanthood and hearts of willingness. Meet each other’s needs, equally and realistically.
3. Your Partner Displays Destructive Behaviors Such as Addictions and Abuse: The world we live in is populated by hurting people. Hurt people, hurt people. If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve been hurt. How does your boyfriend or girlfriend deal with hurt? If the person you’re dating displays addictions to alcohol, pornography or has a pattern of mental, verbal, or physical abuse, have you confronted him or her in love about it? What was the response? If you’re in a relationship with someone who won’t admit they are hurting yet have an obvious problem, you’re not their counselor, and it’s probably time to leave.
4. You’re Dating a Liar or Denier: Everyone has problems. I’m not saying you should be looking to date a perfect person because they don’t exist. We’re all broken. What’s most important is how you answer this question: when you confront your partner about a behavior that hurts you, how do they respond? Do they lie or deny that it happened? Do they deny that it hurts you? If the behavior is a pattern, are they taking active steps (such as counseling or reading) to address the issue and to move toward emotional wellness? If you’re dealing with a liar or denier, you essentially have no foundation on which to build anything lasting. Healthy relationships are built on honesty and truth. It’s best to cut your losses now, and move on.
Have you been in a destructive relationship? Tell me about the signs you’ve seen in the comments below.