We have all seen people move from unwise and unhealthy dating relationships into turbulent, difficult, or even doomed marriages.
How can we help people avoid this? What are some danger signs of an unhealthy dating relationship? Sponsor Become a Patron Persistent doubts about the relationship. The first warning sign is the existence of persistent doubts about the relationship. There are many reasons people may experience such doubts.
Some of these may be legitimate and some may ridiculous, and the difficulty comes in knowing which is which. Subjects that are off-limits.
Another warning sign of an unhealthy dating relationship is the existence of subjects that are off-limits. Are there certain subjects that your boyfriend or girlfriend refuses to discuss? Are there subjects you avoid bringing up out of fear of anger or hurt feelings? There are at least two warning signs wrapped up in such a situation: Either way, a marriage cannot thrive where a couple has subjects that remain off-limits, where relational intimacy can exist only if certain subjects never come up.
Learn to talk to your future spouse about anything and everything and be concerned if subjects remain off-bounds. A very serious warning sign within a dating relationship is an increase in physical intimacy—intimacy that is appropriate only within marriage.
Of course the cultural expectation is that a couple will quickly ramp up the physical component of their relationship until they are sure they are sexually compatible. Only then will they be convinced that they can have a healthy marriage.
But the Bible offers many and repeated warnings about sexual intimacy outside of marriage which includes, of course, sexual intimacy prior to marriage. Be concerned if your boyfriend or girlfriend ramps up the intimacy or pressures you to ramp it up. Take this lack of self-control and lack of desire for sexual purity as a warning sign and seek out help and counsel from others.
Strong opposition from family and friends. The Bible often teaches the importance of seeking out and heeding wisdom from others. Their wisdom is not inerrant, but it may still be valuable. They may see things you do not. They may have the wisdom and insight you lack. Let the Scriptures be your guide in all matters of faith and practice. Lack of spiritual harmony. The Bible forbids Christians from marrying non-Christians, so the most important spiritual harmony comes by ensuring your future spouse is a true believer.
I have spoken to many brokenhearted husbands and wives who have realized too late that they married an unbeliever. Another kind of spiritual disharmony is when major doctrinal differences divide spouses—issues like disagreements on the roles of husbands and wives or on the way God guides his people, whether through Scripture or through other kinds of revelation.
Discuss and decide what you believe about infant baptism and about church attendance and membership. There is nothing more important to a dating relationship than communication, so take time to talk about everything. Talk, listen, and pursue harmony. Inability to resolve conflicts. Another serious warning sign is an inability to resolve conflict. If these are in place, everything else can follow. The difference is that in a good marriage the conflicts are resolved biblically, quickly, and with a minimum amount of sin.
You also need to understand that conflict is not necessarily bad and, in fact, is often necessary to resolve issues that inevitably arise between sinful human beings.
But a healthy marriage depends on a couple learning to work out their issues in a constructive way. These are just 6 warning signs.