Top Ten Flags to Watch Out For When Dating

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Do you watch NASCAR? Is there anything better than roaring engines, tires squealing from the pits, and the crowd cheering their favorite driver? How much do you love how drivers must make quick decisions when passing their opponents after an accident? I love NASCAR, I like watching it every so often, and I love the thrill of watching the drivers race towards the flag.


Speaking of flags. Do you notice flags waving at the cars as they pass by during these races? Each flag represents a different rule. A green flag means go. A white flag means one more lap. Yellow flags indicate caution, and red flags mean to stop because of an emergency.


What if God has put in His word and through the Holy Spirit flags for you to pay attention to as you are dating or courting to know what to do when things get tricky? As James 1: 2-4 (NCV) reminds us, “My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy because you know that these troubles test your faith, which will give you patience. Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need.”


It would help if you kept an eye on everything that flags up your relationships. What does that mean? We’re discussing anything that causes conflict between you and your potential mate. It could be as simple as leaving dirty socks and underwear around the house. Make sure your keys are placed conveniently to find them easily when you leave the house.


Could it be as complex as the way you make your money decisions? How much in tip should I give to the server? Who pays the bills? Are both of you going to need a job, or just one? What kind of relationship does your potential mate have with their parents, siblings, or friends?


See, 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NCV) says, “Look closely at yourselves. Test yourselves to see if you are living in the faith. You know that Jesus Christ is in you—unless you fail the test.” When you check in with your faith, you’re checking in with the Holy Spirit. In a Mr. and Mrs., 366 Devotions for Couples say, “the Holy Spirit is your teacher guiding you to the truth of the word. The Holy Spirit prays for you when you don’t have to words, it gives you the power to overcome sin and darkness. It gives wisdom and understanding to know what’s right. The Holy Spirit binds your hearts together. It makes you alive, providing spiritual fruit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The Holy Spirit is God’s seal of ownership claiming you as His forever.” And so when you see these flags, you want to look closely at yourselves and your potential mate. You need to check to see if what they are doing aligns with the word of God. 


As you are dating or courting, look out for these 10 Flags and if you discover them on your date, seek God’s wisdom and word on what to do next. Trust me; God will give you guidance on what to do next. And share in the comments below what other flags you should look out for when dating.


Top 10 Flags to Watch Out For When Dating
  1. They are inconsistent with their relationship with God.
    • Ask questions about when they attend church, when the last time they have read the Bible, and are they involved in any ministries in the church. An inconsistent relationship with God sometimes comes through in unstable relationships with their potential mate or spouse. Have a plan of action on how both of you can get closer to God.
  2. They are not working to bring income.
    • If Adam and Eve were working, what does that say about you and me? Be sure to ask questions about their current work status and the income they bring. If they are not working (e.g., in school or transition), find out their 6-month, 1-year, and 5-year goals to bring income home.
  3. They are not as mature as their age states.
    • They might be cute or handsome, but they will not be ready to marry if they are not mature enough to handle a relationship. Marriage is for grown, mature folks only. Make sure to study and research your mate. Go to different places to see how well they handle pressure without placing them or you in a position of temptation.
  4. They would rather spend more time doing their extracurricular activities than be with you.
    • If they are unwilling to compromise their time with you, establish a warning that if they continue, you will need to walk away. Until their focus changes, they will remain consistent in doing what they are doing.
  5. They have not been honest about their criminal or financial background history.
    • If jobs conduct a criminal or financial background check on you, what does that say we need to do in our relationship? Yes, please ask questions about their criminal or financial background history. The more you know, the better it will prevent you from being blindsided later. In addition, you will know their habits. Some habits are good, but others can cause more harm than good.
  6. They treat their family and friends very rudely.
    • How they treat their family and friends will get you a preview of how they might treat you. Ask questions about their relationship with their family and friends. Then, watch their interactions with them. If they are different with their family and friends than with you, that is also another flag.
  7. They do not do well with conflict.
    • We are human, and we will make mistakes. We will also be in situations that will require us to make decisions. Study your potential mate to determine how well they do with the conflict. Do not look at the point of view of how you will potentially change them, but can you compliment them in their area of weakness. If their flaws are too much for you to handle, start asking questions to God about what to do.
  8. They have been married before.
    • Ask questions about their previous relationship. Is their ex still around? If so, find out what is their current status. Sometimes there might be some rekindled energy still left, and you do not want to be in the middle of it.
  9. They have children.
    • Ask questions about the relationship with the mother or father. Find out whether or not they have set boundaries and expectations when it comes to children meeting and interacting with a potential stepmom or stepdad. In addition, find out how well all three of you will interact and get along.
  10. They have challenges with their mental or emotional state.
    • Ask questions about how they are receiving support in this area. Are they seeking a counselor, therapist, or spiritual guidance from their local church? Are they taking medicines, and what happens if they stop or run out? 

Get more insight about watching out for the flags in your relationship by listening to our latest podcast episode below.

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