Monday, May 15, 2017

A Widow's Group Talks About Red Flags They Should Have Seen

A few weeks ago I asked a group of widows who've started dating to tell about "red flags" of a bad date or relationship. Wow!-- did they ever tell!!! Their identities will remain anonymous but they all want YOU to take these warning signs seriously so you can avoid what they experienced. Many spoke of how they ignored the warning signs (or thought they didn't apply to widows), but another factor was that no one had ever warned them. They wished someone would have! So here, my friends, are some the warning signs. I think this is going to take a few days... 

 One at the top of the list should say "just because you meet him in church doesn't mean he's a Christian. Or a good person. Or even mentally stable."

1.They never ask you questions about yourself, but are happy to tell you all about themselves. 
2. They interrupt you frequently. 
3.They tell you about their divorce/last relationship, and nothing was their fault---absolutely nothing! 
4. They say, "You should _______like sushi, or not think that, or do this, or do that, etc..." (Maybe later in the relationship, after they know you, know the facts, but NOT on a first date). 
5. They are habitually late, and are known for being habitually late by all friends and family. It shows selfishness and lack of thought for others. 
6. While on the date they are less than kind to the waitstaff.

Red flags would be--willing to do anything for you, constant showering of gifts and compliments. Tells how he's done every trade there is, owned his own business and how he was always helping people out but then complains he's been used and cheated by everyone he's ever helped. He has to always be the center of the conversation. Talks down about his father with crude remarks, talks about previous women he's dated and what he expects and why they didn't work out. During the relationship he wants constant PDA (public display of affection). Doesn't allow you to talk about your deceased when it's appropriate but he can talk about his anytime. Says holidays are not important. Always has a sarcastic remark about any given profession, including people in your family. Tells you to shut up as he doesn't need your opinion. Claims church isn't necessary nor is God-- he claims he can get to heaven by his good works and deeds. He's always asking you if he looks good when he's dressed up, constantly bragging about his abs and exercise program and suggests you need exercise!

If he has animals be sure to see how important they are--if they are more important than you. Ask about his kids, because if he talks ill of them and says they're worthless even though they have successful careers it tells me he's jealous of their accomplished successes. What's his take on grandkids? Does he have any? Does he enjoy being around them? 

Please tell your readers if they have one red flag or their gut is saying to run.... THEN RUN AND DON'T LOOK BACK!!!! Listen to your closest friends, ask for their honest opinions. You may not like it, but they're seeing red flags outside the blinders you're wearing. I hope this helps.

Some of the main things that I learned from my failed relationship are:
1. If he tries to take you away from church, run.
2. If he refuses to meet your friends or family, run.
3. If he belittles you, publicly or privately, run.
4. If he tries to control you, manipulate you, or convince you that he is the only one that you need, run.
5. If he is verbally or physically abusive, run, run, RUN. Don't put up with it like I did. I was so desperate to be loved that I allowed him to do all of the above. That's not love.

It's funny/odd, because being married for almost 28 years I think I assumed that the first man that I dated would be "The one." He was the one all right… The one to run away from. LOL. Sometimes the best lessons are the hardest ones learned.

To remember all the red flags, I re-read the last few months of my journal. There are so many, you will think I lost my mind for having dated him for four months. The truth is, I know God can and does change people. I know our past does not always look pretty. And I know that by the time one gets to my age, baggage is there and can be ugly. HOWEVER, please trust your instincts (I didn't), know that God will not call you into a dysfunctional relationship while he heals someone (God doesn't need your help and you'll only be a distraction/excuse/scapegoat), and believe that you are who God says you are (redeemed, forgiven, priceless, of great value, loved...).

Red flags:
*You have trouble trusting him (but no concrete reason)
*You are afraid of him (again, even with no specific reason)
*If he cheated on his ex-wife while married
*Doesn't take responsibility for his actions or show any sign of remorse/repentance
*Has an arrest record, including a felony
*Becomes defensive/angry when asked about above (Including stating, "Where's the proof?")
*Declared bankruptcy
*Ex-wife tried to sever parental rights (What does/did she know that I'm not seeing?)
*Turns his phone away so you can't see what he's texting
*No respect for his mother and/or all women
*Rude and insulting
*Would have you think it's all your problem
*You feel pushed away emotionally, physically, mentally
*You feel like you are losing "you"
*You argue a lot about anything/everything
*He has difficulty with boundaries with others (his kids....)
*Thinks he can dictate your behavior now or later ("When we get married, you will be up every day by 7 am.")
*If he tells you to "stop trying to figure him out."
*If he says to not trust your friends because "friends give bad advice"
*If he's cheap (not frugal. Frugal I can understand. I mean CHEAP.)
*If he's rigid (diet, schedule...); no room for spontaneity
*If he tells you not to talk about him with anyone if he's not there "to defend himself"

And finally for today...
Turn to someone who you trust and who you know loves you; tell them your concerns and LISTEN to them. If they say get out, do it!

Please watch for tomorrow's post where the conversation asks if some of these "flags" aren't "preferences" instead...  


  1. I have friends who think that a certain fellow and I should become an item. I try to gently explain that I’m not interested in anything but friendship, put they push. I'm hesitant to tell them my reasons for why I wouldn't be anything other than friends with this man. A few of the points listed apply, but my biggest issue is that he's been married and divorced at least 3 times (maybe 4, I can't remember). He admits it was all before he became a Christian, and might not happen now; but to me those divorces are BIG red flags.

    Also, another widow friend told me: get a background check done on every guy (even for dating), and check his financial situation compared to yours. Finances are an issue for me, so I'm very cautious. As far as I’m concerned, God has blessed me. I'm free to encourage other women (single and/or married), and I’m working on perhaps holding a small group ladies Bible study in my home.

    I'm not lonely, I have the Lord. I'm not looking, as I'm most content; and honestly, at my age, do I want to start over training some guy to pick up his socks? HAHA

    1. Dear "An" If you're content I think you can consider it a gift and a direction from the Lord. Like Paul said, "Content in every circumstance..." What a blessing! Friends can be pushy at times. Sometimes I think they get a little too excited and nosy! Don't worry about them, just keep steady on your course. You're being very wise. Years ago I read a book in which the author said "Most men are looking for either a nurse, or a purse!" I'm sure that's not the case for at least 1% of them, but there's a lot of truth in it. Don't let your friends or anyone else talk you into a relationship you're not interested in. Enjoy your freedom in the Lord!

  2. 1. You have not met any of his family
    2. He steps away to take calls
    3. He can visit you but invite you to his home.
    4. You don't speak or see him on weekends or holidays.

    Conclusion: He may not be married but he is in a relationship with someone.


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