When church members are single, have had previous relationship failures and frustrations, and are again looking for a new dating partner—hopefully, an eternal spouse—the stakes are high but the confidence and security are often low. Many singles feel “snakebitten” and understandably are cautious, careful, and hesitant to give new relationships a chance. No one wants to get hurt and let down again. Yet, problems in life come in the extremes, including overly focusing on the negatives. When hurt, possible negatives and red flags become much more obvious, present, and noticed. However, what often can be minimized, ignored, or unnoticed at that time are the more positive, healthy, promising green flags of a promising partner.
Positives to Notice
*Spiritual Issues: noticed when and how they talk about the gospel. Look for a love of and dedication to the gospel. Listen for their testimony. Notice their habits with reading scripture, praying, and attending church. Do you feel the Spirit when you are with and around them? Do they initiate spiritual activities and interests? When you see these special signs of testimony and gospel dedication, this is promising and a plus with their potential.
*Relational Issues: look for times and opportunities when the other shows kindness, affection, consideration, and sensitivity towards you. Look for moments when they ask for and take your opinions, wants, desires, and wishes into account. Observe how they successfully handle and navigate differences of opinion and how they resolve conflict. When they treat you well relationally, this is an excellent sign.
*Effort: notice the degree to which the other initiates and makes efforts to show you they are interested, as well as willing to invest efforts into your relationship with them. Look for a person willing to try and put themselves out there. When the other person is trying at least as hard as you are in the relationship, that is a good sign. You can be more assured that they will work at the relationship and do whatever work is needed to nourish and nurture what you have together.
*Treatment of Others: observe how your new dating prospect treats everyone. Notice when he or she interacts with their family of origin. Looks for moments of kindness and consideration—especially with their parents. Also, are they nice and respectful towards others at church, with waiters/waitresses at restaurants, and with strangers in public? Look for these moments. How they treat everyone—including people they really don’t know and have nothing to get anything from—is very telling. Look for basic kindness and consideration to all.
*Health Issues: observe and notice their eating habits and when they choose, prepare, and eat healthy food. Take account of their exercise habits and general physical activity level as well. Notice their sleep patterns too. When they go to bed and arise at a reasonable hour and get a decent amount of sleep, that is encouraging as well. Listen for their bringing up health conversations and their dedication to healthy ideals. The healthier their habits and the better they care for their body, the better you can project these habits will transfer to a marriage.
*Money Issues: look for how they manage, budget, and spend their money. Observe their purchases and notice when they make wise conservative purchases. Notice times when they decide not to spend money when unnecessary. Whatever their income level, look for a partner who is basically intelligent and careful with their purchases, yet can also reasonably enjoy themselves and have a good time. Notice the way they talk about their money and expenditures. Look for evidence of a wise, practical, reasonable approach to money that would likely continue if you progress in the relationship.
*Friends and Relatives: when possible, look for love, kindness, and caring from your dating partner’s parents and friends in loving relationships. There is an old saying: “birds of a feather flock together”. When their parents and friends role model good, healthy partner relationships, you can have better confidence that your dating partner has learned from their example. And with this example, will hopefully be more likely these good examples will have acted as a positive role model to the person you are dating.
When you look for the best in others, you are more likely to find it. Looking for and focusing on the positives your dating partner is showing in addition to the usual noticing of red flags and concerns will together help you to find, pick, and nurture a relationship with a healthy, promising partner. Look for and focus on what positives they have to offer to take advantage of promising opportunities for dating and marriage success. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2019-05-20||Randy Gilchrist||Healthy relationships|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).