There's always a rush of emotions when you start dating someone new. It's exciting to find someone you feel a connection with and enjoy spending time with, but there is a lot of worry and uncertainty that comes with new relationships as well. For the first few weeks or months of a relationship, both you and your man are on your best behavior, usually only seeing the best versions of each other. While valuable lessons can be learned from dating people of various personality types, ending a relationship as soon as you know it shouldn't go anywhere can save a lot of heartache. Here are some signs that the man you are dating might not be right for you:
1. You don't like who he becomes when he gets stressed out
When I was dating my husband, we got a flat tire while driving one night. I was pleasantly surprised to see the patience he displayed. He laughed at the predicament. Through the years since that night, neither of us has always shown such good humor when trying times have come. But, more often than not, we have realized that life is easier to handle when viewed from a more positive angle. Having a man in your life who is able to give you that positivity is valuable. We all feel the pressures and anxieties from work, school, family and health issues. Consider how the new man in your life manages these acute stressors. Now, times that by five. This will give you a fairly accurate picture of how he might manage stress after marriage and children. If you don't like what you imagine, consider leaving the relationship. Yes, people can grow and change, but in case your man doesn't, make sure you're okay with his natural response to stress.
2. You find yourself not always wanting to be around him
When you are dating someone who is really special to you, you naturally want to spend as much time as possible with him. A friend once told me that he realized his wife-to-be was the right woman for him when he spent a weekend at his parent's house with her and never got tired of being with her. Try spending an extended period of time with your boyfriend, and if you find yourself getting easily annoyed with him or needing a break from him, this could be a red flag.
3. You don't have the same values
Marrying someone of the same faith makes sense for many reasons, though it is possible for couples of differing religions to have good marriages as long as they share the same set of core, intrinsic values. While having long discussions about his beliefs is important, it isn't enough. You must see those beliefs in action as much as possible. If you, for instance, have certain beliefs about raising children, be sure to schedule some time where the two of you can be around and take care of friends' or family's children. Talk to your boyfriend about how he was raised and see if you are on the same page with discipline, rewards and family rules.
4. You cry more than you laugh
My husband and I had our first conversation at an ice cream parlor where we were celebrating my roommate's birthday. While talking with him, I quickly realized that he had a knack for making me feel at ease. He also made me laugh—a lot. His ability to make me laugh is still one of my favorite things about him! The dating life is not easy. It is fraught with apprehension and uncertainty, and tears naturally fit those emotions. However, if there is so much drama that you find yourself crying more than you are smiling, your relationship could be the problem. Examine how you feel when you are around your boyfriend and when you are apart. If you realize you are generally less happy than you were before you started dating, it may be best to break things off.
The man you are dating isn't perfect. You aren't perfect. But the direction you are heading is worth examining. Sure, we all have bad days and lazy moments. We all make mistakes with money, at work and in our relationships. If the general pattern of this man's life seems to be progressing toward a better version of himself, consider staying in the relationship. If you notice that he's not attempting to improve himself spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially, it is possible you could be in for a life of future disappointment. He may be fun now, but having fun with him is only one part of a happy life. Being serious about important matters will allow your fun and joy to continue for a lifetime.