I could often wish for a magic wand to wave to make a hurting person’s grey skies become plush blue again, to bring back happiness after heartbreak. But there’s no such wand, and there are no magic words to fix a broken heart. A broken arm or leg often heals much faster than a broken heart.
The Bible does say, “the Lord is near to those of a broken heart”, (Psalm 34:18) and “He heals the broken hearted” (Psalm 147:3). So there is hope, because “joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
However, individuals must be responsible when selecting a romantic partner. Romantic relationships must be facilitated with eyes wide open, and never when simply “blinded by love”. Get to know a person as best a possible before becoming emotionally and physically vulnerable and attached to them. And yes, falling for someone is always a choice. The Bible says, “Guard your heart”, (Proverbs 4:23). So know about relationship red flags.
Red flags appear if they are:
1) Secretive in nature: If the person is overly secretive about where they are, what they are doing, their family, their friends, watch out. Yes, it takes time to trust a person before giving them important information about yourself, but if after several dates you don’t know much, like where they live, what they do, who their friends are – red flag.
2) Trail of destruction: If there’s a history of several broken hearts behind them, and confusion with children and exes, watch out. Yes, most adults have passed through a relationship that didn’t work out, and most people have some form of “baggage”. But if their exes are all angry and hostile toward them and they’re distant from family – red flag.
3) Jealous and possessive: If they pressure you about who’s with you or where you are or where you’re going, beware. Yes, you want someone that cares, is interested in your general safety, and wants to know you’re okay. But when they’re overbearing or obsessed with it, no. If they press you and need you to prove where you say you are and who you’re with – red flag.
4) Sporadic availability: When they appear and disappear without common sense reasons, watch out. You certainly want to be with someone who is busy with their life, but when they go missing ever so often and give very flimsy reasons and are generally only reachable at odd times, pay attention. If they’re usually in touch with you only at their convenience – red flag.
5) No real friends: People are social beings, so if someone has no friends, that’s usually not good. If they only have acquaintances who are formal and brief, beware. A proper prospect will have some sort of circle of friends. And as it’s said, “show me your friends and I’ll know who you are”. But if there aren’t any friends – red flag
6) Abusive or aggressive: It should not be thought of as attractive if someone is domineering. Unfortunately some people think it is, and find aggression and bullying acceptable. It is not. Slapping someone because of displeasure is abusing them. Yes, some people do get playful and slap a leg or a hand in jest, but even that must be watched carefully. Beware of dating anyone who displays aggression towards you, for any reason, it only tends to increase with time. Red flag.
Take the time to know a person before allowing yourself to fall for them. And as Maya Angelou’s quote goes, “when people show you who they are, believe them the first time”. Allow your family and friends to give feedback about your date; don’t dismiss their opinions. Remember, it is better to wait, or to be single and sane, than to have to salvage self and sanity because of a disastrous relationship.
Rev Christopher Brodber is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on FB – Christopher.brodber; Twitter – @Chrisbrodber or IG – christopherbrodber.