I hear a lot of relationship stories. Divorce stories. Dating stories. I am continually amazed at the creative misery that people who were once in love with each other can cause the other while going through divorce. It’s kind of the nature of the beast, so the horror stories of divorce don’t surprise me all that much. Shock me, yes. Surprise me? No. There are a lot of crazy relationship behaviors out there.

What does surprise me are the many crazy dating practices I hear about. But then I guess those shouldn’t surprise me either. The heart has a mind of its own and sometimes is like an unruly child. Some people have learned the behaviors that work in relationship and actively implement them. Yay for them. Others are able to recognize behaviors that wreak relational havoc and work to eliminate them. Yay for them, too. And some people just don’t get it.

Here’s a joke I received recently:

An older, white haired man walked into a jewelry store one Friday evening with a beautiful young gal at his side. He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his girlfriend. The jeweler looked through his stock and brought out a $5,000 ring.

The old man said, “No, I’d like to see something more special.” The jeweler went to his special stock and brought another ring over. “Here’s a stunning ring at only $40,000, the jeweler said.

The young lady’s eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement. The old man said, “We’ll take it.”

The jeweler asked how payment would be made. “By check. I know you need to make sure my check is good, so I’ll write it now and you can call the bank Monday to verify the funds and I’ll pick the ring up Monday afternoon.”

Monday morning, the jeweler phoned the old man. “There’s no money in that account!”

“I know,” said the old man, “But let me tell you about my weekend!”

Big Red X

When I read that joke I thought to myself: “Those two should both have a big Red X on their foreheads.” In lieu of that type of blatant social labeling, which would protect us all from such relational idiocy, it behooves us to sniff out crazy relationship behaviors, take those vulnerable hearts of ours, and run far and fast from them. Being aware of motivation is the best way to sniff out  crazy, and by crazy I mostly mean harmful, behaviors.

What is the Motivation?

Are you pursuing or being pursued:

  • out of a fear of being alone
  • a desire to have children
  • for glamour or sex (as our couple above)
  • out of loneliness
  • for financial security
  • because you like the idea of marriage
  • to feel desirable again
  • for spite
  • or fame?

Some less sinister motivations might be to help out someone you consider a friend, or to be nice to the wall flower.  Just remember, that any version of using or being used gets a Big Red X. Save yourself some heartache. Check in with yourself to make sure you have the motivations you want since we tend to attract people who energetically match us, and keep a keen eye on the motivation of others.

What You Want to Hear

Determining why someone is seeking a relationship with you is good practice. “I want to know you.” is the right answer. To know and be known is where a relationship of any substance will begin.