Character is the inherent complex of attributes that determine a persons moral and ethical actions and reactions. Our healthy relationships advice for dating is to consider the types of characters that you are dating, rather than getting all caught up in the typical society mannerisms, take the time and delimitate. In other words determine their essential qualities, values, and belief systems. You can still have plenty of fun dating or getting to know people, just make sure that you are thinking with your brain and not your emotions or your hormones. Remember you are not looking for perfect people, we all have character flaws and room for growth advancement. You can not change people to fit your mold, they are wired uniquely for a reason, nor can you expect a behavior change, before a heart is changed.
Let us get to the heart of healthy relationships, because what you are really looking for is people with healthy hearts, you are looking for inner beauty, not outer adornment. How much does it really cost to pay attention? Honestly, it could possibly cost you significantly if your people chooser lacks refinement. Sound wisdom, and good relational advice says that there are many character attributes to look for and there are many flaws to watch out for. If you integrate yourself with poisonous people, you are likely to be infected by their toxins and become as unhealthy as they are.
At the foundational level of all healthy relationships is trust, trust takes time to build up, it does not come for free, trust must be earned. And in a moment of poor judgment, trust can be shattered by dishonesty. Honesty is a very important character attribute. Most people sincerely believe that they are honest, in fact they will tell you so! Healthy relationship advice suggests that you don’t take people for their words, let their actions dictate the truth. A good way to determine someone’s level of honesty is to see if they are willing to take ownership of their own imperfections.
A person who is prideful will not take ownership of their blemishes, they will not accept and admit their mistakes. Prideful people exhibit their insecurities, they act superior, have poor traits such as selfishness, stubbornness, arrogance, conceit, and ego. They put a high value on self importance, they think they know it all, and they like to gossip. Poor pride breeds quarrels, prevents growth, produces anxiety, and poisons relationships. Prideful people will not take ownership of their actions, they won’t be honest about themselves, but they will have an issue with the conformity to one’s own sense of right conduct, they can not hide from themselves. What do you get from a spoiled cow? You get spoiled milk!
It is likely that these sorts of people will be prone to quarreling. We’ve all heard how other couples seem to always be fighting. Often times the argument is only a surface depiction, the actual fighting is because one, (or both), of the partners in the relationship are prideful, they are not taking ownership of their shortcomings, and thus they are not being honest with themselves or their mate. Before you can be honest with others, you must first be honest with yourself and with God, (that is not just great advice, that’s the truth!).
Then there are the belligerent types, people who just love to argue. Some people are never going to have enough, they nit pick at everything, their speech is corrupt, they will say or do what ever they can to get your attention, they are selfish and will attempt to manipulate and control others with guilt trips. They will constantly be ridiculing and belittling others in an effort to gain control over them so they can feed their own selfishness, (intimidation). They enjoy exploiting others and making them feel bad, (sometimes this is due to a low self-esteem). Unhealthy people will also attempt to create scapegoats and try to blame others for their own mistakes. They are ungrateful, they are full of poor me syndrome, and will use their pity party as a means of acquiring their selfish wants. The greatest pain you can ever live with is the pain of having potential and never achieving it. He who gets too big for his britches will be exposed in the rear end.
Misery loves company, and bitterness is an infectious disease. These are the people who hold grudges, who feel that they have been hurt by others and they carry their poisons into other relationships. They hold onto their pains like treasures of gold and expose others to their fungus. Bitterness is like shooting yourself in the heart, hoping that it will ricochet and hurt the other person. Those with bitterness issues will be more prone to angry outbursts. The pain they hold onto inside is like molten lava waiting to erupt like a volcano. Remember that anger is a secondary emotion, it’s not the primary source. People with bitterness and resentment issues are also likely to seek revenge. Revenge says I want to get even for what you done to me, (even if they did it to themselves). They want to cause other people to hurt and so they may take out their resentment and bitterness on people who have done them no harm. Why do people have bitterness in their hearts? They have not forgiven themselves or those that they feel have hurt them. If they reject the grace of God, they are going to suffocate themselves with their own pain.
The malignant tongues of gossipers are dangerous to health; characterized by progressive and uncontrolled growth like that of a tumor. Unhealthy characters of this type will gather together like wolf packs. They feel like they are in the loop and in this way they feel safe. They all enable or support each others character flaws. They talk about and demean others, speak insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that they do not really have, (hypocrisy), and they lie about others. Often times they speak falsely about others to avoid taking ownership of their own issues, which they feel will relieve their own inner discomfort. Again, their conscience will not allow them to hide from themselves. In life, people will either get bitter or they will get better.
He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. Proverbs 10:18
Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. Proverbs 14:10
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20
Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. Galatians 6:4-5
We hope this dating relationships advice article will improve your ability to successfully find and be in healthy relationships. You may continue on to read part 2 of this article which focuses on issues such as money, legalism, jealousy and envy. Alternatively, you may like to choose to read this article on Relationship Enhancing Virtues:
Virtues List, Positive Character Attributes, Healthy Love Traits.