In recent news, Josh Harris, the author of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, has discontinued publication of his purity culture phenomenon. Many a teen or young adult during the nineties in evangelical churches were well-versed in the missives of the book. His focus in the book was on avoidance of dating and kissing before marriage. However, Josh Harris, a father now, sees dating differently—which brings us to today’s episode and the start of a new series.
What does dating mean to you? For different people it means different things. For some, a date is having a good time with a friend. Others view dates almost like interviews for a future commitment. Our focus in this series will be for folks who are in serious relationships with the intention of marriage.
Are you doubting your relationship? Do you wonder if he or she is the right person for you? Have you noticed some things that bother you and you’re not sure if you should continue together?
Start of New Series
Today we start our eight part series “8 Warning Signs You Might Need to Break-Up”. Each week, Vincent and Laura will discuss a major issue faced by struggling dating and engaged couples. These issues could be considered “deal-breakers.” We’ve included the biggest problems we see in couples that come to us for therapy.
If you’re thinking of getting married, take a look at our Premarital Checklist here. You’ll find a comprehensive list of discussion questions you and your significant other need discuss before saying “I do.”
How Responsible Is Your Significant Other?
Our topic for today is maturity. Do you find yourself asking if your loved one is even mature enough to enter marriage? Is your significant other responsible?
Are They Living At Home?
If your date is living at home, then there may be need for concern. What is their reason for living with their parents? How long have they lived with them? Do they have purpose in living at home? All of these are important questions.
The Pew Research Center found that 32.1 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds lived at their parents’ homes in 2014, exceeding the 31.6 percent of young adults who were married or living with a partner in their own household.
In 2016, almost 40 percent of young adults lived with their parents, step-parents, grandparents and other relatives last year, or the highest point in 75 years, according to data from real estate analytics company Trulia. The only time in U.S. history when the share has been higher was in 1940, when the U.S. economy was regaining its footing from the Great Depression and the year prior to the country’s entry into World War II.
Almost half of Europeans do (live at home), actually. What’s not normal to them is having thousands of dollars of debt right out of the gate.
Living At Home May Be Appropriate If It Is Purposeful
It may be okay that they are living at home if it is purposeful, and they are working on plan such as paying off student loan debt or saving for a house within a certain period of time.
If they are living at home and it is not purposeful, then may be they are not mature or independent enough to live as an adult. Here are some areas that you may need to consider.
- How healthy is their relationship with their parents? You may need to scrutinize their relationship with their parents. Is it healthy? (We will cover this more in depth in a following episode.)
- How are they with house rules? Are they able to obey house rules which may include paying rent, helping with the upkeep and maintenance of the house, and appropriate behavior while at home? If they are not demonstrating these skills with their parents, then they will not be bringing them to your relationship.
- What domestic skills are they able to do? Do they talk on the phone to make appointments and order things? Can they cook, clean, or mow the lawn? How do they manage their finances, and do they pay their bills on time? If they are older than 18 and do have these skills, then they need to learn them. They may not have developed healthy social, financial, and domestic skills to survive on their own.
Do They Have a Job?
Just having a job speaks volumes. First of all, it means that they are employable. They must some skills or qualities to have a job. Even if their job is minimum wage and not very prestigious, by them working you know that they value work and are at least motivated somewhat. Here are some things that you learn about a person when they are working.
- If they maintain a job, then you know that they are loyal, consistent, and reliable to a certain degree. If they were not, then they would be fired.
- Jobs provide wonderful learning opportunities. If they are working in retail or fast food, then you know that they are developing some social skills at least.
- All jobs help a person learn the value of money. They are better able to appreciate what effort it takes to earn money.
- By the job or jobs that they have, you can get a better idea about the direction or possible directions that they may be headed with in their career. For example, if a person says that they are going to be a physical therapist, but they can’t even get a job as a CNA, then you know that they are unrealistic in their assessment of themselves and their abilities.
- If a person has worked at a lot of places (and didn’t get fired), then you know that they have learned about a lot of different industries. They have put effort in learning about themselves (what they like) and about what opportunities are out there. This may mean that they are confident, risk-takers.
What Is Their Involvement/Relationship With Their Children?
When your significant other already has children, then you get to know a lot about them. Below are some things to consider:
- Are they able to support their children without help from other (their parents)? If they are living with their parents with their kids, then they are not able to support their kids by themselves. This means that you will have to provide a lot of support. Are you able to contribute enough financially, emotionally, and spiritually to fully support the kids?
- Are you prepared to be in a blended family? This means that you would have to share the parenting role with not only your significant other, but also their ex and they ex’s family. Do you have the spiritual and emotional fortitude to do this? Are you prepared to do this and what would it look like? What are your boundaries?
- Are they paying child support? How much will this affect your family budget? If they are not paying child support, then this may be an indicator that they are not responsible.
- What is their parenting style? Are they an authority figure or a friend? You need to discuss what you expect as far as parenting roles. If they are continually a friend to the child, then there will be big behavioral problems.