Okay, so I’ve been noticing something recently, and I hope it’s not a trending phenomenon. I haven’t seen it from a lot of women, but from enough to make me wonder if there are others out there as well.

When dating and assessing a man to see if he meets your standards, sometimes we can make allowances if he misses the mark a bit. The dating problem that may result from this, however, is after a relationship is established, some women will end and exit the relationship for the same reasons we excused in him in the first place.

And that’s not fair! Know yourself well enough to know what really matters to you. And know that it’s ok to not begin a romantic relationship in the first place if you see those things.

For example, I don’t appreciate cigarette smoke. I would prefer not to date a smoker. But, if for some reason I excuse this habit in a man at the beginning of a relationship, it just doesn’t seem right to end the relationship with that same man because he smokes. Don’t complain about him at the end of the relationship for reasons you overlooked at the beginning of the relationship. If you made him and his habits feel accepted at the very beginning, can you imagine how confusing it is to cite those as reasons to end the relationship? I once knew a guy who told me he ended a previous relationship with a woman in the past because she had 3 children…but they were the same 3 children he knew about when he entered into the relationship. While you are single, take the time to assess yourself and your deal-breakers in relationships. The more you know before entering into a relationship, the less confusion will be caused throughout the relationship. No one is perfect, and I am definitely not advising that anyone have that on their list of characteristics to look for, but ending a relationship for characteristics you disregarded in the beginning can result in a relationship that ultimately is a waste of time.

So try to be sure of certain things that you can and can’t/will and won’t deal with in a relationship. Smoking and drinking habits? Spiritual affiliation? Children? Work ethic? (That’s a big one: Don’t leave him because “he’s lazy and doesn’t work” if he was lazy and not working when you met him!) Bottom line is to take your time when entering into a relationship, for your sake and his. If something that is major to you bothers you at the beginning, ask yourself how you would feel if the behavior continued forever. Would you be ok with it? Could you adjust? Could I live with this forever? If the answer to these questions is “No,” then there is absolutely nothing wrong with the two of you remaining friends for the time being.

by Janna Robinson, Encourager & Blogger