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Yesterday at the lunch table my co-workers and I were opening up about past relationships and through each persons unique story it became apparent to me how easy it is to justify an unhealthy relationship. It’s not a painless thing to break a bond with someone that you’ve shared intimate stories with, experiences, or even your body.    1. Your more excited about the idea of marriage than the prospect of marrying them Whenever I give advice to someone who is in a serious relationship and questioning what the next step is, I ask them “are you looking forward to being a wife, or looking forward to being his wife?” If you are excited about what your life will look like together as a married couple, then he should play an irreplaceable part of that picture.   2. They don't get joy from your successes Regardless of where they are in their life, they should be able to take joy in your successes. There are times of celebration for everyone, but always at different moments, and if he can’t take joy in your offer letter from your dream company, while he’s searching for a job, then that’s not good!   3. Your friends and family warn against it Rose-colored glasses ARE a real thing. Even if you are in a healthy relationship, you are wearing them in one-way or another. It stems from the idea that while you are committed to this person it’s hard to see reasons this commitment is a damaging one. Until you are free from a relationship there are certain things you will never see. Thank God that your friends and family do not have rose colored classes when looking at your relationships, so listen to what they have to say and take the time to see if it’s valid.   4. You’re heading in different directions spiritually Whether you are a Jesus believer or not, if you are on a process towards becoming more rooted in your faith, and want to develop a personal relationship with God, then find someone who wants the same. In a committed relationship it’s a lot easier to be pulled away from God then to be pushed towards God, if the other person wants something different.   5. There is physical, mental, or emotional abuse Abuse in a relationship can take many shapes and forms. Although we tend to only talk about physical abuse, all forms should be taken seriously. My friend once told me that the reason people stay in abuse relationships is because they begin to believe that they deserve that. No matter what you’ve done, who you are, where you're came from, you absolutely never deserve abuse in any shape or form!   I would love to continue this conversations, so if you have any questions, or want to discuss this topic further, then email me at xox, Joelle

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