Disclaimer: If you're in a dating relationship, this article is for you.
If you're married, this article is not for you.
A Word About Dating vs. Marriage
Dating is not a commitment. It is an open-ended process that can be ended. If you're dating someone, that doesn't mean you have to keep dating them (or marry them).
Marriage, on the other hand, is not the same as dating. It is not open-ended. In marriage, you are living out a commitment to stay with your spouse. It is a covenant established by God for husband and wife to serve and love each other. If you're in a marriage, and you see some of the signs below, it is not time to quit. Whatever you are facing, God can work it together for your good.
In terms of dating, there are many views out there. The Bible does not provide us with a manual for dating, but it does show us pictures of healthy relationships where people love and respect each other (or not), both in and out of marriage.
If dating, pray and ask God how He views your relationship and what needs to change - the two options are to end the relationship or continue toward marriage. Now that we have a foundation, here are some things to think about with the person you're dating (or hope to date).
Signs You May Need to End Your Dating Relationship
1. You are a Christ-follower, but the man or woman you're dating is not.
The purpose of dating should be to determine if another person is a suitable spouse (or not). If you're a Christian, having fun is an important part of dating, but the ultimate purpose is lay a foundation (in a healthy and respectful way) that could grow into marriage. When a husband and wife are serving each other like Jesus serves the Church, outsiders see a more clear picture of who God is (Ephesians 5:22-23).
2. You care more about the other person than he or she cares about you.
I don't care what the world tells you... It's not a healthy relationship if both people don't truly care about each other. Relationships are meant to be two-way, but if it's only one-way, it's not love - it's just infatuation. When only one person is committed in a relationship, it's broken and unhealthy, and can lead to great emotional pain. A solid, healthy relationship of any type will always be beneficial and respectful to both parties (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
3. The person you're dating is addicted to anything (and unwilling to change).
If your boyfriend or girlfriend is addicted to alcohol, drugs, or pornography, it will add great strain to the relationship. If he or she pays more attention to a phone than to you, there's a problem. Our selfishness is fueled by what we pay most attention to (Matthew 6:19-24; Proverbs 23:1-7). Unless the person is willing (and able) to combat the addiction and work to become healthy, the addictions will always take a higher priority than you.
4. Your life revolves completely around him or her.
If it's impossible for either of you to do something independent of each other, you may have an issue. Dating isn't marriage. If you're not married yet, don't act like you can't live your own lives and be your own people. Codependency is an unhealthy way to do relationships because it limits the freedom of each person by being controlled by the other.
Singleness is not a burden. It is a unique opportunity for people to be more involved in a church, a passion, or to serve Jesus in ways that married people can't (1 Corinthians 7:32-35).
So What Now?
If you see any of the signs above in your dating relationship, what your boyfriend or girlfriend needs more than a relationship with you is a growing relationship with Jesus.
Pray for that person. Invite him/her to church. But at a minimum, hit pause on your dating relationship, and get wise counsel from someone you know is experienced in following Christ and building healthy relationships. These signs are hints that your significant other is not ready for marriage, and at this point, he or she is also not God's best for you. A godly mate is worth waiting for.
So don't settle for anything less.