When You’re Trying to Make It Work and It Just Won’t

Have you ever been in a relationship where you found yourself trying to make it work? You liked that person, maybe even a lot, but there were a few things about him or her that were more like pink flags, rather than red flags. Or maybe even red flags, but you chose to ignore them.

He’s such a gentleman.

He treats his mom with such respect and love.

He’s always making me laugh.

She’s so fun and light-hearted; exactly what I need.

She’s a great cook and will someday be an amazing mother!

She has such a good heart.

You WANT this relationship to work. You think you NEED it to work. But those darn pink flags. They aren’t really red flags, so it should be OK. After all, you’re trying not to be so picky. There are compromises you have to make, you tell yourself. No one is perfect.

So you give him a shot.

As much as I preach about compromising and working from a very small list of non-negotiable’s, sometimes a relationship just doesn’t work. And you don’t really know why.

Those pink flags that you’re willing to deal with, put up with, and compromise on might actually be red flags. Maybe he shares the same faith as you, but doesn’t practice it the same way. Maybe he’s flirtatious, but you tell yourself he’s just friendly. Maybe he’s an entrepreneur, but he’s 35 and still can’t take care of himself. I’m all for compromise and putting up with someone else’s “stuff” to make a relationship work, but you MUST, must, must be confident in what stuff you are willing to put up with. Committing forever is an incredibly long time to commit, so be wary of those pink flags.

I’ve walked away from relationships before not based on someone else’s character flaws, “issues,” or differences, but because I didn’t feel right about “us.” I couldn’t explain to others what was wrong with the person, or why he wasn’t a good fit for me; I just knew that I had to pay attention to that pink flag, which usually was my lack of peace.

What is your pink flag? They are always unique to you and don’t have to make sense to other people. You don’t have to have a good reason to walk away from someone. Your rationale doesn’t have to make sense to your mother who is begging you for grandchildren. Just because he’s a great guy who loves Jesus doesn’t mean you have to date or marry him.

If it’s not working, stop trying to make it work.

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