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Red Flags vs. Deal Breakers

with

Kait & JJ Tomlin

Kait and JJ are laying the ground work in this episode for season 11 as they go into what a red flag is vs. a dealbreaker. 

Introduction

HEYYYY fammm!! We are FINALLY back with… *drum roll please* SEASON 11 all about RED FLAGS!!!! So, today we’re talking about red flags vs dealbreakers! This is so important because we actually get these two words confused sometimes SO we want to lay the groundwork today so we can dive into RED FLAGS the rest of this season! 

This season you can expect to hear things about lovebombing, lack of growth, addiction, allll kinds of things! Lots of hot button red flags you see in Love is Blind and even in your community groups at church! We want to know what red flags you want us to cover! If you join our patreon community you will be able to ask QUESTIONS to be asked here on the pod AND contribute ideas to be covered on the show (woohooo!!!). 

WHAT IS A RED FLAG?

Here is how we’re different here at Heart of Dating, we say that a red flag is a sign of CAUTION. A red flag doesn’t mean that you should immediately peace out, it just means you sould PAUSE to find out more INFORMATION. When you see a red light you STOP, you don’t turn around and decide to go the other way immediately. 

A red flag is NOT necessarily a dealbreaker. It is a CIRCUMSTANCE or a BEHAVIOR that we don’t want in a long term relationship. 

Take a deep breath here…

THE REALITY IS… we ALL have red flags to some EXTENT! Why? Because we are imperfect people who NEED Christ! 

One of our favorite questions to ask before someone is getting married is, “Do you have a really good idea of what their red flags are? What are their character flaws and tendencies?”

In the Christain world there are usually one of two things that happen when a red flag comes up…

First, many people ELIMINATE others at the start when they see a red flag and this can be a big mistake. 

Second, some people IGNORE red flags entirely..this is also a big mistake.

The foundation of this episode is, Proverbs 27:12 American Standard Version, “A prudent man sees the trouble and takes refuge; But the simple pass on, and suffer for it.” It’s so important to be dating with WISDOM. To be dating with wisdom is to always be EVALUATING. 

BIGGEST CAVEAT on Red Flags…

This is Kait’s favorite thing about red flags! When you find out more information many red flags can be turned into ORANGE flags and then even GREEN flags IF the person is willing to work on them. 

How can red flags go from orange to green? Ask questions! Get curious. This is going to take COURAGE to ask about that red flag! Talking about red flags can bring CONNECTION. Without having a conversation, you are technically making up a story in your mind and ASSUMING! Sometimes red flag conversations can bring you CLOSER because you’re asking questions, getting curious, and allowing you to have a vulnerable conversation that can bring connection. 

Then, pay attention to how they respond to your questions. Are they DEFENSIVE? Do they not see it as a problem? OR Do they already have AWARENESS about the red flag you are bringing up? Are they already working on this thing? 

Lastly, WATCH through TIME if this thing actively changes. If you are actively dating through a red flag (you’ve had a conversation and it’s a month later, you’re talking about it again), a great exercise to do is to hit the mute button on their words and WATCH their ACTIONS. Actions tell you where someone’s priorities are. 

One thing that is super important, you want them to change the thing you are bringing up because they ACTUALLY want to. NOT because they are trying to win you over. Otherwise it won’t be long lasting OR it could cause resentment. Ask yourself the question “Would they change this thing, even if I was not in their life?” This shows their WHY. 

Some Major Red Flags

Before we jump in, remember not to completely write someone off or these. Pause and gather more information! Get CURIOUS! 

If they don’t have godly friendships, this is a red flag. 

If they’re mainly friends with the opposite gender and/or most of their friendships are flirty friendships. 

If they judge people who go to therapy or refuses to ever go. 

If they don’t have boundaries OR they don’t respect boundaries. These cna be emotional, spirtual OR of course physical. 

If they are aggressive or easily angered. 

People Who IGNORE Red Flags

This was Kait. She ignored red flags because she wanted to see the BEST in them and almost had TOO much compassion for them. This really came from her own wounding and her anxious attachment style leaning. She wanted so badly for someone to like her and choose her that she didn’t have her worth grounded and therefore, she would overlook red flags because she flet value from them choosing her. 



IF this is you, it’s something to really dive into because while in one sense it’s beautiful to see the best in people, it’s NOT beautiful to see the best in people without having a lens of WISDOM. Especially in the choice of marriage!

People who HOLD onto red flags too TIGHTLY

This was JJ. There is typically a sense of PRIDE here - like they have help out for so long they DESERVE someone perfect. So if you deserve someone perfect and you’re waiting on them, anyone who has a single red flag is completely out of the picture because they’re not perfect. This translated to his first date not being low pressure, instead it was an interview to see if she could be his wife. It caused him to be highly critical of anyone he may consider dating. This creates a sense of entitlement. 


This often happens on DATING APPS. We eliminate people far too quickly on dating apps because of small things that we think are red flags. SALT gives you an amazing picture and snapshot of who someone is. 

What is a DEAL BREAKER?

A dealbreaker is a CIRCUMSTANCE or BEHAVIOR we don’t want in a long-term relationship. Often this should be based on VALUES! Dealbreakers are unique to each person BUT there is a general rule of thumb that is good to go by. 

Our TOP 3 Deal breakers

The number one deal breaker is, that they’re not in a committed, GROWING relationship with Christ.  If you have to guess… it’s not it. 

Second, is that they are abusive in any way, verbal, physical, and emotional too. Lying could be a form of abuse. 

Our third deal breaker is if the person has any kind of active drug or alcohol addiction OR major habitual sin. 

Some examples of other deal breakers you may have: 

  • You want kids, and the other person doesn’t 
  • Someone who has narcissistic behavior
  • Vision is not aligned
  • Laziness
  • Smoker

Some deal breakers that shouldn’t necessarily be deal breaker:

  • Politics 
  • Location 
  • Height 

Our Free Resource for you to Work Through Your Dealbreakers vs. Red Flags

Go through your past 3 relationships and list out DEALBREAKERS you’ve found from relationships.

Or if you have not been in a relationship, maybe this comes from relationships you’ve seen.

THEN thinking about those last few relationships, think about the RED FLAGS you saw in that person.

We have a freebie for you so you can do this exercise and have even more notes!

Go to HEARTOFDATING.com/resource/redflags

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Kait Tomlin

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Kait Tomlin is a best-selling author, speaker, popular relationship coach, and the founder of Heart of Dating. She helps thousands of men and women on their journeys through the conversations on the Heart of Dating Podcast, which launched in 2018.

Through her ministry, Kait’s mission is to empower both men and women to have the courage to own their story, walk in victory, thrive with purpose, and discover clarity and vision in their life and relationships. In her new book, Thank You for Rejecting Me: Transform Pain into Purpose and Learn to Fight for Yourself, Kait vulnerably shares how she grew through her deepest, darkest rejections and offers readers the tools to heal from the past, take back their power, and walk in strength, victory, and love into their future. Kait currently lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband JJ and their pups Lovey and Teddy. She loves sunshine, walks, Jesus, and lip syncing to Celine Dion.

JJ Tomlin

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JJ Tomlin is a missionary kid born in Belgium, originally from Tennessee, and currently residing in the OC. He currently works in Gaming/E-Commerce, enjoys watching his Tennessee Titans on Sundays with his Goldendoodle Teddy and loves working with Christian men to raise the bar in singleness and dating.


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