Stop Sign Seeking

Do you look for signs of the “rightness” or “wrongness” of your situation or relationships?

If you have, you’re not alone – it’s actually really common. But did you know that you’re hurting your relationships by doing so?

I had an experience this week with the business world that I think will help you see the light.

A dear friend of mine is considering starting a business. She’s excited one second, terrified the next, and needing reassurance that she’s doing the right thing. She called me in a panic to discuss and the conversation started sounding just like those I have with clients in relationships – excited but terrified and needing reassurance they’re doing the right thing.

After awhile of listening to her list of “signs this could be right” or “signs this could be wrong” I finally told her what I tell my single clients:

“It sounds like you don’t have enough information to make a decision.”

Like my friend with her business venture, we can get terrified of investing in a situation when we don’t know how things are going to turn out. That fear is normal but what usually results is sign seeking – looking for spiritual guidance or signs to tell you what you should do.

I am a spiritual person. I believe in God and I believe God cares about the choices we make and the fears we have. I also think He’s not in the business of handing out guarantees – because really that’s what we’re looking for when we seek for signs.

If you’re seeking for signs in love or in another area of life, consider these steps instead:

5 steps (1)

  1. Gather Data – Anxiety and fear manifest themselves in the vacuum of information. If you’re dating someone and don’t know how you feel, keep dating them until things become clearer. Usually what you need isn’t to “figure things out” but to give things more time to figure themselves out.
  2. Follow The Good – Figuring out if something is “right” or “wrong” can make us crazy. Instead follow the good. You can tell if a situation is bad for you – you’ll feel depressed, frustrated, broken-hearted or your partner may be treating you obviously bad. Good on the other hand usually leaves you feeling happy, excited, hopeful and your partner may be treating you obviously well. Note: good is not a guarantee of rightness – good relationships may still end up at “wrong” but bad relationships are ALWAYS “wrong.” If he seems like a good guy and you’re not staring down a field of red flags, you’re probably on a good course. Keep it up.
  3. Make a Decision – Eventually you have to make a choice about the situation you’re pursing. You can’t stay in neutral and expect to go somewhere. Either you need to move forward or back out. Make the best choice you can based on the information you have.
  4. Pray About Your Choice – Now that you’ve let your head have a say – take things to your heart. Pray, meditate, give yourself space and time for your heart to speak. There is no timeline for this step – it may take minutes or it may take months.
  5. Follow Through – There’s no drama quite like not being true to yourself. If you know this isn’t what you want, end it. Dragging things out just to delay the hurt compounds the damage you’ll do – it doesn’t lessen it.

Often we have to step into the dark to see the light. If you’re not sure what to do with the relationship you’re pursuing – invest in it, give your head space to learn about the other person naturally without the threat of breaking up looming of it. Remember, God owns defining “right” and “wrong” for your life and He will lead you as you pursue the course.