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When it comes to choosing a spouse, most people are relatively picky. This is unsurprising because people are deciding with whom they want to spend the rest of their life. No one wants to make that choice lightly. Nor is it a choice that should be made likely. 

Sometimes, people decide that the person they are dating is not marriage material for a mixture of reasons. There is not one individual thing that stands out as what pushed the relationship into a nosedive. Instead, it was a series of smaller things. Any one of those small things on their own could have been dealt with, but when they all came together, it was too much.

Other times, the end of the relationship has a single specific cause. A person may call it quits over a dealbreaker such as a partner who smokes. Someone may also end the relationship because there is one thing that makes a long term arrangement impossible. This would be the case if one person is certain they want to have children and the other is vehemently opposed to it. The couple might have lined up on everything else, but that is not an issue that can be compromised on for many people. 

Most of the time, relationships end over either disagreements, such as whether or not to have children, or a specific action, such as cheating. It is unusual for an otherwise healthy relationship to end over what someone said. There are, however, phrases that Christians never want to hear come out of a potential spouse’s mouth. 

"I'm interested in an open marriage."

The concept of an open marriage is a recent one that has gotten a great deal of attention due to several celebrities claiming to have open marriages. An open marriage, however, is not really a marriage at all. Marriage requires monogamy in both emotional and physical matters. A so-called open marriage does not require either. 

When a potential spouse says that they are interested in having or would be happy in an open marriage, that is a Christian’s cue to start composing the break-up speech. Someone who wants an open marriage is not actually looking to get married. They want someone they can be sure will be there for them to come back to after they, essentially, have affairs with everyone else. 

"Who cares about money?"

This can be a hard one for Christians to come to terms with since many Christians act like the word “money” needs to be censored. Unfortunately, money is a necessity and having a conversation with a potential spouse about future money management will prevent serious problems down the road. 

Plenty of Christians are perfectly happy to live a simple and modest life, but stressing about money is the last thing that Christians, who hate talking about or dealing with money, need. So, when a partner cheerfully talks about how money is irrelevant or describes their latest irresponsible spending binge, it is probably time to hit the road. 

"Parents? What parents?"

Most people in this day and age will end up having to take care of aging parents in some way, shape or form. That care might come in the form of having an aging parent move in with an adult child, arranging for a caretaker to visit the aging parent or moving the aging parent into a nursing home. What situation is best depends on the situations of the aging parent, the adult child and the adult child’s family. It will vary from person to person, but a person should be ready or willing to deal with it some way. No Christian wants to hear that the person they are dating is planning to throw their aging parents to the wolves. That sort of lack of compassion and family loyalty is generally enough for Christians to say farewell.

"Great sex is the key to a happy marriage."

It seems like half the marriage advice floating around on the internet suggests that a good sex life practically guarantees a happy marriage. This, of course, is ludicrous. Sex is a part of building intimacy in a marriage, but it is only a part. A fabulous sex life will do little to help an otherwise unhealthy marriage. Some people, however, are so focused on the idea of married sex that they forget to think about how they will be filling the rest of their days and nights. Sex will be only a small portion of married life, but if that is all a person seems to think about with regards to marriage, it is time to walk away. Plenty of couples have perfectly happy marriage with little sex, and no amount of sex is enough to save an unhappy relationship.

"Children don't need to be going to church."

Generally speaking, people want to raise their children in the same religion that they themselves practice. As such, it can be a dealbreaker when a potential spouse states that they think it is ridiculous to raise children as part of a church. Plenty of parents disagree on how large of a part church should play in a child’s life, but in the case of Sunday school or no Sunday school, both parents at least agree that a child should be active in their faith. When even that basic understanding is missing, there is unending potential for fights and practically a guarantee that one parent is going to disapprove of how the child is being raised. That is not a recipe for a happy home in any way.

Everyone hopes that their relationship will culminate in “I do,” but not every relationship is destined to last. When a relationship loses any sort of long term potential, it is usually time to say goodbye. Do not cry, however, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Throw this one back, and go catch another.