Do you want to avoid some of the trials and tribulations of the dating world? Do you prefer a life with less useless drama?
Yeah, me too. (If you said, “Nah, son. Bring on the struggle”, just stop reading here.)
Now, I’m a woman who’s seen her own share of disappointments in the dating world and listened to the struggles of many of my fellow ladies and men as they try to fumble through the giant game of Jenga that has become dating in this day and age.
We’ve all had our moments of poor date/relationship choices. Who hasn’t?
But, we live and we learn.
Or, do we?
Shoutout to “Alice in Wonderland” for this gem of a quote:
“I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.”
We find ourselves ignoring our own good advice once the first twinge of feelings hits us.
If I stop to think about it, I can pinpoint a moment in any of my unsuccessful relationships where I knew deep in my gut that it wasn’t going to end well. Not because I was being picky or pessimistic, but because the red flags were there all along.
Here’s the cycle: Meet a person, spend some time with them, consciously ignore the red flags that were hanging all over their face, repeat.
Gettin’ all involved despite the clear signs in the beginning that this fool was gonna end up playing “Red Light, Green Light” with your emotions.
So, let’s start being aware of some of the most common dating red flags around and maybe save ourselves a little stress and strife.
15 Most Common Dating Red Flags
*Note: Some of these are deal breakers. Some won’t break the deal, but you better be damn sure you go back and read the fine print on that contract.
1. “I’m not really looking for a relationship right now.”
Believe them when they say any variation of these words to you. If you ARE looking for something that’s going somewhere, STOP RIGHT THERE. Don’t convince yourself that they’ll change their mind once they see how awesome you are. Even if you are awesome, this person just told you they’re not on the same page. Keep it movin’.
2. They cancel twice in a row or are constantly really “busy”.
If they’re truly interested, even a genuinely busy person will make some kind of time for you. And they won’t make you ask for it.
3. They don’t respect your time.
If you can’t hang out in the exact time that they want to, it’s not gonna happen at all. This person only wants to hang out if they have nothing else to do and it’s convenient for them. Don’t expect them to go out of their way to accommodate your schedule or give you more than a few hours notice to kick it.
4. They can never admit fault. To anything.
A sign of immaturity, ego, and narcissism. Prepare to listen to them turn themselves into the victim in every situation. Run from these people.
5. They treat you differently when their friends are around.
They’re all sweet and cuddly when you hang out solo, but act like they don’t know you like that when their friends are around? You’re dealing with a “Two-Face”. Send that fool back to Gotham.
6. They pout.
Pouting is literally one of the least attractive reactions of all time. At the first sign that they’re not going to get their way, they flip the script and go cold on you. “Your way” doesn’t exist. Remember how in “Alice in Wonderland” the Red Queen tripped out on Alice when she said that she had lost her way? The Red Queen was like, “All ways are my way!” Yeah, that’s who you’re dating. The Red Queen. Off with their head.
7. They leave you hanging on a text response for days/weeks on end.
This person fell off the face of the earth and then hit you up out of the blue talkin’ about, “What you up to?” They’re either real flaky or not that interested. Someone that’s really into you will find the 2 secs it takes to text back within the day. I guarantee it.
8. They just got out of a relationship.
Nothin’ like being a rebound, am I right? Keep these people at a distance for a hot minute before you even think about getting close. They need time to process and you need time to not be apart of that mess.
9. They only use Snapchat to talk to you.
You have my number but all you do is snap me chat messages that will soon disappear from existence? I mean…c’mon.
10. They don’t ever make actual plans with you.
Every time they get in touch it’s to meet within the next hour, late at night, OR the convo was so vague that you think you might “hang” at 7pm…but you don’t know what day of the week, where you’re going, and they warned you that they might need to cancel at 6:55, so hit ’em up before you leave. No.
11. They put you down “jokingly” a little too often.
They like to tease, critique, or make condescending comments to you on the regular. But, they’re just kidding, right? You know the difference between light-hearted silly jokes and what this person is doing. It’s a power move to make you feel small and it’s childish. Tell Jeff Ross to take his comedy roast somewhere else.
12. They try to make you feel jealous and insecure.
They’re punishing you for their own insecurities by resorting to this immature move. The person you’re with should be making you feel the exact opposite. You know this.
13. They are incapable of having an adult conversation.
These people try to make you feel crazy when you ask reasonable questions or when you try to bring up something that’s bothering you. You could come in cooler than a cucumber on ice, but if they don’t want to talk about it? They’re gonna laugh it off and start throwing words like “over-reacting” and “dramatic” at you in hopes that they can avoid the convo. Tell them to pick up their Legos on the way out.
14. They’re all talk and no action.
They’ve got big dreams and they’re going places, but they make no real life moves to make things happen. They tell you who they are and show you something different. These people make a lot of empty promises and will say just about anything that they think you want to hear just because they know it sounds good. Don’t believe the hype.
15. People that get physical super fast.
If ya’ll just met 14 minutes ago and they’re already running their hands all over you and beyond, just realize that there’s a strong likelihood they’d do that with anyone. Try not to mistake this for “connection”.
Let’s be realistic for a moment.
Is it possible that you’ll still end up hanging out with people that are waving a red flag or two? Of course. Sometimes you want to take a chance and that’s OK.
Being aware of these basic red flags will keep you from being blind-sided by people. A lot of the hurt or disappointment you feel can stem from the sudden shock that this person bailed on you out of nowhere.
Establishing personal boundaries for what you will and will not put up with helps to save you time and energy in the dating scene.
And don’t be afraid to put up a wall when you need to.
Walls are good when you put them up against people that you know shouldn’t have unrestricted access. The key is learning to take them down for the right people.
Not everyone will appreciate you. Not everyone is right for you.
Don’t take it personally. You can’t make someone be into you and you don’t want to have to try.
Start to notice dating red flags like they’re highlighted in red.
It is always within your power to take a step back and make sure that you’re not playing a part in your own unhappiness by continuing to put yourself in the same situations time and time again.
Exercise: Take a quick moment and jot down everything the people you’ve been dating have in common. Good things, bad things, anything that links them. See if you’ve got yourself a pattern. Then, ask yourself:
“Why am I so attracted to these types of people?”
That’s an interesting train of thought to take a ride on.
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