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40 Dating Red Flags You Should Pay Attention To

What are dating red flags and why do they matter? 

dating red flag

Dating red flags are usually a sign that something is off, or too different from your own views. So much so that it makes you incompatible with the person you’re dating. 

Many of the dating red flags can be noticed quite early on when dating. Therefore it is important to keep an eye out for them. 

Once you’ve noticed them you can easily and quickly decide if you want to stop dating that person, instead of wasting your time with them. 

Whilst many dating red flags depend on personal preferences, here is a list of some that are quite universal.

 

If you notice any of these you have to seriously consider whether you still want to date this person. 

It might not be worth it, especially as if these dating red flags appear early in the dating phase. They’ll just get worse and not better. 

couple laughing coffee date

1. Rushing into the relationship

You haven’t even seen each other more than a couple of times and they already want to be in a relationship. 

 I understand that sometimes you just click with someone and everything seems amazing from the very beginning. 

But thread carefully as sometimes when things seem to be good to be true, they are… too good. 

When my husband and I started dating we did get together very soon, but we were of a certain age already and knew exactly what we wanted in life and what type of partner. 

So if both of you are sure you like each other a lot and all seems great, then go ahead. 

If you feel you guys are moving way too fast… it is ok to pause or even stop dating altogether. 

2. Talking about marriage too soon (like the first or second date) 

Similar to the previous point. 

If you’re not ready for marriage and they already see themselves married to you after just one or two dates… run! 

Again, my husband and I got married very soon in our relationship. But there still were around 6 months before we actually did it. Time in which we got to know each other and we tested each other’s limits. 

If someone sees themselves married to you so soon and you don’t, it means that they just want to get married and it doesn’t matter whether with you or someone else. 

I was dating a guy once and he mentioned marriage quite soon after we started dating. Once I explained to him that I wasn’t going to marry for another few years, he just ghosted me. 

He got married to someone else within 2 months. 

I was then sure that I made the best decision for me. Because he wasn’t going to marry me because he fell hopelessly in love with me. He just wanted to marry, regardless with whom. 

3. Talking about their ex-girlfriend of ex-boyfriend excessively 

Although it is good to talk about past relationships, someone talking about their ex-es excessively can be quite a turn off. 

It’s good to find out what worked in their previous relationship and what didn’t. It is a good way to find out more about their limits, what they like and don’t like and what is their ideal idea of a relationship. 

However someone who is constantly bashing their ex just shows you how difficult it is for them to forgive and forget and put things behind them. 

They are not the type of person to let go of things too easily. 

4. Being rude to the waiter/waitress

Now this is a red flag I ALWAYS paid attention to.

You can tell the most about someone in 2 situations: 

One is when they’re drunk. That’s when their consciousness is a bit asleep and their true self comes out and you can see the real them, without them trying too hard to mask or hide it. 

The second best situation is when someone is in a position of, let’s say, power, or slightly superior to others. 

I always used to pay super close attention to how my date was dealing with a waiter or waitress. 

If they were nice to them I knew that that’s a nice person regardless of the position he is in. 

If they were ignoring them, dismissive or rude, that would be one more on the dating red flags list for me as it made me wonder how they would talk and behave towards me if they had no ulterior motives. 

Or what would happen if they don’t get it their way with me… would they become rude or maybe even violent? 

Hence, keep an eye out on how they deal with those who serve them, even temporarily. 

5. Being constantly too late 

Being late to a date is quite rude to begin with. However there are some cases in which you can give them a pass as accidents or weird things can happen to all of us. 

However if someone is constantly late when they’re coming to meet you for a date, that’s one of the many dating red flags. They either don’t respect you and your time enough. Or they just don’t care as much as to not make you wait by yourself for too long. 

6. Being rude or even violent towards you or others

This is quite rare, but it does happen. 

It tends to happen more so if you don’t give into their advances towards more intimate things. Some people take refusals quite harshly and they sometimes lash out. 

A girl I know went out on a date with a guy three times. After their third date she told the guy that she didn’t think they would be a good fit and that she wasn’t interested in seeing him again. 

The guy got super upset and he actually slapped her. Which was shocking to her and everyone who heard about it. 

So yes, you do need to be careful when dating cause you never know when you’ll get a slap for not liking someone. 

Being violent is never the answer to anything. More so when dating. 

Not sure how he thought that a slap would help the situation.

7. Not asking whether to pay or at least split the bill

There are many discussions around who should pay for a date. 

Whilst both parties make sense in their arguments I think it should be either split from the beginning or at least the girls should pay once in a while as well. 

And lately I’ve seen more and more guys who expect their meal to be paid. 

Now I, personally, always offered to pay my half, wherever I went and whomever I went with. 

There were times when my date wanted to cover the full bill and there were times when they accepted for me to pay but only my half. 

And you know what? We were fine. The dates were nice and the time spent together and nobody stressed about this. 

When my husband and I were dating he used to pay most of the time, but sometimes I would take charge and pay the bill. Like why not? 

Aren’t we in this together? Even if we were only dating at the time. 

8. Self-absorbed – They talk only about themselves and never ask about you and your likes and dislikes

I’ve met very few self absorbed people in my life and whilst they seem nice at first, they actually aren’t. 

When dating you should want to share some stuff about yourself, but also find out things about the other person. 

Otherwise how would you know if you’re actually compatible? How would you find out what they like?

 

Many times people who feel super insecure about themselves are the ones who tend to also be self-absorbed. They feel vulnerable and they don’t want to show it. 

So it comes across as self-absorbedness, it is because they are constantly talking about themselves. And they only do it so you don’t realize that they’re not that cool as they want to make you think that they are.

9. They interrupt you constantly 

This comes hand in hand with self-absorbedness. They never even let you finish your sentence cause they already interrupt you. 

Actually they just want to show off that they’re so smart that they already know what you wanted to say. 

Or they are the rude ones that don’t even care what you were going to say because for them only their own opinion matters. 

Now these are definitely some serious dating red flags that should make you run, not walk, away. 

10. Their sense of style is too different than yours is 

Although in the beginning a very different sense of style can be an exciting thing. Over time it can become quite uncomfortable and annoying. 

It might seem like this is something you can work with, but if they are unwilling to alter their style then it might just be reason for arguments later on in the relationship. 

11. Has a negative attitude

Negative people tend to suck the life out of…well everything and everyone. 

Dating should be fun and light and filled with laughter and good time. 

Not being with someone who is just draining and driving us into depression because all they do all day is complain about everything and find themselves making a thousand excuses as to why things are not going their way. 

12. Hates animals 

They don’t necessarily have to own animals. But also not to hate them. 

Animals are these funny, sometimes furry, creatures that do things out of instinct and not via a thought process as humans do. 

So in order to hate animals, especially for no reason, shows you that they can be quite mean and self-centered and not care about others around them. 

13. Stays on their phone constantly 

If they are on a date with you they normally should pay attention to you and the things you guys are talking about. 

Them being constantly on their phone is a another of the dating red flags, when dating because it shows you that they’re actually not that interested in finding out more about you and if you guys would be compatible at all. 

It also gives you an insight into how the relationship, should you get there, be like in the long run…

14. Expecting expensive holiday/getaway on the first dates

Now if someone wants to take you on an expensive getaway or holiday on the first dates and you agree that is totally fine. 

However neither one of you should expect this from the other. 

If you want to surprise them, that’s ok too. 

But if they EXPECT it or even HINT towards it, run as fast as you can as this is a major red flag. 

15. Lying 

There’s nothing worse than lying. 

How can you trust someone who constantly lies? 

You cannot trust anything about them really. 

If you’re catching them even with small lies, pay closer attention to see if they are lying about important things as well. 

16. You find their topics very boring 

If you find their topics very boring it just means that you’re not very compatible with them. 

That is ok too. We can’t all match everyone else on the planet. 

It’s ok to stop dating a person that you don’t find interesting at all. 

Why go through dates with a person that you’re not enjoying the time with? 

17. They want to isolate you from friends and family 

This is quite a serious red flag. 

If they constantly want you to distance yourself from your friends and family and only be with them, be very very careful. 

Underneath that ‘nice’ mask can hide a serious psychopath that just wants to dominate you and is isolating you from others so you cannot reach out for help. 

18. They have different views on monogamy, than yours

Meaning you want a serious relationship with one person at a time, whereas they might not. 

Or maybe the other way around. You want a more open relationship whereas they want you only for themselves. 

Monogamy in a relationship is quite a serious topic and if you guys don’t agree on this, it definitely is a major red flag. 

Even if they agree in the beginning with your terms, there’s nothing to say that they won’t want to revert back to their idea of a monogamous relationship. 

19. They always want to get it their way and they have a tantrum when they don’t 

This shows you their emotional maturity. Or better said, the lack of emotional maturity. 

Life is not always fair and it doesn’t always go our way. And that doesn’t mean that people should just have a tantrum and expect others to change things only to suit them. 

We’re living in a community, surrounded by people and everyone has their own wants and needs. Which sometimes might be different than ours. And that is ok. 

But if you’re dating someone who has a hard time accepting this. It is the perfect time to decide whether you want to continue dating this person or not. 

I would suggest not… but hey… it’s your decision at the end of the day. 

20. Yelling or shouting 

This is quite similar to the violent behaviour red flag above. 

People who are easily yelling and shouting tend to be quite choleric and unpredictable. 

And those around them are not safe, because they never know when they’ll lash out. 

So, distance yourself, before it’s too late. 

21. You disagree on traveling 

Although this might not seem like an important thing, it actually is. 

If you’re a homebody who literally likes to stay home all the time, but the person you’re with likes to travel and does so frequently, it can lead to quite a few arguments and frustrations on both sides. 

It is better to discuss these in the first few dates and know what to decide early on, before things get serious and someone gets their feelings hurt. 

22. You disagree on whether to have children or not 

This is another important red flag. 

If you guys disagree on whether to have children or not early on, it is the right moment to stop dating. 

Having children is quite a sensitive and important topic to just dismiss too easily. 

So if you don’t agree on this early on, better stop dating that person because it is less likely that they’ll change their mind later on. 

23. You disagree on where to live 

This, again, is something that can spark a lot of frustration in a relationship. 

So if you already don’t agree where you would live it is better to just call it quits. 

My husband had a similar issue with his ex-girlfriend where he wanted to move to another country and she didn’t. So this led to a lot of friction and frustration in their relationship. 

Especially as in the beginning of the relationship, she agreed to move away with him. She then later changed her mind, but never really discussed it with him. 

So even disagreeing on something like this can lead to a breakup later on. Or at least a lot of frustration. 

24. You disagree on money management 

There is even research on the fact that most arguments in a relationship and marriage are due to finances. 

If you don’t clearly agree from the beginning what your roles and financial contributions should be in your relationship, then it is a good time to consider whether you still should be dating this person or not. 

It won’t get any easier, so better discuss the important things as early as possible. 

25. You don’t click intimately 

You might like their personality, but intimately everything’s flat… 

Whilst this might sound ok for a while… but intimacy is such a big part of a relationship. 

And trust me, having everything AND intimacy is so much better than having some other good things but no intimacy. 

This too can lead to accumulation of frustration over time.

26. Smelly breath and they don’t do anything about it 

We all might have a smelly breath once in a while. Especially if we’re eating something super spicy or garlicy.

However there still are people who have a constant bad smell of their breath and they’re not doing anything about it. 

This tells you a lot about someone’s hygiene and what to expect of them in the future regarding their hygiene. 

27. Show-off – trying anything just to impress you 

When people show-off they tend to also exaggerate many things just to impress you. 

The problem is that they feel so insecure about themselves that they feel the need to do this in order to impress you. 

The other problem with this is that you cannot really trust that what they say or do is real as they want to make it sound more dramatic than it is. 

28. They talk about other dating ‘options’ and who else they could date 

This is just a way of putting you down and trying to show you that they’re ‘in demand’ and that you should be grateful that they chose you over others. 

It is not nice and frankly it is just a sneaky tactic to make you feel uncomfortable. 

29. They’re overly obsessed with a certain hobby, project or career

Everyone loves a passionate person, but there comes a point when too much is too much. 

Is nice to be with someone who is focused on something they like, but if they’re overly obsessed it might make you wonder if they would ever have time to spend with you, should you be in a relationship with them. 

30. Disagree on fetishes 

I’m not saying that everyone has fetishes, but if you do, make sure you both agree or at least tolerate them. 

Or if they have any, make sure you agree with them or are willing to try them. 

If not, then go ahead and stop dating them. 

31. Level of intellect is very different than yours

We’re not all equally smart, but we do tend to gel better with people that have similar intellect with ours. 

Otherwise, things can get boring quite quickly. 

32. Different views on romance 

As we all have different ways, we show love and affection, we also tend to have different views on romance and what it means in general. 

If your views are too different, then maybe it is time to call it quits and just move onto finding someone more suitable for you. 

33. You’re finding them unattractive 

Many times, if we find someone unattractive, we also tend to not click intimately either. 

If the sparks are not there, why bother. 

Don’t waste your time or theirs and free eachother up to find the perfect partners for each of you.

 

34. They’re involved in some shady businesses

This can have some legal consequences and they might even drag you into it. 

So stay away from shady businesses as nothing good can come of it. 

35. They don’t’ have goals or plans in life 

How can you make any future plans with someone if they don’t know which way they’re going in life? 

You’ll most likely end up making plans for them too, that is they would want to follow them.

36. Different styles of humour 

This is something quite important as well. 

If your styles of humor differ too much one of you is bound to always feel insulted. 

However if the humor style is pretty much the same, you’re bound to have lots of laughs and a good time. 

37. Huge Ego – They think they’re better than you or others 

Being with someone should be fun and nice. You should feel appreciated and valued. 

Stay away from people with huge egos as they do tend to also be very selfish. 

38. Tendency to gaslight 

The term ‘gaslighting’ wasn’t even a thing until a few years ago. But once people started talking about it I realized it is more common than I thought. 

Gaslighting is when someone tries to manipulate you into questioning your own sanity. 

If you feel someone is gaslighting you, it is better to stop dating them. 

It’s only going downhill from there. 

39. They flirt with someone else in front of you 

This is not only rude and disrespectful, but also mean. 

Why should you want to be with someone who had such behavior and disregard towards you? 

They’re clearly not interested only in being with you. 

40. Have different views on what roles should both partners have in a relationship and a house

Although situations might change in a household, being clear from the beginning and agreeing on who does what is quite important.

For example, my husband and I decided early on that should we have children, I will take care of them mostly, but I would also need help as I don’t want to do that full time and I wanted to keep working. 

Equally we have friends who have decided early on that they both want to work equally as much, or that the woman has a more lucrative business and that her husband should be more involved with raising their kids. Both those relationships work very well because they’ve agreed on things from the beginning. 

Whatever you want, make sure that you’re discussing it and agreeing on something that you’re both comfortable with. 

If you cannot agree on this early on in the dating phase, it might spark some frustration later on in the relationship. 

Conclusion

Many of these dating red flags seem like common sense, but you would be surprised to learn that sense is anything but common. 

A key takeaway from this should be that whatever you find that is not to your liking and you hardly disagree with, it is ok to stop dating that person and just move on. 

If you find any of these dating red flags, trust me, they’re not going to improve over time or if you give them another chance. 

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