dating,  Singleness

95 Dating Red Flags that Should Send You Running

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Red-flags are the sketchy behaviors that you see when you meet someone. Oftentimes, we see that someone is unhealthy and we make excuses for them. Eventually, those tiny red-flags become trucks that knock us down and leave us for dead. I know that’s dramatic… But, man can someone’s nasty behavior make us feel like we are losing our grasp on life.

What’s funny about red-flags is we always see it ahead of time. However, when we are in love or intrigued with someone we choose to overlook it. And we often make every excuse for their bad behavior.

How to avoid dating someone with red-flag?

Write a list of things you notice, as you’re noticing them. Before your feelings get involved, it will be easier to see their behavior a lot more clearly. Remember, trust your gut.

Also, read this article for more tips: How to Avoid Toxic Relationships When You’re Drunk in Love!

What red-flags do you see?

It’s very important that you point them out, but don’t get hyper focused on them. Everyone is growing. However, if someone isn’t willing OR doesn’t know how to change that’s a problem. And please don’t play therapist — that will not end well.

Also, some red flags may hint at a deeper issue, but might not mean anything. For instance, your date may seek support for important decisions in their life. This doesn’t have to mean their codependent, or a mamma’s boy.

Review the list below. Evaluate how many match your date. Then, speak with a mentor or therapist to help you evaluate if you’re entering into sketchy dating territory. Because the truth is, one red flag doesn’t meant they’re a bad dating option or it’s a deal breaker.

1. Your Alarm System

Your body and support system will sound an alarm when something is wrong. If all your alarms are going off, then something may be off with your date.

  • They make you feel uncomfortable
  • Your family or friends don’t like the person
  • You have a bad gut feeling
  • You’re constantly confused and feel crazy
  • You feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster
  • Your fear others will judge your date

2. Wearing a Mask

Many times we are dating the “representative” or “mask” at the beginning. Pay attention to see if the mask slips and you get a chance to see the real them.

  • They present themself as perfect
  • They shift between two different personalities
  • They lie about liking everything you like
  • They’re not kind to others
  • Selfish behavior
  • They don’t mention any close friends or family members

3. Unstable Behavior

Is your date volatile? They may be a great person, but could lack emotional stability.

  • They are in and out of jobs
  • They have a pattern of bad relationships
  • They don’t have any close friends, and/or mentors
  • They don’t get along with their immediate family
  • Angry often about small things
  • Passive-aggressive and seeks revenge
  • They take bad news extremely bad
  • They’re insecure and may seek your encouragement
  • There is a constant fear of you cheating or leaving them
  • They’re constantly suspicious of your behavior

4. Codependent Behavior

Clingy behavior can easily become scary obsession. Take your time and evaluate if they’re using you to fill a hole in their empty heart.

  • They are in love too fast
  • They expect you to talk everyday
  • They want to live with you immediately
  • They can’t live without you (extremely clingy)
  • Their lonely and may feel suicidal without you
  • Gossip / talks to everyone about issues
  • They are uncomfortable with time apart
  • They need to talk to their parents about every decision

Related Article: 30 Signs You’re in a Codependent Relationship

5. Unhealed Trauma Behavior

Is the past still haunting your date? Be aware that they may view life through their past pain. If so, it may make it very hard for them to deal with current obstacles with positivity. Such a person might shut down and revert to unhealthy behaviors when they are triggered.

  •  They’ve never felt “loved” and had a series of hurtful relationships
  •  They tell you their not good for you
  • They complain about their childhood
  • They constantly bring up their ex
  • They speak badly about their ex
  • They compare you to their ex
  • Selfish and overly focused on their own needs
  • Unforgiving and often brings up the past
  • They have a shaky relationship with their parents/guardians

6. Controlling Behavior

Someone with controlling behavior feels safe when everything is exactly how they want it. However, you’re not a child. And they can quickly treat you like you are, so they put their life in a safe order.

  • They’re OCD and a perfectionist
  • Jealousy / possessive of whose in your life
  • Expecting you to do things in their ideal way or they get angry
  • Controlling and you end up obeying their commands
  • They need to know where you are
  • They are suspicious of your actions
  • They are overly critical of the words you use
  • They try to control your clothing/beauty/weight 
  • You’re not allowed to be in a bad mood
  • They try to keep you isolated and all to themselves
  • They pick your friends or control your social time

7. Blame-Shifting Behavior

Does your date deal with toxic shame and fear of doing something wrong? They may subtly blame things on you, so they don’t have to deal with guilt.

  • Can’t admit being wrong
  • Judgmental and makes you feel flawed
  • Blames others and never says what they could do better
  • They make you feel guilty for things they did
  • They feel like your blaming them

8. Non-committal Behavior

Your date might be confused, scared, or playing the field to see what other date options they can snag.

  • They are hot and cold
  • Lack of communication which makes you play guessing games
  • They treat you like a girlfriend, but deny feelings for you
  • You’re the one calling or chasing them 
  • They don’t remember prior conversations
  • They invite you to group situations, but never intimate dates
  • They drag out the dating process and never discuss monogamy
  • They don’t introduce you to friends or family

9. Lust of Power Behavior

  • They show interest, but deny feelings for you
  • They may make you cry on purpose
  • They make you feel unimportant
  • They spin it to look like you’re the one thats obsessed
  • They wait for you to contact them
  • They can be condescending

10. Victim Mentality Behavior

Does your date feel like the world is against them? This can become a problem when they view you as the enemy as well.

  • They’re always right or the victim
  • Easily offended or hurt and can’t forgive you
  • They’re always complaining about how others treated them

Related Article: 25 Signs of a Victim Mentality

11. Manipulative Behavior

Manipulation is a tactic to control your behavior and your perspective.

  • Manipulative and they always find a way to get what they want
  • They say, “I would have done it for you.”
  • Picking arguments especially to avoid the real subject
  • Lying and tends to twist the truth
  • Refusal to understand how you feel

12. Financial Red flags

Does your date spend uncontrollably? Or do they leech on your finances? Evaluate if you’re interested in someone with unstable finances and spending habits.

  • They want to live with you immediately
  • They want to borrow large amount of money
  • They’re spending a lot of money on you
  • They want to live with you immediately

13. Fixed Mindset Behavior

Your date may potentially be stuck in their own ways. You may have to fight to have your opinion heard.

  • They refuse to grow and become better
  • They can’t understand your opinions
  • They prove why your opinion is wrong
  • They always see why something wont work
  • They settle and may not push for more

14. Condescending Behavior

An insecure partner will put you and others down. This will allow them to feel better about themselves.

  • They try to be better than everyone
  • Their flashy and a show off
  • They may be extremely prideful and arrogant
  • They have something negative to say about everyone
  • They compare you to other people
  • They call you names and demean you

Related Article: 13 Causes of Toxic Communication in Relationships

15. Physical Red Flags

Physical red flags signal that your date may be more interested in sex than an emotional connection.

  • You’re first date is in their house, pool, or an intimate area
  • They seem emotional distant if you communicate “no” to a kiss, etc.
  • They try to convince you to do sexual acts even after you’ve said no
  • They’re more excited for physical than getting to know you
  • They only compliment your physical and not personality

Christina Daniels is the founder of Adorned Heart. She is devoted to learning about human behavior and its affects on society. She received a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Public Policy. She hopes to use her life and academic experience to empower & heal the hearts of women!

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