How to Spot Red Flags When Dating

Maybe you were recently let down by a partner who seemed like a great match when you first met. But as time went on, you realized that you just weren’t compatible. They seemed kind and honest at first. But you gradually became uncomfortable with the way they treated you. Eventually, you had no choice but to break things off. You wish that you had come to this conclusion earlier on so that you hadn’t invested so much time and energy in the relationship.

It’s not always easy to identify red flags right away. But if you pay close attention, you can save yourself from heartbreak down the road. Here are a few red flags that you can keep an eye out for as early on as the first date.

Reflections On Past Romantic Relationships

The way someone talks about their past relationships can tell you a lot about them. If someone seems to pin all of the problems in their previous relationships on their exes, it’s not a good sign. It’s perfectly normal to have negative feelings about past relationships. But speaking poorly about all of your past partners can indicate a lack of maturity and an inability to take responsibility.

Relationships With Friends And Family

What are your date’s relationships with their friends and family like? You might not be able to tell on the first date. But you may not want to get too invested in the connection before you have a chance to meet their family and friends. If you don’t get along well with their friends, or their family isn’t welcoming, it could be a warning sign of things to come.

Treatment Of Service Staff

Don’t just think about how your date treats you on your first few dates. When you’re out to dinner, how does your date treat the servers? If they’re rude and demanding, or they try to get away with not leaving a tip, pay close attention. Consider how they interact with the staff wherever you are, too. The way that someone treats service staff can reveal a negative side of their personality. Someone who is nasty to the waiter in front of you is showing you who they really are.

Timely Communication

After going out for the first time, you might have been excited to see your date again. Maybe you messaged each other as usual to say goodnight, and it seemed like they were in a good mood as well. But the next time you reached out, you got nothing but silence in return for a day or two—and then they popped up again as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. A lack of timely communication is definitely a red flag. You’re not over-exaggerating if this upsets you. It’s an indication that your date doesn’t value your time and that they might not be particularly reliable.

Love Bombing

On the other hand, constant attention can also be a red flag. Your date might have been so flattering towards you that it almost seemed too good to be true. Perhaps they complimented you endlessly or even told you that they loved you after you had only gone on a few dates. Part of you might be excited—but if another part of you thinks that your date is going overboard, listen. You simply don’t know each other well enough yet, and your date is “love bombing” you and putting you on a pedestal.

Are you struggling to identify red flags when you go on dates? Working with a therapist can help. Reach out to us to discuss your options for scheduling your first session for therapy for women.