No one is perfect; everyone is flawed. But there is a difference between flaws and flags. Granted, there are different shades of red flags, ranging from a bright vermillion to a dark wine. Most people draw the line somewhere around the bright scarlet area, while others are more stubborn. But everyone has at least one story of a time when they ignored a red flag that looked vermillion when they squinted but turned to a deep red wine when their eyes were opened fully. Here are ten to look out for on the first date.
1. If They Cheated With You, They'll Cheat On You
Most people in this situation believe the fantasy that their partner cheated with them because they believed they had found their soul mate but had to work out some kinks at home before finally being united. However, this fantasy can quickly turn into a nightmare when it becomes clear that not only are you not their professed soulmate, but they have a professed soulmate in every state from New Hampshire to Arizona.
“Yeahhh.. my ex was great at manipulating people to do that. I think she's 3 for 3 right now. She always made it out so that way “it's not really cheating, it's already over” – Oooh boy was I wrong. She said that to the guy before me, to me, and to the guy after me. Her biggest red flag? ‘I've been cheated on, and it was the worst day of my life, and I will never ever put anyone else through that same pain,'” one user shared.
2. Everyone Is Out To Get Them, and All of Their Exes Are ‘Crazy'
Girls pass this warning on to each other all the time. “If he says all of his exes are crazy, run.” Makes sense, though. The likelihood of every single girl someone dated being legitimately crazy is low. This deflection is often used as a tactic to prevent the current partner from reaching out to past partners and learning the truth about their character.
“When every ex is crazy and every employer is out to get him, there's a common demoninator. Too bad those people never accept that fact,” one user warned.
3. One Partner's Lack of Interest in the Other Partner's Life or Hobbies
When only one party is putting effort into a relationship, it can become imbalanced and skewed very quickly. The person who is putting in all of the effort to show interest can get so caught up in trying to please the other person by taking an interest in their hobbies, that they don't realize the effort isn't being reciprocated until it's too late.
“Her complete lack of taking part in my life. When I met my (now ex)-wife I tried to show interest in her life and her activities. I went with her to her social gatherings and tried to learn things she enjoyed. She was an extrovert, I enjoyed being included in things. I am more of an introvert, but she never bothered about my interests. For a long time I thought this was ok, I have never been very social so as long as I had time to do my stuff I didn't mind that she didn't participate in it.
But over time the relationship got more and more skewed. After a while it felt like everything was on her terms, it was her life with me as a side-character in it. If I wanted to do something it always had to fit into whatever she had planned, and a lot of the time it made me feel weird. After many years we had 3 small kids and yet I was so lonely that I felt like I was losing my mind. I went into a depression, the marriage crumbled and we went through an extremely messy break-up.
Took me many more years to recover, but I got out as a better person. Met a new woman that allows me to be as weird as I want to be, listens to me and doesn't make me feel alone,” one user shared.
4. “He/She Is Just a Friend”
This one is a classic. Listen to any alpha male podcast, and you'll hear at least one story of a girl keeping “beta orbiters,” or guys that she knows want her, but she doesn't want them, so she keeps them around even when she's in a relationship for extra attention. This is an extreme example, but the general idea holds.
Whether it's an old crush you just can't quite bear to part with or a friend who was more than a friend at one point, and you want to spare their feelings, there are all sorts of reasons why people keep old flames or almost-flames around even while they're in a relationship.
One guy shared, “Funny you say that. My girlfriend had a thing with one of her guy friends about 3 years ago. She had feelings for him. They made out, but never had sex (so she says). He didn’t have feelings for her at the time , but fast forward 3 years and he now does. She got over her feelings for him, but when we stagger dating, she refused to outright tell him she is in a relationship with me because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings?”
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5. Always One-Upping You
This is a red flag in both friendships and relationships. No one wants to be friends with someone who is always trying to one-up them and compete. Whether it's trauma or sports, or intelligence, people can be a real downer when it comes to one-upping. And often, they're lying to begin with.
“I had 2 friends who would do this and we used to hang out a lot, just the 3 of us. I could hardly ever get a word in because they were both always one-upping each other or me. When the friendship ended, I realized I didn't lose much,” one user shared.
6. They Treat Strangers Poorly
How people treat strangers is almost always indicative of what kind of person they are. If the person you're on a date with is rude to the waitstaff or cashier and lacks basic respect, it might be best to bow out. That's a clear indicator of how they will treat you soon enough.
“THIS. Exactly what I came here to post. I saw him yell at a waitress and then he looked at me in complete fear – almost as if he knew his own mask had just slipped, or he'd messed up his ‘act'. He immediately went “I'm sorry.” I went “For what?” He said “I can tell by the look on your face, you didn't like that. I won't do it again.”
A few days later I gently suggested to him coming to a soup kitchen with me and a group of our friends, because he'd never had to work a job serving the public. His face contorted in absolute disgust and he basically laughed in my face.
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I knew it was over then, but hung on until the real stuff happened. Most toxic relationship of my life,” one girl shared.
7. Constantly Lying
Even if they're only lying about little things that seemingly don't matter, it shows that they are comfortable hiding things from you, which is never a good sign. Trust is important in relationships, and lies are one of the best ways to break the foundation of your relationship.
“Lying. To my limited credit, I was 19 and very inexperienced. I excused his lies with thinking that he would grow out of it. We got married. After the first baby I realized it wasn't something that he would grow out of and then I though well, he may be a liar but he would never lie to me. Around 15 years in and 4 kids later I realized that yes, he would lie to me. But I thought I could mitigate his lies to everyone (family, kids, employers, friends). Then he left me for a younger woman who no doubt also believes he will grow out of it or would never lie to her.
I owe that woman a fruit basket for setting me free. Learn a lesson kids – never, ever ignore a compulsive/frequent liar. They will not change and they will lie to you,” one woman shared.
8. Love Bombing
Love bombing is generally one of the first red flags that pops up in a budding relationship. The other person will shower you with attention, praise, gifts, dates, and whatever they think they need to do to win you over. Then, once they've got you, it all stops.
“Love bombing. We’re married now and he barely touches me except to cuddle at night and share intimacy. He says it’s not, but I’m completely convinced it was all fake to win me over. It’s hard to be in the same room with someone you crave intimacy from but refuses to give it. I can’t believe I fell for it,” one woman shared.
9. Spoiled by Their Parents
Having parental support is great, but that can go too far. Parents who take too much of an active role in their adult child's life can create co-dependencies and unrealistic expectations.
“Her mother didn't want her to have any friends. She wanted to be her only friend. And her mother and father bought her EVERYTHING you could ever wish for. Pony – check. Car – check. the list goes on and on. So yeah, she turned out to be pretty challenging to have as a girlfriend. The co-dependency issues were hall-of-fame worthy,” one guy said.
10. Shaming You for Your Interests
This is a big one. Everyone has different interests and hobbies, and as long as they aren't actively harming you or the people around you, there's nothing wrong. It never feels good when you try and get your partner interested in one of your hobbies just to be told they're childish or immature, or boring.
“When he told me my hobbies and interests (cosplay, Star Wars, comics, etc. ) were immature and embarrassing. Meanwhile he's regularly throwing full on tantrums over sports. No clue why I ever tolerated someone who tried to shame me for liking the things I like. Now I'm with a fellow nerd who supports and joins in my crafting and geeking out with enthusiasm. Way way happier,” one woman shared.
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