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The 30 Biggest Dating Red Flags When Dating Someone New

Red flags, red flags, everywhere.

A row of red flags fluttering in the wind.

Dating can be a wonderful experience to find love and meet new people. However, not everyone you come across is going to be right for you—or for anyone! This list contains several major red flags that, in our experience, should not be ignored. Of course, this list isn’t comprehensive. If something feels off, trust your gut. Here are 30 major dating red flags to look out for when dating someone new.

  1. Left the date feeling put down. A red flag that this is often how you’ll be feeling around them.
  2. Left the date feeling unsafe or pressured into something you weren’t ready for. Run!
  3. Rude to waitstaff, service people, or other employees. You will continue to be embarrassed by them for the rest of your life.
  4. Rude to you. This is the best their behavior will ever be.
  5. Bored or uninterested. Don’t chase people who act as though they have something better to do.
  6. On their phone constantly. Again, incredibly rude.
  7. Can’t stop talking about an ex. They’re probably not over them.
  8. All their exes are ‘crazy’. They’re the common link.
  9. Values incompatible. You can’t change them.
  10. Didn’t ask you any questions. Self-centered, and this shows bad judgment. They should want to get to know you as much as you get to know them.
  11. Didn’t let you get a word in. How do people not notice they’re hogging the conversation?
  12. Didn’t want to reveal anything about themselves. What are they hiding?
  13. Constant negativity. This is a real downer to be around. And you’ll never impress them.
  14. Love bombing, or too much too soon. If you feel uncomfortable by their intensity and are confused why they feel so strongly so soon, note that it might be insincere.
  15. Trauma dumping or oversharing. You’re not a therapist. And even if you are, you don’t work for free. (And even if you do work for free this isn’t your client.)
  16. Signs of controlling behaviors. Maybe they tell you a story about a past relationship that doesn’t show them in a good light. Don’t ignore this.
  17. Lack of empathy. Stories about their past can often show this.
  18. Unwanted advice or comments on appearance. This includes negging or any kind of backhanded compliment. Don’t fall for it!
  19. Only talks about their startup. (This one’s for you, San Francisco.) No seriously, stop that.
  20. Disparaging towards your gender, culture, religion, beliefs. Just no.
  21. Disparaging towards others’ genders, cultures, religions, beliefs. On a first date? Really? Not that this is any better on a later date…
  22. Flakes without explanation, then turns up later with no apology. Your time is valuable and just as important as theirs.
  23. Obvious lies or unqualified boasting. If you continue to date them, the truth will eventually trickle in. And you probably won’t like it.
  24. Passive-aggressive behavior. Is there anything more frustrating?
  25. Doesn’t put in any effort whatsoever. A first date is the most effort they’re likely to ever put in.
  26. No sense of right and wrong. It’s too late for them—it can’t be taught.
  27. Stories they tell about their life show behavior you’re not okay with. Again, they won’t change for you.
  28. Shows up extremely drunk, high, or otherwise non-functional. Especially on an early date, this suggests a major issue with substance abuse. You are not going to fix them.
  29. Seems too busy for a relationship. If they’re impossible to get hold of and their schedule is booked six months in advance, you may end up frustrated.
  30. Something just feels very wrong. Trust your gut. Consider journaling to figure out what exactly gave you the ick.

You might recognize this list from one of the exercises in our guided journal for online dating, The Date Book. If not, go check it out! There is more helpful content in the book and in the rest of our dating blog, The Date Blog. Happy dating!

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