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Dating Red Flags (35 Warning Signs To Lookout For)

Dating someone new is fun and comes with different quirks which may get surprisingly fun. However, it can be exhausting to keep looking out for signs that show if the guy is the real deal or a fluke. 

Many men bring on their A-game to a first date because they want to make a great impression that will earn them more dates. This is not because you want to cancel the person out of spite but, because you don’t want either of you to waste each other’s time.

Unfortunately, because of the excitement of meeting a cute guy who sounded interesting over the phone, many women don’t watch out for the warning signs that show a relationship won’t work out in the long term. At the end of the day, when your significant other starts acting up, you’d end up thinking you’re the one with the

However, if you choose to, you can point ou problem.

So that you don’t have this pattern of thinking, below are some tips to guide you on future dates with your potential partner. They will help you decide if there is any point in setting future dates with the guy or if the deal breakers far outweigh the fun in the potential relationship

Table of Contents

35 Dating Red Flags

1. He doesn’t seem to have anything meaningful to contribute to the conversation

The point of going on dates is to have a conversation that will help you get to know one another more than you already do. Communication will play a major role in the relationship if you decide to become partners. However, there is a problem when you are only having a one-sided conversation.

If your partner always lets you do the talking or only comments at his convenience, then what’s the point of having a conversation? You don’t want to be with someone who makes you feel like you talk too much when he is the one not saying anything meaningful in return. 

2. He goes neanderthal on you and orders food for both of you every time

If this were the early 80s or 70s, it would have been considered okay to allow the man to order your meals when you’re eating out. However, this is 2023 and women don’t like being treated like a simpleton who cannot make up their minds.

One thing about this controlling attitude is how easily it seeps into other areas of your life. If one person makes all the decisions, it’s quite easy for it to become a pattern. 

3. He doesn’t care where you both hangout, as long as it suits his taste

He doesn’t care where you both hangout, as long as it suits his taste

In an ideal situation, a lady should call dibs on where she wants to hang out, especially for a first date. If a man takes you to a seedy bar on the first date, this is a red flag giving you an idea of the kind of company he keeps or the lifestyle he leads. 

If he doesn’t allow you to pick the location, you should probably be wary of him. After all, you don’t know him well enough to trust him with your security. It’s only fair that you pick the place for the first few dates. 

4. He seems to abhor the idea of hanging out with other guys

Except you’re ready to shoulder most of the responsibilities in your relationship, it is not wise to be okay with someone who can’t seem to hold his own with other men.

Wanting to see your man having good conversations with other men is not about being competitive or discouraging him from giving you some attention. It’s about assuring yourself that he is in control of his masculine side too.

5. He can’t seem to maintain eye contact with you for long

Maintaining eye contact in relationships indicates several things; one of those things is that you have the other person’s full attention and he connects with you.

A red flag is when your date doesn’t meet your gaze directly throughout the time you spend together. Even if he is shy, he will still try to look at you occasionally and not remain focused on everything else except you. He is either sizing you up or doesn’t find you all that interesting. 

6. His words don’t match his actions

One of the ways to catch someone in a lie is to check if their words correlate with their actions. If at the dating stage your significant other says things that don’t add up with his actions, he is not someone you can trust completely. 

It has nothing to do with trust issues but, with the fact that he, for example, says he dislikes dirty guys. Yet, his kitchen sink is always full of dirty dishes. Someone dishonest will look for excuses to explain his slip up, it’s left to you to call him out on such behavior.

7. He asks you to hang out in a bar and gets you alcoholic drinks but doesn’t get any for himself 

Of all the signs a douchebag who is only out to have sex with you will show, this dating red flag tops the list. Even if he is on driving duty, the guy should still try to drink the same thing you’re having or something similar, especially because you are someone he’s still getting to know. 

That’s why it’s important to note that a guy’s actions reflect the kind of man he truly is. If he doesn’t drink anything but keeps filling your glass with beer or any other alcohol, he is trying to get you drunk and possibly convince you to have sex with him in your vulnerable state. 

8. He bad mouths his ex

Another way to identify red flags when dating is from how your ‘partner-to-be talks about his exes. Does he make his past dates look like villains? Is he the only good guy in his story? Many guys take this high-root. However, it becomes suspicious when he’s more than happy to talk negatively about more than necessary.

9. He sounds regretful about his life rather than appreciative

Dating red flags aren’t always glaring especially when you’ve just started communicating with the man. In relationships, there are different kinds of people; the ones who seem to resent their ‘luck’ and the ones who appreciate each experience as it comes.

You should run the other way if the guy you’re hoping to enter a relationship with is always bemoaning his choices and life overall. It is only a man who appreciates each life experience that will help you see the good in life regardless of what may happen.

10. He nitpicks about the most irrelevant things

Many people think women are more prone to nitpick about stuff but men do it too. They’ll fuss about everything from the way you dress to the friends you keep.

One dating red flag is when someone you’re dating can’t focus on important things but chooses to give time to irrelevant details. It’s something that can be manageable, but it could also get very annoying fast.

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11. He disrespects his family members

Many women feel like their partner would still respect them even if he disrespects his friends and family. However, this sign isn’t something to ignore; a man that’s bold enough to disrespect his mom or dad may get rude and abusive with you too. 

There’s something very important about the type of relationship your partner has with his folks and siblings. If they abuse one another or don’t have clear boundaries, he probably won’t have any positive relationship or family dynamics to build on.

12. It is almost impossible for him to appear impressed by what anyone else does

No one is perfect. However, the least each person can do is to cheer someone up when they achieve a feat—no matter how small it is. If your man is someone who finds nothing impressive, there is a big problem. 

It means that he will always demand more than you are willing to or can give of yourself. Relationships of this kind become toxic and hard to break out from. It is best if you let him go before you go deeper than you already have. 

13. He is always complaining about one thing or the other

He is always complaining about one thing or the other

Another sign of toxicity is when someone doesn’t have an appreciation for the good things of life or people’s efforts. His friends are too basic, his ex was a witch, his colleagues are lazy. It would seem as if he has something against everyone except himself. It’s someone who’s bitter that fails to see the good in others.

And if you choose to stick with this man for the long term, he may just suck out your joy for life and make you view even the little things you can easily resolve as insurmountable. 

14. He makes you believe you’re both in love, even though you hardly know one another well

It is true that love, at first sight, is possible. However, even people who fall in love that quickly don’t express it just as easily. As long as the partners understand both the spoken and unspoken rules of dating, they will give each other time to know the other person before making love proclamations.

15. He stands you up or shows up late without any reasonable explanation

Another red flag in dating is when the man doesn’t have anything significant to say for standing you up or showing up late to your date. It is a sign of disrespect not to inform someone ahead of time that you won’t be able to make it at all or that you’ll be late. If something came up, a quick text could inform the other person about the development.

When this happens the first, second, and third time, you should show him the highway to goodbye lane.

16. He seems to be extra connected to you because you both share many similarities

Any woman will be glad to see that her new boyfriend is connecting with her so soon into the relationship and the universe appears to be in favor of the union. However, how soon is too soon, and how connected is too connected? 

When he claims to understand each of the memories you share with him, even the ones that he shouldn’t have had any form of similarities with, you should be worried. The more he claims to relate with everything you say, the more rushed or forced it should seem.

It is either he had been stalking you before you started talking or, he is trying to suck up to you because of what he hopes to get from you.

17. His personal hygiene is bad

When two people get close and comfortable with each other, they accept both the good and bad habits of the other person. However, if you’re just on the first or second date and your partner doesn’t groom himself appropriately, he is probably telling you that you’re not important enough for him to make the effort to look good or smell nice.

Someone who doesn’t put in the effort now may get even worse in the long run. So it’s either he changes now, or you take the clue and part ways with him.  

18. He can’t help but fiddle with his phone constantly when you spend time together but he doesn’t reply to your messages on time when you’re apart

It is safe to say anyone knows it is a bad habit to keep pressing your phone when you’re in the company of someone you claim you want to spend time with. If your boyfriend or the new man you’re dating always has his head bent over his phone when you’re together, his message to you is that you don’t mean anything to him.

The worst part is that such a guy won’t return your text or call when you are not together either. This is a red flag you shouldn’t ignore.

19. He is too eager to get into your personal space from the first date

If from the first official date his behavior indicates that he wants to be in your personal space, you should see it as one of the dating warning signs to address ASAP. 

For example, if he thinks holding hands and kissing right after dinner on the first date is not bad but you don’t like it, let him know. For someone else, this could be acceptable, but for others, that’s a boundary you shouldn’t cross. 

20. He shares too much information during your first date

The first date is supposed to be a laid back affair where you get to be more comfortable with each other. However, a bad sign that he is not doing something right is when he overloads you with too much information such as bad sex with his ex, or the time he had a threesome!

21. He is too intense instead of being merely cool on the first date

Most times, dating doesn’t start with meeting the person physically. Most relationships start via chatting or over the phone even if you’ve seen the man before. 

It takes seeing someone regularly before you know if you want to be with them indefinitely. If you’re meeting that man for a first date and he starts acting all intense as if he knows you in and out, and you’re not cool with it, you may want to distance yourself from him for a while.

22. He doesn’t allow you to ask him questions even though he is swamping you with enough questions to last the duration of the date

When a man doesn’t allow you to ask a question even though he had been asking numerous ones throughout the night (or day) during your first date, you better see it as a red flag. It is either he doesn’t trust what you’ve told him so far about yourself or he is trying to deflect any question you may want to ask about him.

23. He insists on paying for the meal every time

He insists on paying for the meal every time

Again, it’s the 21st century and women can pay for their meals if they want to. His action says “I’m the man here and my word stands”. Such relationships with no balance usually end badly or you remain trapped like a subservient partner in the relationship. 

24. He uses an endearment for you on the first date

This red flag is a bit more obvious than many others because it’s a menace especially popular on social media. Many people find it insulting to be referred to as ‘sweetheart, darling or honey' by someone they don’t know too well.

Even if you’re very much attracted to the man, it probably won’t sit well with you if he addresses you by an endearment—especially if you’re not familiar with each other.

25. He doesn’t order a drink but sticks to water

When a guy takes you out and he doesn’t order a drink, it is his way of saying he won’t be spending much time with you. On the other hand, he could simply be staying away from any triggers. In that case, you’re all clear with the red signals. 

26. Makes last-minute changes and ditches a prior meeting just to see you

 While it is easy to get flattered by this seemingly selfless action, what happens when he does the same to you? It is not chivalry to abandon an earlier plan for someone else on a whim, especially when it happens too often.

27. He manages to make everything about himself

No one wants to be in a relationship with a self-centered person, even if they are self-centered themselves. One of the things that will set off alarm bells in your head is when he insinuates himself into every conversation. 

28. He is overly interested in the cost of everything surrounding him

Financial talks shouldn’t venture into a first date. So, if the man can’t seem to stop talking about the cost of his shoes, or any item he’s putting on and the dinner you’re eating, it suggests his ego is bloated. 

29. He crosses his arms almost throughout your dates

This act gives off an ‘I don’t want to open up to you' vibe which is unhealthy for a fresh relationship. You can ask him why he’s acting that way to see what he has to say.

30. You’re always the one reaching out to him to go on dates

If he never initiates an outing, it is a sign that he’s reluctant to pursue a relationship with you. Stop being the first to ask him to hang out and see if he will step up his game.

31. He is unnecessarily jealous even when you assure him there’s no reason to be

A little bit of jealousy and possessive attitude is hot and sweet but, when it becomes too much, it makes someone look petty. You may want to avoid a man who acts unnecessarily jealous for no reason. 

32. He gets physical when he is angry

This is one red flag you want to pay attention to because you could be in harm’s way if you ignore it. A man who destroys things when he’s angry can become abusive towards you someday. 

33. He is not willing to bend a little to meet your needs

Relationships are about meeting halfway and bending to satisfy each other at times. However, if you’re the only one making the sacrifice to make him happy, the relationship should end at the dating phase. 

34. He is not interested in meeting your family or friends

If your family and friends mean a whole lot to you, you’d want them to meet the person you’re dating. If he doesn’t want to meet them, it suggests that he won’t stick around for that long. 

35. Your gut tells you he is not worth the effort

You cannot afford to underestimate the power of gut feeling, especially when it comes to a partner you may or may not love. When other dating red flags fail, your gut might be all you can trust to lead you right.


What are some red flags in a guy?

Red flags that guys exhibit include; ghosting a girl they don’t want to hang out with again, standing her up on dates, and lying about having somewhere important to go.

How long is too long to date before the relationship?

When the dating process is beginning to run into months rather than a few weeks, there is little hope that it will turn into a relationship. 

Is it a red flag if a guy moves too fast?

A man moving too fast can either be a good or bad thing. It’s a good thing when you feel like going fast too but, it’s not when you’re not fine with it.

How can you tell if he's using you?

When he doesn’t mind having sex with you but he doesn’t create time for both of you to just hang out, he is using you.

How do I know if he's into me?

If a man is into you, he will show it in words and actions. He won’t only buy you flowers and chocolates, he will do his best to be around you most of the time. He will be there to help you as much as you do for him.

The Bottom Line

Just as it is easy to be unaware of dating red flags, it is also easy to become paranoid while trying not to get hoodwinked by a guy you barely know. The best solution in this situation is to create a balance of ‘having fun while it lasts’ and staying cautious to know when to cut the man off.

If the tips in this article proved useful, do share this article and leave a comment below. 

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


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