I’ve been in 2 long-term committed relationships but have found myself dating for the past 9 years. Online dating has it’s fair share of disasters but given the sea of plankton, there are plenty of good fish in the sea. However, many profiles online have no reviews so you can easily be Cat-fished by someone with less genuine intentions than you may realise. To get to the starting line armed with adequate brake peddles, here are some of the red flags I think everyone should consider.
1: The pushy and spontaneous. I love spontaneity and have hoped on a plane and travelled across the globe alone in a heartbeat but this can be a massive red flag at the start of a relationship. I have noticed that the type of person who wants you to rush into a first date is usually desperate. If during your first conversation this person starts pressuring you to leave your house at 11pm at night to go round to their home, when you’ve never previously met, this person has ‘arsehole vibes’ written all over them and has no regard for your safety. Accelerate with caution.
2: The time waster. This date will match with you but won’t ask you anything which indicates they are interested in getting to know you? If the conversation is one sided, this person wants an ego massage and nothing more.
3; The Cat-fisher: This person will limit the number of photos so you’re not really sure who you are dating. They may even put lots of group photo’s online, so you might get a big surprise who turns up on date one. This date doesn’t take dating seriously, so limit the energy you blow into this engine. I once turned up for a date only to be met with a guy around 20 years older than his profile pictures. He then turned up at my work and acted like we’d never met. You’ve been warned!
4: The flasher. This date is only in it for the opportunity to expose themselves… Cock-a-doodle-don’t! This is not okay and they should be reported and blocked immediately.
5: The asset manager also known as the GOLD-DIGGER! With the dawn of equality it’s difficult to understand that this is a growing trend amongst both sexes. If your date wants to know more about your assets, material goods or even jokes about you financing them…. Back up, there’s a red light.
6: The social media spy. There’s no double that there are many dangers to dating strangers and the internet can allow dubious characters to pretend to be something they are not. Social media is a great tool for seeing how a person lives and assessing their social circle but lets not forget it’s an inflated exhibition of one’s character; so the person you see may not be the same person you are talking to. If someone thinks they know you already from Instagram or Google they’ve probably made their own judgements and may not be getting to know you for the right reasons?
7: The $10 date. The first date is often an indicator of someones intentions towards you, so this is a very good way of assessing how cheap your date is. There’s nothing wrong with splitting the bill, as this is everyone’s prerogative, however if after one drink or a Starbucks mocha this cowboy starts suggesting you continue the date at theirs, this is usually a sign that this date wants sex and finds the date as a means to an end. If you want to have a one night stand, no judgement but if they ‘ghost’ you afterwards, don’t take it personally, they weren’t invested.
8: The first date groper. Me too! I have boundaries and I think that a first date is a great opportunity to flirt with someone if you find them attractive. However, when someone is too familiar it denotes a lack of awareness and a lack of respect. Don’t let the merlot cloud your judgement? If a person starts trying to touch you inappropriately, without any encouragement, it might be the reason why they are single?
9: The inconsistent lover. Hot, cold, hot, lukewarm, hot, cold? When you have past the point of the first 2 dates it’s good to establish some ground rules? This is because you are teaching each other how you want to be treated. If you are happy to talk every day that’s cool but if you want to take things slower be honest. The earlier on in the relationship that you set the tone, the more you can assess if things suddenly become inconsistent. This can also be a great sign that they might be pumping oil into someone else’s engine or just not that into you.
10: The last.minute.com: This date has no consideration for your time and often cancels or switches the time at the last minute. This may be because they have other commitments or children from a previous relationship. Being genuinely apologetic is fine but if the expectation in that their schedule is more important than yours, don’t EVER expect that to change.
12: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This date is the most charming date you’ve ever met and by the time you have finished your date, you might experience a whirlwind of emotions. Take note as this person is an expert salesperson and may change their story or character at the drop of a hat. Pay close attentions to any lies they blatantly tell others in front of you?… Really?….Is that so?…. Dump your car and run.
13: The messy teenager. How we live indicates how emotionally mature we are. When looking through a person’s profile pictures, it’s often shocking to see the mess in the background. Imagine being in that environment? If the thought of someone else’s far flung laundry doesn’t fill you with dread, then it’s a green light.
14: The one with all the ‘Baby-mothers’/ ‘Baby-daddies’? This person may have had a lot of experiences and might also have been hurt and triumphed. It’s good to enter into this situation with an open heart and an open mind. However, when someone has a ‘past-date’ line-up that resembles a hall of fame, it’s a glimpse into how they treat people or how they have allowed others to treat them. Date them at your own risk but remember Shakespeare said “the path of true love never did run smoothly.”
15: The Narcissist. The person usually has an amazing profile and you could be fooled into thinking that you’ll end up the prince or princess in their fairy-tale. Not the case. My experience of dating this guy for 3 years, was never going out because no restaurant catered to his sensitive dietary needs. Your life together is micro-managed and they’ll come onto anyone and everyone in a bid to raise your temperature. This person comes with a whole dating manual and if you think you are going to live up to their unrealistic expectations, then start waxing that bonnet cause that Ferrari probably has a faulty engine.
16: The emotionally-slutty, over-sharer. Too much information, this person has the boot and the bonnet open and is airing their dirty laundry like you’re their therapist. I am all for being open and honest but in my experience if a date wants to you to feel sorry for them from the onset, they are letting you know not to be alarmed when they ultimately let you down. Park up, let them spill the tea and then proceed to the next exit!
17. The one with no goals. Life is hard and we all have stuff going on but asking about where someone wants to be in the future and what they want to achieve is a good way of assessing their perspective. If a date doesn’t have much ambition, chances are they won’t be cheering from the sidelines if you decide to level up; and when the going gets tough, you’ll be dealing with all the drama on your own. No drive? You are going nowhere!
18: The expectant dinner date. I love to cook and I am definitely a feeder but the dating process should take time and should involve stages or pit-stops, after all, you are getting to know someone? These stages give you an idea of how sustainable the relationship is. However, when a potential date starts expecting you to cook for them on the second date, the chances are that they may be a bit of a user and could also be an ‘asset manager’? Flattering your ego by requesting that you tend to their needs early on, is never a good start. They may have jumped the gun but you’ll end up with the bill. Any man who came to my home too soon in the past, ended up being a gold digger. FACTS.
19. The one who loves you after day one? What? When you say I love you it’s a statement of trust. Figuring out whether you love someone takes time and a deep connection that shouldn’t be taken lightly. When someone thinks that after a few dates you need the hook of love to stay interested, i’d question their judgement. And if your shiny new car suddenly starts to stall at the first bump in your relationship road, i’d question the validity of your car insurance?
20. The chronic commitment phoebe. If like me you have been through the dating mill, you might be very sceptical of the bright lights and foghorns. The older you get the more you start to see more obvious patterns of behaviour. When your date openly brags about how many lovers they have had, this is an obvious red flag. Another interpretation is that you too should expect to be one in a long line of dismissed partners. You may then feel like you have to raise your game to adhere to their fickle, impromptu, emotional roller-coaster. This partner usual has an inflated opinion of themselves and thinks that they call the shots. They may look like a catch but their ego may get in the way of a perfectly smooth ride.
Despite my cautionary list, it’s important not to take the dating process too seriously at the start and just have fun. After all you are getting to know each-other and ultimately don’t owe each other anything. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and if it works out amazing if not, you just weren’t meant to be. Both my sisters met their husbands online and they are happily married so it can work. However, nothing works better than intuition. If it feels right to you then take the fast lane to Tipperary but if the engine’s hot and the car’s not moving, it might be time to get out the drivers seat and take the bus!
(image not owned by Chic and Shady. No copy write intended)