I’d like to begin this post with a disclaimer.
The list below is not meant to mean that if you find these traits or actions in your partner you should immediately dump them. Some things can be worked on if the person is willing. Others, yes, run. Ultimately, the goal is to recognize them, consider them, and determine if you can tolerate them. You can never change a person only how you react.
So, I’ve dated a lot. More than I anticipated in my 30 odd years so I have convinced myself that this time will not go in vain and that I will learn and take something meaningful from this dating time. I started with writing my ebook The Mission. The one common denominator in a lot of dating experiences that went south were that there were red flags I missed. Some I didn’t catch in the beginning. Others I willfully ignored. I asked friends as well about red flags they have seen and that culminated in this list below.
So here is my non-exhaustive list of red flags you should never ignore in dating if you want to avoid dating emotional fatigue (D.E.F.) (this is a term, ok, I made it up, but it’s a real thing). In no particular order
- They talk about their ex. A lot. – If you aren’t asking about it. They shouldn’t be talking about it.
- They call past dates crazy.- The reality is those people probably weren’t crazy. There are more sides to that story. It’s also dismissive and could mean they aren’t self-reflective.
- The person is not consistent.- Unless something happened, be cautious if a person goes M.I.A. for days at a time if they started off calling/texting everyday. Probably means they aren’t that into you or have no follow through.
- Person can’t see you regularly. – If you can’t see me more than once a week or make plans ahead of time, it’s hard to reach a meaningful connection. Especially if we don’t talk on the phone (not text) in between that time.
- You can’t just chill with that person.- And I don’t’ mean Netflix and chill. I mean, just sitting (even on a park bench) and talking for hours, not necessarily with alcohol. Getting to know the person, not just the person in action.
- The person won’t share feelings. – I realize that one of my love languages is Words of affirmation. If a guy can’t at least text me once in a while and say “I miss you” then something is up. This just might mean they aren’t missing you…
- Won’t share social media handles. – If you are a month in and they still won’t accept your Facebook request, I’m not saying it’s because there are pictures of him and his wife on there but…there are pictures of him and his wife on there.
- The person is insecure.- Insecure people are either super jealous or push you away for trivial things because of their own personal hang-ups. It’s a lot of emotional work to deal with.
- Won’t talk on the phone. – Unless there is a disability that prevents it, I find that you really can’t make a meaningful connection with someone if you don’t talk on the phone from time to time. And its suspicious.
- Response lag. – In this day in age, darn near no one (including the president) is too busy that they can’t respond to you within 24 hours or less. They can go to the bathroom and reply to you at the same time. The only exception is if they go vacation somewhere off the grid.
- Never plans a date.- This is especially for guys. Planning a date makes me believe you are thinking of me and courting me. I am a huge planner and find myself often picking the spot but I began to realize that some guys were using me as a social partner/escape (a.k.a. good time) rather than an individual they were trying to connect with towards something long term.
- Over analytical. – I admit that this is me. So I am working on it. Over-analytical people will talk themselves out of something that could be good.
- The person doesn’t have friends or is not close to family.- This might showcase how they would be in a partnership with you if they don’t have support around them. Don’t make an assumption but do ask why.
- Mental health concerns.- I’ve dated a few people with mental health issues. I wont’ say run but acknowledge it, ask if they are getting any treatment/help they need, and determine what you can handle.
- Doesn’t have a stable life.- If their life is in transition, then they may not be in a position to provide something serious. Such transitional situations are: moved back home with a parent, going through divorce, unemployed, child custody battles. Proceed with caution and move at a snails pace.
- Won’t invite you to activities with friends. – They don’t have to do this from day one but at some point in the deciding stage (which I think is the first three months) you have to meet at least one friend. The guy/girl should want to show you off.
So here is my rather long list. I’m sure there are more that I don’t even know about (and don’t really want to know, as I’m ready for my expertise in this field to end LOL). Again, my advice is to note them, talk to your date about them, and if they don’t change their behavior (consistently), then determine what you can stick around for.
Good luck out there and watch the flags!