If you’ve been in the UK for any length of time, you’ll know that Brits commonly pride themselves on being a polite nation (if you’re new here, watch very British Problems to see how true that is!) Unfortunately, sometimes being polite means thinking you have to accept, well… truly unacceptable behaviour. This could not be truer for a first date.
However, whether you suffer from the Brits’ stiff upper lip or not, there is some behaviour that is just downright wrong and should not be ignored so, with that in mind, here are 6 dating red flags that should make you run from a first date.
They’re rude/disrespectful about your appearance or life.
The thing about a first date is that it is likely that one or both parties will be nervous. Everyone wants to present their best self, so they’re likely to put in a little additional effort for it. After all, you only get one opportunity to make a first impression, right? When someone is nervous, it’s almost natural for some people to try and ease that temperament with humour, but what happens when the humour goes too far? A dating red flag pops up, that’s what!
A cute joke to build up banter is great, but when it starts to get personal and offensive… they are not only crossing the line. They are preparing to throw themselves bodily over it and believe me, we won’t blame you if you’re not there to catch your date after that! There is a line between playful flirting and a backhanded comment (some people pretend they can’t see it, but it’s there!) Look, the bottom line is that if you feel disrespected, you don’t have to take it. Whether they’re using ‘humour’ to judge your appearance or life, or using it to make offensive assumptions based on your culture, background, race, gender or sexuality, it’s definitely a dating red flag. So, you’re fully within your rights to tell them to do one, before sashaying off to the nearest exit with your head held high 😉
They’re rude to staff.
Major dating red flag alert! Anyone who has ever worked in the retail or food industry knows how hard it is always having to be polite and attentive to customers, even when they’re being bellends (you know who you are!) In all likelihood, they’d rather be at home, soaking in a bubble bath and basking in their hatred for mankind (because of the previously mentioned bellends, obviously.) Look, the point is, they work hard. They regularly put on their game faces and, like all of us, they are human beings who do their work to the best of their ability. They deserve respect. Their job position is not license for anyone to look down on them, including your date!
There’s never any call to be rude to anyone who is just doing their job and, trust me, any date who is rude to wait staff is demonstrating an elitist, pompous attitude that is only likely to get worse if you decide to stick around. Plus, that attitude will soon be directed squarely at you. You don’t need that. Quick! Give the waiter an apologetic nod and make a break for it!
They’re in a ‘complicated’ situation where they’re not quite so single…
Now, this one should be a no brainer, but sadly can we really say that common sense is still all that common? (One look at the news from the US says, maybe not…) Look, we live in a time of more openhearted acceptance, but there are some things that you don’t have to be understanding about. One of those things is going on a first date with someone and being under the impression that you’re both single, but finding out that you were, in fact, mistaken.
I’m talking about finding out your date is an open relationship, but that’s not the sort of commitment that you want. Or finding out that your partner for the evening said they were broken up with their ex but, apparently, they are still living together. Or, and this one is a GREAT one (heavy sarcasm noted here, please) finding out that they are still ‘technically’ married.
Well said, Kristen Wiig! (See gif above.) A huge dating red flag is someone who hasn’t considered whether their situation is one that needs to involve other people and their emotions. The open relationship aside, the other situations are ones that should probably reach their natural end before starting something new. Someone who doesn’t see that or how an outsider may feel uncomfortable getting involved is probably one you should avoid. Additionally, those kinds of stories could also just be a cover for them to cheat. So, beware!
They couldn’t care less about your interests.
Is there anything worse than talking to or hanging out with someone who doesn’t know how conversation should work? As in, you both need to participate, you both should ask questions and you both must listen! The whole point of a date is that you’ve both expressed an interest in each other and you both want to take that further, by getting to know each other better. Meaning, it’s not all about only one of you! This isn’t a chance for you to just talk about yourself for hours and then drown out the other person when they start talking about themselves! Good conversation requires balance, it isn’t one sided!
It is a definitely a dating red flag if your date is extremely self-centred and only likes the sound of their own voice. How can you hope to build anything lasting with someone who can’t even work as a team when it comes to having a simple ‘getting to know you’ conversation? Right, you can’t. Cut your losses and find someone who wants to know as much about you, as you do about them. Balance is key, remember?
They find it impossible to accept different points of view.
At present, things may seem a little divisive. There are a lot of very distinctive, strong viewpoints floating around. Those oppositions have torn people apart but, some people have found a way to use those differences as an opportunity to learn a lot from each other. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, whether you agree with it or not. The key to dealing with someone who doesn’t think like you is to hear their side and then voice your own as well. It requires patience and the knowledge that you may not change their mind but, by giving them more information about your views, you might aid in allowing them to see things through a new lens.
Evidence of someone who doesn’t have an evolved way of thinking? So, glad you asked! That would be someone who finds it damn near impossible to accept or even hear a viewpoint that doesn’t align with theirs, which brings us to our current dating red flag.
It is true that you can’t agree with everyone you meet but, nevertheless, you can at least hear them out. This is how we learn and grow. Our intellect, as humans, is based on us looking to one another as sources in the educational process that is life. Someone who can’t see outside their own bubble is unlikely to grow as a person. The world isn’t always black and white, so someone who can acknowledge the shades of grey, even if they don’t agree/support them is likely to be more understanding overall. The world is filled with diversity. Whether that is diversity of thought, background or culture, someone who can’t accept that is just not worth it. Need I say more?
They claim all their exes are nutcases.
Pretty sure I’ve touched on this one before in a few other posts but now, this point is getting its own whole section. Why? Well, someone who claims all their exes are insane is one of the biggest dating red flags around, that’s why! Firstly, talking about your exes on a first date is not a great move. Try and avoid going into all the gory details (save that for after work drinks with your friends, please!) Secondly, while it is possible to have one ex who really was ‘crazy’, all of them being crazy reflects badly on you. A smart person would make the link that the main thing your exes have in common is that they dated you so… do with that information what you will…
Thirdly, anyone who is still complaining about their ex on a first date is clearly still bitter with a lot of unresolved issues and baggage that they should definitely not be bringing into a new relationship! Another question; what are you even meant to do when their badmouthing their ex?! A first date is definitely not the place to discuss this!
Don’t feel like you have to stick around and listen or agree with the nonsense they’re spewing about their exes either. Feel free to give them a little side eye, tell them you’re not their therapist and this is not what you signed up for. Suggest that maybe they’re not so ready to be dating again and go off and find yourself someone awesome who is ready for you!
So, there you have it. Our pick of 6 dating red flags that should make you run from a first date. Of course, there are way more than 6 and people will have their own red flags from past experiences. What dating red flags are you always on the lookout for? We’d love to know (if only so we can look out for them too, let us single people look out for one another 😉 )