Dating Red Flags
Earlier today, I read an article about a woman who tried every dating book, online dating, and even a professional matchmaker. I never gleaned from the short article if she ever found that special someone, but I did notice two red flags. Red flags are warning signs to discontinue the date or sneak out the back way if possible. Her first warning flag was she talked about all she wanted a man to do for her. This included buying her the new car she couldn’t afford. She also wanted someone drool-worthy to parade in front of her friends. Those are rather obvious flags, but some are more subtle.
A man who is unhappy with his job is a bad dating prospect. Men’s jobs define who they are. If he is unhappy at work he won’t be happy anywhere. Dating this unhappy camper will end up with you both being unhappy. Do you really want to listen to a litany of work-related complaints?
The flip side for men is avoiding women who are unhappy with their weight. There is a real difference between wanting to drop five pounds and despising your shape. Women identify themselves with their weight. They also value themselves by how they FEEL about their looks. If a woman is down on herself then it is hard to be up on someone else. A heavy-set woman can have a good self-image while an average-sized woman may dwell on weight concerns.
Another red flag is the straight out of a relationship guy or gal. I am amazed to see men who are just starting the divorce process (so they say) by online trolling for a date. Anyone who has been divorced or newly single for less than a year is very fragile. They need a relationship to prove they are still desirable. What you get is an emotionally needy person who has yet to find his own feet and will lean on you heavily. Caution: after you helped him on his feet, shored up his confidence and held his hand, he will drop you for a less helpful woman. The twist with the newly divorced woman is sometimes she needs the financial support the man provides.
Then there is the relationship king or queen. A recent interview on The View with Jessica Hahn highlighted this issue. She updated the audience on her life since the PTL scandal. Jessica proceeded to talk about her various relationships. Not once did she mention a career or even children. Whoopi summed it up when she stated that Jessica lived her life via relationships. Just like your relationship King.
This person seems to have never been without a date or a significant other for his entire adult life. This should be very scary to a potential date. Why can’t he spend time alone? Why does he need someone by his side 24/7? Sometimes to justify our choice we tell ourselves that he is such a good prospect that naturally other women want him. What other women want him? Desperate needy women, that’s who.
In the movie, Ten Ways to Lose a Guy, the main character gets bad dating advice from her assistant who chases off every man she’s ever dated. One way the assistant did this was to imagine each man was her future husband. By the end of the date, she had names for their children. The male version of this might even want the waiter to take a picture of the two of you for your future grandchildren. This man assumes a great deal before you’ve even ordered dessert. Despite his confident front, this man is desperate. It is okay to cut the date short to visit a sick friend.
The dictator roars in on a date and demands to have everything his way. He terrorizes waiters and valets alike. He thinks he impresses everyone with his importance, but he just comes off obnoxious. Keep in mind that no one is good looking or rich enough for you to put up with this type of nonsense. Some of you will have to find this out on your own.
The time-challenged date arrives very late with no excuse. At first, you figure it was one time thing until you see a pattern emerge of lateness, missed or cancelled dates. By accepting the first dubious excuse, you’ve set yourself up for continued disrespect. At college, when a professor didn’t show, you waited fifteen minutes and left. It seems fair to give a date the same treatment.
The flirt is usually a good-looking charmer who feels the need to impress every woman within five hundred feet. He flirts lavishly with the restaurant hostess until you wondered which one of you is on the date. He compliments random women as if he dispensing grace. He tries to catch women’s eyes and smiles at them. He is under the impression that all women want him. Aren’t you the lucky one because you have him for the night?
Another warning flag is when someone you just met wants you to do outrageous things for him or her. On your first or second date, he asks if you’ll drive him to the airport to make a flight. If he asks you to pick up his dry cleaning or boots he just ordered, don’t. You’re not his errand boy. Extract yourself from this man’s clutches the first time he asks you to pay the bill because he forgot his wallet. How often have you walked into a restaurant and forgot your purse?
The randy octopus guy describes a man most women have dated at least once. He uses every opportunity from opening the door, to helping you on with your coat to cop a feel. At dinner, he slips off his shoes and his feet go wandering along with his hands. Forget slapping his hands away, he only sees it as a game. This date is your reason for arriving in separate cars.
Sometimes the guy is wonderful. The date is going well. It is obvious that he’s both intelligent and charming. Besides being good looking, he’s also financially stable. It’s great he isn’t bitter like so many of the men you’ve met before. You know he’s a great guy because he speaks so well of his ex. They have a great relationship he coos. They even go on vacation together. Did you miss something here?
The opposite of 'I love my ex' date is all women are scum date. Of course, you wouldn’t have gone out with him if you knew this. He reveals this by mentioning how his no good cheating girlfriend left him for his best friend or his ex took him to the cleaners. It may all be true, but the first date is not the place for these types of disclosures. He is eager to let you know how the female gender left heel prints on his heart. He also stereotypes by saying things like all women lie. Do you really want to be stereotyped?
Every male red flag has a female equivalent. Some red flag dates are women only. The gold digger date is a woman who measures the value of the date on how much he spends on her. She’s going for as much as she can get and may not care if she sees the man again. One man told me his date was highly offended when he used a gift certificate to pay for their pricey dinner. She seemed to think the gift certificate invalidated the date. She told him he should put away the certificate and pay cash if he wanted the date to count. I am sure those two never went out again, but she went on to relay to her friends how much her date cost…not mentioning the gift certificate, I’m sure.
Update: Any man or woman who spends a good deal talking about another person they may have dated isn’t a good bet. What they are really saying is they wished you were that person.