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8 Red Flags to NEVER Ignore on a First Date

STOP sweeping these red flags under the rug!

For many, first dates can bring up conflicted feelings such as nervousness, excitement, and sometimes even dread. The dating process can be disappointing and frustrating when you want a relationship and spend a lot of time with people you are incompatible with. It is tough to keep putting yourself out there and not get the resulting relationship you want.

Although you usually can't see where a relationship will go right away, there are some initial red flags that can weed out those who are not suitable for you.

1.) Treating the server disrespectfully or being rude to others.

This one is rather self-explanatory. If your date is unkind to the server or anyone else (including you) on the first date, hello, huge red flag. I recommend NOT proceeding with a second date even if they are good-looking, charming, and you had a lot in common. If they displayed this behavior on the first date when they are on their best behavior, it is probably much worse once they feel comfortable with you.

2.) Becomes defensive or answers indirectly in response to a reasonable question.

If you ask a reasonable question and your date either responds indirectly or becomes defensive, proceed with caution. You are likely not on a date with a very embodied or healthy individual. For example, if you ask your date, "what are you looking for in the dating process?" and they respond, "Why would you ask that? I don't know you. Let's just go with the flow." Hello, glowing red flag! They have judged you for asking the question, shown defensiveness, and disregarded your need to know where they stand. Run!

3.) Refers to their ex as “crazy."

In my opinion, I don't think exes should be discussed, period, on first dates. It is tacky and can also show the person has unresolved feelings about their ex. Now, if your date not only talks about their ex but also refers to them as "crazy," do I have to say it? RED FLAG! This could indicate one or more of the following, this person:

  • has an insecure attachment style and has been attracted to others with insecure attachment styles.

  • lacks personal boundaries or self-respect.

  • is manipulative in relationships (ie. crazy maker).

How will you justify this one?

"This is a great sign. This means he/she is over their ex." or "They will love how not crazy I am in comparison." NOPE!

4.) Blames others for his/her mistakes/failures/disappointments (lacks personal responsibility and accountability.)

So, if you notice this one and proceed with a relationship instead of saying "next," you will most likely be to blame for this person's misfortunes. Someone who blames others instead of taking personal responsibility is immature. Let me say that again. They are immature. Being in a long-term committed relationship with an immature adult will likely result in many arguments, heartache, disappointment, and not a lifelong partner.

5.) Talking down to you.

If your date talks down to you, this is not someone who values respect in a relationship. You should never be your date's doormat. You are worthy of respect, and you have value.

6.) Love Bombing.

Love bombing is when someone lavishes affection or attention on you early on in a relationship to manipulate or influence you.

If you have an anxious attachment style, you may be extra prone to overlooking this red flag. Someone who love bombs is displaying a manipulative and unhealthy attachment behavior and relationship pattern. They may call you their soul mate and are too eager to take the next step with you. This could feel really good, especially if you are hungry for love. But do not be deceived by this behavior. This is not actually love, and you may be eating a poisoned apple out of your desperate hunger.

If you have fallen prey to this before, I recommend you either seek a licensed therapist or take the Relationship Readiness Assessment here to find out what barrier you may need to work through.

7.) His/Her Cellphone is the 3rd Wheel.

If your date keeps their phone on the table and checks it regularly, this is a red flag. This may not be a "deal-breaker," but it is something to pay attention to. They may lack respect, self-awareness, or just not be that into you.

8.) If you paid, not saying thank you.

If you pay for the date and your date does not say, "thank you." I would recommend you pay attention to that. This person may be entitled and ungrateful. These could be major relationship issues later on if you proceed with the relationship.

Have you noticed anyone doing these red flags on any of your dates? Have you done any of these? Share in the comments below!


Erika Baum

Relationship Coach

My mission is to help you raise your self-worth and have connected and meaningful relationships. You deserve to feel empowered, secure, and loved!

Take the Relationship Readiness Assessment to predict your love life in 4 minutes!

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