11 Red Flags to Look Out for on a First Date


First dates can be nerve-wracking. Whether it’s the first one you’ve been on in a while or you’re a seasoned vet on the dating scene, you should be on the lookout for a few negative personality traits while you’re dating. And many of these aspects can be explicit or underlying on a first date, so it’s not as hard as you might think to decipher when a date might not just be boring, but how some behaviors could foreshadow darker or more disappointing incidents and personality traits later on.

Red flags are brought up quite a bit when it comes to dating and relationships, and that’s because they’re the first indications of bad behavior later. There are tons of examples of funny content about the ignorance of red flags, or how we choose to ignore certain things a person says or does when you’re first dating in favor of some of their better qualities that seem more important.

Don’t underestimate red flags though, they sometimes can lead to even more red flags — perhaps with a darker red. Before you jump right in with someone, consider how certain red flags could be a forewarning of a bad or mismatched relationship.

If you’re recently back in the dating game or having trouble finding someone you really click with, then these are the particular red flags you should be looking out for in your dates.

  1. They only want to talk about themselves, and don’t ask you questions about yourself in exchange.

This is a major red flag. If your date can’t stop going on and on about themselves, with no pauses in their monologues to ask you a question — or worse, no genuine interest in getting to know you as a person, then they are definitely not the one for you. Not only does this show their general lack of interest in humanity in general, but are also a major red flag of narcissism or sociopathy in the worst case. Getting into a relationship with either of these types of antisocial personalities is a no-go. If you meet someone like this on a first date, don’t hit them up again.

  1. They’re constantly bragging.

If it seems like your date just wants to have an audience to talk about their accomplishments, then you’re probably better off not going to that show. Some people use dating as a way to fluff their ego and that’s definitely not someone you want to be around. If all they do is brag about themselves, then they probably don’t even need you to be there. You want to be dating someone who cares about your accomplishments also.

  1. They’re moving too fast.

If after a first date, or during one, your date tries to rush you into relationships you aren’t ready for, then they probably won’t respect your boundaries later. If they refer to you as their partner during a date (and it’s not in jest), then they might be looking for something more serious than you. Similarly, if they try to rush you into something physical that you aren’t comfortable with, then that says a whole lot about how much they care about other people’s physical boundaries. If they’re moving too fast, then you probably need to run in the other direction (and don’t look back!).

  1. They roll their eyes at you or don’t respect your opinion.

Unless you’ve said something insulting or ignorant, there’s not a good reason for a first date to treat you with any disrespect. If they’re rolling their eyes at you, talking over you, or spend the whole date trying to outline why you’re wrong, then that person really isn’t someone you want to be around for any period of time.

  1. Conveniently all of their exes are “crazy.”

If your date describes all their exes as crazy, then they’re probably the crazy one in fact. If your date goes on a tangent of negativity regarding one or all of their exes, then they will probably do the same with you after you inevitably break up because of your clinical issues. If someone is talking badly about their ex, then that’s not someone you want to invest time in. Everyone probably has one bad ex in their previous dating roster, but it probably shouldn’t be something that’s discussed on the first date, and even more importantly, it shouldn’t be a topic that makes your date visibly upset about. That also means they’re also not likely over any of their exes. Holding this bad energy means that the same bad energy might be something you’re constantly subjected to. Dodge this bullet while you can!

  1. They are unemployed (with no plans to be employed).

Unless this person is generationally wealthy, which could either be a good thing or bad thing for you depending on how you look at it — going out with someone who is unemployed and doesn’t feel a sense of urgency to rectify that signals laziness you don’t want to bring into your life. Worse yet, you don’t want to support someone down the line who’s not interested in supporting themselves. This isn’t to say that people don’t fall onto hard times — that’s why we are adding that part b — a sense of urgency. Sure, you could meet someone who’s down on their luck but also very down to be employed. If their lack of job doesn’t seem like a big deal for them, then you’re probably buying the drinks and the dinner — for many months to come. If you’re not trying to be a sugar daddy or momma anytime soon — safe to say you should find a date with more stability.

  1. They’re cruel to the waitstaff (and they don’t tip!)

This is major to how your date probably interacts in the world at large. Are they rude to your waiter or bartender? Do they not tip? Are they actively horrible to anyone they deem beneath them? That’s something you run from, hun.

  1. They’re not single.

You might think that this would be explicit before you go on a date with someone, but a lot of people who are stepping out on their partners do so very nonchalantly (probably because it’s not the first time). If your date seems secretive or cryptic about their last relationships, they’re texting throughout the night, or they tell you that they literally aren’t single, then you should definitely skedaddle. No matter how much you might like them. If they’re cheating on their current partner, then they’ll have no problem cheating on you, too.

  1. Their sex drive doesn’t align with yours.

This might not seem like the biggest deal, but in the grand scheme of things, this could end up affecting a relationship in negative ways down the line. No one here is judging you, and having sex on the first date can be fantastic and at times omgkinky, but sometimes the first time you have sex with someone can be illuminating as to how they usually function in the bedroom. While the first time you’re intimate with someone can be fun, wonderful, and have you wanting more — there can also be instances in which you just know that you and your date are not going to be very sexually compatible. If the sex is boring, they’re too rough with you, or if it’s just straight-up bad, then you’re probably better off finding someone you’re more sexually compatible with. If they at all pressure you into sex, then not only is that outright wrong, but also something that can result in trauma. Sex is an important part of a relationship and should be handled with care and openness. If it’s clear your date is only there for sex (and you’re not on the same page about it), then that person is not the one for you.

  1. They are constantly looking around for something better.

This has been a major problem in the dating app age because there are so many options and the chance at instant gratification from those options seems endless. If during the date your date is looking around at other people around you, flirting openly with the waitstaff, other patrons, or the bartender, then they’re someone who has a massive ego and no shame about it. Worse, if your date is trying to openly hook up with someone else, propositions you with a threesome, or some other crazy scenario that revolves around bringing in someone else to the equation, then find someone who thinks you are enough!

  1. They’re very late.

Especially in big cities, transportation can be hell. If your date is running a bit late and lets you know about the situation, then this person seemingly already respects you and the time you’re taking out of your schedule to meet with them. If they don’t say a word and show up an hour late (good luck to them if you haven’t left by then), then they definitely don’t respect you and your time. And that’s definitely not a good first impression.