So you’re getting ready for a first date. How exhilarating! Is your tummy filled with butterflies, creating a slew of anxiety, intrigue, and excitement? Are you preparing to look and feel your best, to make a great impression, and hopefully get whatever it is you want out of this date?
You deserve an excellent first date, but also the ability to save yourself the chance of experiencing heartache and disappointment later on down the line.
Whatever it is you’re searching for, it’s still important to be mindful while in the presence of your date. So, herewith, a list of 7 first date red flags to look out for.
1. Let’s Talk About Sex!
Now of course this red flag wouldn’t apply for those who are solely looking for something physical and sexually intimate. But, if you’re dating in hopes of finding a partner, take note of if and how they talk about sex.
You should know that having sex with you is a privilege that they aren’t entitled to it. So if they’re constantly talking about this subject, it doesn’t indicate that their main priority is to find a relationship.
If you’ve told your date that you aren’t looking for this kind of thing, nor do you wish to discuss it, them talking about sex on your first date is simply disrespectful.
2. Happily Ever After
There is a technique called ‘love bombing’ when someone attempts to influence another by showering them with lots of attention and affection.
Now whether your first date is actually love bombing or casually talking about your ‘happily ever after’ aka a bright and happy future together with kids and a dog… be cautious.
It’s also a red flag when your date immediately talks about wanting you to meet their parents or fancies going on elaborate vacations with you.
Any big life plans brought up on a first date is something to watch out for. Just like you wouldn’t make plans with the stranger sitting next to you on the train, a first date is essentially that–a stranger.
3. Needs, Needs, Needs
The devil is in the details. If your first date uses the word ‘need’ on a regular basis, for example: “I need to find stability in my life,” “I need my partner to be xyx,” or “I need xyz to be happy,” it’s a red flag. This could indicate that they have a victim mentality, and/or that they’re wrestling with low self-worth.
Regardless, compromise is important in a relationship. If you’re interested in a second date or a possible future down the line, using “I need” statements shows a lack of compromise.
Using statements such as “I would like” or “I am looking for” is much softer, and more realistic.
4. How Do They Treat Staff?
A lot of first dates include going to a restaurant for a meal, having a drink at a bar, or visiting the cinema. And in this situation, you have the opportunity to see how your date treats the staff. And actually, the way in which they interact with staff reveals a lot about their personality.
“How others treat the CEO says nothing. But how others treat the waiter is like a magical window into the soul,” says Del Jones, USA Today.
If your date is rude and demanding, it could reveal that they’re not team players, which could be a big red flag when considering the future.
Not only that, but they may have something called a ‘situational value system’, which is when they treat people according to their status. This disrespect and inconsistency is a big no-no, so pay careful attention to this if you’re out and about on a first date.
5. A Battle to Maintain Your Attention
By saying ‘a battle to maintain your attention’, we mean when your first date uses their phone when with you.
Did you know that in a 2018 study, the number one turn-off for women was when their date checked their phone regularly whilst on a first date? In fact, only one in 10 found this acceptable.
Studies aside, when a first date constantly checks or uses their phone it is almost always a sign that they’re not interested in you or what you have to say. And what could be more disrespectful than not giving someone your undivided attention?
With that, now is the perfect time to mention one of the 5 Love Languages–quality time. There are some people who really appreciate it when the person they’re with gives them focused one-on-one quality time, during a first date or any other situation.
When someone is late to meet you, it’s a simple way of saying that their time is more important than yours.
Of course, there can be a valid reason for being late, in which case a phone call or text well in advance could suffice, but the golden rule of thumb is undoubtedly to be on time. In fact, etiquette says that arriving around 15 minutes early is the best way to go about meeting someone, whether it’s a first date or a regular meet up.
The truth is, being late is a choice not an accident. And interestingly, this kind of behaviour could indicate other red flags, such as being scatter-brained, a big procrastinator, or less considerate of others. It could also show that accountability doesn’t matter, and that’s never good in a relationship.
Simply put: time is money. When someone leaves you waiting, it is your time and energy wasted that could have been put to better use elsewhere.
7. Do They Talk About Their Ex?
There is a time and place to talk about past experiences and relationships. When a first date brings up their ex it could be okay, depending on what they’re saying and how much time they spend on the topic. But in general, it’s a first date red flag when someone continues to bring up their ex for three reasons.
Firstly, it could indicate that they’re still hung up on them. Maybe it was a recent break up, and/or they’re holding onto strong feelings towards them.
Secondly, if they’re talking ill of their ex, this could reveal a whole other slew of red flags. It may prove that your date believes their ex is responsible for all of the bad things that happened between them, indicating that they have a victim mentality.
Thirdly, if your first date mentions their ex or exes continuously, it could be a sign of disrespect or an attempt for them to compare you to their past partners.
With these 7 first date red flags, we hope you have only positive first date experiences. Take your time, enjoy the process, and don’t stand for any nonsense–you deserve the best.