They’re rude to the waiter
If someone is rude to service staff, it’s a sign that they see people in such jobs as being below them. Seeing your date talk to people with a complete lack of respect tells you just about everything you need to know about them. It’s time to get out before they get the chance to talk to you that way!
You’re asking all the questions
We all like talking about ourselves, and doing so to an extent on a first date makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is not being curious about the person you’re on a date with. First dates are all about getting to know each other, so you should both have things you’re wanting to ask the other person. If you keep asking questions and are being met with lengthy responses without the query even being returned, that person is probably more interested in themselves than they ever are in others.
They don’t have any opinions
Wanting to get on and be easy-going on a first date is one thing, but not seeming to have preferences or opinions is another. If you’re trying to organise a date, and they try to get you to make all the decisions in where you go and what you do, they likely have low confidence, which can be quite the battle.
They say all their exes were ‘crazy’
It’s okay to not be on good terms with your exes, of course, but if your date describes all their exes as having been the problem in their previous relationships, be on guard. If they describe four or more people they’ve dated as having been crazy, it’s important to question whether they were actually crazy, or if the problem was the common denominator: your date.
They make you feel bad for asking questions
If they act like asking questions about them or things they say is weird or hasty, keep an eye out. If you’re just trying to get to know them on a normal human level, and they say things like “why would you even ask that?” or “why don’t we just take it easy?” they’re probably defensive about their personal life, and not on the same page as you as far as wanting to potentially pursue a relationship goes.
They’re stuck to their phone
We live in a digital world. Many of us check our phones when we get up, before we go to bed, and many times throughout the day. That’s it’s own issue, but through all this it is important to remind ourselves of when it is and isn’t okay to be using our phones. If there’s an emergency, or they just check it while you go to the bathroom? Fine. No red flags. If they cannot engage with you and are stuck to the screen for half the date? Definitely a red fag! It’s a sign they don’t value your feelings and have trouble building connection.
They don’t respect your need for comfort or safety
So you’re planning a date with someone you think is really cute. They suggest going to a bar on a side of town you don’t know, or meeting in your home. Naturally, you’d feel unsafe in those environments and say so, trying to suggest somewhere else. Your date, instead of saying that it’s okay and they understand, gets defensive and pushes to meet in the location they suggested. Not respecting your need for safety, or at least for feeling safe, if a big red flag, and not something you want to encounter further down the line in a relationship.
Their words and actions don’t line up
If your date says they’re super environmentally conscious and then suggests a restaurant with disposable, non-compostable crockery and cutlery, take note of that. If someone’s words and actions don’t line up in one part of their life, it’s possible that carries on into other aspects of their life too. It’s dishonest, and no one wants a dishonest partner.
They keep score of everything
You’re on your first date with someone and they make a point of reminding you who is responsible for every part of your exchange. Who messaged who first, who planned the date, they might even want to completely itemize the bill when you split it. Someone keeping track of your every move like that is so not romantic, and most likely so not what you’re looking for in a partner!
You’re the only one talking
We trust that you’re not the type to want to spend the whole date talking about yourself, but sometimes there’s nothing else you can do. If your date says they just love hearing you talk and won’t give answers longer than a sentence when you try to lure them into a real conversation, that’s a bad sign. It means you might end up leading the whole relationship, receiving little initiative from the person you’re dating. Not appealing.
They’re rushing things
While a first date can be seen as vetting someone to see how you’d fit together in a relationship, it shouldn’t be taken super seriously. If they’re already asking about distant future things like marriage, kids on the first date, that’s a little intense. It might seem like they’re trying to seal the deal for you so you can’t just hop out of that relationship into another one.
They’re overly romantic
If you’re a hopeless romantic, that’s okay. That’s great, even. However, if your partner is offering gifts and grand romantic gestures on the first date, before you’ve laid the proper groundwork and trust for a relationship, get out of there. This is a tactic called love-bombing where they show you adoration to make you feel secure with them, so when they withdraw that or change it for any reason, you will be wanting to regain their approval.
They’re late without a real reason
If someone is running late for a date with you, they should shoot you a message or call if they’ll be more than five minutes later than the two of you planned. Traffic happens, buses are cancelled, things happen, but your time should be respected. If they arrive twenty minutes late with nothing to say for themselves, they’re likely just messing you around.
They give insincere or backhanded compliments
Giving backhanded compliments that leave you unsure about whether you should feel praised or insulted is a tactic known as “negging”. Keeping you uncertain and unsteady is a method that people use to have you seeking their validation. It’s a manipulative tactic that will keep them in your life even if they’re causing you harm, so get out while you can!
Everything they say is negative
If your date spends your whole time together complaining, you’re in for a bad time. You shouldn’t pretend to be someone you’re not on a first date, but trying to impress your date a little is a good thing. Your date is not going to impress you through complaining about their job, their family, and their life the whole time you’re together. If they won’t even try to reel in the complaining on the first date, don’t hold your breath that they will do so later.
You’re the same person
It’s great having things in common with the person you’re dating. If you’re on a first date and they start coming up with the same favourite film, food, and country as you, be a little wary though. They may have been stalking your social media for these answers. If you’re sure it’s a coincidence, tread with a little caution, as people who are too similar to one another have a tendency to clash somewhere along the line.
They’re talking going home with you
Being able to openly communicate about intimate relations is so important in a relationship. Talking about it in public with someone you’ve just met is pretty inappropriate though. If they bring it up without knowing how comfortable you are talking about it, that might be crossing a boundary they hadn’t even considered. These things can be a sensitive subject, and should be treated as such, especially when you’ve just met a person.
Getting to a point in a relationship where you can be gross with each other is a sign of feeling comfortable around that person. Being gross with you on your first date is not the same thing. In fact it can even indicate bad hygiene and could be a sign that this is not someone you want to be around all the time, let alone sharing a bed with.
They post the date on socials
Once in a relationship, sharing a cute little insta story with your boo is normal and pretty cute too. If your date is wanting to do that on the first date though? Run for the hills! A relationship that is completely recorded and shared is one that will inevitably have problems due to how observed you are.
They refuse to let you pay
It can be nice to have your date pay if they were the one to ask you out, but there are many reasons that you might not want to let someone else pay for you. If you ask to split the bill on the first date, the person you’re with should respect that. If they point-blank refuse, they’re stopping you exercising your autonomy which could certainly be an issue further down the line.
Let’s say your date went well. You had a great time, had loads to talk about, and it’s now time to go home. If your date is being pushy about trying to go home together or sleep together after the date, get out of there. Sleeping with someone because you’ve been coerced into it is a terrible reason to do so, and getting into a relationship with someone who tries to coerce you into things is pain waiting to happen.
They chose a date that doesn’t suit you
Your date says they want to take you for dinner and they’re choosing the venue. Then you turn up and walk to the place they haven’t disclosed together. It turns out to be a steakhouse. You’re vegan. They knew this. If your date is picking where you go and choose somewhere completely unsuited to you, it’s likely they’ll continue to be similarly inconsiderate if you decide to pursue a relationship.
They cancelled plans with friends for the date
Relationships are all about compromise which sometimes means having to cancel plans for your significant other. The same does not go for a first date. Your date doesn’t know you yet, so they shouldn’t be cancelling plans with people thy should value to spend time with you. If you end up together, they’ll probably cancel plans with you for whatever sounds more exciting as well.
They talk about their ex too much
It’s not unusual to discuss your dating history a little while on a first date, but definitely be wary of how much your date brings up their ex. If they’re mentioning them every twenty minutes, it’s a sign they’re probably not over their ex. If you don’t want to be competing with your date’s ex for their mental attention, take it as a red flag and don’t pursue them further.
Their banter hurts your feelings
Joking around is a great way of having fun with your friends or partner. The problem with trying this on a first date is that you don’t know your date well enough yet for them to know you’re just messing around. If your date is trying this with you, take a step back. It’s not wrong of you to feel hurt by their antics. What is wrong is them making jokes about you without knowing if you’d be okay with them first. Bonus red flag if they say you’re too sensitive for being offended.
They’re interrogating you
Having deal-breakers is fine, but your date turned up with a checklist of what they’re looking for and they’re interrogating you to find out if you fit the bill. If your date is starting to feel more like a job interview than a romantic evening, that’s not a good sign. It means they probably have endless standards that you’ll never live up to, even if you do fit most of their criteria.
They’re looking for an argument
It’s good to steer clear of the big topics on a first date, but it is natural for politics or religion to come up anyway. If they are consistently steering towards such topics and picking apart everything you have to say about it, they’re not someone you want to be dating. It’s okay to have differing views, but someone who is looking for where you differ and trying to start a fight about it cearly does not understand that.
They make it overly clear they’re available
Falling for someone who is emotionally unavailable hurts, but there’s a reason we don’t seem to have the problem of falling for people who make it as obvious as possible that they’re free for the taking. It’s not just that this behaviour is a bit of an ick, but those who want to make it known that they’re available are likely doing so because they’re somewhat desperate. If they are desperate that means they have trouble getting any kind of romantic attention, and there is probably a reason for that, so be on the lookout.
They keep their arms crossed
Those who study boy language and psychology will tell you that having your arms crossed is a closed-off stance. It’s a way of keeping their hands away from you, and if they’re doing this, they will often either be hiding something or they’ll be trying not to fully engage for whatever reason. This one could be a fluke, but it’s still good to be aware of, according to science.
They put no effort in
Fashion is not everyone’s thing. Not everyone is going to have outfits for every occasion, and you shouldn’t ask them to. However, if you’re going out somewhere the least you can expect is that your date puts some effort into their appearance. Turning up with greasy hair, smelling bad, or in an outfit you know they took zero time picking is unacceptable when going on a first date where you should be trying to impress someone, especially if you’re going somewhere remotely formal. You don’t want to end up in a relationship with someone who is resistant to putting effort into you.
They turn up drunk
If your date drinks a lot on the first outing when you aren’t, that’s not a great sign. If they turn up drunk, that’s even worse. Take a look through their dating profile or social media to see if their pictures are often linked to drinking in some way. If so, they might have a problem with it, or maybe they don’t know how to have fun without alcohol. Either way, it’s a red flag.
Greeting your date with a hug is okay if you’re both comfortable with it. If you sit down for coffee and your date’s hand is already on your thigh without any build-up whatsoever, they probably have little regard for your boundaries. This can come back to bite you in other areas of your life, so it’s best to avoid that person as soon as possible.
They don’t trust you
You shouldn’t expect someone to trust you with their innermost secrets on a first date by any means. If someone is questioning your stories and life experiences without even realising it themselves, though, they probably aren’t worth your time. This is doubly true if you are being vulnerable or sharing your experience as a member of a marginalised group. If they don’t believe what you’re saying about your own life, they do not deserve your vulnerability.
Wanting to impress your date and make a good first impression is a great sign on a first date, so long as you can identify the line between impressing them and bragging. If your date oversteps this line and is telling you all about their accomplishments and how much money they make, that’s unappealing! If your date is showing off and bragging, then they are clearly self-involved and more preoccupied with praising themselves than they ever will be with praising you.
Not asking you any questions is pretty poor behaviour, but being invasive with one’s questions on a first date is arguably even worse. If someone is trying to ask you about your finances, your trauma, or anything that might be very personal, that’s a big red flag. Don’t go there! No one is entitled to such intimate information about you on a first date.
They didn’t tell you important information
When going on a first date, you probably have a few ideas about this person already. You probably know what they look like, maybe their job or something they’re interested in, and you might know their living situation. Or maybe not. Either way, if they turn up to the date and you only discover then that your date is married with three children, that doesn’t bode well.
They “forgot their wallet”
If you’re going on a first date, there are two standard conventions for who will pay: the person who asked the other out pays, or you split the bill. Not allowing you to pay is bad enough, but turning up and expecting you to pay for them is at least as bad. This means they are unlikely to take responsibility for themselves in this aspect of their lives, and possibly others as well. If you don’t want to be a human ATM, get out of there.
They’re a conspiracy theorist
Turning up to a date with someone who has interests and dreams is amazing, but no one expects to turn up to find their date to have weird ideas about lizard people and the earth being flat. People who are really into conspiracy theories tend to get fixated on these ideas and end up having less room in their lives for other interests. They can also be a little forceful with their wild ideas.
They look or act different than they portrayed themselves before
No one likes a catfish. We all know it’s wrong for someone to pretend they look entirely different than how they actually do. Physical attraction is important for a lot of people, and lying is a bad look regardless. Another kind of catfish-type behaviour would be to act entirely differently over messenger before you meet, or to pretend to have entirely different interests and intentions. If your date has pretended to be someone they’re not, don’t stick around to find out what else they’ve lied about.
They expect to be your priority
A first date is exactly that: the first one! Sure, you might have been aware of each other beforehand. Hey, you might have even been friends. You’re still incredibly new to being romantically involved though. If a first date is expecting to be prioritised over your other plans and friends, they’re not someone you should build a relationship with. These kinds of people will expect your life to revolve around them if you decide to take things further.
They don’t have friends
We have been made by society to consider romantic love the most important kind of relationship in life. That’s why it’s so important to keep your friendships healthy despite this societal pressure. Friends are important to have as a support network and just for having a fulfilled life as well. If your date does not have any friends they’re able to tell you about, they probably don’t value friendship which means they don’t expect you to be a friend as well as a romantic partner. That’s a recipe for a toxic relationship right there!
You find them intimidating
First dates can be scary, there’s no denying that. Meeting someone new and figuring out if you’re compatible can be pretty intimidating in itself. That being said, the person you’re on a date with should not make the date any scarier than the situation. If your date puts you on edge or makes you feel intimidated because of the way they act, they’re likely not the one for you. Ending up with someone who puts you at ease and helps you relax is preferable to that by far.
They make it a group thing without asking
Your date has just informed you that they’re bringing some friends on your first date. Ick! This is an easy sign to not pursue something with them. In this case, they either don’t actually want it to be a date and don’t like you in that way, or they want to show off to their friends and are dating you for some kind of status. Neither of these is a recipe for a good and healthy relationship.
They’re very self-deprecating
Some people love a bit of self-deprecating humour. You might be no exception, but there’s a time and a place for it. If your date is making jokes about how they’re not good enough for you, their height, their weight, or job, they almost definitely have low self-esteem. These jokes, while they can be benign, are often people searching for affirmation. Validating your date isn’t your job though, and low confidence can also be a big turn-off!
They’re looking for their soulmate
Whether you believe in soulmates or not, someone who makes it very clear that they’re looking for theirs while dating is not going to make a great partner. This is because they will expect you to live up to expectations of being perfect for them, and may be unwilling to compromise. Compromise is key to a healthy relationship, so don’t ignore it.
They’re not self-sufficient
If you’re still in early adulthood, take this relatively. We’re not saying you should date for money, or only date people who completely have their lives together, but the ability of your date to support themselves is not only attractive, but important too. You don’t want to end up in a relationship with someone who will feel like a burden to you. If they still live with their parents and have no intention of finding a full-time job despite them being able to, be cautious.
This one should go without saying. If your date is saying nasty things about marginalised groups, or if their subconscious sexism or fatphobia is just seeping into the conversation, drop them now! Someone who has no problem having generalised negative views of entire groups of people is someone who may be insensitive about things like mental health and wellbeing. It’s also disrespectful towards so many people.
They put you on a pedestal
We all love to be complimented and to feel good about ourselves. This does not mean people should think of you as being above them, especially if they intend to enter into a long-term relationship with you. As wonderful as you might be, you’re not perfect, and if your date thinks of you as perfect, they’re going to have trouble seeing you as a regular person with flaws and things to work on.
They forget your name
Your date should remember your name – it’s a basic courtesy. If they can’t do this, or they mix your name up with someone else’s, they probably have quite a few people on the go simultaneously. Since it’s a first date, you’re not exclusive yet, but you probably don’t want to start dating a player who doesn’t respect you like that either.
They don’t want a relationship
Your date tells you on the first date that they don’t want a relationship but want to carry on and just see where things go. What are they doing there with you if they’re not actually wanting a relationship? Someone who says this probably has commitment issues but still wants the validation of going on dates and being around you.