Dating Red Flags – How to Spot Potential Relationship Pitfalls?

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April 1, 2024

Finding dating red flags helps you avoid committing to relationships that are bound to be toxic and short-lived. But what are they, and how can you spot them? The most typical red flags are love bombing, disrespecting your boundaries, excessive jealousy, bad relationships with friends, being secretive, or even bad-mouthing their exes. Do you wish to learn more? Then read on.

Dating Red Flags – What to Watch Out for?

No matter whether it is your first date or the third or fourth one, you need to pay attention to the signs that your partner… might not be the best choice. After all, the more time you spend with them, the more committed you get, and many singles are capable of hiding their negative traits for quite a long time. Therefore, you need to spot all the red flags when dating to avoid committing to a relationship that is bound to fail.

What are the red flags that you should watch out for on your first, second, and third dates? Here is our list.

Love Bombing

The first dating red flag is love bombing – excessive expressions of attention and affection. This can show in various forms, such as:

  • Many compliments.
  • Spending (or wanting to) too much time with you.
  • Taking things to the next level too quickly.
  • Messaging you all day, every day.
  • Giving you gifts on a regular basis.

This can be caused by your partner’s insecurities, which will later on reflect on your relationship or their attempts to manipulate you. It’s also one of the signs that you are dating a narcissist, and such people always put their needs before yours.

Disrespecting Your Boundaries

We all have boundaries, and this should be natural—whether you just started dating or are in a committed relationship that has already lasted several years. Therefore, disrespecting these boundaries is a major red flag when dating.

It might start subtly, for instance, by asking questions that are too personal. However, if your partner keeps doing so despite you telling them that you don’t feel comfortable discussing such private matters, it’s unlikely that they will keep healthy boundaries in dating and in the future when you are together. Thus, you should avoid committing to relationships with those who behave this way.


The feeling of jealousy is human – we all experience it. However, it’s what we do with it that matters.

Showing their jealousy over you is a major red flag, especially if it happens on the first date. Why is it such a big issue?

  • Lack of emotional control – If your partner expresses extensive jealousy, this means that they cannot control their emotions and act on them.
  • Potential controlling behavior – Jealousy often leads to your partner seeking control over you.
  • Insecurity – Showing jealousy might also indicate that your partner is highly insecure, which can lead to an unhealthy relationship in which they rely on you.

Bad Relationships with Friends

This red flag might be impossible to spot on your first date, but if it is there, it’ll surface sooner or later. If your partner doesn’t have friends or has just a few and their relationship isn’t the best, it might indicate that they are… not the best person for you. After all, if they cannot maintain healthy, good relationships with other people whom they have known for longer, how can they do this with you?

red flags when dating

Being Secretive

Does your partner hide even simple information about them from you? The best case scenario is: they do not find it easy to trust somebody; the worst case scenario is: they have something that they don’t want you to find out.

In both cases, this can be quite an obstacle to your relationship. This is why such behavior is a big red flag when dating.

Bad-Mouthing Their Exes

Why is this a red flag? Well, apart from mentioning their exes in the first place, if your partner does not have anything good to say about them… they won’t have anything good to say about you either. Surely, sometimes relationships can be quite difficult, and there’s a lot of bad blood after a break-up, but if this applies to all the relationships your potential partner was in before, then you should watch out.

The Takeaway

The above are the main red flags that you should spot when dating and avoid at all costs. If you don’t see any of them, but your gut still tells you to move on, listen to it – this might be just your intuition, but it can also mean that you spotted some red flags subconsciously.

You might also read: How to Flirt over Text?