First dates are the time to put your best foot forward; this is when all the manners mom taught you resurface. Napkins go on laps, bright smiles come out, and “please” and “thank you” are uttered more times than you care to count. Your date is on their best behavior because first impressions matter – and you’re both determined this is going to be the start of something special. It might sound counterintuitive, but this is actually the perfect time to watch for red flags. If your partner can’t hide an obvious warning sign on a day they should be trying to impress you, it’s only a matter of time before a tiny annoyance turns into a major issue. Your time is valuable; watch for these seven characteristic dating red flags from the matchmakers at Kelleher International to avoid wasting too much time on the wrong person – or worse – breaking your heart.
Venting about exes. If your date consistently brings the conversation back to their ex, it’s a pretty clear sign they will talk about you if things go south, too – and once this person decides they don’t like you, all bets are off. It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence or thought to slander someone else’s character. Take a hint, recognize your date is still not over “the one” who broke their heart, and leave them to be bitter alone. As great as the rest of your date might have been, this is one thing only time can heal.
“You are perfect, but…” You are not meant to be fixed. Sure, everyone has things they would like to work on, but the truth is that’s a personal choice each person has to make for themselves – it is never up to a date to decide how you should look or act. If you aren’t their dream date, it’s best for both of you to move on and find someone you are crazy about. The truth is that sentence should have stopped at “you are perfect.” That’s it. The end. No negotiations.
Acting rude. That waitress works hard for her money and may even have to share tips with the bartender at the end of the night. Stiffing the wait staff or acting in a condescending manner are huge warning signs your date might have a superiority complex or attitude of entitlement. Remember: just because your date is being nice to you on a first date doesn’t mean this attitude won’t soon be directed toward you on a different occasion. Do yourself a favor and upgrade to someone more secure.
Codependence. Your date just took “teamwork” and turned it into “me-work.” Never mind your personal space or valuable time – this date is all about making sure they are constantly on your mind with no breaks. Ever. This is hard to spot on a first date because you haven’t fallen into any relationship patterns yet. Living at home with no plans to move out, going from one relationship to the next with no “recovery” time, and latching onto a new date very quickly are all signs you might be out with a codependent person. Your independent lifestyle requires someone who gives you space and allows the two of you to have separate interests. Ditch the clingy date and move on.
Secrecy. We’re not saying your date has to share every phone call and text message, but it would be nice if he didn’t glance nervously up at you before tilting the screen away and out of sight. There’s a fine line between a person who requests a reasonable amount of privacy and someone with something to hide. Learn where this line is and don’t second guess yourself. If your date is acting shady, your instincts won’t steer you wrong.
Drinking. A glass of wine with dinner is fine. We’re talking about the kind of drinking that makes your date open up a little too much: intimate confessions, slurred words, excessive compliments (how many before it gets too creepy?), etc. Your date should feel comfortable having a conversation without using alcohol as a crutch. Substance abuse of any kind on the first date is a sign of a deeper problem that needs to be resolved before any real connection can be established.
Talking about sex. A date who brings up sex on the first date (when it’s not related to the conversation) probably doesn’t have a committed long-term relationship in mind. Your date is more interested in your body than in your mind and this is not a healthy foundation for a lasting emotional connection. You don’t owe your date any explanations or personal details before you feel ready to disclose that information. Your date can deal with that or find the door.
Most people have had a bad date or two within their lifetime. The key to moving on is recognizing bad behavior cannot always be fixed. Stop giving people the benefit of the doubt and raise your standards. You deserve a thrilling connection with someone who appreciates and values you for the person you are – without asterisks or addendums. Recognize your own value and upgrade your date with Kelleher International’s elite matchmakers today. After all, your perfect date could be a phone call away.