Beware of these 19 dating red flags in 2023 (2023)

“It should have been a red flag that … ”

I hear that so many times from both women and men who are heartbroken, abused or otherwise disappointed that a relationship or marriage didn't work out. In hindsight, the information was there all along — they just ignored it because there were other qualities that were green flags. Plus, they were lonely, vulnerable, horny, bored, or otherwise really wanted a partner.

“When there is suspicion and things don’t feel quite right, red flags should be waiving and alarms should be deafening We generally have a gut feeling about people and situations,” says Deborah Krevalin, LPC, LMHC, a relationship expert in West Hartford, Conn., So, why do we purposefully choose to ignore those feelings, suspicions and warnings? “The fantasy is just too good to let go of — the promise of love and all that comes with that is overpowering and completely seductive,” Krevalin says.

News alert: Those feelings always rear their head later.

“As a psychotherapist I have worked with countless couples struggling with a myriad of relationship issues. Undoubtedly, there were always red flags that presented themselves, surprisingly soon, after the first date,” Krevalin says. The question becomes: Was the partner blind to them or did they choose not to see it?

In this post, therapists and other experts weigh in on what red flags to ignore, what negative behavior is or should be forgiven, and how to navigate dating in a healthy way:

(Video) 10 Red Flags To Always Look Out For When Online Dating in 2023

  • Dating red flags: What is a red flag?
  • Common dating red flags to watch for
  • Red flags in dating apps
  • Red flags on social media
  • First date red flags

Dating red flags: What is a red flag in dating?

First, let's define a red flag.

Tina B. Tessina, PhD, LMFT, of Long Beach, Calif., considers a red flag to be indications of serious mental and emotional well-being.

“Most relationships, at the beginning, have possible issues, but not red flags: says Tessina, author of How to be Happy Partners: Working it out Together, and Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today.

Beware of these 19 dating red flags in 2023 (2)

“To me, red flags are indications of serious problems, indications that a date might have emotional problems, addiction problems, anger issues, tendencies toward violence, severe money problems or other non-workable issues that will emerge as the relationship develops, and won't go away.”

Others consider a red flag general dishonesty, signs of narcissism, or bad habits that are a no-go for you personally.

“Anything that you don't feel neutral or better hearing about is a potential red flag!” says Laurel Steinberg, Ph.D., a clinical sexologist and relationship expert in New York City, and Adjunct Professor of Psychology Teachers College, Columbia University.

(Video) Never Date Women With These Traits

Common dating red flags to watch for

Whether your initial interactions are online, at a party, the office or some meet-cute, here are some general themes to keep an eye out for:

  • Signs he or she is still in a relationship, or barely out of one
  • Addictive behaviors, like drinking too much or prioritizing getting high
  • Love bombing you —way too much affection and devotion way too early in the relationship
  • Secrets. It should take time to get to know someone, but if they are sketchy about where they live, their employment history, you find out they have a kid but said they did not, or other signs they are not being transparent about who they are, they are not ready for emotional intimacy

Interested in dating a single dad? What you should know first

Dating red flags: Watch for red flags in dating apps

  • No profile photo? Skip.
  • No or few details? Red flag.
  • Super-sexy pics, next.
  • First, get a real phone number, or first and last name, and Google him or her. Check out any stories or facts with what you find on LinkedIn, Facebook or news articles.
  • You searched locally but the other person is always in another time zone — but it's not an international dating site? They may live in another country and are catfishing you.
  • If the other person won't share any of details that would help you understand who they are, red flag.
  • Do you see a person on a hookup app? That may be a red flag. But then again, YOU were on the hookup site, so ….
  • More tips for safe online dating

Beware of these 19 dating red flags in 2023 (4)

Lakeesha shared this cautionary warning to trust your gut:

“I met a guy on Match several years ago. Good looking. Lots of flashy pics of travel and a very high-end education. We texted a bit. He was very bright and engaged but his answers about his business accomplishments were grandiose and made me uneasy. That made me suspicious and I started looking closer and his pictures in his dating profile closer. A few little things stuck out there.

We had a date planned to meet for drinks and I was so uneasy. I didn’t have his full name but his username was AJ. So I dropped his picture into Google images and found his full name on Linked In. The. I was able to search him using his full name and location and found recent news articles on his financial fraud. He was facing 20 years. That was the biggest lesson for me about really listening to the other person AND paying attention to how I felt. I trust myself implicitly and if anything seems off I allow myself the time to dig in until I’m satisfied.”

No, you are not crazy if you do a quick background check before a date! Use TruthFinder to do a reverse phone lookup in minutes. TruthFinder is a leader in background checks:

(Video) 8 RED FLAGS You're Dealing With a Bad Client

  • Hundreds of millions of criminal records searched
  • Searches include checks of sex offender databases
  • Recently merged with Intelius
  • A+ BBB rating
  • 3.8 rating on Trustpilot

Check out our full TruthFinder review.

Also, these books are good primers for training your picker:

The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags: Relationship Warning Signs You Totally Spotted . . . But Chose to Ignore

Stay or Go: Dr. Ruth's Rules for Real Relationship

Pro tip: Search for a prospective date on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or other social media before you meet IRL. According to a survey by Elite Singles Australia, 75% of women and 59% of men say they have done it. No shame at all.

Red flags to look for on social:

  • Non-existent digital footprint. If you can find no or very little about this person, that can be a sign that either they’ve lied about their identity, are running from the law, or otherwise are bad news.
  • They’re not single. Recent pics of the person snuggling with a romantic partner, or their status marked as ‘married’ or ‘in a relationship. Not rocket science.
  • Political stances that are deal-breakers for you — or other ways you don’t connect.

Finding people online: 9 sites to use and 4 experts’ tips

(Video) Red Flags To Be Aware of Before You Commit to Someone #shorts

Dating red flags: What to watch for on a first date

Here are some typical behaviors that can certainly set the tone for a bad start of a dating relationship even before you meet — if not be a total deal-breaker:

  • Being late for the date without good reason or an apology
  • Rudeness to waiters
  • Being disrespectful of your boundaries — for example, not taking “no” for an answer in any way
  • Showing no interest in you, and only speaking about themselves
  • “I fall in love too easily.”
  • Drinking too much
  • Gives co-parent or ex too much control over their lives
  • Extreme mixed signals

Says Tessina: “Understand that your date is on their best behavior early in the relationship, and the behavior will not get better, it will get worse. Don't make excuses for the person just because they’re attractive, or saying what you long to hear.”

Beware of these 19 dating red flags in 2023 (6)

Here are some first date red flags identified by women in the Millionaire Single Moms Facebook group:

  • Bringing up sex before you’ve even met in person, or early in the date.
  • Talking very negatively about an ex and/or ex in-laws.
  • Mentioning right away that an ex cheated.
  • “I’ve never met anyone like you. You’re so amazing,” in the first hour of chatting. Classic love bomb.
  • Persistent victim mentality.
  • Has children but clearly isn’t very involved by his choice.
  • Can't hold his drink.
  • Bad co-parenting relationship
  • Lack of passion for something in life.
  • Someone who doesn't ask questions in a conversation or share anything about themselves.

Dating a single mom? Tips for dating and things NOT to say

What is a red flag in dating?

Tina B. Tessina, PhD, LMFT, of Long Beach, Calif., considers a red flag to be indications of serious mental and emotional well-being.

(Video) 5 Warning Signs of an ERTC Promoter


What is the biggest red flag in a guy? ›

13 red flags in a relationship to look out for
  • Narcissism. ...
  • Anger management issues. ...
  • Codependency. ...
  • Inability to resolve conflict. ...
  • Constant jealousy. ...
  • Gaslighting. ...
  • Lack of emotional intelligence. ...
  • Negatively affecting your relationship with family and friends.
Feb 1, 2022

What is the 3 month rule? ›

Basically, after a break-up, the three-month rule is a rule that says you and your ex are both given 3 months before entering the dating scene again. Just waiting it out, and mourning that your relationship ended. Just go on with your individual separate lives and see what happens.

What are the 6 relationship red flags that should be dating dealbreakers? ›

Six dealbreaker factors emerged in a sample of American college students (N = 285, 115 men). We called these factors Gross, Addicted, Clingy, Promiscuous, Apathetic, and Unmotivated. Women, and those having more mate value and less interest in casual sex rated dealbreakers less desirable.

What are some green flags in a guy? ›

GREEN FLAGS TO LOOK FOR in a Potential Partner
  • He makes plans to see you in advance. ...
  • He respects YOUR time. ...
  • He asks you questions about yourself. ...
  • He doesn't judge the things you're most vulnerable to share with him. ...
  • He wants the same things you want. ...
  • He wants to share his life with you. ...
  • He checks in with you regularly.

What red flags not to ignore? ›

Major red flags are infidelity, gaslighting, controlling behavior, angry outbursts, and physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

What are 2 red flags in dating? ›

Red flags in a relationship include excessive jealousy and frequent lying. You should also be wary of a partner who frequently criticizes you or puts you down. Another major red flag is an unwillingness to compromise — relationships shouldn't be one-sided.

What are the main red flags in a guy? ›

20 Red Flags to Watch Out for in Your Relationship
  • They make you feel bad about yourself. ...
  • They have you second-guessing their feelings toward you. ...
  • They don't listen to you. ...
  • They don't support your goals. ...
  • They pressure you to get physical before you're ready. ...
  • The relationship is all about them.
Sep 26, 2022

How do you know if a guy is serious about you? ›

7 Signs To Tell if a Guy Is Serious About You
  • He Listens to You. If a guy is serious about you, he will really listen and he won't take anything you say for granted. ...
  • He Makes Future Plans. ...
  • He Checks Up on You. ...
  • He Helps You with Any Problem. ...
  • He Makes You a Priority. ...
  • He Does Thoughtful Things. ...
  • He Introduces You to His Friends.

What is a 90-day rule? ›

What is the 90-day rule? The 90-day rule refers to a presumption that a nonimmigrant visa holder made a willful misrepresentation at admission or application for a nonimmigrant visa when that nonimmigrant enters the U.S. and within 90 days engages in conduct that is not allowed with their nonimmigrant status.

What defines a situationship? ›

A situationship is an uncommitted, undefined romantic relationship between two people—meaning that those in this type of relationship have not established what they are to each other. While it may share some similarities with a friends-with-benefits relationship, the two terms do not mean the same thing.

Why does the 90-day rule work? ›

The 90-day rule is one indicator of long-term employment that is gaining traction among HR professionals. The theory is that if a new employee stays for at least three months, they are far more likely to remain with the company for at least their first year.

What are three red flags for you in a dating relationship? ›

What Are Relationship Red Flags?
  • Love bombing. ...
  • An obsession with social media. ...
  • Lack of communication. ...
  • Controlling or jealous behavior. ...
  • Bad relationships with friends or family. ...
  • Extreme emotional reactions. ...
  • Alcohol or substance abuse. ...
  • Gaslighting.
Jan 13, 2022

What are the 5 red flags in a relationship? ›

Top 5 Red Flags in a Relationship
  • Feeling Inferior. If you are in a relationship with someone who makes you feel inferior to them, you should identify where this feeling is coming from. ...
  • Emotionally Unavailable. ...
  • Gaslighting Behavior. ...
  • Jealousy and Trust Issues. ...
  • Verbal and Physical Abuse.
Oct 28, 2022

How often should you see someone you're dating? ›

He told Bravo TV, "It's important to stick to twice a week only so that you have plenty of time away from your new date to give your deepest feelings time to percolate up from your subconscious. "These deep feeling are important because they will help you see any issues or problems with your new love interest."

What are the signs of good partner? ›

Healthy relationships involve honesty, trust, respect and open communication between partners and they take effort and compromise from both people. There is no imbalance of power. Partners respect each other's independence, can make their own decisions without fear of retribution or retaliation, and share decisions.

What are 5 green flags in a girl? ›

Here's some of the main green flags to look out for that would suggest you're onto a winner.
  • They ask for your opinion. ...
  • They make time for you. ...
  • They're respectful to their exes. ...
  • They're comfortable talking about their feelings. ...
  • They're fair with money. ...
  • They respect your boundaries.
Nov 8, 2022

How do you know if you are being used? ›

Signs You're Being Used
  • The person asks you for money, favors, or other items. ...
  • The person imposes on you without consideration for your availability or preferences. ...
  • The person expects you to take care of their needs. ...
  • The person appears disinterested in you after their needs have been met.
Nov 9, 2021

What are the 10 red flags? ›

10 Relationship Red Flags
  • 1- Lack of Communication. ...
  • 2- Disrespecting Boundaries. ...
  • 3- Lack of Trust. ...
  • 4- Difficult to Rely On. ...
  • 5- Controlling Behavior. ...
  • 6- Friends or Family Are Wary. ...
  • 7- Dwelling on Past Relationships. ...
  • 8- They Make You Feel Insecure.
Apr 29, 2021

What is a white flag in dating? ›

A white flag is when you can completely let your guard down and surrender (get it?) to what's becoming a healthy, strong relationship. So, to further help you understand and categorize the moments with your partners that make you feel warm and fuzzy, here are some white flags for you to look for.

What is a pink flag in dating? ›

Pink flags are common, especially in new relationships. Marriage therapists define them as gentle warnings that something is amiss between you and your partner; however, because they aren't as well-defined or blatant, we push them out of our minds or find excuses to explain them away.

What are the red flags of a narcissist? ›

Here are some narcissism red flags to look out for: Lacking empathy. They seem unable or unwilling to have empathy for others, and they appear to have no desire for emotional intimacy. Unrealistic sense of entitlement.

When to stop dating someone? ›

If they never want children and you're 100% interested in having kids one day, that's a perfectly reasonable reason to not continue dating. You two might be sexually incompatible. If you just can't get on the same page in the bedroom, it's okay to move on. Illegal behavior, violence, and abuse are all major red flags.

How do you know if a guy is a red flag? ›

Ever-changing: You're never good enough, and they're always trying to change you. Rudeness: They are dismissive or mean to your closest friends and family. Snooping: They check your private texts or emails or demand to do so. Unimportant: They aren't proud of your accomplishments and don't share in your successes.

What is a serious relationship to a man? ›

In the most basic sense, a serious relationship is one in which you're completely committed to your partner; you're totally open and honest with one another; you trust each other deeply; and you're on the same page, not only in terms of your values and ethics but about your future together as well.

How do you know if he is not the right guy? ›

  • There are obvious red flags in the relationship.
  • He shows a general unwillingness to work on the relationship together.
  • He belittles you in front of others.
  • He doesn't support your dreams.
  • They give you numerous reasons not to trust them.
  • You don't want the same things.
  • None of your friends or family seem to like them.
Apr 20, 2020

How do you test a guy before dating him? ›

10 tests every potential boyfriend must pass before you commit
  1. Make him chew gum. ...
  2. Watch him go through a self-checkout machine. ...
  3. Take a train or Tube with him. ...
  4. Sit opposite him during spaghetti for an exclusive preview of what oral sex will be like.
  5. Ask him what joke he'd tell your mother. ...
  6. Ask him to make you a cup of tea.
Feb 1, 2015

What is the 80 20 rule in dating? ›

The 80/20 relationship theory states that you can only get about 80% of your wants and needs from a healthy relationship, while the remaining 20% you need to provide for yourself. Sounds like the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a spa day. This idea of an 80/20 time split is nothing new.

What is the 3 date rule? ›

That's where the so-called “three-date rule” came in — a guideline that says you should go on three dates before sleeping with a new love interest. It's unclear where or how the rule, which was later popularized by “Sex And The City,” originated.

How long should you date someone before making it official? ›

Around 1-3 months is considered “normal” for most couples.

Many long-term couples made it official after a few months of casual dating. It's perfectly fine to pull the trigger earlier if you're both on board, though.

What do you call a relationship that's not official? ›

Less than a relationship, but more than a casual encounter or booty call, a situationship refers to a romantic relationship that is, and remains, undefined. "A situationship is that space between a committed relationship and something that is more than a friendship," explains psychotherapist and author Jonathan Alpert.

What is a flirtationship? ›

(informal) A casual relationship based only on flirtation. quotations ▼

What do you call a relationship without commitment? ›

"Situationships can be defined as a romantic relationship that lacks commitment and the associated norms and expectations," she says. Considering all these labels are (ironically) used to define otherwise label-free relationships, here's why experts think so-called situationships have become common.

What should you not do in the first 90 days? ›

The seven biggest traps in the first 90 days…and how to avoid...
  • Trap #1: Not adapting to the culture. ...
  • Trap #2: Not engaging in social learning. ...
  • Trap #3: Coming in with “the answer” ...
  • Get up to speed faster and smarter in your new role. ...
  • Trap #4: Staying too long with the existing team. ...
  • Trap #5: Attempting too much.

Can you let someone go before 90 days? ›

Like the majority of other states, California is an “at-will” employment state, and most California employees are “at-will”. This means that employers do not need to provide justification for their decision to terminate employment, and employees are free to leave their job at any time.

What happens if you don't get married in 90 days? ›

You must get married with in 90 days - there is no way around it. If the K-1 visa holder and their fiancé(e) do not get married before the 90 days, the visa holder must leave the United States as soon as possible or they could face a bar from entering the United States in the future.

When should you call it quits in a relationship? ›

If you're not being satisfied emotionally, sexually or intellectually, it's probably time to move on. Ending a relationship is hard, but it's sometimes the only correct thing to do. If you and your partner aren't connecting on the most fundamental levels, it will be best for both of you to move on.

Am I forcing a connection? ›

Do you both care more about the relationship than about being right? Or do you struggle with communication, hold onto resentment, and feel like every fight could be the end of the relationship? If your closeness doesn't bounce back after arguments, you might be forcing the connection.

What are two warning signs of an unhealthy dating relationship? ›

Unhealthy characteristics
  • Control. One person makes all the decisions and tells the other what to do, what to wear, or who to spend time with. ...
  • Dependence. One person feels that they “can't live without” the other. ...
  • Digital monitoring or “clocking”. ...
  • Dishonesty. ...
  • Disrespect. ...
  • Hostility. ...
  • Harassment. ...
  • Intimidation.

What's the biggest red flag in a guy? ›

13 red flags in a relationship to look out for
  1. Overly controlling behavior. Overly controlling behavior is a common red flag. ...
  2. Lack of trust. ...
  3. Feeling low self-esteem. ...
  4. Physical, emotional, or mental abuse. ...
  5. Substance abuse. ...
  6. Narcissism. ...
  7. Anger management issues. ...
  8. Codependency.
Feb 1, 2022

What is gaslighting in a relationship? ›

What is gaslighting in a relationship? It's a form of psychological manipulation in which one person makes the other partner doubt his or her perceptions, experiences, memories, or understanding of events that happened.

What is pocketing in a relationship? ›

Stashing—sometimes referred to as pocketing—is when one person in a relationship makes the conscious decision to hide the other person from his or her inner circle, and yes, that includes both in real life and on social media.

What is the big red flag? ›

The Big Red flag is also called “Citadel Cadets' Spirit Flag.” Federal troops fired on Fort Sumter on the 9th of January 1861, beginning the American Civil War. Citadel Cadets responded and defended Charleston Harbor. The flag under which they rallied was a red flag with a white palmetto tree and crescent moon.

What is American red flag? ›

In the United States, a red flag law is a gun violence prevention law that permits a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who they believe may present a danger to others or themselves.

What are some red flags in a boy? ›

21 Red Flags That Scream 'He's A Boy, Not A Man'
  • Nothing Is Ever Their Fault. They'll always find some way to push the blame onto others. ...
  • Complains That Women Are Nags. ...
  • “Monster” Energy. ...
  • He Handles Rejection Like A Child. ...
  • Being Nice Is A Transaction, Give To Get. ...
  • Mommy. ...
  • He Isn't Much Of A Helper. ...
  • He's A Proud Slob.
Feb 28, 2017

What are red flags in a relationship with a guy? ›

Red flags in a relationship include excessive jealousy and frequent lying. You should also be wary of a partner who frequently criticizes you or puts you down. Another major red flag is an unwillingness to compromise — relationships shouldn't be one-sided.

How do you know when a man loves you? ›

Many times, the true signs are in the little things like his body language, the way he prioritizes you, or when he goes out of his way to try to make you happy. Other signs he loves you are that he asks for your opinion on things and he says nice things about you.

Is Love Bombing a red flag? ›

“True love bombing is a weapon abusers use and it's always a red flag,” Durvasula adds. Once you know the signs of love bombing, you can protect yourself and you'll be far less vulnerable to manipulation, Johnson says.

What is a green flag in a relationship? ›

What does “green flag” mean? Red flags tell us it might be time to end a relationship, while green flags are positive signals that a relationship will make it through the long haul. Green flags demonstrate someone's character, openness, values, and more.

How do you know he's not the one? ›

20 signs he's not the one
  • You're bored. One sign that he's not right for you is boredom. ...
  • He can't communicate. ...
  • You feel like you're his mom. ...
  • He doesn't respect you. ...
  • He isn't supportive. ...
  • You don't agree on fundamental things. ...
  • You think about breaking up all the time. ...
  • He makes you feel bad about yourself.
May 27, 2021


1. The EARLY WARNING SIGNS You're Dating A Narcissist & How They FOOL YOU! | Dr. Ramani
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2. Relationship Experts Reveal 10 RED FLAGS You Shouldn't Ignore When Dating | Women of Impact
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3. The Truth About Love: How to Find It, Keep It, and Let It Go With Jay Shetty | Mel Robbins Podcast
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4. 5 red flags in dating never ignore these #shorts
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5. Chris Hansen, Casper van Dien & Kyle Dunnigan | Adam Carolla Show | 3/6/2023
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6. BEWARE OF THE NEWLY DIVORCED MAN #shorts #divorcedmen #datingtips
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