Dating Red Flags: Online & In-Person

Written by Dating Expert and Coach
Rikki Dymond

When dating, it’s important to watch out for signs that the person you’re seeing is trustworthy, genuine, and that your relationship goals are aligned. As much as we would love to believe that everyone has good intentions, there are emotionally unavailable people who want sex or companionship without commitment. Unhealed people who are not able to build and maintain healthy relationships might have good intentions, but often end up hurting the people who try to date them.

So, how do you tell if someone is emotionally unavailable, unhealed, or not a good match?

The first thing you should do before you even start dating is heal yourself. Dig deep into your childhood and relationship traumas and do the work to move past your own limiting beliefs and painful experiences. Healing past wounds will not only help you as you move through the dating process, it’s also key to moving on and finding peace and happiness.

Next, get really clear on what you need in order to be happy long term in a relationship. Consider things like values, morals, lifestyle, and personality traits. Having a clear vision of the partner you know you need will help you know when the person you’re dating isn’t the right one for you.

Along with this, it’s important to know what you want. Are you looking for fun? Casual? Committed? Marriage?

Once you’ve taken some time for self-reflection, you’ll know what you want and need in a relationship and partner. Then it’s time to date!

These are some of the biggest red flags to watch out for:

  1. Whether you’re talking on the Flirtini app or you’ve been on a date, be very weary of someone who starts talking about sex too soon. This could be asking for sexy pictures or video calls, sexting, or even talking about having sex too soon. Usually, when someone is interested in a long term relationship, they won’t want to offend you by bringing sex up too soon. If you communicate that you’re interested in building a connection before intimacy, and they still continue to push for sex, sexy talk, or pictures, this is a clear indicator that they’re only looking for a good time.
  2. They’re inconsistent with their communication and attention. If you’re seeing someone who is very responsive one minute and totally absent the next, there’s a problem. Inconsistency is a big red flag. In order to create a strong bond and establish trust, we must be able to rely on our partner. Without consistency in actions and/or communication, you won’t feel like you can depend on the other person and therefore can’t trust them. Someone who is inconsistent isn’t usually someone who wants commitment; someone who wants to build a solid relationship will show up and put in the time and effort.
  3. Just as putting in zero to no effort is a red flag, so is putting in too much effort. “Love bombing” is characterized by over the top praise, attention, and validation. Someone who behaves this way might seem perfect, but be careful; that perfection is an illusion. Exaggerated behavior is a sign that they are playing a role and are hiding who they really are or their true intentions.
  4. They call their exes “crazy.” This shows a total lack of accountability and instead of learning from their past, they’re pointing fingers and placing blame. Someone who can’t see the way they can improve is someone who is doomed to repeat past mistakes over and over again. This is someone who will be defensive, point fingers and blame you for problems in your relationship.
  5. They are controlling, jealous, or possessive. The signs of someone possessing these qualities will be very subtle at first. It could start with them being angry or upset if you don’t text them back quickly enough, or they’re demanding, sending messages like “text me now.” They may also subtly make negative comments towards you. Be very cautious of someone like this!
  6. They don’t have many long-term and or close friends. If they’ve just moved to a new city and haven’t established a friend group yet, no worries. But if not, and they don’t have many close connections, this could be because they’re hard to get along with. If they’re not able to maintain friendships that take less emotional work than a romantic relationship, they certainly won’t be able to build a thriving relationship.
  7. They have an unhealthy lifestyle. Lifestyle is very important when choosing a partner! Although we don’t need our partnerto be the same as us, having similar lifestyles will create more peace and harmony. You also don’t need a project, you need a partner; dating someone that you need to help or fix will only cause stress and heartache.

The best way you can uncover someone’s true intentions or personality is to stay true to what you know you need and take it slow. Get to know them while setting boundaries that protect your energy and interests. I also recommend getting to know more than one person at a time; three is a good number — not so many that it’s hard to juggle, but enough that you can see who fits you best.

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