Those first few days or weeks you spend dating a person that seems to be perfection incarnate can be amazing. The giddiness, the aspirations — it’s almost like being part of a cheesy montage from a romantic comedy. As fabulous as those feelings are, you should never allow yourself to be blinded by the glittering possibilities represented by the new person in your life.
The early stages of any relationship will bring out the best in people. After all, everybody is trying to make a good impression. However, just like a sleazy used car salesman might have a car’s rusty hulk painted over to get a quick sale — so too can some people try to gloss over serious personal imperfections that might make them less than ideal partners.
It is for this reason why — no matter how sweet, how darling, how charming your new love interest may be — you should never deactivate your dating red flag radar. We understand, maybe it’s been a while since you… well, you know. Obviously, you don’t want to ruin or jinx a good thing. That is why, like a mamma duck looking after her ducklings (we just had crispy duck for lunch, so…), we have prepared the following list of six dating red flags that you should NOT ignore.
1. You Haven’t Been Introduced to Their Inner Circle
It is unrealistic (and honestly, undesirable) to be introduced to your new love’s close friends and family on the first date. If, however, weeks have gone by — if you are already at the stage where you are comfortable clipping your toenails in front of each other — and you have yet to be introduced to any of his or her “crew” — something isn’t right. True, perhaps all of their family and friends perished in a tragic airplane crash over the Andes, but then again, maybe — just maybe — you are being kept a SECRET.
Why would this happen? Hmm, let’s think (insert Jeopardy music here). Perhaps, you are the “other” man or woman. That’s right, your “perfect” partner might be married or in another relationship. You might be just a piece of candy on the side. Otherwise, they might be embarrassed by you. Sure, you’re good enough to rock their world (and their bed), but you’re not good enough to meet mommy or daddy dearest.
2. They Treat Others Like Sh*t
When they are around you they are attentive, gracious, simply as sweet as sweet can be. However, when you see them interact with other people — waiters, co-workers, family, strangers on the street — they behave like a**holes or b*tches. With you, they are kind and polite — with others, they are rude and dismissive.
What you have there is the classic red flag for impending misery. As difficult as it might be to accept, if a person is behaving so crass with everyone except you — chances are the side you are seeing is just an act. The moment you pass the stage of being the novelty, you will be the recipient of the same crap they heave unto other people.
3. Drama is Ratcheted Up
Like the old anecdote about the boiling frog — drama, if presented to you all at once will be something that you will shun away from immediately. However, if your partner starts to slowly unleash the drama, you might get caught up in it. Maybe a shouting match over suggesting the same restaurant twice in a week; or threatening to jump out of the car as you’re driving because you skipped over a certain song — that’s how it starts. Where it ends up is constant and excruciating bouts of drama. Unless you are eager to live your life like some scene out of a Spanish telenovela, view sudden increases in drama as a big red flag.
4. Zero to Let’s get married in Sixty Seconds
While the euphoria of the early stages of dating someone can be quite intoxicating and exhilarating, sometimes things can speed up faster than you’re comfortable with. If the person you’re dating goes from grabbing a drink together one afternoon, to planning what you are going to name your kids and what breed of dog you will have, then the red flag should be obvious.
For a myriad of reasons, some people become too attached too fast. While there is nothing wrong with taking the fast lane to romance, it only works when both are following the same pace. Otherwise, things will go from awkward to uncomfortable faster than the speed of light.
5. They’re Persistently Vague About Their Past
It’s entirely possible that you started dating an international spy without knowing it. That would definitely explain the persistent vagueness about their past. However, only one in 70,000 people so much as work in the intelligence racket, so chances are that your person of mystery is not a spy. That means that they are probably trying to keep something from you about their past. While this could be something innocent — like being ashamed about a humble upbringing or some other vanity — it could also be a red flag for something worse. The person might have a criminal past, a spouse, or worse — they might even be a scam artist after your collection of McDs commemorative glasses featuring Grimace.
Whatever the reason for the aversions of their past, if they remain evasive even after you’ve opened up about your extended stuffed animal family, then proceed with caution.
6. Flashbacks of Their Ex
You got past the first date, the first week, even the first night together without hearing a peep about their ex. Then suddenly, they start talking about the ex. It can start with little comments like, “oh, so-and-so used to enjoy coming here,” or “red was so-and-so’s favorite color too.” While it would be impossible — even evasive — for someone never to mention their exes, if they mention them more than two or three times in a given week, then that’s a red flag. Chances are they are not over their ex, or they are trying to compare you to their ex. Either way, that usually doesn’t end well. You’ve been warned.
— Dating Euphoria Is Fleeting —
Some dating experts equate the feeling you get when you start dating someone new as that obtained from opiate drugs. It hits you hard and fast, but then the comedown can be a real bummer. That is why it is best to always keep an eye open for the dating red flags. Don’t allow yourself to be blinded to reality — the cost in wasted time, emotional turmoil and drama could be steep. Before everyone starts getting all gloomy about their dating outlook, just remember that there will come the day when you meet someone and no red flags will be present. You’ll be cleared with green flags all the way to the finish line.