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60+ Red Flags in Men You NEED to Know (before it’s too late)

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The stats are in—and they’re not great. Pew Research Center1 found that 67% of daters say their dating life is going “not too/not at all well.”


In this guide, we’re going to dive into the dating red flags you should spot to avoid going down a long, embarrassing road in the future.

What Is a Dating Red Flag?

A dating red flag is a warning sign that appears during a date or interaction with a romantic interest that could indicate a future problem, miscommunication, or challenge.. Examples of dating red flags are talking only about themselves, avoiding difficult conversations, gossiping about their ex, and withholding affection.

Dating red flags can reveal themselves both physically and verbally, and can be dangerous if not spotted early.

Top 20 Red Flags in Men to Look For

Red flags in the early stages of dating can be subtle or obvious. If a red flag appears more than once, it’s important to take note before the relationship goes too far, says dating coach Blaine Anderson. 

We cover a ton of dating red flags in this blog post, but if you want the TL;DR version, here it is:

  1. He never asks you questions and only talks about himself.
  2. He name-drops and constantly talks about how much money he has.
  3. He can’t stop talking about his exes from the get-go.
  4. He flirts with everyone, leaving you confused about his intentions.
  5. He plays the victim in every dramatic scenario in his life.
  6. The conversation is a one-way street focused solely on him.
  7. He avoids commitment and gets elusive when you talk about the future.
  8. He’s an emotional drain, expecting you to solve all his problems.
  9. He criticizes your appearance or behavior regularly.
  10. He ghosts you periodically, only to reappear without explanation.
  11. He holds you to stricter standards than he holds himself.
  12. He claims emotional intelligence but can’t handle emotional conversations.
  13. His life is a constant flurry of activity, and you’re not a priority.
  14. He turns every conversation into a debate, exhausting you.
  15. He always has to outdo your stories and accomplishments.
  16. He’s vague about his life, making you question his sincerity.
  17. He checks out other people even when he’s with you.
  18. He’s hot and cold in communication, disappearing for days at a time.
  19. His life stories seem exaggerated or too good to be true.
  20. He constantly makes comments about your age (or looks) to assert power.

To talk about some specific red flags I sat down with Blaine Anderson, online dating coach and Instagram dating influencer. Watch our interview below to learn how to identify attachment styles, hot/cold dynamics, conversational hogging, and more!

Dating Red Flags in Men to Look For (The Full List)

Want the full list of red flags to look out for? Check these out:

Mr. Ghost of Relationships Past

Ah, our guy is a walking, talking IMDb page of love sagas past. Just one date in, and he’s already recounting tales of his various exes—complete with dramatic pauses, flashbacks, and maybe even a theme song if you’re “lucky.”

And just like how you don’t want to binge-watch a soap opera that’s been canceled for poor ratings, you might not want to invest in a guy who’s basically a spin-off of his own failed relationships.

What He Says: “You wouldn’t believe the drama with my ex. She was totally psycho.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I may or may not have contributed to that drama, but I’d rather paint myself as the eternal victim here. Ready for the next episode?”

The Money Shamer

Sure, financial responsibility is important, but if someone is making you feel bad for spending money, and is counting your pennies on the first date, that’s a warning sign. When he calculates his every expense down to the cent, you may wonder if he’s equally cautious about investing in an emotional connection.

What He Says: “Wow you ordered so much food. I’m not paying for your extra.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m not willing to invest much in this relationship.”

Sir Flirt-a-Lot

He flirts like it’s a sport. With you, with the waitress, with basically anyone in a five-mile radius. At first, it might seem like harmless, outgoing behavior, but it’s confusing to understand who’s special to him if everyone is on the receiving end of his charm.

What He Says: “Wow, you look as beautiful as our server tonight!”

What He’s Really Saying: “My attention easily diverts; you’re not the only special one here.”

Mr. Too Good to Be True

Picture this: You meet a guy who seems to have been chiseled from the gods of perfection. He’s charming, he’s engaging, and he’s agreeable—maybe too agreeable.

Every word from his mouth is what you want to hear. Whether it’s about politics, cuisine, or your favorite movies, it’s like dating your own echo chamber. But remember, nobody is this perfect. His flawless facade may be concealing not just personality flaws but perhaps an entire secret life.

Is he a spy? Is he married? In the Witness Protection Program? Okay, maybe not, but he’s definitely hiding something.

What He Says: “I can’t believe how compatible we are; we agree on everything!”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m curating myself to be your dream guy, but the real me is still hidden.”

The Negative Drama King

This guy has more drama in his life than a soap opera and he’s always, without fail, the innocent victim. From crazy exes to unscrupulous bosses, from backstabbing friends to, heck, even the barista who supposedly has a vendetta against him—the world is out to get him.

What He Says: “You won’t believe what happened to me today; it’s like the universe is against me.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m the center of my own world, and I expect you to orbit around me, too.”

The Compliment Scrooge

This guy has a vault of praises, and sorry darling, you don’t have the access code.

Withholding compliments, especially at critical moments when you deserve recognition, is a form of emotional frugality that you just don’t need in your life. Imagine celebrating your career milestones with a guy whose enthusiasm levels are on par with a sloth’s heartbeat.

What He Says: “Cool. Anyways, are we ordering in tonight?”

What He’s Really Saying: “Your accomplishments are just speed bumps on the road to my next meal.”

Captain Vague

Ah, Captain Vague, the man who treats plans like they’re part of a top-secret mission—details to be revealed only on a need-to-know basis. Is he a mysterious spy or just someone who can’t commit to dinner and a movie?

What He Says: “Let’s hang out soon. I’ll hit you up.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m keeping my options open, and you’re one of them. Don’t wait up.”

Man-splainer Alert

Ah, the Man-splainer, the guy who thinks he’s the unofficial professor of literally everything—including your own job.

What He Says: “Actually, in your field, it’s important to consider XYZ…”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m so smart, I even know your job better than you do. Aren’t you impressed?”

Mr. Me-Me-Me

If he’s got more photos of himself than he has of friends, family, or anything meaningful, consider this a red flag. Mr. Me-Me-Me tends to steer every conversation back to his favorite subject: himself.

What He Says: “Enough about you, let’s talk about me.”

What He’s Really Saying: “Your stories are just speed bumps on my monologue highway.”

The Commitment Phobe

You know the one—the guy who is allergic to anything that even hints at long-term. From avoiding labels like “boyfriend” to going MIA when you mention a future event you’d love to attend together, this guy is adept at dodging anything that ties him down.

Sometimes he’ll try to make it about “living in the moment” or “keeping things spontaneous,” but the reality is that he’s not in it for the long haul. Beware, your emotional investment is likely to yield zero return here.

What He Says: “Let’s just see where things go, no need to label it.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m not committed to this relationship, so don’t get too attached.”

The Emotional Vampire

Ah, this guy. He’s always in the mood to share his problems, fears, and past traumas, and expects you to be an always-on therapist.

While emotional openness is crucial in any relationship, with this one, it’s a one-way street. He’s quick to drain your emotional resources, but good luck getting the same level of emotional support in return.

Being there for each other is one thing; becoming a psychological sponge for his issues is another.

What He Says: “I need your help with every one of my problems (real or not).”

What He’s Really Saying: “Prepare to be my emotional landfill.”

Mr. Critic

This guy loves to nitpick. At first, you might think he’s just keen on self-improvement, but soon enough you realize he’s keen on improving you—or rather, molding you into his image of what you should be.

Be wary; a partner should appreciate you for who you are, not for who they want you to be.

What He Says: “You’d look even better if you wore your hair like this. And while we’re at it you should get some new shoes.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I want to mold you into my ideal partner.”

Casper the Ghosting Guy

Just when you think things are going well, he vanishes. Messages go unread, and your calls join the ranks of the Bermuda Triangle—never to be heard from again.

What He Says: “Sorry, I’ve been swamped.”

What He’s Really Saying: “You’re my backup option, so I only text when my first choice falls through.”

Mr. Spotlight Hog

This guy loves attention so much he could give Broadway divas a run for their money. From Instagram selfies to interrupting conversations to sing his own praises, it’s always about him.

What He Says: “Again, I had the craziest day; you wouldn’t believe what happened to me.”

What He’s Really Saying: “It’s all about me, and it always will be.”

Sir Double Standards

He holds you to the highest of expectations but fails to meet even the most basic ones himself. If you’re five minutes late, it’s an issue. But if he keeps you waiting? Well, you should be honored he even showed up.

What He Says: “You’re late. Time management is important, you know?”

What He’s Really Saying: “Rules are for you, not for me.”

Mr. Living-in-the-Past

This gentleman can’t stop talking about his glory days. Whether it’s his high school football career, the killer parties he used to throw, or the innumerable “good times,” he’s stuck in a time warp.

Every other sentence is a trip down memory lane, making you wonder if he’s even capable of making new memories.

Or worse, if his best days are truly behind him, where does that leave you? Sure, nostalgia is fun, but you also want a partner who’s excited about the future.

What He Says: “You should have seen me back in the day; I was the man!”

What He’s Really Saying: “I peaked in high school, and I’ve been living off those memories ever since.”


The grass is always greener, and this guy is perpetually over the fence and into someone else’s yard. Committed to being uncommitted, Mr. FOMO can’t stick with plans or people for too long.

What He Says: “Let’s keep it casual for now.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m holding out for someone I think is better, but I don’t want to be alone in the meantime.”

The (Not So) Sensitive Guy

He talks a big game about emotional intelligence, but when it comes to practice, he’s as sensitive as a rock. Sharing feelings with him is like talking to a wall—ineffective and emotionally draining.

What He Says: “You’re being too emotional.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m uncomfortable with feelings, so let’s make this about you being wrong.”

Sir Text-a-Lot

He’s eloquent over text but clams up in person. If he can write you a sonnet but can’t carry a conversation, you’re essentially dating his phone.

What He Says: “I’m just not a big talker.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m brave behind the screen, but don’t expect that courage to transfer into real life.”

Mr. Hot-and-Cold

Is it just you, or does this guy flip-flop more than a pair of summer sandals?

One moment he’s sweet, attentive, and into you; the next he’s aloof, distant, and barely there. He showers you with compliments one day and gives you the cold shoulder the next.

It’s emotional whiplash, to say the least. The rollercoaster is exciting at first, but eventually, it’s just nauseating. If you stay with him, make sure to fasten your seatbelt because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

What He Says: “You mean so much to me. I’ve just been really busy lately.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I want to keep you on your toes, and not in a fun way.”

The Ghoster’s Apprentice

This one’s got you in his life, but barely. One moment he’s into you and the next, he’s gone—no texts, no calls, and then he appears again out of the blue, as if nothing happened.

Leaving you on ‘read’ is practically his hobby. But remember, emotional availability is not optional, it’s necessary. And this Houdini act? It’s a major red flag.

What He Says: “Sorry, I was swamped. What’s up?”

What He’s Really Saying: “You’re my option, not a priority.”

The Overachiever

He has three jobs, seven hobbies, and is learning his fifth language. While his accomplishments are impressive, you’ll soon realize you’re not on his to-do list. And he never asks about your accomplishments.

What He Says: “I’m just really busy right now.”

What He’s Really Saying: “You’re not a priority, and probably never will be.”

Mr. Ironic

He’s the kind of guy who thinks it’s cool to be disinterested. Somehow he’s convinced himself that not caring is a personality trait.

What He Says: “I mean, does anything really matter?”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m too cool to care, which means I’m too cool for a relationship.”

The Armchair Philosopher

He loves to debate—about anything and everything. His need to constantly prove his intellectual prowess can turn simple conversations into intense debates.

The problem? He often forgets a relationship is not a debate club. He challenges every opinion or statement you have, not because he’s genuinely interested in a constructive conversation, but because he wants to win. You’ll quickly find that this can be draining in a relationship.

What He Says: “Ah, but have you considered the existential implications of that?”

What He’s Really Saying: “I enjoy arguing more than I enjoy agreeing with you, even on trivial matters.”

Mr. Momma’s Boy

Sure, loving your mom is a good thing, but when his decision-making revolves around her opinion, you might want to reconsider. It’s sweet that he seeks her advice, but not when it’s about how he should cut his steak or what movie you two should watch.

Your relationship should be about two adults, not an adult and his mom.

What He Says: “My mom doesn’t like that place.”

What He’s Really Saying: “If Mom doesn’t approve, it’s a no-go for me.”

Captain One-Up

No matter what you’ve accomplished, he’s done it better, faster, and in seven different countries. Not only has he run a marathon, he did it while juggling.

A word to the wise: if you’re looking for a cheerleader, you won’t find it here—you’ll only find competition.

What He Says: “Oh, you’ve been to France? That’s cute. I lived there for a year.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m in constant competition with myself, even with you.”

Mr. Mystery

He’s so mysterious, he’d give Sherlock Holmes a headache. If he can’t be clear about basic details, what else is he hiding?

Vagueness can be alluring up to a point, but when it comes to meaningful connection, you’ll want more substance than shadow.

What He Says: “I don’t like to put labels on things, including myself.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I don’t want to be accountable. And if you get to know me too well, you’ll probably be disappointed.”

The Wandering Eye

While you’re talking about your day or sharing something personal, he’s busy scanning the room—or worse, checking out other people. It’s like he’s always shopping around, even when he’s with you.

Don’t be surprised if you find him still active on dating apps. This guy struggles to stay focused on what’s in front of him and clearly hasn’t learned that ‘the grass is greener where you water it.’

What He Says: “Yeah, I’m listening. Go on.”

What He’s Really Saying: “You’re my option, not my priority.”

Mr. Moneybags

Here’s the guy who never stops talking about his assets—literally.

Whether it’s his brand new sports car, the “killer” investment he just made, or name-dropping his “very important” friends, he’s always keen to remind you how successful and well-connected he is. But if he’s all about the Benjamins, will he ever value you?

What He Says: “You wouldn’t believe the deal I closed today. It made my 6 figure bank account go to 7 figures.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I need my possessions and accomplishments to speak for me because my personality can’t.”

The Eeyore

The world is always against him and he’s not shy about sharing his woes. His perpetual gloom and doom can be emotionally draining, leaving you feeling like a therapist rather than a partner. While it’s important to support each other in a relationship, this guy turns it into a one-man pity party.

What He Says: “It’s just that life never gives me a break, you know?”

What He’s Really Saying: “I take no responsibility for my circumstances; it’s easier to complain.”

Online Dating Red Flags in Men

Online dating can be tough—the laggy video calls, lack of physical touch, and awkward random internet outages can all make dating awkward. But it can go deeper than that. Can you really trust the person on the other end of the line? Spot these online dating red flags to help you stay safe:

This guy’s profile is too good to be true—professional photos, a job that sounds like it was ripped from a Forbes article, and a bio so smooth it could sell ice to Eskimos. The only catch? He avoids video calls like the plague and dodges questions about his whereabouts. Chances are, you might be swimming with a catfish.

What He Says: “Sorry, my camera is broken. Can’t video call.”

What He’s Really Saying: “You’ll be sorely disappointed when you find out who I really am.”

The Back-in-Three-Days

You’re texting, and oh boy, is he talkative! Paragraphs that go on like a Dickens novel, diving deep into the complexities of his day and asking about yours.

Then suddenly—radio silence. Days go by with not even an emoji. Just when you’ve reconciled with the idea that he’s joined the Ghost Brigade, he magically reappears.

His excuse? An emergency board meeting with Elon Musk, a volcanic eruption in his backyard, or maybe he was abducted by aliens. Whatever it is, the storyline is worthy of an Emmy.

What He Says: “Sorry I’ve been MIA, work has been crazy!”

What He’s Really Saying: “You’re my backup plan for when I’m bored.”

The Never-Meet-You Man

He’s up for endless chats and seems genuinely interested—over text. But when it comes to setting an actual date? Suddenly he’s busier than a world leader at a summit. If he’s not eager to move things from the virtual world to the real one, something’s fishy.

What He Says: “Let’s play it by ear. My schedule is kind of crazy.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m not serious about taking this further.”

The Serial Storyteller

When you scroll through his profile, it seems like he’s traveled to every country, tried every sport, and even rescued a kitten from a burning building.

As dreamy as it sounds, if his life reads like an adventure novel, he might be stretching the truth a little—or a lot.

What He Says: “Just back from my third Everest summit.”

What He’s Really Saying: “My stories are grander than my commitment to reality.”

Picture Perfect—From 10 Years Ago

He looks like he stepped right out of a Calvin Klein ad—in 2011. Wait a minute, why do all his profile photos have timestamps from the early 2010s?

If your would-be Romeo is recycling pictures from a bygone era, he’s misleading you before the first message is even sent.

Worse yet, it throws trust out the window before you’ve even had the chance to open it. And ladies, trust is a window you want open, or at least ajar, when stepping into a new relationship.

What He Says: “Photos? Oh, I look the same.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I peaked in 2011, and I’m not ready to accept it.”

Red Flags in Men When Dating in Your 50s (and 60s, 70s, and 80s)

A great relationship is possible at this stage in life when you know yourself and what you want—but be aware, there are red flags when dating in your 50s. 

Silver Fox, But No Golden Heart

Ah, the allure of the mature gentleman. He’s sophisticated, he opens doors, he remembers the heyday of vinyl records.

But beware—his dating history spans decades, which means he’s had plenty of time to master the art of manipulation.

When dating in the golden years, time is precious. If he still refuses to introduce you to his friends or even his pet parrot, Edgar, after several dates, he might be keeping you as a hidden chapter in his long life story.

What He Says: “I like to keep my private life, well, private.”

What He’s Really Saying: “You’re not important enough to meet the people (or pets) important to me.”

Playing the Age Card… Constantly

You’re both seasoned citizens of the dating world, but he keeps pointing out your age difference—even if it’s just a few years. While a little teasing can be playful, consistently making you feel like a spring chicken or an old relic is dismissive and disrespectful.

If you feel like your age is all he sees, it’s time to find someone who appreciates you for you, not the year you were born.

What He Says: “When I was your age, things were different.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I use age to create a power imbalance.”

Mr. Financial Fog

He lives in a fancy apartment, drives a late-model car, and treats every date like it’s a five-star experience. Sounds great, right? But when you start to hear hints that he’s not financially secure—credit card declined, mysterious “business ventures” that are always just about to take off—it’s worth questioning if he’s putting up a front.

Financial stability isn’t everything, but transparency and honesty are.

What He Says: “My investments are just about to pay off; you’ll see.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m living beyond my means and want you to think I’m more successful than I am.”

The Forever Bachelor

He’s charming, he’s cultured, and he’s been single for a very, very long time. If you’re looking for a committed relationship, tread carefully. This man has avoided long-term partnerships for decades, and there might be a reason why he’s still singing the ‘Single and Loving It’ anthem after all these years.

What He Says: “I’ve just never found the ‘right one,’ you know?”

What He’s Really Saying: “Commitment scares me more than the thought of another Y2K bug.”

The Medical Mystery

He’s got more pills in his medicine cabinet than a pharmacy, but he’s vague or dismissive when you ask if everything’s okay.

Health issues are sensitive, especially as we age, but a lack of transparency can lead to serious concerns down the line. If he’s unwilling to share anything about his frequent doctor’s visits or his assortment of daily pills, you’re not just dating him; you’re dating a big question mark.

What He Says: “Oh, these pills? Just for some minor issues, nothing to worry about.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m not ready to be open about my health, which could impact our relationship significantly.”

Next up: dating after divorce. A divorced person might feel free, happy, and like the best version of themselves. Unfortunately, you may meet someone newly single who’s the exact opposite. 

Dating a Divorced Man Red Flags

The process of divorce can determine what baggage a person carries into a new relationship. So if you’re dating a divorced man and these red flags appear, think twice.

  1. The bad mouth: If someone is constantly trashing their ex, it’s doubtful that they’re emotionally ready for a new relationship. Unresolved hurt and anger block the heart. It will be hard for them to love again until they face their issues and heal.
  2. The blameless: Are they adamant that they have no blame for the failure of their marriage? Taking responsibility is one of life’s toughest choices to make, but it’s necessary to move forward. If they don’t, they may start blaming you too.
  3. The biting: Is their sarcasm growing2 Some people have a dry sense of humor that takes getting used to… but if they’re getting critical (or contemptuous) of you and life in general, that negativity can paralyze a relationship and harm your mental health.
  4. The disbelieving: They may still be hurting, and that’s understandable, but if their fear of being hurt or left again is damaging their ability to trust, that insecurity acts like an impenetrable wall against intimacy with you.

What are some red flags for dating widowers? Let’s take a closer look.

Dating a Widower Red Flags

Dating a widower? Be careful to not unwittingly get trapped in one of these red flag scenarios:

The Still-Married Man

He says he’s separated, but those divorce papers are nowhere in sight. It might be tempting to think he’s all but divorced, but without the ink drying on those legal papers, you’re in for a murky future.

Who wants to date a man who’s still technically married? It can mean messy financial and emotional ties that could yank you into drama central.

What He Says: “We’re basically divorced, just some paperwork left.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m emotionally and legally still attached to my previous life.”

The Serial Blamer

His ex is the root of all evil—or so he claims. While no one’s saying his ex is a saint, a man who lays all blame on his ex is a red flag waving in the wind.

What He Says: “She ruined me; I did nothing wrong.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I don’t take responsibility for my actions, so get ready for that.”

Kids or Ghosts?

He’s got kids, but you wouldn’t know it. He either skirts around the topic or mentions them so rarely you wonder if they’re imaginary.

This behavior may indicate that he’s not fully present in either of his two worlds—fatherhood and dating you.

What He Says: “Yeah, my kids are around.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m keeping my worlds apart, and that includes you.”

The Flash Rebounder

He was back on the dating scene faster than you can say “divorce papers.” While that might feel flattering at first—wow, he’s already over his ex!—this could actually be a massive red flag.

What He Says: “I knew it was over long before it was over, so I’m ready to move on.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I haven’t fully processed my last relationship, and I might be using you to do that.”

Dating a Narcissist Red Flags

The unfortunate truth is we’re all capable of narcissism as a form of self-preservation, but when you’re dating a genuine narcissist, red flags get particularly intolerable.

The Mirror Gazer

Ah, the classic narcissist move—adoring his own reflection more than anything else in the room. He seems utterly infatuated with himself, always finding ways to bring the conversation back to—you guessed it—him. Ever heard of a two-way street, buddy?

What He Says: “Enough about you; let’s talk about me.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m the sun in this universe, and you should orbit around me.”

The Blame Shifter

Listen up, because this one’s as slippery as they come. With this guy, nothing’s ever his fault. If your date night fails or if there’s a disagreement, guess who’s taking the blame? Not him.

What He Says: “You’re overreacting. Calm down.”

What He’s Really Saying: “Your feelings are irrelevant, only mine matter.”

Insta-Worthy, Always

While the occasional selfie is expected, maybe even fun, this guy takes it to a whole new level. Instagram stories, reels, posts—his life is a never-ending photo shoot.

Not for your own sake, of course, but for the likes and the follows. If he’s angling the phone for the perfect selfie while you’re sharing something important, you might as well be dating his Instagram account, not him.

What He Says: “Let’s take a selfie! Gotta update my followers on how great my life is.”

What He’s Really Saying: “You’re a great accessory for my online persona.”

The Never-Apologizer

Apologizing? That’s like asking him to recite Shakespeare backward.

And the concept of compromise? Well, that’s merely a fleeting figment of the imagination. When you’re dating this wonder, get ready for an ego so colossal it could rival Everest.

What He Says: “I don’t need to apologize; you should understand where I’m coming from.”

What He’s Really Saying: “My perspective stands as the ultimate truth. Yours, on the other hand, is but a pebble in the vast ocean of my opinions.”

Truth be told, a lot of these red flags can be spotted if you pick up on the silent nonverbal cues that reveal a person’s inner emotions. Want to know how?

Unlock the Secrets of Charisma

Control and leverage the tiny signals you’re sending – from your stance and facial expressions to your word choice and vocal tone – to improve your personal and professional relationships.

Dating Red Flags for Millennials and Gen Z

In a world where swiping right is the new hello, dating can be a minefield for Millennials and Gen Z. Here are some red flags specifically tailored to these tech-savvy, socially-conscious generations.

The Emoji Overloader

Ever chatted with someone who seems to communicate more in emojis than in actual words? While a picture may be worth a thousand words, an emoji isn’t. If your conversation is a sea of smileys, hearts, and thumbs-ups with little substantial dialogue, it could indicate a lack of depth or an inability to express themselves effectively.

What He Says: 😍🔥🌹

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m not great with words, so I let my emojis do the talking.”

The Social Media Stalker

This one has scrolled through your Instagram so thoroughly, he mentions your family vacation from 2016 on the first date. A little social media research is normal, but knowing your dog’s name from three years ago? That’s a red flag.

What He Says: “I saw you went to Bali in 2016. Looked fun!”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’ve gone deep into your social media history.”

The Virtual Virtue Signaler

He’s all about showing his social justice credentials online, but in person, his actions don’t match up. It’s great to care about important issues, but beware of those who use them as a tool to impress rather than a platform for actual change.

What He Says: “I’m really passionate about climate change and social issues.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I talk the talk online, but don’t really walk the walk in real life.”

The Influencer Wannabe

His life goal is to hit 10K followers and get that coveted blue checkmark. While ambition is great, if his self-worth is tied to social media stats, it could lead to a relationship where you feel like you’re just another ‘like’ and ‘share.’

What He Says: “Could you take a photo of me for my Insta?”

What He’s Really Saying: “Social media validation is more important to me than our actual interaction.”

The Cancel Culture Connoisseur

Ready to cancel anyone at a moment’s notice, this guy can be hard to keep up with. He’s quick to judge and unforgiving, often leaving you walking on eggshells.

What He Says: “I can’t believe you haven’t heard about that controversy.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m quick to judge and might not be very forgiving.”

The Ghost of Dating Apps Past

He’s on every dating app known to humankind but never seems to commit to an actual date. A chronic swiper, he’s more in love with the idea of options than the concept of a real relationship.

What He Says: “Yeah, I’m on all the dating apps. Just keeping my options open.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m addicted to swiping, but not ready for a real connection.”

The Low-Key Liker

This one is a bit more subtle. He likes all your posts, maybe even some from years back, but never makes a move or starts a conversation. It’s like he’s there, but not quite there.

What He Says: *Silently likes your post from 2018*

What He’s Really Saying: “I’m interested, but not enough to actually do something about it.”

The Meme Communicator

Sure, memes are the language of the internet, but if he can’t make a point without referencing a meme, it might signal a lack of original thought or an inability to engage in serious conversation.

What He Says: *Sends a meme in response to a question about his day*

What He’s Really Saying: “I struggle to express myself without the help of internet humor.”

The Climate Change Contrarian

While it’s healthy to have differing opinions, if he’s constantly challenging widely accepted scientific facts, especially those concerning climate change or other critical issues, it could be a red flag for someone who enjoys being contrarian for the sake of it.

What He Says: “I’m not sure I believe all this climate hype.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I like to challenge popular opinions, even at the expense of ignoring facts.

The “Too Woke to Joke” Guy

He takes everything so seriously that it’s impossible to have a light conversation. While being informed and sensitive to issues is important, an inability to relax or take a joke can make for a tense dating experience.

What He Says: “I don’t find that kind of humor funny or appropriate.”

What He’s Really Saying: “I have a hard time loosening up and enjoying lighter moments.”

These red flags are tailored to the unique dating experiences of Millennials and Gen Z, who navigate a digital world of love. Remember, while some of these might be deal breakers, others could just be points for conversation. The key is to find someone whose values align with yours and who respects you as an individual, both online and off.

Bad Celebrity Dates

Reading about red flags is one thing. But when celebs reveal their red-flag dates3, it’s like a lousy rom-com that’s never worth watching again.

  • Harry Potter cast member Emma Watson said her worst date was with a guy who admitted he’d never be friends with someone overweight or unattractive.
  • Singer and talk show host Kelly Clarkson had one date with a man shorter than her. He couldn’t stop talking about his height insecurity, so she excused herself and left.
  • Actress and comedienne Awkwafina went to dinner with a date who ordered his meal without asking what she wanted. Even worse: he ordered one well-done steak and cut it up himself, and she had to share it with him.
  • Actress and comedienne Tiffany Haddish had a dinner date too—followed by a trip to a laundromat to help the guy wash his clothes. Haddish called it “horrible” and said she wasn’t a “damn maid.”
  • Talk show host and social media influencer Lilly Singh described a man who never asked her a single question (not even a truth or dare one), spending the entire date talking about his gym routine.

Those are embarrassing examples shared by celebrities, but they clearly show that red flags happen to everyone, and it’s not selfish or wrong to know yourself and put your needs first.

Think Positive!

If you’re wondering whether there are any green flags or positive tips when it comes to dating, there are plenty. So when you meet someone and there’s a spark, here are some fun, science-based dating tips for hitting your first date out of the park: 11 Science-Backed First Date Tips To Make Your Date Great.

Bonus: What NOT To Say on a Date

Before you dive headfirst into a ton of conversation topics, consider this: some things are best left unsaid on a first date. Watch this video or read our article to find out!

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9 Dating Red Flags You Need to Know (Before It’s Too Late)
9 Dating Red Flags You Need to Know (Before It’s Too Late)