Top 10 Dating and Relationship Red Flags Men Should Never Ignore

Women are not the only ones pursuing healthy dating goals. Men need help avoiding red flags in online dating too, and we have a few insights to help improve your dating experience.

The 10 dating red flags that should send you running are not just “funny stories” people post on Twitter, they’re real life experiences breaking hearts (and banks) everywhere! Red flags for dating are behaviors that should make you seriously pause and carefully consider before moving any further in your relationship. These toxic red flags indicate a pattern of problematic behavior that can quickly turn into your worst nightmare by placing you in unhealthy relationship scenarios.

For example, while forgetfulness can be someone’s natural tendency and/or part of the aging process (hello, we’re 30-something millennials who can’t remember what we had for breakfast this morning) and not an indicator of an unhealthy relationship cycle – a partner who constantly forgets important dates and details is showing you signs of disinterest and disrespect. Red flags are opportunities to consider the short-term and long-term pros and cons of staying in a relationship.

But how do you to spot red flags in the talking stage, avoid getting frustrated with online dating, and instead find yourself in the dating green flags territory? What are the things to watch out for when online dating? The simple answer is, observe first and listen to your gut feelings second.

For the men dating online, it is essential to pay attention to your gut feelings. If the negative gut feelings are strong enough, you might be in red flag territory.

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Red Flags to Lookout For

Every piece of dating advice for singles involves checking for basic components of a healthy relationship. While a healthy relationship may look different from couple to couple, every relationship should at a minimum be  built on mutual respect, consideration, and love. Without these components, a relationship sucks.

Some signs are obvious. For example, controlling relationship red flags are dead giveaways that building a healthy partnership will be damn near impossible. However, identifying disqualifying red flags initially – especially when dating online – can be tricky. That’s why you should keep an eye out for these top 10 signs of an unhealthy relationship!

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1. She refuses to video chat. It’s 2022, if she doesn’t want to meet you via a video chat once you’ve made an online connection, move along. How will you know if she says who she says she is? Or, if she is representing herself accurately in her photos? (We know y’all are visual creatures.) But more importantly, a video date allows you to quickly determine if you and your match vibe. Why invest time and money in meeting someone in person before first determining if there’s basic chemistry between the two of you. A great benefit of online dating is learning about a person you’d like to date before meeting them. You might be getting catfished if you’ve been talking to a woman for a while and she refuses every video call attempt.

2. She doesn’t text you back in a timely manner. We get it, professionals are busy, and it’s not the end of the world if, on a workday, a woman you just started dating doesn’t have time to check personal messages until her lunch break. But unless you’re working in a top secret clearance bunker (we’re looking at you, Washington D.C. folks) we’re all constantly checking our phones. If days go by and you haven’t heard back from her, chances are you are at the bottom of her priority list. When it comes to online dating red flags, texting frequency is often an excellent way to measure how much or how little potential the relationship has. Try setting the texting frequency expectation from the beginning – share your texting style and consider if y'all vibe on it or not.

3. She has way too many things in common with you. While sharing interests and hobbies is a highly sought after compatibility component of a healthy relationship, a woman who shares your every interest and taste may be trying to force a connection with you. Ask yourself, did she just start liking your favorite basketball team, or is she actually into it? If she’s not genuinely interested in your hobbies (or doesn’t have hobbies of her own), you’ll have a hard time sustaining a connection down the road. Plus your time is valuable, so ain’t nobody got time for nothing but a real one.

4. She always has something to complain about. We could all use a venting session or two but does your potential partner only reach out to you to complain about her day? What’s worse, every time you talk to her, she has something new to complain about. We’re all doing our best to cope in today’s constantly stressful world – so whether she has developed healthy coping skills for day-to-day stressors is a good indicator of how she will manage stress in a long term relationship. Is she problem or solution oriented? If she’s constantly complaining now, it’s a good glimpse of what you can expect in the future.  

5. She trash-talks her exes. There’s a time and place to have the exes conversation. And sure, we’ve all gone through bad relationships, and sometimes an ex is entirely to blame for that bad relationship. But putting all the responsibility on an ex-partner without recognizing any learning opportunity for growth is where the red flags start to make their way to the playing field. Overly criticizing her exes without recognizing responsibility may point to deeper denial issues.

6. She is overly critical of everything and everyone. Like trash-talking exes, someone who criticizes other people often and always has an objection about how things are done, is focusing your energy on the wrong things. Friendly gossip or the latest celebrity scandal is fine to laugh over from time to time. Ask yourself, when do her eyes light up? When she’s being critical or when she’s talking about life and the amazing things it has to offer?

7. She says she doesn’t get along with women. Some people are natural loners, but there’s way too many amazing women out here to not get along with any of them. Dating a woman who doesn’t have any girlfriends will put excessive pressure on you as her only social gateway and source of emotional support.

8. She doesn’t have strong opinions about anything. She’s gotta be passionate. Women who refuse to share their personal views on anything or simply agree with everyone else’s opinions demonstrates a lack of interest, confidence, or both.

9. She texts you too often. Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated with a cute message on your way to work? A playful text after a long day at the office or coordinating date details signals green flags in dating. But an excessive need to check on you and your whereabouts early on may be an indication of insecurity. Again, have a conversation about texting frequency and avoid the awkward encounters that come with dating and texting during the talking stage.

10. She’s all over your social media. It’s one thing to occasionally reply to a funny Instagram story or like your latest post, but it’s a very different thing when she likes your sister’s Instagram post from 2014. To be fair, Instagram and Google are public spaces and she should be doing her due diligence. But there’s limitations to everything. While dating online demands that we be more cautious of the people we meet  and date, a quick scan of their social media behavior can save you a headache of potential bad dating behavior.

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Having a dating red flags checklist and developing healthy dating skills is a lot easier than investing in and then leaving unhealthy relationships. Red flags are easy to spot in the early stages of online dating if you know what questions to ask. Online dating allows you to identify dating profile red flags before you even send that like and embark on a new relationship.

To learn how to be better at dating and access more information about online dating tips for men, how to date effectively, and online dating red flags for men, visit CarpeDM and join the most exclusive dating community for black professionals in the DC area.

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