Dating

30 first date red flags that you should look out for

Red flags are signals that something may not be right in a relationship. So if you've just started dating someone and notice any of the following red flags, it's time to rethink your relationship!

On this page Hide table of contents

Have you ever gone on a date that just didn’t feel right? Maybe your intuition was trying to tell you something. Maybe they had this creepy way of talking about specific things or were treating you like you were inferior?

Well, no one is perfect, and that goes for first dates too. However, there are some red flags that you should watch out for to avoid wasting your time on a date that’s bound to go nowhere. If you’re noticing that you’re guilty of some of these red flags yourself, you should definitely check out how to act on a first date!

Here are the top red flags to look out for on your next first date:

1. They brag too much

Bragging is never something good. It shows a lack of confidence or a way too huge ego. If your date is constantly bragging about their accomplishments or even about something very trivial, it can be a red flag.

Be on the lookout for other signs of arrogance or narcissism as well, such as constant name-dropping or talking down to you.

2. They show a lack of respect

No matter who you are, you deserve to be respected. That includes on a first date. If your date is treating you like you’re inferior or talking down to you, it’s a major red flag.

A lack of respect can also manifest itself in other ways, such as not listening to what you have to say or interrupting you constantly. Or they try to dominate the conversation or make negative comments about other people, be wary.

Pay attention to how they treat wait staff at restaurants and other service workers, as this can also be an indicator of their character.

3. They show no respect for your opinions or boundaries

Like the previous red flag, this one also shows a lack of respect for you. While it’s fine to have different opinions and to disagree with your date if they can’t handle it in a respectful way or make you feel like you’re wrong for having an opinion, this is not someone you want to continue dating.

Similarly, if your date seems to constantly cross your boundaries or ignores what you tell them, it’s a sign that they don’t care about your feelings and cannot be trusted.

4. They’re rude to the wait staff or service workers

It may seem like a small thing, but this can actually be an indicator of more serious issues. If your date is rude or condescending to the wait staff at restaurants or other service workers, it’s a sign that they lack basic empathy and respect for other people.

This might even be a sign you’re currently spending time with a sociopath, so heads up! When you’re feeling very unsure whether you should end the date prematurely or not, it’s more often than not better to do the prior.

Are you unsure of how long a date should last in general? This article will help!

5. They try to make all the decisions for you

While it’s always nice to have someone who can take charge and make decisions, it’s not so great when they try to do everything for you. This can be a sign that they’re trying to control you or that they don’t think you’re capable of making your own decisions.

If your date is always trying to tell you what to do, what to eat, or where to go, it’s time to take a step back and reassess the situation.

6. They use racial slurs

Racism is never acceptable, no matter the context. If your date is using racial slurs or making racist jokes, it’s a sign that they’re not only ignorant but also intolerant.

This is obviously a major red flag, and you should not hesitate to end things immediately if this is the case.

7. They make sexist comments

Sexism is another major red flag. If your date is making sexist comments or jokes, it’s a sign that they don’t respect women or men and view them as inferior.

Again, this is not someone you want to continue dating, and you should end things or teach them a lesson that you’re no one to make sexist comments to.

8. They talk about exes constantly

While it’s certainly normal to discuss past relationships on a first date, you may want to be wary if they can’t stop talking about their exes. This can be a sign that your date is not over them or has unresolved issues with them.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to pay attention to your own instincts and listen to your gut. If something about your date seems off, trust that feeling, and don’t be afraid to end things early if need be.

9. They check their phone constantly but take forever to text you back

Being on the phone all the time on a date is already a red flag, but it becomes even more so if they take forever to text you back. This can be a sign that they’re not interested or that they don’t care enough about you to make an effort and reply right away. Or, even worse, they’re playing games like hard to get.

10. They get angry easily

If they’re easily agitated because of minor inconveniences or if they seem to get angry at you for things that are not your fault, this is a definite red flag. This is a sign that they’re quick to anger and may have a history of being abusive towards others.

If this red flag ring true for your date, it’s wise to better end things before they show you their true self.

11. They are overly negative or critical

We all have our moments of negativity, but if your date is constantly complaining or putting everything and everyone down, it’s a red flag. This kind of toxic behavior can be a sign that they’re insecure and have low self-esteem.

Negative and toxic people are masters in destroying your self-confidence little by little over time, so don’t even get near them.

12. They pressure you to do things you’re not comfortable with

If your date is pressuring you to do things like drink more, spend more money, or stay out later than you would be comfortable with, this is a major red flag. This kind of behavior can be a sign that they’re just trying to take advantage of you and will likely pressure you into doing other things down the line as well.

It is manipulative and disrespectful, and you should either tell them to stop pressuring you or end things with this person right away.

13. They clearly distance themself from other men or women

If they talk of people of the same gender as they are in a derogatory way, it’s a red flag. For example, if they’re male and say all other men are dogs that only want sex or if they’re female and all other women are gold-diggers.

Most people who make comments like this are just like “the others” they claim not to be. This is also often a symptom of narcissism, so it’s better to end the date sooner rather than later.

14. They seem disinterested in you

If your date seems disinterested in getting to know you or having a real conversation with you, it’s a red flag. This can have several reasons: maybe they’re playing games, or they’re just interested in your body and not your personality.

15. They are too sexual too soon

If your date is being overly sexual too soon, it’s definitely a red flag. This can be a sign that they’re just interested in you for intercourse and not for anything else. If you’re not comfortable with this level of sexualization, then it’s best to end things now.

To avoid being sexualized too soon, you should inform yourself about what to wear on a first date.

16. They complain a lot

Complaining about trivial things is a sign they’re a toxic person. It’s a red flag if they’re always complaining about the weather, their job, the food, the service, etc.

This kind of behavior is just exhausting to be around, and it’s a sign that they’re not happy with their life. And it’s not your job to make a person happy: everybody is the artisan of their own fortune!

17. They are excessively jealous or controlling

A little jealousy is normal in any relationship, but if your date is excessively jealous or controlling, it’s a red flag. This is often a sign that they’re insecure and have difficulty trusting others.

If they already show signs like this on the first date, it’s a huge red flag.

18. They criticize the food or drinks

It’s a red flag if they’re constantly criticizing the food or drinks. This is just rude and shows that they’re not easy to please. It’s also a sign of feeling superior to others.

19. They have no opinion whatsoever

If your date has no opinion whatsoever on anything, it’s a red flag. This can be a sign that they’re just trying to please you or that they don’t have a mind of their own.

It’s important to be with someone who has their own opinions and thoughts on things. They need to feel secure enough to disagree with you from time to time. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a yes man or woman, and that’s not healthy for any relationship.

20. They are overly romantic from the get-go

Everybody wants at least a little bit of romance in their life, right? But being overly romantic from the first moment you meet can be a red flag. This could be a sign that they’re either overly needy or that they want to play games to make you fall in love with them faster.

21. They are contradictory

If you notice that they are being contradictory, it’s a red flag. For example, they might say one thing and then do the complete opposite. Or they might claim to believe in something but then act in a way that goes against it.

This can be a sign of hypocrisy or just general inconsistency, which are both qualities you want to avoid in a partner. So be sure to watch out for this behavior!

22. They seem to have too much in common with you

It might seem like a good thing if they have a lot in common with you, but it can actually be a red flag. This can be a sign that they’re trying to copy you or that they don’t have a mind of their own.

Of course, it’s nice to have things in common with your partner, but if they seem to like everything you do and love, it could be a sign that they just want to please you. And that’s not healthy for any relationship.

23. They are late without a valid explanation

Being late without a valid explanation is a red flag. Maybe they had car trouble or their alarm didn’t go off, but there’s no excuse for being rude and inconsiderate by showing up late without giving you any heads up.

Especially since it’s your first date, they should at least have an explanation and excuse themselves. Otherwise, it’s a huge red flag that they feel like their time is more valuable than yours.

24. They are already planning children with you

If your date is already planning children with you, it’s a red flag. Even if it’s subtle, this can be a sign that they’re looking for someone to settle down with or that they’re simply in too big of a rush.

It’s okay to ask if the other person wants children someday. But not to already subtly talk about the children you two could have together.

25. They want to take a selfie with you

Normally, you don’t take a selfie together on your first date. But if they insist on taking a selfie with you, it’s a red flag. This is often a sign that you’re more of a trophy for them than a real person.

And what do they want to take a picture for in the first place? Are they documenting every single move for Instagram? Or are they already head over heels for you and want to have a reminder of this special moment?

In any case, that’s a red flag. It’s your first date, nevertheless!

26. They can’t stop talking about themselves

Narcissism is definitely a red flag. So if your date can’t stop talking about themselves, it’s a sign that they might be a little too self-centered for you.

Of course, it’s normal to want to talk about yourself on a first date. But if they can’t seem to ask you any questions or show any interest in you, it’s a sign that they’re only interested in themselves. And you don’t need such people in your life.

27. They offer to cancel plans with friends to spend time with you

If they offer to cancel plans with friends to spend time with you, it’s a red flag. This can be a sign that they’re too needy or that they don’t have a life outside of you. Or that they aren’t very reliable.

Of course, it’s nice if they want to spend time with you. But if they’re always canceling plans with someone else to see you, then they might not be the right person for you. After all, it’s crucial to have your own life and friends as well! And who knows, maybe one day you’re the one they’re canceling plans with?

28. They comment on the price of everything

If they’re always commenting on the price of things, it’s a red flag. This can be a sign that they’re cheap or that they’re not very considerate.

Of course, you don’t want to spend too much money on a first date, and it’s good to be considerate where your money goes. But if they’re constantly talking about how expensive everything is, it’s probably a sign that they’re not the right person for you.

After all, it’s equally important to be mindful of your finances as well as your spending habits! So if they can’t appreciate the value of things or are only concerned with saving money, then you might want to look elsewhere.

29. They give you a nickname very quickly

Nicknames are something intimate that develop over time. So if your date gives you a nickname very quickly, it’s a red flag. This is often a sign that they’re too familiar with you or that they’re trying to create an intimate connection too soon.

Nicknames are special and should be something that only the two of you share. So if they’re already giving you a nickname on the first date, better be wary of them.

30. They’re stuck in the past

Being stuck in the past is bad. This can be a sign that they’re not very adaptable or that their life hasn’t progressed much over the years. Or maybe they just don’t want to let go of the things from their past because those were good times for them. Or even worse: they can’t overcome what hurt them in the past, and they’re still bitter about it.

In any case, it’s not a good sign. After all, you want to be with someone who’s looking ahead to the future and is willing to let go of the past. Otherwise, you’ll just be stuck in the same place forever.


So, there you have it: 30 first date red flags that you should look out for. Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are definitely other things to watch out for. But these are some of the most common and important ones.

So the next time you go on a first date, make sure to keep an eye out for these red flags. And if you notice any of them, use your best judgment and decide whether that person is right for you.

After all, a first date is not the time to be wishy-washy or indecisive! So trust your gut and take action when needed. You’ll thank yourself in the long run. Good luck!

If you need even more help, you should check out these links:


The truth about dating: Books you need to read

If you’re looking for advice on how to have more success when it comes to dating, then you’ll want to check out these reads. Each can teach you something different about the process, from being more confident in yourself to reading other people’s signals correctly. So whether you’re just starting or have been dating for a while and could use help, check out these titles.

  1. Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships
  2. Love: The Psychology of Attraction: A Practical Guide to Successful Dating and a Happy Relationship
  3. Seriously, This Is Online Dating?: How to Love Yourself Harder and Date Smarter
  4. Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age
  5. Things You Should Already Know About Dating, You F*cking Idiot
Share this article: Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter
Share this article:

More articles you might like

People who are reading “30 first date red flags that you should look out for”, also reading these articles:

Browse all articles