When it comes to dating, I truthfully haven’t done a whole lot of it. I’m marrying my high school sweetheart, to be frank. But, I’ve been on a few first dates of my own, and beyond that… I’ve always been the friend who is there for advice. “Hey, I just went on a first date… is this weird?” or “Is this a red flag?” While I don’t have dating experience of my own, I have the dating experience of at least 5 other women, who constantly blow up my phone asking what I think. And in doing so, I’ve made plenty of judgment calls about what is OK and what isn’t on a first date. So, if you’re going on a first date, I have 10 red flags and 10 green flags to look out for.
Sometimes there’s a glaring red flag as if the guy you’re dating is waving it in front of your face. Other times, red flags are subtle and they don’t appear until much later when you’re laying in bed thinking over every detail. Here are some red flags you should watch out for on your next first date.
Definitely not shaming you in any way. We all go into first dates wanting different things. But, if a man is touching you too much, without even feeling it to see if you’re comfortable, that’s an issue. You should always be asked before you’re touched, and if you’re uncomfortable, they should take that as a sign to stop.
No common space
If you’re invited into a bedroom right away and sitting in the living room doesn’t seem like an option, red flag. Unless you’re going into this looking for a Netflix and Chill moment, you probably won’t want to follow them into the bedroom. Common areas, like the living room, are safe and comfortable spaces.
Obviously, if a man is seriously misogynistic, run. But sometimes, there are really subtle nods to a man having deep-rooted misogyny. Does he comment on something a woman is wearing? Does he ever refer to a woman as a “bitch?” Does he bring up his ex at all? And beyond that, does he claim his ex-girlfriend is crazy? Run! Sometimes the signs are so subtle… but if they’re lingering later, you should get out of there. Intuition doesn’t lie.
Isn’t dressed nice
I’m not saying he needs to wear a tux, but he should put some effort into his look. If he rolled right out of bed and picked you up, he obviously isn’t putting a ton fo effort into your date. You might want to think about his intentions, and what exactly he wants out of this date.
Not every guy in the world is smooth and suave, and that’s ok! But if he feels so uncomfortable that he’s answering your questions like he’s in an interview, this might not be a good first date. Sometimes, this can come off as bragging, like he’s trying to sell himself to you. But he’s not a car. He shouldn’t be convincing you to go out with him again. It’s awkward and strange.
Just drives away
If he drops you off and immediately zooms away, be offended. OK. Maybe I’m being a little traditional but the way they leave says a lot about a man. If he doesn’t wait for you to get inside safely, he doesn’t care about you. Safety is one of the most important parts of a first date, so make sure he’s checking up on you until the last minute.
Like I said before, some men are awkward and that’s OK. First dates are scary! But if he can’t hold a conversation, this is never going to work. You can only have so much grace for someone who isn’t even trying to get to know you or is giving you one-word answers all night.
Brings up an ex
Never in any circumstance should someone bring up their ex on a first date. This doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t over them but it’s insane to bring them up. This should be a glaring red flag, whether the comment is made in passing or not. And as aforementioned, if this ex is “crazy,” RUN RUN RUN!!
Orders for you
My friend recently told me a story about a man who ordered for her at a restaurant and didn’t let her choose what she wanted. What the hell? Even if the man is slyly suggesting you order something, it’s pretty weird. For one, they’re already being controlling. And two, they might be broke and are worried you’ll order something too expensive. Overall, weird situation.
They don’t have to slam a hundred-dollar bill down on the table, but not leaving a tip is a major peak into what a man is like. Beyond tipping, you can see right through someone by the way they treat waiters. Did they say thank you? Were they rude? You can learn a lot right then and there.
Unlike red flags, these green flags are little things that might mean it’s time for a second date. I’m not saying you’re meant to be and you’ll marry them, but these little green flags are an amazing sign.
Checks in before
If he sends a text the morning before the date to confirm, he has his priorities straight. The last thing you want is to go on all day waiting to see if you’re even going out, just to be canceled on. It’s not hard to shoot a quick text just to make sure.
Let’s you DJ
Did he roll up blasting music and not ask you at all what you preferred? Weird. Instead, if he asks what kind of music you like, let’s you DJ or even shows you some of his favorite music, we’re a happy camper!
Bare minimum, I know. But some dudes interrupt every single thing you say. Left and right, there they are, interrupting. Instead, we’re looking for a guy who lets you complete your thoughts, listens to what you’re saying and responds… once again, bare minimum. I know.
Doesn’t make paying awkward
He doesn’t necessarily have to pay for your date, but at least he doesn’t make it super awkward. If he seamlessly splits the bill or pays without mention, you’ve got yourself a keeper. I’ve had a friend tell me that she once went on a date with a guy who chose a really expensive activity, and then made her pay for it. Make sure you’re both on the same page, without the awkward painstaking conversation.
He doesn’t have to take you skydiving, but we need to see some effort. If it’s just dinner and a movie, is he trying to make it fun and unique? He better
Asking about your life
He shouldn’t be talking about himself the entire time. He should definitely ask you about your life and should be trying to learn about you as the date goes on.
Puts his phone away
On a first date, you should have his full attention. Obviously, he can take an emergency call, but he shouldn’t be surfing the web while you’re together. Put the phone away and enjoy each other’s time.
Early or on time
Late is not an option. Unless he has a real excuse, he should be perfectly on time or should get there early. Once he does, he’s setting the scene for a good first date.
He should probably wait a while before he sends the text, but he should obviously send you a follow-up. And in this follow-up, he should tell you how much of a great time he had. No games, no being elusive. “I had a great time, I’d love to see you again.” That’s what we’re looking for.
Makes sure you’re comfortable
You should always feel safe, comfortable and happy on a first date. If your date isn’t making sure you’re comfortable, it’s time to leave.
We hope your first date goes well! Let us know your red and green flags in the comments below!