First dates are always tricky. When you’re meeting someone for the first time, it can easily become like a job interview. Hitting the lottery on a first date isn’t a guarantee. It can also be painfully stilted but once you’re comfortable with each other, the date can be magical. There’s always the risk that it turns unsafe or problematic. There are signs to look out for to know when it’s time to end the date.
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1. Poor communication
The first red flag to watch out for is how well your date communicates. A considerate date will tell you if they’re running late. A date who doesn’t explain that they’ll be late and shows up astronomically late without so much as an apology is a first date red flag. This shows that they don’t care about your time and have little respect for you.
2. Being controlling
If your date doesn’t ask you your opinions on the activities, this could be a sign that they’re controlling. Unless you expressly ask them to suggest a meal for you, they shouldn’t make an order without consulting you. Controlling behaviour is a first-date red flag and shows abusive tendencies and a massive ego.
3. Interrogative conversation
A first date can feel like a job interview. But that’s understandable since you’re trying to get to know them. However, if it feels aggressive, this may be a sign you’re being interrogated. If they keep asking invasive questions and failing to recognise your boundaries, that’s a first-date red flag. In addition, they could ask prodding questions as though trying to check a list. This shows a sign that they’re unwilling to get to know you but only want you to meet a specific benchmark. But you can’t treat people like a product.
4. Unsafe choices
First dates can be vulnerable. Since you can’t ascertain your safety, it’s important to choose date locations that are safe and easy to navigate. A date who insists on coming to your house or you going to theirs, without making any concessions that you may feel unsafe is a red flag. They may also feel aggressive if you send details of your location to a loved one. A video call before a date can help ease any nerves to get a gauge of how they respond to a location choice.
5. Being distracted
Regardless of whether it’s a first date or any meeting, phones should be away. Some people get offended when you leave your phone on the table but sometimes you may need it nearby in case of emergencies. It’s important to put it on silent or only allow notifications for people whose phone calls you need to answer. A date who is constantly on their phone checking social media or their own photos is either selfish or narcissistic. If your date needs to be on their phone, they’ll point out that they’re expecting an important phone call and will apologise for the distraction.
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6. Mistreating wait staff
A simple way to see if a person is well-mannered is to observe how they treat service workers. Boorish, rude people who are unkind to service workers are a first-date red flag. Looking down on others is a sign of a bully. It’s important to note how your date talks with servers, security guards, cleaners, or other service workers. Being dismissive, rude, and unpleasant is a sure sign that they don’t deserve a second date.
7. Love bombing
A first date is a meeting with a stranger or someone you’ve only spoken with a handful of times. As a result, your date shouldn’t be bringing you excessive gifts and overwhelming you with affection. A reasonable gift for a first date can be flowers, tchotchkes, or a thoughtful gift such as a book if you’d suggested a love for reading. Excessive compliments, insisting that you’re the one, or acting aggressive when you don’t reciprocate are dating red flags.
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8. Sex obsessed
The first dates are to get to know each other. But some dates think that accepting a date is a sure way to get you into bed. Some can even go as far as being aggressive if they don’t get any sex after paying or contributing to the meal. Such dates have abusive tendencies or only want to use people for sex. Unless this was previously agreed upon, a date who insists on something transactional is a red flag.
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9. The ex files
You want your date to be honest and forthcoming but you don’t want them unloading their baggage on a first date. A stranger who won’t stop talking about their ex probably hasn’t gotten over the last relationship. For older people who are dating, the question does come up as they’re more likely to be divorcees. How they talk about their ex is just as important as how much. If they speak unkindly or become angry about it, this is a first-date red flag. It’s important to look out for blaming language, inflammatory words, and unnecessarily unkind insults.
Dates who act aggressive when someone else compliments you or act possessive when you have to check your phone are jealous. When a date acts like they own you, it’s time to cut the date short. If they also ask leading and invasive about your former relationships or how many people you’ve slept with, this isn’t relationship material.
11. Money worries
Talking about who pays for the date can be uncomfortable. Some people believe that men should always pay, others believe in equal splitting, while others want each person to pay for what they ordered. A nice rule can be that whoever planned the date should pay. However, a red flag is when your date demands that you pay for everything after they made multiple expensive orders. Another red flag is a date who gets unreasonably upset if you decide to pay for your own meal. Money can be a sticky subject. It may best to agree on how the date will be paid for beforehand.
12. Rude date
A date should be pleasant and fun. However, some dates can take engaging debate too far and turn it into an argument. Others can also withdraw and shut down, completely disengaging from the conversation. Meanwhile, other dates can act bored and dismissive at anything you have to say, either mocking you, remaining silent, or changing the subject. Dates like these are best ended early.
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Talk about disaster – here are some singlehood series stories about disastrous first dates
She Showed Up To Our First Date With Her Ex-Boyfriend
She Asked Me To Pay Her Rent And Child’s School Fees On The First Date
He Insisted On Knowing My Financial Background On The First Date
He Confessed His Love For Me On The First Date
When The Rich Guy Takes You To A Kibanda On The First Date
On Our First Date, He Criticized Me For Wearing Heels Because It Made Me Taller Than Him
He Came With A Sex Toy To Our First Date
We Both Got Drunk And Started Crying About Our Exes During Our First Date
My Date Thought It Was Romantic To Offer Me Drugs
My Crush Criticized Everything At the Restaurant I Took Her To And Harassed The Staff