Humans logo

7 Red Flags to Look For in Dating (That I Missed)

If only I would have known that which I do now, a lot of heartbreak would have been avoided.

By Serena Published 3 months ago 7 min read

Do you ever think to yourself, “If only I saw the red flags, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time dating my ex,” or “I wish I would’ve known what kind of person they were before I got committed to them”?

It may be worth your while to contemplate what these red flags are before you commit to someone so you don’t waste your time with someone who isn’t right for you.

Here are some red flags to look out for in dating that may end in trouble:

1. They have different values than you.

One of the basic red flags to look out for before entering a new relationship is if this person’s basic values are very different from yours.

It is helpful to understand the values of someone before becoming official with someone, especially if any of them are extreme in any way. Some of the following values may be better to know sooner rather than later:

  1. What are their religious and political beliefs?
  2. Do they drink, smoke, or use drugs?
  3. Do they want children or not?
  4. Are they interested in going out frequently or do they prefer to stay in?
  5. What are their main priorities/focuses in life?
  6. How do they express anger?
  7. How do they view gender roles?
  8. What are their financial goals?
  9. How do they communicate?
  10. What character traits are important to them? What kind of person do they aspire to be?
  11. Have they been divorced?
  12. Do they have kids?

Identify your own values through non-judgmental introspection: what do you care about the most? What makes you, you?

If you have any strong beliefs, ask them what they think about them and whether they agree or disagree. Know what is a hard no for you, what is most important to you, and what is in the grey zone.

Of course, understanding and being okay with someone having different beliefs can be perfectly healthy and depends on how comfortable you are with those differences. Although, if you find that someone’s beliefs are the polar opposite of yours, this may be a red flag.

2. Their relationships have been/are toxic.

You can learn a lot about someone simply by looking at the people that are in their life, so, an imperative piece of information to know about someone before committing to them is what their past and present relationships look like.

How many relationships have they been in and how did their last relationship end? If they readily admit to cheating on one or multiple partners or lying in their past relationships, this may very well be a red flag.

Who are their friends and how do they act? If you don’t like a single friend of theirs this could be a red flag.

Do you get along with the people in this person’s life, or do they just rub you the wrong way? If their friends and/or family are toxic to you, they very well may have some of the same behaviors, beliefs, and actions as them, although you may not see it yet.

What is their relationship like with their parents and/or siblings? Do they make an effort to be kind to people, or not? If they aren’t kind to others around them, chances are they will treat you similarly at some point.

Overall, look at whether or not these relationships seem positive, and note if they’re toxic or volatile. If they have or still have toxic relationships with others in general, watch out.

3. They can’t take care of themselves properly.

When looking for a partner, it is good to find someone who takes care of themselves mentally and physically. They don’t have to be in perfect shape or be obsessed with their appearance, but it is important for someone to be able to handle their own personal hygiene, mental health, daily routines, etc.

If you are talking to a person who already can’t handle taking care of themselves, taking care of another person will be close to impossible to do effectively. The same goes for yourself.

When going into a new relationship, ideally, both people should be mentally stable and physically healthy.

Additionally, if the person you are considering for a relationship has mental and/or physical health habits that you wish to not pick up, make note of that. Oftentimes both partners will be influenced by the other’s habits, whether intentional or not, positive or negative.

4. They act violently/ explosively under pressure.

A great way to deeply understand someone is to see how they act under pressure or stress. There is a diverse range of reactions that can occur when something goes wrong, from sadness, anger, contemplation, to even violence.

If you are contemplating being in a relationship with someone, you are bound to see them at their best and at their worst. What does their worst look like?

Do they react to disagreements or confrontations with anger and defensiveness? Or, are they the kind of person who tends to talk things through?

If they easily snap, yell, or become violent this is a huge red flag signaling trouble down the road.

5. They see a different future than you.

Part of finding a good match is how well you get along in the present tense, but also how you plan to grow together in the future. Before committing, ask where they want to be in the future and what kind of goals they want to accomplish.

If you both plan to live different lives from each other, that may be a red flag. The bigger the differences in future planning the more concerning this may be.

For example, if one person wants to work part-time and move to another country and the other has ambitious career goals and never wants to leave their hometown, this can potentially be a red flag.

It may appear that the person you are talking to is similar enough to you, and they may be, but that doesn’t mean that you automatically have the same vision of the future as they do. So ask them what theirs is.

6. You constantly get into arguments.

It is normal for people to disagree on things now and again, but there is a difference between disagreements and arguments. And if you are getting into arguments or fights often, especially in the “talking” phase, this is definitely a red flag.

Relationships only get more complex over time, so if you are already arguing over the little things when bigger problems come around, the foundation of problem-solving won’t be solid, which will lead to more problems.

Some people may also be simply argumentative in nature, easily snap or make rude remarks about you or others, or are not good at handling disagreements.

It is a red flag if you are constantly getting into arguments and fights, as often this will not just suddenly change once you are committed to each other.

7. They tell you there is something wrong.

Sometimes you don’t have to search all that long to see that something is a red flag. If you get lucky, you may find that someone will straight up tell you there is something wrong with them, your compatibility, or pursuing a relationship with them in general.

Don’t ignore expressed concerns, address them, especially if they are brought to your attention and pose a threat to a potential future relationship.

Take all of these potential red flags into consideration BEFORE you get into a relationship with someone. Finally, don’t rush. Get to know someone before you put a title on it. Spend time with them, experience things together, and ask them some of the questions outlined here before you. Good luck and take care.


About the Creator


Hi! I am a ✦25-year-old digital nomad✦ Writing about Remote Work, Personal Development, and Productivity.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.