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Don't Let Tinder Burn You

10 Red Flags That Send me Running

By S. A. CrawfordPublished 6 months ago 6 min read
Image: Milada Vigerova via Pexels

It's the age of technology and the impact has been felt in our romantic lives perhaps more than any other. We are more able to meet dozens, or even hundreds of people, very quickly, we're more likely to meet people far removed from our friend and family groups, and we're empowered to find people who really suit our lifestyle and preferences. Of course for every prince, or princess, online dating puts us in contact with there are hundreds of trolls, frogs, and grade-A boogeymen.

Dodging the pitfalls (and absolute bams) is all about recognizing the red flags that indicate that a person might have some... issues to consider. These are ten Tinder red flags that make me run:

1) Single Initial Names

You know the profile I mean - their name is F. they're "actually 35 not 24 but it won't let me change it", they want you to match with them and go off the app before you get to see a face picture and they're convinced that everyone who talks to them wants something other than a date.

Look, I get it, some people are naturally shy, some people have had very bad experiences in the past, some people and non-technologically savvy... and some people are low-key control freaks looking for partners much younger than them who are willing to compromise immediately on very fundamental details. If you want to take the chance, I won't judge you - but no name, no face means that profile is not making it into my match space.

2) Unicorn Hunters

Do I think there's no place for non-monogamous couples seeking fun together in online dating? Not at all! When I say unicorn hunters, I mean a very specific kind of couple seeking a 3some and while I'm sure you know who I mean, I'll break it down. Unicorn hunters:

- (Usually) Center the profile on the female partner.

- Have a list of requirements for their third, but never state what the third will be getting.

- Push to set a hookup date and don't want a 'getting to know you' stage.

- Assume that all bi women are down for 3somes.

If you're hearing an edge of bitterness here, it's because I've run into more unicorn hunters than I can cope with. I've been lured in by an attractive, sweet, funny woman only to come face to face with her boyfriend and his weird wlw fetishes at the last minute.

It's not the concept, it's the deception. If you're cute match unveils a partner after you've been chatting for a while assume the couple will be happy to deceive you to play out their fantasies too; you're not a person to them, you're a unicorn. An experience.

3) "6ft3... since it matters 🙄"

Sorry men, but this one is firmly on you - I get it, some women are really fixated on height and it can be pretty frustrating. But this statement, the bitter edge to the statement, the dripping disdain for the people you're supposed to be trying to attract...

It gives me cactus coochie energy - I can almost feel the superiority complex and general contempt for whoever you end up dragging to a mediocre pub somewhere through the screen.

If you don't like the state of the online dating scene (and as a fat chick, trust me I get it), seek companionship elsewhere. Of course, you are guaranteed to hook the women who are looking for height alone so maybe that's the plan!

4) Tinder Dom, Seeking a Sub

It's not FetLife, guys, if you're matching with people who straight up state they want a relationship to immediately ask questions about whether they'll sub for you, you're already showing a lack of situational awareness, and an unwillingness to respect clearly stated needs and wants.

Likewise, if you're trying to actively dom another person after a few hours I'm gonna assume you got all your education on kink from 50 Shades and run screaming.

5) "No Drama Please!"

This could be the desperate plea of someone who has a bad track record, or the statement of an avid narcissist who reframes every single altercation in their relationships as their partner being dramatic, hysterical, or sensitive. Knowing which is a matter of getting to know the person and asking the right questions.

6) "I'm not like Other Girls/Guys"

"I'd rather be hiking than in a club" - "I don't do parties, I prefer reading" - "I'm not into all that fake shit" - "I'm a real gentleman" ...

There's not a huge amount wrong with most of these statements on their own, it's really about the tone and context. Stating preference without judgment is healthy, it's the derisive tone that often comes with these statements that sets alarm bells ringing in my head. If you see someone extolling their own virtues by comparing themselves to the perceived flaws of others, you can be sure that there's something other than confidence at work. Whether its low self-esteem or a real feeling of being better than others, this kind of low-key contempt for others is a red flag for me.

7) The List of Requirements

Everyone has requirements for prospective romantic partners, but we also have offerings. For example, I look for kind, funny, empathetic people who are willing and able to either travel or put up with me travelling alot. In return, I also offer kindness, compassion, and my wholehearted attention when with a romantic partner as well as a willingness to tailor my schedule to suit their needs when possible.

Beware people who only ever present their requirements to you, especially if they state them as demands.

8) The Stock Take Bio

"Got my own house, own car, good job."

All good things, for sure, but if they're the meat of the bio (or the only information given) it indicates to me that they're either uncertain of who they are and what they offer, or that they are materially driven and expect a partner to be the same. The first is a small issue that any person can work out with time, the second is not a crime, but it's a big warning sign for me that we won't gel well.

9) "All my Exes are Crazy!"

It's very possible to be the unlucky victim of more than one toxic person, sometimes even a stream of them. However, online dating is a curated experioence - people display what they want you to see, and I always question why anyone would lead with their 'crazy' exes.

In some cases, it can be the action of a highly traumatized person who need to find balance and help for the damage done to them. In others it is a deliberate attempt to gain sympathy. Either way, it's a sign that a person probably won't fit well with me - self-awareness tells me that I'm not the stable enough to help someone who really needs a lot of support... and, well, in the second case - who wants to be manipulated?

10) They Want to Meet in Private - Immediately

This is perhaps the truest example of a 'red flag' on this list. Some people really are just friendly, open, and niave to how asking anyone to meet you in a private or secluded area may sound after just a few hours or days of talking... but there are many others who may have nefarious ideas, or simply be looking to see how far they can push boundaries.

Common sense should tell you to politely suggest alternatives or run for the hills, however, as stranger danger doesn't really end when we grow up.


About the Creator

S. A. Crawford

Writer, reader, life-long student - being brave and finally taking the plunge by publishing some articles and fiction pieces.

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Comments (12)

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  • Mcgrotha Brinker6 months ago

    Not bad

  • caldwell benis6 months ago

    Well written

  • Fortis Rakow6 months ago

    Well written

  • test6 months ago

    Good writing-

  • Vranes Samaha6 months ago


  • Manisha Dhalani6 months ago

    Oh, #9!

  • Sid Aaron Hirji6 months ago

    nice insight-dating scares me

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Ebony Dominguez6 months ago

    No Drama Please! - is the worst kind of guy. I've met them many times. Waste of time.

  • Jamil Jatt6 months ago

    Bitter experiences of love and hate, It is dating life

  • Angelina F. Thomas6 months ago

    We need dope authors like you or even better! Please keep up the glorious work that you do as an author up!! Thank you. You just took my mind away from something I should think not about and gave me the perfect distraction for a suave 15 minute rule productive activity. I am about to get focused on my bag and concentrate on doing poetry and stories back to back until I slump over! Psyche nah! LMFAO!!

  • the world of dating has always fascinated us. Great article!

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