In the rollercoaster ride called dating, we come face to face with a colorful cast of characters. Some make our hearts flutter, others make us scratch our heads in confusion, and then there are those who bring a whole new meaning to the term “red flag”. These walking warning signs, that range from mildly bothersome to potentially disastrous have the ability to make you raise eyebrows, question your sanity and wonder if you’ve accidentally stumbled into a reality TV show. So, I thought in today’s topic we can go over a few of these offending characters and the warning signs to watch out for. Grab a glass of wine, and let’s dive in...
Ah, The Serial Ghoster—the elusive and frankly annoying individual who vanishes into thin air after what seemed like true connection. These maniacs work really hard at creating a facade of interest and engagement, only to flip that switch and shroud us in darkness. To put it plainly, ghosters lack the communication skills and emotional maturity to address their feelings or concerns directly, opting instead for the easy way out. So by recognizing one early on, you can save from investing time and emotions in someone who is not willing to put in the effort to maintain a genuine connection. Set boundaries babe, and prioritize those who demonstrate consistent and respectful communication.
The Perpetual Flirt – With a charismatic smile and a true way with words, the perpetual flirt knows exactly how to make you feel special. However, as hard as it is to say, their charm is not exclusive to you. These chameleons effortlessly turn on a tailored charm for anyone within ear shot, or a five-mile radius. So proceed with caution my friend, as more often than not they may be seeking an endless ego boost rather than genuine connection.
The Selfie Obsessed, self-proclaimed kings and queens of the selfie game. We all love a good selfie, there’s no doubt, but when your potential love interest can’t resist taking pictures of themselves from every conceivable angle, it might be time to hit the brakes. These individuals possess a self-obsession that rivals even the most aware narcissists. Every date is peppered with a multitude of perfectly angled photos, that too many hot meals were sacrificed for, and their social media feed is just an endless display of their own face. Speaking of, we may as well talk about a close relative of the Selfie Obsessed, The “I” Specialist. A group of humans who genuinely believe that the world revolves around them. Every story, every topic, every conversation leads back to their favorite subject: themselves. While self-confidence is definitely an admirable quality, an excessive self-obsession leaves little room for anyone else in the relationship. And in my opinion is a big old red flag.
The Emotionally Unavailable Dater is an expert at keeping their guard up, making it so damn challenging for any kind of genuine connections to flourish. They may have been hurt in the past, resulting in an emotional fortress that is difficult to breach. However, part of reentering the dating world after plights in pain is agreeing to a certain level of self work and openness, understanding that not everyone is out to break your heart. Signs of emotional unavailability include a complete unwillingness to open up, evident fear of vulnerability, and a tendency to keep relationships at a surface level. Protect your beautiful heart by seeking partners who are willing and capable of emotional connection by doing the inner work it takes to get there.
The Perfectionist – Step aside, Martha Stewart, we have a dating perfectionist in our midst. They meticulously plan every date, analyze every text message, and expect nothing short of perfection. They set impossibly high standards, and it can become overwhelming. While striving for excellence is admirable, the perfectionist can be overly critical, leaving you feeling like you’re constantly falling short. Remember, love is imperfect, and the beauty lies in the quirks and imperfections of a genuine connection.
They say honesty is the best policy, but The Oversharer takes it to a whole new level. They have a tendency to divulge their deepest secrets, insecurities, and past traumas without considering the appropriateness of the situation. Now, don’t get me wrong… it’s essential to be genuine and authentic in any relationship. But when The Oversharer spills every bean in their can, you may find yourself questioning the motives behind their relentless openness. Are they seeking validation? Trying to prove something? Or is this merely how they navigate the world, sharing every thought and emotion like a never-ending stream of consciousness? Vulnerability can foster connection, yes, but this red flag’s oversharing can leave you feeling overwhelmed and wondering if they’ve mistaken the first date for a therapy session.
For The Commitment-Phobe, the idea of a long-term relationship sends shivers down their spine. Now, there’s nothing wrong with not wanting a relationship. If they’re up front about it, all we can do it applaud their honesty. However, if they prance themselves out into the dating world posing as someone who wants to find a serious thing, it’s a multi-leveled red flag for me. Look for signs of true hesitation, avoidance of serious discussions, and a general resistance to future planning. Recognizing their fear of commitment early on can help you make an informed decision about whether to invest your time and emotions in a relationship that may not progress. Protect your heart by being clear about your own desires and ensuring that you align with someone who shares your vision of a committed partnership.
The One Upper – Prepare for a battle of accomplishments. The one-upper has a never-ending list of achievements, adventures, and accolades that surpasses yours with lightning speed. You climbed Mount Everest? They’ve conquered the moon. You wrote a book? They’ve written a trilogy while juggling flaming torches. While a little healthy competition can be fun, be wary of this red flag’s insatiable need to be the best in every realm.
The Player is a master of charm, skilled at saying all the right things at the right time, and making you feel like the center of their world. The older, somewhat seasoned sibling of The Perpetual Flirt as, more often than not, their intentions are rooted in short-term gratification rather than genuine commitment. Watch for signs of a string of short-lived relationships, inconsistent behavior, and a straight up reluctance to define the relationship. Protect your heart by being cautious and allowing time to truly understand a person’s intentions before investing your emotions.
In the unpredictable world of dating, encountering The Manipulative Dater can be an extremely challenging and emotionally draining experience. They are masters of deception, possessing an uncanny ability to pull the strings, orchestrating scenarios that serve their needs while completely disregarding the feelings and well-being of their partner. Recognizing the manipulator’s tactics is the first step in protecting your emotional well-being. Look out for patterns of inconsistency, where their words don’t align with their actions. They may shower you with affection one moment and then withdraw it the next, leaving you feeling confused and off-balance. They will most definitely play mind games, intentionally pushing your buttons to elicit that desired response. So setting firm boundaries is crucial when dealing with a manipulative dater. Establish clear guidelines for what you will and will not tolerate, sending a strong message that you value your own emotional health and refuse to be controlled. Trust your instincts and listen to the nagging feeling deep within that tells you something isn’t right. Remember, it’s not your responsibility to fix or change the manipulator. Your focus should be on protecting yourself and seeking a healthy and authentic connection.
We’ve shared a few laughs and nodded in recognition at the all-too-familiar characters above, however there’s a deeper purpose to today’s topic. In a world where our energy is perhaps the most precious commodity, I think it’s essential to recognize and understand how these walking red flags impact the way we date. By setting boundaries, and valuing our own worth, we can create a dating experience that is more aligned with our desires, protect our hearts from unnecessary pain and ultimately lead us to a love that is authentic and fulfilling. Our time is too damn precious to be wasted on individuals who don’t meet our standards or respect our boundaries. We deserve partners who uplift us, appreciate us, and contribute positively to our lives.