I am a 31-year-old woman still looking for ‘the one’ in real life and on dating apps. It has gotten harder to date since I have set firm boundaries and also, don’t take red flags for granted anymore. I know I’ve done a whole post on what I don’t want in a man, but while discussing dating with Libby aka The Goddess Attainable, I had the idea to do a post comparing what we see as red flags at our respective ages and locations. I live in India and she lives in the USA. Some red flags might be common to both of us since we are mature, independent women who know what we want from our dating experiences. But I am guessing since we’re dating in different dating pools, others would be more relevant to our individual selves.
My personal red flags are –
- Mansplaining or talking down to me – THIS is such a turn-off and happens quite often in my day-to-day life too. On the last two dates that I went on, I had situations where the man felt the need to tell me things that I already knew (talking down to me) and I was too angry to correct them. I just counted down the time till the date was over to get away from them. (eg: The last date – the guy had the audacity to inform me (with an air of superiority) that Facebook owns Instagram. I was literally TOO stunned to react. )
- Not being sure about what he wants – Honestly, I spent the last few years feeling a little lost about what I want from my dating experiences. I have been afraid to fall in love again but now in my 30s with a few years of dating behind me, I know that I want someone permanent. It is a red flag for me if the man isn’t sure about what he wants. It is okay if what he wants is something casual or whatever – at least I know that what we want doesn’t match and don’t invest my time and energy into it.
- Not typing full words – This is just a pet peeve but boy does it bother me when someone uses the short forms of words while typing. “How r u?” I was fine before I got this message from you. Argh!
- Bad-mouthing other women – I really despise when someone I am chatting with has bad things to say about women he dated in the past. I’m not saying that all women are angels but when a man goes on a rampage using words like ‘psycho’ – I AM OUT.
- Desperation – You can tell when a guy is desperate to just settle with the next woman who shows a little interest or desperate to just get some – both kinds of desperation have me running in the opposite direction.
- His actions don’t match his words – I’ve spent my 20s trying to convince myself that if a guy says he is into me but doesn’t message or want to meet or is cold or distant – I need to read harder between the lines and just try harder. But now if a guy says one thing and does another – I’m not wasting any time convincing myself – I leave.
Moving on to Libby’s red flags from her dating experiences in the USA in her forties.
- If they don’t fill out their entire profile – I know there are perfectly nice people who can’t be bothered to fill out their profile completely. They don’t feel like adding a bunch of pictures, or answering superficial-but-trying-to-be-sorta-deep questions that apps make you answer. I totally get it. And there’s no way to type anything in a dating app profile that will adequately capture a person’s soul and lovability quotient. However, grow up and just do it. We’re all on here because we want to find love, and none of us want to have to go through this stuff. But we do, because we’re single, and sometimes, you just have to make the effort. Also, it makes me wonder what people are hiding if they don’t always answer the questions that I’ve taken the time to answer.
- If they compliment me on my looks right off the bat or bring up sex in the first few hours or days of chatting – Call me a prude or call me uptight. And I know it might sound weird to not want a compliment from a man. I’m not saying I don’t ever want him to remark on my looks or my desirability. However, if he LEADS with that, it often makes me feel like he’s just interested in my looks. Or that he’s too interested in my looks. And it makes me feel objectified. To me, it just gives me that ungentlemanly vibe. And I know there are plenty and plenty of men who can go a really long time without ever drawing attention to my looks, even if they are thinking about it. I don’t think a woman needs a compliment from a man to know she’s desirable. She should hopefully be cultivating that goddess self-love before she walks out the door. And too often, when I’m chatting with a man and he starts saying I’m sexy or makes any kind of even playful comment, it turns gross real fast. And then they just want to talk about sex. And I get so bored, so freaked out, and want to run away. Which I do.
- If he takes longer than 24 hours to respond to a text or chat – I understand that some dating apps don’t always notify you if a message has come through. So this more often applies to a situation when you are off the app and have started texting each other. Because honestly, in my life, I don’t have or keep close to any human being who doesn’t respond to my text within 24 hours. There are always exceptions of course. But if a man can’t be bothered in his day to shoot a text back to a lovely woman, he’s playing games, or he’s not interested. Don’t tell me you’re busy. We’re all busy. It takes 5 seconds to send a text and is considerate and thoughtful. Otherwise, buh-bye.
- If he has a drink in his hand in every picture – This one might also be specific to me. I come from a family of alcoholics and I never want to date an addict of any kind. And I’m not saying someone who drinks a lot is automatically an alcoholic. But, I’m not saying it’s not. And I just don’t personally love to be around drunk people. So, if in EVERY picture he posts he has a drink in his hand, I’m pretty sure this would be a mismatch for me.
- If I express my comfort level and he dismisses it or disrespects it – For me, if I am making plans to meet with a man for the first time, I’m pretty careful. I’m not showing up at his house, and I’m meeting up in a public place at a reasonable hour. And when I’m making plans with someone, if I say something like, “I’d be more comfortable if…” I need to feel like he respects that. He should immediately respond with some kind of “no problem,” or “happy to do that,” or ideally, “whatever makes you comfortable.” I need to know that my comfort level is his utmost priority. And I have dated plenty and plenty of men who have no problem making sure I’m comfortable and would be horrified to know that something they did made me UN-comfortable.
- If he doesn’t want a long-term relationship or isn’t sure what he wants – I mean, I’m a 42-year-old grown woman. I know what I want and I’m not messing around. If a man isn’t sure what he wants, then there’s no way I can fool myself into believing that I’m the woman who’s going to all of a sudden make him want to commit. I only date men who really want to be in a relationship.
After reading Libby’s list, I realized that no.5 is pretty important for me too. If a man is very pushy about things going his way or doesn’t take into consideration what I want, it makes me extremely uncomfortable and I run in the opposite direction. I think most of what appears as red flags to us stem from our past experiences.
What are some red flags for you? Do you relate to our red flags?
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