6 Dating Red Flags to Watch Out for Early and Often

Red flags are the signs to watch out for in your partner. No matter how charming or attractive your partner may be.

Lynnet Okumu
Couple Holding Hands during dating

Couple Holding Hands | Photo by Luis Quintero: https://www.pexels.com/photo/couple-holding-hands-1809709/

Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt like something wasn’t just right? Probably yes, but you ignored your guts because you could not pinpoint the specific issue.

People who are deeply attached tend to assume obvious signs warning them to flee a relationship. At times, they are just incredibly subtle.

Red flags are the signs to watch out for in your partner. No matter how charming or attractive your partner may be, you must pay close attention to the little details that have the potential to make or break the union.

Knowing what to look out for is very helpful. The next time you get that funny feeling, look out for these red flags that might give you the extra incentive you need to trust your gut and save yourself from sinking further into that relationship.

Love Bombing

Love bombing is when a person comes out too strong right from the beginning. They constantly call or send text messages full of compliments and talk about your future together.

As much as this may seem romantic, it’s a textbook manipulation tactic utilized by people who only need to draw out something from you and then leave.

As the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Bad Mouthing Their Ex

It’s easy to learn about someone just from how they talk about other people. If someone’s first date banter is negative stories about their ex, this is a sign for you to run.

Of course, we might all have that one crazy boy or girl for an ex, but that does not give you room to abuse them verbally through name-calling or playing blame games.

And if you have a horror story about your past relationship, it’s a subject better covered once you’ve established trust and intimacy with your new partner. Not on the first date.

Insults and Teasing

Many people do this. Some people test the waters of what they could get away with by insisting it was just a joke when their supposedly humorous comment doesn’t land well.

They can even blame you for not picking the joke or not having a sense of humour.

People are usually on their best behaviour on first dates and early into relationships. So, if they are unkind from the start, it’s a preview of the future.

Always Complaining

I am sure you’ve seen this kind of person. Everything from their mouth always sounds like an insult or a complaint.

The traffic was terrible, so I wouldn’t say I liked the house, their company was boring, and now the food is inedible.

If this is your typical partner, it’s not long before this negativity is aimed directly at you. Maybe they are just having a bad day but be keen to ensure this is not a trend.


If your partner tends to lie about minor things, they may lie about the more significant issue too. Some people can use small lies to test how much they can get away with – seeing how trusting you are.

You should watch out for lies that impact your safety as more than just a red flag. For instance, if they lie about other partners or their sexually transmitted diseases testing results, then they are robbing you of the ability to give informed consent.

Excessive Use of Alcohol/Substance Use

Imagine someone ordering 3-4 shorts and beer combos in about an hour, all while you sip just a single cocktail!

If not enough, they get messy, lunge toward you for a kiss (without asking), and open war with the people around. The embarrassment! Thank you, but this might not be the one for you.

If you do not use alcohol or take a little, then settling for this kind of person could be the worst mistake of your life.

Tips on How to Resolve Conflicts With Your Partner?

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Lynnet Okumu

LA writes on various subjects, from family, relationships, and health to commodities in East Africa. She is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication from Masinde Muliro University. She is an advocate for women's and children's rights.

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