Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Angela Vaz

I have been on many dates.

And sometimes, I’ve point-blank ignored the red flags only to regret them later.

In my first relationship, I dated an abuser and an alcoholic.

All the signs were there, but I turned a blind eye.

I married the man and 9 years later, I discovered he was cheating on me among a lot of other things.

I have spent a lot of time being single and dating only to slowly learn how these tell-tale signs actually mean something.

All the small signs you feel may not be important (really are) and in this post, I’m going to cover very alarming red flags when dating a guy.

Please don’t ignore these red flags.

Who am I to tell you all this?

My name is Angela and I have a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships. I also have been in 2 long relationships and this post is based on my experiences with men and my research.

Let’s begin.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may make a commission at no extra cost to you if you decide to click on a link and purchase something. Click here to read the full disclaimer.

1. He pushes you to commit too soon

he is pushing you to commit too soon

When dating, it’s always best practice to let your date know what you are looking for.

This way both of you save time and you will know whether you want to move forward with the person you are dating.

But at the same time, there should be no pressure.

Dating is after all data collection.

However, if after 1-2 dates, your date is expressing very strong opinions and forcing you to commit when you are still getting to know him – it’s a huge red flag.

If he says he is in love with you or he can’t imagine life without you (even after 1 date), it means he is incapable of being alone and just wants to latch on to anybody.

He might pressure you to get married or say you love him or you’ll have his children even before you’re ready.

He may guilt you into saying it or say that he wants to marry you because he wants to rest assured you’re his.

These are all tactics that people use when they’re insecure.

My first boyfriend was very insecure and pressured me to get married. He told me he’d marry the first lady that crossed his house if I said no.

Since I was young and naive, I caved – and said yes.

I regret that mistake immensely. But I am glad I went through all of what happened because it’s made me wiser and more understanding.

If you aren’t comfortable with the relationship or the way he’s making you feel – you have a right to say no.

See how he takes it, if he gets angry or upset – leave him.

2. He keeps talking over you

he keeps talking over you

I went on a date like this where the man wouldn’t stop talking.

At first, I thought it was nice to meet someone who was so enthusiastic but later I realized it was extremely disrespectful.

He kept talking over me and constantly disregarded my opinions and interests during our conversations.

It was rude.

He even ordered for me because he claimed he knew my tastes better than mine.

These are all signs of aggressive, rude, egotistical people.

Do not let yourself be swayed by this.

It’s important to date a man who knows what he wants – but at the same time, they need to be loyal, understanding and give you a chance to talk.

3. He is unreliable

he is unreliable

If he constantly cancels dates, or ghosts you over texts and calls – it is a huge red flag.

It is going to be hard to find men who communicate healthily but it’s not impossible.

I have met many kind men who actually know how to talk to people and are extremely open and communicative.

In fact, I’m engaged to one.

My point is, if you’re dating a man who doesn’t keep to his word, takes a long time to respond to messages, and frequently cancels plans at the last minute without a valid reason – it’s not worth dating him.

Pay note to his actions – he’s telling you what he is.

4. He is very focused on your appearance

he is more into your looks

When a man pays a lot of attention to your looks, it can mean that he is prioritizing your looks over all other aspects. Meaning, he may not even be interested in understanding what makes you tick or getting to know you better.

A few signs that he is only with you for your looks are:

  • He is constantly complimenting your appearance: If he is constantly commenting on your looks and praising you for them instead of acknowledging other qualities or traits – something is definitely amiss.
  • He is objectifying you: He may make remarks or even objectifying comments on your body – reducing you to mere physical features.
  • He has very unrealistic expectations of appearance: He may be expecting you to conform to his idea of beauty.

Please note that this is a very heavy indicator that he is superficial and he is only interested in your looks.

It is important to be with someone who appreciates you and respects you for who you are as a person above all else.

Looks go away with age and time – we can’t stay young and attractive forever. That’s just not how it works.

5. He keeps ghosting or the communication is very sparse

he ghosts you

If there is a lack of proper communication or you feel like he isn’t actively talking to you or replying to your messages, then yes – this is a red flag.

Please note that every single relationship is built on communication.

And if he consistently struggles to communicate – it can lead to misunderstandings, unresolved conflicts, and even a huge lack of emotional connection.

In the beginning, you may pay more attention to chemistry – but I’ve found that if a man can’t communicate his feelings healthily – there is much to be desired.

For instance, here are some signs of poor communication:

  1. Difficulty expressing emotions: If he constantly struggles to articulate his feelings or is emotionally closed off, know that this can lead to passive-aggressive behavior later on and may even cause misunderstandings in the future.
  2. Stonewalling or silent treatment: If he frequently withdraws or shuts down instead of opening up and telling you what the issue is or just saying he needs space then it can mean that this is how he deals with problems – Know that this is going to lead to a very toxic relationship.
  3. Poor listening skills: I actually had a date with someone who never let me talk. He constantly wanted to be in the limelight. If you meet someone that consistently dismisses you or fails to listen to your opinions or concerns – know that this is going to lead to a one-sided relationship.
  4. Constant defensiveness: If your date/partner always has someone else to blame or never takes responsibility for past events – this is a huge red flag. It means that he is going to be defensive and will always react instead of actively trying to find a solution.

Communication is the key to any thriving relationship.

6. He is very distracted and is often looking at his phone

he is very distracted

More than anything, this is very disrespectful.

When someone is constantly checking their phone or appears distracted during a date, it is indicative of how he’s going to be for pretty much most of the time.

It means:

  • He doesn’t respect you or your time: Continuously checking his phone means he lacks social etiquette and isn’t being considerate to your conversation or your time.
  • He has poor communication skills: Constant phone use hinders communication and disrupts the flow of conversation – this suggests that he may struggle with listening.
  • He is disinterested: If he is disinterested in you, he should end the date instead of being disrespectful. Both of you have invested time in the date. His being on the phone means he is more interested in what’s happening on his phone than in building a connection with you.

Please understand that occasional phone use during a date is understandable – he may have work or other personal issues. But if he isn’t explaining this to you and is constantly distracted – it’s a huge red flag.

Do not put up with this.

7. He is rude or disrespectful towards waitstaff or service workers

How he treats people who are providing him with a service says a lot about him as a person.

Remember, that it doesn’t take much to be kind.

Even if the waiter got the order wrong or is taking time to attend to you – there’s a polite, mature way of handling it.

If he has zero empathy and respect, it could mean that this is how he will treat you in the future when you are attending to his needs.

It also means that he has a sense of entitlement or a strong belief that he is superior.

Another painfully obvious thing to note is that he is unable to handle stress or frustration.

Our darkest hours bring out the worst in us. If he becomes easily agitated or is verbally abusive to the staff over minor issues – this is very concerning. It means he has severe anger issues that he hasn’t treated and this is going to translate to anger in your relationship.

It’s very scary to see a person fly off the handle easily.

But do not ignore this red flag.

It raises questions about his character and how he will treat you in the future.

How a person treats service workers says a lot about their character. Respect and kindness cost next to nothing – it signifies that a person is decent and is able to handle interpersonal relationships with care and thought.

8. He is very self-centered

he is very self-centered

I’ve met a few men who believed the world revolved around them alone. And it’s a huge turn-off in my opinion.

Do not mistake self-centeredness for confidence.

Confidence is when a person knows what they want. Selfishness is when all they care about is themselves.

Here are some signs you’re dating a very self-centered man:

  • He constantly dominates the conversation: If he constantly talks about himself, his life, his accomplishments, and his interests without even expressing mild curiosity about yours – he is self-centered.
  • He ignores your input: If he is constantly dismissing or disregarding your opinions, thoughts, and experiences – it means he doesn’t really care about your perspective and is not even interested in getting to know you on a deeper level.
  • He sucks at listening: Active listening is important in communication – communication is basically a two-way street. So, if he fails to listen attentively, constantly interrupts you to talk about himself or gives his input, or just shows disinterest in what you’re saying, he is really self-centered.
  • He constantly seeks validation: If he is really selfish and at the same time requires you to validate him and give him attention and praise (while not returning it at all), this is a huge red flag.

Your relationship is not going to thrive if you continue to date this person. It is going to be very problematic for you. There is going to be an imbalance of power and a lack of emotional support and you will not feel fulfilled or happy.

Please note it is very important to be with someone who listens to you and talks to you healthily.

No relationship can thrive without communication.

9. He talks very negatively about the past

he talks negatively about the past

If you’ve been dating for a long time, you are going to have a past.

Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes.

It’s completely okay to be transparent about the past.

But if he is talking negatively about every single relationship, it could be a red flag. For instance:

  • If he blames all his exes for the relationship ending: It could mean that he doesn’t like taking responsibility for his own actions – and this suggests a lack of accountability.
  • He is constantly the victim: if he portrays himself as the perpetual victim, it may mean that is unwilling to learn from his mistakes and grow as an individual – it’s going to be very difficult to build a healthy relationship with such a person.
  • He may not have moved on: If he constantly brings up past relationships at every chance he gets, it could mean that he hasn’t moved on from the past and is still not over his exes. It also means that he will not be able to fully invest himself in this current relationship with you – so please don’t pursue this.
  • He may be unable to let go: If he is constantly dwelling on the past and is harboring very strong feelings (anger, sadness) towards his exes, it means he cannot let go of the past and embrace new possibilities. This is going to seriously hamper your relationship.

As I said earlier, we all have pasts – some more colorful than others.

What’s important is we are able to accept responsibility for our mistakes, learn from them, and move on so we can build healthier relationships in the future.

It’s normal to think or even talk about the past.

But if he’s constantly focusing on the negativity and is blaming his exes for everything – this is a red flag.

You don’t want to enter such a messy relationship with someone – it’s going to get ugly.

10. He is constantly making disrespectful or offensive jokes/comments

he makes disrespectful jokes

As a person gets more free with you, it’s normal to joke around or pull your leg a bit.

But if he’s doing all of this on the first date and you find his jokes disrespectful or distasteful, it could be concerning.

This might mean:

  • He lacks sensitivity: Usually, when people make disrespectful jokes toward others, it means that he lacks sensitivity or empathy. He may show a complete disregard for other people’s feelings and this will happen to you eventually.
  • He has zero boundaries: If he’s making derogatory or demeaning remarks towards certain groups of people (based on race/gender/religion), he could be very close-minded and prejudiced. These are not people you want to interact with because they can be very hurtful and offensive.
  • He lacks emotional intelligence: Making disrespectful or offensive jokes demonstrates a lack of emotional intelligence – it shows an inability to understand how words affect others

That’s why I highlighted earlier – pay attention to how he treats service workers and staff.

This point combined with the earlier one will show you what kind of a person he is when no one is watching.

11. He doesn’t respect your personal space

he touches you without consent

A lot of men cannot take no for an answer.

Worse, they are unable to read body language and believe that when women say no or refuse their advances – it means that they’re playing hard to get.

If the man you are dating doesn’t respect your boundaries – know that this is not okay. Here is what it will look like:

  • Ignoring verbal or non-verbal cues. If he constantly ignores your requests regarding your personal space or physical contact – it indicates a lack of respect for your boundaries and autonomy. This can manifest as invading your personal space, touching you without your consent (especially if you’ve made it clear you are uncomfortable), or persisting even after you’ve refused multiple times.
  • Disregarding consent: No means no. You don’t need to give a reason as to why you’re not comfortable with touching/kissing/etc. He should respect your boundaries (no exceptions). If he fails to seek your consent or disregards your boundaries – please know that this is not okay and isn’t showing you respect.
  • Pushing for physical intimacy: If he pressures you to kiss him, hug him or give him a blow – please know that this is not okay. If you’ve repeatedly said you’re not there yet or you’re not comfortable and he guilts you or mocks you till you concede – it’s a red flag. Healthy relationships require mutual understanding and agreement regarding physical boundaries.
  • Dismissing your discomfort: If he minimizes your feelings of discomfort regarding physical actions – it means he prioritizes his comfort and needs over your well-being.

If he touches you in any way or engages in any form of sexual misconduct – please know that this is a clear violation of your consent and it is a HUGE red flag.

I think as women, we are often taught to go with the flow.

And a lot of us have had experiences where we’ve been coerced into doing something we do not like.

It is absolutely crucial to be with someone who respects your personal space and physical boundaries and who values open communication and consent.

Your comfort and autonomy should always be respected – and if he behaves in a way that violates that – there is no excuse.


Don’t just leave – run from a man who puts his needs before your well-being in this situation.

12. His alcohol consumption is way too much

he drinks too much

I had a date who got absolutely hammered on the first date.

He was so drunk, he couldn’t even talk. He slurred all his words and eventually started dancing while asking me to dance.

I was very turned off.

I walked him to his car and he insisted on driving even though he was drunk. Luckily his house was down the street but it sure was a huge red flag.

I gave him another chance because he apologized but I realized that he was an alcoholic and it just wasn’t what I was looking for.

Always keep your first 2-3 dates in a cafe.

The whole point of a date is to get to know the person on a deeper level and understand if you both have similar goals, values, and needs.

You do not require alcohol for that. It’s only going to impede your judgment.

Everything is alright in moderation. But the minute a person depends on their drink to get them through most of the day – you know there’s a problem. Here are some things to consider:

  • Excessive drinking: If every single date revolves around alcohol – know that something is off. If the person is regularly getting drunk or drinking to the point of blacking out – it is a cause for concern. It can be really hard to build a healthy relationship with an alcoholic.
  • Alcohol as a coping mechanism: If this person is relying on alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with stress, anxiety, emotional issues, or difficult situations – know that this is unhealthy. Nobody should rely on alcohol to manage their emotions – it can lead to problems with emotional intimacy later.
  • Massiv behavior fluctuations with alcohol: If you notice that the person is a completely different person under alcohol (he becomes aggressive, verbally abusive, or displays erratic behavior), please run. You are not his therapist. Just leave.
  • Inability to moderate alcohol consumption: I love a drink every now and then – but I know when to stop. If this person you are seeing is unable to moderate their alcohol usage and depends on booze as an elixir, know that this is a problem.

Some people handle their alcohol very well. And please know that occasional social drinking in moderation is totally fine!

However, when it is recurrent and overdone – it can be a problem.

Frequent alcohol consumption impacts a person’s behavior, mental and physical health, and eventually their ability to maintain a healthy relationship.

I watched my ex go from having wine 2 times a year to several times a day. I watched him become violent, abusive, irrational, and a completely different person.

If you are still in the early stages of the relationship – leave. If not, then approach with caution. Talk to him about this and voice your concerns. Ask him to consider getting professional help if necessary.

13. He is extremely negative or pessimistic

he is extremely negative or pessimistic

There is a huge difference between a person being realistic and pessimistic.

Know that extreme negativity or pessimism can have a major impact on you. person’s overall well-being and their ability to maintain a healthy relationship.

Here’s what that might look like:

  • Constant negativity: He always complains and finds fault in everything. You feel drained and you feel like there is a dark smog surrounding you.
  • Lack of optimism or hope: He may constantly find problems in every single situation and instead of navigating these challenges or finding a solution, he’d much rather complain.
  • Inability to see the good: He always points out people’s flaws or the negative aspects of life. This can lead to a lack of gratitude and appreciation in the relationship.

Please understand that by no means am I saying that he should be happy and chirpy 24/7.

It’s normal for everyone to have occasional negative feelings but consistent extreme negativity is definitely a red flag.

It’s a mess you do not want to get into.

It’s very important to be positive and have a problem-solving mindset.

This is how we build strong and emotionally supportive relationships with others too!

14. He is inconsistent with his actions

he is inconsistent with his actions

As honest and open as you are about your thoughts and decisions, not everyone is built that way.

I learned this the hard way.

If you are dating someone who:

  • Always gives you mixed signals: This can create confusion and uncertainty about their feelings and intentions. Maybe he’ll say he likes you and want to take this further but at the same time ghosts you – pay attention to his actions and not his words.
  • Display fluctuating availability: I had a friend who dated a guy who would smother her with affection only to ghost her for weeks afterward. It was exhausting. This kind of inconsistency will lead to a lot of instability and insecurity.
  • Have shifting moods: Inconsistent behavior can also mean drastic shifts in moods and attitudes. For example, he might be warm and affectionate one moment and be angry or indifferent the next. My ex was like this and alcohol only exacerbated the problem. These fluctuations will make you feel like you’re on a rollercoaster of emotions and it’s one of the worst feelings in the world – there is practically no peace or stability in this kind of relationship.

15. He is irresponsible with money

he is irresponsible with money

I genuinely feel that dates should be split evenly.

It is wrong to expect the man to pay for everything. We are just as capable of paying for ourselves.

But there are some men that depend on women financially – and they do this while making the woman believe otherwise – this is wrong.

If he is constantly expecting you to pick up the checks or he has a lot of debts with no clear plan for repayment – it’s a sign he is financially irresponsible.

Please understand that it’s not about looking for a partner who is financially wealthy. But if you want a relationship with a healthy, mature adult, – financial stability is very important.

Because at some point in your relationship, this will come to play.

For instance, you will have to plan your future, you will need to prioritize saving or investing, you will have to budget and it’s going to be so much harder if you have a partner that doesn’t want to do any of that.

Look for someone who is financially responsible and at the same time is constantly making an effort to move towards financial independence.

Even men who constantly engage in risky financial behaviors like gambling, investing in risky schemes, or making very impulsive financial decisions without being honest with you or even considering the consequences can be unstable.

It is important to think about all these points before you date someone or consider getting into a relationship.

16. He has no interest to talk about the future

he has no interest to talk about the future

This is why it’s very important to discuss your goals and values in the beginning while you’re dating.

If you want a serious relationship, you have to make sure that the guy you are seeing also wants the same things you do.

If he has no interest in discussing the future, it can mean a few potential things:

  • He doesn’t want a long-term commitment: If he is not interested in discussing the future, he may not be looking for a long-term committed relationship. He may prefer to live in the present or be interested in dating casually. This is okay, but it’s best to be open and upfront about it.
  • He has a fear of commitment: Maybe it might stem from a fear of commitment or uncertainty about his own desires and goals. He may be hesitant to make a commitment to you because he is afraid of being tied down.
  • He has different expectations of the relationship: Maybe he has different goals and desires for the relationship and is looking for something more short-term.
  • He may have unresolved personal issues: He may have a lot of unresolved baggage that is preventing him from planning the future.

There is nothing wrong with him wanting something casual or him wanting to live in the moment.

But if both of you want different things, it’s best to part ways now so that you can each find a partner that is more suited to your requirements.

17. He avoids all personal questions

he avoids all personal questions

If he is constantly evading or deflecting personal questions during your conversations – it can mean that he isn’t very open with you or is slightly dishonest.

It could also mean that he doesn’t want to have a deeper connection with you.

Here is what it will look like:

  • Lack of transparency: He may constantly avoid personal questions or reply with very superficial responses. Maybe he is not comfortable sharing personal information or he’s withholding something.
  • He has trouble being vulnerable: Maybe he has difficulty being vulnerable or opening up emotionally. He may have a fear of judgment, rejection, or intimacy = and this is going to hinder your relationship.
  • He is very guarded: If he constantly keeps you at a distance, it may be very difficult to build an emotional connection with him.
  • He doesn’t reciprocate your honesty and openness: He may avoid personal questions but expect you to share your personal details – this will lead to an imbalance in the relationship and it will be difficult to build trust in the relationship.

Some people may have genuine reasons for being cautious or reserved especially during the initial stages of dating.

However, if it’s happening consistently and you see no change in his behavior over several dates – then this is a red flag.

It’s important to ask yourself if communication is valuable to you. Because building an authentic and strong relationship without that mutual communication and openness is going to be very hard.

Final takeaway

I’ve highlighted a lot of red flags.

Nobody is perfect but every single red flag indicates how difficult your relationship will be later if you ignore them.

It’s important to take your time to get to know a person before you build a relationship with them.

Take your time.

If there is anything you’re taking away from this post – please take your time to build a relationship.

Dating is data collection – I learned this from Breeny on Youtube. She creates amazing videos and during my breakup, she was all I watched.

Don’t fall in love or be quick to judge.

Give a person a chance but also don’t be afraid to walk away when you see that he is not right for you.

Here are some more posts you may find useful:

Angela is a 31 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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