7 Big Red Flags You Can Spot Immediately

Posted on July 7, 2010


In my last post, I discussed the difference between signs and red flags. Signs are invitations for intelligent women to gather more information whereas red flags are warnings to not get involved.Here are seven, big red flags you’ll want to watch out for when you’re talking with a potential partner. If any of these flags appear, heed their warning and move on.

1. He is evasive about where he lives, what he does for a living, or other basic personal information.

At a party my husband and I threw a few months ago, one of our guests (we’ll call him Jake) told me that he liked where we lived and that he had quite a few clients in the same neighborhood. When I inquired about his work, he glanced nervously at the woman he was with and then said, “I do a lot of things.Yeah. A lot of things.” I found this extremely odd.

Jake had mentioned to my husband that he had a long-time girlfriend named Karen. My husband went to introduce himself to the woman Jake brought with him to the party. When he said,  “You must be Karen!” Jake said uncomfortably, “Uh, actually, this is Mary.” If I were coaching Mary, I would tell her to steer clear of Jake.

2. He wants to talk/meet at odd hours, only during his lunch break and never on the weekends. Or when he does talk to you, he’s whispering and has to go suddenly.

No matter how you may try to excuse this one, it doesn’t sound good. Either he already has a wife and a family or he has a girlfriend. This has all the warning bells of a high-risk relationship. Move on.

3. He complains constantly about other people victimizing him. According to him, his exes, his colleagues and others take advantage of him.

Responsible and mature people know that all relationships are choices and that relationships end because of both parties. People who blame others for their misfortunes lack maturity and insight. A man who spends his time with you complaining about others shows you that he’s a negative and immature person.

4. He lies to you about his marital status, his job, or some other significant information.

I was on my second date with a man who told me he was divorced. “So how long ago was your divorce?” I asked. He stammered and then said, “Well, actually, I’m not divorced yet. I’m going through a divorce.” So, basically he was still married and he lied to me when he asked me out. People who bend, stretch or twist the truth are dishonest.

5.  He claims to be in love with you immediately or flatters you constantly.

Who doesn’t like a good, thoughtful compliment? But when a guy who barely knows you professes his undying love or constant admiration, watch out. He’s going for your ego, which he will use to manipulate you.

6. He pinches you, taps you or does something else subtly physically aggressive.

A BIG red flag ladies! Many years ago, I decided to move to a brand new city. I knew no one there and so would often go out with people I didn’t know very well. I went hiking with a new group of acquaintances and was talking with another woman. This guy in the group obviously liked me and kept tapping my shoulder to get my attention, but something about the way he tapped me seemed a bit, well, strange.

We went out a few times and each time he would do something seemingly very minor, like pinch me playfully or grab my arm with gusto. When I shared how weird I thought this was with my new friends, they told me I was just overreacting.  However, I stopped seeing him because something about this didn’t seem right.  Later I learned that his ex-girlfriend had a restraining order against him.

7. Your get a bad “gut” feeling.

As women, we have incredible brains. The left (logical, analytical) and right (conceptual, visual) hemispheres of our brains are more interconnected than male brains. What many call “women’s intuition” is actually a measurable, scientific phenomena of the two hemispheres of our brains working together in sync. So when your “gut” says beware, what this usually means is that the right hemisphere of your brain has picked up on something that doesn’t match up with what the left hemisphere is seeing. This inconsistency then sends your body a warning message. Our intuition is not some New Age, hippy dippy concoction. It’s actually our built-in protection system.

For example, let’s say you’re talking to a guy and you get this weird feeling that something about him is not right. The right hemisphere of your brain picked up on the tan line on the ring finger of his left hand. (YOU didn’t see it, but the right hemisphere of your brain scanned the picture before you and caught this detail).  He keeps acting like he’s single and flirting with you, saying all of the things a single guy would say (Words are processed through the left hemisphere of our brains so your left hemisphere has analyzed him as “single”).  Missing recent wedding ring and guy acting single? Your brain recognizes the inconsistency here and send you a signal to watch out.

Listen to your intuition. Those gut feelings are invaluable.

With time and practice, you can get quite good at picking up on red flags. The best part is that this ridiculously helpful skill can help you in so many relationships, not just your romantic ones.

Posted in: Dating, Dating Safe