5 Red Flags to Watch for on First Dates

It’s cuffing season, ladies, and that means you’ll find yourselves absentmindedly swiping through Tinder, Hinge or any other app of your choosing, hoping to find a single eligible man (or lady) whose profile doesn’t feature a picture of him (or her) holding a dead fish.

But let’s say you do find that person, and the two of you agree to meet up. First dates can be nerve-racking as is, but they can also suck when you realize the person sitting in front of you is not the person you’ve been texting with.

Here’s five red flags to look out for on first dates:

  1. 1. They Show Up Late

    It’s totally fine to be running five or ten minutes late, so long as you give your date a heads up. But if they make you wait 20 minutes with no explanation, they’re ruining the date before it’s even started. If and when this happens, it’s okay to be annoyed, and it’s okay to ask why they’re late. If they can’t give you a good reason now, they probably never will.

  2. 2. They Treat the Wait Staff Poorly 

    He might be gorgeous on the outside, but what does that matter if he’s ugly on the inside? Observing the way your date treats the wait staff — from snapping their fingers to stiffing them on a tip — clues you in to how they treat people in general. First dates are all about making a good impression, and if they think it’s alright to be rude to the people serving them, you should think twice about a second date.

  3. 3. They're Pushy From the Get-Go

    An alarming amount of men seem to think that taking a girl out entitles them to a hookup in some capacity, but it doesn’t. Especially not after a first date, when you’re just beginning to get to know one another. If he’s being overly touchy or trying to get closer to you when you’ve given visible cues that you’d like some space, he probably doesn’t have a good sense of boundaries or respect for other people.

  4. 4. They Interview You 

    First dates can be awkward and you won’t always know what to talk about right away. But if they start grilling you about your past, present and future, or if the date feels more like a job interview, try and steer the dialogue back into a two-way conversation. If it continues, however, it could be a sign of the person having a control problem, which is a big, bright, scarlet-colored flag with the words “Get Out Now” embroidered on the front.

  5. 5. They're Already Trying to Change You

    You’re imperfect. Maybe you get wine-drunk on Thursdays or you occasionally steal nail polish from Target. We all have our vices. If you reveal a bit of personal information on a first date and they immediately try to use it against you, that’s a telltale sign of a manipulative individual. Encouragement is good, but if they’re already trying to shape you into the person they want, rather than accepting you for who you are, they’re not worth your time.