Signs They Suck: 10 Red Flags to Watch Out For

Let’s set the scene: you meet someone. It could be the hot guy down the hall, the cute girl from class, or just a match on a dating app. You start talking, and it’s going well: you have tons in common, the conversation flows, they make you laugh. Everything’s fine, right?

Then… something happens. Something that sets off alarms in our brain, something we know all too well: the red flag.

Now, the red flag might be just one color, but it comes in various shapes and sizes. Fortunately for you (and unfortunately for me), I have an abundance of experience with these and I’m going to break them down for you right now:

1. The Gaslighter

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Basically, gaslighting is a form of manipulation where the victim is put in a position in which they constantly second-guess themselves. If you’ve watched Hannah B’s season of The Bachelorette, you’re definitely familiar with this in the form of one Luke Parker. Whenever he said something rude or offensive and Hannah called him out on it, Luke would immediately backtrack with “That’s not what I meant” or “You’re misunderstanding me,” which left him on our TV screens for longer than necessary.

2. The Unpopular One

Unless your friends are monsters (in which case, why are you friends with them?), they’re not disliking your choice of company just for fun. If you feel like you can’t bring up their name in conversation in fear of invoking your friends’ wrath, they’re not it. You deserve better, and your friends think the same.

3. The Bad Texter

Sometimes people look at a message and forget to answer (guilty), but if you’re texting back pretty much immediately and they take hours or even days to reply, it’s a different story. If this is a consistent issue, try keeping them waiting for a bit, and if they still act the same, it might be a sign that they’re not as excited about you as you are about them. In that case, drop them, sis.

4. The Frosted Flake

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It’s one thing to cancel plans to study or for a family situation, but if they’re constantly calling off dates for vague reasons, they’re not respecting you or your time, and neither are you for putting up with it! Find someone who makes time for you, because anything less is not grrrreat.

5. The “AirPods In”

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I’m not saying they necessarily have AirPods in when you’re trying to tell them something, but they might as well with how much they’re paying attention to the conversation. They don’t have to remember everything you say verbatim, but they shouldn’t be staring off into space when you’re talking. Anyone worthy of you should be interested in what you have to say, and if not, they’re not worthy!

6. The Negative #1 Fan

If you’re talking about your hopes and dreams for the future and they chuckle in disbelief, here’s the consensus: they suck. You deserve someone who supports you in all that you want to accomplish, not someone who’s projecting their insecurities about their future onto you.

7. The “Chivalry is Dead”

If you’re going out for a date, there are some expectations you might have. Maybe you’re not someone who prefers to have the car door opened or chair pulled out for them, but if your partner is rude to staff and refuses to pay (exception: if you discussed who will pay beforehand) or tip, it’s clear they don’t have the capacity to respect others, and while they might be nice to you, that could easily change in the future.

8. Mr. Hide Yo Girl*

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(* Replace with preferred gender/s)

If you’ve been talking for a while and have not met anyone in their life, that’s a little sus. There’s a chance this isn’t intentional, but if it seems like they’re making sketchy excuses when you bring up meeting their friends, it could mean that they’re not as serious about you as you are about them.

9. The Needy

You know the one. They only talk to you when they want something: homework answers, $10 that they’ll “totally pay you back,” a sexual favor. You don’t exist to supply them with whatever they want whenever they want like Janet from The Good Place, you’re worth more and you know it!

10. The Plan B

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No, I’m not talking about the $50 morning after pill. This person is similar to the Frosted Flake, except when their plans fall apart, you receive a text five minutes later that reads “Wyd?” You don’t deserve to be less than anyone’s first choice. Don’t settle.