Sometimes it’s obvious; for instance, when your date walks in on you in the loo and says: “Please don’t close the bathroom door; I don’t like emotional barriers.” Yes, this actually happened to me and two years later, I still don’t know what to make of it exactly. All I know is, the “bad date” siren sounded loudly. But such clear-cut signs do not always present themselves so willingly. More often than not, we are forced to read between lines, wade through B.S., and jump to conclusions. Not only are these methods exhausting, they frequently prove ineffective and easily derailed. I mean, give me a well-groomed guy with an 8th grade-level vocabulary and a bank account and I’ll totally find a way to justify that bag of fingernail clippings he keeps in his glovebox. We all have our quirks, right?
What I’m saying is, when on a date, it is difficult to process all the information flying at you and accurately categorize each detail as a pro, con, quirk, cautionary yellow flag or run-for-the-hills-he-collects-headless-Barbie-dolls red flag. Then you add in variables like attractiveness, desperation, or inexplicable pheromones and you’ve got a real quagmire on your hands.
As I type, TLC’s No Scrubs poignantly serenades me, and in that vein, here are a few blatant warning signs that always constitute a bad date – heed them for a scrub-free 2016.
Compromise is obviously a key component to successful relationships; however, there seems to be a thin line between compromising and justifying. As I pointed out with my fingernail clippings example above, we are all susceptible to focusing on the good and either pushing away the bad or justifying it. If you find yourself saying things like: “Well sure, he keeps dropping racial slurs and staring down the waitress’s blouse, but he has such incredible eyes and graduated from Yale,” you should probably run. This is especially true in the first few dates – neither compromise nor justification should play a part in the very early stages of a relationship.
When on 1st, 2nd, and even 3rd dates, it’s very common to ask and answer questions on an array of topics – which is partly why dating proves so exhausting. But that’s just how it is. If your date evades giving straight answers or replies with vague, ambiguous responses to pretty standard questions, be wary. If he remains elusive about his occupation, where he lives, friends and family, or any other run-of-the-mill life details, it’s usually an indication he’s either hiding something or does not want to let you in for one reason or another – most likely, none of them good.
I once went on a first date with a guy who proudly told me how he’d been with a previous girlfriend for eight years and never, in that entire time, traveled the 90 or so miles to Bakersfield to meet her parents. He absolutely refused. I then mentioned something about my dogs, which prompted him to inform he that he’d never help someone walk their dogs. This level of rigidity is a huge red flag – especially when boundaries are being drawn in permanent marker on one of the first few dates. Boundaries should form organically, and if he’s already setting down rigid parameters early on, I can guarantee that’s only the tip of the unyielding, uncompromising iceberg.
If you’re in justification mode, there’s a good chance you could pass this off as conviction, but be warned – if you’re in the early stages of dating and the person across the table from you is pontificating on topics such as religion, finances, and politics, leaving little room for the opinions of others, heed this as a red flag. It not only can demonstrate a lack of respect for others, but in most circumstances, it also shows a lack of social awareness. After all, who brings up hot-button issues in an aggressively-opinionated manner with someone they’ve just started dating? He’s not passionate, he’s simply a jagweed.
The Perfect Guy
What?! But isn’t the perfect guy what we’re all looking for? No. Mainly because… wait for it… he doesn’t exist. If you are dating a man who seems perfect – not just perfect for you, but legitimately perfect – run! Because nobody is perfect, a man’s seeming perfection is nothing more than a façade. He is not being genuine and only allowing you to see superficial aspects of himself. Perhaps it’s because he’s hiding something, or maybe he’s simply incapable of letting people close – no matter the reason, you need to high-tail it out of there.