Relationships are a beautiful thing, and it is in our nature to look for an ideal fit. Each of us has different preferences, but one thing is sure – we all hate the same things.
What are those things? And can we catch them in the early stages of dating?
Those things are known as red flags, and they can be spotted even after the first date. There are several talking stage red flags that we will mention throughout this article.
If you want to protect yourself from emotional abuse, narcissism, or a toxic relationship in general, here comes a list of things to pay attention to!
17 Talking Stage Red Flags You Don’t Want To Miss
If you want to preserve your emotional and mental wellness when it comes to relationships, then you should definitely read some of these warning signs.
Relationship experts also recommend paying attention to these things:
1. Love bombing
Love bombing can be a huge red flag. If you don’t know what love bombing is, it is the action of someone basically bombing you with love, affection, and attention.
Unpopular opinion: every unhealthy relationship at the beginning feels like the best love story of your life. That is why love bombing is a common red flag. There are a variety of love bombing signs – here are some of them:
• Complimenting your all the time
• A need for 24/7 communication
• Not respecting your boundaries
• Showering you with gifts
• Abnormal interest in your past, life, and hobbies
• Wanting to introduce you to their friends and family too early
• Being needy
As you can see, love bombing doesn’t just include romantic gestures. It is a well-developed manipulation tactic that many narcissists use.
The goal of love bombing is to make you feel valued so that you will be more sensitive to them and their desires. They force their victim into sharing personal information with them, which they then use against them.
By preparing you for future manipulation and abuse, it aims to secure future emotional and physical intimacy.
The phrase “too good to be true” is usually true. When it happens, love bombing seems lovely, but it’s typically a warning sign that you should stop talking to them if you want to avoid being love bombed and ghosted afterward.
2. They drink a bit too much
Everybody has different preferences. Some people are okay with the fact that their partners drink alcohol, and others are not.
But I am sure that nobody likes a partner who doesn’t have any boundaries when it comes to alcohol.
If you are aiming for a long-term relationship, this might be a warning sign that you’ll have some difficulties regarding this.
Several studies have shown that the overconsumption of alcohol is correlated to gender-based violence. Obviously, this does not imply that you’ll have an abusive relationship with every alcoholic.
However, there is a greater chance that an alcoholic will exhibit abusive behavior. Besides this, there is a close relationship between addiction and infidelity.
Alcohol, in particular, decreases inhibitions and can lessen judgment in those who drink it. While sober, someone might consider having an affair; however, after using alcohol, they might be more likely to actually go for it.
3. That gut feeling
Your gut can tell you in different ways that something just doesn’t feel right:
• You are bored around them
• You can’t be your true self with them
• You don’t feel any sexual attraction towards them
• They don’t make you laugh
• You are okay with not hearing from them for a few days
If you have encountered any of these feelings, then they probably aren’t the right choice.
4. They are extremely jealous
Jealousy is sometimes a good thing. On the contrary, extreme jealousy will only destroy your relationship.
Healthy jealousy comes from the fact that your significant other is afraid they might lose you or do anything that will badly affect your relationship. This is a sign that they really care about you and want this relationship to work out.
On the other hand, unhealthy jealousy comes from feelings of low self-esteem, anger, and huge insecurities. There is a pattern that follows every jealous partner, and it includes the following things:
• You can only spend time with them
• You need to regularly check in with them
• You can only talk to specific people
• They are possessive
• They want to have all the passwords for your social media accounts
Additionally, if you catch any of these things, even on the second date, then that’s it! This is your sign to turn around and never speak to this person again!
5. There is no respect for your boundaries
Another deal-breaker is disrespecting your boundaries. These boundaries include physical, sexual, and mental ones.
When you start dating someone, you obviously have no clue about them. Here begins your journey of exploring and setting those boundaries.
You should always go easy with this exploration and try not to hurt your new partner when exploring. You should also always feel respected and safe when talking with them.
However, a relationship red flag is the absence of this respect. Nobody should pressure you into breaking your boundaries.
Despite the fact that when boundaries are discussed, most people initially think of sexual ones, there are also other examples.
Not respecting your personal space or time and asking too many personal questions are just some of those examples. By not respecting your boundaries, they show that they don’t care about your feelings or you.
And who wants a partner like that?
6. You need to always prioritize them
Everybody likes the initial excitement in a relationship. It is all flowers and butterflies, but they enjoy spending time with you a little too much. Is this a good sign?
Yes and no. Yes, if they only give the impression that you are interesting to them but are able to control dating invitations. If they aren’t able to control those invitations, then this is probably a bad sign.
If they prefer you hang out with them rather than your buddies – red flag. If they try to involve themselves in other aspects of your life, such as your job or interests – also a red flag.
A big green flag is having independence from one another – don’t settle for anything less!
7. They talk about their exes too much
Talking about your past relationships is healthy for your current one.
What you liked and what not or how your partner reacted to certain things in failed relationships can serve as a guide to your partner on how to behave around you and what things to pay attention to.
Yet, if they can’t stop talking about their ex and constantly bring their past relationship up in conversation, it’s another dating red flag.
This is a sign that they are nostalgic about that relationship and that they can’t cut ties with their ex.
8. They have no friends
Having no friends doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a bad person. Some people are just introverts by nature – they prefer to spend most of their time alone.
However, whether they isolate themselves because they find people unpleasant or because others dislike them, it may be a sign that they are unappealing in general.
The problem occurs if they don’t have at least one friend who has always been there. This is a sign that they aren’t able to establish any form of committed relationship regardless of the reason.
And don’t be fooled, co-workers and family members don’t fall into the friends category. They are another pair of shoes and people with whom they are ‘‘forced’’ to socialize.
9. They are not ambitious
A sign of a future bad relationship is the complete loss of ambition. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t apply to progress regarding their career…
But when I think about it, it is a huge red flag when someone cannot keep a job. But, if you see that your potential partner lacks motivation and has no energy, this might also be a sign that they will drag you down as well.
Opposite life goals can highly affect your relationship. If you are an ambitious person and have expectations regarding your career and overall life goals, this could be a problem in the beginning. It can also be the cause for ending a long-term relationship.
Try asking them some of the following questions on your next date:
1. Do you have the desire to try to experiment or learn new things?
2. What do you think about unusual, different date ideas?
3. What are your plans for the future?
If any of these questions don’t provide a satisfactory answer, you know what to do!
10. Hot and cold games
With her breakout hit track “Hot n Cold,” Katy Perry gave us all a better understanding of a hot and cold relationship.
But if you don’t know this song, here is a brief description of a hot and cold relationship:
• Three texts each week have replaced the previous 20 per day
• They speak to you only through social media and rarely in person
• They’ve stopped trying to impress you
• Only you are invested in this relationship, and you’re starting to look like a stalker
• You have absolutely no idea if or when you will see them again
• If you do see them, they pretend like everything is okay
Breadcrumbing and benching are a big no! Benching is when someone does not particularly want to date you but nevertheless won’t let you go.
They work to keep their options open and will get in touch with you as needed. Sending out flirty but non-committal social cues – also known as “breadcrumbs” – in an attempt to quickly attract a love partner is known as breadcrumbing.
Don’t miss out on these talking stage red flags!
11. They never initiate
Do you have to beg your partner to chat with you, share intimate moments with you, or go on dates? Think about how many conversations you started in the past two weeks.
Did you always make the first move? Are you always the one to initiate any romantic interaction?
Both of you should be enthusiastic and passionate about your connection – don’t settle for less!
12. You are afraid of the ‘‘what are we?’’ talk
Since relationships without commitment are so popular, it seems as though a new Urban Dictionary phrase for one of them is created every single day.
One which is frequently used today is ‘‘situationship,’’ A situationship is basically an undefined, uncommitted, and temporary relationship.
So, if you are stuck in a situationship and are afraid to talk to your potential partner about getting serious with them, then this might be a problem.
Even though this could be typical behavior for a few weeks, you should feel at ease telling your future partner what you want from a relationship.
On the other hand, you might not want to be in a romantic relationship with them at all. It’s totally fine if you’re looking for something casual or open.
But you should always be comfortable talking about your feelings. Good communication is the basis of a healthy relationship.
If you are afraid of this talk, then this is a huge red flag that you should look out for.
13. Your friends don’t like them
Having friends is a blessing for many reasons. You are who you hang out with. Usually, you are friends with them because of similar interests, values, and general behavior.
When you find a potential partner, you often lose the ability to think and judge clearly. They may be great for you, but you aren’t able to see the bad stuff. And this is where your friends come in!
As they are able to clearly judge because they don’t have any emotional attraction to your potential partner, they will tell you if something seems off and that they aren’t the right one for you.
Just to mention, this isn’t always the case. You might also have fake friends who will try to ruin your happiness, but if they are true friends, they will definitely care about who you date.
A genuine friend will feel comfortable sharing their honest opinions with you, even if doing so might cause you pain.
14. Too many sexual connotations
A huge indication that you’re headed for a toxic relationship down the road is if you meet them for the very first time, and they immediately start with different sexual connotations.
This especially applies to people you meet on dating apps, as many of them are prone to uncommitted relationships.
If you are okay with this kind of relationship, go for it! But if you want something more serious, you should pay attention to those connotations!
15. They mirror your behavior and attitude
It is a great thing if you find someone with the same interests and stance on certain things. Whatever you say, they will agree with you. Do you love books? Oh, so do they.
You don’t like going to the movies? Neither do they. But this is just a mask that they use to impress you.
The fact is they adore movies and have never read a book in their entire life, and they will mirror your interest just to get closer to you.
Although the overall reason they do these things is not to harm but impress you, it is considered a red flag.
Why? Because you will get the impression that they are a completely different person. Their entire personality will be based on lies.
And it won’t take long for you to realize this as they won’t be able to pretend for too long. When they finally reveal their true self, you will be left with a complete stranger.
16. They only talk about themselves
Are you dating a super cool and nice person, but they just can’t stop talking about themselves? This can be a good thing if you are generally someone who just sits and loves to listen to other people.
But, if you are involved in a romantic relationship, this can make you feel extremely overshadowed and unimportant.
Yes, this is a major red flag. It is an obvious sign of a narcissistic pattern. They aren’t really interested in what you have to say unless you are talking about them and glorifying them.
The worst thing is that these people can’t change this narcissistic trait easily as they are addicted to talking about themselves.
17. They make fun of you
If someone you’re seeing makes casual statements about you, even if they claim to be joking, it could be a sign of an early love relationship.
This could include making fun of your career choices, favorite songs, or even your fashion choices. You have the right to defend yourself and express your feelings if someone says something that offends you, even in the slightest way.
Defending your interests and personality is a must because if you don’t act in time or lack self-awareness, it can seriously affect your mental health.
They will try to gaslight you into thinking that you are being too serious and don’t have a sense of humor, but the reality will be completely different.
In The End
Talking stage red flags come in various shapes and sizes. Some of them are subtle and indirect – others are not.
I compiled this list of top dating red flags if you are considering asking someone out on a date or just want to know these red flags to avoid disappointment in the future.
I can only advise you to watch out for manipulation, and if they don’t respect your boundaries, you should respect yourself and leave.
Don’t settle for less, even if you encounter only one of these red flags!