Dating Tips: When to Spot Trouble


when to spot trouble

You’ve met for drinks, gone dancing, laughed at the same jokes, and have something planned for next weekend. But is this the beginning of something wonderful, or are you just getting involved with dating a toxic person? If you’ve fallen fast but have some misgivings, here are some dating tips that will help you spot the telltale signs of a toxic person.

First off, think about the way he or she treats you in different situations. Are you treated differently in a group than while alone? Like, a lot differently? Does he respect my opinions in one situation but not another? Does she flirt with everyone in groups but I enjoy being alone with her so much that I ignore it? Do I feel smart and valued around this person? What would it be like to move in with her? There are several things that might indicate that dating this person means trouble.

Bad Signs in a Date

  • Dominates conversation (could signal a self-centered person, or just insecurity and eagerness to get to know you)
  • Lies to you or to others in your presence (honesty is important in any relationship)
    Seems to be hiding something (doesn’t give direct answers)
  • Loves gossip and sarcasm (about the ex, roommates, friends, coworkers, family, etc.)
  • Treats people bad when he/she can get away with it (doesn’t show patience or respect to clerks, waiters, employees, strangers, etc.)
  • Their needs come before your needs (and their crisis requires your help)
  • Signs of addictions (to drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography… all these things damage romantic relationships)
  • They seem too fast sexually or desperate (a sign that they’re trying to connect out of neediness rather than the desire for a real relationship)
  • Lots of drama in this person’s life (if this person seems to crave conflict, and is prone to making a big deal out of small things, this is a sign that you are going to have a roller coaster relationship with lots of ups and downs)
  • Checking out others while you’re on a date (if they can’t focus on you for just a few hours, they aren’t worth your time)
  • Blaming others for problems (if this person usually thinks problems are caused by someone else, you’re going to be the next culprit if you’re in a relationship)

Of all these things, research shows that dishonesty is the most undesirable quality. Touching or rubbing the nose is a classic sign that someone is lying, so if your date does this you should evaluate what’s going on. If he shows signs of lying when he talks about how great he is at baseball, that’s one thing, but if he does it when you ask if he’s married… well, that’s something to investigate. Research shows that men lie for different reasons than women. Usually, men lie to appear more interesting, powerful or successful. Women lie less about themselves and more about others, to protect people’s feelings and when talking about relationships.

The last thing to evaluate in a dating situation is your true compatibility. Will you fight a lot? Does she annoy you? How you feel after you’ve spent time with this person? If you strip away physical attraction, what do you have left? Are you really compatible? Ask yourself honestly if you feel exhausted and negative after hanging out, or if you feel upbeat and excited. True compatibility has everything to do with long-term relationship success.

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