5 Red Flags to Look Out For When Dating

For an audio version of this blog post, you can listen to the Slow Down Stacy podcast, available on the podcast tab of this site, or wherever you get your podcasts from (Spotify, Apple, Stitcher, Anchor etc).

As a single mom, I've been doing my fair share of dating, relationships, and heartbreak and I wanted to share with you all the 5 red flags that I have encountered in my dating life in order to spare you the heartache that I have been through!

Red Flag #1 -- He Idealizes You (And Hates Himself)

Compliments are lovely, but idealization is something else. This guy thinks you are so perfect, better than anyone he's ever met in his life, in fact, you're better than he is and he thinks you're way too good for him. He can't stop talking about how incredible you are any time you two are together--and in contrast, how bad he is.

On the surface level, this is extremely flattering. It seems like this guy is obsessed with you, and what girl wouldn't want that? The tough thing is that this, combined with him talking down on himself, usually leads to you trying to open up about your flaws in order to help his cripplingly low self-esteem--but instead of you being real about your insecurities helping him feel better, he'll use the facts you opened up about to justify how you "aren't so perfect after all" and flip the script to say that you're actually the one who isn't good enough for him.

Red Flag #2 -- He Has an Ex-GF He Can't Shut Up About

It feels like there's three people in this relationship-- you, him and the ghost of his ex girlfriend. Even if he's talking about his ex girlfriend in a negative light and saying you're so much better than she was--the fact that he can't go a day without talking about how annoying it was that she had restless leg syndrome, or how aggravating it was that she would complain about every date he took her on, is a sign that he has not processed and worked through what happened in that relationship, and is not ready to be emotionally available to you.

Red Flag #3 -- He Has an Angsty Relationship with His Family

I want to be clear, I am not saying that if you don't get along well with your family, you don't deserve to be loved--but I think the way that relationship devolves is a big sign as to how he will react if things go south with you.

A grown, mature, evolved person can recognize that their parents made mistakes, and that trauma is generational and that they have the responsibility to mend their childhood wounds and is actively working on that process.

A red flag would be someone who blames their bad behavior on their upbringing, blames their poor treatment of you on their upbringing, blames really anything under the sun on their upbringing, and expects you to be okay with that or else you'll be accused of "not understanding him" --just like his family, friends and everyone else fails to understand him (seems like there's a common denominator there, bud).

Red Flag #4 -- They Don't Have Any Idea What Their Future Holds

No, a guy doesn't need to know what his five year plan is in order to be a candidate for a relationship, but if they don't know what they're going to do tomorrow, this is a problem. This guy decides on Tuesday that he's going to be a music producer, on Wednesday that he's going to go to law school, on Thursday that he's going to study abroad and on Friday that he's going to be a school principal--and plot twist, he is going to end up doing none of these things.

If his own path in life is nothing but a series of daydreams about what he could be doing, then what are the odds that you're going to be anything more than a fantasy?

Red Flag #5 -- They Dismiss Your Feelings

Even the healthiest of couples have disagreements--but with the right type of attitude you can get through even the stickiest of situations with some grace. This guy, however, can not handle your emotions and will call you "sensitive" "moody" or "emotional" when you bring anything to his attention--even if you're doing it in a cool and collected way. It may seem like at some points you showing emotion is a trigger for him--he just will break down at the slightest display of vulnerability from you and back into attack mode--not a good sign that this partnership is meant to last.

Do you have any red flags that you feel like I forgot to mention? Did these red flags bring up any dating horror stories for you? If so, drop a comment letting me know what it is, and I will feature one at the top of the next podcast!

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