Shelley J Whitehead

Red flags to watch out for on a first date

19 August, 2023

I want to cover an often-mystifying topic that we can all relate to — the first date.

Amidst the excitement and anticipation, it’s crucial to stay aware of potential red flags when you are meeting someone for the first time. Spotting those signals early on can save you a lot of pain and heartache further down the line.

Those skills include being able to understand and recognise what a healthy relationship looks like. Relationships start on the very first date. That first date can be a thrilling prospect. There’s the thrill of the unknown, the joy of connection, the hope that this could be ‘the one’. Yet, it’s essential to keep our eyes open for signs that things might not be as perfect as they seem.

Here are my top 5 red flags I recommend you watch out for on any first date…

1. Lack of empathy

Empathy, or the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is crucial in any healthy relationship. It forms the foundation of emotional connection and understanding. If, on the first date, your partner seems dismissive of your feelings or experiences, it could suggest a lack of empathy. Watch out for signs like ignoring your feelings, trivialising your experiences, or showing indifference when you share something personal. This lack of empathy could translate into a lack of emotional support down the line.

2. Disrespectful behaviour

This can be a significant indicator of a person’s character. Pay close attention to how your date treats others, especially those in service roles, like waiters or taxi drivers. Are they rude or dismissive? Do they act superior or entitled? Remember, respect is not a selective behaviour. If they are disrespectful to others, it’s only a matter of time before they are disrespectful to you.

3. Pushing boundaries

Everyone has their comfort zone and personal boundaries. If your date is constantly trying to push these boundaries, or if they dismiss your ‘no’ in any context, consider this a major red flag. It’s crucial to remember that everyone has a right to feel comfortable and secure. Your date should respect your boundaries, not push them. They should respect your ‘no’, whether it relates to your choice of food, your comfort level with physical contact, or your willingness to share personal details.

4. Dishonesty

Trust is the bedrock of any lasting relationship. It builds safety and strengthens love. But dishonesty can shatter that trust. If you catch your date in a lie, no matter how seemingly insignificant, it’s a red flag. From small fibs about their job or personal life to larger deceptions, dishonesty at this stage could be a precursor to deeper trust issues down the line.

5. Excessive self-centeredness

While it’s natural to share about oneself on a first date, there should be a balanced exchange. If your date is monopolising the conversation or showing little interest in getting to know you, they could be excessively self-centred. A relationship is about two people, not one. If your date can’t make room for your stories on the first date, it could indicate problems with compromise, consideration, and shared growth in the future.

Remember, these red flags are potential indicators of future issues. They’re not definitive proof of a bad partner, but they are warning signs that should make you pause and reflect. Your safety, happiness, and well-being should always come first.

Listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it might not be right for you. Dating should be about fun and discovery, not discomfort and compromise.

And finally, don’t rush. Take your time. The right person will respect you and your pace.

Thank you for reading!

Until next time, stay savvy, stay respectful, and remember, the right connection is worth waiting for.

Shelley J Whitehead
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