Shelley J Whitehead

Toxic types to avoid when dating

18 September, 2023

If you are venturing out into the exciting, yet sometimes treacherous, world of dating it is really important to be able to recognise toxicity when it’s sitting across the table from you.  

As a relationship coach, I’ve seen some archetypal ‘toxic types’ crop up time and time again. They might seem obvious when you’re looking from the outside in, but when you’re the one on the date, and you’re caught up in the moment, spotting these toxic tendencies can be a little trickier. 

So, let’s uncover these types and equip you with the knowledge you need to steer clear of potential heartache.

The Ghoster

Firstly, we have the Ghoster. They come on strong, piquing your interest, then, without a trace, they disappear. 

A few weeks or months later, they might resurface as if nothing happened. Their behaviour speaks volumes about their inconsistency, which is a huge red flag. In a healthy relationship, communication is key, and disappearing acts aren’t part of that equation.

The Love Bomber

Then we have the Love Bomber. This person showers you with affection and attention right off the bat, overwhelming you with grand gestures and intense declarations of love. While it may feel flattering at first, it’s often a sign of control and manipulation. 

They’re trying to hook you in quickly and deeply so that when their true colours start to show, it’s harder for you to leave.

The Gaslighter

Next, meet the Gaslighter. They’re experts in manipulation, making you question your own reality. 

They’ll twist your words, your experiences, and your feelings to suit their narrative. This emotional manipulation can lead you to doubt your sanity, making you more dependent on them, which is exactly what they want.

The Eternal Victim

We also have the Eternal Victim. With them, everything bad always seems to happen to no one else but them. 

This constant state of crisis hooks you into a never-ending caregiving role. Being supportive is one thing, but constantly having to rescue someone is both exhausting and unsustainable.

The Critic

Then, we encounter the Critic. Nothing you do is ever up to their standards. 

They wrap their criticisms in a thinly veiled guise of helping you “improve” or “grow.” This constant underhanded belittling can chip away at your self-esteem over time.

The Jealous Juggernaut

The Jealous Juggernaut is another toxic type. They’re excessively suspicious or over-protective, often crossing your boundaries. 

Their extreme jealousy isn’t about love; it’s about control. They may isolate you from your friends and family, which can lead to even more serious issues.

The Disrespecter

Finally, there’s the Disrespecter. This person has little regard for your feelings, opinions, or boundaries. Any sign of disrespect, no matter how small it may seem, is a clear indication of a toxic person.

How to Stay Mindful While Dating

Now, I want to stress that being aware of these toxic types isn’t about being judgmental. It’s about recognising unhealthy patterns that can hurt you and your potential relationship. It’s about ensuring that you’re in a relationship that nurtures mutual respect, understanding, and personal growth.

After all, you deserve a partner who treats you with kindness, communicates effectively, and respects your boundaries. If you find yourself identifying these signs in your dating life, it might be time to re-evaluate whether that relationship truly serves your best interests.

However, knowing these types isn’t enough. It’s equally important to remain mindful while dating. 

One way to do this is by maintaining emotional and mental clarity, staying connected to your feelings, and trusting your instincts. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of dating, so taking a step back,  analysing the situation with a clear head is crucial.


It may be a good idea to visit my recent blog entitled Red flags to watch out for on a first date which gives some basic pointers on flagging potentially toxic behaviour. 

Remember to practise self-awareness, self-compassion and assertiveness. Set clear boundaries and communicate your needs and expectations openly. Most importantly, remember that everyone deserves a healthy, balanced relationship.

Thanks for reading. I hope this insight helps you navigate the complex world of dating a bit more easily. 

If you found this blog helpful, do share it with your friends who could benefit from it. 

I love sharing my tools, tips and guidance with you and supporting you on your journey to thriving relationships.

Stay mindful, stay hopeful, and most importantly, stay kind to yourself because you deserve everything of the best.

Shelley J Whitehead
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