1. They are not pulling their weight in initiating spending time with you. It’s not that they’re not available to you, it’s just that they always seem to be the responder and never the initiator. When you first start seeing someone, the give-and-take is really important. And if you become the sole giver and they become the sole taker, it can only lead to disaster.
2. They are always so so so busy. But aren’t we all? If elected officials, astronauts, med, JD, and PhD students, etc. make time to date, so can everybody else. When someone is interested in being with you, they will make time to be with you. And they will ensure you know you’re a priority to them even if they have a lot on their plate. “Busy” excuses, generally speaking, are bullshit.
3. Whatever their phone communication style is – whether its way too little or way too much – it pisses you off regularly, you’ve made brought it to their attention, and they don’t seem to care. As insignificant as phone communication ought to be, and indeed I wish it was, if someone can’t make a small sacrifice or compromise with regard to adjusting their phone habits, good luck when real sacrifices need to be made.
4. They ignore certain parts of you that make you, you. Everybody has multiple identities and aspects to who they are. If someone “ignores” your race, religious views, political opinions, moral values, etc. it means they’ll never be able to really see all of you. And if this is true, can they ever really want and love all of you?
5. They don’t want to be with you in public. This should be pretty obvious but if someone’s interest in you is limited to nights after 10 p.m., and in apartments or obscure places, then you are one of the following: 1.) a booty call, 2.) a side-chick 3.) a “shame” crush/love interest. Take to your heels.
6. They have no desire to meet with your friends or have you hang out with theirs. Meeting “the friends” is an important part of a relationship because as everyone should know, friends have the power to make or break that relationship, especially when it’s early days. If they don’t care, it’s because they probably are not in this for the long haul.
7. They try to change you from the get-go. When you’re in the honeymoon stages of getting to know someone, their faults and flaws should not be at the top of your concerns. Ideally, you should still be infatuated with all the possibilities about who they are. If someone makes you feel like you have to change right from the start, it’s downhill from there.
8. The game playing is clear for all to see: Waiting a specific period of time to text or call back. Trying to make you jealous by intentionally flirting with other people in front of you. Here today, gone tomorrow, and back again, the day after next. I don’t understand why anyone who calls themselves an adult would do this, but should you encounter one in your dating life, walk the other way.
9. You ignore a huge personal red flag because you like them so much and you don’t want to ruin the potential. Huge red flags are huge red flags for a reason – they’re not going to go away just because you close your eyes and count to three. Whatever the personal red flag is – whether it’s their stories having loopholes or they don’t seem to have any friends, deal with it or it will deal with you in the long-run.
10. They don’t know how to have a disagreement like an adult. Now I’m all about the, “don’t sweat the small stuff” life with people you’re dating because really, they should feel like your peace of mind in a stressful world. You are human and they are human and you will disagree. But if someone turns a disagreement into a character assassination or throws a tantrum, or makes you feel entirely like shit, this is what you’ll have to look forward to once early days are gone.
11. They already make you sad, frustrated, and cry more than they make you smile and laugh. Being a closet intense person, I totally wholly understand what it’s like to somersault yourself into passionate “in like” for another person. Passion and intensity can be great, especially when it feels rare. But if being with someone from the start sounds like you should be starring in Rihanna’s We Found Love music video, you might want to shut it down before it goes any further.
12. You can feel yourself becoming a worse person or someone you don’t quite recognize. The truth is when we fall for someone who is good for us, they instantly make us want to be better – yes, for them, but also for ourselves. One sure-fire way to know the person you’re with is just no good is that you say and do things out of character. And you start to feel like you neither respect nor like who you are becoming.
13. They’re not over their ex, and they can’t see that. If someone is not over the last person they were with, they are going to bring them up in obvious ways and not so obvious ways. When you like someone a lot and they are in this situation, it’s hard to walk away because you might want to be the unicorn that makes them see the light. But the sad truth of the matter is most likely, you are just a rebound. You deserve to be more than a rebound.
14. You already make excuses for their behavior. “They’re just really stressed out.” “They don’t like talking on the phone.” “They’ve been hurt before so they want to take things slowly.” We’ve all been there – myself included. But the only thing excuses ever get us is prolonged rejection and heartache. It’s not fun realizing that the person you want doesn’t want you in the same way. But it’s less fun to realize this after you’ve invested a lot of time and energy in something that’s not worth your time.
15. You think they don’t like you, they just like the attention you give them. When it comes to dating, there is nothing shittier than giving people false hope. It is better to be an “asshole” for telling someone you’re not interested in them or you’ve lost interest in them, than to keep them in an emotional purgatory where they think they have a chance. The reality is that some people will like your attention and not you. And the minute you realize that, it’s time to show them the door.
16. They disappear at the first sign of imperfection, only returning when you’re your best self. Everyone likes to put their best foot forward in early days. But sometimes life has other plans, and maybe you can’t be 100% all the time. Timing is everything, as they say. But timing is not the reason why someone will flee at the first sign of seeing that you are a human being with flaws and baggage and “stuff.” No I won’t be quoting that silly Marilyn Monroe quote but if someone can’t deal with the imperfect you early, chances are, they can’t deal with the imperfect you later.
17. They make you feel like you have to prove your worth to them. This one is simple: If you have to prove your worth to someone, especially someone who you’re trying to get to know, they will probably always make you feel inadequate. You deserve to be with someone who feels lucky to be with you right from the start.