13 Dating Red Flags I Should Have Paid Attention To (But Didn’t)


1. We’d met on a trendy little dating site called Howaboutwe where your tagline is essentially your date idea. His was “Howaboutwe clean my apartment while drinking,” which I actually thought was quite humorous. Only thing was he wasn’t joking.

2. I was on a first date with an intelligent and well-mannered 37 year old guy who looked great on paper. After drinks we went to his apartment (BAD idea- I know), and in his kitchen he asked me if I was “adventurous.” It seemed like a fairly innocuous question so I said yes. Immediately his eyes lit up like a menorah on its 8th night, and he handed me a shot of Sambuca. But just as I went to throw some caution and knock it back, he screamed, “DON’T SWALLOW!!” Before I knew what was happening, he grabbed my face and proceeded to put a lit match INTO MY MOUTH. Apparently when fire comes into contact with the Sambuca it causes some chemical reaction that turns your mouth a phosphorescent blue. I know this because thankfully he also somehow managed to snap a pic of the whole thing mid-glow right before I spat it all out on my new dress.

I dated him for two months.

3. He snapped his fingers to get the bartender’s attention and then went on to flirt with her right in front of me.

4. After a mere two days of flirtatious texting, this one whackadoo told me with absolute certainty that I was going to a) fall in love with him, and b) become addicted to “every inch” of his body. He also said that he knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was his future wife. At this point we hadn’t even spoken on the phone! I knew it was all a little American Psycho—but you gotta respect that kind of confidence. The day before we were finally set to meet my phone died for a few hours and I was late responding to him, so naturally he broke off the entire thing. I’ll never forget his last text to me:

Congratulations on losing the best thing you never had.

Never have I been so thankful for a dead phone battery.

5. In our three months of dating he never once came to my apartment or even my neighborhood because he claimed traveling to Brooklyn was simply too inconvenient for him. Yeah, well what about my convenience? I say if there’s one thing worse than a Manhattan snob, it’s a selfish one.

6. We met online, and I suggested texting to get to know one another, but he was insistent that we use Snapchat instead. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the app, especially for two 30-somethings who were looking for a real relationship, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and tried it.
After a few days I discovered the reason why he wanted to use it. The one BIG reason. He is now blocked.

7. In our first month of dating, he thought it was totally acceptable and wildly funny to text me updates throughout the day on his most recent bowel movements. Some of his classics would include:
At work– Just took a GIANT dump–It was messy :))!!!

I’m pooping again. Sooo sleepy!!! [insert Pile of Poo Emoji surrounded by Zzzz’s.]

Stay classy, bro.

8. He told me on our first date essentially that he hated his mother and thought that 90% of all women were “crazy bitches.” Check please!

9. We’d made plans to go to some hipster gallery in Williamsburg. He showed up with two vodka filled Poland Spring bottles in tow and immediately dragged me to the deli to get mixers. Once inside the gallery, which was only about 100 square feet, he let out the most heinous fart right in the middle of a tightly packed crowd of people without so much as a flinch. Then later on at the bar he asked two completely random girls who were leaving for a house party in the middle of Bumblefuck nowhere if we could come with them (never asking if that was cool with me.) Thankfully they declined. Wish I had.

10. Within 20 minutes of meeting he told me flat out, “Just so you know if we ever break up, That’s it, We’re done. I’m never talking to you again– In fact you won’t even exist to me.” He then went on to describe the complete and utter disdain he had for each of his ex-girlfriends.
For some inexplicable reason I decided to stick around for a few more days until he eventually broke it off telling me he still had feelings for his ex. Yea, I know. Don’t be like me.

11. As soon as I met him at the restaurant for our first date, he informed me with a grin that he had just checked us in.

“Oh–with the hostess?” I asked.

“No,” he replied. “Foursquare.” #Romance

12. I’d received an OkCupid message from a sweet looking girl named Kristy. She said I was beautiful and thought I’d be perfect for her best friend, a tall, handsome, and successful Jewish guy looking for a girl exactly like me. Perhaps I’d just watched too many Meg Ryan movies, but I thought the whole thing seemed romantic–Maybe even beschert! So I gave her my number to pass along, and he called me the very next day. While our chemistry over the phone was palpable, I kept putting off meeting up in person–There was just this gnawing feeling inside me that something wasn’t right. Then a few weeks later completely out of the blue he tells me, “Sarah, I’m actually a lot smarter than you may think. In fact, I can prove it.” He proceeded to tell me that there never was a “Kristy.” It had actually been him the entire time, and this was all just part of an experiment to see if he could attract more girls as this fictitious friend than as himself. Apparently, it had worked wonders with more than 20 others, none of whom knew the truth.
When he finished the story he asked when he could take me out. I told him to fuck off.

13. I’d been dating this guy for a few months and was really starting to fall for him. The only problem was I’d get these horrible stomach pains every time we were together. It was baffling- I thought maybe it was the nervous butterflies in the stomach everyone’s always talking about. Anyways, eventually I came to find out that this seemingly perfect guy was both dishonest and emotionally unavailable–My body was actually trying to warn me of this the entire time! Talk about trusting your gut!

So hopefully we can all learn a little something from my personal dating disasters. A few takeaways: Snapchat is not courtship, Please don’t date a boy who lights your mouth on fire, and most importantly: Follow Your Instincts. There is no greater tool than your own intuition. I’ve certainly learned my lessons, and thankfully now I’m listening to mine. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Sarah is a writer, performer, and professional dater living in Manhattan. You can find her unique brand of comedy & “Sexpertise” on TopRomp.com.

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