Hopefully you’re schooled in the obvious red flags:
- He can’t seem to control his roving eye when he’s with you
- He’s rude to other people (if he criticizes the saleslady, you’re up next!)
- He talks about his exes within the first couple of conversations (I’m talking detailed, uninvited diatribes)
- He answers texts and phone calls during your date
- He is inconsistent returning your phone calls and texts (inconsistency in general is a huge red flag…like a deep scarlet shade)
But what about the subtler, or even more outrageous red flags that we mistake for green light go? Below is a list of my favorite “run away now” signals. Feel free to add your winners to the mix. Your sisters everywhere will thank you.
I Just Haven’t Found the Right Girl Yet
Really? With 20 years of dating behind you, you’ve never met the “right” girl? Man up!
Any never-been-married man 35 or older who tells you he just “hasn’t met the right one” is very likely grappling with commitment issues. He’s comfortable with his chronically single status. To his credit, he believes in this excuse wholeheartedly. And the woman who hears it thinks…
“That’s because he hadn’t met me yet. I could be the one!”
Sweetheart, slow down…you’ve just met a non-committal man. Trust me, the women before you have probably been marvelous. Maybe even just right. He just didn’t want to see it. And he’s not going to see it in you either, at least not for the long run. So why waste your time? Go find the guy who says…
“I’ve been with a lot of great women. I had a lot to learn. But I feel ready. I feel I’ve finally reached that right time.”
This begs the question, “What about women who say they’ve never met the right one”?
Commitment phobia isn’t gender specific. I recently met a woman in her forties who’d been engaged (and broke it off) three times. Runaway bride syndrome is common among non-committal women who play the “I’m just not sure he’s the right one” card.
Or, they could be like me: A masochist who loves non-committal men that will never make it as far as an engagement. And then she wonders why she’s still single…
Let’s Talk About Sex!
Um…if it’s within the first few phone calls or dates…let’s NOT!
I find the topic rolls around to sex most often when online dating. It’s common for a man to start discussing sex on the very first phone call. One very handsome gentleman from a popular dating website told me he could make me orgasm in ways I’d never experienced. The things he could teach me…I found out all about these things on our first (and only) phone call. He had pretty much the same dialogue with two of my girlfriends who were also on the dating site. One of my friends bit…and I’m sure when she met him in person, he did too.
Another internet rendezvous led me to a gorgeous young doctor who said he didn’t have time to meet women. On our first (and only) call he asked if I ever have sex with a man on the first date. I responded in the negative.
“But what if you’re head over heels for the guy? What if the chemistry is amazing? Wouldn’t you have sex with me?”
“Sure,” I said. “But not on the first date.”
“Oh,” he says. “Well, I don’t have time for that.”
A few weeks ago, I Skyped with a man from a dating site. Why not Skype as a first phone call?
Here’s why not: Not only can they bring up sex, but they can also take off their clothes when they’re on a webcam.
First, he asked if I preferred to be submissive or dominant. He had already removed his shirt (because he was hot, he said) and so I had full view of his naked torso (which I did not mind). He proceeded to tell me that because I didn’t want to get punched in the face and spit on during sex, I was repressed. As he told me this, he took off his briefs. Yes, he was webcaming, naked.
Ladies, this is a red flag. I don’t think I need to explain why.
I Know It’s Only Been Three Weeks, But I LOVE YOU
Babygirl, please don’t fall for this. He thinks he loves you, but he does not love you. He loves the idea of you, the idea of being in love with you. Real love…that comes with a bit more time and understanding.
What you have on your hands is an extreme man, one who may just end up hating you as easily as he claims to love you. You’ll have a whirlwind romance, that’s for sure, but if you’re looking for lasting love, you aren’t going to find it with this one. He’s going to move on to the next love fix and leave you with a migraine. As fast as he’s fallen in love, is as fast as he is going to leave.
I Would Never Date a Woman My Age
I once dated an actor 15 years my senior. He was smokin’ with a great bod, and the age difference didn’t bother me. We were in a play together and two of our castmates were coupled up as well—a hot 25-year-old boy with an even hotter 42-year-old woman who had the best body I’d ever seen, before or since.
The man I was dating made the comment, “I can’t believe he’s dating her. She’s old.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked. “She’s the same age as you!”
“I don’t date women my age,” he said. “That’s gross.”
“But she has a better body than I do. She’s gorgeous!”
“Yeah? Well, someday I’m gonna be old too…and you’re already there. You’re not going to be able to trade up forever, not on an actor’s salary. Good luck, buddy.”
If you’re a younger girl dating an older man who doesn’t date women his age, I’d be wary. He’s basically telling you that you aren’t safe with him. That as your skin starts to sink in (because it will, eventually), his love for you will peter out…and he will leave you for an even younger version. He’s more immature than you are, and that’s never going to change.
I Get Scrubbed and Spray-tanned Every Week
This is the type of guy who puts the capital “M” in “Metrosexual.” No man should have more beauty rituals than you do. Any man who takes the time once a week to get a scrubdown by another woman and then put a sock on his dick and get spray-tanned is weird and not to be trusted. That’s one big red flag for narcissism.
I’m Late Again…
A man who is habitually late, be it to pick you up for a date or to return your phone call, does not have a problem with time-management. He doesn’t have ADD either. He is unable to prioritize you into his life. His time and his schedule are more important than honoring the commitments he’s made to you. He likely treats everyone in his life this way. If you’re interested in this man long-term, ask, “Do I really want a man who will be late to our kid’s recitals and games?” Not when there’s a man out there who will be there for you at precisely the right time…I promise!
I Already Have a Child…I See Her Once a Year
Translation: Deadbeat Dad.
A couple of years ago I was chatting it up with a childhood friend. She was telling me how her boyfriend wasn’t going to his daughter’s high school graduation.
I was appalled. “He’s missing his child’s graduation?!”
“Well, yeah…he doesn’t have any money to fly to Colorado.”
How often does he see her?”
“Like, once a year,” she said.
“Well, maybe don’t have a kid with this man,” I cautioned. “If he can’t attend the graduation of the child he already has, that’s a bad sign.”
She laughed. “It’s ironic you said that, because I was calling to tell you I’m pregnant!”
A year and a half later and the baby is wonderful. The daddy is gone…and it’s for the best. Only date a man who has a child he rarely sees if you do not plan on having any children of your own.
There are so many red flags… from the man who accuses you of having a lesbian affair with your best friend …to the man who cries during Hallmark commercials…(and let’s not forget the man who makes kissey faces at you whenever you try to share your opinion) there just doesn’t seem to be an end to the wacky ways of men.
There is one red flag you can count on, and that’s your intuition. Maybe…just maybe…you aren’t crazy, you aren’t insecure, you aren’t melodramatic. It’s just your gut telling you, “No way, princess! Run away, run away, run away…”