5 Red Flags when dating

5 Red Flags when dating. Dating is tough. Let’s not rush into anything, especially if you see number 3. If so, you should run.

Being single at 46 presents its own unique challenges. But thankfully it comes with a secret weapon – the ability to not get too emotionally invested too soon. Furthermore, I think it’s true what they say: “Experience is the best teacher.” At least in my case. Hoorary for accumulating wisdom!

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So, in that sense, I am grateful for the painful relationships, their toxic ways and/or their plain incompatibilities. We’ve all gone through one or two of these types, am I right?

Thankfully however, this accumulation of heartache has made me a master red-flag detector. And because of it, I have dodged a bullet or two over the last few years. See, when you you’re finally wise enough to know what you need, avoiding incompatible people is WAAAY easier. With all that said, today I will share my wisdom on what can land us in the lives of those who aren’t good for us,

  • Loneliness. Besides loneliness being a killer (1), it also clouds our judgment and makes us ignore the alarm bells – no matter how loud they are ringing. Have you ever been on a date where your angst climbed as the date progressed? Then it dawned on you that your core values don’t align with the person sitting across from you? Additionally, have you found yourself saying, “Wow, they aren’t what I think I want, but they like hiking SOOO….” If your list of cons is waay longer than the pros, time to bid them a good night and file the date under “I’ve learned something tonight”. Let’s be honest: feeling lonely can make us desperate or at very least, make us more willing to compromise our values. Maybe the quote below will help:

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“I’d rather be alone and be on my own, than be in a relationship and suffer the sting of being lonely under the same roof”.

Jonathan Arenburg – The Road To Mental Wellness
Front and back cover of the road to mental wellness - 8 sings your relationship is hurting your mental health.
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What we often overlook in the heat of the moment is that committing to someone is a long term, emotional investment. Do you really want to rush into something where your entire being is yelling “RUN!”?

What’s worse is, down the road, you’re both likely to check out of the relationship. Hence, lonely when you are with someone. .

Fear of dying alone.

Closely related to loneliness; the only difference here is that some are very cognizant of their mortality, therefore, they “settle.” In my view, this is still a shame because one is choosing a life of potential misery so they will have someone to take care of them in the end. If this is you, personally, I think your worth way more than that? Don’t settle!

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Low Self-Esteem

Like that of learning from your less-than-perfect relations, one can choose someone based on low self-esteem. “I’m not good enough to find better than what I’ve always known.” or “He or she is way out of my league.” Negative self-talk and self-worth can force you in a perpetual game of “same relationship, just a different face.” In other words, you gravitate toward similar people. The bossy type, for example.

You find them really attractive.

While we don’t often think of attractive people as mean or manipulative, they are only human. So, it’s easy to only see the “hot” guy or gal in front of you. However, if they happen to be narcissistic, for example, the partnership will be hell. Therefore, it’s super important to learn what red flags people exhibit early on. My advice? See attraction as an added bonus.

5 Red Flags when dating

First off, it has to be said that some people are so charming and so kind that, in the beginning, you may see nothing but green flags. Scary, I know; nonetheless, risk is essential in the game of love. So, put yourself out there. However, there are some ways to tell. Below are some red flags I always look out for.

1 It all starts with a feeling.

It may be cliche but listen to your gut! If the bells ring a bit, try a second date, but if they get louder or are deafening – bail like you were on the Titanic! One night of misery can tell you a lot.

2 Are the differences too numerous?

New research calls in to question the old notion that, “opposites attract”. (2). In fact, those with similar interests tend to stay together longer. If, for example, she likes hiking, running, and going to the gym – and he prefers video games and golf, it can drive a wedge between them. How? Well, simply spending less time together can make people drift apart. Basically, the differences were so vast that the two of them mutually friend-zoned one another. Whereas, having mutually enjoyable interests, enhances the fun a couple has. Essentially, the couple that plays together, stays together. If 99% of the conversation you have with a date goes in the opposing direction, it’s worth asking yourself “Can I deal with our differences in the long run?”

3 It’s everyone else’s fault.

If your date has no fault in any of their lives’ confrontations, this is a HUGE red flag. If they say things like “I disowned all my friends,” it’s more likely than not that they were the issue. And while you should keep your exes to a minimum on the date, if you noticed when your date does bring them up, they are the villains – like all of them, wish them well. One who never accepts responsibility for their part in relationships, will likely be toxic. (Think potential narcissist).

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While I know it may seem unfair to not give a person a chance, if there is a potential that the person you are on a date with has a Dark trait personality, RUN. They will make your life hell. 100% guaranteed. So, please, educate yourself on what to look for.

4 Dominating the conversation.

While I know some people are easily animated and talk a lot, there are others who are forceful. For example, I once went out on a date with someone who challenged my views on a subject before I really had time to answer their questions. A huge red flag because they obviously thought my position was wrong, and later told me so. Therefore, I had to ask myself “Can I see myself being with someone who dominates the conversation and forces their view upon me?” Nope, not for me.

Remember, when searching for someone, you need to think long-term, not with your lonely heart. In a nutshell, they only care about their side of the story. Keep in mind this is different than interrupting, at least in the normal sense. So, for example, if they say something like “Well, don’t you think it’s true?” just as they sense opposition to their view – then run. Dominating is not a partnership…… remember this!


5 Don’t compromise on your dealbreakers.

Dealbreakers are those in which a person sets in place for things that they have little tolerance for. So, let’s take smoking for example. If you are allergic and just can’t, then don’t. Your health matters.

These are 5 Red Flags when dating, but there are many more. So, if it doesn’t feel right, then proceed with caution.


 More reflags to keep an eye out for

To conclude, you need to identify your own red flags first. If, for example, you are lonely, keep this in mind when you’re out with someone new. In other words, don’t let your loneliness cloud your intuition.

Besides, in the dating world, clearer heads really do prevail. Good luck!

5 Red Flags when dating – copyright 2022

Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Reginald-Nixon Arenburg (Born January 14, 1976) is a Canadian mental health blogger, speaker, and published author. Retired from the fire service and long-term care fields, he has written and self-published an autobiographical account of his life-long battle with anxiety, depression and more recently, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Titled, The Road To Mental Wellness, he wrote it for what he calls “therapeutic release.” He published it in hopes it would help others going through similar mental health conditions. The sales of The Road To Mental Wellness have been steady selling over 300 copies since its release on October 10, 2021(World Mental Health Day). Arenburg has also been involved in a collaborative publication Called Lemonade Stand Volume III, a book featuring 20 authors who bravely tell their stories of PTSD. All authors where from the military and or emergency services. Published by Joshua Rivedal and Kathleen Myers for the i’Mpossible project, a mental health advocacy organization. Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health podcasts including The Depression Files, A New Dawn, and The Above Ground Podcast Arenburg has also consulted with the Government of Nova Scotia and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, the Honorable Brian Comer and Candidates for the New Democratic Party of Canada, on improving the mental health care system in Canada. Additionally, Jonathan was recognized in The Nova Scotia Legislature by the Honorable, Chris Palmer, Kings-North MLA, for his Book, The Road To Mental Wellness, his fight to make the mental health care system better. In addition, Chis acknowledged the support he gives to others.

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