What to Watch Out For When You Start Dating Someone

sea-sunset-beach-coupleYou’ve made it past date three and you’re already imagining yourself in a wedding dress or writing down a proposal script? Hold your horses! You should still be looking out for potential bad signs at this stage. It’s quite easy to pretend you’re a completely different person for a short period of time. I’m sure, you’ve had the experience when after a glass of wine or two you were behaving like a much more confident version of yourself? Early dating is a little bit like that. Putting your best foot forward is natural but it also can be quite deceptive.

First of all, you should make sure that the person you’re seeing is actually available to fully pursue a relationship with you. A friend of mine met a guy once. He lived in a different city and visited hers every second week for work. He was always at his best behavior when he was with her and kept in touch when he was away. One day on a weird hunch she Facebook stalked him and it turned out that he was friends with a married man and a father looking like his identical twin… Of course, it wasn’t a twin but her man was a cheating bastard. I’m not saying that you should ask people to provide you with a certificate of no impediment before you get involved but listen to your intuition. If he’s covering his phone, always having conversations away from you, blocking your access to his social media, something may be up. Another signs such as never meeting his friends or not being seen out with you, may be a sign of him being involved with someone else too. He doesn’t necessarily have to be married, it may be that he has a girlfriend, a number of back pocket girls waiting for him or is just a player and wants to keep his options open. Guys, times are changing, females can be sailors too!

The problem of unavailability isn’t limited to the marital status only. Commitment issues and other emotional issues can be a similar killer for your happily ever after. The bad signs for commitment issues are: making little to no effort, spending little time with you, making things about sex only, lack of affection, not communicating with you apart from when you’re meeting up, keeping you away from a personal life in all possible ways, openly flirting with other women, telling you about other women to make you jealous, talking a lot but not following up… The list is long but I think we’ve covered the basis. It is similarly problematic if someone is a walking disaster and doesn’t keep their shit together. If you’re just after a break-up and so is your love interest, chances are you’re bonding over a broken heart. You can have a rebound but emotional pain isn’t exactly a recommended recipe for mature, long-term love. Someone who’s telling you long teary stories about their ex-spouse or childhood traumas on the first few dates is oversharing. Think about it: doesn’t this person have friends to tell them about such issues? They don’t even know you yet! Don’t fool yourself, thinking that you have something special because of it. Clearly their problems are still very fresh and/or undealt with if they can’t stop themselves from talking about them when still trying to impress someone. Sharing builds intimacy, oversharing a dependency. Don’t forget about it.

You should keep your eyes open and follow-up also on the things that strike you as weird. One swallow doesn’t make a summer so don’t obsess about something that’s only been mentioned in passing. At the same time, if you hear about something repeatedly, it may be worth investigating. A good example is my ex mentioning his mother 21 times on date one that I conveniently ignored. The more someone mentions something, the more he or she is attached to it. People may be downplaying their tendencies to impress someone they like, especially if that person doesn’t share their views (pretending that someone is less religious than they are in reality is just one example). However, it’s usually easy to pick up on such things. In other words, it’s up to you to hear exactly what you hear, when someone tells you about how your Zodiac signs are compatible. On the receiving end, don’t minimize the issues you care about. Maybe your collection of healing crystals will freak someone out but isn’t it easier to deal with it early, rather than spend eternity hiding your treasures from your spouse? Instead just imagine how many crystals you could have with a partner who’s also into these things!

To sum up, in the early stages of dating you should look out for the signs of your partner not being able to commit to you, being an emotional mess and a needy person, as well as for any worrying anomalies in what they’re saying. Last tip: As sex can complicate things and cloud your judgment, rather keep your legs together/your pickle outside of the jar, till you make up your mind about someone.

What are the things you think people should watch out for in the early stages of dating? Any stories about how you ignored a worrying signal? The comments section is all yours!




  1. Great tips. I think discovering someone’s Attachment style is also of profound importance: are they Avoidant, Anxious, Secure, or a combination? I blogged about some of that here:
    I definitely agree that trying to take a step back and observe their behaviour and clues, rather than just rushing off into endorphin-fuelled fantasy-land is a smart thing to practise, whether male or female. I’ll be interested in what others comment : ) Cheers G

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank your for the comment, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the read. I’ll check your post out. I actually have been planning to write about clinginess (anxious attachment type) for a long time.

      Yes, I keep repeating it and it still causes outrage in some people, as if using reason was completely against the rules of love and not actually in its best interest.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm. I think it’s difficult to take a step back when you finally find someone you click with. From my experience, many of us who’ve scoured the Tinderverse and been on so many god awful dates that we’ve lost count are simply disillusioned with it all. So when someone comes along with a little bit of sparkle it’s easy to get carried away. With the bad dates it’s easy to criticize and analyse but with the good ones you are often too busy enjoying things to notice potential red flags.

    I guess that’s why it’s also good to have friends to help you debrief and discuss these things – sometimes a neutral-ish outside perspective is helpful.Maybe they see changes (both positive and negative) in us that we are too involved to notice ourselves. That said, as much good advice as I may get from people I often still end up doing what I want when there are butterflies are involved.

    It’s also true, that sometimes we run into things and purposely ignore red flags in a hope that somehow your feelings for this person and the awesomeness of your relationship will override the severity of the problem.

    Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but it’s also understandable. Maybe with experience though we become better attuned to the warning signs and get better at walking away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we often click with not the right people because of our underlying issues. I, among others, used to obsessively go for mama’s boys, till I’ve figured out the pattern and set my “mama alarm” at 1 mention during the first date 😉 I think it’s a personal thing but honestly I was so tired at some point of emotional drama and related suffering that I promised myself I won’t go for certain things with butterflies or not. My thinking was: there were so many guys in the world, it must have been my problem if I kept choosing the same kind. Because I didn’t have everything right for years, I do have understand people who keep behaving in certain way. At the same time, my empathy is limited as I know we can learn to make better choices. It’s a mad thing to not to change anything and then be surprised the results are the same.

      I don’t think anyone should listen to friends apart from when they’re warning you about something serious. For instance, you may meet a wonderful young man who you end up marrying, who your friends laugh at as he apparently looks like a pirate 😉 Friends can be mean, overprotective or just not well equipped to give you advice, so as you’ve written in one of your post you should know to whom and to what extent you should listen to.

      Liked by 1 person

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