What Are Some 'Red Flags' You Ignore While Dating?
Two sets of strangers open up about red flags during dating.
More about this episode
A Conversation on Red Flags
Many people tend to overlook warning signs—or red flags—when they’re dating. According to the Gottman Institute, the top red flags to be aware of are criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling—which is when the person you’re dating appears to not be paying attention to you. Relationship experts say ignoring red flags is common during the early stages of dating. If you’re wrapped up in your feelings or emotions, then your intellectual capacity may be impacted—which contributes to making excuses for your partner’s inappropriate or offensive behavior.
Whether you’re dating or entering a new relationship, experts encourage taking things slow, communicating with each other about upsetting habits and spending some time away from your partner—which helps provide new insight on how healthy or toxic your situation is.
Opinions. We all have them, especially when it comes to love and sex. So what happens when two people who've never met get to share their opinions in an open and honest conversation. Maybe they learn something about the other person and maybe they learn something about themselves.
I'm Dr. Judy and this is “Well, In My Opinion.” Today, we're asking the question, what are some red flags you ignore?
I think everything that I would think about before getting into a serious relationship are red flags that I ignore when I'm first starting to date someone. So like their financial stability, for example. I don't care about a guy's financial stability when I first start to date them. But then if I'm going to enter a serious relationship with someone, then like, I want them to be able to support themselves.
So exhausting to have to worry about someone else on top of yourself. And also if it gets serious enough that you're like thinking of having a family with them one day, you're not like, would I be able to take a month off work to breastfeed? Or are you going to be good?
Exactly. Like, would I have to support both of us? So that's something that's a red flag that, you know, like, I'll go on a date with a guy who's like, "Yeah, so, you know, I just moved to LA. I'm living on my friend's couch. Don't have a job." Like whatever. I'm like, "That's cool, drinks on me!" But it's like, if I were to get serious about them, then it's not a red flag I would ignore.
Oh, a really big red flag that I ignore when I'm first starting to date someone is a codependency in terms of, they don't seem to have a solid group of friends on their own. But when I'm first starting to date someone, it's like, I'm not going to sit there and be like, "So, um, how are your friendships? Do you have any close friends? How often do you see them? Like, what was your relationship like? Did you spend a lot of time with them or did you kind of keep your own life?" So that's a red flag I willingly ignore.
Um, one thing I ignore in the beginning is if someone has a drinking problem, if I'm like, if they have a drinking problem, I'm like, "Well, it's fun right now." And then once I care about that, I'm like, "I think you're going to kill yourself. So we should talk about it."
That's a good one.
And then the other thing I've ignored at the beginning is jealousy. Like, and now I'm like, if someone shows signs of being like having that jealous type, overly jealous, I'm like, Nope. So that's a red flag. I don't ignore anymore. But I used to.
Yeah, it's, I've, that's the one, probably the only red flag that I've never ignored. I do this thing when I first started dating a guy that I'm interested in because I have so close guy friends that have been my best friends for 10 plus years, like since I was a teenager. And I will never sacrifice my friendships with them because of a guy that I'm dating with jealousy or insecurity issues.
So that's one red flag that I immediately pick up on from the beginning, because it's such a huge deal to me. I do the thing every single time that I'm interested in a new person, sometimes it's on the second date, I'm like, "Hey, do you want to stop by, um, you know, to grab a nightcap with some of my friends? They're out at this bar." And I do it on purpose.
You're like, "Are you cool with me having a guy friends?"
Yeah. Like, I'd take them to meet—
That's ridiculous that you even have to do that.
Well, because it's a lot of times it's a huge issue. There are a lot of guys and a lot of girls in the world that don't think that heterosexual male and females can have platonic friendships without one of them wanting to sleep with the other.
It's so naive and I'm immature. So over that shit.
Your red flags might matter faster than you think. Men form a positive or negative opinion about a woman in an average of one hour. If you think that's fast, women only take 15 minutes to form a positive or negative opinion about a man. So, no matter what red flags someone is looking for, all of us form our opinions pretty quickly.
You been through some red flags?
Yes. And I ignore them all the time.
Yeah. I feel like I can change their mind. Like if they're saying I'm not looking for relationship, but I know you are, if you're trying to talk to me.
I think one of the biggest red flags I ignore, and I'm a Leo, so I do get territorial, uh, about people that I really like or I care about. And so, it's hard for me when I see text messages come through or they're talking to other people, but we're not dating yet.
So I got to let those red flags to me go just so I can kind of cultivate the relationship and see where it goes. Cause I don't want to be the person that's jumping on every message or like, who is that? Or, you know, even internally I'm like, okay, if you're that interested in me, you shouldn't even be considering these other people. That's how I really feel because I'm the grand prize for sure. A thousand percent, hands down.
Exactly. And why is your phone chime in this much while we're together.
Mhmm, at 11o'clock.
Exactly. Cause that's booty call time.
Yeah. But I feel like I've had to put those red flags on the back burner just to cultivate the relationship. And until it becomes serious, you know, until we start having these expectations and be like, okay, I want to date you exclusively. Let's not talk to other people and let's give each other that respect. Um, I kind of wait til that period. And that beginning period is… it's tough.
The beginning period is tough because you don't want to seem so eager. Like what are they doing? Where they doing? Who's texting, who's texting? But it's also like, you know, you have this chemistry. So like, what do you do?
You got to keep your cool, cool head. Let them come to you.
But if you're just, you know, unemployed, really not pushing yourself to do what you want to do. Yeah. You can't date me because I'm a hustler.
Listen, the same with me. I go 24/7. I go hard, you know. If there's unemployment, that's not a deal breaker. That's not a huge red flag. It's just, they have to have extreme passion and heart and a drive in what they do. And I can ride with that. That's okay. And, there'll be a test period. Um, then after that it becomes a red flag.
Right? I can't be the only one providing, we got to bring something to the table.
No, listen, we got to be real. We're living in these quarantine streets right now. And there's a lot of unemployment happening. So it's not necessarily a red flag, but you know, when the world gets up back and going, if someone is unemployed, but they have that drive and hustle and heart, then I can ride with that.
Yeah. I don't think being between employed or unemployed is a red flag.
Yeah. In relationships, it's all about working together and you can work together and help each other to get to that.
And listen, there's someone that can be employed and have all the money in the world and treat you like trash and take you down. 1000%. I've been in relationships like that too. And so don't let the money fool you, it's about the heart first.
Hindsight is 2020. And when you analyze a relationship in the rear view mirror, people always identify those red flags so much more clearly, but in the moment it can be tough. Especially in the early stages of dating, you get really wrapped up in those feelings of little highs, you get excited to see the person. And even though you know those red flags intellectually, you're not allowing your emotions to really take it in and you start to make excuses for the person, even though you've been down this path before.
So sometimes it's helpful just to slow it down a little bit, maybe not see each other seven days in a row if you just started dating. Have a few days in between so you have some time to chill, talk to your friends and really get in your right mind.
I'm Dr. Judy and this has been “Well, In My Opinion.”