Collage by Danielle Moalem, Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images


69 Dating Red Flags To Watch Out For

We’re supposed to learn from our mistakes, right?

by Beca Grimm

Every single one of us has a 100 percent failure rate with past relationships—depressing to ponder, but that’s why they’re the past. My friend and I joked when he got engaged that he had “won dating” and, come his wedding, will embark on “the unlimited date.” Although personal definitions for dating victories may vary (as they should), there’s a fairly universal understanding of failure: continuing to entertain the idea of dating/sleeping with ding-dongs.

To help save my fellow women future grief, I developed a list of warning signs that should be heeded for the red flags that they are. There’s 69 of them, in fact, so maybe consider this the Summer of 69 Red Flags—and heed them well. Please note that I use heteronormative pronouns only because of my experience as a woman whose dating history entails 99.9 percent dudes. 

So go ahead, familiarize yourself with the following personality attributes, and should you bear witness to any of them, in the words of high priest of dating and everything that is done well Ghostface Killah, “Oh shit, yo, yo, run!” 

1) Looking for “a partner in crime”

2) Has visited a developing country and has the bracelet to prove it

3) Signs Square receipts on an iPad with a smiley face instead of letters 

4) Assumes "Jeezy" is a nickname for Kanye West

5) Wore fashion-y sweatpants "for a joke" for two hours

6) Signs you up for his label’s/zine’s/DIY venue’s/booking company’s weekly e-blasts without asking

7) Increasingly strokes his beard with each drink after he's on his third

8) Asks about your tattoos, but shows you his before you can answer. His are related to The X-Files, Blade Runner, or John Cage by the way.

9) Amazon Primes his rolling papers

10) Two hours after the last set, DMs to say he saw you at the show 

11) Watches two of your Instagram stories before responding to a text

12) Instead of a driving courtesy wave, opts for the peace sign

13) Stores a spare SodaStream bottle in his truck

14) Prefers Waze to Google Maps

15) Is happy to explain any David Foster Wallace book to you, if you have the time

16) Has to occasionally visit the desert/mountains/ocean to “recharge”

17) Opens Gchat conversations with Jay Z lyrics, sans context

18) Wants to take you to New Orleans

19) Studied in London for a semester a decade ago but still slips, every so often referencing his “flat”

20) Adorns his bedroom walls with green paint, a portrait of Princess Di in her red power suit, and nothing else

21) Sends Snapchats of the children he teaches piano practicing C Major

22) Doesn’t want to be "That Guy"

23) Keeps an auspicious fortune cookie fortune in a visible place in his wallet

24) Carries extra maté in his messenger bag; do you want some?

25) Eager to give categorically medium-good head for about three minutes while moaning a whole bunch then missionary with equal bunches of eye contact

26) Shops Sydney Hale candles, befriends the sales girl at the local boutique who sells them, and reads her blog

27) Stacks matches from The Johnson’s by the toilet

28) Suggests splitting the guacamole on the tab—actually? You know what? He’s got this one. Now you just owe him next time ;)))

29) Uses Pinterest only via the app and exclusively in public

30) Has Catholic guilt, which is why he can’t do a third date and feels compelled to tell you all about why via text immediately after the second

31) Lives in a studio with three or more houseplants seemingly solely as a backdrop for Instagramming rare vinyl

32) Spins a monthly ~all-vinyl~ DJ residency at a hotel bar. This month it’s 1970s Persian neo-soul night!!

33) “That’s cool you do comedy. I’ve thought about being a comedian."

34) Talks about getting a cat for a full calendar year before making concrete plans to get one—in three months

35) One of his first three substantial crushes was on Winnie Cooper

36) Plays live music for yoga classes led by women he never hooked up with, he promises

37) Posts Instagram stories of himself cooking Blue Apron meals

38) Wants to cook you vegan tacos

39) Sports any variation of faux or real animal pelts on his king-sized bed

40) Calls himself old-school in his views re: making/receiving phone calls, cuffing jeans, literally anything

41) Will indulge a request for a freestyle. It will last at minimum 90 seconds

42) Double spaces between sentences

43) Goes to the movies alone, but makes sure everyone knows

44) Says “y’all” yet has never lived in the South

45) Currently or has ever played bass

46) Requests a specific hot sauce by brand—oh, y’all don’t carry that? Never mind, he’s good

47) Has a go-to karaoke song that is B-52s

48) Enjoyed middle school or has an REI co-op membership

49) Extremely smug about preferring tea over coffee

50) Refuses to get verified on Twitter, but considers personally faving a tweet A Huge Deal

51) Knows the early morning crew at HomeState by name

52) Substitutes having a personality with hating The Beatles

53) Single-syllable middle names

54) Wants to discuss how to buy correct headphones

55) Refuses to use deodorant because of chemicals; cigarettes are different

56) Keeps palo santo in his car cup holder

57) Sits incredibly far from the steering wheel

58) Calls a brewery “chill”

59) Suggests you bike to the Cloisters as a date

60) Insists on using Japanese brand condoms

61) Had a Really Important Phase with Blood on the Tracks that doesn’t appear to have passed or been a Phase

62) Calls it “cannabis” or offers unsolicited neck massages because “touch is healing”

63) Participates in more than three ongoing group messages

64) Owns a dog named Lucy, Ollie, Bailey, Zoe, Bella, or anything else that points to joint custody with an ex

65) Absolutely never closes kitchen cabinets or drawers

66) Texts you to look at the moon right now

67) Leos

68) Ryan Adams fans

69) Ryan Adams himself