Relationship red flags: Identifying warning signs in common dating behaviour
Everyone looks out for warning signs when it comes to dating, but which ones are real omens that the worst is yet to come, and which are behaviours that you should be able to live with? To help straighten things out, we're breaking down your most common dating scenarios to determine which ones are serious red flags, and which are really just minor flaws.
1. You're really digging the new person you've been dating but noticed that they have a bit of a temper, especially when driving. Should this raise a red flag?
We say: YES! Research shows that people drive the way they date. Calm drivers tend to be amiable and patient in their relationships, whereas people with road rage tend to flare up even when they're not behind the wheel. If the new person in your life is angry all the time while driving, be cautious about revving up to a long-term relationship.
2. Your new significant other cheated on their last partner. Should this raise a red flag?
We say: YES! However, it would be wise to learn more about their past. If it's a common occurrence, it's definitely a warning sign and could likely happen to you. If they've been in committed relationships before with no cheating taking place, there may be hope.
3. Your date is friends with all their exes. Should this raise a red flag?
We say: NO! But it is worth investigating. On the surface, it may seem great that they get along with all their exes. However, research shows that it is actually something to be concerned about. So, there are probably some extra questions you'll need to ask yourself (and your partner): How close are they to their exes? Are these relationships a deterrent intended to keep new potential partners away? Do they hope their exes come back into their life?
4. Your new fling trash talks all of their exes. Should this raise a red flag?
We say: YES! This shows a lack of self-awareness and unwillingness to take responsibility for their part in the breakups. If all of their former relationships are categorized as "crazy", avoid him or her. This behaviour could be a sign that they are still bitter and angry — and you could easily become one of the "crazy" exes.
5. They ask how much money you make on the first date. Should this raise a red flag?
We say: YES! While you may think you're doing research as to whether or not your date is in debt, you should NEVER bring this up on a first date — their perception of you will be negative, and they'll think that you're a gold digger. While, an online survey shows that 94% of Canadians believe that managing finances in a relationship is important, asking about annual income the first time you go out with someone is still a no go. Half of those surveyed said they had the financial talk with their partners within 6 months of dating.
6. You notice someone you just started chatting with has A LOT of photos with other potential partners on social media. Should this raise a red flag?
We say: NO! But, again, this one is worth investigating. By having these photos on social media for all to see, it's clear your crush isn't hiding anything. Maybe these individuals are just friends; maybe the pictures were taken at work functions. You should put the photos in context. You'll find out soon enough if they're harmless or a player.
7. Your date confesses that they have been arrested before, but have "completely turned their life around." Should this raise a red flag?
We say: YES! There's a big difference between major and minor crimes. Also, how old were they when this happened? The nature of the crime and when it took place should be taken into consideration when making your decision. But, always be cautious, especially if you weren't set up with this person by anyone you know. Statistics from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre show in that 2014 Canadians were bilked out of almost $14 million through online romance scams! The CAFC also said the number could be even higher, as many cases go unreported because victims are too embarrassed and ashamed to come forward.