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Common Dating Red Flags

What Are The Most Common Dating Red Flags?

Dating can be a minefield. Whether you’re on a first date or already in a committed relationship, there are many reasons that we can be completely put off by a person.

From piercings to bad breath and smoking, everyone has their own turn-offs, or ‘icks’ as they’re often known today. Some are more generally accepted, while others are very particular. 

To find out which are the most common dating red flags, Haypp examined various Reddit threads discussing early dating dealbreakers. We collated over 13,000 comments and counted the number of times each of  the topics was mentioned in various subreddits related to ‘dating dealbreakers’, with comments from both people in relationships and in the early stages of dating.

You’ve Got to be Committed

Cheating is the biggest dealbreaker for people in relationships, for obvious reasons. From the Reddit pages analysed, 218 comments mentioned words related to cheating and unfaithfulness. 

This number also includes Redditors mentioning polyamory and casual or open relationships, which is a dealbreaker for most people on a first date who are looking for something serious.

However, an increasing number of people are open to being ‘friends with benefits’, with such arrangements becoming more mainstream in the modern world. A recent study found that over a quarter of Brits would consider an open relationship (27%). 
In a similar vein to cheating, lying was fourth in the list with 183 mentions. Whether someone’s sneaking around or making things up, no one likes to be lied to. If you’re looking for something casual, be clear about it from the start. 

Have Some Social Etiquette

Polite, easy-going people are much more likely to have success when dating, since ‘rude’ and ‘bad-tempered’ were the second and third most common red flags, being mentioned 196 and 192 times respectively. 

Many other examples of this were highlighted by Redditors. At eighth in the list ‘arriving to the date late’ had 136 mentions, and ‘spending too much time on their phone’ was in the top 20 with 36 mentions.

Many of us are guilty of doing this in social situations. Brits check their phones every 12 minutes on average according to a 2021 survey by Ofcom. 

It’s fine to have a quick check now and then but, when on a date, looking at your smartphone several times or for a long period of time suggests you’re not interested in the conversation and comes across as rude. 

Take Care of Yourself

Having unhealthy habits can be a big turn-off, highlighted by smokers and drug users both featuring in the top 10 at 138 and 140 mentions each. ‘Drinks too much’ was just below in 11th with 103 mentions. 

The number of smokers in the UK has fallen significantly in recent years, and if the person you’re seeing has an issue with your smoking they can always offer support in your efforts to quit. Haypp has a helpful guide on the best ways to quit smoking for some tips on where to get started. 

Interestingly, vaping was down at 26th in the list with only six mentions. Vaping is sometimes used as an alternative to smoking and appears to be less of a red flag for daters, perhaps because it shows the person is making efforts to quit. 

Hygiene also seems to be important for many, with 160 comments mentioning body odour and five mentioning bad breath.

Good Communication is a Must

Being able to talk to each other easily is understandably important. ‘Bad at communication’ was 10th in the list, being mentioned 123 times. Communication is a broad term, but for dating red flags it seems to include confidence and emotional intelligence.

Many people say that confidence is an attractive personality trait, particularly for first impressions. 132 comments mentioned issues related to the person not engaging or being shy on the date. 

Being able to consider and read the other person’s emotions is also important for communication on a date. Being self-centered, for example, talking about themselves too much, had 40 mentions. Clearly, letting the other person speak and listening to them goes a long way.

Overall, while some people have a few niche ‘icks’ that put them off the person they’re dating, the most common red flags come down to a few basic things that most of us can agree on. 

If someone is looking for a more casual or polyamorous relationship, they should be up front about this from the get-go, since most people going on a date would be looking for something serious.

Common dealbreakers also include a lack of social standards that would put anyone off that person, regardless of if they’re on a date or not. When meeting someone you like, turn up on time, be polite and listen to what they say. Otherwise, you can’t expect to get a second date.

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