Scrolling this morning I came across an article on dating red flags on the Guardian. That should have been my first clue that this wasn’t really for me. I’m not their target audience. I’m always there to support helping people learn signs for escaping fuckbois and wastemen but, are we abusing the term red flags? Are false red flags keeping you single? Based on this article of 56 dating red flags I would say bloody hell yes. We have taken the idea of red flags and diluted its meaning. Now it’s just annoyances and foibles. Stop the nonsense.
Red flags and green flags
Red flags are signs that all is not well at the mill. It’s something that will help inform you and your gut instinct that this person is either not right for you or a risk to dating pools generally. And we need them. Like not being nice to waiters makes no sense. They’re just a rude person and not very pleasant to be around. I get it. But not liking the food? I’m sorry if the food is subpar best they tell you than pretend that it’s great. Not liking the food is likely to be a green flag especially if you both didn’t love it. Masterchef critic nobody needs but if I didn’t enjoy it then you’ll know about it. The waiter won’t.
Hard red flags
Hard red flags are things that you can’t live with. Someone being late on a date isn’t the issue. Someone being dismissive or ignoring the fact that they’re late is worrisome but if you tell them that it bothers you and they apologise and don’t do it again what’s the issue? As a Black woman AND someone who has to deal with London traffic and transport links I allow 15 minutes as acceptable. An hour with no comms is a hard no but lateness isn’t what I’d deem a red flag. The aforementioned article just wreaks of privilege.
Too easily offended?
Not everything has to offend you to your dating core. Some things are just done without people thinking about how they may be perceived by someone else. I’m all for someone pouring us more wine or water if the glasses are looking kind of empty. Sometimes people will assume that doing something for you such as ordering or pouring wine is the polite thing to do. It’s always best to ask first but the assumption that you would grab your purse and run is a bit OTT.
‘Orders Water’ is not a red flag.
So I don’t get this one. Some people like water. They don’t want to drink anything else. If they ONLY order water and no food then sure, that’s troubling as how could you possibly split the bill but jeez. I would argue that it’s a red flag to alcoholics but most people wouldn’t care about this one.
Splitting the bill
I’m all for splitting the bill 50/50 and not talking about it. But not because I think if someone pays that makes them somewhat beholden to getting a 2nd date? And 50/50 is cool as long as they’re not an alcoholic top shelfer and you stuck to one gin and tonic.
What this article lacks is any level of adult communication with a date. It assumes that everyone is playing by the same rule book and knows all of the same social cues. They don’t. They’re all single and trying to navigate dating with as little collateral damage as possible. So maybe chill on the precious princess thing and just tell someone that you would rather pour your own wine or order for yourself. Find your own red flags and don’t take yourself so bloody seriously on the first date. Let’s stop misusing red flags and grow up a little.
© Chelsea Black® 2022