"If we're really paying attention, a man will often give himself away from the get-go," explains Meagan McCrary, coauthor of the new book The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags. Nervousness, excitement, or the hopes of hitting it off with a new man might prompt some of us to overlook obvious deal breakers, which will only lead to wasting our time on a second date, or worse — setting out on a doomed relationship.
These initial warning signs can range from a hint of a drinking problem, hang-ups over a past relationship, or a general lack of manners. Here are the first-date red flags Meagan thinks all women should keep on their radar:
- He invites you over. "Third or fourth date, maybe," Meagan allows, "but when a guy invites you over to 'watch a movie' or have drinks at his place for your very first date, his motives are anything but pure."
- He drinks too much. "Why guys think it's OK to drink excessively on any date is beyond us," she says. "We don't care if he needs alcohol to loosen up or if downing an entire bottle of wine over appetizers is his normal dining routine, dating a lush is not a road you want to go down."
- He falls asleep. "Enough said."
- He talks about his ex. "Whether he's bashing her, admiring her or comparing you to her, if he's talking about her, she's on his mind. And if he's thinking about her, he shouldn't be on a date with you."
- He texts at the table. "Aside from this just being poor etiquette, by not giving you his undivided attention — on date one — he's clearly indicating that a. you are not, and most likely never will be, a priority, and b. he's not concerned with truly getting to know you."
- He's shady about his job. "If a man can't tell you what he does for a living," Meagan warns, "then you're better off not getting involved."
- He tells you he's not looking for a relationship. "This is the number one red flag women ignore," she explains. "Perhaps it's the excitement of the first date, or the fact that he seems great and totally into you, but when a man says he doesn't want a girlfriend no amount of time, sex or snuggling is going to change the fact that he will never be your boyfriend."
Meagan says watching out for these simple signs can help single women navigate their love lives with less pain and more ease. Have you ever come across these red flags? Which would you classify as the worst?
For more dating and relationship advice, check out The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags.