Online dating is about as risky as going to a restaurant without consulting Google first – if you’re lucky, the red flags will start waving by the time you’ve ordered your first drink and you can make your escape. If not, you’re going to be stuck with some questionable leftovers.
Fortunately, many prospective dates will wave their red flags proudly right in their Tinder & Grindr profiles and save you the trouble of a bad review. I recently consulted a group of friends to discuss their vetting process, and here’s why, no matter how good the menu looks, we pass the dutchie to the left-hand side:
1. You work hard and play hard. I don’t even know what this means, but I suspect it’s used as a foreshadowing mechanism so I’m not surprised if you stand me up for “a work thing.”
2. You like to laugh, you like to have fun, and you’re laid back. Methinks thou doth protest too much.
3. Your hobbies include working out, your favorite hotspot is the gym, and four of your photos are abs down. I get it, you’re fit. That’s great but I’m not interested in spending our first date comparing heart rates over a bottle of Gatorade.
4. The last thing you read was a dirty magazine. The last thing I read was a box of Mini Wheats but that’s between me and me. If you haven’t learned how to tell a little white lie by now you’re not ready for a real relationship.
5. Your bathroom mirror is responsible for all of your profile pictures. I’m not sure whether I’m more concerned that you appear to be a loner or that your smartphone doesn’t have a front-facing camera.
6. You don’t want drama. Liar.
7. On Grindr, you describe yourself as "masc" and when I creeped your Twitter, all I saw were vague Lady Gaga lyrics. #reductive
8. You can’t spell. This is me just being judgmental.
My friends and I have undoubtedly saved some time by recognizing these red flags, although we likely have missed out on some good stories. Whether or not you’ve ever screened a date online first, there are always red flags in any method of dating. What are your major red flags?