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10 Red Flags on the First 3 Dates

Sometimes you won’t see a red flag on the first date. Both singles are on their best behavior and the date is just great. But, by date 3, you can generally see if there are some issues that will be future date breakers. After over 25+ years as a dating coach and providing online dating services, you’d be surprised by what pops on dates 2 and 3.

Here’s 10 to pay attention to:

1. Right person, Wrong time Darn it, it happens! You may have met the right man---but he just finished a long divorce or is recovering from being widowed. She may be the right woman---but she’s stressed with a new job, caring for an ailing parent, or just had a major event in her life such as moving or a death. Six months later this person might be the “one”, but they are not the “right one now”.

2. No follow through

Haven’t we all had that first date where we just clicked and made plans for a second date? Then…. nothing. You don’t hear from her for weeks; when you do, it’s a lame excuse. Or you made plans for a game of tennis and an hour before he cancels---with no reason. Consistency builds trust and trust builds a relationship.

3. No questions You’re both attracted to each other---and all he does is talk, talk, talk. About himself. His work. His golf game. Asks you no questions. Let’s say this occurred on Date #1. Date #2 begins in the same fashion. What would I advise? Graciously cut into the conversation with a “Wow, Michael, I feel like I know so much about you. Ok, so what would you like to know about me? Fire away”. If he doesn’t get the hint, adios.

4. Venting Oh, what fun is this. Major sign of negativity and who needs this? Whether she’s venting about online dating (run), her son’s college tuition and how the ex pays nothing, the ex, the weather---well, she is showing her true colors. Maybe she’s having a bad day. Nope, that’s just an excuse. Don’t we all want positivity in our lives? If this is the beginning of a potential relationship, just imagine how much worse it will get. I don’t care how good looking she (or he) is!

5. Distracted No eye contact. Playing with her cell phone. Looking around the room. Looking at his watch. Asking you to repeat a question. I could go on and on with this one.

6. Avoiding You are on a date and they are evasive about basic questions like what they do professionally, family, where they live. Now, I don’t mean you should be asking super personal questions like “When was you last relationship” or “Are you looking for a long-term relationship” as those are inappropriate for the first 1, 2 dates. I’m thinking right now of some of my clients that are in long-term relationships---the first few dates were common interests, current events, travel, etc.

7. Constant texting Lara, a 45-year-old client of mine, really liked Chris after the first two dates. But then he began texting constantly—every few hours. As an ER doc, it annoyed her. She told him please no texting during the day. You know his response? “I miss you”. Needy, I daresay and she correctly moved on---and is dating happily a “normal” texter!

8. Hot and Cold One moment warm, the next they’ve forgotten about you, seemingly.

9. Can’t plan anything a. Two facets to this one---great first date. Then endless texting and he/she can’t plan anything because of a bunch of insipid excuses—work’s really busy, I have a seminar this weekend, my friend is in town, I’ll get back to you. This is not what you want---so don’t put up with this but move on. b. It’s the 2020’s. To be fair, it’s up to both people to come up with fun dating ideas. He might suggest bike riding---as my client Hunter did on his date on Saturday---they rode over 14 bridges in NYC and had a blast. His date suggested a trivia night this week. The worst? “What would you like to do” to be answered with “oh, I’m easy—you pick”.

10. Talks about money Rich man, poor man. Either way, boasting of how much you make, your toys, your 5-star vacations---just make you look insecure. On the other hand, I’m underpaid, my wife took all in the divorce, my ex refuses to pay child support---all are inappropriate and very good signals to move on.

Need dating advice? It’s what I do and love—let’s chat and see if I can be of help. Online dating is super busy post-Labor Day through December 15! If not now, when?


Andrea McGinty Dating Coach/Dating and Relationship Strategist 702-494-7344 (I’m on the East Coast for time zones) Founder, Founder, It’s Just Lunch in 1991 (sold)

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