4. I'm the Boss of You
It's okay to state some basic requirements, such as whether you're willing to date someone who smokes or who has children. What's not okay is to expect potential suitors to conform to a long list of demands. If you see a profile that specifies a required height/weight, salary, or supermodel looks, or includes domineering phrases like "I need …" or "I won't tolerate …," consider whether you could ever live up to this person's impossible standards. Dating is a negotiation, and we don't always get everything we want. Getting involved with someone who's so demanding from the start is sure to end in disappointment. "Nobody gets everything on his or her list," says Heather in San Francisco. "You're not setting a good first impression by acting bossy in your profile."
5. The Silent Treatment
No one expects to meet in person after just a couple of emails, but if you've been corresponding regularly, it's expected that you'll take your relationship offline. If the person doesn't even want to talk on the phone or meet for coffee, it's okay to wonder what his motivations are. He might just be nervous, but he could also be someone other than who he says he is.
6. Offline Outrage
If your first verbal or in-person interaction with a date is a drunk-dial or a booty call, consider that an inauspicious omen. "I exchanged phone numbers with a guy, and when he called me to set up a date, he was drunk," says Lindsay. "I should've taken that as a sign, but I figured it was Friday night, so I shouldn't judge. When we met up in person, he was a [jerk] and kept asking me if I 'liked to party.'" So a good rule of thumb is: if your date is drunk the first time you talk to him on the phone, end it there. Drunk texting nightmare, can I remedy a bad impression?
7. Plans on, Plans Off
A person who constantly makes plans and then cancels them, or who can talk on the phone only at certain times of the day, either has an incredibly demanding job or is not quite as single as she claims. It's sad, but many married people troll dating sites, either looking for some action on the side or just seeking validation. If your date instructs you never to call on evenings and weekends or will call you only from a restricted number, there's a good chance that she's trying to keep you a secret.