14 Online Dating Red Flags You Should Never Ignore

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14 Online Dating Red Flags You Should Never Ignore

When you're looking for a relationship, whether it's through online dating or meeting people out in the world, it's important that you're smart when it comes to recognizing red flags.

Dating can be fun and relaxing, and many online dating sites make it easy to meet plenty of people that you'll spark with instantly. But there's also a dark side to finding someone new.

There are red flags that you need to know from the start and should never ignore them once you see them.

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Healthy, natural dating can feel effortless. It may bring up feelings of vulnerability, but ideally, both people involved are on the same page when it comes to showing up and making an effort.

If you want to find lasting love and a healthy relationship, making sure you avoid people who won't work for you is definitely a big part of the search for love.

Here are 14 online dating red flags you should never ignore.

1. They display narcissistic tendencies.

Narcissistic abuse starts extremely subtle, but when it blows up, it can be a nightmare you didn’t see coming.

If your potential date is displaying these behaviors, you need to watch out, because they may be narcissists.

Narcissists often have an over-exaggerated sense of self-importance or an inclination to lie. They may start small, to see what they can get away with, but the lies get bigger as time passes.

If you call them out on this behavior, they deny reality, which can be infuriating and often makes you second-guess yourself.

Also be wary of anyone who exhibits an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others.

The same is true if they seem to struggle with receiving criticism and easily become impatient or belittle others in order to make themselves appear superior.

These are only a few major red flags of narcissism… If you believe you're in a conversation with someone like this, you may want to investigate further signs of narcissistic personalities.

2. They avoid meeting you IRL.

If they aren’t jumping up and down to meet you right away, or at least taking action and responsive to the notion, they're probably doing a lot of mindless scrolling and may not be earnestly searching for a relationship.

It may also mean they aren’t really interested, and that’s OK! Catch the next person who is, and spend your time and energy on people who are just as eager to meet you as you are to meet them.

3. They want to "Netflix and chill" on the first date.

This is a clear indication that they're looking for a hookup, not a relationship.

This doesn’t mean they are an awful person; they just aren’t looking for anything serious.

If that’s what you need at that moment too, go for it, but don’t have any long-term expectations of this person.

4. They cancel plans last minute.

Things happen… Sometimes you have to cancel plans.

More often than not, however, the last-minute flake is someone who's habitually inconsiderate to other people. Your time and energy deserve respect.

Whether this person is conscious or unconscious that their canceling at the last minute is problematic, it’s not OK.

Wait for the person who doesn’t let anything get in the way of seeing you!

5. Their dating profile is "blank."

If you come across a profile with zero information or a one-liner, don’t waste your time.

Blank profiles often suggest a person isn't looking for something serious and didn’t bother to make an effort.

Do you want this person planning your dates? Your anniversaries? Important life events? Your birthday?

Blank profiles may indicate the person may be confused about what they want. If you're looking for a serious committed relationship, it might be best to move on.

RELATED: 5 Disastrous (But Totally Avoidable) Dating Profile Mistakes

6. They hide their social media.

Use your best judgment. If you want to see his or her social media, ask and observe their response.

If someone isn’t sharing their social media, they may have a significant other. Unfortunately, this is all too common in the online dating world.

7. They rush into a relationship too quickly.

Getting too eager too quickly in a relationship is an online dating red flag.

If you feel like the person is racing into at the speed of light, they may not be coming from an authentic or grounded place. This person could be desperate to settle down with the first person who will take them, or a way to get over an ex.

While there can be an inner knowing when you’ve met someone special, it doesn’t mean moving fast into commitment.

8. They impulsively sext.

If their opening line is an inappropriate picture or a request for one, don’t waste your time. This is fine if you just want casual fun, but if you're looking for a relationship, this isn’t it.

If someone is asking a stranger for explicit photos, that's a huge red flag.

Sexting can be a fun way to spice it up when you're in a more exclusive relationship with someone. Save it for someone who’s earned it!

9. They want to talk about sex before even meeting you.

This is awfully presumptuous and a problematic byproduct of the modern-day "hookup culture." 

At best, it’s a sign of lacking emotional maturity and is certainly a red flag.

10. They talk about their ex too much.

If they talk about their ex on the first few dates, especially the very first, most likely they're not over them!

They may not want to be with that person any longer, but the cord hasn’t been cut.

There are still emotions to process, and it can be painful for you if get involved with someone who's not over their ex.

11. They pop in and out of your life.

When someone you've been dating goes MIA, it feels like crap… But eventually, you’ll forget about them if it happens early enough.

However, if they are disappearing and reappearing for differing and extended amounts of time, this isn’t a healthy sign. It's called "breadcrumbing," and it's a sign that they're stringing you along while they wait for someone else.

Of course, there are exceptions, and people do go through major life crises that may cause them to pull away from dating altogether for a time. Use your best judgment, though.

12. They only have photos that are hard to see.

If you can barely see their face because the picture is too small, blurry, or overpowered by sunglasses, this is a sign that they may not be truthful about their identity or are hiding something.

13. They act "mysterious."

This online dating red flag is a big one. When someone reveals little about themselves while encouraging you to reveal your inner world, they may be gathering information based on strange intentions.

The process of getting to know someone should never be one-sided.

Some people are guarded and share information slowly, but if they have a fortress up, little information in their bio, and aren’t willing to share information, that’s an online dating red flag.

14. They're controlling.

Relationships always involve negotiations, even in the earliest stages. But if someone is giving you a demanding list of what they want or expect, that could indicate more dangerous forms of control in the future.

Refusing to acknowledge your needs during the initial dating process is an indication that they aren’t looking for a relationship, but rather someone to control.

When it comes to online dating read the flags, trust your gut.

If a situation feels sketchy, it probably is. If you aren’t sure if you're being intuitive or paranoid, request to meet at a certain place or take whatever other measures you need to in order to feel safe.

Your gut is a brain of its own and the chemicals that allow you to process certain emotions and feel things are actually created in your gut before they're sent to your head, so trust it!

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Jade Jacqueline Neuwirth is a Certified Life Coach, CPCC, and Master Neurolinguistic Programming Practitioner, MNLP. She can help you overcome obstacles and create the life you know you can have and if you're ready for this kind of loving support that is practical no-nonsense and yet deeply holistic and authentic, she’s your coach. Schedule your free coaching session.

This article was originally published at Jacqueline Neuwirth. Reprinted with permission from the author.