9 Early Red Flags He's Not Boyfriend Material

Is it just a quirk, or is it a red flag?

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When you meet someone you like, it’s normal to turn a blind eye to certain things, especially if you’re really into them.

Bad fashion choices aren’t exactly a deal-breaker, nor is the terrible cologne your date insists on wearing. But there are some things that shouldn’t be overlooked, like the way they treat the wait staff, or how they talk about their ex.

Most of the time we feel these things instinctively — our guts tense up to let us know something isn’t right. But sometimes we ignore that niggle or make an excuse for it — they’re probably just being short with the waiter because they’re nervous, they’re talking smack about their ex to hide their heartbreak.


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And maybe you’re just looking for flaws in your date because you just got out of a toxic relationship, right? ...Until the behavior amplifies over time and you realize this initial "quirk" was actually a big bright red flag.

Unfortunately, too many women wind up in abusive relationships this way, wondering how they missed the signs.

So to avoid getting in too deep with a toxic partner, here are nine early relationship red flags you need to run away from.

1. They’re possessive.

You haven’t even met them yet, and already your date’s uneasy you’re on Tinder and could potentially be seeing other people.


Run. Run for the hills. This is a very bad sign of things to come.

2. They nitpick your appearance.

If your date is already making negative assessments of your appearance (i.e., “You’d look hot if you lost a few pounds”), you’ve just been given a red flag they’re a toxic partner.

It’s your S.O.’s job to build you up, not knock you down.

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3. They’re rude to the wait staff.

Aggression is never a sexy quality in a potential suitor, and being rude to any wait staff means your date just wants an audience to watch them power play.


A person who is lovely to you and hateful to a waiter is not a nice person.

4. They bad-mouth their ex.

Some relationships end badly and we’ll probably always have negative feelings about that person.

But if your date’s bad-mouthing their ex every chance they get, it’s a good sign they have serious issues.

5. Their last relationship was five minutes ago.

If you go over to your date’s house and it still looks like their ex is living there, this is a major sign they’re in rebound mode and it’s fresh; so fresh, their ex probably doesn’t even know they’ve broken up yet.

6. They get wasted on the date.

A date is like a job interview: you want to make a good impression, so you act like the best version of yourself.


If your date’s idea of showing off their best side is getting wasted and throwing up in the potted plant on the way out of the restaurant, this is a clear sign you could end up with someone with substance abuse problems.

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7. They move way too fast.

You’re on your second date and they’ve already told you how they’re going to plan your honeymoon to the Maldives and want you to meet their mother.

Yes, they’re probably getting excited because you’re a total catch, but the person who is full-on too fast is usually also the quickest to disappear, so watch out.

8. They’re controlling.

It could be as simple as making subtle hints that they prefer when you wear something else or insisting they order your food for you, or as obvious as suggesting you find new friends.


Either way, if you’ve just started dating someone and they’re already trying to make your decisions for you it’s a sure-fire sign they’re a toxic partner.

9. You’re afraid of being yourself around them.

A good relationship should bring out the best version of you. It’s one thing to want to put your best foot forward when you start dating someone, but if you’re afraid to let your date see even a glimpse of the real you, then there must be a reason why.

You never want to lose your identity in a relationship, so stay true to yourself, and walk away. There’s someone out there who will make you feel confident being exactly who you are.

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Peta Serras is a model, founder of Professional Babe, and SheSaid's former dating columnist. Her work has been featured on Marie Claire, Women's Health & Fitness, Good Health, Woman's Day, and more.