Do you ever start seeing someone new and you get excited because they seem really great, only to realize a few dates in that they’re actually not that great after all? In fact…they’re kinda crappy?

Dating in today’s modern world can certainly be a challenge and that’s why this week, I’m directly responding to one of our lovely (but frustrated) community members who wrote in asking how to break the pattern and confusion of not-so-great dates.

So if you’ve found yourself swooning over prince charming only to realize he’s just another frog after all… this one’s for you.

In today’s episode, I’m giving you eight really solid warning signs for dating, that if you see…you should NOT ignore.

I want to help you avoid wasting your time on an incompatible partner by being mindful and aware of warning signs that are revealed early on. In the video, I also give you language to help you set healthy boundaries early on in dating, so be sure to watch!


  • Wants to be sexual too soon. I’m usually against promiscuity while dating when trying to have a long-term relationship, not because I’m anti-sex, but because sex complicates the getting to know each other process. I say at least a four-date rule before sex. Unless your goal is sex, which is different than wanting a long-term relationship. So no sexting with someone you barely know and don’t have sex too early. If they insist on either of these too early on, that’s a clear red flag.
  • Doesn’t keep their word. Words and actions being aligned is a good sign of a person’s ability to follow through. Be aware if a potential partner’s words indicate one thing but their behavior reveals an entirely different agenda. This is a big, fat red flag! If someone says they’ll call you on Friday, but then you get a text on Monday that says, ”How was your weekend?” don’t let that slide.
  • Runs hot and cold (especially in the communication department!). Sometimes they’re all in with their communication: texting, calling, etc. and sometimes they disappear. To me, this speaks to some kind of ambivalence. They say they’ll call you tomorrow and they don’t. You don’t want to start a long-term relationship with someone who is ambivalent about you or who has intimacy issues. You can get a decent indication of a person from communication style even before you meet. Clear, concise and consistent communication is good.
  • Rude to people in the service industry. When you first start dating someone, it pays to be mindful of their behavior. Pay attention to how they interact with you and others. Perhaps the most revealing tell of all is how they treat a waitress or cab driver. (My mom was a waitress so anyone who was rude to service industry folks was OUT!) Is their tone condescending or dismissive? This tells you so much about who they are as a person.
  • Lacking meaningful long-term relationships. Take note of the non-romantic relationships your dating partner has in their life. The ability to maintain meaningful relationships and connections over time says a lot about a person. If they have no long-term relationships or if they aren’t close to their family, perhaps you should pause to find out why. Keep in mind, there are exceptions to this. Some people have really toxic families, so there’s a valid reason for them not to be in touch, but that wouldn’t preclude them from having other long-term relationships.
  • Blames others. Look out for someone who’s telling you about things they’re dissatisfied with in their life, but they’re blaming everyone else for it. Their boss, their parents, the barista at their coffee shop that morning, etc. Pay special attention if you’re with someone who’s talking badly about their ex! There’s nothing wrong with talking about past relationships, but it’s possible (and healthy) to do so without blaming anyone. If this person is constantly playing the blame game, this tells you that they don’t take responsibility for their own life or their own choices…and you don’t want that.
  • Bad Listener. Are they really listening to what you’re saying or do they consistently seem to be looking for a way to bring the conversation back to themselves? A bad listener could be any of the following: a wait-to-talker; someone who talks about themselves most of the time; or someone who does a lot of bragging, always trying to impress you with their special-ness. If they either don’t ask you any questions about yourself or they ask you questions, but they don’t actually wait to hear the answer, that’s a red flag. Sometimes it’s difficult to know if someone is a good listener on a first date because their anxiety could cause them to have word vomit to avoid any awkward pauses. So take note if they became a better listener by the second date.
  • Overly secretive. The beginning of the relationship is all about getting to know the other person and if you feel like within the first few dates the only things he/she tells you about are all superficial, or there’s a lot being left out, that’s a red flag. If you get the feeling that he/she is purposefully withholding information from you for a reason, that could be another red flag. But things can be misinterpreted over texting, so be sure to be clear about your preference of communication. If he’s so private that you feel like you’re prying by asking a question, that might not be someone you want to date. Because how can you get to know him/her if they don’t want to be known?

There is a strategic way to go about finding your right life partner. Mindfully dating is the fastest, most efficient way to do it.

I hope that this episode helped to raise your awareness of the warning signs when it comes to dating. It can be tempting to overlook these warning signs in a new relationship. It feels good to be wanted and to have a special person in your life. But those good feelings can quickly turn painful if you’re with someone that isn’t a real match for you.

Being aware of these dating warning signs will prevent you from wasting precious time in your beautiful, one-of-a-kind life. @terri_cole (Click to Tweet!)

If this added value to your life, please share it with others that could benefit from it as well! You can see my original video and I’ve created a little cheat sheet for you with these warning signs that you can download right here as to help you stay mindful of these red flags on your journey to real, lasting, healthy love.

I want to continue to encourage you to tell me what your biggest love challenges are–from self-love to dating to relationships–because I’m creating content based on what you want to learn from me! If you haven’t joined my Real Love Revolution Facebook Group yet, please do, because I’m bringing back my Wednesday Wisdom sessions. I’ll be going live in the group @ 3PM EST every Wednesday and diving into everything you want to know about so you can create healthy, vibrant, lasting durable love in your life. You can click right here to join me and our Real Love Tribe (12,000 women strong!)– we can’t wait to see you in there!

As always, take care of you.



Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.