14 Red Flags and Warning Signs You're on a Bad First Date

It’s not always apparent who the person is like on the first date…

…or is it?

There are plenty of red flags that’ll pop up if you’re paying attention. These bad first date signs are like a window to the person’s soul. They’ll have you thinking “Ohhhh boy, this won’t end well”. You want to give them a chance, you really do! But… these signs are just too glaring.

What are they?

1. They showed up late

Sometimes there’s traffic and other times things pop up.


You gotta wonder how committed they are to the date if they’re late on the first one.

If they’re late on the first date, then they’re likely sluggish with other things. This may be a red flag with things like whether they’re chasing goals – if they’re frequently late then they’re probably not aspiring as you’d expected.

2. They’re blissfully unaware of things

Things like:

  • Ordering huge meals
  • Being rude to people
  • Not paying attention

Have you ever done a dinner date where they ordered something stupidly expensive? It’s like, c’mon now.

There’s kind of an unspoken amount we all have in our heads and for some reason, they’re not picking up on it.

This could be a sign they’ll be disagreeable on a lot of things.

Them being rude is a bad sign, too, because who honestly berates someone especially during a date? Plus, if they’re way too zoned into something else as if you’re a third-wheel to their outing.

3. They take out their phone

Look… you can sneak a quick glance at your phone when you go to the bathroom or there’s downtime.


  • Don’t have your phone out
  • Don’t have your phone out
  • Don’t have your phone out

It’s just plain rude.

They’re too caught up in something else, apparently. They’re not respecting your time so why should you respect theirs? It’s time to get outta there.

4. They’re getting too pushy

We’ve all done bad dates. That’s a fact.

The worse kinds are those they’re trying to get you home ASAP.

No thank you.

Them being aggressively pushy is a bit creepy.


They’re probably not listening and engaging during the rest of the first date, anyway. They’ve got one thing on their mind.

5. They go on and on about their ex

Some people get along great with their exes. That’s cool.

But this is a date night… c’mon, really?

You can’t go about talking about your ex or comparing things like a broken record. They’re hung up.

You think they’re that interested or committed in you if they can’t move on with their ex? It’s time to run.

6. You’re just not feelin’ it

That feeling you get when you misjudged them.

They seemed cool when you first started talking.

But now?

They’re a real bore when you’re finally sitting down together.

Or, they’re super nervous or overly brash – not like how you met/know them day-to-day.

This is one of those good dating signs gone bad:

  • At least you can be honest they’re not your type
  • You can stop things now before they feel too serious

Tell them you’re not feeling it. That’s the honest and mature thing to do.

You’ll save everyone a lot of heartache and money by nipping it early versus trying to make something of it.

7. There’s a fight… already

Can’t figure out where to eat?

Arguing about splitting the bill?

Can’t get them to agree on things because they’ve already ghosted you in their head?


There’s really no reason to go a minute further if you have an argument or fight on the first date.

Get out. Get out now.

8. They keep prodding touchy subjects

I’d chalk this up to being unaware, but this needs its own item.

When they go on and on about a subject you’re not comfortable with.

Or worse:

They rag you because something you did or told them.

It’s a bad sign when they’re taking jabs at you. That’s a sign they may be a manipulative type and you don’t want any of that.

9. They’re trying to “game” you

That pick-up artistry crap.

Read up on this if you haven’t because it’s goofy and hilarious.

Basically, they’re trying to “game” you by using pseudo-psychology. They’ll take jabs to get a rise from you or wear something weird. The only thing you probably need to know is that they’re trying to hook up – cause that’s what the “game” is about. That’s manipulative. Have none of that.

10. There’s a lot of silence… like… a lot

It’s okay to have an awkward silence.

We do it because we’re nervous.

But it’s troubling when they’re having trouble holding a conversation.

You ask a generally good question or have a nice comment and they’re like a wall… just empty and not-all-there. That spark isn’t there.

Some people are better talkers online, texting, or over the phone. Can’t fault them for being quiet during the date.

You’ve got to think long-term with this person.

Could you handle them not being vocal about things? What about when things get tough and they shut down? Bad signs.

11. There’s nothing physical going on

You don’t want someone overly aggressive and pushy…

…but you also don’t want a dead fish.

Some physical contact is nice whether it’s something very simple like hand holding or a good-night hug.

Hell, even just brushing up close to one another is all good.

If they’re dodging your embrace then something’s up and it may not be worth going for the follow-up date.

12. They’re really slobbish

It all depends on where you’re going.

You don’t need to get fancy with an arcade date. You don’t even need to be proper for a dinner date if that’s just who you two are.

If they’re showing up stinking, unkempt, and just looking raggedy then they probably don’t think much about the date. They maybe don’t think much about you, either.

Being a slob can also be if they get too sloshed… drinking or doing stuff to the point its embarrassing. Or even if they’re gross when eating or mannerisms which makes you wonder how much they really care for themselves, ya know?

13. They’re boring as hell

Dates are about getting to know one another.

If they’re coming back with lazy answers then it’s like getting a text back saying “k”.

Boring, lame, and going nowhere.

It’s the same if they’re lazy and seem bored with questions they’re asking you.

If they can’t be bothered, then why bother with them?

14. They’re directionless

There are good date questions like:

  • What’s something you’ve always wanted to do?
  • Where do you see yourself in the coming years?
  • What’s something that has you super excited about the future?

You know… those questions that help you see if they’re going the same direction. Or, at least have similar goals you two could work on together.


If they can’t think of answers or hit you back with some semblance of direction then you probably shouldn’t expect much progress if you were dating them.

Add to the Bad Date Signs List!

I’m leaving the comments open if you have any other first date red flags. I could go on-and-on with this list and I’ll probably add to it in time. But, I think this gives more than enough to work with.

Feel free to share a story of a date gone wrong or the bad signs you notice and what you did.

It’s not always apparent who the person is like on the first date… …or is it? There are plenty of red flags that’ll pop up if you’re paying attention. These bad first date signs are like a window to the person’s soul. They’ll have you thinking “Ohhhh boy, this won’t end well”. You want to…