OPINION | The worst red flags to see on a first date

Josh Harling, a freshman exercise science major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Bekah Phippen, a sophomore environmental science major from Layton, struggled through an awkward first date. A first date is always an important aspect of getting to know someone, but sometimes it doesn’t always go as you’d expect. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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A first date can be thrilling and exciting but can also be nerve-wracking and sometimes filled with awkward silence. It’s also an opportunity to find some potential red flags in a relationship.

A red flag is something a person does that causes concern. It can be something that bothers you or shows your date may not be a good fit for you. Red flags are problems that should be heavily considered; an unfixable red flag that goes against your values is a reason to reconsider your interest in someone.

So, what kind of red flags should you watch out for on a first date?


Respect is important in a relationship. A good date respects your thoughts and emotions. Criticizing your morals or values is a huge red flag and a good sign to reconsider going on a second date.

The way your date treats you and your boundaries is a good indicator of how much they respect you. An example of not respecting your boundaries would be if your date kisses you without asking if it would be OK. A good partner is not pushy with the things they want.

Inappropriate remarks

Crossing the line with an inappropriate joke or conversation is a huge red flag.

You should say something if your date makes a remark that makes you uncomfortable. If they don’t respect that and stop, they may not be the one.

Knowing the person you’re with and respecting them enough to speak maturely and politely is a good sign. Being able to read the room is also a good quality for a date to have because it shows respect and common decency.

Past relationships

Mentioning an ex once is okay, but continuously talking about them is a cause for concern.

No one wants to be on a first date and only hear about someone’s ex. It makes the date awkward and can ruin the mood. Prior relationships can be an awkward topic, and the way your date talks about them says a lot. Either they are not over them or are holding onto a lot of animosity toward that person.

Your date should be focused on you, not anyone else. A date is a time to get to know your partner and see if you are compatible.


A self-centered person can make a date feel flat and boring. Your date only focusing on themselves can take the spark out of your conversations. Self-centered people tend to focus on themselves and lose the opportunity to connect with their date.

A first date is for getting to know each other, not talking about yourself the whole night. If they can’t take the time to talk about you and your interests, then they may not care. A good date doesn’t leave you out of the conversation.


Being on their phone while you’re out on a date can be a red flag. No good conversation can be had when your date is giving their phone more attention than you. Having their head buried in a game or on social media is a turn-off. A good date puts the phone away and focuses on getting to know you.

If any of these red flags occur on a first date, you shouldn’t walk out; you should respectfully finish the date. Distance yourself from them and look for someone who makes you feel important and like your time matters to them.

Everyone has their own set of morals and values as well as what they are looking for in a partner, but these red flags can give you an awareness of what to watch for on a first date.

If you ever experience these red flags, take into consideration the important qualities you want in a person. Then, go from there and consider if your date is really the one for you.