By Dawn Papandrea
They say first impressions are everything, but even if things go well on a first date, you’ll want to keep your guard up and look for the red flags that might present themselves when he’s not necessarily on his best first-date behavior. Here are some to watch for…
He’s a mama’s boy. It’s important that a guy loves and respects his mother because it says a lot about how he treats all women, but if she’s still folding his underwear, that could spell a future mother-in-law nightmare for you. If she calls or texts him more than once while you’re out, if his Facebook profile is full of “my mom rocks” posts, or if he lets slip that his mom still takes care of his basic chores or has to “approve” of you, he might be a mama’s boy.
He’s hung up on his ex. Rebound relationships have a bad wrap, but they’re not always doomed. Unless… he keeps bringing up his ex, making comparisons with you, or refuses to go to certain restaurants or events because she might be there (or they went once and it would dredge up old memories). Also, if they’re “still friends” as in they speak on the phone every day, if his FB says “it’s complicated,” or her name is tattooed on him, get out while you still can.
He’s stalker material. It’s so awesome when a date goes well and he’s not afraid to follow up the next day with a sweet call or text. But tread lightly if he starts showing up at your office, gets annoyed if you don’t respond to him in three minutes, or assumes that you’re dating exclusively with no discussion whatsoever. Adoration is one thing, but perceived ownership is dangerous territory.
He likes to party too much. You may have danced the night away or gone club hopping and had a spectacular time, but getting up for work the next day was a challenge for you because it’s not how you normally roll. If he seems to be a “regular” on the club scene — as in he takes you in through back entrances and everyone knows his name — or worse, you get the feeling that he’s high on more than just your charming company, proceed with caution. You’re all for being with a fun, cool guy, but not at the expense of “real life” responsibilities.
He thinks he’s all that. Confidence is sexy, there’s no doubt about it. But he shouldn’t be more into his own looks than in yours. There’s a fine line between being well-groomed and fit and looking like a “Jersey Shore” cast wannabe. If you catch him looking at his reflection more than once during your date, sneak away — he probably won’t notice you’re gone anyway.
The dating scene can be a blast, but finding the “one” isn’t as simple as hitting it off on the first date. As you get to know each other, see if any of these red flags trigger your brain, and trust your instincts. You’re better off finding someone more compatible than trying to navigate or change behavior that doesn’t jive with your vision of an ideal mate.