I know a lot about partner abuse, first because my former partner was an abuser, and second because I was a litigation paralegal who worked on domestic violence.
In the spirit of forewarned is forearmed, here are ten red flags to watch out for on your first date.
1. They are late for the date, without calling to tell you, or explaining it when they finally show.
A person that acts this way may even argue with you if they are really late as if to prove their time is more important than yours.
2. Their Behavior
This person talks the whole date, even talking over you, and may order for you without asking your preferences. It’s controlling behavior, they already know what’s best for you.
3. Not Actually Present for the Date
This person is on their phone the whole time or spends the whole date looking around to see if there’s something or someone more interesting than you.
4. They are rude to the server.
This person is supposed to be on their best behavior on a first date, aren’t they? When they are rude to or talk down about a server, they are showing you that everyone is beneath them.
5. Aggressively Romantic, AKA ‘Love Bombing'
This person pulls out all the stops to impress you, with flowers, gifts, compliments, as if showing you that they are ‘the one.’ A person like this bends over backwards to show you they can be and should be counted on for the rest of your life. They bring up the future, marriage, where you both will live, work, etc., and some may even star naming the kids. May push for sex.
Run. Run far and fast. They are like a spider with an exceptionally sticky web. Once you are in it may take the equivalent of a flamethrower to get out.
6. They talk obsessively about their ex.
About how the ex was responsible for all the problems, and the reason they broke up. This is a person that life happens to, they take no responsibility.
7. They tease you, in a mean way.
A person like this delivers a series of put-downs to you, 'you’d be cuter if you cut your hair,' 'I really don’t like what you are wearing,' and the killer 'are you sure your need dessert?' When you react to the put-downs they complaint that you are too sensitive, you need to be able to take a joke, or toughen up.
8. They are already jealous.
If your phone rings on the date they demand to know who it is, and if you are seeing someone behind their back. If you smile at the server, they want to know when you were last intimate with them. They make unreasonable demands of your time, now and in the future.
9. They seem bored.
An off-shoot of number three, they either don’t talk or don’t respond to questions, they keep looking at their phone or watch, and they do a lot of deep sighs. As if it’s your fault you can’t hold their attention.
10. They can’t accept anyone’s opinion other than their own.
No one’s opinion of anything is as right as theirs. On anything at all, politics, football, your hopes and dreams, you going to college and where. The pattern of your dishes, the way you fill your pantry. Don’t let this person in, they believe you exist only as an extension of themselves.
Hopefully, these Red Flags with help you to stop a bad situation before it gets to be permanent. Not that marriage or a partnership needs to stay permanent, but these folks will continue to harass you even when they’ve moved on to someone else.