The SW Experts | Red Flag Filters: How To Quickly Narrow Down The Dating Pool
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Red Flag Filters: How To Quickly Narrow Down The Dating Pool


In the dynamic world of online dating, you can go from having had one date in the last three months to being booked for ten dates in one single week.  With so many potential suitors, your time becomes a precious commodity, so how do you properly invest your time so that it doesn’t get wasted with the wrong people?

The secret is to properly screen the girl or guy on your first date (or in some cases, before you even meet), by doing your homework.  If you’re looking for a healthy, stable, and long term relationship, look for the following red flags from your date which should make you think twice before you decide to invest more time with them.

1.  Relationship History. 

This is probably the most important intel you’ll need to extract during your interrogation of your date.  And by “interrogation”, we mean casual questioning.  Find out how many girlfriends he’s had, how long his relationships were how some of them ended.  If he has had ten different girlfriends, but none of them ever lasted for more than two months, then that’s a huge red flag and this guy could be a commitment-phobe or have other major personality issues.  While talk of exes should generally be avoided on a first date, asking for some of this information in a casual, non-confrontational way without specifics about one individual is a must.

2.  Mental Illness.

This is a major issue which you need to dig up sooner rather than later, especially as more and more people seem to suffering from everything from depression to being bipolar.  It could spell disaster if you go out on a few too many dates with a guy or girl with issues like this as it can be extremely difficult to break things off with them.  There is no simple way to figure this out quickly. The only way to gauge this one is to observe his or her behavior very carefully and trust your gut on whether something seems “off” about them.

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3.  Commitment-Phobia.

Online dating has made people increasingly disposable, so for those that are afraid of commitment, it is easier than ever for them to run from you to the next one.  Ask your date about things that involve commitment such as what was his longest relationship, how many different places has he lived in the last few years, and how many jobs he’s had.  Some commitment-phobes don’t even have cell phones!  If they can’t make commitments to a cell phone company, forget about getting them to commit to you.  After you’re emotionally invested in them, they’ll disappear on you and you’ll have wasted countless hours and days.

4.  Family Relations.

You will find that there is a big correlation between people that are close with their family and the quality of relationship that they will have with others.  Sure, we can’t choose our family and stuff happens.  But if your date doesn’t talk to a single member of his family, or extended family for that matter, it could be a big red flag that he didn’t black-ball them, but they black-balled him.  Tread carefully.

Understand that these are just some of the major items to screen before or during your date.  Clearing your schedule, getting dressed up, and driving somewhere is no fun if it’s with someone you’ll have no future with whatsoever.  Looking for these facets however, will help you save lots of time and energy in your search as they are often big indicators of people who are likely to have issues if you go deeper with them.  Other factors that we ourselves consider include the more obvious ones such as if the person as any STDs, drug or substance abuse issues, and prior (or current!) marriages that include children which you will no doubt have to deal with if the relationship progresses.

In reality, there is so much more to finding the right person than just the issues we’ve mentioned above.  You have to make up your own mind about what is important to you – what are you willing to live with, and what are you willing to live without in terms of your potential mate?  Whatever you do, don’t feel sorry for people when dating, and look out for your own well-being first.  And with all of the people out there, don’t feel like you have to sacrifice the things that you want in a mate.  You deserve the best.

Happy dating.