As if dating in 2023 wasn’t hard enough, with navigating dating apps, emotionally unavailable people, and the lack of courting, here come the toxic dating games people play. When you’re first getting to know someone, you may not be aware of their usual characteristics and behavior, as many tend to present their representative personality to you before showcasing their real one during the dating stage. Whether your potential partner is playing coy with their interest or blatantly ghosting you, there are ways to gauge their integrity, seriousness, and character early on to avoid experiencing emotional pangs and mind control down the road.
Given that no one likes to be played with or have their time wasted, it’s important to be observant during the initial dating stages so that you’ll be able to make an informed decision on if it’s safe for you emotionally to move forward with this person or not. Consider the warning signs below when preparing for future summer trysts or dating potential long-term partners. Happy dating!
Ghosting: This should be a no-brainer, but ghosting doesn’t always include abruptly ending communication with someone without explanation. The act can show up when you expect to go on a date or follow through on previously confirmed plans. If they cancel your plans out of nowhere or don’t pick up the phone/answer your texts when your engagement is near, you should be concerned and choose to confront the behavioral pattern.
Lack of consistency: Nothing is worse than a non-consistent, wishy-washy person who can’t keep commitments or their word. If your crush is starting to show that they aren’t consistent, whether by canceling on dates or with their vision of your relationship, it may be a red flag or dealbreaker.
Slight put-downs: If your boo is always slightly putting you down in public and private, from your appearance to your personality, it may be a sign that they don’t like you for who you are, which can affect your self-esteem and the way you may look at yourself.
Lack of planning: If the person you’re dating doesn’t take the initiative to plan dates, it may be a sign that they aren’t as interested or placing all the responsibility on you to figure it out by yourself – which isn’t fair, and can set a negative precedent down the road, potentially damaging your mental and emotional well-being.
No accountability: If you’re voicing your opinion about their behaviors and actions that you don’t like or didn’t appreciate, and instead of being understanding, they are dismissive without hearing your point of view or able to take accountability, then it may be time for you to rethink dating this individual.
Gaslighting: Pay close attention to see if your potential partner is honest when you confront them on anything, whether it be something they said or did. Being consistently gaslit can alter your mental health and cause unnecessary stress.
Passive-aggressive: As someone who values open and honest communication, I loathe when people are passive-aggressive. According to MayoClinic, Passive-aggressive behavior is a pattern of indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly addressing them, ultimately showing a disconnect between what a person who exhibits passive-aggressive behavior says and what they do.
You can avoid these signs by staying connected to your wants, needs, and desires, listening to your intuition, remaining aware of how an individual makes you feel during the dating process, and of course, not settling.