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Steph Barnes
September 26, 2017 7:02 am

Navigating the many (manyhighs and lows of dating can be overwhelming. It’s complicated enough trying to figure out all the signs — when to ask someone out, when to sleep with them for the first time, when they’re just not that into you. Then throw in the deal-breakers and red flags your friends or online quizzes tell you to watch out for, and it’s enough to make anyone choose a life of solitude and cats.

But if cats aren’t your thing, and you *are* willing to put yourself out there to potentially find your soulmate, there are a few things to think about.

Red flags can show up at any point in a relationship. Some come during that very first date, while others don’t show their face until six months in. However, not all red flags are created equal. Some aren’t even really red but more a subtle shade of pink. We’ll call them pink flags — those issues that make you stop and think but are ultimately nothing to worry about.

1They’re still living at home.

Living at home doesn’t come with the same tinge of shame it used to — or at least it shouldn’t. The recession might be over, but if your potential beau still lives at home in order to save some money, this shouldn’t cause you to reconsider moving forward with them. Sure, date nights might be limited to your place, but it’s all for the greater good. Now if they live at home, depend solely on their parents’ income, and act like an entitled ass, then that’s your red flag right there.

2They have too many friends of the opposite sex.

If your potential partner has a lot of friends of the opposite sex (or same sex, depending on preferences) this isn’t a red flag. This could actually be a good thing — it means your person values people beyond what they offer sexually. If these platonic friendships make you insecure, though, then the issue might be yours and not theirs.

3They’re not on social media, like, at all!

These days, we’re so caught up with technology and sharing our every thought with strangers on the internet that meeting someone who really isn’t into social media seems, well, suspicious. But it shouldn’t be. If we can pull ourselves away from our timelines long enough, we’ll realize this is perfectly normal. Maybe your new love is just super productive. It honestly might be a good thing.

4They’re unemployed.

Times are hard, and people go through professional (and personal) ups and downs every day. If the person you have your eye on is currently unemployed, you really shouldn’t be too quick to judge. Consider the fact that they might be having a tough time finding work, or they might be dealing with something bigger. That said, if they are completely content with their unemployment, aren’t looking for a job, and have no good reason for being a bum, then you should run.

5They have a terrible relationship with their family.

We know family is important, but if your person doesn’t have the best relationship with theirs, don’t pack your bags just yet. As important as they are, our families can also be toxic and overbearing. It might be worth hanging around long enough for your beau to trust you enough to share that part of their lives with you. Then you can at least make an informed decision.

6They don’t text back immediately.

Despite what all the #relationshipgoals tell us, you don’t need to constantly be texting your partner throughout the day, and they don’t have to immediately respond to every emoji or Beyoncé gif. They’re probably busy at work or something. Chill. BUT if they only text you after the sun goes down the ever-romantic “You up?” that’s is a red flag.

7They don’t *always* pick up the tab.

As progressive as we’re (slowly) becoming as a society, many people still cling to the idea of the guy paying for dates. If you’re serious about this dude, and you plan on staying together for the foreseeable future, then you have to consider — that’s a lot of dinners and movies and concerts to pay for. Your person not *always* paying isn’t really a red flag, but if they NEVER pay for anything, or even offer to pay, then you might have an issue.

8There are passwords on all their devices.

We know, we know, they must be hiding something, right? Wrong. Some people value privacy a little more than others, but that doesn’t mean they’re hiding the secret location of buried bodies or the sexy text messages from other lovers. A password is totally fine. We all have some harmless but embarrassing photos and group chat threads we’d rather not have people scrolling through. Now, if they demand all your passwords but refuse to reciprocate, then you should leave.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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