Red flags! I know you’ve seen them before! You’ve sensed them, deep in your heart. In the back of your mind. Sometimes you just feel it in your bones!

Lord knows that I have!

You see a guy that is really cute, seems really approachable, has a good head on his shoulders and has a lot going for him, right? So maybe you decide to test him out. You get to know him a little better, and maybe even go out on a date together. Sounds like the normal progression towards a happy and healthy relationship, right?


Sometimes, you might see a little red flag pop up that tells you that something isn’t exactly right here. It might be subtle, and it might NOT be so subtle. Maybe he cringes every time you touch his arm. Maybe he spends the whole night talking about how wonderful his ‘ex’ was. Maybe he flirts with another guy at the bar right in front of you. Or maybe he punches a wall because your reservation was pushed back at the restaurant. Somewhere between a few ‘off colored’ comments, and a lustful grope of your ass without permission…you may suddenly be alerted to the idea that this may not be the guy for you.

But how can you tell ahead of time? For all of our younger Shackers, and some of our older Shackers too, who might be trying out this whole dating thing for the first time…what do you think constitutes as a ‘red flag’ when it comes to finding someone to call your own? Are they possessive? Jealous? Do they suddenly pull out a burnt spoon and a lighter to shoot up with heroin? Hehehe!

When looking for a companion, what would alert you to stay away from certain people before that even becomes a problem that you don’t want to deal with? Let us know down below!

Chances are…if your first date has a guy asking you, “Do you want to see a dead body? I brought condoms!”…you may want to back out of that situation and run for the hills as soon as possible before its too late! Hehehe!


“Oh, there’s a lot. And I guess it depends on whether we’re talking about general bad traits that most people wouldn’t like, or just ones that don’t work for “my type”.

I think arrogance and vanity turn me off quicker than anything else. Those who love themselves to a disgusting degree. Those who think they’re doing you a favour just by being in the same room as them.

Fortunately, I haven’t dated anyone like that. But I did have one friend who thought of himself as a god’s gift to guys and girls (he was bisexual leaning towards females). We were never, and would never have been anything more than friends with benefits.

Red alerts? I can’t remember any particular moments or hints, I think he was just flirting, constantly, with anything that moved. And not just flirting, but flirting in a way that came across as sort of obnoxious. And it got annoying because it was almost constant.
I’ll give you an example. The most extreme case was when I was watching him flirt with my married sister, in front of, not just her husband, but my own folks. You just don’t do that. And I wonder if he could even help himself. He had a problem.

In reality, he wasn’t even that good looking. He was decent, but not hot.
His body was built, though, and the fucker never had to work hard for it. I think he had a naturally high metabolism, so he was always in good shape, with broad shoulders, nice arms and a flat stomach.

He was a good friend, though. One of the few old buds from England I still wonder about, on occasion, when I look back to that time in my life. He was kind, and was good fun to be around, when sex wasn’t on his mind. He’d bend over backward to help you, if you were one of his friends.

But then he ended up serving some time in prison, because he was intimidated into allowing some local, vicious drug dealer to use his house, to stash some of his gear.

And I moved to another country shortly after. And haven’t stayed in touch.

The thing you need to think about is that most people don’t show you who they are on a first date. It’s only when they’re comfortable that they let their guard down.

All those wife beaters, didn’t get their wives by being violent pigs on their first dates.

But if there are things that they can’t even manage to hide on their first dates, ie, maybe they’re a bit of a pig in public — burping/farting/spitting, that kind of thing — then you know it’s probably going to happen even more, once they’re relaxed around you.”

“My experience…

The worst time I had for this sort of thing was 6 or 7 years ago I was dating a woman (yeah ok my own fault for not dating a man lol). the first time we went on a date she seemed really timid and quiet and always reminded me of a librarian.

Anyway on that first date everything went smooth and no real red flags other than when we went to a pub she got a coffee saying she didn’t drink alcohol…..anymore and then started talking about various exe’s.

We met again the next week and more of the same 1 ex did this another ex did that, Then a little of why didn’t drink was revealed she basically said that for a few years she and some friends lived in a house and drank too much to point where she realized she had a problem so she moved back with her parents and sorted herself out.

Date 3 was more of the same but some of her stories didnt quite match things she had said previously, not big things but just enough to start me thinking.

Then over the next few days the texts and calls got more and more frequent to the point that they were pissing me off.

Then one night I was just surfing various sites online when I decided to google her name and was mortified to find a news story about her (same name, same age, same tiny village so definitely her) It covered a criminal trial in which she was accused and found guilty of falsely accusing men of rape! it went on to explain that she was an alcoholic who became obsessed with men and had accused 3 separate men of raping her, all were questioned but none ever charged, it was only after she accused one of them a 2nd time that police became suspicious and questioned her and the truth came out.

She was found guilty and served a year in prison.

Whilst she may have paid her debt to society it wasn’t a past that I could deal with so I broke it off and ceased contact with her.

So I suppose the only thing I would say about red flags is if you have any niggling doubts however small don’t just brush them aside its sometimes worth digging a little deeper to see what turns up.” –Tricky71

“There is one red flag that I have never been good at determining how genuine it is but have gotten lucky to spot on occasion. Expressed homophobia. We’ve all seen this and it often hurts…but is it genuine or put on as a smokescreen? That’s the problem with this one.

A good example I can think of was a crush I had on this kid Billy when I was about 14. (Name May or may not be made up, you decide.) Billy moves into our neighborhood and he was a dream to look at. Beautifully bronze-tanned, slim build, soft wavy sun-bleached blond hair, ice blue eyes… OMG thinking about this kid now STILL gives me a shiver. I strategically wormed my way into his daily routine and immediately tried to get a fix on his interests. Like me he loved the beach, his main transportation was his bike or his skateboard just like me, he loved hockey and loved to play street hockey…We had so much in common that I found myself seriously falling in lust with him. I soon decided to test the water a bit and see if he was game.

This one day I was watching TV and he came in wearing the usual summer uniform, his yellow “short” bathing suit and ratty sneakers; nothing more. Anyway, I was sitting in a chair near the door and he put his foot on it, giving me a very good view of one of his “boys”. I pretended not to see at first so I could burn the image into my mind before deciding to go for broke. I looked at him and shook my head “You come over to show off?” I laughed and motioned to his shorts. He looked down, and then really looked and realized how exposed he was. This beautiful boy, this kid who for the past couple of months had become my right-hand man and had so much in common with me looked back at me and with a dead straight expression replied with “What, are you a f*ck*ng homo?” in a very disgusted tone.

The worst part of it all is never being sure if this is an actual red flag or simply overdoing it with the “No Homo” mask that some of us wore when we weren’t ready to come out to the world. That overcompensation that develops when some of us think that it “shows” somehow. Overreaction or not, when you are just as young and just as unsure of how you will be taken, the only way to take it is at face value. I sighed and said “Jesus dude, I was joking.” and got up and left him in my house. I took a walk to the store and got a drink, then went down to the tide wall and watched the ocean for an hour or so and decided that I no longer wanted to spend any time with someone who could be that mean at the drop of a hat. He took the hint and went home. He tried a few times to pretend nothing had happened but, it just hurt to think that he had the potential to hate me because I liked him. A few months later when winter was in full swing, his family moved away. Never knew where he went and he never knew any more about what happened that day other than I saw an ugly side of him that I wasn’t willing to tolerate…no matter how much else we had in common. Until that moment, ugly was miles away from him and then suddenly, it was all I could see in him. I didn’t know it until years later but, I may have been lucky to recognize that as a red flag. If not and he really was that homophobic, back in the 80s he would have been able to cause me some serious grief with others in the neighborhood.

It turns out, because I was so blinded by his beauty that I didn’t see, or chose not to see that he was just a jerk to anyone who he didn’t see as cool as himself. We all have the ability to ignore red flags when we want to. Always trust that gut feeling I suppose.” –JeffsFort

“Well, I’ve talked about my first kiss a few times before. The boy whom I shared it with was a classmate of mine in the 7th Grade. We kissed and held hands a few times during school (in private corners of the building), but he never offered to invite me to his house, and if I asked him over to mine, he’d give some pathetic excuse about why he couldn’t. I realized, after a few weeks of running around in circles, that he wasn’t willing to publicly come out to his family or friends, hence the need to insulate his time with me from the rest of his life. We drifted apart and stopped speaking outside of Science class, and I never had any more classes with him after that. Bottom line is: If you love someone, or you think you love someone, but they’re reluctant to let you be a part of their life, they might not want the same things that you do. You might as well whack your head on a rock. If I could go back, I’d ask him about how “serious” we were, or what he wanted to get out of our relationship. That’s why I believe it’s important to communicate your intentions clearly.” –Page Scrawler

“I’m actually prettty ok with a lot of ‘first date’ jitters when it comes to getting to know someone. I can totally understand that first impressions aren’t always the end all, be all, of who a person is. And sometimes we get nervous. It happpens.

However…that doesn’t excuse everything.

I’ll be honest…if I go out to dinner or for drinks with somebody…I don’t care HOW gorgeous you are, if you’re rude to the waiter or the bartender…that’s a huge red flag to me. Right off the bat, that’s unacceptable. I will never be comfortable with other people being treated like servants. So, if you’re that guy/girl…that’s going to be MAJOR points off of your score card for the evening. That just tells me that you don’t have much of a conscience about how you treat people. It shows a sense of entitlement, and that doesn’t sit well with me at all.

Another red flag? If we’re having a conversation, and you’re not listening to me…just talking over me and trying to make everything all about you 100% of the time without even involving me in the dialogue…another red flag. I enjoy talking with other people. But I do not enjoy being talked ‘TO’ as though my involvement isn’t necessary. If you’ve got an hour long speech to make about your life and problems and accomplishments or whatever? Record it in an ebook and email it to me. You don’t care what I have to contribute to the conversation anyway. So why even bother being there? I’m not an emotional info dump. I think a balance is necessary between two people. If I feel like I can mentally ‘check out’ of a conversation…and you’ll just keep talking anyway without even noticing? Then, yep! You’ve made my red alert list. I’m not a therapist. Save your hour long speeches and rants for Facebook. I prefer true interaction.

Other red flags for me? Over the top jealousy…insulting my friends or family members…ultimatums or emotional manipulation of ANY kind…and passive aggressive comments that you KNOW were meant to be an insult, even you pretend they weren’t. Yeah…these are things that don’t just happen every once in a while by mistake. These, in my experience, are learned behaviors. And if it happens once or twice…especially when we’re just getting to know one another for the first time, and we’re on our BEST behavior in order to make a good impression…then yeah. I look for that kind of thing. Because that means I may end up dealing with that for the entire time that we’re together. I don’t do ‘drama queens’, I don’t do ‘poor anger management’, I don’t do ‘I’m staring at the ass of every other cute guy in the room when I think you aren’t looking’, and I don’t do ‘who are you again? I was too busy talking about ME to pay attention.’ That’s just my preference when it comes to a romantic relationship. I meet you half way, you meet me half way. We compromise. Trust me, I will work HARD to be the most romantic boyfriend you’ve ever had…but if you can’t make an effort on your end to do the same…that is not going to work out in the long run.

But, like I said…that’s just me.” –Comicality

If you guys want to add your two cents to any one of the ‘Q & A’ sessions for future issues of Imagine Magazine, we’d LOVE to hear your input and your personal stories on the forum! Feel free to attach your screen name, or do so anonymously! Drop by “The Shack Out Back” forum on the 1st and 15th of every month for a brand new topic of conversation! We look forward to hearing more from you! 🙂


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