5 Big First Date Red Flags, According To 'Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness — EXCLUSIVE
First dates are 100 percent near the top of my list for weirdest experiences ever. I mean, just take a second to think about the concept objectively: You meet up with a stranger. You both talk about yourselves until you're either obsessed with each other, sick of each other, or you notice some big first date red flags and hightail it outta there. Then, you just repeat the same cycle with the same person or with a new person, until you decide you want to repeat it with the same person forever or no one ever again. That's how it goes. I don't make the rules.
But how do you spot any glaring first date red flags early on so you don't waste your time on a rando who doesn't deserve it? Well, you turn to the only trustworthy, pure, reliable source of information left in the world: the cast of Netflix's Queer Eye. Yes, believe it or not, aside from providing people with the makeover of their dreams, changing lives, and continuing to show the world that love is the most important thing there ever was, Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness is a low-key dating expert. Granted, I'm the only one who's given him that title as of yet, but I'm the one writing this article, so I get the final say.
Anyway, in all his expertise, Van Ness revealed to Elite Daily some of his biggest red flags on a first date that would make a second date a total no-go. Go ahead and write these down. You'll want to remember them on your next first date.
1. Ex Talk
Van Ness says "bringing up your exes" is a pretty big red flag to him on a first date, as I'm pretty sure it is for most people. Having a first date casually mention their ex in passing doesn't necessarily mean they're hung up on their ex. However, a first date who goes in on their ex right off the bat could be a signal that there is a part of that relationship they're still holding on to.
Relationship expert Emily Holmes Hahn told Elite Daily that the third date is generally the sweet spot for breaching the topic of exes with someone you're dating. "I think the ex talk is something that should happen sooner rather than later in a new relationship," she said. "It's a totally false stereotype to say that bringing up your ex means you’re not over them."
2. Too Sexual, Too Soon
Turns out, there are a lot of topics you shouldn't bring up on a first date, aside from your ex, and anything too X-rated is one of them, according to Van Ness. "Talking about dick pics and/or too much hardcore, overt sexual stuff right away is weird," he says.
If going ham on sexually-explicit topics on a first date (or the first few dates) is uncomfortable for you, it's totally OK for you to enforce that boundary early on. And if your date crosses it anyway? Well, that's an even bigger red flag. "Having boundaries isn’t something you're doing to someone else, it’s something you're doing for you," communications coach Lesli Doares told Elite Daily. "Think about [your boundaries] like locking your front door or your car. They are for your protection. Remembering this when you are in an uncomfortable situation is really important."
3. Being Too Pushy For A Second Date
While it's generally a good sign if you and your date show mutual interest in planning a second date, "obsessing about a second thing" before the first date is over can err on the side of pushy, especially if one of you isn't sure how you feel about the other yet. "[If] they’re really trying to nail you down into some stuff on the first date, I think [that's] really weird," says Van Ness.
Remember that talk about boundaries we just had? Yeah, if you're clearly not feeling a second outing, but your date is pressuring you into one, it's OK for you to let them know you're not feeling it. If they still push the issue at that point, they've crossed one of your boundaries, and that is grounds for immediate rejection from your life.
4. Bashing Past Romances
"Talking really negatively about past relationships and really going in on it is a really big red flag," says Van Ness. And he's not wrong. If someone spends the time they should be spending getting to know you on bashing past relationships and lovers, who's to say they're actually serious about you or that they won't speak about you in the same way, should things not work out?
Licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson echoed those sentiments in an interview with Elite Daily. "I think the most important thing to look out for is the way your partner talks about their ex," she said. "While we all have a relationship in our past that we are really glad we are out of, it is important to notice our partner being disrespectful or derogatory towards their former partners."
5. Mentioning Current Romances
Yes, yes, casual dating is totally fine. And if you're on a first date with someone, there's a huge chance you or your date are going on first dates (or second or third dates) with other people, too. However, "casually referring to being with someone else currently" in the middle of your first date is a serious no-go for Van Ness, and I absolutely agree. The last time I checked, the other person you're currently dating is not currently on this date, so why bring them up? If your date can't spend the entirety of your date focused on getting to know you, rather than comparing you to the other people they might be seeing, they're simply not worth your time.
While every red flag about a person won't necessarily materialize on the very first date — come on, we're all on our best behavior at that point — keep these questionable red flags in mind on the first date and beyond. If something makes you uncomfortable, say so. Because (can you believe???) your comfort and boundaries should be your top priorities on your date and always.
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