There is no doubt in my mind that TikTok knows I’m single, because every time I scroll through my FYP I get some fed-up woman talking about oddly specific red flags they’ve noticed in men. To be honest, I don’t hate it because I’ve started to regularly think of my own dating turn offs to the point where “red flag” has quite literally become my catchphrase.
Doesn’t like The Simpsons. Red Flag. Has an Android and proud of it. Red flag. Mum still does their washing. Red Flag. Lets birds land on them. Red Flag. Lives south of the Yarra river by choice. Red flag. Says “namaste” and is white. Red flag.
But I’m not the only one, many other people I know have their own specific dating red flags and most are backed by some logic, others not so much.
So what is a red flag? More specifically what is a dating red flag?
They are warning signs that indicate how that person is going to treat you in a relationship. If you start dating someone and they constantly put you down, or seem uninterested – that’s a strong indicator of what’s to come.
In an article published by the Independent, dating psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree, defines a red flag as “something your partner does that indicates a lack of respect, integrity or interest towards the relationship.”
Of course, a lot of the red flags on TikTok are not meant to be taken as gospel. Nothing is black and white, so even if you think someone is showing what you deem is a warning sign, there might be more to the situation. But even talking about the term openly means that when some really serious red flags appear, people will know what to look for, avoiding a potentially toxic relationship.
There’s a difference between a serious red flag (e.g. poor communication) and the ones on TikTok (e.g. wears hair in a ponytail), which most of the time are a bit of a joke. But I think the worst part is that these ridiculous red flags don’t just come out of thin air, we all have a story where a guy who wrote “6’0” in his Tinder bio ended up fucking us over.
So I decided to ask my friends and co-workers (both men and women, but mostly women) what some of their oddly specific red flags were, and honestly, some of these are accurate as hell.
(Also: this isn’t a Dolly quiz but if you genuinely tick more than 10 of these please get therapy.)
- Not having a bed frame
- Had Foxtel as a kid
- Prefers Pepsi over Coke
- Has a holiday home
- People who make TV shows their entire personality
- Has an Instagram account for their pet
- Does Instagram lives
- Posts shirtless pics
- Says they are overly competitive about everything in their Hinge bio
- Eight-pack abs. Because dating someone who spends too much time in the gym and eats super carefully is exhausting.
- Goes to a chiropractor
- Sucks food off their own fingers on a first date
- Wears tank tops
- Wears runners with jeans
- Wears skinny jeans in 2021
- No bed covers
- Can’t tell the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’
- Is obsessed with Rick & Morty (and in particular thinks pickle Rick is funny)
- If they have not only seen and loved Fight Club, but also read and loved the book
- Studies or works in finance
- Wears footy shorts in public
- Asks for your Snap instead of your number
- Writing they “have a good dick” in their dating profile
- Says they would “look after you” because they earn a six figure salary
- Says “my mum will love you”
- Uses the laughing face or monkey over eyes emoji
- When they have “straight man” in their Tinder profile
- If they’re a member of the police force or army
- When their follower account is over 2500
- Likes Jordan Peterson
- If they follow over 300 more people than they are following
- Shorts that go over their knees
I miss the days when I used to pretend Edward Cullen was my boyfriend and didn’t have to deal with the reality of dating. In hindsight, Edward actually possessed a lot of red flags, but that’s a story for another day.