Like Sex with Dr. Jess on FacebookFollow Sex with Dr. Jess on InstagramFollow Sex with Dr. Jess on TwitterSubscribe to Sex with Dr. Jess's channel on YouTubeSubscribe to Sex with Dr. Jess's RSS feed
Sex with Dr. Jess


October 20, 2021

Dating Red Flags

Jess joined Jeff and Carolyn on Global TV’s The Morning Show to talk about red flags and more when it comes to dating. Check out her notes and the video interview below.

A survey of 2000 folks finds that nearly half of men and a quarter of women would break up or end a date early because of their partner’s food habits — even if they have the same annoying habits themselves. But are bad table manners a red flag or, are we being too picky?

Jess, is it fair to end a date early over bad table manners, and are people doing this?

You might be too picky if you walk out over table manners because table manners are highly subjective (culture, age, etc.). I wouldn’t cut someone off right away unless their manners really do offend your sense of identity or if you actually can’t handle it as a sensitive eater.

You mention manners varying by age and culture — what did this survey find in terms of age differences?

  • 61% of Millenials says they’d let the person know (E.G to not chew with their mouth open).
  • 73% of GenZ says they’d ignore it.
  • My experience with Gen Y & boomer daters is that they’re more willing to let little things slide.

52% take issue with slurping, but in some cultures slurping foods are a sign that you’re enjoying it.


If table manners aren’t a red flag, what are some REAL dating red flags, as we see the red flag trend spreading…

The way they talk to a waiter or food runner at a restaurant can be an indication of how they treat folks when they’re in positions of power.

The way they respond when the bill comes can also indicate their intentions; there is nothing wrong with picking up the tab and being treated, but do they expect you to carry them financially date after date, year after year?

Other red flags relate to how they talk about other people (is it all negative?).

  • Do they try to control your behaviour or suggest that you don’t need anyone but them or vice versa (e.g. they only need you) as though they’re creating an insular relationship.
  • Do they show genuine interest in your perspective or is it all about them?

If you run into a red flag, should you just run?

Oftentimes, it’s worth talking about or giving a second or third date a chance. For example, do they talk about themselves and interrupt because they’re nervous on a first date or because they’re self-obsessed. There is no sure-fire sign of good and bad people, and we all do good and bad things – everything exists along a continuum.

kate-kalvach-8Nu09ynnJsA-unsplashIf, however, they’re trying to control or abuse and you don’t feel safe or respected, then heed your gut. It can be hard to tell, especially with manipulators who Love-Bomb — they overwhelm you with care, attention, praise, gifts – all to gain control.

Love-Bombing? How do you tell the difference between someone who’s genuine versus someone who is Love-Bombing to gain control?

It’s natural to feel good when you’re adored and loved. But if this love and adoration are contingent upon doing, as they say, adjusting your boundaries to meet theirs or falling in line with their specific expectations (e.g. socially, sexually, practically, financially), it may not be founded upon mutual affection.

You may notice this early in the relationship. They may be highly extravagant and make remarks about how good they are to you. They may make assumptions and proclamations about the relationship – that don’t consider your voice or desires; for example, they might talk about where you two will go on your honeymoon even though you’ve never talked about getting married. They may try to co-opt your time or be critical of time spent on hobbies or other sources of social support.

I’d be more concerned about these types of red flags as opposed to whether they put their elbows on the table.