I’ve been single for quite some time now, and being single is pretty much the greatest.  No one’s around to tell you that you’re watching too much Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, you don’t ever have to pretend to care about sports or join a fantasy football league, the only laundry you ever do is your own, and you literally get to do who or whatever you want.

The downside to being single is that you have to try and date other people, and this is where it can get horrifying.  Truthfully I am actually a hopeless romantic and tend to have a very open heart, so my 20s have naturally been filled with some scary dating experiences that have left me with some important knowledge for the future.  If you are single and you do not have a list (a mental one at least, but it helps to write them down) of red flags, then you are either extremely brave or helplessly unaware.  Here are some of my (I called upon my best friend for some advice as well) most important dating RED FLAGS in no particular order:

1.  He’s not on Facebook

Sure, everyone hates Facebook and wishes they didn’t have to do it.  But, most people will also say the same thing about their job from time to time, but that doesn’t mean they quit.  You and I might hate Facebook but we’re still on it.  Why? Because you and I are normal human beings who have decided to be a part of society.  The guy who says he’s not on Facebook does not function by societal norms, which you might find intriguing.  However, it’s actually not interesting at all once you realize that not only is he hiding his personal life from “the world,” but he’s also hiding his personal life from you, which you are not a part of, nor should you ever be.  He is not to be trusted.

2. He’s a DJ

DJ’s are a particularly scary breed of men that aren’t much different than vampires.  They live in a different mysterious world than you and I, which, might explain their initial appeal.  However, even if you do manage to find a DJ who actually likes to socialize before sunset, you will find that this dark underworld is one which they thrive within and will attempt to bring you down into at the detriment of your well being.  The undead will always try to feed off the living.  You are alive and full of potential with a bright future ahead of you, your DJ is not.

3. He’s getting a divorce

Okay, so this seems like an obvious one, but men can be completely ridiculous (read: douche bags).  If a guy starts flirting with you then you’re probably going to assume he’s single, at which point it’s always best to at least do a little bit of research (especially if the flirting is taking place online.)  If the first thing you find when you background check this person is a picture of him with a woman sharing his last name then you should walk away.  There’s no need to confront this person about whether or not he’s married.  If he’s flirting with you, he’s just going to lie and say he’s not married regardless of the circumstance.  He might confess that he’s technically still married but on his way to getting a divorce.  Or, he might even tell you that he’s actually divorced and just looks like he’s still married on social media for the sake of his business which him and his ex own together.  Is this sounding like complete garbage to you? Good, all you should see right now is smelly red flags covered in bullshit.

4. He’s better looking than you

Really really good looking guys are almost always one or more of the following: insane, bisexual and insane, or plain ol’ assholes.  If he looks like a model or he actually is a model, then he has grown up in a different world than you have.  A world where he didn’t ever really have to try that hard to be intelligent, funny, a nice person, OR good in bed.  Sometimes attractive men can be really good in bed because they are huge man sluts and have just had lots of practice, but other times they are the worst people to have sex with because they think they don’t have to try.

5. He never talks about his family

Normal people talk about their families early on into a relationship.  Actually, normal people frequently talk about family on a first date.  If a guy doesn’t talk about his family or he actually says he does not have a relationship with his family, this is definitely cause for concern.  People who aren’t close to their family can have all sorts of weird baggage or issues.  Also, a guy could be cool with his family but just never mention them to you, and this is because he has no interest in actually being in a real relationship with you.  Basically if you have started sleeping with a guy on a regular basis but you don’t know anything about his family then you are not his girlfriend. Red flag.

6. He asks you out via social media

Online dating is definitely considered to be normal these days. However, when the online dating happens on a platform that’s not actually made for online dating, things can get weird.  One of the oddest ways that a guy has ever asked me out was definitely via Vine.  Not only is Vine a much underused app, but it’s also an app that does not really facilitate flirting in my opinion.  However, I love funny people and funny people love Vine, so I gave Vine guy a shot.  Needless to say, things got weird fast. After our first date he then lied and told me he was going out of town. How did I know this was a lie? Because he Vined himself that weekend showing himself in Austin. After this he dared to ask me out again to go see a movie which I agreed to (maybe there was a Vine misunderstanding.) When I asked him what time we were going to the movie I didn’t get a text back until a week later and all it said was “sorry for being sketch.” Actually, I’m sorry for being sketch because what’s sketch is that I ever agreed to go out with a guy who asked me out via VINE.

7. He has a framed pictured on his wall of himself with Rick Perry

No explanation needed for this one.

8. You initially think he might be gay

He is.

9. He says he’s an “artist”

Artist is code for “doesn’t have a job.”  Sometimes “freelancer” can mean the same thing. Yellow flags should be raised in the very least.

10. He’s still really close with an ex.

If a guy is still talking to a girl he once dated on a regular and frequent basis then there’s a 100% chance that he would have sex with her if the opportunity presented itself, there’s at least a 70% chance he has already had sex with her more than once when they weren’t together, and there’s a 60% chance he’s still in love with her.


What are your red flags?? I’d love to know.  Please tell me I’m not the only single girl with a growing list of red flags.  There’s no need to be embarrassed. Knowledge is power!

Joanna Wilkinson






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  • http://itcaustin.com ITC

    HA! I agree with Phoebe and will add that I laughed so hard when I read this article. Thank you!

    • http://www.keepaustinstylish.com Joanna

      No prob! I think it might be time for me to do a Red Flags round 2.

  • Phoebe

    But, but, BUT this article is wonderful – I love it! The ‘getting divorced but still masquerading as a couple for business’ one is sooo on point AND the one about models being crap between the sheets!

  • Phoebe

    I don’t have Facebook… It’s inane bullshit (from people I don’t see in ‘real life’ anyway!) I assume the guy I’m dating does have it but obviously I’ve not thought to ask!? Does that make me a total mental case or just striving for drama/bullshit free zone? I like to think the latter!

  • Pingback: Wave Your Red Flags And Wave Them High | stevenf.com()

  • Nick

    The Facebook one is stupid. Mine consist of nothing but inane photos of drunkeness in college, maybe a few post collegiate wedding photos, and a baptism or two (basically life slowing down and getting old), I don’t think you’re really interested in pouring over those. I told the girl I’m currently dating, if she really wants to see my FB she is welcome to login, surf through it and satiate whatever curiosity she has. I don’t care about the kinda poop your baby took, your uninformed political views, or how you’re feeling in general. It’s an enormous waste of time for many people displaying a life they really don’t lead.

    • http://www.keepaustinstylish.com Joanna

      There are exceptions to every rule I am sure, but, every time I have given a guy who doesn’t have Facebook the benefit of the doubt, he has turned out to be completely insane.

  • Lukas

    “10. He’s still really close with an ex.”

    Isn’t the opposite of that “all of his relationships end badly”?

    (Okay, I admit it, I’m close with some of my ex-girlfriends. Maybe our definitions of “close” differ, though.)

    • http://www.keepaustinstylish.com Joanna

      There’s a difference between being friendly with an ex and being close with an ex. If you’re talking to your ex all the time as if they are a close friend then this a red flag.

  • El

    Girls men should avoid dating:

    1. Addicted to Facebook.

    2. Club slut. This is ANY girl that goes to a club on a regular basis. Should be self explanatory, these girls can be fun for a night or two, but are not girlfriend material.

    3. Divorcee. Should also be self explanatory to any man with sense, especially if she’s under 30.

    4. She isn’t as good looking as you. Pump n dump.

    5. Has mommy or daddy issues. Complains about her family constantly.

    6. She asks you out in any context. Pump n dump.

    7. Framed picture with any celebrity.

    8. Bisexual. All bisexual girls are sluts. Pump n dump.

    9. Is an artist, employed or not. Artistic girls are always insane. Pump n dump.

    10. Complains about her exes constantly. Notice that she is the common denominator between all of them.

    11. Reads fashion blogs.

    • Lukas

      11. Uses the term “pump n dump”

      No explanation needed for this one.

      • http://www.keepaustinstylish.com Joanna

        Yes, I’m actually working on a Red Flags pt.2 and that will be added.

  • Daphne

    Pedicabbers. They fall into the DJ/bartender group. They get paid solely in tips while trying to hook up with any woman they see, shove their ass in your face and their excuse is “I just really like the exercise.” Staaaarving for attention. Red FLAG!

  • Lindsey

    You wrote the most amazing Red Flag article!
    Researched, lived and telling your story.
    I’m waving my Red Flag!
    Thank you Joanna!

  • Jane

    Really good men are hard to find! But they are out there.
    The main requirement to look for in a man is his having the desire to find a really good girl
    Good heart, good soul, funny, fun, caring, comforting, attentive.
    I wish all girls the best!

  • GIrl

    He doesn’t drink.

    • Anna

      He drinks too much! Fun at first… not so fun in the long run.

  • Guy
  • http://madbetty.com/ Mad Betty

    Great list! My addition is kind of a regional one, but surfers are terrible to date. I lusted after the whole surf team in high school and after dating a bunch of them years later, I learned…no. They are like temperamental little boys when the waves aren’t good. Which is at least 50% of the time.

    Plus, sand everywhere.

    • http://makeitadoubleplease.com Lauren Martin

      hahaha I completely agree with this one too! I’m from CA and dated a spoiled surfer kid in HS that thought he was the best thing that ever happened to earth. Surfers also will Never love you as much as they love the ocean or surfing.
      These red flags are pretty on point…I could understand the not having a FB just because there are SO many different platforms and some are more important to others. But having one and taking it down would be a red flag. Good post!

  • Amber

    Since we brought up red flags for girls….What about a girl that has a lot of gay guy friends? (Guilty). I go out with gay guys a lot and I’ve also been single for some time now. I’m starting to wonder if my relationships with gay men are sabotaging a potential relationship with a straight one. Thoughts?

    • http://www.keepaustinstylish.com Joanna

      I don’t see why this should be an issue. Having gay guy friends is pretty much the same as having girlfriends in my opinion, except gay guys can sometimes be even more honest with you than a girlfriend. Nothing wrong with that!

      However, it’s possible that a straight man might see you with your gay guy friends and assume you are dating them. Plus, if you’re hanging out with gay guys a lot then you probably aren’t putting yourself in situations where you would easily meet straight men. So I guess it’s something to look out for, but in my opinion an intelligent and confident man would not see the fact that you have a lot of gay guy friends as cause for concern.

      • Amber

        Awesome,thanks! I never saw it as a problem but was starting to have my doubts. Great article. Good to know I’m not the only one experiencing an exceeding number of red flags.

  • Sam

    Look out for delayed adolescence and immaturity!

  • Christy

    Here are a few I picked up during my single-dom!

    Has *just* started dating someone else, but tells you upfront that now that he’s met you, it’s all you. Read: Until he meets someone else. Your cheesy breakup song will be Natalie Imbruglia’s “Troubled By the Way We Came Together.”

    Also — anyone who lets his mom tell him what to do (about anything). An over-involved mom is one thing, but a guy who can’t stand up to his insane mom is going to be more than a nightmare.

    Oh! And guys with all female friends. Yellow flag at least.

    • http://www.keepaustinstylish.com Joanna

      Oh yes! I agree about the guy with all female friends. That’s definitely on my list as well. And the same goes for girls with all male friends. Not to be trusted.

  • Anne Marie Beard

    Joanna you hit the MARK girl! I just waded through #3 for over 3 months and finally said – WTF – he is still married. Ouch. I think you just launched the next section of your writing career – dating advice or life advice. Excellent writing :-)

    • http://www.keepaustinstylish.com Joanna

      Aw thanks so much Anne Marie!

  • http://pieceology.com April

    He frequents Kingdom after 2 AM… too specific?

  • Mar

    I read through these and was like damn, these red flags are 100% mine too. I have been victim to some of them too (hello guy going through a divorce and guy who hates his family). It’s good to know other cool single females are also having to deal with the dating minefield that is Austin. Every day I’m like where are all the good men at?