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He’s taking you to Cheesecake Factory? Red flag! She wears make-up? Red flag! If you’ve had the misfortune of being on any social media platform ever, you’ve probably seen somebody’s laundry list of red flags. Heck, you might even have developed your own laundry list of red flags. However, in 2024, red flags have somehow become synonymous with “absolute deal-breakers.” Because we’ve got apps like Tinder and Hinge, we may have a tendency to over-estimate the amount of potential partners we’ve got—after all, there’s always another person, right? Why settle! Well, although there may be other fish in the sea, you could be shooting yourself in the foot by having too many requirements. I mean, is it really necessary that your next significant other likes heavy metal? Or could you date a Swiftie and go to metal concerts with friends instead? 

Why Should You Ignore Red Flags? 

Way back before dating apps like Tinder existed, people generally had fewer choices when it came to partners. After all, there wasn’t some virtual location that all singles within a 25 mile radius could hang out. Instead, you were generally limited to partners within your social circle. The vast majority of people met their spouses organically through friends, church, school, or work (though this last one is generally unadvisable). When it came to finding a partner, you couldn’t afford to snub someone for petty reasons such as liking Cheesecake Factory or make-up. Back then, your best bet was to find someone who had red flags that you could manage. If you met someone awesome, but they couldn’t stand going to parties, you had to learn how to deal with having a partner who didn’t like the same things you did. TL;DR: you were forced to learn conflict resolution. Nowadays, we’re swiping left and ghosting the instant we see something we don’t love. And there’s a good chance we’re shooting ourselves in the foot by doing so. 

Standards vs Preferences 

It’s good to have standards, and it’s good to have preferences. But there is a difference between a standard and a preference. For example, “My next significant other must have a full-time job (standard) but, ideally, they’d make $1 million per year (preference). You probably won’t have a difficult time finding a person who has a full-time job. So if that’s your standard, you’ll probably have a lot of options. But if you’re only willing to go on a first date with people with a seven figure income, your options are going to be significantly reduced. It’s fine to have preferences, as long as you’re not treating your preferences as a “must have.” 

Red Flags You SHOULD Ignore 

The perfect person doesn’t exist, so anyone you date is inevitably going to have physical features, idiosyncrasies, habits, and views, that you don’t totally love. That’s just a fact of life. Red flags concerning taste in music, art, film, television shows, and hobbies, can and probably should be ignored. After all, is it really crucial that your next girlfriend likes video games, or your next boyfriend watches The Bachelor? If you’re a person who makes their bed in the morning, is it really necessary that you date only people who make their bed in the morning? Or could you overlook that in exchange for a partner who’s emotionally well-adjusted and mentally stable? If you’re not willing to entertain any thing that goes against your preferences, you could be unintentionally dismissing a lot of promising partners. 

Red Flags You Should NOT Ignore 

However, there are red flags that you shouldn’t ignore. For example, if you find out that your date has a documented history of abusing animals, children, significant others, or elderly family members, that should not be ignored. While most people do have a criminal record in the form of traffic violations, if your date’s criminal record has you raising  your eyebrows, that’s also something to think about—especially if it involves harming another person. If you notice your date expresses annoyance when you assert your boundaries, that is a big red flag that you should consider. Compulsive lying and pathological lying should be looked into closely. Compulsive/pathological lying can be a symptom of a personality disorder. Pathological lying refers to the behavior of telling lies without any clear motive. However, any sort of lying—even if it’s just done to entertain—should be considered a red-flag. 

When You’ve Decided to Divorce 

While petty red flags should be ignored, there are large red flags that definitely should not be ignored. If the incompatibilities in your marriage have caused you to consider divorce, CoilLaw is here for you. Contact us today to get started with your initial consultation. 


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