We all want someone to love and someone to love us, and sometimes that means we overlook the gigantic neon signs that say "WARNING: UNFIT FOR HUMAN DATING." It happens to the best of us, but at least we get stories out of it. We asked our readers to share their stories of "Ignored Red Flags" (last week's theme was "Kids Say The Wrongest Things"). Let their tales amuse and hopefully educate you.
1. Kari responded to our Facebook post with more red flags than a Chinese Communist Party meeting.
Red Flag 1: He had a Masters in Physics but worked for a pool and spa retail store.
Explanation 1: He was working on his PhD and it was easy work.
Red Flag 2: He finished his PhD work in just over a year.
Explanation 2: He got lucky with the timing because the Higgs-Boson particle made his research much easier to logic through.
Red Flag 3: Didn't stop working at the pool store after getting his PhD.
Explanation 3: He was burnt out on Physics and wanted to find something else to do.
Red Flag 4: Never wanted to hang out with my college friends.
Explanation 4: He didn't feel like hanging out with intellectuals for fun because he didn't want to always be thinking about science (I studied math and had a couple friends that went on to PhD studies in physics).
Red Flag 5: Couldn't produce his PhD or Masters diplomas.
Explanation 5: Got lost in the mail and he didn't want to pay for new ones.
Turns out his undergraduate transcripts and diploma were fake and the rest was an elaborate ruse that he'd carried on for 20+ years. No one ever questioned it, and he kept calling me crazy or would have excuses when I'd have questions.
It only came out after I asked if I could do a background check on him; he had lost his job and couldn't find a new one for 3 months while I was paying for everything. He told me to go for it and it showed nothing. He even tried to say it was a mistake but eventually came clean.
What a waste of 2 years.
2. Andrea emailed us this tale of a way-too-close-knit family.
Red flag should have been when I walk in to him sitting on his parents bed talking to his mother while she is on the toilet with the door open.
This was how they held family discussions.
Second red flag.... When his mother and sister googled me and attempted to contact my abusive ex and other family members to get dirt on me so he would leave ME!
3. Jen sent us an extremely short story that needs no explanation.
Ate Chapstick to freshen his breath.
4. This story, emailed in by an anonymous Someecards reader, is pretty much the textbook definition of "red flags."
I was a junior in high school (2006) and still hadn't been in any kind of relationship or gone on dates. I was introduced to a guy who went to the high school across town and he was instantly attracted to me.
He was tall, handsome, on the football team.... seemed like a dream come true to me (a girl who by all other accounts had been told by her classmates she was unattractive her entire life).
I was so entrapped by the dreaminess of it all I didn't mind making out the first night we met. I thought it was some sweet romantic gesture that he wanted to be official that night.
Cut to FOUR DAYS later when we're hanging out and talking. He forced me into laying down, despite my protests, started shoving his tongue in my mouth and saying he wanted to kiss me all over. He got super handsy and I kept pushing his hands off.
When I finally got into an upright sitting position he told me, "You know, this is all perfect. I can see you being the future Mrs. ************. I want to get married in 2007." Ummm..... 2007 was our graduation year. He was telling me he wanted to get married, in a year, right after graduation!! RED FLAG! RED FLAG!
I tried to accept it as sweet teenage sentimentalism and romance.... but two months of hearing my first boyfriend talk about marriage after high school was enough!
Finally dumped his butt right before prom, and when he asked if he could still take me I said, "No I already asked someone else to go with me." Frankly, I was just terrified to be in his presence again. Way too clingy, like a psychopath.
SO glad I got away from him and never gave in to the physical pressures he tried putting on me. Teenage girls, PLEASE, take heed of the red flags and run!!
5. You're so vain, I bet you think this email from "Bozone" is about you.
So many red flags, so little time!
My boyfriend, who still believes we are going to get married (but only if the Pope becomes Baptist,IMHO) is a very good looking man who is very vain, especially of his hair.
He usually wears it in long curls, but sometimes he wears it in braids. I offered to braid it once, but he said ' You can't braid my hair, you're a white girl and you'll just @#$% it up'.
A few days ago, he asked me to comb his hair, which I did, but not without him pissing and moaning about it. Later that day we got into an argument which ended with me telling him he needs to respect me more, to which he replied 'What do you mean I don't respect you? I let you comb my hair didn't I? '
Not enough time to tell how, after he pitched a fit in a department store, the salesclerk pulled me aside and told me he needed his ass kicked.
6. Ayla emailed us a truly amazing story about the jerks you meet on reality TV millionaire dating shows.
Well, I was on a reality dating show (flag 1) with supposed-to-be "millionaires." I ended up winning the big date only to have it be a double date with his brother, at the gym! (Flag 2)
Anywho, we started dating exclusively after we filmed the show. Things seemed off because we never went to his "mansion" (flag 3) and he said he sold his expensive car to help better his business (flag 4).
Oh, and did I mention he told me he had been married but it was over 5 years before me. Only to find out he was still married and didn't file for divorce until he knew he was going to be on the show 100% (flag 5).
Then, 5 months into us dating before his divorce was final and after our episode aired, he said the network wanted us to be on the reunion show. By this time, he had confessed and I accepted the fact that he was as rich as I was (Nice family but that was about it).
But I lied for him to cover his tracks (flag 6). After he moved out of his Mom's 1-bedroom apartment, we went to film the reunion show where he, predictively, proposed to me!!
I said yes to keep it all going but knew in my heart that he was not the one. The straw that really broke the camel's back was his Facebook letters with strangers saying that he'd love for them to come to LA so they could hook up....
Needless to say: I threw the ring at him and went on with my life. The network even wanted us to reconcile and he told them we broke up because "I was jealous of other women." Sure, buddy. Whatever makes you feel better. I told the network that I'd never be back and told them their real story.... Lesson learned. Too many flags to keep count. Lol
Thanks for letting us share stories!!
7. Brenton's short anecdote is very confusing until you arrive at the word "Ambien."
After talking for 2 months & 2 successful dates. It was the second time she invited me over. I got to her building within 20 minutes. I texted her that I was there. Nothing. I called her 3 times. Nothing.
I texted her I was leaving. Nothing. On my way home she finally calls me back & blows up on me in a psychotic rage. I later found out she had an Ambien problem. And an honesty problem.
8. Leigh's story doesn't have any mystery, but this is the kind of red flag you're most likely to encounter in your own life.
On our first Valentines day he got mad that they lost our reservation and threw his keys across the parking lot in anger. He had a complete meltdown. That was the first time I saw his anger issues. And unfortunately not the last.
9. Regina's story has some dark moments, but she's a very engaging writer.
After being out of the dating game for a while after my husband died, I started going out and met a guy in a bar who told me he wanted a long term relationship. I fell head over heels for him!
He had his own company and seemed financially stable, something I was definitely looking for as a mother to three children.
First time I went to his home, I was shocked. For someone making 3K a week, he lived in a dumpy old trailer. (Side note: I know how much he made because for a while I helped him do his bookkeeping).
Then a few weeks later I found out his work truck was actually his son's truck. I was so desperate and vulnerable at the time I didn't see the red flags everywhere. Weekends, he liked to gamble and drink and frequently lost all his money at the casinos.
Several months later, he moved in with me and I soon realized I was paying all the bills on my salary. We talked about it and I can say he was generous in giving me a $100 bill every few days after that.
When I went to charge some things at a local store on his account, the clerk let it slip that he was paying for his ex-wife's stuff there also. I caught them in bed together right after that and that's when I got a clue but wasn't sure what to do with the clues. Yeah, naive old me.
I dumped him when he started accusing me of cheating and hit me while drinking again. Didn't last long though. A month later he telephoned from the ER, drunk, after being in a bad wreck that totaled his work vehicle and begged for forgiveness.
He said he wanted to marry me and treat me right. I fell for it. Married him a few days later and the next week he used my credit to get a new work truck.
A few months later, after my father's funeral, we both got intoxicated and he beat me up again. Then, I caught him planning a week long getaway with an old girlfriend under the guise of working out of state on a big construction project.
There were so many red flags at this point that divorce was the best and only option. We were together as a married couple only 3 months and divorced within 6 months.
The biggest red flag to me was the fact that I was so in love I couldn't see the truth of what a horrible person this man was and the self doubt messed my head up so bad I don't date anymore and am still single 20 years later.
10. Rachel's story, submitted through Facebook, carries an important lesson: always listen to screaming men on rowboats.
At our wedding ceremony, held outside near a lake, a gentleman took it upon himself to stand up in his boat and yell across the lake, "Don't do it!" not once, but several times during the ceremony.
Seven years and one divorce later, I would personally like to thank the person who tried to save me by being a very audible "red flag"
11. Victoria's Facebook submission ends with a phrase that could sum up all of these.
My ex hated it when I would read around him. He'd always say I should be talking to him, and he'd actually take my book away. He also would make fun of me when I wore makeup. Or when I would say a girl is hot.
He also couldn't read. Like, actually didn't know how. He'd make fun of me for nerding out over shit. And he'd say I shouldn't be anxious around him, that I should feel safe around him.
Anytime I talked about a career, he'd say I won't need one, that he'd support me. (don't see how, he still doesn't have a job). He thought my fetishes were weird and wouldn't even think about trying to go along with it.
Why was I upset when this went downhill?
12. Sherri's red flag is the reddest red flag of all the red flags.
He kept a gun under the seat of his car and would pull it out when someone driving would make him mad. He would point it at the person below the window where no one outside the car could see.
13. Soshana is our first reader to incorporate hashtags. They seem appropriate.
suggesting a weekend in wine country after only dating for about 2 weeks.
introducing me to his mother while in wine country after dating for 2 weeks.
his mother calling me and asking me to come for thanksgiving after dating for about 2.5 weeks .
his mother mailing a birthday gift after 3 weeks. #notcreepyatall #howdidshegetmyaddress #hesneverbeentomyhouse
14. If you lose touch with everyone from your previous life... you might be ignoring red flags. (From an anonymous reader.)
Let's call the guy Satan. Or whatever you want. Satan is fitting though.
Flash back to when I was 21 and dumb. Backstory- my parents weren't controlling, but I hated to do anything to disappoint them because they had a saying about me, 'I never finish anything I start.'
Enlisted straight out of high school, went to BCT and did a dumb thing and got injured and shipped home (boring, stupid, non story). Went straight to college, got way over my head and instead of buckling down, I zoned out and consequently dropped out. Worked here and there never knowing what I was doing but always the dreamer.
Enter Satan. Sweet. Charming. Lived far enough away but not so far I wouldn't go. He played on my dreams, knew what to say. I was blinded so of course common sense wasn't kicking in that he was saying and doing things not because he was genuine but because he was trying to sink his nasty dirty devil claws into me.
Kids, don't get married without talking to someone who knows you first. He only wanted me hanging out with his friends/family but never all the way saying not to talk or visit with my friends or family. Over the course of a year I became completely isolated and depressed but of course I didn't admit to myself that anything was wrong with the picture, but I knew.
Final straw? We needed more income so I got a job. My first day he followed me, caused a scene, and I was fired. Never been fired from a job and that sucked balls.
Back to the part about not getting married - if you go to a JP for the marriage, it really does cost more to get divorced.
15. This is a two-parter from a reader who wished to stay anonymous. Read the beginning for her synopsis of the relationship, but the second part is an old email from right after the first date laying out his red flags.
Hi there! My friend told me I need to submit this as she laughed about this guy (yes, 4 years later- he made that much of an impression).
Below is the original email I sent my girlfriends after a first date ... I'm still laughing at myself for not only going on a second date with this guy, but for dating him for a few months!!
He was INSANE! He wanted me to register my dog in the county where his house with his not-yet-ex-wife was (thinking we were all going to move in there)... That wasn't in my cards.
Two months into our "relationship" I traveled out of town for work for one month and he came to visit after the first week. By the last week he wasn't in contact as much (strange since he was normally up my a$$).
Turns out he ran into a girl from his past and they began dating... 2 months later they were engaged and 3 months after that they got married! I'm still not sure when his divorce was finalized!!
Lesson learned: never ignore red flags!!
Here is her original email to her girlfriends, with identifying information redacted:
Okay so I had a date last night with a guy I met on Saturday. Didn't think it would be too awkward since we were texting prior to. But omg!!
1. Going through a divorce
2. Lives with his grandma
3. Was a marine and had 2 deployments in Iraq and now sees a social worker at the va medical center weekly and referred to her as "she's like a secret best friend"
4. Grew up with grandma because mommy was a crack head and daddy lived with grandma til he got remarried
5. Works at a gentlemans club 3 nights/week
6. Was talking freely about all of the above within the first hour
However I was pounding bud lights and was highly entertained by all of it. I'll probably hang out again. Is that bad?! Hahahaha
Hope you girls have a great day!!!
Well, the Marine part seems ok and the home situation isn't his fault, but yeah, the second date is baffling.
16. Oh boy, Deb. We are very sorry. Way to hang in there, and thanks for sharing it for others to see.
Embarrassingly I have too many ignored red flags.
We went out together for 7 years before marriage and I stayed for a total of 32 .
Anyway here's a few
- no birthday present
- not being allowed to go with him to a bar he went to every Thursday night
- I always apologised even when he wasn the wrong. This happened many many times .
-When he wouldn't commit
-When I had to put my engagement ring on my credit card
- always feeling like I was priority number seven after his mother , mates ,pub, sport etc
-When the kids were little we had limited money but he drove in the drive one night with a brand new car
-When he didn't protect / stick up for me when I got punched in the jaw by a drunk woman
- When he spent every night late at work ( barman) but found out he was just sitting around drinking not working and never came home to his family.
- when he was violent with the kids
- when I rang him in tears to come and help with the four kids and he said nah
- when I was sick and couldn't stand much or drive he was angry when he had to get dinner for me and the youngest
- when I got ' crabs' he said i must have caught them from s toilet seat
- when I kept getting thrush
- when he finished work at midnight but got home at 4am
- When I heard him deleting messages
- When I believed he was serious about counselling and blamed the counsellor for being useless .
17. This man would like to be referred to as "suckered no more" and we hope that's true, because holy sh*t.
First red flag: didn't get her real name for six months after we met online.
Second red flag: she was supposedly separated when we started talking, but after about a year of online chatting and phone calls, she claimed they only living together because of the teenaged kid we lived in different states, and I didn't want to move, but she promised things would be great if I just moved there. I moved.
Third red flag: the picture she gave me and the person I met were, no lie, twenty years apart.
I'd like to say I learned right there, but the final flag was when she got angry with me for criticizing her lunacy and she tried to run me over, laughing the whole time.
18. Maybe the high school stories seem to be the craziest because these people get institutionalized not long after? Thanks to Sarah for this one.
In high school, I was dating my first boyfriend ever when my beloved cat went missing. This dude gave me his cat (maybe to ease the pain of my loss, IDK?).
My 16 year old self thought it was sweet so I kept the cat. Over time, this guy got super controlling and I was sick of it, so I decide to break things off. He goes off the deep end and threatens to kill himself...AND MY CAT.
WTF? It was his cat!
19. Our Facebook fan Wendy had a first date that included as many red flags as a few of these marriages.
Showed up at his house for a first date and he answers the door in only a towel. Decides to tell me about his history of seizures and crashing his last car, while driving me around.
Leaves his wallet in the car when we go to the arcade bar because he's not "drinking tonight" (guess you're not playing any video games either), caught him in lies about his job, about owing his house, about being on his high school state winning football team...all on the first date.
20. Let's lighten up for a second with a warning from Migdalia on Facebook about cheap guys who don't pay attention to what you're drinking.
When you are in a bar drinking Mojito and this guy approaches and offers to buy you one beer specifically from the happy hour menu...
21. Unless you're running a sperm bank, Eileen identifies a very good type of person to avoid.
9 kids by 6 different women...3 of the kids are only a few months apart from each other. Bye bye!!
22. Sarah has some very good advice about waiting just a little bit before getting married.
A few days after our wedding he threw a fit in Target because I wouldn't let him spend our wedding money on a new Xbox. Jumped up and down yelling "it's something I WANT."
Yep. Maybe getting married 6 months after we started dating was a bad idea.