If you’re brave enough to step into the world of dating, it pays to be able to recognize red flags when you see them. To make things complicated, there are slightly different warning signs to beware of depending on your age group. Many of the things that aren’t a big deal in your 20s can be dealbreakers when you get into the next decade of life. Here are some red flags to keep an eye out for when you’re dating in your 30s.
- Partying every day Not to be a buzzkill, but frequent partying after you reach a certain age can translate to some negative things and be a major red flag when you’re dating in your 30s. If you’re dating someone over 30 who is hungover every time you see them, rocks up late because they slept in after a big night (every night), and suggests a nightclub for your first date, you might assume they don’t have their lives together. Everyone’s situation is different, so of course you can be wrong in your assumption… but you’re probably right.
- Being in debt Again, every situation is different. Sometimes people get into debt for circumstances beyond their control and a little understanding is required. While you should approach this person with a kind heart, you should also do it with a switched-on brain. Many people decide to settle down or get serious in their 30s. If that’s what you want, are you willing to do it with someone who is sinking financially, and might bring you down with them?
- Inability to make a commitment (even on a small scale) By the age of 30, most people are comfortable enough to commit to things. Not even talking about marriage here, but small things in the context of a relationship. They can commit to going on a date with you ahead of time. Showing up when they said they were going to show up. Meeting your parents. Taking that trip with you. If they can’t commit to anything, that’s a red flag.
- Multiple divorces/failed relationships The first thing that comes to mind here is Ross Geller. If someone has multiple (like, more than they can count) failed relationships, it could mean that they aren’t very good at being in a relationship. This doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker, but you’ll probably want to ask what happened in those relationships to see if there’s a pattern you can expect.
- Neglecting their health As adults, we’re all responsible for taking care of ourselves. When someone still doesn’t have the hang of it well into their 30s, and worse, doesn’t even care, it’s not a good sign. No one can eat healthily or all the time. And they don’t have to be gym junkies. But living life without a care in the world for their health shows that they’re reckless and ignorant. And if they can’t take care of themselves, you don’t have a good chance of them supporting you when you need it.
- Calling their exes crazy Before 30, after 30, anyone who thinks that all of their exes are the problem is essentially a walking red flag. Especially when guys call their ex-girlfriends crazy, it usually shows that they can’t take responsibility for their part in the failed relationship. Plus, more often than not, people who are willing to badmouth their exes don’t have a lot of respect. Is that really the way they act when a relationship doesn’t work? Is that someone you really want to get involved with? And if all their exes are crazy, then it’s time to look at the common denominator.
- Living at home with no plan to move out Again, everyone has a different situation. Sometimes people have no choice but to live at home. The economy is rough, the job market is tougher than ever, and so is the housing market. Plus, in some cultures, there’s pressure for people to stay with their parents until they’re married, even if they are in their 30s. But unless there’s a good reason, it’s generally a red flag for someone to be totally content living with their parents in their 30s without any plans to move out. This can show they don’t want to take on any responsibility.
- Emotional immaturity Can your date talk to you about difficult things without freaking out? Do they only want you when it’s fun, not when it’s hard? Is their only method of contacting you Snapchat? Signs of immaturity are usually a red flag in someone who should have grown up by now.