“Yellow Carding” Is The Positive Dating Trend We Should All Be Taking Into 2020

With all the disheartening dating trends that we have to deal with, it’s great to have some positive behavioral patterns for a change. “Yellow carding” is one such positive trend for reasons you might not expect — here’s what it is and what you need to know about it.

  1. It’s like a warning. You know when you’re on a date with someone and they say or do something that irritates you? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could show them a yellow card, kinda like a football referee would show a player a yellow card during the game to warn them that they’ve done something wrong? Well, you can in your own way.
  2. You just call them out. That’s basically how this dating trend is defined. If your date upsets you, you speak up instead of keeping it to yourself to moan about later in the company of friends and alcohol. You tell the other person straight up that what they said or did wasn’t cool and you’re not feeling it. It’s that simple.
  3. Stop censoring yourself. Up until now, you might have reserved your honest thoughts and feelings when a date upset you. Maybe you bit your tongue and silently decided never to see them again. The problem with this is that you don’t share what you’re thinking so that the person knows they’ve crossed a line. Sure, it’s not your job to educate them, but why should you put up with crap if there are clear signs your date is sexist or a jerk? Enough is enough!
  4. It could save your relationship potential. Okay, so you might think that the best way to deal with someone you really don’t want to see again is to give them an invisible red card and tell them you’re not interested without going into detail about why. You’re right – you don’t have to put up with something that really hurts you. but what happens when you’re on a date with someone who has real dating potential but they’ve done something minor to annoy you?
  5. It’s good to speak up. Telling the person you don’t like that they’re teasing you or you don’t like that they’re phubbing you are examples of things you can call them out on – and you’re well within your rights to do so. I mean, it’s better that they know, right? Besides, you don’t have to be rude about it.
  6. This has some extra benefits. Not only will it feel good to stand up for yourself, but yellow carding a date can also show them you’ve have boundaries and you’re not going to accept bad behavior, which is always a good thing to get out there from the start of the dating process. It also says, “Hey, I’m worthy of quality dates, bud. Show me you’re it.”
  7. Not doing it can backfire. You might grin and bear your date’s insulting “jokes,” but what does that really accomplish? You teach people how to treat you, after all. If you want to see the person again, you should show them that they can’t get away with something small. After all, it’s only a matter of time before the behavior continues and probably worsens too. If they can’t respect that line you’ve drawn right now, then that’s a clear sign they’re not worth it.
  8. But can you yellow card anything? It’s easy to think you can give dates the yellow card for anything they do, but don’t go too crazy. You don’t want to be seen as Critical Cathy on a first date. While you might want to tell them not to eat with their mouth open or not to order another glass of wine, that might be a tad on the nasty side.
  9. Keep it fair. If you’re going to yellow card a date, at least be responsible and fair about it! This isn’t an opportunity to tear someone down or make them feel like crap. If they’re doing something that hurts you, then go ahead and tell them it’s not cool. However, do so kindly while being blunt.
  10. For anything else, there’s ending the date. If the date is really annoying – maybe they have a weird laugh or they have bad BO – go ahead and end the date. Not only is this a much faster fix than yellow carding them, but it will feel so much more satisfying to get out of there. You don’t need to stick around if you’re having a crummy time for whatever reason.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.