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Top 16 Red Flags in Women: Before and During a Relationship

A woman surrounded by red flags

Have you ever wondered what red flags in women you want to date (or are dating) you should look out for? She might seem like your dream woman at first, but if you’re not aware of potential red flags and looking out for them, they’re easy to miss, and can lead to a lot of unnecessary drama and toxicity later on in your relationship.

So, what exactly is a red flag anyway?

A red flag refers to behavior or traits in a person that isn’t compatible with the person and relationship we’re looking for, and will likely result in a breakup. It’s a warning to hit the brakes and think about whether this is someone you want to date or continue dating. Will this person be a good match for you and make you happy in the long run?

The Top Red Flags in Women You Want to Date

Here are the red flags in a girl to look out for when you’re getting to know her and potentially want to date her.

She’s on the rebound

One of the biggest red flags in a woman to look out for is whether she recently got out of a long-term relationship and is still healing from the breakup. We all need time to process these emotions, grow, and get to a place where we’re fully over our ex and ready to date again. Head straight back into dating too soon, and any relationship you form is likely to be a rebound.

You don’t want to be the guy helping her deal with her emotional baggage or falling for her only to have her tell you she’s getting back with her ex.

She doesn’t have her own life

It’s incredibly important that both of you have your independence from the start, and maintain this even once you’re in a relationship. This helps you remain happy, healthy individuals and actually strengthens your partnership. So watch out for women who always text you back instantly, take all your calls, and are always available to hang out last minute - this suggests she doesn’t have a full life of their own.

She’s only interested in your money

A gold digger trying to find a rich boyfriend

If a woman is asking you loads of personal questions about finances before you’re even dating, or seems overly impressed by superficial things like fancy cars and expects to be taken to the finest restaurants and be lavished often with Tiffany boxes, that’s a red flag.

It’s a good thing to enjoy the finer things in life and aspire to them. And it is really important that you do have a job and a steady income before you even think about dating anyone. But watch out for women who are only interested in the size of your paycheck.

She plays games

Just like some men, some women never grow out of their game-playing phase from high school and display maturity issues. This is definitely one of the red flags in women that you need to look out for.

An emotionally mature high-value woman will be direct with you and clear about what she’s looking for. You’ll know where you stand with her. She doesn’t need to play games to be hard to get, she just is hard to get.

She has a victim mentality

Is she bashing all her exes before you’ve even gone out on a first date? Sure, some of her exes might be a bad bunch - cheaters, liars, ghosters, narcissists - but if all of them fall into this box and she takes zero responsibility for anything, that’s a red flag. It suggests that she still has some attachment issues or patterns that lead her to men who treat her poorly, or that she constantly plays the victim.

You shouldn’t even be talking about exes until you’ve been on several dates.

She has a history of cheating

Is she in a relationship but also flirting with you? Or does she have a history of cheating? These are clear red flags in a girl to keep an eye out for. If she would cheat to date you, then how can you be sure she won’t cheat on you with someone else?

If someone isn’t happy in their relationship and wants to be single or date other people, the right thing to do is end that relationship.

She’s insecure

The final red flag to look out for in a woman you want to date is if she comes across as insecure. For example, is she always fishing for compliments or deflecting them? Is she often talking about parts of her body that she hates, or tearing down other women to make herself feel better? Or is she someone that is constantly dating someone because she needs the validation of a man in her life?

These are classic signs of an insecure woman, and nothing you say or do will change this - she has to do that inner work.

Red Flags in a Woman You’re Dating

Studies have found that the majority of chaotic relationships could be avoided if people were more sensitive to the red flags they noticed but didn’t think twice about.

Let’s explore the red flags in women you’re already dating that you need to look out for.

She is not authentic

Hiding who she really is

On a first date, everyone wants to make a good impression, and it’s easy to pretend to be someone you’re not. Sometimes people do this because they want to impress others, so they will happily be who they want them to be rather than themselves.

Has the woman you’re dating been honest about her career, her interests, and her flaws? Does she seem like the same woman you met at the start? Naturally, we’re always evolving, but she shouldn’t seem like a totally different person from when you met her.

She’s unappreciative

Another of the red flags in a relationship with a woman to look out for is appreciation.

Does she say thank you when you do sweet things for her like open the door, pick her up from work, and cook her her favorite dinner? How about when you randomly pick up her favorite candy bar from the store, buy her those earrings she was talking about months ago for her birthday, or whisk her away to Paris for the weekend?

If she doesn't appreciate your efforts, it’s a red flag. But remember, you do need to make an effort - doing the bare minimum won’t cut it.

She doesn’t share your values or lifestyle

This is a major red flag because compatibility in a long-term relationship is largely based on whether you share the same values and want to live your lives in a similar way. For example, is she always talking about moving to the countryside and settling down, but you want to stay in the city? Is she adamant that she doesn’t want the whole marriage and kids thing, but you do?

These are huge clashes in your values and lifestyles, which means that while this woman may make an amazing match for someone else, she’s not the right woman for you.

She doesn’t know how to communicate effectively

Communication is an essential ingredient for any healthy relationship. The problem is, no one ever teaches us how to communicate - we usually learn it from watching our parents when we’re younger. And some of us have terrible examples.

If you’re dating a woman who is often passive-aggressive, struggles to express her feelings to you, gives you silent treatment, avoids conflict, or goes around slamming doors when she’s angry instead of telling you she’s angry, these are signs she is a poor communicator. This doesn’t mean you should immediately move on, but the issue does need to be addressed.

She has lied to you

Honesty is another foundation for a healthy relationship that lasts, and once the trust between you is tested, it’s difficult to come back from there.

If you catch her out in a lie about someone she was meeting or where she was going, that's a red flag. Sometimes people lie to protect a person’s feelings and avoid unnecessary drama. But in a relationship, candidness is so important. Tell one lie, and it’s easy to keep doing it. Don’t ignore this.

She’s abusive when upset

Abusive when she's angry

Abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, financial, or even sexual, and is often linked to narcissistic personality traits. And while men tend to be more abusive than women, some women do fall into this category. So one of the red flags in women to be aware of is how she reacts when she is upset. Does she throw things, insult you, make threats, or hit you?

Usually, an abusive person won’t display these signs early on which is why this can be difficult to spot until it happens, but they may display smaller acts of control.

She brings a ton of drama with her

Relationships do require constant effort and attention to thrive, but generally, the right relationship should feel easy. It’s a red flag if you’re with a woman who seems to be followed by drama wherever she goes. So if there’s always a big scandal going on, something upsetting her, or someone who is mad at her, watch out. There’s only so much any one person can handle before it becomes stressful and a strain on your relationship.

The people you love don’t like her

Other red flags in a relationship with a woman are when a lot of your friends and family have an opinion of her, and it’s not a glowing one. If one person says something, it could be nothing. Two people could still be wrong or have ulterior motives. But three people? That’s when you’ve got to take notice, no matter how infatuated you are.

Your loved ones have known you a lot longer than this woman, and they care about your well-being, even if that means they have to be the ones to tell you something you don’t want to hear.

She’s possessive

The final red flag to look out for is someone who is overly clingy and possessive. It’s natural to feel a little bit jealous in a relationship, and jealousy is actually associated with lots of positive qualities that are good for relationships. However, there is a fine line.

If a woman is constantly up in your business, checking your phone, giving you the tenth degree about where you’ve been, and always wanting to be there when you’re around any other women, that’s past the point of normal jealousy. We all deserve a certain amount of privacy. As long as you’re not giving her any reason to doubt you, then it’s quite likely she is suffering from low self-esteem or bringing her past relationship traumas into this one.

This doesn’t mean you should automatically break up with her, but it does mean you need to sit down and talk about it and see if she can work through her issues.

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