When it comes to dating, the last thing you want is to invest your time and both physical and emotional energy into a toxic person.
Toxic is a synonym for dangerous, poisonous, and destructive. It is not a psychological term, as many might think, but rather refers to how that person makes you feel when you interact with them.
As psychiatrist Abigail Brenner explains in her article:
“ “Toxic” is obviously not a formal psychological term but rather is descriptive of how people often feel when dealing with certain individuals. Toxic describes interactions where boundaries are often blurred, where individuals themselves and/or their behaviors are felt to be difficult, challenging, demanding, often adversarial.”
Spotting a toxic person early on is extremely important, as it will save you time, energy (physical as well as emotional), and keep you from getting hurt later.
Thankfully, there are some signs that can tell you whether your date is a toxic person.
Let’s dive right in.
1. They Avoid Answering Simple Questions
During a date, it’s natural for the two people involved to ask various questions in order to know each other better.
Now, if your date refuses to answer a personal question, let’s say, for example, something regarding their previous relationship, it’s their right and doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something weird going on.
But, if they avoid answering even the simplest questions, like what their hobbies are or what exactly do they do for a living, it could be a red flag that they shouldn’t be trusted.
2. They Are Rude to the Waiter
There’s a famous quote by Muhammad Ali that goes:
“I don’t trust anyone who’s nice to me but rude to the waiter. Because they would treat me the same way if I were in that position.”
Have you ever been on a date and witnessed the other person lashing out at the waiter just because the latter brought them the wrong order? Well, I have, and it was awkward, unpleasant, and annoying.
The worst thing was that it instantly made me think that chances were the other person had a toxic personality and that the date was going to be a disaster — which it was.
The way people treat restaurant staff can tell a lot about their personality. Unless your date is having a really bad day, being rude/condescending/arrogant to the waiter can indicate not only that they are a toxic person but that they will later be equally rude to you, as well.
3. They Make Racist/Sexist/Homophobic Remarks About You or Someone Else
Saying that someone who makes racist, sexist, or homophobic remarks about others is toxic is an understatement.
And when you’re the target of such comments? From the person you went out on a date and expected to have fun with? It sucks.
I would advise you to run as fast as you can if you hear your date saying things like:
- “Women can’t drive”
- “You should man up”
- “I would never get into a relationship with a black person”
- “Men have no feelings”
- “A woman can’t lead”
- “I don’t understand how bisexuality works”
- “What’s wrong with Asian people?”
- “That’s so gay”
- “You’re too pretty to be taken seriously”
4. They Won’t Take “No” for an Answer
Above everything, toxic people do everything in their power to take what they want and fulfill their needs. For this reason, they hate taking no for an answer — and usually become aggressive when they are denied something.
If you see that your date can’t take no for an answer, it’s a huge sign they are a toxic person.
For example, they might insist not to end the date (although you need to get home or have somewhere else to be), urge you to have another drink (even if you’ve told them you don’t drink much alcohol), or pressure you to go home with them (even though you don’t feel comfortable to have sex yet).
5. You Feel Like You Have to Defend Yourself With Them
Toxic people suck at conversations. They’ll either talk only about themselves or fiercely argue with you whenever you say something that doesn’t 100% match their opinion/views/values.
In their company, you’ll feel like you have to constantly explain and defend yourself since they are unable to see things from someone else’s perspective.
As psychiatrist Abigail Brenner explains in her article:
“They have difficulty staying on point about certain issues, probably because they’re not interested in your point of view or trying to reach an amicable conclusion. Remember, they are supreme manipulators: Their tactics may include being vague and arbitrary, as well as diverting the focus of the discussion to how you’re discussing an issue — your tone, your words, etc.”
6. They Only Have Negative Things to Say About the People in Their Lives
Toxic people always put the blame on others for everything that goes wrong in their lives.
For example, during your date, you might hear them saying things like:
- “My ex broke up with me because she was a manipulative bitch”
- “I was fired from my previous job because my boss was a jerk”
- “My parents have always kept me from doing what I really want in life”
Or, you might hear them say negative things about pretty much everyone in their lives. Their sister is annoying, the technician that came to their house was stupid, their co-worker should be fired, and the list goes on.
The process of going out on a date with someone and getting to know them can be wonderful and scary at the same time.
Remember that if your date shows one of these signs, it doesn’t necessarily make them a toxic person. For example, they might be extremely shy and struggle to talk about themselves, open up and keep a conversation going.
Or, they might be extremely tired/have had a bad day and raise their tone of voice if the waiter brings them the wrong order.
If, however, they show most of these signs, there’s a high possibility they have a toxic personality — in which case, it would be wise to not get yourself involved with them.
And remember, a bad date with a toxic person (or even someone who isn’t toxic) isn’t the end of the world — it’s all part of the dating game! Smile, talk it out, laugh, and move on to the next date. Who knows? The next person you’ll go on a date with might be the love of your life.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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