Love, Lindsay

I Asked New Yorkers 'What Are Your Dating Red Flags And Green Flags?'

" ... A huge red flag for me when I start dating someone is wanting to have a rodent as a pet."

In the latest installment of Love, Lindsay Investigates, I took to the streets of New York City to ask women and men about their dating red flags (immediate turn-offs, like swiping on a dating app in the middle of an actual date), and, more importantly, their dating green flags (immediate turn-ons that show relationship potential) when they meet someone new. 

Shifting our attention to those green flags, rather than the red ones, is so important because the early stages of dating can be such an uncertain, not to mention exhausting, time in people's romantic lives. So we might as well look back on those stages as fondly as we can (right?!). 

Check out what these 9 New Yorkers had to say when asked what their dating red and green flags are: 

For Jourdon, 30 and single, one of the green flags he looks for when starting to date someone is great conversation. "If someone actually engages in the conversation as opposed to losing them in the first five seconds ... just because it actually shows they're interested and not just about themselves," he said. 

Rhianna, a 28-year-old, single woman, told us her flags. "So when I'm meeting somebody new — other than being tall, dark, charming, and incredibly witty — I'd say my dating red flags are someone who's on their phone. Period. The end," she said. "... But my green 'We're totally gonna be together forever' [flag] would be someone who is very spontaneous." 

Jia, 33, said her main green flag is someone's ability to be positive. "Red flags would be, of course, the opposite, right? Being very negative and sad about everything .... " she explained. Another one of her dating green flags was someone who's curious and excited to try different things, while another one of her red flags were "stingy people" because while she doesn't mind splitting the bill, she'd rather not date someone super stingy as she believes that's a sign of their inability to share. 

Younger singles, like 21-year-old Christopher, had some of the most mature answers. "When I'm dating someone, some of the green flags that I try to look for, I like someone that's really independent. I like a very independent woman that's very about herself as a priority before anything else," he said. At the same time, however, "For some of the red flags I would say, I don't like a woman that's ... more about herself in the relationship and not me. I believe in an equal relationship," he explained. "... I believe it's only fair [to have] 50/50 responsibility. You know, she does her share of the relationship, I do my share." 

Even those currently in relationships were able to recall their dating red flags and green flags that helped them find and land their S.O.s. "When I start dating someone, I think a green flag is that — not to seem self-centered — but that they take interest in me as much as I take interest in them. Other green flags when I start dating someone is, for me personally, a genuine interest in food and not a picky eater," Eddie, 26 and taken, said. " ... A huge red flag for me when I start dating someone is wanting to have a rodent as a pet." Can't blame him, rodents aren't for everyone. 

Overall, dating red flags and green flags are in the eye of the beholder. While some common themes emerged — great conversation and eye contact were generally considered green flags, while being glued to your phone and clinginess were bright red ones — a lot of people were quick to acknowledge that their flag choices depended solely on personal preferences. They didn't make blanket judgments of good vs. bad; they decided purely based on what fit their values and lifestyle. So to all the rodent owners looking for love: don't worry, your green flag flyer is out there and can't wait to meet you. 

Love, Lindsay Investigates, an subset of the Love, Lindsay column, is a series where A Plus's relationship guru/columnist ventures out into the world to ask people how they feel about a range of topics related to dating, relationships, and sex. Because, let's face it, everyone has an opinion when it comes to love. 

Want to see more Love, Lindsay Investigates? Check out last week's rendition where I took to the streets of New York City to ask men and women how they feel about the new male birth control pill

And if you've got a burning love question you want me to answer or a relationship topic you'd like me to take to the streets, submit to lovelindsay@aplus.com

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