Have you ever seen Before Sunrise? It’s such a comfort movie. Two people meet on a train and feel an instant connection. They spend an entire evening together, walking around the beautiful city of Vienna, and getting to know each other. That’s exactly what the talking stage is. It happens right before you start a new relationship. Now, many are lucky when it comes to love. However, those who are not will get to see many talking-stage red flags.

They say the same red flags you ignore in the beginning will be the same reason it all comes to an end. That’s why it’s best to spot these signs early on, as it will be easier for you to call it quits before you fall in love with them.

This way, you won’t have to deal with painful heartbreak. To save you from anguish, we have gathered all the talking stage red flags and also some texting red flags before the first date so you can decide whether or not to meet this person. 

What Is A Serious Talking Stage In Dating?

The butterflies, late night calls, losing sleep, good morning messages, and deep conversations. These are some instances that aptly represent a serious talking stage between potential couples.

Most of the time, we look right past their warning signs and red flags because our love hormones blind us from seeing the real person. You are so excited to get to know this person and forget to notice the things that are labeled as toxic in a healthy relationship. The

In the serious talking stage of dating, both parties will actively invest their time and effort into understanding each other on a profound level. And while we hope the talking stage goes great for you, we also want you to be watchful of the red flags so you can maybe take a pause and think again. They will::

  • Engage in meaningful conversations about their values, beliefs, and life goals
  • Discuss their past relationships, aspirations for the future, and what they are looking for in a relationship
  • Reminisce their childhood life and family  
  • Open up about their mental health, alcohol usage, or any other addiction problem they have 
  • Discuss their expectations from the relationship, addressing topics like exclusivity, commitment, loyalty, and emotional availability

During this stage, open and honest communication is of utmost importance. Emotional intimacy deepens as you and your potential partner share vulnerable aspects of your lives. You start to build trust and become more understanding of each other.

The talking stage often involves spending quality time together, seeing whether you will have a compatible relationship, texting each other often, going on dates, and experiencing various situations to see how well they work as a team.

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What Are The Talking Stage Red Flags That Go Unnoticed? 

The talking stage is a crucial bridge between casual dating and a committed relationship. It helps both parties assess if they are compatible in the long run and if they are willing to take it to the next level. While it’s a time for self-discovery and mutual exploration, you also need to keep an eye on major red flags in a guy and red flags in a girl so you don’t end up in an unhealthy relationship. 

1. Forcing you to rush things 

You started talking two days back and they are already saying things like, “I see a future with you” or “I love you”. That’s one of the biggest red flags to look for in the talking stage. This is the time to talk about similar or same interests, hobbies, and what your life was like when you were growing up. 

Healthy relationships progress at a pace that feels natural and comfortable for both partners. If you feel rushed or coerced into taking big steps before you are ready, it is important to assert your boundaries and communicate your feelings honestly. A partner who truly respects you will understand your need for time and space to make decisions about the future of the relationship. 

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2. Disrespecting your boundaries 

A person who ignores your boundaries is outright disrespecting you. You’ve explicitly mentioned what’s off-limits but they still choose to poke you with it. They are important limitations that define what you are comfortable with, emotionally, physically, or otherwise.  When they refuse to acknowledge or accept them, it shows their:

  • Inability to handle distance
  • A lack of consideration for your feelings and autonomy
  • Their low self-esteem 

Whether it’s about personal space, time alone, social interactions, or any other aspect of your life, if your healthy boundaries are not respected, it can lead to feelings of discomfort, resentment, and emotional harm. This one shouldn’t escape your red flags checklist. 

3. Coercing you into doing physical stuff 

Now this is serious. It doesn’t matter whether you are in the talking stage or you are married to this person for many years. Forcing someone to be physically intimate is never acceptable. It is never okay. This is one of the signs the talking stage is not going well. 

Therefore, if your new date keeps asking you to send “sexy” pictures, it’s an early online dating red flag. It’s okay if you also have sexual attraction toward them. However, if that makes you uncomfortable, then you need to remove your rose-colored glasses and look at them for what they are. 

4. Venting out their frustration on you 

You are not their emotional dumping ground that they will vent out their frustration on you. You aren’t their therapist. It’s good to share your vulnerable side but there is a thin line between healthy venting and emotional dumping.

What is it? It’s an act of unconsciously oversharing your feelings without considering the other person’s emotional state. Here are some differences between healthy and unhealthy dumping:

  • It is unhealthy dumping when you feel used, unappreciated, and stressed after a conversation with them
  • Your conversations are one-sided 
  • They ignore your problems and feelings 

They are throwing their emotional garbage on you. That’s a red flag. You can’t bleach and dye it pink because when this turns into a serious relationship, you will feel stuck. You will feel suffocated by their problems. 

texting red flags before first date
Image by Freepik

5. Portraying an overbearing behavior 

Overbearing behavior is when a person is excessively controlling, dominant, or intrusive in the other person’s life. This behavior can manifest in various ways, such as constantly monitoring your activities, making decisions for you without your input, or expecting you to conform to their desires and opinions. 

They will try to dictate your social and personal life. What to wear, how much skin you are “allowed” to show, how much makeup to apply, and which friends to meet. They will soon start isolating you from your family members as well. If you notice even the slightest of their controlling nature, call them out. 

6. Escalating arguments is one of the talking stage red flags 

One of the things you need to pay attention to in the talking stage is how well-behaved they are during disagreements. If they make a mountain out of a molehill, then they have a habit of exaggerating things just for the sake of it.

You cracked a joke. They didn’t like it. You apologized for it but they still won’t let it go.

They turn it into an argument and soon escalate it by being intense and hurtful. They even start verbally abusing you. It’s clear that this person lacks good communication and conflict resolution skills. In addition to that, it’s also an indication that you may be facing a compatibility issue with them. 

7. Being flaky and unreliable 

Being constantly flaky and unreliable is a major red flag in any stage of a relationship. If they keep canceling plans, don’t show up when expected, or don’t follow through on commitments, it shows their lack of respect for your time and feelings. When a person keeps letting you down, it makes you feel like you are unimportant in their life. 

When asked on Reddit about flaky behavior, a user replied, “Coming from a girl, flakiness is a sign of not having that much interest. If you like the person or want to know them, you’ll make it work even if it’s 30 minutes between errands or whatever. Even if she’s the busiest woman on the planet, she can spare you 30 minutes if she wants. So, if she’s flaking nonstop, just take the L and move on.” 

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8. Making fun of you

Light jokes are fine. It creates a jovial atmosphere. But constantly making you the butt of all their jokes and inappropriate comments can be hurtful and demeaning. It is a clear red flag in any relationship regardless of your status quo. Steer clear of such men (and women). 

Nathan, a banker from Los Angeles, says, “I walked out of my first date when she started making fun of my dressing sense. I believe it’s a form of disrespect that can damage anyone’s self-esteem and mental health. A person who has emotional maturity will know the difference between sarcasm and hurting someone’s sentiments.” 

9. Acting disinterested in your life 

One of the talking stage red flags is when they make everything about themselves. The world revolves around them. They don’t care about:

  • How your day went
  • Career choices
  • About your life issues
  • How you feel

They expect you to listen to their woes but who is listening to your problems? This is the start of a one-sided relationship. Their lack of interest can lead to feelings of neglect and emotional distance.

Express your feelings and concerns to them clearly but if they continue to show disinterest and lack of engagement, it shows that they will never change. Perhaps this is what they did with all their exes. It’s a bad sign. 

10. Asking for financial help 

One of the red flags when talking to a guy online is when they ask for money or any financial help from you during the talking stage. That’s it. They may be trying to take advantage of you. Romance scamming is real, and very commonn.

If you think they are in genuine need of money, then you can go ahead and give them what they want. But if you are uncomfortable and your gut tells you something is wrong, it’s best to tell them right away. 

“I dated someone like this for a year. He disguised himself as a warm-hearted hippy with an unconventional lifestyle but in reality he was a wook who just wanted a place to live, someone to buy him food, a car to use, and weed to smoke. Leave him before he starts making you feel like that’s what you deserve. Don’t waste anymore time or money on this loser”, says a Reddit user about their experience with partners who ask for money. 

11. Love bombing you 

Love bombing is a manipulative tactic in which they overwhelm another person with affection, attention, and declarations of love in the early stages of a relationship. See, it may be flattering at first to receive excessive compliments, extravagant gifts, constant attention, and whatnot! What you don’t realize in that moment is that they are using this as a tool to gain control and manipulate you emotionally.

Kristen, a 30-year-old analyst from New York, says, “I had no idea I was being love bombed when I started seeing this guy from work. I mistook it for genuine care and love. I realized later that love is gentle and steady. But love bombing is a rush, with higher highs and lower lows.” 

red flags in a guy
Image by shurkin_son on Freepik

12. Displaying immense jealousy 

The talking stage is not going well and will not go well if they display jealousy. You aren’t even in an intimate relationship yet and they are being jealous? That’s not healthy.

It’s a serious red flag. This can lead to controlling behavior, insecurity, and damage the trust that hasn’t been born yet. 

If you ignore this warning sign and start a relationship with them, then you will be stuck in a relationship with someone who is constantly suspicious, possessive, and attempts to control your interactions with others.

You will feel like your wings are cut and you have no freedom. That’s not how healthy relationships look like. In a happy relationship, you feel free.

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13. Refusing to apologize 

They offended or disrespected you. A person with green flags will apologize and take accountability for their actions. On the contrary, if they are hellbent in proving why they said what they said or why they reacted a certain way rather than apologizing for hurting you, it’s one of the biggest red flags ever.

They are stripping you off of your feelings by invalidating them. It’s even worse if they give you the silent treatment after being in the wrong. This shows how emotionally immature they are. 

14. Calling you only when they’re drunk

When someone calls you only when they are drunk, it’s usually because they are in the mood for some action. It’s a booty call. This shows that they are not taking the relationship seriously or respecting your boundaries.

On the other hand, it could also suggest that they are using alcohol as an excuse to lower their inhibitions and communicate with you in a way they wouldn’t when they are sober.

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15. They are apathetic 

Apathetic, indifferent, ignorant, and a general lack of motivation. Not just toward you but toward everything in life. Some of the signs they are apathetic include:

  • Not having any hobbies 
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Having no friends
  • Being emotionally detached from everything

This is a red flag, especially if you are an extrovert and have a very happening social life. Let’s say you start a new relationship with them. They will never come up with date ideas, using your love language, or caring about your well-being. Even if you spend time with them, they will be busy scrolling Instagram or watching TV. 

16. Your friends hate them

Good friends can sniff a red flag from miles away. You are blind in love but they can’t see clearly what’s happening. So, if your friends or family members have mentioned that they don’t like your new partner, they must have noticed their frigid and selfish behavior. 

These are the talking stage red flags you shouldn’t ignore because just like everyone else, even you deserve a fulfilling and respectful relationship. But what if you spot them in your early relationships? What can you do about it? Read along and find out. 

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What To Do If You Spot The Early Red Flags In The Talking Stage? 

If you spot early red flags in the talking stage of a relationship, it is essential to take them seriously and consider your next steps thoughtfully:

  • Communicate openly your concerns by addressing the issue openly and honestly with the person. Express your feelings and concerns about their behavior. Plus you need to give them a chance to explain or change their behavior 
  • Clearly define your boundaries and make sure they are respected. Healthy relationships are based on mutual respect for each other’s limits
  • Pay attention to how the person responds to your concerns. Are they understanding, respectful, and willing to work on the issues? Or do they dismiss your feelings or become defensive? If it’s the former, then you can give them a chance. If it’s the latter, then they won’t change 
  • Listen to your intuition. If something feels off and the person’s behavior doesn’t align with what you want in a relationship, trust your feelings and prioritize your well-being
  • If the red flags persist or worsen, consider seeking advice from a therapist, counselor, or a trusted friend or family member who can provide an objective perspective

Ultimately, if the person’s behavior continues to be concerning and you don’t see positive changes, be prepared to end the relationship. Your emotional well-being and safety should always come first. 

Key Takeaways 

  • The serious talking stage in dating typically refers to a phase where two people are getting to know each other on a deeper level. You talk about feelings, experiences, expectations, and the possible future of the relationship
  • It’s a red flag if a person is overly focused on themselves and doesn’t really care about the other person’s feelings
  • Some other red flags include flaky behavior, trust issues, and escalating arguments 

They say ignoring red flags is like walking through a minefield blindfolded. Also, it is rare for a person with so many red flags to change their behavior. The only thing that changes here is their target and the blame they place. So, be wise and don’t let the love hormones blind you from seeing the person as they are.