These 16 Things Can’t ALL Be Dating Red Flags, Can They?

In this week’s brand-new video, I invite you to play a game with my brother Stephen and me as we dive into a topic everyone’s asking about: red flags and amber lights (or “yellow lights” depending on where you live).

Be sure to stay until the end, where I give you information on how you can attend my upcoming Masterclass, which will be laser-focused on “How to Spot Red Flags in Early Dating.”

Join Me LIVE for My RED FLAG Masterclass.
Tap Below for Your 14-Day FREE Membership Trial . . .
TAP HERE . . .

Matthew:

Should we do this as overrated, underrated, but on what people say are red flags?

 

Stephen:

Yeah, a bit like that. I mean, some of these are ridiculous.

 

Matthew:

Okay. But yeah, go on. Well, then let’s see.

 

Stephen:

Okay. So this is a very popular one. It’s people who are rude to service workers, some can’t stand them.

 

Matthew:

Yes. Okay. I agree with that. Appropriately rated. You’ve got to pay attention to how people treat those who they feel can do nothing for them.

 

Stephen:

Yeah.

 

Matthew:

The focus always seems to be waiters.

 

Stephen:

Yeah. I know. It’s always waiters.

 

Matthew:

I do feel like we should be talking, let’s include everyone in the mix. But, it’s always… There’s a very, very defensive attitude about waiters in particular. But I do agree. Anyone who you think, I don’t need anything from this person, if you are rude or mean to that person or dismissive of that person, then that tells you a lot about what you need to know. Because you may one day be someone they decide they don’t need, and be on the receiving end of that kind of behavior. So, yeah. I agree with that one.

 

Jameson:

I think a nice way to look at it is, if someone just treats that person they’re never going to see again like, oh, okay, well, I can just be as mean as I want to be. It’s sort of like, you get to see that person in their natural environment. There’s just no more future here. What kind of energy do they leave that person with? Do they leave them with a negative energy or do they just have a default positive interaction?

 

Matthew:

What about if someone tries too hard with the waiter?

 

Stephen:

Yeah, like they’re just really, oh, that’s interesting. They really over-ingratiate themselves with anyone they speak to who’s a stranger.

 

Matthew:

Yeah. Is that a red flag?

 

Stephen:

That might be the amber one. That’s like a slight, I’m upturning one eyebrow at that. And I’m not sure. If they’re trying too hard to be friends with everyone we encounter.

 

Matthew:

You go, narcissist? Is this someone who needs everyone to love them? There are people I’ve met in my life, they meet me and charm the pants off me. And I’m just like, you know that person when you leave them, you’re like, oh yeah, they’re such a cool guy. Oh, so nice. They made you feel so good. And then if you were to spend more than a couple of hours with them in different environments, you can literally spot them doing it with the next person and the next person and the next person. And then you just go, huh. I don’t feel as special anymore.

 

Stephen:

Well, I thought I was your number one.

 

Matthew:

Yeah, exactly. I do think when someone’s trying too hard to charm everybody, that’s a red flag to me.

 

Stephen:

Okay. How about this one? When they like pineapple on pizza?

 

Matthew:

No, come on. If you can’t have your pizza the way you want it, then what has this world come to?

 

Stephen:

Fair enough.

 

Matthew:

There’s a lot of suffering in life. Pizza’s one of the few times that you get to escape the realities of everyday existence and just lose yourself in cheese and dough and sauce and whatever the hell you want. It’s a red flag if you’re judging people that hard on their pizza. Shame on you.

 

Jameson:

You know, you’re actually onto something there, Matt. I think there was a study. I heard this on a different podcast. The study came up, and there was a psychologist and a philosopher talking about a ridiculous study about how people that eat more adventurous foods are seen to be more sexually attractive, or at least more sexually experienced, or they’re into more weird sexual stuff.

 

Matthew:

Really?

 

Jameson:

So it’s sort of like that weird, prudish, I want to judge the food. There is kind of an element of, oh well, in the bedroom, they’re probably pretty judgey as well.

 

Matthew:

Interesting. So I thought you were going to say that people who have pineapple on pizza were probably good in bed because, you know, pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza.

 

Jameson:

Well, if they are open to it, the pineapple, who knows?

 

Matthew:

Oh, I see. So the pineapple has become the pineapple test. See if they will eat. I mean, look, I don’t think you should judge people for their pizza. That being said, my girlfriend likes pineapple on her pizza. And I won’t touch it. I will not. We will go halves. She will have her toppings on her side. You know like an office desk where you’re like, get your papers off of my desk, with someone next to you. That’s how I am with my pizza. Get that stray bit of pineapple off my slice. Eat your pineapple. I won’t judge you. But keep it away from me.

 

Stephen:

Next one. Hating all their exes. Stories about how they’ve been victimized by everyone.

 

Matthew:

Oh, that’s a good one. That’s a good one. That’s a classic. Yeah. It was just like people who hate everybody in general. You know like, when you meet someone who’s just so curmudgeonly that everyone. Just that person lacks empathy. They’ve stopped identifying with other people at all, and created an exception out of themselves. And when someone does that with their exes, it’s the same thing. It seems to be this inability to realize that you seem to, one of two things is true. Either they’re not as bad as you say they are, and you are the problem. Or you keep choosing really shitty people, in which case, you are still the problem.

 

Stephen:

Right. Yeah.

 

Matthew:

But you enjoy complaining about everyone all the time that you’ve dated, but maybe this energy should be put into making a different choice than continuing to choose the same people and then complaining about them. That smacks to me of someone who’s addicted to the same story.

 

Stephen:

So another one. This is from Netflix, themselves, Matt. They’ve got in on the fun. And they said, when they press skip intro on the first episode. So they don’t even listen to the theme song once, or the intro of a show.

 

Matthew:

What?

 

Stephen:

They skip intro straight away.

 

Matthew:

What kind of piece of shit does that?

 

Stephen:

I would think that it’s monstrous if you don’t listen to a show’s theme song at least the first time. But I often want to hear it every time.

 

Matthew:

I think there’s something wrong with you.

 

Jameson:

Do you think that Netflix just made a caricature monster version? No one really does that.

 

Matthew:

This is a straw man red flag.

 

Jameson:

The straw man red flags that Netflix made to just be completely self-serving with their marketing department tweeting out this nonsense.

 

Matthew:

Ah, that’s good.

 

Jameson:

We’re victims of sensationalist media right now.

 

Matthew:

This is why we have you in the room. Always seeing behind the smoke, reading between the lines.

 

Jameson:

For season one, I think for a full season one, you should be watching that intro.

 

Matthew:

Do you know why I like the intro? And I think this says something about the way that I approach life.

 

Stephen:

Yeah. This says you’re a great guy. Go on.

 

Matthew:

I didn’t say that it said I was a great guy. Steven, I think, if I can-

 

Stephen:

No, this is really going to say a lot about you. Go on.

 

Matthew:

If I can be so self-referential, I think that in this is some kind of little secret to life. And yes, I’m claiming it as my own. I watch the intro with the theme music because, to me, when we truly want to enjoy something in life, it starts by getting connected to it. It’s the same when I go and do a speech. I can have all of the words, I can have all of the knowledge of what I’m going to say, but you know, and Jameson knows, that anytime I’m about to get on stage, I’ll always have a moment where I either say to myself or one of you, “Why is this important again? Why do I need to do this? Why do I need to say this? And that moment is essential to giving a good speech or making a great video, is why is this important?

 

In other words, I need to get connected to it in order to do a good job. And anytime that it takes me a while to warm up, whether it’s a webinar or a video or whatever, is because I didn’t start connected. But when someone says, “Well, you were a little slow in the beginning, but then, oh my God, you were fire.” It’s because somewhere along the way I got connected and then it flowed differently. And when I watch the theme song or the music, the buildup to whatever show it is, that’s just two minutes of me really sitting into the experience of what I’m about to watch and going, oh yeah, I’m here for this. This is what I’m doing for the next half hour. I’m excited. I’m getting connected.

 

Stephen:

The only one you’re allowed to skip is The Morning Show, which is about three minutes long. So that might be the only one you can permit. But it’s a fun little tune.

 

Matthew:

I still watched. The Game of Thrones must have the record for the longest theme song ever. And I sat through it each time.

 

Stephen:

Yeah, that was one of the great theme songs. Okay. Another one. “Men who call it ‘cute’ when you say you’re going to do something any competent adult could do, like put furniture together or change your own oil. Throw those men in the trash.” We can’t really answer this one, Matt, because I guess we haven’t experienced that. But the idea of someone condescending you for anything you’re capable of doing.

 

Matthew:

Well, Steve, it’s cute that you think I’ve never experienced that, because I have.

 

Stephen:

Very good.

 

Matthew:

I did have, I remember telling someone what I did for a living. And they went, “Oh, that’s so cute.”

 

Stephen:

Oh, I hate that. I hate that stuff. I had that as well. I hate it. It is a terrible, terrible, low-

 

Matthew:

See how quickly we’ve made him angry?

 

Stephen:

No.

 

Matthew:

Look how quickly we’ve made Steve angry with that one. You were all, oh, it doesn’t really happen to us. That must be something we can’t relate to. I literally said it, and immediately you saw red.

 

Stephen:

Now I’m going, yeah, we men get that all the time. We’re getting condescended.

 

Matthew:

You know how seriously I take my work? And someone said, “Oh, that’s really cute.” And I immediately had no interest. It just was like, oh God, this is such an inappropriate response to something that’s really important to me. It’s all about reading the room. And I suppose that’s interesting. As a spin, as a distinction, I think that’s interesting to hear men do it over things that women do that are just everyday normal things. But there’s that patronizing, it’s cute that you are doing something that a human would do.

 

Stephen:

Right. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Oh, it’s cute you can open up the front of your car, that sort of thing, and change the oil.

 

Jameson:

I think I have a different interpretation of this tweet than you guys. I kind of just call BS on it. Because first of all, when’s the last time you changed your oil, Matthew?

 

Matthew:

Oh, I can see where you’re going.

 

Jameson:

I think this woman’s probably super competent at a lot of really cool stuff. And I guarantee that a guy was probably like, “Oh my God, you did that yourself. That’s awesome.” I mean, listen to the last part of her tweet. Throw those men in the trash. This is an angry person. I am skeptical of this tweet. I think this is an example of the toxic Twitter you were talking about.

 

Stephen:

Damn, he’s turned it around.

 

Matthew:

Oh, interesting.

 

Stephen:

Look at how defensive Jay is as a man being called out by one person. And he immediately gets defensive.

 

Matthew:

I mean, he might as well be waving a giant red flag over his head right now.

 

Jameson:

Can I just say that if I hurt you, Steve, it wasn’t my fault. And I’m not sorry.

 

Stephen:

This is brilliant. All right. Let’s move on from that one. When conversations have to absolutely be about them otherwise it’s boring or unimportant.

 

Matthew:

I mean, yes, obviously. Obvious red flag. If someone’s not curious about you, especially, by the way, in the dating phase. Do you know what I mean? Because if they’re not curious about you even during the time when it could get them in your pants, then what are they going to be like afterwards? They’re not going to suddenly get more curious about you when no longer is it about politeness or impressing you.

 

Stephen:

Right, exactly. Final one here. Because I thought it was quite funny. Someone put, when he knows his Zodiac sign, it’s a red flag. Or when he doesn’t know his Zodiac sign, it’s a red flag. I thought it was a funny, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

 

Matthew:

I think it’s fine for a man to know his Zodiac sign. I think that if he brings it up as a topic of conversation, you should not trust that man. And you should immediately stand up and leave the date and block his number. And if he tries to reach you another way and says on Instagram, “Hey, I don’t know what happened. But my text messages are no longer going through to you.” You call the police.

 

Stephen:

Or you say, “I thought you’re an Aries. You should have known not to talk like that in front of me.”

 

Matthew:

Steve, let me tell you something. When a guy brings up star signs, that’s not about his interest in star signs.

 

Stephen:

So you see it as pure-

 

Matthew:

As a lie.

 

Stephen:

He’s a pure strategist.

 

Matthew:

He’s a piece of shit liar.

 

Stephen:

You heard it here first, folks.

 

Matthew:

He is a liar, Steve. Steve, do you know how many times in my life, in my life, I have been with one of my male friends, old or new, and in the middle of our activity together as men, he said, what star sign are you, bud?

 

Stephen:

How many times does that happen?

 

Matthew:

How many times do you think? Zero, Steve. Fucking zero. What’s your star sign? And do you know how many times I’ve been on a hike with a man, and halfway through that hike, I did something, I said a certain thing. I said, “Oh my house is so messy right now.” And they went, “What star sign are you?” Do you know how many times they took one of the things I said and then used it as a way to pivot to what star sign I am, and how that behavior was so quintessentially Capricorn. Do you know how many times, Steve?

 

Stephen:

Oh, Got to be a few, hasn’t it? How many?

 

Matthew:

Absolutely fucking zero, mate.

 

Stephen:

Zero again. I knew it. There you go.

 

Matthew:

So when a guy’s on a date with you and he starts pulling out all of that horoscope knowledge, proceed at your peril.

 

Stephen:

This is a man who has got a devious mind. The Lex Luthor of astrology.

 

Matthew:

For shame.

 

Stephen:

Fair enough. Well, that’s good. I think we covered some ground there. I want to ask you about a few amber flags, Matt. And if you agree, these are like, hmm. And these are ones I’ve sort of wrote down.

 

Matthew:

Go on.

 

Stephen:

Someone too comfortable with offering criticism early on.

 

Matthew:

Yeah. I’ll move more quickly through these. But yeah, that’s one to talk about. That’s a conversation. I feel judged by you, or I don’t feel like you’re accepting me. That’s a conversation

 

Stephen:

Now, this is a careful one. But someone who doesn’t have any friends. Or we could say, a woman who has no female friends or a man who has no friends.

 

Matthew:

Interesting. Yeah. I would say that’s-

 

Stephen:

That’s an amber flag? Because some people are lonerish. That’s why I’m thinking it’s a hmm.

 

Matthew:

I don’t know. I’d say if someone has no friends, that might be a red flag.

 

Stephen:

Someone who has never had a long-term relationship and they’re past 35.

 

Matthew:

I think that’s an amber. I’m going to go amber, because I think that’s a conversation.

 

Stephen:

So you agree. You’re agreeing with me?

 

Matthew:

Yeah.

 

Stephen:

If you have very different religious or spiritual beliefs.

 

Matthew:

That’s amber. That’s a good amber because that requires significant conversation. But it’s not insurmountable.

 

Stephen:

Okay. This is quite a specific one. I wonder what you think. Someone who can’t enjoy something because it wasn’t their first choice.

 

Matthew:

What would be an example of that?

 

Stephen:

Like, there was the restaurant they really wanted to go to and you got the second best because you both couldn’t get into that one. Or the second best activity. But they make a thing of like, they didn’t get the first choice. It’s like a thing.

 

Matthew:

That’s a red flag.

 

Stephen:

That’s a red flag.

 

Matthew:

That’s a red flag. How are you going to enjoy life with that person? Life is full of second choices.

 

Jameson:

I feel like that’s wildly specific, Steve. Is there some trauma you want to talk about here?

 

Matthew:

Yeah. Who have you dated that’s done that? Have you tried to take someone to a restaurant and sold them on it and gone “Oh, I tell you, they all know me here. Let me tell you, this is great. They call it Stevie’s joint. It’s a great restaurant.”

 

Stephen:

I don’t say it like Michael Kane. But yeah, go on.

 

Matthew:

You go. “I call this Stevie’s joint. I walk in, everyone says hello. The food’s delicious. They got this amazing pizza. I tell you, even if you don’t eat pineapple on pizza, you’ll eat it on this pizza. They do a pizza, the whole base is pineapple. It’s delicious.” And you’ve really sold this pineapple base pizza. And then all of a sudden you rock up and they go, “I’m sorry, sir. We don’t have a reservation for you.” And you go, “Don’t you know who I am?” And they say, “I’m sorry, sir. We’ve never seen you before.” And so you have to trundle off to Chipotle or whatever other establishment is nearby.

 

Stephen:

Yeah. If I do that, and they give me stick about it.

 

Matthew:

No. And then you go to the next place. Hang on. You go to the next place. And your date, who’s been sold on this pineapple base pizza, and this place that you’ve nicknamed Stevie’s joint. They now can’t get it out of their mind, and they can’t enjoy the burrito you’ve taken them for. Is that what you mean?

 

Stephen:

Yeah. And they give me stick about it. And just subtly they seem a bit disappointed the whole day. Like, “Oh, you did say we were going to go to that Stevie’s place. If they bring it up again, then I’m annoyed.

 

Matthew:

This actually exists. This actually happened.

 

Jameson:

This is such a true story. And what’s more is you nailed it. I feel like this is exactly what happened.

 

Matthew:

This really happened, didn’t it?

 

Stephen:

I don’t even remember. It feels like something that did happen. But my point is, I want someone who can enjoy the, oh, we didn’t do the favorite thing today. We didn’t get number one choice every time. This time we do second best. And I want them to then go with a good attitude.

 

Matthew:

Right. Yeah. This is obviously self authored. So I feel like you need to be the one who says whether this is amber or red. And I’ll tell you what, Steve, from everything you’ve said and how upset you’ve been over it, I am surprised you’ve put it in the amber category.

 

Stephen:

I want them to enjoy the little things, okay?

 

Matthew:

Let’s list it as red then.

 

Stephen:

So how many ambers makes a red?

 

Matthew:

Well, I think here, because we’re going to have to wrap this up, Steve. But I want to finish on something that I think is going to be very valuable for people as a bit of insight, I suppose. There is a difference between red flags and amber lights. A red flag is something that we should genuinely, it falls under that ignore at your peril category. Now the dangerous thing about red flags is that often red flags are disguised as exciting or attractive qualities about someone. They’re the bad boy. They’ve got this edge to them. They have a certain amount of spontaneity or excitement. Or , you know, they charm everyone on the first date and everyone loves them, and they say all the right things in any given moment. Sometimes red flags can be disguised as exciting qualities. And so we start chasing the wrong thing. That’s what’s so dangerous about some red flags.

However, there are amber lights, which I define as conversations, things that you should talk about and use as an opportunity to either find a real point of difference that isn’t going to work, or find a moment of coming together, where you go, “Oh you feel this way? Oh, that’s okay. Then I’ll adjust that. Or let’s talk about it. Let’s come to a place of greater understanding.” Amber lights are actually the makings of a relationship. The ability to talk about differences and to use those to become stronger is one of the defining characteristics of strong relationships.

Now, what I think is interesting about amber lights is that, sometimes they’re disguised as red flags. Sometimes, especially when we have our demons, which we all do, we have our insecurities, someone can do something that, to us, it freaks us out in some way. It feels like, this is like that thing that someone once did to me. Right now it’s not really that thing, but because it’s coming in some form that makes me think of that. It’s almost like, if I’ve been cheated on a bunch of times and then this person I’m with is out all night and doesn’t text me. Now, we might go, red flag. That’s a red flag.

And when we see a red flag, especially when it’s related to one of our demons, one of the things that we are scared of, it sends us into fight or flight mode. So fight mode is, you finally get hold of them. You finally speak to them and you unleash hell on them for the way that you have just felt, and for how afraid you are. You yell at them. You argue with them. You tell them all the ways they’re wrong. You judge their behavior. Or flight. You go cold. You give them the silent treatment. Or you just stop returning their calls. You don’t text them back because you’re like, that feels like something just got poked in me that’s made me terrified. It’s aggravated my trauma. I’m running for the hills. I’m going to get this person away from me because this means danger.

The danger with amber lights is that sometimes our own trauma can make those amber lights look like red flags, when actually they are an invitation for us to have a conversation, for us to reveal more of ourselves, our wounds, who we are as a person, for us to understand more about somebody else, for us to get better at setting boundaries. Amber lights are an invitation to strengthen the relationship and heal our trauma. But if we go straight into fight or flight because we see it as a red flag, then we may never get the chance to do all of those wonderful things because we’ll either scare ourselves off and run away, or we’ll scare them off in the early stages with how we just treated them.

I am fascinated by this because I think it’s kind of easy to list a bunch of red flags and say, yeah, if you see this run for the hills. But I think the reality of relationships and early dating is that usually, or very often, we find ourselves in situations where we simply aren’t sure. We’re not sure of whether something is a genuine red flag. We’re not sure if they’ve done anything wrong, or if it’s our trauma, if we are the one being high maintenance, if we are the one who needs to check our ego, if we are the one who’s just being overly anxious. We’re not sure if we’re being over demanding. We’re not sure if it’s appropriate to say something. We have an argument with someone and we come out of it completely spinning as to whether we just did a good thing or a bad thing. And so, I’m fascinated by this distinction between red flags and amber lights. Red flags, ignore at your peril. Amber lights, an invitation to a conversation.

 

*************************************************************************************

 

Matthew:

Hey, before you go, I have something big to tell you about. I, on the 7th of December, am doing a two-hour deep dive masterclass on the topic of red flags. Here’s what we’re going to be talking about. Firstly, how to spot red flags. But we’re also going to be talking about the things that maybe aren’t red flags. They’re not things we should run away from when we see them, but they are things that we should have a conversation about. How do you navigate those moments? How do you use the conversation that you have around those moments to build a strong relationship? Because I truly believe that long-term relationships are built on the conversations that are had in those moments of friction. But you got to know when to have them and how to have them. And that’s what I’m going to be talking about in this two-hour deep dive masterclass.

 

It’s happening live, on December the 7th. And you can join it as long as you are a member of my Love.Life Club. If you’re not a member right now, don’t worry. You can join for free for 14 days on a two-week trial, just to come and see if you like it. Go to AskMH.com for all of the details. And I’ll see you there.

Free Guide

Copy & Paste These
"9 Texts No Man Can Resist"

5 Replies to “These 16 Things Can’t ALL Be Dating Red Flags, Can They?”

  1. What happens when you go ahead with the red flag person at your own peril? So the excitement and spontaneity took over and now im stuck! How do you get out when you only have yourself to blame? I let them move in against my better judgment:(

  2. Ok, “that’s cute”- you said that offended you? you mean sounds not serious? Or sounded lady’ish? wah! Now me wants to tell you you r cute, oh no, gorgeous, oh no- that’s all lady stuff; Ok you really looking good.

    The other one you left me on the crossroads; coz you said, me using your example, if someone said nice things about you that made you feel nice, then you spot the person treating another person the same way, saying those nice things to someone else, that would make you not feel special anymore. But you don’t have any attachments to this person. If you are committed to this person that’s a different story. I agreed with you in the past when you said you/we can flirt freely. Now you Matthew you are judging that person, if you liked them, instead of that feeling (not special anymore), you would have responded by making your move men! tell them you were drawn to them. See, was your good student. caught ya!

  3. I missed it! I’d love your thoughts on this red flag – I spilled a pot of burning hot tea on myself and tried to play it cool while also cringing in pain and saying I can’t believe that just happened. We were at a restaurant and he exclaimed wow your jacket is steaming then took a sip of his coffee and said let me see how hot these are. My coffee is okay so it must have not been that hot? … is this a sign that he can’t understand that the perspectives and experiences of other people are different from his own? Or maybe innocently just didn’t think through that the temperature of his espresso and my pot of tea are actually unrelated? … then later in the conversation he described losing a job interview because he went on and on about his dreams and didn’t stop to think that they didn’t align with what the employer wanted. He was able to reflect afterwards that he made a mistake, but complained that employers should be impressed by his entrepreneurial goals. Both examples of not understanding perspectives different from his own?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All-Time POPULAR Posts