A picture says a thousand words, but words can be pretty powerful in their own right. In the world of dating, the lines a person comes out with can tell a lot about their personality and their intentions, and can be a good indication as to whether we should keep seeing them or not.
There are things people say that are sweet and promising, and then there are lines that might as well be alarms telling us to run as fast as we can!
While some lines are clearly problematic and would make just about anybody second-guess the person saying them, others appear to be innocent but are actually worrying beneath the surface.
Things that have been traditionally viewed as compliments, like telling a woman that she’s not like other women, or that she’s perfect, or that she’s different from all the exes, might actually reveal some dark things about a guy who’s trying to impress with them.
It can be confusing to work out what the real meaning is behind several of the most common lines that are heard in the dating game, which is why we’re here to help! Check out these twenty lines that guys say which may sound promising but are actually immediate red flags.
20 She’s Not Like Other Women
If a guy ever says that you’re not like other women, you might take it as a compliment. And that’s probably how he intends for it to come across. But if you look deeper into this comment, it actually reveals a lot about how he feels about women in general.
Saying it to suggest that you not being like other women is a good thing consequently implies that most (if not all) other women are bad. And we understand—it’s easy to feel like that if you’ve been hurt in the past. But all women are not bad, and any man who thinks so probably isn’t the best man to be dating.
19 His Ex Was Crazy
Be careful of anybody who gets stuck on their ex too much. For starters, if he’s always going on about his ex, it could mean that he’s not really over them. But more to the point, if he is happy to badmouth someone from his past (especially if it’s early on in the relationship) it usually says more about his character than his ex’s.
It should be a major red flag if he tells you all his exes were crazy because that is the classic behavior of a guy who can’t take responsibility for his actions. Unless he’s the unluckiest guy on the planet, it’s highly unlikely that he’s been the innocent victim of a string of “crazy” exes.
18 He Just Got Out Of A Serious Relationship
“I just got out of a serious relationship” is usually another way of saying “I’m only looking for something casual.” And that’s not a bad thing in itself; it’s only a red flag if you are looking for something more serious with this guy. If you just want a casual thing, you’re in luck, because this line usually suggests that he does too.
That’s not to say that all guys who get out of serious relationships are looking for a fling. Some people don’t like being alone ever and tend to pair up again as soon as they break up with someone. But in most cases, this line means he won’t be in it for the long hall with you.
17 He Thinks She’s Perfect
When a man tells you that you’re perfect, it sounds like a good thing. And in most cases, he isn’t trying to be offensive or problematic. He probably genuinely feels that way about you, even though nobody is perfect. This is a red flag though because it suggests that he’s putting you on a pedestal.
As we just said, nobody’s perfect, and if he always tells you how perfect you are, it could suggest that you’re like a flawless Barbie doll in his eyes rather than a real person. Always better to be a real person, guys. Ed Sheeran gets away with it, but nobody else does.
16 He’s A Bad Texter
If he tells you that he’s a bad texter, what he really might be saying is that he doesn’t care enough to respond to text messages and he doesn’t want you to hound him about it. While it’s true that some people are less comfortable texting or using social media, ultimately, when you have a chance to talk to someone you’re interested in, you do it.
If you’re a bad texter and you like the person who’s texting you, you become a better texter. If he says that he would rather talk on the phone or in person than text you, that’s one thing. But it’s a red flag if he just doesn’t respond to you and hides behind the label of a bad texter.
15 He Can’t Believe She Ate All That
Life is way too short to keep people around who make you feel bad for finishing your plate. Sometimes, guys can mean a line like this as a compliment. By saying, “I can’t believe you ate all that,” he might be trying to hint that he loves your body and it doesn’t look like you eat as much as you do.
But these words are loaded, and when someone is already insecure about their appearance, they’re not the best words to use. This line is a red flag because it might show that he doesn’t think through what he says (which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but isn’t ideal either). And it might show that he has a problem with women who eat what they want.
14 He Doesn’t Think Something Is Lady-Like
Yes, people still use this term. If a guy tells you that what you’re doing isn’t lady-like, there’s a high chance he has very traditional views of gender roles. If you have the same views, you might be a match made in heaven. But if it irritates you when people tell you to act more feminine, or try to make you feel bad for doing things that are traditionally masculine, then this dude is probably going to irritate you before too long.
This is definitely a red flag if he says it while you’re doing something that makes you happy, like playing a sport, for example.
13 He Wants To Live Off The Grid
There is a chance that you’ve found a guy who is just interested in getting away from the hustle and bustle and desires a quiet life if he tells you he wants to live off the grid. Keep in mind, though, that there’s also a chance that he has another life that you don’t know about and he wants to keep it that way.
Often, when a man has said that he wants to “live off the grid” and doesn’t want to be on social media or doesn’t want his pictures taken, and seems to be a lone wolf, he might have something to hide. It’s not unheard of for women to find out later that men like this actually have a wife and golden retriever already.
12 He Knows Exactly How She Feels
The problem with a guy saying he knows exactly how you feel when you’re venting to him is that there’s a good chance he doesn’t. If people say they know how you feel because the same thing happened to them (or worse), they may be trying to one-up you rather than actually offer their support.
Rather than telling you that he’s there for you, or you can cry if you want to, or it will get better, he tells you that he knows exactly what you’re going through because he’s had a similar experience. Not helpful! And a red flag that might suggest he’s not a supportive person.
11 He Doesn't Understand Why She’s Not Smiling
This is sadly still a thing. Lines like “You should smile more!” or “Why aren’t you smiling?” or just simply “Smile!” are annoying and in most cases a red flag. It goes back to the issue of women being there solely to look pretty for men, or not possibly having real problems just because they’re women.
Nobody, woman or man, is obligated to smile. Of course, it’s possible that you’re always in a bad mood and after several dates, he wants to know why. But in most cases, a line like this doesn’t portray a man in the best light.
10 He’s Just Having Fun Right Now
What you hear is what you get with this one. If he tells you that he’s just having fun right now, then it might be considered a red flag if you’re looking for more than fun. The guy who says this usually wants you to know that he’s not interested in becoming your boyfriend. In some cases, this is a polite way to turn someone down.
It’s easier for him to say he’s having fun and not really looking for anything than to say that he does want a relationship, just not with you. Whatever the case may be, this is a clear sign that he doesn’t want to get serious.
9 His Work Is His Biggest Focus Right Now
Another thing that a guy might say to subtly let you know that he’s not interested in a relationship is, “My work is my biggest focus right now.” Of course, it’s possible that his work really is his biggest focus, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Generally, if someone tells you that they’re incredibly busy at work and that’s their priority, you’ll be less inclined to bother them or to expect commitment out of them, and that might be what his aim is. Typically, if you’re really into someone, you don’t tell them that you’re buried under with work right now, even if you are, because that might give them the wrong idea.
8 He’s Super Close With His Family
Hear us out! A man being close to his family is not a bad thing at all. But if he makes a point to tell you, early on in the dating game, that he’s really family oriented (and he emphasizes the ‘really’) it could be that he’s a little too obsessed with his family.
While it’s nice to have a good relationship with family members, there are those who take that to extremes. And when we say extreme, we mean a guy who will break up with you because his mom says so, or would never stand up for you if his sister didn’t like you.
7 He Knows What She Really Wants
Beware of the guy who tells you that you don’t really know what you want, but he does. Yes, there are still people out there who say stuff like this. This stems from the narrative that some people still buy into that says that women are emotional and hysterical and don’t know what they want, and they need a strong, rational man to come in and tell them.
Uh, no. It is a colossal red flag if you try to tell him you don’t want something, and he shuts you down with, “I know you want it.” Thank u, next.
6 He Told Her So
This one doesn’t just apply to dating in general. The temptation to tell someone that you told them so definitely arises from time to time, but it’s always better to resist the pleasure of it. People who give into saying this can seem like know-it-alls, as well as smug and rude. When a guy says this to you more than once, about issues that aren’t just low key, it could suggest that he is indeed a smug, rude know-it-all.
If he says he told you that you shouldn’t have ordered the coffee from a certain place, that’s one thing. If he says he told you that you should never have quit your job, or started going to the gym a month ago, it’s a red flag.
5 The World Is Out To Get Him
It’s true that some people are luckier than others. Some people really do have unfortunate lots in life. But no matter what kind of fortune you experience, you always have control over your reaction to it. As a rule of thumb, it’s not a good sign if a guy tells you that the world is out to get him, or something along the same lines.
He might say everyone at his job dislikes him or his whole family wants to see him struggle, but strong, generalist statements like that usually indicate that someone has a victim’s mentality, which points to a lack of responsibility.
4 He’s Always Getting Friend-Zoned
The friend-zone is something that most millennials will be familiar with. But many people might not realize that when a guy brings it up, it can say something about his views. People say they’ve been friend-zoned when they are romantically interested in someone, but that person only offers them friendship in return.
It carries tones of pity and entitlement, and people who have been friend-zoned frequently say it as though it’s an offensive act committed against them. If he says it, it might show that he feels entitled to a girl’s affections and is having a little tantrum because she only wants to be his friend.
3 She Doesn’t Really Want Someone Like Him
Keep your guard up if he says, “You don’t want to be with me,” or “You wouldn’t want someone like me.” For starters, he’s telling you what you want, which is frustrating. But more to the point, lines like this are usually used as an excuse to distance yourself from someone while managing to make them feel guilty about it.
Sometimes, this line can really mean “I don’t want someone like you.” This is obviously a less harsh way for a guy to let the other person know that nothing will happen between them but gets that point across without confessing a lack of interest on his part.
2 He Will Think About Things Or See How It Goes
By telling you that he will think about seeing you again, or think about coming to your event, or see how it goes with regards to calling you tonight, he might really be letting you down easy.
In most cases, this is an easy way to avoid following through with something, because by saying you’ll see how it'll go, you’re not actually committing to it but you’re also not outwardly saying that you don’t want to. Of course, it’s possible that a guy really is busy and really will see how it goes. But if this is his go-to line, it’s a strong possibility that he’s just not totally interested.
1 He Thinks Something Is A Woman’s Job Or A Man’s Job
If he tells you that you shouldn’t be doing something because it’s a man’s job or you should be doing something because it’s a woman’s job, it’s another hint that he’s got a very traditional view of the world. He might say it in regards to your actual work and ask why you want to pursue that profession when it’s male-dominated.
But he also might say it in regard to household tasks. “You’re the woman, you make dinner,” for example. Fine if you agree with him, but if not, being with someone like this could lead to a lot of tension and stress.
Sources: Glamour, Cosmopolitan