What to Watch Out for When Dating

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, April 06, 2022
By Tiffany N. Perez

Each relationship we experience throughout our lives allows us to learn something about ourselves and our community.

sign that says know your worth

We learn more about

  • who we are
  • our faults
  • our limitations to understanding
  • our love language or what creates a connection
  • what we are willing to deal with versus what our deal breakers are for a committed relationship.

But the question is, do we know what to look for before we are in a committed relationship?

Many of my clients, male and female, have the same complaint. They hate dating! When I dig deeper the response is usually the same: “I hate putting myself out there, what if they aren’t looking for the same thing.” And, many feel anxious just thinking about the slightest fear of rejection or the fear of being in an uncomfortable situation.

My question is,

Why are we going into these situations with such negative beliefs?

If we go into ANY situation thinking

“I don’t want to do this.”


“This is going to be a disaster.”

We are simply fulfilling the prophecy we fated for ourselves.

Dating does not have to be obligatory or excruciating.

Dating can create opportunities for us to

  • learn something about ourselves
  • share an experience with another human and open up the possibility of making a long-term connection.

The first thing that must change is our belief about dating. Too often we place unreasonable expectations on ourselves to find “the one”. This not only places pressure on us but also on our date. It is more beneficial for both to look at the entire experience as a way to grow and learn.

Instead, consider what to look out for. With the knowledge of specific negative personality traits or potential character flaws, we can avoid wasting time and the possibility of harm brought on by unhealthy relationships.

“Red flags” is a common term used today to express the characteristics and behaviors of individuals who turn out to be abusive, controlling, and all-around unhealthy partners. Paying close attention to these warning signs can prevent us from engaging in unhealthy relationships that can harm us in the long run. Some red flags to look out for in potential partners are:

  • Checking your cell phone, social media, or email without permission.
  • Constantly putting you down – you are not smart enough, not thin enough, outright name-calling.
  • Extreme jealousy – the need to know where you are at all times and who you are with, accusations of being unfaithful.


“Relationships in general make people a bit nervous. It’s about trust. Do I trust you enough to go there?”