15 Biggest Red Flags When Dating In Your 50s – Watch Out!

Dating experience | | , Journalist & Writer
Updated On: November 30, 2023
Red flags when dating in your 50s

Are you looking for someone in today’s ‘love at first swipe’ culture? Or simply waiting and hoping to find a partner with whom you feel ‘this is it’? Whatever may be the situation, it’s about falling in love with the right person and having a ‘happily ever after.’ However, finding love at 50 can be scary and intimidating. Be it the awkward feeling that people your age are already off the market or being confused about the other person carrying the emotional baggage of a previous spouse or failed relationships. It is a tricky track to navigate. So, to simplify the process, identify the red flags when dating in your 50s before saying “I love you” too soon. Because hey, lust can cloud your judgment easily. Besides, you deserve someone who treats you like royalty.

Unfortunately, in the overwhelming dating world these days, many accept red flags as part of the package instead of viewing them as warning signs of a bad woman or man. So, what are these warning signs in a relationship that you should look out for? Before we get to the answer, let’s understand what dating red flags are.

What Are Dating Red Flags?

Dating red flags. Hmmm… Picture this: a romantic restaurant, perfect background music, and good food! You meet your date in person for the first time, but they go on talking about themselves and describing all of their exes as crazy while ignoring important conversations, i.e., stuff about you two. So, what are the warning signs here?

  • They are self-centered and will not care about your opinion
  • They are dwelling in the past while carrying the baggage of all their exes, which reflects no emotional maturity
  • There will be constant criticism for every little thing you do
  • They will blame you for everything
  • They will avoid difficult discussions, which will eventually result in a lack of healthy, open communication
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To get a better idea, take it from the folks on Reddit who opened up about some of the examples of red flags they ignored. A Reddit user wrote: “Missed opportunities to bond. It sounds silly, but it definitely adds up to show how much they don’t care. It can be as simple as you driving and you say ‘Oh look! A rainbow’ and they don’t even care to turn their head.” Another user commented, “Isolating you from your friends and family. It took me a very long time to realize this. Narcissists are notorious for this. They get you believing that if people in your life are against your partner then they’re against you as well.”

Jennifer, a 57-year-old woman, shared her experience saying, “Internet dating over 50 is not easy. I re-entered the dating scene in my early 50s as a divorced person, and one of the biggest surprises was the number of men my age not being in a long-term relationship. Of course, not having committed before 50 does not mean a man will never commit. But if he has never had a serious relationship by that age, it does alarm you, as many men rush into the dating scene almost immediately after a breakup.

“I also came across an individual who had a recent break up and was seeking a new relationship. He was 11 years younger than me. We went on just a few dates, but I realized he still had unresolved feelings about his ex that later proved to be a hot mess. I moved on while treating it as one of the red flags when dating a younger man.

“A 1983 film called Sleepless in Seattle had a line that said, “It’s easier to be killed by a terrorist than it is to get married over the age of 40.” That’s true because getting a potential partner or a serious commitment while dating in your 50s as a woman is a task. The clueless romantics among us struggle to identify red flags when dating in our 50s because warning signs are subtle and insidious. And dating someone insecure can have its own set of challenges. So, it’s extremely important to identify the early dating red flags because you will never be good enough for the wrong person. So keep an eye out for red flags on first date and know when to stop dating someone. You may feel he is a great guy but something is missing, don’t ignore your instincts.”

Related Reading: 9 Silent Red Flags In A Relationship No One Talks About

15 Biggest Red Flags When Dating In Your 50s – Your Cue To Run!

There is no denying that dating at fifty is different. You are older and wiser. You know people and their traits. But let’s admit, love can make you turn a blind eye to their flaws. Recognizing the red flags of a damaged woman or man is key to finding the right person. And to help you, we have made a checklist of the 15 biggest but most common red flags when dating in your 50s. So, if any of these pops up, take a step back.

1. They have online dating profiles but no personal details

As a single, turning to a fifty plus dating site to find love has its own set of issues. One of the social media red flags when dating in your 50s is finding no personal details about the other person. Many come from places where they are still not well-versed with social media and dating apps, and prefer keeping their personal information under wraps. But if they have only a few blurry photos with limited details and deny meeting in person, it’s one of the major red flags in online dating. Think about it, if an individual is looking for someone, they will present themselves in the best way possible.

2. They can’t stop talking about themselves

Talking only about what they enjoy or care about, without wanting to know what you want, is a red flag. If you are meeting up at a place of their choice, doing what they like, please remember, some things never change. Plus, as mentioned earlier, your opinion will never matter to them.

Related Reading: 11 Dating Sites And Apps For Widows – 2022 Updated

3. They have never been in a serious relationship

If a person has been single for decades, it does raise curiosity about their commitment. The lack of serious relationships can indicate that there is a problem here. Hence, it is important to proceed with caution when the other person is carrying the ‘50 and never married red flag’.

4. They ignore difficult discussions and have trust issues

A healthy relationship gives an opportunity for both partners to be invested and engaged. But, if you are unable to have important conversations, it’s fishy! Like dating for over 50s professionals who cannot discuss their professional lives and walk away from arguments without hearing you out. This is a sign that you should take a step back and stop rushing things. Also, if you are dating a divorced man with trust issues (or a woman, for that matter), it can be a tricky situation. They might accuse you of infidelity without valid reasons.

Related Reading: 9 Expert Tips To Know If Your Partner Is Lying About Cheating

5. They trash-talk about their past relationships

What does it mean when a guy talks about his ex all the time and it’s all negative? Well, there is no harm in being honest, but if they are over-critical and keep trash-talking about their ex constantly, do not date this guy. Unresolved issues of the past can affect your present. Moreover, if they can’t hold themselves responsible for their part in past relationships, there is no guarantee of the accountability they will hold in the future. So, think before dating a man with emotional baggage and free your heart accordingly.

6. They just want to get physical

Do relationships move faster when you are older? They can, but it all depends on both of you. Someone who would want to know you will not discuss sex on the first meet or cancel plans when you want to catch up for a coffee. That’s one of the major red flags on first date. You should rethink if the person is good enough to sleep with but not date. Being physical is part of a relationship, but it’s not a great sign if it comes up early on.

Unhealthy Relationship

7. They engage in love bombing

There is a dialogue in the series Money Heist where Raquel Murillo details how her ex-husband became abusive toward her. She says, “Toxic relationships don’t begin with abuse. If it were like that, no one would be in a relationship with someone who is abusive. In fact, it’s all the opposite. In the beginning, you fall in love with someone charming, intelligent, who makes you feel like the center of the universe.”

This is what love bombing looks like. If he said I love you too soon or if he wants to be exclusive after 3 dates and showered you with an intense display of affection, it can be a sign of an unhealthy dynamic. Be careful of the ‘too many compliments’ red flag. Being loved is a beautiful feeling, but getting love bombed is emotional abuse.

8. They have controlling behavior

The worst kinds of red flags of a damaged woman or a man are silent. They’ll exhibit signs of jealousy, but they will not come right out and say it. Talking about it, a 2010 study states that when jealousy soars, the quality of relationships deteriorates. People carrying such traits tend to have subtle controlling behavior, where they would want to know your movements or decisions right after one date. If they do so, it’s time to move on, ​​because nobody wants to be in such a relationship, especially when you hit your 50s.

Related Reading: 13 Signs Of A Controlling Woman

9. They belittle you with offensive humor

Humor brings people closer. But there is a thin line between being funny and being offensive. It is a red flag when you’re dating in your 50s if they mock you or belittle you in front of others. A person who loves you will respect you and will not put you down. This is an example of emotional abuse that can also affect your self-esteem and well being.

10. They are disrespectful toward others

At 50, you certainly don’t want someone who has not learned how to behave with others and feels it’s their right to be rude. It projects their lack of empathy. So, better get out of that relationship as fast as you can.

11. They never apologize

Everyone makes mistakes. But if they find it hard to apologize and not take ownership of their actions, it is a red flag that you should not ignore. Saying sorry shows that the person is capable of taking responsibility for their actions.

Related Reading: 15 Signs Of Relationship Compatibility Between You And Your Partner

12. They are frequent liars

These can be small lies. But catching them constantly lying to you is a big signal that you should let them go out of your life. Any kind of dishonesty is a violation of the relationship. Hence, seek out people whom you trust.

13. They lack financial planning

Financial stability and responsibility are important factors to consider while dating in your 50s as a woman or a man. Many assume that talking about it is unromantic. Yes, it might be odd to ‘talk money’ in the early stages of dating, but if you’re considering a future together, you need to know if they have a habit of impulsive spending or are in debt. For a healthy relationship, transparency is the key. If they have no clarity regarding their financial goals, it is a potential red flag.

red flags when dating a younger man
If they have no clarity regarding their financial goals, it is a potential red flag

14. They don’t prioritize your children’s emotional needs

Getting into the dating pool following a long break, be it after your divorce or your former spouse’s death, is not easy. It’s tough dating in 50s as a woman or a man. But if you are a parent, it’s important to understand how your children feel about this whole dating situation. However, if you find yourself with a person who wants you to keep them before your children and their needs in all situations, you may want to rethink your decision of getting into the relationship. This is one of the red flags when dating a younger man or woman, as commitment may mean different things to you both.

Related Reading: 10 Critical Emotional Needs In A Relationship

15. They are emotionally unavailable

Dating at fifty is hard, and a 2020 study shows that 47% of adults find it more difficult to find someone to date in their 50s than they did 10 years ago. While 26% of women state that emotional and physical risks are the factors behind it. So, in this era, if someone is emotionally unavailable or withholding affection in a relationship, reconsider that person. You might end up feeling emotionally abandoned, with your intimate life being affected. The whole point of being in a relationship is to be there for each other. So, if they can’t be there emotionally, what’s the point then?

Key Pointers

  • The basic dating rule of thumb is to identify the biggest red flags when dating in your 50s
  • To find potential partners, look for those who accept their mistakes and apologize, avoid individuals who trash-talk about their past relationships and be cautious of the ’50 and never married red flag’ category
  • Having knowledge of these red flags will safeguard you, especially when you get older because emotional well-being becomes even more critical
  • If you spot a red flag, choose a non-confrontational approach to discuss your concerns like communicate openly by simply saying, “I don’t see a future with you”

Remember, “love is timeless.” There is no age limit or expiry date when it comes to finding love at 50. More than ever, you can see a rise in fifty plus dating sites. Just keep the following checklist before getting into a relationship or taking the route of internet dating over the conventional way of finding future relationships. Explore the best options for dating for over 50s professionals. Look for tips on dating a divorced man or woman, check for dating guides that will help you explore the dating pool and step in the right direction. Don’t forget that you have the bonus of several years of experience. Use them to identify the red flags when dating in your 50s, and attract the right romantic interest.

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