A few red flags to look for when meeting someone new

Carolyn Magner is not a professional therapist, shrink or even a very nice person. Her advice is meant to entertain you, not solve your terrible, desperate problems. E-mail Carolyn at [email protected].

Warning Signs

A few red flags to look for when meeting someone new

Dear Carolyn,

I’ve been dating men I meet online, and so far everything has been fine. I’m very cautious and take my time before we meet in person. Just about all my friends meet guys this way, and I think it’s safer than meeting in a bar or a grocery store. However, I was wondering if you had any good red flags that you could list. I always do a Google search on someone, but other than that, I’m not sure if my “gut instincts” are as good as they should be. A good friend of mine just found herself in a bad situation with a guy who was nothing like he seemed online.

Any thoughts?


Dear Tracy,

The danger of online dating is less that you will meet a sociopath but more that you will not see the red flags before you have already invested a lot of time and energy into the relationship. My “red flag list” — more a list of questions to ask yourself — needs human contact. The sooner you meet, the better.

Here’s what to look for:

• Does he have a lot of friends and family he’s willing for you to meet?

• Does he speak well of former girlfriends?

• How does he treat the waiters/waitresses when you go out?

• Does he treat you with respect?

• How does he keep his car/truck or house?

• Does he appear generous?

• Do you witness any acts of hostility, rage or rudeness?

• Does he like dogs?

This is just a partial list, but you get my drift. You can tell a lot just by meeting for coffee. Does he tip well? Is he interested in your life? Does he chew with his mouth open?

Good luck out there!

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

I’ve been driving for the same company for two years. Lately, they’ve been treating me badly. Dispatch is rude and the owner of the company has told me several times that he’s not sure he’ll be able to keep me on. He’s letting the equipment get run down and skimping on repairs. Part of the reason I hired on was because he had nice, new trucks. I’m working myself to death and worrying about my job. I’m making less money than I was before I came to work here.

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I’m not sure I can take it anymore.

What should I do?


Dear Brian,

Ask yourself, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” If it’s not, it’s time to start looking around.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

I’m expecting my first baby in a few weeks and wanted to vent a little bit. My beef is with the rude, inconsiderate co-worker who keeps asking me if I’m sure I’m not having twins. When I tell her no, I’m just having one baby, she proceeds to gasp and say, “Wow, it must be a BIG baby.”

I know I’m hormonal right now, but the thing is, my doctor is happy with my weight gain and the baby’s size is completely normal. I have to stop letting this bother me. What should I say when she says it again?


Dear Molly,

You look at her and say, “Why do you ask?” I doubt she’ll have a comeback, but if she does, just say she’ll be the first to know if the baby is oversized.

I don’t know why people mess with pregnant women. Especially other women. My guess is she’s completely clueless that her words have hurt your feelings. Some people just cruise through life without thinking.

I’m just say’n.