Unconventional Red Flags That I Swear By With My Whole Chest

If you’ve been on the dating scene for a while, you’ve probably heard of red flags: little signals that the person you’re seeing isn’t a great person or perhaps isn’t right for you. There are many common ones most of us as accustomed to—he only hits you up after midnight, he’s vague about commitment, etc.

However, I personally have a few of my own that I have picked up over the years and will swear by until I die.

His Favorite Book Is By Ernest Hemingway

American writer Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961) working at a portable table
Photo Credit: Earl Theisen / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Earl Theisen / Getty Images

Here’s the thing: I like Hemingway’s writing myself, but if a guy’s favorite book is Farewell To Arms or any other Hemingway novel, he definitely lacks any semblance of emotional intelligence.

He Uses The Monkey Emojis

text messages with the two eyes covered monkey emojis
Photo Credit: This Is Why I’m Single
Photo Credit: This Is Why I’m Single

There’s something inherently sinister about a man who unironically uses the monkey emojis when texting. It gives off intense f***boy energy that you can almost feel. Just trust me on this one.

He Thinks The Joker Is One Of The Best Movies Ever Made

still of the joker looking in the mirror
Photo Credit: moviestillsdb / Warner Bros
Photo Credit: moviestillsdb / Warner Bros

I’m not saying that it was a bad movie or even that I dislike people who like it, but have you ever tried to talk to a guy who absolutely loved this movie? He’ll mansplain every aspect of it to you as if you’re an idiot when, in reality, you just don’t think it’s that deep.

He Says, “Wow, You’re Actually Funny”

men will tweet
Photo Credit: Twitter / @vhsgirlfriend
Photo Credit: Twitter / @vhsgirlfriend

Not to be confused with the phrase “you’re funny;” in fact, the actually is the condemning part. What he’s really saying is: “I don’t think that women are funny at all and don’t really respect them either.”

He Thinks Being “Smart” Is A Personality Trait

man looking at desktop screen
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Austin Distel
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Austin Distel

Some men will act like being considered “smart” or getting good grades is a whole personality, while, in reality, the only characteristic they’re showing is their arrogance and fragile sense of self.

He Still Has His Childhood Football Trophies

Sport trophies line a shelf
Photo Credit: Toni L. Sandys / The Washington Post via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Toni L. Sandys / The Washington Post via Getty Images

A grown man who still puts his high school trophies on his mantel to show off to visitors is clearly living in the past. He probably also has a “tragic injury that kept him from going D1” story, and he’ll never be happy to see you succeed in life.

He Has A Fight Club Poster

promo poster: brad pitt holding soap bar that says
Photo Credit: moviestillsdb / 20th Century Fox
Photo Credit: moviestillsdb / 20th Century Fox

I’m just going to say it: no adult man should have a Fight Club poster hanging up in his room. It’s tacky. Second of all, I have never met a man who’s obsessed with this movie who doesn’t also reek of toxic masculinity.

He Says “He’s Been Hurt Before” While On The First Date

man looking down, sad
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Asaf R
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Asaf R

Bro, we have all been hurt before—that is how life works. Any man who uses this statement during a first date is just trying to set up a scapegoat “problem” for when he acts like a jerk in the future.

He Often Makes Fun Of Astrology

men hating women for liking astrology .. u literally play a game of spreadsheets where u pretend to be the manager of a football team
Photo Credit: Twitter / @urpalbeth
Photo Credit: Twitter / @urpalbeth

…or really, anything that women tend to like such as Harry Styles, makeup, or watching The Bachelor. At the root of it, he thinks that women and their interests are stupid, and he will try to bully you into liking the things he does instead.

He Talks About The Stock Market A Lot

stonks meme with humanoid chARACTER IN FROnt of stocks chart
Photo Credit: Know Your Meme
Photo Credit: Know Your Meme

This is slightly more forgivable if he works in finance and wealth management, but even then, it’s often a way to try and “show off how smart he is” and make you feel inferior for not knowing (or caring) about it.

He Absolutely Loves (500) Days Of Summer

still of summer and tom looking at each other in a record shop
Photo Credit: moviestillsdb / Fox Searchlight
Photo Credit: moviestillsdb / Fox Searchlight

The funny thing is that this is one of my favorite movies, but I find men that love it often just identify with the character Tom and miss the whole point about how it’s wrong to project onto a partner (and then they do it to you).

He Loves Elon Musk And/Or Joe Rogan

elon musk pointing finger at someone
Photo Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images

Men who think they’re smarter and more individually successful than they are really love to idolize other men who think they are smarter and more individually successful than they are. Either way, they are not great dating material.

He Thinks Drinking Craft Beer Is A Personality Trait

different types of beer in variety of glasses
Photo Credit: David Caudery / Future via Getty Images
Photo Credit: David Caudery / Future via Getty Images

Not only will they pretend that their preference for strong IPAs is a personality trait, but they will also treat you like you’re stupid or uncultured if you just don’t like to drink beer. In fact, they’ll do this with everything they like that you don’t.

He Likes To Play Devil’s Advocate… A Lot

A boy disguised as a devil plays with fire
Photo Credit: INTI OCON / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: INTI OCON / AFP via Getty Images

A guy who regularly likes to play devil’s advocate will also, when you confront them about how they’ve hurt you, try to argue a way to pin the entire problem back on you.

He Considers Himself A Musician

tweet: you can say
Photo Credit: Twitter / @humanaaron
Photo Credit: Twitter / @humanaaron

This would be different if he, say, worked as a musician for his living, but this guy is actually the kind of self-absorbed jerk who brings his guitar to a party and plays “Wonderwall.” I can assure you from personal experience (three separate guys!) that they will never treat you well.

His Favorite Book Is By Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski holding bottle of wine
Photo Credit: Ron Galella, Ltd. / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Ron Galella, Ltd. / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

If a man thinks that Charles Bukowski’s work is the greatest of all time, I can assure you that he either doesn’t really read much but perceives himself as well-read, or he is deeply misogynistic. Spoiler: it’s often both!

The Wolf Of Wall Street Is One Of His Favorite Movies

Frat dudes respect this movie (the wolf of wall street) more than the entire female gender
Photo Credit: Twitter / @bmotl15
Photo Credit: Twitter / @bmotl15

This movie is literally about some of the most immoral men in one of the most ethically corrupt periods of recent history doing bad things and treating women like garbage. Any guy who is obsessed with it is terrifying.

He Thinks His Taste In Non-Mainstream Music Makes Him Superior To Others

A man playing a turntable vinyl record player in a music store
Photo Credit: MARTIN BUREAU / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: MARTIN BUREAU / AFP via Getty Images

He treats you like you’re a child for listening to Taylor Swift or enjoying songs you might hear on the radio, saying that he’ll show you “real music.” He really thinks that listening to The Strokes on vinyl makes him a better person than you. Girl, run!

He Calls Women “Females”

Close-up of models' bare legs with short skirts and high heel
Photo Credit: Arthur Elgort / Conde Nast via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Arthur Elgort / Conde Nast via Getty Images

While it might seem like a harmless synonym, I find that men who repetitively say “females” instead of “women” reek of misogyny. It’s just the diet way of saying b****.

Of Course, I’m Kidding… Kind Of

the dating app Tinder is seen on the screen of an iPhone
Photo Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

While I recommend taking everything I’ve written with a grain of salt, the root of most of the behaviors I point at are genuine red flags. I’m not saying that all men who like certain things are bad, but, like…a lot of them are.