DATING Isn't easy.

Sure, it's supposed to be fun but any singleton knows that inbetween vetting every match and that awkward first encounter is more of a nightmare than anything else.

If that wasn't bad enough, modern daters have to be wary of ghosting, gaslighting, love bombing and loads of other red flags that could signal bad news.

But how are you meant to save yourself the time and effort by avoiding these people if you don't know what to look out for?

International matchmaker and dating expert Sarah Louise Ryan spoke to Fabulous to reveal the common what these red flags might look like and to debunk the myths surrounding what they look like.

How to spot a ghoster

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If you're new on the dating scene, you might not be privy to what ghosting actually is.

According to Very Well Mind, ghosting refers to "abruptly cutting off contact with someone without giving that person any warning or explanation for doing so.

"Even when the person being ghosted reaches out to re-initiate contact or gain closure, they’re met with silence."

Sarah says you can spot someone who might ghost you down the lineby looking out for inconsistencies.

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This could be anything from taking ages to respond to messages, or if a match always seems to find an excuse not to meet but still wants to chat.

"You’ve not even had a cup of tea with them yet," Sarah jokes, "so get offline as quickly as possible when you feel like there’s enough alignment that you’d get on."

If they are being inconsistent it might be better to cut your loses rather than drag anything out,

The dating pro says: "You've got nothing to lose as a dater looking to meet someone by telling the person on the other end of that profile where you’re at, because what you’ll end up doing is chatting to fewer people, which is a good thing because you’ll be aligned with the people who wanna stick around and get to know you better."

At the end of the day, ghosting is almost inevitable in the modern world of dating, especailly early on, but by being clear about what you want you can weed out any red flags.

How to spot a gaslighter

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation, "it can happen over a short period of time in a new relationship or over a long-term relationship or a marriage," Sarah explains.

"There are lots of different signs of gaslighting, but ultimately the gaslighter’s intention, consciously or subconsciously, is to create a powerplay within that dating or relationship scenario."

Although it might be hard to spot a potential gaslighter early on in the relationship there are a few things you can keep an eye out for.

The dating pro says: "There’s a lot of cycles of highs and lows, maybe the gaslighter is giving the person a lot of love and attention in one day, then it might be days after thatand the gaslighter will ignore the person."

Not only that, but if your match often discredits your views and feelings it might be best to call it quits.

How to spot love bombing

Love bombing is different to other red flags in dating because it almost always doesn't immediately seem like a red flag – who doesn't love feeling special?

The difference between love bombing and regular affection is when it's taken to the extreme – if it seems to good to be true, maybe it is.

Very Well Mind explains: "At the beginning of getting to know each other, you might view this person as charming and especially attentive.

"This person will praise you effusively, tell you they adore you, and often seem to emotionally attach way too quickly."

Sarah says that this can happen in many ways, it could be as simple as them making you playlists and declaring one tune 'our song', even though you barely know anything about each other.

Look for green flags

With so many red flags around, it can be hard to see the positives in dating at all – but Sarah reckons this isn't the way to think about it.

"I know that sounds a bit counteractive and counterintuitive," she says," but the happier you are and the more sure you are about what you and do that work on yourself, the more you’ll show up as a positive sure minded person."

Being aware of red flags is one thing, but you should also be on the look out for gorgeous green flags, the pro says.

Dating might always be tricky, exhausting, and let's face it, a bit of a minefield. But that doesn't mean it can't also be a lot of fun.

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The dating coach says: "Find a way to know that there are really good single people out there who want the same things as you and are also experiencing the same things you’re experiencing in dating.

"Just be hopeful and open and positive."


Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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