26 Online Dating App Red Flags In Men That Deserve A Swipe Left

dating app red flags in men

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Is it just me, or do you too feel like you can sum a guy up pretty accurately with just a quick peruse of their profile on a dating app?

After swiping a fair amount (who’s counting anyway) of potential suitors, you discover that there are always some online dating app red flags in men that most certainly deserve a swipe left.

While we can’t be sure that a checklist of dating app red flags in men is an accurate way of vetting men, you can really tell a lot about someone from what they choose to share (and not share) and their dating app profiles. Additionally, if you’re looking for love online, you just start to get good at grilling guys at a first glance.

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Personally, I’ve been “online dating” for a good portion of my adult life. In fact, my very first real relationship was kindled via Facebook when he spotted me tagged in a photo of a mutual friend. Thereafter, my last two long-term relationships resulted from brief stints on Tinder and Hinge.

So while people complain that dating apps don’t work, I can’t say that has been my experience. I think it’s just important that as women, we are critical about how we vet men on dating apps and that we’re conscious of online dating app red flags in men to avoid.

This strategy has worked pretty well for me I’d say. That’s why I’ve been able to avoid any online dating app disaster stories like this one by OhStephco. Ironically, my one and only dating horror story, I met that fool in person, and then he tried to match with me online (I’ll save that story for another day).

If you’re dating online and you’re wondering what are some dating red flags in men to watch out for and avoid, this roundup is for you.

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While I’d hate for you to be too picky or overly critical, here are dating app red flags that should definitely at least make you think twice before swiping right.

Dating App Red Flags in Men — The Profile Pictures

They say a picture tells a thousand words…

1. Doesn’t smile in photos.

One or two “serious” photos are ok, but if he’s not smiling in a single one of his photos… that’s a dating app red flag for me.

Aside from the fact that we love a man with a great smile, we stan for a man who’s not apprehensive to express his joy freely. Additionally, is it just me, or do you low-key feel like people who don’t smile in photos aren’t happy with their lives? 🤷🏾‍♀️

2. Flashes fake smiles.

Ok, not everyone likes to smile in photos. I get that. But you know what’s worse than no smile? A half-ass fake one.

This is not to be confused with a shy smile (which can actually be quite charming). If you pay close attention, you can tell in someone’s eyes if their smile is real and genuine — we need to see the joy and vulnerability in your eyes baby!

3. Very posed or GQ wanna-be-type pictures.

These are the type of pictures where he’s perfectly dressed, “candidly” looking off to the side, as he casually takes a step whilst licking his lips with a pretty boy squint in the eyes.

Yea, I can’t take this kind of guy seriously because I feel like he’s either looking for a real-life woman prop accessory to complete his lewk or a part-time Instagram photographer. I’m personally interested in neither position.

4. Shirtless photos.

Unless it’s a photo let’s say of him on the beach (not in his bedroom) and it’s just a phenomenal photo of him, generally, I find it kinda hard to take guys with shirtless photos seriously. Even if they have a great body.

We’ll have no more than a single shirtless photo and it shouldn’t seem forced like you’re trying to show off your body. Otherwise, it’s giving real playboy vibes.

5. Peacocking flashy things.

Have you seen The Tinder Swindler? Guys who pose to show off in front of expensive cars, boats, private planes, fancy dinners…

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It’s giving shallow. It’s giving arrogant. It’s giving possible scammer. It’s giving Tinder swindling little dick energy for me.

6. Weird photo angles, lots of distance, or doesn’t look at the camera, ever.

You can’t hide your lazy eye forever honey. We’ll see it eventually anyway — better to have us prepared beforehand, and don’t even worry about it.

Besides a possible lazy eye, perhaps he’s got something else with his face or body he’s trying to camouflage. Either way, I’ve got my two good eyes on you!

7. Lots of selfies.

Gym selfies, bedroom selfies, selfies of any kind really. I could let one selfie slide because I totally get that a lot of guys are not into taking photos while they’re out and about.

If his profile is filled with exclusively selfies, however, it makes me wonder… you don’t ever go anywhere or do anything that results in a cool photo of you? Like ever?

8. Mirror pictures.

The only thing more unsexy than a man taking selfies is a man taking mirror pics. Mirror pics at the gym, mirror pics in the bathroom, mirror pics anywhere… just no!

Don’t let it be a shirtless mirror pic flexing muscles… Girl… dating app red flag, red flag, red flag!!!

9. Bad quality photos.

It’s 2022 people. Why do you have photos that look like they were taken 20 years ago? Or worst, why do you have photos that look like they were taken on an android… jk jk.

But seriously, if all of his photos are dark and dingy, and he doesn’t have a single Linkedin-worthy photo, does he even have a job (I’m just saying)?

10. A single or just a couple of photos.

Are you even taking dating online seriously if you think you can just throw up one or two photos on your dating profile and think that will be sufficient for a serious woman?

If that’s the case, that one photo better be freaking phenomenal because displaying a single or just a couple of photos is definitely giving catfish energy.

11. Has photo holding a fish, hunting, or wearing camo!!

Ok, this one is oddly specific. The takeaway is to really consider how your potential suitor spends his time based on his pictures and whether these activities align with what you want.

The hobbies and activities he enjoys and shares will tell you a lot about him and whether or not his lifestyle and values (on the surface at least) align with your own.

Dating App Red Flags in Men — The Profile Bio

What has he got to say?

12. Little profile bio info.

Just the same as having a single photo or just a few photos is an online dating app red flag in men to avoid, so is a man who has a scanty profile. Low effort energy in creating a decent profile bio deserves a hard swipe left.

No doubt that crafting the perfect profile can be a little tricky, but if you’re genuinely interested in taking online dating apps seriously, you will take the time to craft a profile bio worth reading.

13. Very strong political views expressed in profile bio.

Many people are very passionate about their political views. If you identify so strongly with a political party or idealogy that you include it in your dating profile bio (unless you’re equally passionate about the same thing), this could be a sign of conflict ahead.

If you sway differently from their respective ideals or you’re more neutral in your identity politics, this is definitely a red flag.

14. If they list things like “No Drama” “No Gold Diggers” in their profile.

Dramatic much? This tells me that you’ve had some drama in your past and you’re carrying some resentment of that with you. This tells me you’re on guard and skeptical. It also reveals a kind of negative in midset.

Sir, heal from your past traumas before looking for “no drama” and “no gold diggers” and raising this blaring online dating app red flag in men.

15. Lists everything they don’t want in a woman.

You know the profile that starts off (or ends) with “I don’t like…XY and Z”. Your profile is supposed to be you highlighting who you are, what you have to offer, and what you’re looking for in a partner.

We don’t need a list of all of the things that you hate about women or all the reasons your past relationship failed.

16. Cliche and unoriginal jokes.

Jokes like “Pineapple definitely belongs on pizza”… sir we’ve heard that one before. It’s not clever or original, and we hope you’ve got more wits and personality than that.

If you resort to making unoriginal jokes in your profile, it’s a sign that you either are boring as heck or probably won’t be taking the relationship seriously either.

17. Doesn’t disclose what kind of work he does in his profile.

Men that are successful or moving in that direction are usually very proud and enthusiastic about their work.

If their profession is all cryptic or just states vague titles like “self-employed” or “entrepreneur” with absolutely no context whatsoever… like dude… women are interested in more than just your good looks (assuming you have those).

18. If their profile bio even mentions sex.

This one may be a bit subjective and personal, but for me, sex shouldn’t be so top of mind (unless that’s all you want) as to mention in your profile.

Perhaps if, for example, you’re answering a prompt… like if his answer to “what is important to you in a relationship” includes great sex (amongst other qualities), I think that’s ok. But beware if his profile has lots of sexual innuendos if you’re looking for a husband or a serious long-term relationship.

19. If they say they’re looking for a good time.

This is an online dating app red flag in men that can also be seen as a green flag because it signals very directly his intentions — great!

If he states something like the aforementioned or doesn’t explicitly state that he’s interested in a relationship or marriage… yea let’s not assume the best on behalf of this man we don’t even know. We need intentions stated. In your profile. Explicitly.

20. If their profile says “DM me on IG”

Ok, I may be guilty of doing this one. But I’m a woman, and it’s different. 😬

Although we all can sometimes get busy with life and neglect to check in on the dating apps, which girl is sliding into the DMs of a guy’s Instagram like “hey, I saw your profile on Hinge”. Idk, but not I.

Although when guys have done this in the past, it totally shows high interest and that’s always definitely appreciated.

Dating App Red Flags in Men — Initial Interaction

Once you’ve made a match, you’re not done vetting the man yet…

21. Lazy communication.

If a guy sends a like for one of my photos on Hinge, I oftentimes will be apprehensive to write him a message to connect.

Like if you saw your dream woman on Hinge, you had an opportunity to connect with her, a basic like is all you got to give? At the very least we need a full sentence, honey. Low-effort communication signals that I am not your dream girl, and for that, I’m not here for.

22. If they don’t ask questions back.

Don’t you hate when you ask a guy a question, and he… just answers it. Like, yes, answer the question, but don’t you have anything you want to ask me as well?

If he’s only interested in talking about himself, and not learning more about you, that’s a sign of low interest.

23. Never returns voice notes.

I’m one of those people who doesn’t love voice notes — my voice always sounds so weird when I play it back.

But if you’ve sent him several voice notes and he would rather draft an entire 10 paragraph essay than send you a single voice note back, makes you kinda wonder why?

24. What do you bring to the table!?

If he ever expresses any sentiments of what do you bring to the table, at any point… run! Run fast and don’t you dare look back. This is a man looking for you to prove your worth to him and prove yourself worthy of dating him.

Because you won’t entertain this foolishness, he’ll never discover that you are in fact the entire table and then some.

25. Rants about anything.

Be it politics, the current state of dating, or just life in general, if a guy can’t have a conversation without complaining and/or ranting, it’s a sign he might be too negative for your taste.

26. You spend more than 3 whole conversations on the app.

Unless you don’t mind having and being a pen pal, we love a man who is eager to move the conversation off of the dating app.

If he’s not asking for your number to call you or schedule a date after a few conversations have established basic compatibility… like, what are we doing here? Let’s get this show on the road!

Dating App Red Flags in Men Takeaway

Meeting someone virtually has its perks and its downfalls. The key to weeding out the dating app red flags in men is simply to know what you want whilst being open-minded, watch out for those dating app red flags and trust your gut.

Have you ever encountered any of the aforementioned dating app red flags in men when online dating? What other virtual dating app red flags in men have you come across? Let us know below!


dating app red flags

  • Gunida says:

    All of these red flags for men are normal for women to have. Selfies? Mirror photos? Lack of bio? It really is red flags for men but double sided for women lmao

    • Jenaae says:

      First of all, women are not men and men are not women. Selfies and mirror photos, for example is feminine behavior.

    • Jenaae says:

      And furthermore, this article is about red flags in MEN!! But you on here talking about “women too”… Reading comprehension is your friend Gunida!

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