I’ve recently become a big fan of LUNCH BREAK! a Wong Fu Productions series on YouTube that they upload on their additional channel. What they do is they sit down and have lunch while conversing about a particular topic. The one I want to draw attention to is the one in which they discussed ‘DATING RED FLAGS’ (video at the end of the post!): basically, what they would consider to be a turn-off when dating someone.
I found the video pretty interesting as I was considering my own red flags in comparison and my opinions on theirs. To the point that, yes, I’ve decided to compile a few of their red flags and discuss about them each in this post!
Before I start with the list, I would like to clarify that I am indeed in a relationship right now and that these dating concerns have eventually consciously or unconsciously affected my decision to stick with him (it’s been 10 months now!).
Additionally, I have heard many definitions of ‘dating’ from a Western-Asian mixed culture, and the two main ones that stand out are i) dating is the stage before two people get into a relationship, and ii) dating is when you are in a relationship and seeing that person as your boyfriend/girlfriend. Whatever suits you. It doesn’t really matter in this post. The red flags apply either way to some extent.
So here we go!
1# Their food preferences, being vegetarian/vegan, drinking habits.
In the video, they focused on how their significant other has to have rather similar food preferences, e.g. being able to eat seafood and not being vegetarian or vegan (mind you, for those who don’t know them, they are Asian Americans… and most Asians especially from Chinese origins eat and love meat like crazy, including me haha).
When I thought about it I realised that, indeed, I wouldn’t have enjoyed my s.o.’s company as much as I do now if his eating habits were restricted, whether by personal choice or religion. Eventually, I am especially glad that he can eat anything, just like me. For me, food is a great way to socialize, and most of the time, the only way, at least here in Malaysia, especially when you are a busy person. Sharing food, eating from each other’s plates, and cooking together are activities that definitely gets you really close to each other.
However, the video also mentioned ‘not enjoying drinking’ as a red flag, which I disagree with. Again, it’s a cultural choice: I do enjoy drinking but my s.o. does not. He actually hates the taste of alcohol. But it has never been a custom for me to go out to drink. Drinking is not a way to socialize for me. I mainly drink in family reunions, so it’s mainly an occasional familial activity. In consequence, when we drink, I don’t mind people who don’t and are still around, since at family gatherings you wouldn’t expect the children to drink, but you still enjoy their company. Thus, if my s.o. and I go to a restaurant and I order an alcoholic drink and he does not, it will not affect me. I will not feel ‘lonely’ or weird.
2# Their online presence and texting obsessions.
The specific red flags that were talked about in the video concerning this matter were: texting during the date and having too many (similar) selfies on their Instagram feed. I would say I do agree. For the first one, texting during a date just ends up making the person feel that she/he is uninteresting and it even prevents conversation.
For the second one, well it all lies in personal preference, but it is true that how one presents oneself on social media can tell a lot about the person, although it is only an image that the person wants to show, and not necessarily their true self. Eventually, a profile filled with travel photos and other unique memories is much more attractive.
Linking all this to my personal experience… well, my s.o. is really not the kind who hangs out on social media haha! He doesn’t have Instagram or Snapchat, although I’m encouraging him to get a Snapchat for our long distance and since we don’t live under the same roof. Anyway, this leads him to be way more attentive to me when we meet. Nevertheless, although I am a very social media obsessed kind of person, I still put my phone away when we meet, because you know, it’s the thing to do!
3# Family issues: when his/her parents don’t like you or when your parents don’t like him/her.
That’s a tricky one.
I have yet to reach that point, but personally it would not be an issue. To be fair, I have never let my parents impose their decisions on my life on me. When I wanted to do arts or pursue psychology, I did not give in to their preferred field for me, which was business. I’ve always based my decisions on what would be best for me, but with compromises of course, since they are my primary source of resources. But the decisions at their core… I get to decide. Therefore, it would be the same for my choice of partner, especially that, on that level, let’s say if I get to the wedding stage, I will not be relying on them financially, which would give me even more freedom to make my own choices.
Frankly, as long as my family sees me as happy and independent, there should be no problem. I know that their real fears lie in the prospect of me falling back financially and having to seek their help as the outcome of a bad relationship… a situation which happened in my family a few times. As long as my partner isn’t a source of trouble, they would be fine with it.
Well, that’s what I believe at least. I hope it stays true in 10 years’ time.
If the families really don’t like each other? Well, I don’t intend to live with my or his family either (keyword: independent) so it’s still not a problem. For me at least. I know many would differ on that subject, but unfortunately I haven’t been raised with a sense of familial attachment or related values.
4# A clash of religious beliefs.
Is religion a factor in choosing your significant other? Indeed, the topics in the video did become quite controversial and it’s sad but true that yes, they found that it is a factor. However, it is a factor mainly if it involves a clash in everything else mentioned above (such as food and family values) and if the other person tries to impose their religion on them.
In these conditions, yes I do agree too. First of all, the religion we have been raised with did impact most of our daily habits and our values, and we would eventually like to find someone with similar habits and values. However, people from different religions could totally end up being together: they just have to know the meaning of ‘respect’.
My s.o. and I are from different religious background: I was raised as a Catholic and he as a Sri Lankan Buddhist. Although I am now an atheist, I still don’t try to make him one, nor does he try anything of that sort either. We live with our differences and it’s all fine.
5# Long distance.
Oh those sweet two words I know only too well! In the video it was mostly a red flag, and a few months back it would have been an utter red flag, but now I realise that it’s much more complicated than that.
My s.o. lives in Qatar while I live in Mauritius. We study in the same university in Malaysia. And every holiday season we experience that ‘long distance’ agony. Is it worth it? Isn’t it unbearable? What happens after we graduate? Where to, next?
I have mixed feelings about long distance relationships. I’ve never believed in them. However, I believe in hard work, and hard work is what love needs to feed on to stay strong. I don’t believe in soul mates or meant-to-be’s. If you want it to happen, then make it happen. Work hard, both sides.
#6 Cheated in a past relationship.
This is the last red flag I decided to pick from Wong Fu’s video. I would like to leave it here, as a moral concept to ponder on. Cheating is even trickier: questions such as why? how? when? surface, and are to be considered if you decide it to be a red flag or not. I haven’t been that far in the world of dating yet, so I will leave this blank, for now.
Finally, here’s the original video:
Until next time,
An Evil Nymph.
P.S.: Yes I’m trying to post every week, although I failed miserably last week! Will make it up somehow! Meanwhile, do check out An Evil Nymph’s Facebook page, which I’m trying to give more life to, via more exclusive posts and quotes (coming soon).