People Are Calling Out "Normal" Dating Tactics That Are Actually Toxic, And Please, I'm Begging You To Take Notes

·7 min read

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which dating tactics they think are actually toxic. Here are the eye-opening results:

1."The three-day rule. If you had a great time and are into them, why should you have to wait three days to talk to them?"

Someone texting on their phone

"I don't play games."


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2."Staying until the end of the date if you’re not feeling it. Remove yourself from the situation any time you want to."


3."Insisting to get me (a woman) home safely until my doorstep. I do not want my first date to know exactly where I live!"


4."The idea that someone has to go out with a man because he's a 'nice guy.'"

"If you aren't interested, then you aren't interested, and it's honestly unfair to yourself and the guy to pretend that you are just because you feel pressured by other people to 'give them a chance.'"


5."Telling people to 'try harder' and eventually they'll 'make' the person fall in love with them. This causes all kinds of issues, especially if the feelings aren't reciprocated."

Someone holding a rose behind their back for a date

"The person being pursued will feel awkward and the one pursuing can become unhealthily attached or lose their self-esteem."


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6."Playing hard to get; it's a super toxic dating strategy for everybody involved. The person who's using the tactic is messing with the other person's head."

"This is especially true for younger daters. So many teens think a 'normal' relationship is supposed to make you feel anxious and confused. It also messes with everybody's interpretation of consent. People start thinking, 'Is this person really rejecting me or are they just playing hard to get?' Just be honest and clear from the beginning! It makes everything so much easier."


7."Setting everything by a time limit/due date. 'After two months, you should label the relationship. After six months, I love you's should have already happened. After one year, cohabitate.' That kind of thing."

"There are no time limits on this stuff. It should just happen organically and not be forced. No one should go into a potential relationship, let alone date, with this attitude."


8."Waiting for men to make the first move. Super outdated and the woman only gets to date guys who actually approach her, which will limit her possibilities."

"Also, it would take off the pressure from men to approach women."


9."I saw someone recommend that people intentionally be 10 minutes late to a first date to determine if the other person is serious or not — of course, while expecting that the other person is on time."

Someone looks annoyed while waiting for a date

"If you're 'testing' someone on the first date, then you've already failed."


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10."Men treating women like achievements instead of people."

"Men: Figure out what you want, and be honest about it."


11."I've been told countless times to pretend that I'm interested in something that I'm not in order to get a date. People in a relationship are absolutely allowed to have different interests."

"For example, I don't really care for hockey or sports in general. I will watch and enjoy them, but I really don't give a hoot — sue me. If lying about what I actually like is the basis for a relationship, I don't want it. "


12."Having one fight or disagreement with your partner and immediately calling them toxic, without even reflecting on your own behavior."


13."The concept that a relationship is only worth it if they could be 'the one.' It's okay to date people who interest you or who bring you something you need at that time in your life."

A couple on a date clink their wine glasses

"Being with one person forever is a really old-fashioned goal, and the length of time you're in a relationship doesn't correlate to how happy or important the relationship is. The whole premise of dating is toxic — change the end game."


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14."Not talking about important issues on the first date."

"In my early 20s, my friends used to always tell me to keep the conversation light for the first few months. I never listened because I didn't want to waste my time if we didn't ultimately want the same things. I need to know from the start if we are on the same page about stuff, like kids. I don't want to spend four months with somebody for them to tell me they want a bunch of kids when I don't want any. That's a huge waste of time for us both."


15."Being treated as a priority is nice. Demanding to be someone’s number one priority and trying to put yourself above everything in their life is narcissistic and very rude."

"In addition to that, not letting them have a life away from you and needing to know their whereabouts and activity 24/7 is creepy and makes you look like an obsessive stalker. Space is HEALTHY!!!"


16."'Testing' your partner. For example, getting women to hit on him to see how he responds. If you don’t trust someone, don’t be with them."


17."The idea that a man should pay for the date. People pass it off as some 'gentleman'-type thing, but really, I think it's designed to make the other person feel that they owe the man something (i.e., sex) because he bought them dinner, a movie ticket, etc."

A man pulling out money from his wallet

"Costs for a date should be split/each person pays for their own stuff."


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18."Not being honest about your intentions. Don't assume what the other person wants, and say that you want it as well if you don't. If you're just looking for a hookup, say that. If you want something serious, say that."

"A lot of times, men especially will say they want something legitimate when they just want to hook up, because they think that's what women want to hear, and therefore, will get them laid. That's not really the case, though; it depends on the person and where they are at in life. Just be honest and clear about what you want, and eventually you'll find someone who wants the same."


19."Asking someone out before even knowing their name."

"Dating is to explore if there is relationship potential, not to get laid. That’s looking to get laid. That’s not the same, and it’s weird people think it’s normal to get to know someone — including sharing names — after a first date has already been set. No thanks."


20."Immediately running to tell all your friends or even family about every little fight or disagreement you have with your partner."

"If you need an outsider's perspective or actual help, get a therapist. Your best friend and your mom don’t need to hear about how your partner leaves their wet towel on the floor or loads the dishwasher wrong. You're planting seeds of negativity in their minds, and it makes it awkward for them to interact positively with your partner after hearing about every fight you’ve ever had. If it doesn’t affect them, they don’t need to know."


21.And finally: "Ghosting. Just tell the person you’re not interested — you’re an adult. Leaving someone hanging is just cruel and immature."

Someone waiting at a coffee shop, being stood up for a date
Antonioguillem / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Do you agree with these? What other dating tactics are actually toxic? Let us know in the comments below.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.