10 Red Flags to look out for when Sugar Dating


Last Updated: May 1, 2024

Sugar Dating 101

Being aware of sugar daddy red flags isn’t about being pessimistic or overly critical of a potential date. Instead, it can be an important way for you to avoid wasting your time on a person who isn’t the right match for you. Plus, because online dating of any form comes with the risk of scams, knowing how to identify red flags can keep you safe while you’re getting to know someone.

No matter, if you’re a sugar daddy or sugar baby, keeping an eye out for these 10 red flags can help you make space for your ideal sugar relationship!

1: Fishy online profile pictures


You find yourself scrolling through potential sugar partners in your area and all of a sudden, you come across a profile picture that looks like it was taken straight out of a fashion magazine. Seems too good to be true? It probably is. Unfortunately, it can be pretty easy to pull a polished photo from the internet and pass it off as your own.

On the other hand, it’s entirely possible for someone to have an amazing profile picture without anything nefarious going on. Maybe they hired a professional photographer to take the picture or maybe their selfie game really just is that strong. To investigate further, you might try:

· Looking at their other pictures. Ideally, you’ll want to see multiple pictures of this person in different settings and in varying picture qualities. This will suggest that you’re looking at a real person.

· Doing a reverse image search. Google offers a reverse picture search function that will allow you to plug a photo in and see whether it exists on the internet outside of the sugar dating website. In just a few seconds, you can know whether you’re dealing with someone real or an online imposter.

· Asking them if they would be open to a video call. If you’ve been chatting with someone and are not sure whether they’re really the person in the picture, suggest a quick video chat. It doesn’t have to be longer than a few minutes but it will allow you to see them face-to-face before agreeing to meet in person.

2: Hastily made profile bios

Not everyone that you meet online will be a natural-born writer, but everyone should be putting at least some effort and time into their bio.

If you see a user profile missing important information like age or location, or you can’t read their bio because it’s full of mistakes, it’s okay to keep scrolling. Just because a person is looking for something casual doesn’t mean that they should be careless about their search for the right sugar partner.

3: Overly exaggerated profiles

As a sugar baby, you might want to be particularly careful when coming across overly exaggerated profiles. Sometimes, sugar daddies will use showy displays of wealth in their profiles as a way to attract a wide variety of potential dates. But then, when their partners show up to meet them in person, it becomes clear that the yacht pictures and constant mentions of their wealthy lifestyle were nothing more than a lure. In the world of sugaring, this person is called a salt daddy.

To be sure, this isn’t always the case. The world of sugaring is certainly full of truly wealthy people. But, if you get a sense that someone’s profile is more gold-painted than 24k, follow your gut feeling. You may also try getting more information by:

  • Asking follow-up questions. Remember that in sugar dating, the relationship needs to be reciprocal and beneficial to both of you. So it’s perfectly fine to ask a potential match how they would be able to meet your needs. If they can’t be specific in their answers, it’s probably best to keep it moving.
  • Arranging a date while keeping your expectations low. Maybe you’re on the fence about whether a sugar daddy is really as wealthy as they say they are and you want to get a first-hand look. It’s perfectly okay to move forward with arranging an in-person meeting. Just keep your expectations low and don’t commit to anything until you’re sure they’re not a salt daddy.

4: Inappropriate messages


It doesn’t matter what kind of sugar relationship you’re looking for, you don’t have to engage in conversations that make you feel uncomfortable. Full stop.

If this happens, you can try telling a potential partner that you’re not comfortable and would prefer a different kind of conversation. Maybe they really did get the wrong impression! But, if they continue to send inappropriate messages, consider it one of the biggest sugar daddy red flags you’ll come across. It shows that they will not respect your boundaries.

5: Insisting that you meet in a private location

A sugar partner might offer you some understandable reasons why they want to meet in a private location. Maybe they’re worried about being seen in public on a date or perhaps they prefer the intimacy of a one-on-one conversation without distractions. But even though these arguments might be valid, they’re not as important as your safety.

Always meet someone in a public place for the first time. They're not your ideal sugar partner if they’re not willing to respect that demand.

6: Questions about your personal information

It’s normal for a potential date to ask you questions about yourself, like your favorite kind of food or whether you’re a morning or a night person. It’s not normal for them to ask about your bank account information or login passwords.

Unfortunately, this is a common online scam that you may come across as you start chatting with potential matches. And, it seems to be pretty effective, especially when used against sugar babies who may be convinced to give up their personal information under the ruse of receiving a payment from their sugar daddy. Keep yourself safe online by never sharing this kind of information.

7: Lack of clarity on the terms of the arrangement

Being unsure of what they want in a relationship may not be one of the more obvious sugar daddy red flags, but it shouldn’t be ignored either. After all, being unclear in the terms of the agreement can lead to confusion and unestablished boundaries that make it hard for you to advocate for your own needs.

In many cases, a person may be unsure of what they’re looking for simply because they’re new to the world of sugar dating. This isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker and a conversation about expectations may clear this up so that you can move forward. But, if you get the sense that a potential partner really has some soul-searching to do, it might be best to take the sign and find someone else.

8: Urgency and pressure campaigns

One of the things that you’ll learn very quickly in the world of sugaring is that it moves fast. After all, you’re going to be chatting with go-getters, adventure-seekers, and generally fun-loving people.

That being said, there’s a difference between enthusiasm and urgency. A partner may be genuinely excited to get to know you, meet you in person, and even start planning future dates. But, if it seems like they’re trying to get you to move too fast for your taste, it’s okay to put on the brakes.

We say this because urgency and pressure are two tactics that can make online scams effective. Whether a person is urging you to meet them in an area you’re not comfortable with, share personal information, or skip the early stages of a relationship, they may do so by limiting the amount of time you have to make a decision.

The world of sugar dating moves fast, but there’s always time for you to make decisions that are in your best interest.

9: Being late for your first date

Okay, sure. This is the real world. Sometimes people show up late! But, if someone is unapologetically inconsiderate with your time, consider it one of the sugar daddy red flags to watch out for.

No matter if you’re the sugar daddy or sugar baby, your time is always as valuable as your partner’s. So, if they’re running late, they should let you know.

10: Generally bad vibes

One of the biggest sugar dating red flags is how the other person makes you feel. As we’ve said many times before, sugaring is all about fun, freedom, and the excitement of getting to know like-minded people. Remember that you don’t have to waste your time with someone who doesn’t make you feel good when you’re with them. Here are a few specific red flags that can suggest that someone isn’t worth your time:

  • They lord their gifts over you
  • They complain constantly
  • Every negotiation with them is a struggle
  • They put you down
  • They’re on their phone constantly
  • They control your access to other sugar partners
  • They want to be overly involved in your life
  • They make you feel guilty about the amount of time you spend with them
  • They are constantly looking to you for validation

The more that you spend time dating people in general, the better you’ll get at listening to your gut when it tells you someone is not the right match for you. Remember that it’s always okay to step away from a sugar relationship that doesn’t serve you.

Sugar daddy red flags are here to help you!

Once you become familiar with some of the common sugar daddy red flags, you’ll be in a much better position to start your search for the perfect match. And if you do come across a red flag or two, don’t get discouraged. There are so many sugar daddies and sugar babies who are better suited for you. They’re just waiting for you to find them!

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