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Relationships: this is the toxic personality to avoid dating – and we know how to spot them

From having misogynistic views to asking too many questions about physical attributes, the podcast bro is one you may want to avoid. We speak to two dating experts about this type of dater and how to avoid them.

When swiping across dating apps, there are usually a few things we try to avoid. For example, the person who has no pictures of themselves and the one who has too many. Or the person whose profile is nothing but crude jokes and the ones who put nothing at all. The dos and don’ts of dating app profile etiquette are truly endless.

But for some of us, there is a new type of dating profile we’re looking to avoid – and that is the “podcast bro”.

Bro culture – typically young and mostly white men who indulge in often sexist and misogynistic jokes – has elevated itself to a new level with the podcast bro.

Podcast bros are often heterosexual men of various ethnicities with a penchant for misogyny, sweeping generalisations and dated values that they then broadcast via podcasts, and they have become the subject of jokes across Twitter and TikTok, with #MenWithPodcasts gaining over 11.1 million views on the video-sharing platform.

The podcast bro probably prefers to use the word “female” to describe women, thinks they are an “alpha” and turns every conversation into a men vs women debate.

And for those looking to avoid this particular type of person, being able to identify them on dating apps is key.

“A dating profile can sometimes tell you everything you need to know about a potential partner,” says Maria Sullivan, a relationship expert and vice president of

When it comes to identifying the podcast bro, there are key things to look out for on dating apps – starting with the photos used.

“When reviewing someone’s dating profile, pay attention to the types of photos they have uploaded and the answers they have included to any written prompts,” says Sullivan. 

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“Are they overly materialistic or do they have a heavy focus on physical appearance as opposed to personality? These details can provide insight into the personality of a potential match and can help you to identify if this person is worth pursuing or not.”

Sullivan adds that it’s important to still look at the basic facts on a profile such as age, occupation, location and other personal details.

“Don’t overlook each of these details, as they can provide insight into a potential match’s personality.”

Sullivan adds that potential matches who exhibit qualities that signify toxic masculinity can also be seen on profiles through their descriptions, along with an unusually large number of photos of themselves.

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“Profiles that consist of only gym selfies, clubbing and partying pictures or photos that only showcase physical qualities (like shirtless pics) is a telltale sign that you are likely dealing with a big ego,” says Sullivan.

“Another indicator to look out for is if a potential match is identifying too many physical preferences in a partner upfront. Someone who lists your height or other physical attributes as a dealbreaker is most likely going to be closed off to making real connections due to their focus on finding very specific surface-level qualities.”

Bumble’s sex and relationship expert, Dr Caroline West, adds that constantly mentioning exes is also a red flag on dating profiles and the conversations that follow.

“If in the early stages of speaking he tells you stories about ‘mad, crazy’ exes, then this is a red flag,” she says. “It shows a refusal to accept any responsibility for any previous relationship breakdowns, preferring instead to use labels that place all blame on their exes. 

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Dr West adds that the podcast bro stereotype may also engage in negging, which is making passive-aggressive comments and backhanded compliments that are designed to make you feel bad and tear down your self-esteem.

“To guarantee you aren’t dealing with a podcast bro, you can ask them questions on topics relating to money,” suggests Dr West. “Asking who should pay the bill or would you be comfortable if you earned more than them will give you an insight into how they feel about gender roles.”

While using these tips may help you to identify the podcast bro early on, some people are better at hiding their true intentions on their profiles.

“It’s likely that you will not detect a bad match until after the conversation has started,” says Sullivan. “I always advise that singles should pay attention to the conversation, especially in the early stages, since this is the ‘getting to know you’ stage of a relationship.

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“While some might be able to hide their true intentions on their profiles, it is much more difficult to do so once the conversation has actually started to take place. Closely watching their discussion topics – and their reactions to yours – will help you weed out who is really interested in getting to know who you are and who isn’t interested in being genuine.”

“When dating, it’s important to stay true to yourself,” adds Dr West. “So if after speaking with someone you find that their intentions and behaviour don’t mirror yours, you can leave the conversation and continue dating in a way that you’re comfortable with.

“It’s all about listening to your gut instinct. Take some time to learn about what you want from a relationship, what a healthy relationship is and what your boundaries are so that you can better spot these warning signs in the future.”

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