If you’re single and looking for love you’ve most likely given online dating a shot, and more likely than not, consider yourself pretty safety savvy. Most daters do have the best intentions, unfortunately, every now and then there are a few bad apples that have less than noble plans. Leaving even the smartest of daters sucked in and duped. Fortunately, there will be clues if you know what to look for, on their online dating profile. Here are 10 red flags and warning signs to be on the look out for…
1. Too Good To Be True
If you’ve ever seen the documentary or the MTV show Catfish, you know that there are many people on the web looking to make not so legitimate connections. Some are lonely and insecure and some pretend to be someone else because it’s a lot easier than being who they are. Others are trying to scam people for money or for simple entertainment because they like the attention.
So how can you be sure the person you’ve been connecting with is who they say they are?
Have a look at all the photos, anything that’s too glossy or posed is most likely pulled from online. If you aren’t entirely sure, you can do a Google image search which will show you anywhere else that photo is on the internet.
Alternatively, any photos that are fuzzy and look scanned from an old photo, are most likely hiding something. Usually along the lines of aging, weight gain, hair loss, etc.
Look for photos that appear recent and clear.
There really isn’t any excuse for not having current photos, nearly everyone has access to a decent digital camera on their phone these days.
Ideally the profile should have a range of photos. Some full face head shots and at least one full body, no hats or sunglasses. If there’s any doubt in your mind ask them to snap a picture and send it to you. If they put it off or have an excuse why they can’t, this is a big warning sign. Serious daters are happy to share and exchange photos with you.
2. Long Distance Romance
Yes, there are honest people that will message you from way out side of your area but, in general if someone can’t meet you it gives them a more credible reason to continue messaging without added pressure. If you find yourself in this situation, ask them to Skype.
If they have an excuse as to why they can only message, text or chat on the phone, they don’t want you to see them physically. Or alternatively an indication of less than sincere intentions towards moving to a real and authentic relationship.
3. They Create Sympathy
Scammers will often start building a story as to job loss, problems with abusive exes, car accidents etc. then tell you they want to keep talking but they’re going to have to cancel their phone, internet etc. Basically priming you by creating an an emotional connection. Hoping you’ll offer to send money or perhaps even ask you directly for it, so you can continue your relationship together.
If this happens to you, take note and move on. A real love interest is not going to bring up money or finances of any kind. Delete, block and do your fellow daters a favour and report them to the dating sites or apps security department.
4. Their Profile “About Me” Description is Negative or Empty
Their profile is empty or filled in too simply. Something along the lines of “Ask me” or “I’ll tell you later”.
Men are especially guilty of this. Yes, profiles can be a daunting task to fill out but a quality relationship ready guy will be up to take on that challenge. Anything less than a sincere effort, paints a pretty clear picture that he isn’t ready to date or looking for anything serious.
Likewise, beware the profile that states that all women (or men for that matter!) are crazy, gold diggers, state must be “drama free” or have a long list of “don’t message me if’s”. Usually an indication that he’s either looking for something casual or is struggling to get over an unhealed past relationship.
Some other warning signs to look for in the written section of a man’s profile…
When He Says He’s Looking For:
5. Sexy or Hot – Translation: I’m just looking for sexy, causal fun and / or friends with benefits.
6. Specific physical traits or must dress a certain way – All men have a type and that’s ok (we do too), however quality men aren’t so superficial that they will mention it a profile. Again another sign he’s not looking for serious long term.
7. Mentions anything intimate or there are sexual overtones – this can include cuddling, kissing, showers together, massages, hugs etc…at first glance reading this point you might ok, this is totally creepy, and obvious, which yes it is.
I mention it, because I’ve met more than one smart woman who’s been fooled. Initially charmed into believing he was the total package looking for real, but in reality not even close. It had been worked into his profile in such a way that it didn’t seem to creepy at all. In fact, if he’s a good writer he could’ve made it sound downright romantic.
And like it or not, when it comes to what we think might be the right guy, its easy to overlook the obvious and go right for what you want to hear. Or in this case read. Often with less than desirable results.
8. States Negative Personality Traits – being honest is good but this is more along the lines of obvious redflags that can impact your relationship long term, such as addiction of any kind. Take note if he mentions that he has an “addictive personality”, partying a lot, drinking, drugs etc.
9. Unleash The Power of Google
I don’t normally recommend stalking a potential date. However if you have serious doubts about the person, they keep putting off meeting you and some of the signs are there, Google can be your best friend. Search their phone number, name, Facebook etc. You can also copy and paste parts of their profile to see if it appears anywhere else.
10. Trust Your Gut
Once an emotional bond has been created a lot of people tend to ignore their feelings, so its important to trust your instincts from the start. If you are serious about finding love, you will want that person to be serious too.
If something is telling you it’s not right, it probably isn’t.
Online connections should have a certain flow. First messages, a couple of texts, chatting on the phone depending on schedules could be 1 or 2 times, then an initial meet-up. If the person doesn’t want to follow this flow, they most likely aren’t as serious as you and it’s time to move on to someone that is.
Be smart, keep these online dating profile red flags and warning signs in mind and above all trust yourself. Dating can be a lot of fun, as long as you follow your intuition, don’t let worries about scammers or players affect your experience. In the end there is more good in this world than bad and there are a lot of great people online – just like you!
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