How to Look Out for Creeps in the Online Dating World
We tend to perceive dating horror stories as the exception rather than the rule. It can never happen to us, right? You know the answer to that question. Here are some approaches to read between the lines when doing online dating, before committing to an in-person meeting.
Screening resource UnMask tells us not to believe everything we see on someone’s profile: it might not be true. Most people share things that serve as a mask, a way they want to be perceived. It’s important to take time to get to know someone. A lot of people don’t have time to socialize today, which is why online dating sites have become so popular. Don’t let yourself be seduced by beautiful words and images. Exercise caution and focus on actions; they speak louder than words.
Are They Really Single?
Does your paramour refer to “fun” a lot? Unless you’re also looking for something casual, don’t ignore this reference. Look at the pictures on their profile; they will reveal the type of fun they’re looking for no matter what they say. A lot of these people could already be in a relationship. While 50% of Tinder users identify as single, many of them aren’t.
Fuzzy Photos are Suspicious
Dating experts recommend staying away from profiles with a fuzzy photo or no picture at all. While it’s true that first impressions can be misleading, the absence of an identifiable photo might signal that the person is already attached or simply doesn’t know what they’re doing on the dating app.
Many apps try to recreate the experience of meeting someone in person, and first impressions are very important in that context. Not posting a clear picture runs contrary to dating apps’ basic idea, which is to see the person you might eventually meet. Also, look for inconsistencies such as a date of birth that doesn’t correspond to the picture. Some people tend to post very old photos of themselves.
They Overdo the Flattery
It’s not normal to be called “beautiful” or “baby” right from the start. Most people know flattery will take them far. Regardless, flattery is difficult to deflect when someone’s directing it at you. Premature endearments can be a warning sign because you haven’t even met face to face yet. What are they really looking for? Nobody on the internet knows who you are. A potential partner must be capable of making an effort to say your name.
80% of online daters lie in their profile, shows a study by Cornell University. There’s nothing wrong with using dating sites to find the One in our day and age when we have so little time to invest in meeting people in real life. Yet, it would help if you took things with a grain of salt. Be careful. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
Don’t Send Photos too Soon
Did they ask for pictures as soon as you started chatting? They might not be a good match. They have no understandable reason to want photos since they can already see you on your profile pic. Maybe they’re afraid you might be a stalker and need some photo insurance. That would be an understandable reason. Still, most of us don’t need that kind of drama in our lives.
Don’t send pictures to people you don’t know well, particularly compromising ones. You can never get it back once you put it out. It’s simply not worth the risk.
Being asked for photos also shows the person could be looking for something physical rather than getting to know you. There will come a time to exchange pics, but when it does, ask them to send you one first.
Is Online Dating Worth the Risks?
Risks are minimized if you’re careful. A Pew Research Center study found 53% of internet users felt online dating made it possible to find a better match. 59% felt online dating was a great way to get to know people because of the vast dating pool they get access to. Stay safe. We hope you meet the love of your life.