March 25, 2021
Online Dating Red Flags to Look Out For
1. Red flag number one – they seem too good to be true.
Too good to be true: If their online persona doesn’t align with what they’ve told you, you might want to ask a few more questions before proceeding. If you’re chatting with someone whose life seems unrealistic or too good to be true, it may be a red flag. A client just told me that she was dating a guy online for three months, but when she went to meet him in his city, he insisted they stay at a hotel; apparently he had donated his big beautiful house to help out a family who had lost theirs in a fire. When they met in another city a few months later, he would disappear for work engagements around dinner and bedtime and reappear later in the night. When she came back to his city, he had another story about why they couldn’t go to his house and of course, it turned out he had a family and kids in both cities.
2. Next up, if their profile has one or two pictures no social media presence, this could be a red flag. Why Jess?
If your dating interest has very few photos and/or no social media presence, you might want to consider doing a reverse Google Image Search. Though some people do avoid digital media platforms, it’s atypical to be active on a dating site without photos. Don’t be afraid to search for a potential date using Google or Facebook — and if you met on Facebook and they have very few friends with almost no engagement, you might want to follow-up and ask them to verify their identity. It’s not inappropriate to be a little skeptical when dating online and other daters should understand that a reasonable degree of risk avoidance is normal.
3. You meet up online and when you go to take things into the real world they’ve got nothing but excuses for why they can’t meet up – this should raise some alarm bells?
They’re making excuses not to meet up. Of course, there are legitimate reasons to not meet in person especially during a global pandemic, but if you’ve had plans and they continue to cancel or reschedule with outlandish excuses or stories that seem far-fetched, you might want to reconsider whether you have time for this new relationship in your life right now.
4. This is more of a red flag for the searcher – be aware of compatibility issues – what does that mean?
Compatibility issue: They say they want something casual and you want something more serious. If you’re
(secretly) hoping it will blossom into something more serious or long-term, you’re clearly on different paths at this point in time. Listen to what they’re saying and respect their wishes rather than trying to manipulate their desires to meet your own.
5. Finally of course the truth is there are no universal red flags right?
Also, there are no universal red flags: I don’t like to label behaviours, feelings or interactions as universal red flags without considering context and a willingness to further explore these issues. Some supposed red flags may be problematic in the beginning, but you can use them to work on communication, connection or the relationship overall. For example, you might think that differences with regard to financial values will inevitably lead to ongoing conflict or a breakup; but if you use those differences to have meaningful conversations and improve understanding from the onset, you might be better off than those who seem aligned in the beginning, but don’t purposefully discuss financial values.