Online dating was supposed to make meeting people easier, but sometimes it feels like it’s just presented a new set of challenges. But, just like dating in person, it’s just a matter of filtering out the good people from the not-so-good people. And believe us, the good ones are out there. Luckily, the bad ones usually reveal themselves pretty early on, so you can avoid them once you know what to look for. In order to better read the red flags, here’s some of the best online dating advice we’ve found for what to be cautious of:
- There are no clear pictures of them. While it’s always a good idea to include photos that show your hobbies and interests, it’s never a good sign if someone only has photos of them that are out of focus. You may be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they don’t have a camera or just couldn’t find a photo they liked! That’s why they only have photos in Halloween costumes, wearing sunglasses, or from behind on top of a mountain. Any of these could be true — but it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the gamble. A sound piece of online dating advice? If it seems like they’re hiding something (like their face), they just might be.
- They send a message that seems like they send it to everyone. Well, they probably do. Many people follow the online dating advice of crafting one message to send to everyone they’re interested in. While there’s nothing wrong with this, ask yourself: are you willing to accept the minimum? Someone who’s truly interested in you will make some effort to get to know you. Think of all of the other people receiving the exact same message. Wouldn’t you prefer someone who begins a relationship by making it personal?
- They completely ignored your profile. Is there anything worse than someone who blatantly ignores your preferences? It sends the message that what they want is more important than what you want. If you write that you’re looking for someone local or who doesn’t smoke, but you get a message from someone on the other side of the country or with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth… you should just ignore them, obviously. They’re not what you’re looking for. But that’s also the type of person you shouldn’t make an exception for. They’re only interested in what they want.
- There are too many demands on their profile. We all have expectations and standards when it comes to dating. But do we always get all of the things on our list? No. So, when someone lists unreasonable demands on their profile, consider it a red flag. Beyond the understandable feelings on dating smokers or people with children, listing salary or weight requirements crosses a line. If they have phrases like “I need” or “I won’t tolerate” right on their profile, keep browsing. Who wants to begin a relationship with someone whose expectations already seem impossible to live up to?
- They’re not quite available. Whether they keep hesitating to meet in person, or they can only talk on the phone at certain times of day, staying distant is a bad sign. If a person is struggling to take your relationship from online dating offline, they could just be nervous. Or they could be hiding something. Or they might not be as single as they say they are. Whatever their reasons, don’t keep wasting your time with someone who isn’t actually trying to be in a relationship. There are more productive things to do with your time, like speaking with someone who’s interested in dating you.