5 Red Flags of Online Dating
Since the 1990s, online dating has grown from a niche way of meeting new people to the digital juggernaut it is today. Each day, millions of people ‘meet’ new matches in the hopes of starting a relationship – yet many are unaware of the dangers they face.
As the new platform Safe Dates proves, digital dating can be a safety minefield, so it is crucial to take as many precautions as you can. Here are a few key red flags to look out for.
- An empty profile
You don’t necessarily expect your potential date to write an essay on their online dating profile, but empty space can be disconcerting. The dating profile is where most people try and present themselves in the best possible light – much as online businesses do when organising their website or shopfront. If someone has not put any effort into their own profile, it could signify they are either hiding something or simply not interested in attracting anyone. Steer clear of profiles which signify nothing at all.
- Unclear photographs
This is another red flag which you should always watch out for, as users could easily have taken their photo from elsewhere or be trying to obscure their identity so you can’t see who they truly are. Small photographs are another sign that there may be a problem, for many of the same reasons. A photograph which has been stolen from another place and quickly copy-pasted onto a dating profile may signify trouble ahead, as this individual is hiding something.
- Possessive language
An online dating profile (and your initial communication) should not have any hints of possessiveness. Watch out for declarations about what an individual will ‘tolerate’, or people who seem to have a long laundry list of what they don’t want rather than any real information about themselves.
- Aggressive language
If you find someone’s communication with you to be aggressive, do not ignore your own instincts. Be sure to trust yourself and do not be forced or coerced into doing or saying anything which you are not comfortable with. Should your potential date start to become possessive with you, then simply stop speaking with them.
- Asking for money
This might seem like an obvious one, but it is easy enough to be conned into parting with your hard-earned cash by someone who says they need it for an emergency, or to meet you, or any other number of reasons. Once someone starts asking for cash, get out of that conversation right away. Your relationship should be one of equals – and demands or requests for money are signs of a potential scammer.