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Here’s How to Spot Red Flags on Dating Profiles

Online dating is now one of those no-brainer options for finding a potential partner, thanks to the likes of Tinder and Match.com. Apparently, many people agree as memberships at popular dating sites reach 6-7 figures, not to mention the fact that there are even more dating platforms out there right now.

With such a sheer number of people turning to the Internet in their search for love, there also are bound to be quite a lot of duds on those sites – the kind you’ll never even meet up for a cup of coffee in real life but end up chatting with for hours on end, thanks to their deceptively appealing online profiles. You might even find yourself unknowingly buying into their excuses not to meet up or forgiving their lapses, and then later regretting the whole thing and fretting about spending your time for nothing.

To keep you from wasting your time, effort, and emotions (and even money) over such people, take some time to study their profiles a little more closely and spot red flags even before you hit the “message me” button.

Profile Photo

Is the person looking too polished in the picture? Or does the photo itself look staged or professional? It may be that of a lesser known celebrity, model, or a different person – definitely not the owner of the account.

Some people may actually have their portraits taken by a professional for the purpose of using them on dating sites, but nowadays most people use the snaps that they already have on hand, especially if they’re just signing up for fun or just testing the waters. No need to pay or go the extra mile just to set a decent photo as a profile pic.

That being said, if indeed the photo is fake, you know you’re looking at a troll or someone who probably has huge self-image issues.

Additionally, be wary of those whose main photos show them posing sideways, wearing sunglasses (and sometimes with a hat), or having something obstructing a significant or important part of their faces. This could indicate the person’s reluctance to be straightforward and present themselves for who they really are as they need to hide behind something. You can be forgiven for suspecting they may have questionable intentions, especially if you’re quite serious about finding someone online and are not in it just to play around.

Also, photos with vehicles and other people (who don’t look like they’re family or relatives) should be filed under “questionable,” especially if those mentioned take up half or more than half of the photo’s space. People showing off properties or four wheels should get you wondering whether they give more value to things rather than people. You can rationalize this as just proving they’re stable or self-sufficient, but do they really need to plaster that kind of photo as the main profile pic?

Personal Info

Check their details and description of themselves. If all they say are only good things, you should be wondering whether they’re saying the truth or are covering up too much. A bit of self-deprecation is healthy and a sign they’re self-aware and accepting of their imperfections.

Another point is to see what they’re not saying. Which parts of the profile do they leave blank or not comment much on? What do the missing links have in common?

If you’re looking for someone who can commit, beware of the phrase “likes to have fun” (as well as “looking for someone who wants to have fun”) or something along that line. That’s essentially euphemism for “I’m still looking around and not ready to be tied down to one person yet.”

The Overall Picture

Check the photos and the personal info – do the details contradict with what’s on the profile pic? Do the information complement or clash? For example, the person weighs this much but his photo is another story.

Also, what’s your general impression after you’ve gone through a profile? You may get hunches about the profile in question or feel something in the pit of your stomach that tells you things don’t add up or that there’s just something not right about the owner of the profile. When you do, you should probably put that profile out of consideration.

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