Whether you are just re-entering the dating pool, or simply trying online dating for the first time, you will quickly come to the realization that it can be rough out there!
Just like in real life, there are a lot of duds online. And even more creeps.
Before you get discouraged, I'm here to tell you that there ARE great men out there. It just takes time to sort through all of the not so great ones.
Here is a list of some potential red flags to be aware of when you are new to online dating:
1) If someone you are messaging asks you to leave the dating platform and message via phone number DON'T DO IT. This is leaving you open for a potential stalker who can track down information about you using your phone number. It also opens you up to the inevitable dick pic.
2) Avoid profiles that are negative. If the profile is talking about what he doesn't want, rather than what he does want, swipe left. If someone is that disagreeable online, imagine what he would be like in person.
3) If you’ve been messaging someone and they just disappear, you’ve been ghosted. They might message you again later in the week or even in a few weeks and I would recommend to delete them as a match. They are most likely playing the system and looking for hookups.
4) If someone sends you a link, don't click it! This is an easy way to hack into your account. Delete them as a match.
5) Avoid anyone with no photo or a blurry photo. They are most likely married or in a relationship and don't want to be found out online.
6) If you've been messaging back and forth for more than a day or two, ask to set up a day and time to meet. If they fail to make themselves available to meet in person, delete them. They are most likely married or in a relationship and are just getting off on getting your attention.
7) If he makes you uncomfortable online, imagine how he would behave in person. Delete anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable in any way.
8) When you set up a date, be sure to pick somewhere public and busy. If you drive, be sure to park around the corner, and NEVER allow him to pick you up or drive you home on the first date.
If any or all of these things happen to you, stick with it. You just popped up online and are fresh meat. Give it at least a few weeks before expecting any results.
Think about it like this- dating online is a much faster version of the selection process we go through in real life. So in the beginning, the amount of jerks you have to sift through will be a little overwhelming, but behind a few jerks is a great guy waiting to discover you.