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Online Dating Red Flags (21 Things To Be On Alert For)

by Sonya Schwartz

The world of dating is meant to have been made easier with the introduction of dating apps and dating websites. However, while meeting people maybe that bit quicker through the use of the internet, there is still a whole raft of problems that have come about because of it. 

Here, we look at online dating red flags that you need to be aware of in order to protect yourself from both physical harms but also emotional hurt. For, while some people use dating websites and apps to start up relationships, some use it for much more superficial reasons. 

What Are The Red Flags With Online Dating? 

Not all of these red flags need to be present for you to be more cautious in how things proceed with a person you are messaging with online. Just one or two can be more than sufficient to put you, rightly, on your guard.

1. He Goes Hot And Cold

Be wary of a person who goes hot and cold via a dating app. It can mean so many things when you do actually meet up in person. You could find that your relationship is characterized by never really knowing where you stand. 

2. You Can’t Find Out Much About Him On Social Media

you can't find much about him on social media

If a guy or woman has a dating profile, but very little information is available on social media, you may want to see this as a dating red flag. It is not a reason to call things off completely, it just could be that they are a lot less open to people than you may want. 

3. His Messages Seems Copied And Pasted

One of the most common and important online dating red flags to be aware of is if a guy seems to be sending you messages that are going to other people too. This means that he is playing the field, which is fine as long as he is open and honest about that - and you want to keep seeing other people too. 

4. He Is Too Persistent

Someone who is too persistent in how he messages you can be extremely overwhelming and perhaps an online dating red flag that really puts you off. While it’s always lovely to feel wanted, if he likes to pay attention to you too much, you may find that you find him overbearing to the point that you find the relationship claustrophobic right from the first date. 

5. He Never Answers A Question Directly

Someone who is always giving vague answers to questions can be one of the biggest online dating red flags. Honesty is key to any relationship, so if you cannot be open with each other and trust what a person is saying, the relationship may not have much of a future. It also begs the question, why can’t he give you a definitive answer to your questions about him? 

6. He Always Looks For The Innuendo

You may have been able to pick this up from a person’s profile already, or it may be that you only realize it when you start messaging more - but an online dating red flag is if a guy is always looking for the innuendo. This can be quite tiring and exasperating and also points to the level of emotional maturity - as well as what they are really looking for on the first date. 

7. He Consistently Backs Out On Plans

he consistently backs out on plans

If you are at the stage where you are no longer just looking at each other’s profiles, but trying to meet up, be wary of a guy who always seems to back out on plans. One or two times is totally fine and understandable - if they have a decent excuse - but if he is always doing it, it sets a precedent for what the rest of your relationship could be like. 

8. He Always Has A Better Story To Tell

No one likes to be with a person who always has a story that is one better than the ones that you tell. You may be able to glean from a potential date’s profile that they have a big ego, but if you find that your online messages seem to be becoming a one-upmanship game, you may want to move onto someone else and pay attention to someone who listens to you properly. 

9. He Calls You Inappropriate Pet Names

It can be a huge turn off if someone starts calling you pet names far too early on in your relationship - online or otherwise. However, if he starts doing it through your messages very early on, it can be a big warning sign. It could be because he is messaging lots of people with some sort of pet names so he doesn’t make any mistakes, or it could just be his way of trying to flirt. Either way, it can rub some people up the wrong way. 

10. Your Conversations Seem One-Sided

If you feel like you are doing all the work through your messages, you may want to move on from this guy. His profile may seem really interesting, but if you are the person always trying to start up a conversation you could find that he is either painfully shy or simply not interested in hearing your thoughts on anything. 

11. His Photos Seem Too Good To Be True

If a guy’s profile has photos that look too good to be true, you may want to pursue this person with caution. While a profile is definitely the place to sell yourself as best as you can, it is not a good basis for a relationship if a person has lied through their photos to get dates. Plus, it can ultimately be disappointing for you as well as misleading. 

12. His Photos Become Inappropriate

his photos become inappropriate

People get turned on by different things, and to some, sending inappropriate photos is fine. If you’re into that type of thing, this won’t be a dating red flag, however, it could well be a warning if you want to get to know a person better before you start sexting. 

13. He Always Suggests Sex

You may well start to ascertain from a person’s messages what they are truly using dating apps for. Some people do use it just to have meaningless sex with others - and you could well be one of them. However, if you are using it to seek out a long term relationship and he seems to be consistently suggesting sex, you may want to see this as a warning sign that you want different things. 

14. He Never Wants To Meet

There are some people who simply continue the messaging part of online dating for too long. If the person you are messaging never seems to want to meet, this can be a big indicator of what your relationship would be like when you do meet - if ever. Be wary of this type of person as they could just be wasting your time. 

15. He Doesn’t Have Many Photos

Someone who hides behind just a couple of photos on the profile can be something to flag up with caution. He may well just have low confidence and not really like the way he looks, but if you are serious about meeting up with each other, you need to be certain you will be attracted to them physically. 

Physical attraction should not be dismissed. While looks are only ever one aspect of a relationship, it is still an important part that should not be overlooked. 

16. His Profile Is Very Basic And Brief

A brief profile can mean a couple of things. Firstly, there isn’t very much to this guy. Or, it can mean that they have a big ego. Either way, it is an online dating warning sign as it means you will invariably be the individual that is doing all the work. 

For a relationship to work, it needs to be a two-way street where you are both interested in what the other is up to. A brief profile may indicate that he will need you to bring him out of his shell, which puts a lot of pressure on you. 

17. His Profile Is Too Grandiose

On the flip side of a brief profile, is a profile that is over the top and too good to be true. It can often be the sign of a guy with a big ego that can make for a tricky relationship. A big ego means that you will often be the individual doing all the sacrificing for the sake of the partnership. Additionally, this type of profile can also be a big let down when you do eventually meet. 

18. He Constantly Suggests You Send Him Racy Photos

If you are into using dating sites to start sexting a guy, then when he suggests you send him racy photos- that’s fine. However, if you feel uncomfortable doing so, you may want to steer clear of such a guy who is constantly asking you to send him this type of image. 

19. He Never Asks You More Than Very Basic Things

he never asks you more than very basic things

For a relationship to work in the long term, there needs to be mutual respect. If a guy never really asks about you, it could be that he is very self-involved and selfish. Such characteristics make a relationship difficult to maintain and it can ultimately be highly unfulfilling for you. It could be inexperience on his side, but it could just be he will never be a caring boyfriend. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

20. He Only Texts You Very Late At Night

If a guy only texts you very late at night, it could be a big warning sign. There are many reasons that this may happen. It could be that he has an exceptionally busy job that keeps him too busy for a personal life until that point or it could just be that he is out dating a lot and only can message you at this point as it is his only spare time. 

21. He Says A Lot Of What He Doesn't Want

If a guy’s profile has a lot of don’ts on it, proceed with caution. It means he is very picky as well as someone who has the propensity to be very demanding of a partner. It can mean he will always set very high expectations that you can never really meet - which will affect your happiness and confidence in the long run. 

FAQs

What are some red flags in a guy?

If a guy is constantly looking at his phone when you are on a date with him, this is a big red flag. Also, if he pops up on many different dating apps all with very different target audiences, you can probably start to wonder if their intentions are honorable. 

How do you know if a guy is serious about you online?

Telling if someone is serious about you online is hard. You need to ask questions that you know will answer your queries. However, if you feel like he is perhaps too good to be true, it can be a good idea to take things a little slower with him until you know if he is being genuine or not. 

Is it a red flag if a guy moves too fast?

It’s fine if a guy wants to move fast - what is a red flag is if he doesn’t take no for an answer. A guy always needs to respect your wishes so if you are dating a person who does not want to do as you ask, you need to make sure you do not set a precedent for the long term

How do you know if your online date is a player?

If a person’s profile seems too good to be true, it could be that they are a player. They could be selling themselves as something that they are not so that they get to date lots of different people at once to meet their physical and sexual needs

What does love bombing mean?

Love bombing is when someone comes on very strong by professing their love and feelings for you - only to get their own way. This will often mean that a person will pay attention to you to get what they want from you sexually and nothing more. 

Online Dating Red Flags - In Summary

Online dating can be beneficial to so many. If two individuals meet who have similar wants and interests, a relationship can really work. However, not everyone uses dating apps for the same purpose which can result in a mismatch of wants or intentions. 

Knowing what warning signs can be indicative of such a mismatch is therefore crucial to the most effective use of dating apps. Read through the above to be aware of what a guy is really looking for when online dating and see whether it matches with your own needs. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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