10 Online Dating Red Flags to Watch Out For


Online dating comes with opportunities to meet new people. But there are some red flags to watch out for when it comes to matches.
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Looking for love online can be a great way to connect with someone special. But it can also be a minefield of red flags and warning signs. These warning signs can be anything from a person being pushy about meeting up in person to someone asking for too much personal information.

Here are 10 online dating red flags to watch out for when using dating apps and websites.

1. They Don't Respect Boundaries

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One of the most important things to determine is whether a potential partner respects your boundaries. If a match is constantly pushing you to meet up in person or share more personal information than you're comfortable with, it's a red flag.

Privacy and boundaries are critical in any relationship, more so when you haven't even met the person yet. If they can't respect your wishes, it's best to move on.

2. They Won't Ever Meet Up in Person

If you've been talking to someone online for a while, and they consistently refuse to meet up in person, that's a huge red flag. It could be because they're not who they say they are or because they're not ready to commit to a relationship.

There are plenty of reasons someone might not be ready to meet up, but if they're interested in you, they should at least be open to the idea. After all, it will help you determine your chemistry and potential for a relationship.

Another form of this is when someone always has an excuse for why they can't get on a video call. If a match is unwilling to show their face after a few weeks of chatting, that's a sign that something might be off.

3. They Have a Very Long List of Requirements and Dealbreakers

When it comes to dating, we all have our own set of standards and dealbreakers. But if someone's list of requirements is excessively long or includes unrealistic things, take that as your cue to swipe left.

A long list of dealbreakers can also suggest that someone is looking for their perfect match, which is unrealistic and not something you should strive for.

4. Immediately Asking for Your Phone Number or Personal Email Address

When you're first getting to know someone, it's wise to take things slow. This is especially true when it comes to giving out your personal information. If someone you've just matched with on a dating app asks for your phone number or personal email address before you've even got to know them, that's a red flag.

Odds are, a new match who's trying to take the conversation off the dating platform as quickly as possible isn't someone genuine. They might be trying to scam you, or they might just be looking for a hookup. Either way, it's a red flag.

5. Always Canceling Dates or Making Excuses

If you've been messaging someone for a while, and you've finally scheduled a date, only to have them cancel at the last minute or make up excuses as to why they can't meet, that's a red flag.

Of course, things come up, and sometimes it's unavoidable to cancel a date. But if it happens repeatedly, it's worth considering whether this is someone you want to continue dating.

6. They Have a Suspiciously Perfect Profile

You know the saying: "if something seems too good to be true, it probably is". This definitely applies to online dating. If someone's profile seems too good to be true, it's likely because it is.

Some examples of things that might make someone's profile seem too good to be true:
  • They're model-perfect in their photos.
  • They have an extensive and impressive list of accomplishments.
  • They make no mention of any flaws or shortcomings.
  • Their interests and hobbies are exactly the same as yours.

While it's okay to be attracted to someone's physical appearance or accomplishments, it's important to remember that everyone has flaws. If someone's profile makes them seem perfect, it's likely because they're trying to hide something.

7. They're Evasive About Questions

If an online dating match is being evasive about basic questions about themselves, that's a red flag. You should be able to learn more about someone as you get to know them, but if they're being tight-lipped from the beginning, that's not a good sign.

Oftentimes, people who are being evasive about themselves are hiding something. They might be married, in a relationship, or have some other commitment they're not being upfront about. They might also be hiding something else, like a criminal record or a shady past.

It's important to respect boundaries and understand that some people open up more slowly than others. But if someone won't answer simple questions, it's better to move on from them.

8. They Ask for Risky Pictures

Another major red flag is if someone you're interested in asks for sexual content, whether that's photos, videos, or anything else. A match who asks for these before even going on a date is likely only interested in one thing, and it's not a relationship.

This is also a safety concern. You never know who someone really is online, and sending sexual content to someone you don't know can be extremely dangerous.

Even if someone doesn't explicitly ask for sexual content, there are other ways they might try to get it from you. They might make comments that are sexual, or they might send unsolicited photos or videos. Either way, it's not someone you want to pursue a relationship with.

9. They Profess Their Love For You Too Soon

It's one thing to say "I love you" after a few months of meeting someone. It's another thing entirely to say it after just a few weeks or even days.

If a match you've just started talking to professes their love for you before you even really know them, that's a huge red flag. Odds are they're desperate and looking for someone to fill a void in their life. Or they're following the Tinder Swindler's tactics. Either way, that's a cue you don't want to miss.

10. Asking for Money or Gifts

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This is spotting an online dating scammer 101. If someone you're talking to on a dating app asks for money, gifts, or financial help before even meeting up, be very wary. It's almost certainly a scam.

Some other red flags to look out for include:
  • They claim to be in the military and stationed overseas.
  • They say they're going through financial hardship.
  • They ask for money to pay for travel expenses, so they can visit you.
  • They ask for gift cards.

If someone you're talking to on a dating app asks for any of the above, do not give them any money. Also, if you're ever in doubt about whether someone is trying to scam you, it's always best to err on the side of caution.
Don't Ignore the Online Dating Red Flags

While it's always possible that someone might have a perfectly okay reason for exhibiting any of the above behaviors, it's crucial to trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is.

The best way to stay safe when online dating is to listen to your intuition and pay attention to the red flags. If you see any of the above behaviors, move on. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.


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