Warning Signs in Internet Dating

Be on the lookout for red flags when meeting people online.Be on the lookout for red flags when meeting people online.

With more and more people leading busy and stressful lives with little time for socialization, it's no wonder that online dating only continues to increase in popularity. Internet dating sites can be an easy way to meet other people who are looking for love without having to subject yourself to bars and other traditional means of meeting potential partners. However, meeting people online comes with risks. The following are a few warning signs to watch out for to avoid involving yourself with someone who has dishonest intentions.

Old or Unclear Photos

This is one of the easiest warning signs to spot early on in your communication with someone. If you notice that the person you're corresponding with only has photos that seem outdated or that have been taken from far away or from extreme angles, it's not unreasonable to suspect that she might be hiding something and probably does not look quite the same in person.

No Reliable Form of Contact

If the person you have met has a "Don't call me, I'll call you" policy once you have taken the relationship beyond e-mail, it may mean that he's trying to conceal his relationship with you from a wife or girlfriend. If you do manage to get his phone number but he insists on only texting and never answers when you call, that's another red flag. Anyone who has no encumbrances and is fully open to a new relationship would not want to put these types of unexplained restrictions on communication.

Vague Answers or Avoidance of Questions

While it's smart to avoid giving out a large amount of personal information to someone you have recently met on the Internet, if your online date is vague or completely avoids answering anytime you ask a question about her job, family or personal life, it may be a sign that there's something she does not want you to know. Before escalating the relationship, it's important to ask yourself how much you really know about this person and whether you're comfortable with her apparent discomfort when it comes to talking about herself.


One of the biggest red flags to watch for when meeting someone new is inconsistency in his behavior or in the stories he tells. If he claims to have an impressive education and credentials but his current situation does not seem to match up to those claims, he may not be telling you the truth. By the same token, some online daters will lie about their age or occupation initially, and then will reveal the truth to you later on after you have been corresponding for awhile. This type of behavior may make you wonder what else he is being deceitful about.

Insecurity and Possessiveness

If the person you have met seems overly curious about your activities, such as who you have been seeing or speaking with, this is a sign of a possessiveness that is unlikely to subside if you take the relationship offline. Constantly having to account for your whereabouts and to reassure your partner of your loyalty can be exhausting, so you will need to decide whether this type of relationship is actually worth pursuing.

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About the Author

Jenny Parker is a New England-based entrepreneur who has been writing since 1995. Parker writes extensively on creative self-employment and genealogy; her work has appeared on Etsy.com and Ancestry.com. She also has self-published several short story collections and is currently working on her first non-fiction book chronicling the history of her ancestors in America.

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