5 Red Flags in Online Dating Profiles

Online Dating

We all know by now that online dating is a key way to find a relationship. Signing up or logging on seems to now be the easy part.

For some reason, nailing the profile or spotting lies in other people’s profiles tends to be the hard part.

“Dating sites do increase the number of people, at least in principle, (who are) interested in meeting you.” Says Dan Sapen, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who runs a private practice in Long Island, NY.

But navigating these vast online dating pools can be tricky.

According to Sapen, if you are a woman who is looking for a mate online, you can “assume Mr. X is trying to impress you enough to get you to go out with him with as little delay as possible. Assume he is not interested in giving you a complete listing of accurate, relevant facts.” Of course, this is not the case with all daters, but you should keep your eyes open.

“With dating sites, a candidate’s sales pitch. Based on the information he wants you to believe. Mostly comes long before there is any chance the two of you will be in the same room. So, what is he going to tell you about his status, his success, or his financial security that will get you into the same room with him. Of course, the same holds true for women’s profiles as well.

1. Me, me, me

Some profiles overuse the word “I,” and the person focuses too much on himself/herself. It is about what he/she wants, needs, or is looking for with little to no mention of what the lucky suitor will get in return.

“A well-balanced person and, therefore, a well-written online dating profile. That accurately depicts one’s personality, preferences, and relationship goals will ensure that the profile covers what they’re looking for. In addition to what they are willing to contribute to a relationship. You should be able to glean some observations around whether the person is a giver, a taker, or both by the way the individual packages their profile,” Ikka says.

2. Attractive picture but few words

“In these cases, [typically] this is a person who is accustomed to getting by on their looks and, perhaps, their looks alone,” Ikka says. She adds that this type of profile also suggests superficiality, lack of substance, and/or laziness.

3. Negative positioning

These profiles often use words like “can’t, won’t, don’t, shouldn’t, or wouldn’t. ” They contain statements, such as “I won’t date someone who doesn’t have a job.” or “You shouldn’t be too opinionated or you’re not for me.”

“These profiles indicate a variety of potential difficulties with their authors, including control issues, a negative perspective on life (or at least on dating), a sense of entitlement, or a victim’s mentality—basically nothing that one should find attractive right off the bat,” she says.

A former client of Ikka’s had a profile that fit this description when she started working with him, she shares. In it, he wrote, “If you’re not fit and into exercise, don’t bother contacting me.” After reading that, Ikka quickly worked with him to change the wording in order to make him sound more approachable.

“I helped him understand that his value of wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle and wanting to find a partner who was like-minded was understandable (but that) he could communicate the exact same thing in a more positive manner. Ultimately, we changed the text to read, ‘Because I value my health and enjoy staying active…I am looking to meet someone who shares the same or similar interests and fitness goals.’”

4. Window shoppers

“These are people who are active on a website but who have not paid for a membership,” Ikka explains. In some instances, “this is a huge red flag because they have no skin in the game and are one foot in, one foot out. You can identify these people only when you go to contact them and realize that you’re not able to or your message goes unanswered; this is because they are not able to access messages, flirts, or e-cards because they are not paying for those services. In that case, do you really want to date someone who can’t even commit to their own online dating profile?”

5. Monologues

“Although people who write long-winded profiles typically have the best of intentions, it is often an indication of what’s in store when you meet them in person,” Ikka says, adding, “It can be innocent and chalked up to a lack of dating experience, an attempt to be everything to everyone, an autobiography, or, in its worst form, it can be a preview to the ‘it’s-all-about-me’ show.'”

Ikka believes online dating profiles should be like movie trailers.

“The purpose is to whet the audience’s appetite, create interest and perhaps some intrigue and mystique, and then let those wanting more options to buy a ticket to see the full movie. In this case, by reaching out through some form of communication.”

Having to watch for red flags, like these, can make online dating seem daunting, but the journey can be more than worth it. What could be more important than your happiness? . Sapan stresses, “The good and hopeful news here is that a woman who is honest with herself, is willing to separate reality from imaginary romance, and who understands that real communication (in a real room, where eyes and hands can be seen, words considered, aroma savored, body language studied, and social behavior observed) stands the best chance of finding a lover for now or for forever, who is really a match based on the realities of sexual chemistry and interpersonal harmony.”

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