Dating online no longer carries the stigma it once did ten, or even five years ago. Even so, interacting with people we’ve never met, and then inviting them into our lives, can feel a little intimidating. Women especially worry about avoiding men who might prove dangerous to them at a later date.
So to help you sift out the creeps from the amazing friendships and dates you’ll find, here are a few red flags you should look out for when dating online… and off.
1. Refers to Women by Derogatory Terms
If he refers to women as “b!tches” and “hoes”, he’s likely not a good match. It doesn’t matter if he then assures you he’s referring to other women he has had bad experiences with. The day you displease him, you’ll likely get heaped in there with all the rest, and there are several reasons you should be concerned about this.
The first is that if a man feels comfortable referring to women in this way (a) on a public forum, and (b) at a time when he should at least be trying to appear attractive, there’s no telling what he’ll say or do in private.
The second is that this kind of language is usually a warning sign of a lack of respect for women. It’s one thing when a man complains about one ex, or maybe even two. But if a man has had such bad experiences with so many of the women in his life, it’s time to look at the common denominator. Him.
2. Jaded Remarks about Cheating Women or Claims Women Can’t be Trusted.
Once again, complaining about one ex or two is understandable, but once it becomes an instance where all women are now branded as cheaters, it’s time to cut him loose. Along with considering the common denominator in his equation, consider this: the time will come when he doesn’t trust you either. He probably already doesn’t.
This might not seem like a big deal at first, but men with trust issues often develop into men with paranoia. They can become obsessive; tracking your whereabouts and demanding to know where you’ve been and with whom.
Even for men who do not become particularly obsessive, their baggage is no less a burden. You spend almost the entire relationship being judged by the transgressions of the women before you; and wiping a slate clean time and time again that you never dirtied.
The same goes for men dating distrustful women.
3. Overly Sexual Remarks
If you’re also looking for a primarily sexual relationship, then this isn’t a big deal. However, if the first thing a man puts out there about himself is his sexual prowess, then take that as a signal of what he’s expecting from you.
In other words, if the most important feature to him is the size of his genitalia or his performance in bed, then understand that the primary function you will serve is to satisfy him sexually.
It doesn’t matter if he graduated with honors from Stanford, has an adorable and innocent three-year old daughter, or says in his profile that he’s looking for his future wife. If his first move is to show off sexually, or call sexual attention to you and your physique, then you know your future role in this man’s life.
4. Professional Shots for Profile Pictures
We’ve all had that one professional shot a buddy took that looked really good. Maybe it was on graduation day, at a party, or for a shoot where he needed a stand-in model. They air-brushed it for you, and now you look perfect. Why not show it off? That’s all reasonable.
However, if virtually all a guy’s pictures are professional shots, then he’s likely superficial, super conceited, and/or super insecure. What’s so wrong with candid shots? Is he hiding something? Even if he’s an actor or model, it’s a dating website, not his online work portfolio.
Similarly, it might be reasonable to think the same of women who never give a glimpse of what’s underneath their makeup.
5. Always Posting Pictures of Money
Many people might associate this with rap culture, and therefore African American men. But the truth is, all ethnic groups fall prey to this one at some point. Usually the guys are young, and hoping to impress women with the money they have.
But consider for a moment how guys that age earned that much cash. Chances are it wasn’t earned legally, and won’t be spent legally. Some people are fine with that, but for a lot of us, that’s way more drama than we need in our life.
6. Lots of Party Shots
If you’re a party girl yourself, then you’ve likely met your match. But the drunk frat-boy knocking back rounds with his cap on backwards brings to mind boys like Brock Turner. Of course most frat-boys aren’t that bad – we hope – but the party boy is unlikely to be mature or committed, and likely hasn’t gotten his priorities straight yet.
If you’re looking to have fun, then look for the guys who’ll take you on hiking trips, or teach you how to snorkel, hunt, fish, surf, and pitch a tent. These are the men who can likely hold down the base a few years up the line.
The boring ones will take you partying in your 20s, bring you home to Netflix and Chill, and then take you out for dinner and a movie once a week for the rest of your life. Good luck with that…
7. Upset if you Don’t Respond Right Away
Another obsessive type is the guy who goes into a fit when you don’t reply to his message right away. It may seem cute at first that he cared so much that it bothered him when he didn’t hear from you. But this is not a habit you want to encourage, and you won’t find it so cute a few months down the road.
It’s a sign of not just obsessive, but needy and clingy behavior. This is not just annoying, but dangerous. These are the guys who will read your text messages when you set your phone down, and wait outside your house to see if you got in when you said you would.
These are also the toughest ones to get rid of, when you’ve had enough, and you’re ready to move on. Though studies say 90 percent of stalkers are men, the women who follow this behaviour pattern may turn into stalkers too.
Online dating can be a great way to meet not just potential dates, but friends, and even future colleagues. You never know. But it’s also a place with a few unsavory characters you should look out for, to keep unnecessary pain and drama out of your life.