We’ve all seen the epidemic proportion of online tricksters called “bots” or “catfish” that attempt to create meaningful emotional connections with unsuspecting victims, especially through dating apps, websites, and social media.
The internet has opened up a whole new world of people trying to connect by any means necessary. These easy connections made through the internet don’t simply prevent loneliness. Some people are even more lonely than they were before the onslaught of online connection.
Before we get too sad about the state of the world, or the state of online dating, we need to understand why it is that people “catfish” or pretend to be someone other than they are. In order to prevent getting your heart and your trust broken, look out for these warning signs of a problematic, or worse, fake online relationship.
Do Be Open and Honest, but Not About Deeply Personal Information
The foundation of any good relationship is trust and communication. Without trust, relationships can become possessive, toxic, and even alienating. When meeting someone online, be honest about your intentions, but don’t give a potential date too much information about your personal or professional life right off the bat.
This could set you up for being taken advantage of in more ways than one. Don’t give out really personal accounting information and the like. Although you might be charmed by your online lover, it doesn’t mean they should have access to your credit card.
Do Follow Up with Dates in Real Life
You don’t have to meet up with everyone you match with or have a conversation with on your dating app. In fact, quality over quantity is always better when it comes to dating. When you’ve started talking to a potential date, but have so far only seen their online profile, it is recommended that you do a little detective work, especially when you have the internet at your fingertips.
Take this advice with discretion; you don’t want to be paranoid about every match. If you do have a sneaking suspicion that your date may be a fraud, it’s recommended to follow up through social media discreetly. Your date could also be hiding their actual relationship or marriage status, so don’t always assume your matches are single either.
If a match doesn’t have a wealth of information on their profile, or they shy away from vital details, they might not be the real deal. If they don’t want to meet, talk on the phone, or video chat when things get serious, take that as a red flag.
Don’t Be Scared– But Be Aware
Dating is unpredictable as it is, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from it. No matter what your preferences, you can find dating apps that are perfect for what you’re looking for. Looking for something casual? Try Tinder. Looking for a relationship? Try OKCupid. Looking for Interracial Dating – Meet singles on our site, try specialty apps for interracial dating. The same goes for religious and sexual preference.