In the past few years, dating apps have evolved from a niche market to something almost every single person knows about. Whether you’re looking for love, friendship, or just a bit of fun on the side, there are now dating apps to suit your needs and preferences.
However, with so many options out there it’s important that you know what you’re getting into before you sign up and commit to becoming a member of any particular dating app.
Whether you’re well-versed in the world of online dating or a relative newbie, it’s always smart to keep your guard up when meeting potential partners for the first time. While some people use these apps for no-strings-attached hookups, others are there because they’re looking for something more serious.
If you meet someone through an app who seems too good to be true—yes, that means red flags need to go up! Here are some tips on how to spot red flags when using dating apps like Facebook Dating.
Check Out Their Profile
When browsing potential matches on dating apps, one of the first things you should do is check out their profile. Is it filled with information about who they are and what they are looking for in a partner, or does it feel more like a sales pitch?
Take note of the quality of their profile photos, as well as what information they’ve chosen to include/exclude. Is there a clear theme to their profile, or is it a random hodgepodge of information?
What you find in their profile can help you spot a red flag or two. If the person you are looking at has a profile that seems poorly written and is overloaded with generic information, they may not be particularly invested in the process.
If you notice something similar but an overly polished profile that seems almost too good to be true, you may want to proceed with caution.
Check Out Their Photos
One thing that is often overlooked when seeking out potential dates is the quality of the photos they use in their profile. This can be an important indicator of the quality of person you are dealing with.
If their photos seem like they were taken by a friend who has no experience with photography, or if they include photos that seem like they could have been taken at any point in their life, it can be a red flag. On the other hand, if the photos are clearly professionally done, this is a good sign.
At the same time, be mindful of how much time has passed since the photos were taken. If the person has been using photos that are several years old, it may indicate that they are not necessarily looking for a new partner but rather a way to trick people into thinking they are younger and more attractive than they actually are.
Look For The Red Flag Words/Phrases
One of the most important things to keep an eye out for when chatting with potential dates to make sure they are not displaying a red flag by showing signs of wanting to get you off the app as soon as possible. If they want to meet you as soon as possible after chatting with you, they are likely not looking for a long-term relationship.
One way to tell if someone is invested in you as a person is to look out for words or phrases that indicate they are more interested in getting you off the app than getting to know you as a person.
Words like “when are we meeting”, “what are you doing later” and “when can we have s3x” are clear red flags that the person wants to rush you into meeting. If you’re not interested in meeting them right away, politely let them know that you’d like to get to know them better first.
Don’t Be Afraid To Walk Away
While it’s important to be aware of the red flags you may find in potential dates’ profiles and photos, you also need to remember that every person out there has some kind of red flag or another.
The trick is to find someone who has a few red flags but nothing so extreme that you have to end the conversation immediately. If you find several red flags in a person’s profile, you may want to end the conversation with them as politely as possible. Let them know that you appreciate them reaching out to you but that you aren’t interested in continuing the conversation.
At the same time, don’t let one or two red flags deter you from continuing to use dating apps. Instead, take them as a sign that you need to remain vigilant and aware of potential red flags at all times.
Don’t Meet For The First Time In Person By Yourself
If you’re meeting someone for the first time after chatting with them online, it’s generally best to do it in a public place with other people around. However, if you want to meet someone but feel more comfortable meeting them in a more private setting, you can always suggest that you two meet somewhere that isn’t too public.
At the same time, you shouldn’t meet a potential partner for the first time by yourself. If you want to meet in a public place but feel a bit nervous about doing so, consider bringing a friend along with you for moral support and safety.
Even if you’re 100% sure you aren’t meeting a fake person, you never know what could go wrong and having someone by your side is always a good idea.
Be on the lookout for inconsistencies in what someone says and how they behave.
While you’re getting to know a potential partner better, pay close attention to how they behave and to what they say. If everything seems to be going smoothly, you may want to consider taking things to the next level—and that may mean exchanging your phone numbers.
Before doing so, however, you should take the time to ensure that the person is who they say they are.
While you can’t always be certain that the person you’re talking to is who they say they are, there are a few things you can do to make sure you aren’t dealing with someone who is trying to deceive you.
For example, you can check their social media accounts to see if the information they’ve provided you with matches up with their other online profiles.
They only want to communicate through app messaging
If someone seems really eager to talk to you but only wants to communicate through the app, it could be a sign that they aren’t interested in getting to know you as a person and are just looking for a quick hookup.
At the same time, if the person has communicated with you via the app but wants to switch over to another platform before you exchange phone numbers, it can be a sign that they have something to hide.
Whether they are looking for something casual or something more serious, communication via the app is easier for them to control and manipulate. If a person is only looking to talk to you via the app, they may not be who they say they are and you should proceed with caution.
They want to meet ASAP
If a potential partner wants to meet you right away, it can definitely be flattering. However, it is important to remember that the quicker they want to meet you, the less likely they are to be invested in getting to know you as a person.
What’s more, if they are pushing to meet you right away, they may not be particularly connected to their emotions and may be more likely to act on impulse.
If a potential partner is pushing for you to meet as soon as possible, consider slowing things down a bit and asking them why they are in such a hurry. If they have a legitimate reason for wanting to meet so soon, that’s great!