The world of online dating has exploded over the last decade. Although online dating has been around for over thirty years, more and more individuals are turning to the online dating sites, and meeting others from all over the world via social media. While it is a convenient way of meeting other single people from many locations, there is caution that must be used, as there are many online who pretend to be someone they are not. They might brag about accomplishments they have not obtained, or they might even use someone else’s picture and profile. Without meeting in person and using messaging and chat sessions it is easy to make up a persona that is not the “real” individual. Over 30 million individuals in the United States alone have admitted to using a dating site within the last three years, and 1 in 6 marriages occur between individuals who have met online. Online dating is certainly now the new normal, as projections show that by 2024 there will be over 40 million users across the USA.
Although a simple and convenient way to meet people caution is needed.
As stated above, there are many users that can pretend to be something or someone that they are not. Dating scams are rife, and some individuals may target others for unwanted and malicious intentions. Although it is easy to get caught up in the online world of dating it is also just as easy to be taken advantage of. Unfortunately, many women who are seeking love seem to be prime targets for “catfish” and other types of “creeps” that go from dating site to dating site looking for victims. The term “catfish” originated in 2010 due to a television show of that name, where a person pretended to be a person they were not, in order to lure the producer of the show into a romantic online interlude. This show still exists and shows the pitfalls of online dating. Falling in love too quickly online should be avoided and all kinds of questions or concerns should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid a broken heart. Meeting someone offline should be also be done as quickly as possible if a relationship develops, as in person most individuals are quite different than what they seem online. Online is only a portion of a person, a one-dimensional aspect if you will. Habits and overall perspective on life can only be determined by an offline meetup.
There are warning signs that should be heeded when meeting someone online.
- First off, check the profile of any person or do a Google search on their name. It is surprising what will turn up many times. It is not unusual to find that many profiles on many sites might exist, or that they are engaged in conversation with many others as well. If a person is seeking a serious relationship someone who is listed on several dating sites with several profiles and chatting with others is not a good bet for any long-term relationship.
- Secondly, use Nuwber to look up all background information on any individual that you are chatting with or messaging. Nuwber is a search site with a huge database of USA clients and contains all kinds of search options that can be used to check out a person and their background. All searches are confidential so the person that is being searched will be none the wiser!
- Go slowly when first meeting someone online. Divulging too much personal information too quickly or assuming someone is who they say they are is a serious mistake. While the person who is being “catfished” is a victim, the person they are pretending to be is also one, and there are instances where a fake picture was used to lure in thousands of women unknowingly over the course of several years.
- Check the phone number given if chatting or messaging online either through a dating app or social media. If a spoof phone number is given, one that uses a service or app to display a different number with a different location, red flags should go up immediately. Someone that wants a real relationship will not use a spoof number at least not after they get to know a person. They will want you to be able to call them.
- Setting up only certain times for texts or chats is another red flag. This can mean they are married or a catfish. Although time differences do exist most individuals that are seriously looking for a relationship will allow a phone call at any time if it is necessary. While good judgment by the caller should be displayed, never being able to call a person when you need to talk of have an emergency can be an indication that they are lying.
- Refusing to meet offline. This is a true red flag. Real relationship seekers will be eager to do this as soon as they can!
- Showing lack of respect is a danger sign. If a person you are involved with online calls all the time, disrupts your schedule, or becomes angry when you do not respond immediately, this is a sign they might actually have anger management issues or are controlling.
- Refusing to video chat. Most individuals now use video chat. Refusing to do so shows reluctance to show their true face and body. On the flip side, if on the first video chat, someone asks for nudity or other lewd acts, this person can be determined to be a “creep”, rather than a “good guy.” Video chat can expose a lot of the positive and negative aspects and good judgment when video chatting should be used.
There is no one set of rules to determine if your online date is a “creep” or a “good guy.”
Good judgment always must be used and any online relationship with anyone should be taken slowly. While online dating is fun and convenient it is not without perils and only the person engaged in it can make the judgment about anyone they are chatting with. Look before you leap into online relationships.