Online Dating Red Flags
As a dating coach, I specialize in helping divorced or widowed women over 40 find love again. Online dating is an important component of my work. My clients are often confused about how to date smart online. They find it frustrating to wade through the myriad profiles online, unable to know who has real potential and who to ignore. Men don’t always write as much as women, so there has to be a good degree of detective work in figuring out who to contact or respond to. It’s important to separate the good from the scary, and knowing how to identify red flags will help you stay safe.
ONLINE DATING RED FLAGS
1. Obsession with youth. While many people over 40 are obsessed with looking and feeling young, bringing it up in a profile can be a warning sign that he has a Peter Pan complex. It’s better to show that you’re young at heart through humor and playfulness in your essay. Show, don’t tell, is key to writing a good profile essay.
2. Bitterness and anger in a profile essay. It can be as simple as stating what you’re NOT looking for in a person, such as ‘no angry women need apply’. Or what you ARE looking for, such as ‘I’m looking for someone who’s calm’. In either case, it’s pretty obvious that you’ve got some baggage from past relationships. Work out your anger before you date. Don’t bring it with you.
3. Photos with your friends, your kids, your ex. She wants to date you, not your entourage. If you become a couple, there will be plenty of time to meet your friends and family. And how would your kids feel if they knew they were posted on a dating site without their permission? And your ex, cut out of your wedding photo because it’s the best photo you have of yourself? Come on, you can do better than that!
4. Bare chested photos. Men, we don’t want to see your chest, your chest hair, or your beer belly. Keep the shirt on. You might be interested in our bodies first, but generally speaking, we’re interested in your minds and your heart before your body. Keep the mystery going until at least the third date ; )
5. Being demanding. When you tick off a list of what you want or don’t want in a mate, you can seem demanding and may frighten off potential partners. I actually saw a profile by a guy who wrote, ‘This is me in list form’ and ‘This is what I am looking for in list form’. A bit rigid, no? Keep your profile essay breezy and fun. A sense of humor is a great way to attract a wonderful mate.
6. Facts that contradict. If he says he’s single, never married, and talks about his kids, or he says he’s widowed and speaks of his ex in disparaging ways, you are left scratching your head. Most women quickly disqualify a guy who contradicts himself in his profile. Many men lie and say they’re widowers in order to appeal to the pity factor. If you’ve been burnt by a liar, your antennae will be up when looking over a profile essay. It’s best to be honest and forthcoming. The truth will come back to bite you.
7. Photos that are fuzzy or taken in the bathroom mirror. If I never again see a photo of a guy taking a photo of himself in the bathroom mirror on his smart phone, I will be a very happy person! What is up with the bad photos? Out of focus is a complete waste of a photo. When women see a bad photo, they can write the man off as lazy. We want to see what you look like, so please take a bit of time and make sure the photos rock!
I hope these help. Please feel free to share your comments. I always love to hear your feedback.