in: Dating & Relationships

How to Spot Dating Profile Red Flags

Most online daters have good intentions, but problems can still arise. Check out these tips on spotting dating profile red flags and screen your would-be dates.

How do you know who’s really behind that online dating profile? When you’re trusting information on a screen, instead of a face to face date, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. There’s no foolproof way to tell if someone is being honest and authentic in a profile. However, there are some dating profile red flags that can help you screen your dates before you ever respond to that wink or message.

Missing or Disguised Photos

No picture, blurred pictures, or disguised faces with sunglasses or hats are a given. If there isn’t at least one clear picture of the person, proceed with caution. You don’t want to show up on a date and find that the person behind the profile looks twenty years older. You’re either getting someone who is outright misrepresenting themselves, or someone who tends to be insecure about their appearance or age.

The “Drama Free” Request

This seems to be a common statement in men’s profiles. It speaks volumes about his past relationships with women. Either the guy had a bonafide “crazy” girlfriend, or he doesn’t have knowledge or experience with women’s emotional states. Either way, it’s not a positive. This can sometimes be a signal that someone is uncomfortable with emotion, or is lacking his own self-awareness of how he might be dancing with drama in his life.

“Separated” aka “Married”

There’s just no good story that supports this. If you’re still married, then you’re not available to date. This might work for casual dating, but if you’re looking for a relationship, this could be dangerous territory. Steer clear until those divorce papers have been signed, sealed, and delivered.

The Form Letter

If you receive a perfectly, but generalized message that seems like a form letter, it probably is…and it has likely been sent to many people. These form letters are often a way to “fish in the pond” throwing out bait to anyone that will bite. Someone who truly wants to get to know you will take the time to write a personalized message that is unique to you. 

The Picky Profile

It is good to have standards, but if someone is listing a lot of detailed requirements on their profile, it is a definite red flag. Some examples of these particulars include high salary ranges, specific career requirements, or height and weight requirements. Someone like this could be critical, controlling, or fearful of commitment. 

The Casual Dater

If you know that you want a relationship, steer clear of someone who states that they are only looking for casual dates in their profile. This is as clear as it gets. No matter how irresistible this potential date may seem, you may be headed for heartbreak if you’re not looking for casual too.

A great profile will….

Stand out and highlight the uniqueness in a person.  Look for someone who put some thought into their profile, and someone who aligns with your interests, goals, and lifestyle. If anything seems off, trust it. And the number one way know if someone is real or not is… to go on a date!

[image: via shutterstock]

About the Author:

Chelli Pumphrey

Chelli Pumphrey, MA, LPC is a love & dating coach and a Licensed Professional Counselor from Denver, CO. More importantly, she’s a human being who strives to live an authentic life, by being real, raw, and unafraid to express her truth. She is devoted to helping others live and love passionately by gaining the confidence to be authentic in their own lives. She works with clients through her relationship coaching practice and as a therapist and founder of Trilogy Holistic Mental Health, where she offers retreats, dating and relationship coaching and therapy. If you’re looking to boost your dating confidence, self-esteem, and become a dating warrior, you can visit Chelli at, Trilogy Holistic Mental Health, follow on Instagram, Twitter, or like her on Facebook.


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