More people are becoming receptive to finding love using online platforms. While it is easier to see the warning signs when you meet in person, red flags in online dating are harder to notice.
The online dating industry is one of the few that benefited from Covid19 and the resulting lockdown. The lockdown allowed more people to change their outlook towards virtual relationships, out of the need to connect and ease boredom.
You must guide your heart against disappointments by watching out for these signs:
Red Flag 1- They are allergic to video calls but pro- meeting in person.
If you meet someone online who is always pushing for you to meet yet acting dodgy, we advise proceeding with caution. This kind of person has few pictures on their social media profiles or the same set of pictures across different networks, and they are always busy when it’s time for video calls.
“I met Dare in a Whatsapp group. After some weeks of constant texting, I started to fall in love with him. He had all the qualities I wanted in a guy but I had doubts because he always avoided video calls with me. My sister advised me to check out his social media profiles. I found a video of him proposing to some lady on Twitter.”
You probably rolled your eyes at this story and said “that could never be me”. Stories like these are part of the reason why most people dread online dating. Don’t forget that some people have perfected the art of creating believable illusions about themselves on social media. Our advice to people who are considering a love relationship with someone they met online is to do a background check. It is always best if a mutual friend or acquaintance introduces you to each other.
In the case of chance meetings, ask detailed questions about where they live or work and who their closest friends are. Don’t just believe the information they give you – use the internet to verify. Check their LinkedIn profile to be sure they really work where they claim to, and the company’s website to be sure that it’s a real business.
Most importantly, never give out personal information or data about yourself except you are really sure of who they are and you can trust them.
Red Flag 2 -They only want to talk about sex with you.
These kind of people always turn every text into a sext. They send unsolicited pictures of their private parts and always ask what you are doing so they can relate it to sex. They show no interest in getting to know you as a person or what drives you.
Conversations about sex are bound to come up from time to time, especially when you’ve been talking for a period of time; but if they always go out of their way to bring up sex, it’s a red flag.
We advise that you call them to order and let them know how you feel about their actions. If they persist and you don’t feel sexually attracted to them, then you should call it quits. While you are eager to be part of this online dating business, you don’t need to settle for less.
Red Flag 3 – They try to control you
Are they always trying to dominate your time? Do they want to always know what you are doing and who you are seeing? Constantly sending you messages and displaying outbursts of anger when you are unavailable to reply?
Sometimes, their approach is more subtle. They seek for emotional or financial aid and get passive-aggressive when you don’t help them.
If you are getting this kind of vibe from someone you just started dating online, we advise that you call it quits. Situations like this only get worse in real life.
Red Flag 4 -They make you feel inferior
“The second time we ever spoke on video, he asked why I had no hair extensions on. It felt weird to start explaining that I felt more comfortable with my own natural hair.”
– Bisi*, 27
If like Bisi, you are in an online relationship with someone who disparages you in any way; it’s a serious red flag. When they start to make negative remarks about your appearance or talk about how their ex used to do something that you don’t do, break things off with them.
Your relationship should be a safe place, where you feel accepted and secure at all times.
Red Flag 5 – You have different views on important values
You can vibe with someone at the initial stage then you get talking and you realize you two are incompatible. You can reach compromises on minor issues but not on the important values. Take for instance, you are very passionate about charity and the other person does not care about it.
You can start by communicating how important helping others is for you. Someone who genuinely cares about you might be willing to reach a compromise or even support you. If they react to this indifferently or get into an argument about it, it might be best to end the connection before things progress.
If you decide to ignore your differences and go ahead with the relationship, it could create more problems in future.
What are some of the red flags you have seen in a budding relationship and how did you handle them?
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*Not their real names.