When it comes to online dating, effectively navigating profiles and analyzing emails can be a slippery slope. Conversations that take place on the computer don't always come across the way they would during a face-to-face meeting, and sometimes, people are less than forthcoming about their negative qualities (nooooo), not to mention the fact that a black and white glamour shot may look great on the screen, but doesn't exactly translate in real life. With these unpleasant realities in mind, we decided to come up with a list of all the online dealbreakers that should be the kind of red flags that make you hit "delete."
1. He/she isn't really single.
If someone gets in touch with you and their relationship status is ambiguous, this should be one giant indication that you shouldn't get involved. Period.
2. You receive a form letter.
It's sad but true. There are certain "speed daters" out there that craft one pat response and send it out to every single person they think looks hot. If you get a note in your inbox that sounds like it could be aimed at oh, anyone, don't even bother responding. If someone sends you a thoughtful note about how you both have such and such in common however, that's a good sign.
3. He/she refuses to share their age.
There's a huge difference between being coy and withholding relevant information. If they refuse to tell you how old they are, chances are, they're either extremely young or very old, or at the very least, totally sketchy.
4. Their page is filled with pictures. Of themselves.
A recent psychology study claimed that researchers could identify narcissistic personality types by looking at their Facebook profiles. It makes sense: If someone has loads of flattering photos of themselves posted, you can bet they're more interested in dating themselves than you.
5. He/she still lives with their parents.
If you're a teenager, maybe this doesn't necessarily apply, but when searching for an appropriate partner, the best thing you can do is make sure that the object of your internet affections is in a good place in their lives, meaning that they have a stable job and a house or apartment of their own (or roommates), because when one of these two standards is in jeopardy, then they're probably not in the best place to start a new relationship.
6. They're just plain mean.
We're all for snarky humor and sarcasm, but when someone you're communicating with gets abusive, even when they claim they're just being funny, than it's anything but. Maybe they're looking for someone with low self-esteem that they can bully, but that person is not you. Next!
7. He/she sends you their phone number right away.
Is it just me or is this downright creepy? Do you go around handing out your phone number to strangers? Not unless you're either desperate or some kind of predator. This is the internet after all, and while there are plenty of amazing people you may potentially meet online, there are millions of weirdos out there, too. You should definitely have a few email or IM back-and-forths before you take the risk of sharing your digits with a perfect stranger. (Some people I know don't even exchange numbers until they've met in person.)
8. They ask, "What are you wearing?"
Okay, clearly, the person who asks you this is on the other end doing god knows what. Tell them to look elsewhere for porn.
9. He/she stalks you.
Unfortunately this happens, and often. If someone refuses to stop pestering you with emails (another good reason to not give out your phone number), they're not enthusiastic, they're trouble. If you can't block them, then ignore them and they'll eventually go away. But whatever you do, don't respond to their pleas for attention, which only adds fuel to the fire.
10. They refuse to commit to a real life date.
Countless online daters have recalled their tales of forging what they thought was a real connection and relationship with someone they met online, only to have their feelings hurt when said person refused to meet them in person. Being shy is one thing, but chances are, if someone completely refuses to meet you, they're not who they say they are, you know?
We know you've got dealbreakers of your own, so add 'em in the comments!