12 Not-So-Obvious Red Flags To Watch Out For: How To "Sherlock Holmes" Your Way To Better Online Dating

People who think they can get away with skipping the basics strictly because they’re objectively attractive display an alarming sense of entitlement.

Jul 17, 2013 at 2:00pm | Leave a comment

Does anybody here watch "Elementary" or BBC’s "Sherlock"? If you do, then you know that Holmes’ deductive reasoning skills are what make his kind of sleuthing so impressive. He’s able to extrapolate vital information from choices that, to most people, seems innocuous.
 
We all know that, when it comes to online dating, not posting a photo or putting up only one is a bad sign, as is including dealbreakers in your profile. But there are others that we might think nothing of at the time. That is until they turn around and bite us in the ass.
 
Listed below are some behaviors that most of us typically overlook but are actually red flags. Take a look at this list and see if any of these rings a bell. 
 
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Who’s your favorite Sherlock: Johnnie Lee Miller or Benedict Cumberbatch?

 
*They post multiple attractive photos, but barely fill out their profile
 
They think the rules don’t apply to them. Online dating has a standard list of unspoken guidelines by which most people abide. People who think they can get away with skipping the basics strictly because they’re objectively attractive display an alarming sense of entitlement.
 
*They compare themselves to or put down their own gender
 
If someone has to slag on their male/female peers in order to elevate themselves, that’s typically a result of their lack of dating success. They want you to believe they’re different/better/more whatever than everybody else. Somebody who truly is a cut above the rest doesn’t have to state that outright.
 
*They pander or offer effusive compliments
 
It’s one thing to say that they liked your profile. That’s a filler statement used to take up space in the message. But if they make comments about your looks or body or tell you how sweet/funny/awesome you are right off the bat that too hints at a possible lack of success with the opposite sex. Statements like this are usually disingenuous. I’ve also noticed that the people who are most quick to offer such complimentary feedback are also the ones to become enraged when rejected.
 
*They have a lot of bad date stories
 
Whether they discuss these so-called horror stories in their profile/on a date or on Facebook or a blog, a series of unfulfilling or uncomfortable dating experiences often indicates that the problem is not with everybody else, but with them. That’s not a very “free to be you and me” way of putting it, but it’s true. Sometimes -– SOMETIMES! -– it is you.
 
*They reveal that they’re just out of a relationship
 
Someone who alerts you to the fact that they’re just out of a relationship is typically just looking for a quick hook up or trying to get back on the dating horse. Unless you want to be someone’s “get over the hump” hump, avoid them. “Just out of a relationship” is usually code for “Just looking for casual sex.”
 
*They reveal sensitive details about their past
 
Sharing with the Internet that your father abandoned you or that you were once tortured by an in home burglary sends the message that you carry heavy baggage and emotional scars. These people are playing to your sympathy, a trick often employed by con artists and other types of emotional grifters. Neither your profile nor the first date or two is the time or place to admit that you were once involved with a married man or that your last girlfriend cheated on you. Revelations such as these are also possible signs of self-sabotage. They’re telling you without telling you that they’re not available.
 
*Their profile is excessively verbose
 
This person possesses a dazzling level of self-absorption if they expect people to muddle through their personal manifesto. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that more words mean more emotional depth.
 
*They take longer than half a day to reply to an email
 
Unless they are trapped in a Panic Room without a signal, there is no excuse for taking longer than a few hours to reply to a message. People are attached to their smartphones, tablets, iPads and laptops. A long lapse in communication without offering any explanation conveys a low level of interest or schedule so filled (possibly by a mate) that they don’t have time to properly get to know someone. 
 
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Lots of pics on their profile that obscure their face? They’re hiding something. Or from someone.

 
*They’re vague about their availability
 
The whole point of dating online is to get offline. If someone drags their feet about setting up an initial meeting, there’s a reason and it’s rarely a good one. Cut your losses pronto or risk being strung along with innocuous texts every couple of days.
 
*They don’t sign their messages with their first name
 
If you were to engage in a conversation with someone you just met, you would probably ask them their name or introduce yourself, right? That’s just basic manners. I always sign my messages with my first name. If someone doesn’t mirror that behavior back to me, I take that as a sign of disinterest. You shouldn’t have to ask someone for their name. Just an FYI, since we’ve become more privacy conscious, it is now standard procedure for people to not reveal their last name until the first date or even second. Don’t immediately assume that someone is hiding something if they don’t share their surname right away.
 
*They send you a Facebook friend request or follow you on Twitter before you’ve met
 
Requesting access to someone’s Facebook page is usually about wanting to size up any potential threats, romantic or otherwise. I simply don’t wish to engage someone who needs to know that much about me so early in the process. I don’t use Google or social media to identify possible threats. I simply trust my judgment and take the appropriate precautions. I prefer to meet similar types of people. It’s actually socially inappropriate to put someone you’ve just met in the position of having to accept or reject the request.
 
*They require a phone call before they agree to meet
 
I know I’ll get shit for this but I will stand by it. The phone call is nothing more than a litmus test to see how invested someone is. It’s an unreasonable expectation. It’s my opinion that the more steps someone uses to vet a potential date, the more likely they’re looking for reasons to reject you. I firmly believe these people don’t actually want to meet anyone. There will be people who cite a need to be cautious before meeting someone in the real world. I understand the concern. But it’s important to remember that the most cunning of scammers and players have figured out how to work the system. They’ll create fake Facebook profiles, use aliases, manufacture back stories that they can recite on command etc. They’re skilled at being convincing.
 
I’m curious to hear your thoughts.