Online dating is a great way to meet people, whether you want a relationship or simply to broaden your friendship circle. However, just as with any form of dating, you tend to come across a few frogs before you meet a prince or princess.
While there are many people out there who genuinely want to get to know you and make a connection, others are only interested in one thing or use online dating as way to troll people. It is best to avoid these individuals at the earliest opportunity as they will only waste your time and could leave you feeling bad about yourself and the whole process of online dating.
But how do you identify the trolls from the sincere messages? Here are a few ways to tell that a person may not have the right intentions:
It starts with a picture
You can almost guarantee that if someone starts off by sending you a picture of their body or a certain part of their anatomy, they aren't in it for a relationship. No one should send you pictures like this unless you ask them to down the line, and they definitely shouldn't be sending you to them in place of a 'hello'.
The same thing goes if they start talking to you and almost instantly ask you for an inappropriate picture. This implies that they're only after one thing and have no real interest in getting to know you.
It is a good idea to refuse to send a picture in a simple and straightforward way, going so far as to block them if they continue to pester you or start harassing you. For those that start off by sending inappropriate images, you should block them instantly to avoid any other unwanted attention.
Topics of conversation
It isn't just photos that can be inappropriate, certain topics of conversation can also be incredibly unwelcome.
If someone starts a conversation with something sexual or brings up the topic shortly after your conversation begins, it is probably a sign that they aren't interested in a relationship at all. This is especially the case if they get angry when you ask them to stop those types of comments.
You want to feel comfortable talking to someone, so if they bring up topics that make you feel awkward, it isn't worth continuing the conversation.
What's in a word?
It isn't just a topic of conversation that can leave you feeling uncomfortable, the language someone uses can leave you feeling like you want to end a conversation too. If someone starts insulting you, whether because you don't message them back straight away or if you won't send them a picture, it shows they aren't the person you want to be with.
A lot of people think it is okay to talk like this online as they are protected by their screen, and while they may be perfectly nice in person, you don't want to risk that they aren't. You can learn a lot about a person by how they act online.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
If someone you've spoken to a couple of times finds you on other social media platforms without you giving them your online handles or full name, this can be a bit creepy.
The chances are you'll check up on someone once you know their name – after all, you want to check they are a real person, as well as who they say they are – but this is very different from searching for a person before you have this detail.
If you haven't told them what social media sites you are on and haven't included links to them in your profile, let alone your last name, you might want to be wary about those that seem to find you online so quickly.