by Mary Jo Fay, RN, MSN
So you’re single again and the concept of Internet dating seems new and exciting! Upon your first glimpse, you feel like a kid in a candy store! New partners by the hundreds! People just like you – divorced, or otherwise broken relationships, hurt feelings, wounded souls – just looking to be loved by someone like YOU! Right??
Well, beware. Just as you need to be careful when you meet people in the bar scene, the Internet is chock full of predators as well. However, there are lots of "Red Flags" to look for to protect yourself, IF you know how to read the signs.
I’m tempted to write a book just on Internet dating "smarts." You know – things like what to say and not to say to appear to be kind, generous, and all those things that make the writer appear to be a perfect catch. And yet, how would the unsuspecting know then? The red flags would all be hidden and booby traps would be walked into by unsuspecting victims by the score!
Naw – I think it’s best to warn you – the recipient, what to look for and let the narcissistic Don Juan’s (or their female counterparts) show their true colors for what they are!
Here are a few actual statements from profiles of men currently on the Internet dating scene …
"I’m one of those individuals that is looking for a attractive, well kept, female…"
On his description of himself, he claims to be "very attractive."(Big red flag!) Hmmmm… has he looked in the mirror lately? Balding, slightly overweight, posed in three pictures on his Harley need I say more?
"Seeking smart, funny, sexy, balanced, introspective, well read, credible, flexible, independent, complete woman with a fine ass. If her ass is other than fine, I’ll guess we’ll have to focus on her brains and personality. If you’re not smiling right now, then my sense of humor either didn’t translate or you’ll not think me charming."Was that supposed to be cute and endear him to me? I’ll pass…
Then of course, there are the guys who list their income, ($100,000 -$200,000!) and absolutely nothing else about themselves! Guess they figure that with their money they can get anyone they want. If you fall for that, it’s important to realize up front that money is the only thing important to them. There will not be depth of character, an interesting, empathetic personality, an interest in YOU.
"I dress my women in the finest clothes." (MY WOMEN?!)
This actual statement came from the same $200,000 income gentleman who sent me this quick email that said, "Meet me at Jake’s Bar tomorrow night at 7. You won’t be disappointed!" That’s it. No info on him except about his money and how he "dressed HIS women in the finest clothes."
Hmmmmm… when I opened up his photos, there he was with a woman who looked just like me! Talk about CREEPY!
I wrote him back and said "No thank you," that I didn’t think our profiles showed much in common. He wrote back livid … "What? You’re refusing to meet with me?" In essence … his ego screamed back over email, (never a pretty site) and I blocked any further communication with this demigod with all his money and fine clothes!
Another man (age 64), "winked" at me (I’m 48) to show me that he was interested. I guess he thought he was saving himself time and trouble with a bio that said something like this:
"I have retired here in Texas where it is warm and I can spend lots of time on my boat. Seeking a wonderful, attractive, intelligent woman companion to do the same with me. No fatties please."NO FATTIES, PLEASE?!
Does he think that only overweight women will then leave him alone? Is he so blind not to understand that ANY woman with a brain will see that and say "What a jerk!"
Then of course, there are those mid life crisis statements that send me running the other way… Things like "Seeking someone age 25 – 35" when they themselves are 45 or beyond. (What, do they want to date their daughter? Will she even know what he’s talking about when he mentions the Kennedy asassination?) Or even weirder, the guy is age 45 but he’s looking for someone up to age 44. Now what’s up with that?
Of course, the other side of that is someone who is middle aged but has to be sure to tell readers in the first paragraph that "I look and act much younger than my age." PLEEAAASSEEEE!!!
Of course, if you do meet with one that seems like Mr. (or Ms.) Right, don’t be surprised if the person who arrives for your date looks 10 or 15 years older than the person in the photos … posting pics from the "younger years" seems to be a common behavior as well!
If someone seems too good to be true … they probably are!