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What to watch out for when dating online

Judging a Book by Its Cover

Some say you should never judge a book by its cover. I beg to differ. When it comes to online dating, you have to judge a book by its cover. After all, you don't want to end up spending a long date with a total dud. When you're on Match.com, eHarmony.com, Yahoo Personals, it's easy to size a guy up by what he says in his profile, his available pictures and what he says if he e-mails you. Don't know what the warning signs are? Read on for what to watch out for when online dating:

Woman on Computer

His Pictures

Some red flags come to mind if the guy in question only posts one or two pictures. And if those images are segmented -- like you only see his head and neck, for instance -- something is up. In this day and age, everyone should have a viable digital camera. There are no excuses for not posting full body shots (or at the very least, the upper body). If he's not showing you all of him, he may be hiding something or at least insecure about his frame.

 

The Timeline

Okay, so there are four or five great pictures of him on his profile. You think, score! Not quite, ladies. Imagine that these four or five "great" pictures were taken of him 10 years ago when he was at his college prime. Now, he could be a victim of male pattern baldness, have gained 100 pounds and has aged more than you know. This is not to say you judge everyone's pictures as such. But before you meet a guy, politely ask him when his photos were taken.

 

"Hey, Beautiful"

If those words weren't a red flag to you before, listen up. Yes, it's flattery at its best. But if a man who barely knows you just said that, consider that he may be saying it to other girls. In my experience, men who are quick to call you a pet name, is so comfortable with doing that because he, in fact, does it all the time. His "hey, beautiful" habits may be shared with plenty of other women. Do you want a guy who is spreading the love like that? Probably not.

 

Quick to Date

Some guys are clearly screening for a wife on some of these dating sites. Okay, that's fine, but it's important for you not to get swept up in that. Instead, take your time and find someone who's absolutely perfect for you. I don't care if you're in a rush, too. It's better to be safe than sorry. Before you go out with a guy, employ your own screening process -- ask him questions that are important to you, figure out what he's looking for, and realize that he's a "good egg." There are a lot of bad ones out there, but if you don't e-mail back and forth, chat online or talk on the phone beforehand, you may just end up being disappointed date after date. Choose wisely, ladies!

 

Happy hunting!

Want more online dating advice? Read out single girl's guide to dating for more tips>>

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