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Relationships

20+ Online Dating Red Flags to Watch Out for!

Online Dating Red Flags is one of the most important things you need to spot while meeting people.


Dating apps and social media are undoubtedly the mainstream way to meet or get to know new people in the modern world. It has become common to befriend new people online and to make a great bond with them, while you miss out on online dating red flags that need your attention.  

Learning about new people and developing a connection with them is great, as long as there is genuinity. However, the real problem arrives when you start looking for “the one” online, while you ignore the red flags that you shouldn’t. 

Believe me, this happens with almost all of us; the red flags could be right in front of you, waving hands to catch your attention, and you still miss them. 

The problem isn’t when you love online or get too serious; the problem is when you love them so hard that you ignore all the red flags that can hurt you in the future. I know the curiosity and excitement when you meet a new person, and you really like their personality. I know it may make you want to ignore all the red flags possible, but you know what, it will hurt you in the end. 

Some online relationships and friendships can actually turn to life, but that doesn’t mean it will always work. It’s important to remember that not everyone is genuine and has good intentions with whatever they have on their profiles or messages. 

Here are some online dating red flags you must keep in mind. 

20 online dating red flags!

You need to know these 20 online dating red flags before getting into anything serious to save a lot of your mental peace in the future. Let’s get started!

They ask you for money

This is the first and most important red flag you must never ignore. If somebody, you have just started talking to, asks you for money, then it’s one of the signs that they’re talking to you for some wrong reason.

I know that you might think nobody will ask for money online until they’re desperate. But you know, no matter how good they make you feel, remember you’ve just started talking to the person, and they shouldn’t be asking for monetary help so soon. 

It’s good to be kind but not stupid. If they’re asking for money from you within a few days of talking; they might have done this to many people and will continue to do so. 

They say, “I love you” within days 

It’s a major red flag if they tell you they love you within a few days of talking. 

Love is very precious and finding it could be one of the most significant things you do in life. It’s not something you get by simply conversing with an unknown person for a week or two. 

Before you have it, you need to build a robust and rare connection between the two of you. I am not saying that easily falling in love with someone is wrong, but if a person can fall for you within days, it’s also possible that they can fall quickly for another person too. 

A person who genuinely likes you will wait to fall in love with you slowly and will make a deep connection first. If a person is too desperate to meet you and not get to know you first, it’s a red flag. 

They refuse to send you pictures

When dating online, it’s essential to see each other well. This doesn’t only involve pictures on your IG profile, but also pictures you click specifically for them.  

girl taking picture with a camera in the outdoors

If this new person you’ve met online denies sending you pictures or makes any excuses, then there is definitely something they’re lying about. If they are being suspicious about their identity and trying to hide who they are, chances are that it’s a fake profile. 

It would be best if you were careful with frauds like these. And not only when they refuse to send you their pictures, but also when they make excuses to avoid phone calls, Zoom, FaceTime dates, or in-person meetings.

Their profile is vague & unrevealing

We often say that the first impression is the last impression!

Similarly, a person’s social media profile is the first glimpse of their personality in online dating. How frequently they post, what their IG bio says, what kind of captions do they use, how they reply to their comments and what they post on their stories say a lot about their character. 

If their profile gives you vague answers, then chances are they might be dull or lazy. Dating is supposed to be fun, and you shouldn’t be wasting your time on tiresome people. You deserve much more because if they offer nothing, they really have nothing to offer! 

They talk about their ex

Okay, this one is a huge red flag that you must never avoid in any circumstances. No matter how lovely you feel in the stomach after talking to this person, but if they seem to talk about their ex a lot, they definitely are not over them. 

Even when they say things like “you’re so much better than my ex,” it means their past is still in their head. They keep comparing you and them for nothing but to show off that now they’re dating someone better than their ex. 

Dating someone new should be about a new beginning of your life and not about how good or bad their ex was. The communication should be about you two with a fresh start, and the involvement of a third party is not necessary. 

They go heavy on the sweet talk

Sweet talk is so fun, you may never be prepared for this red flag. 

If a person keeps on telling you how gorgeous, unique, intelligent, amazing, and out-of-the-world you are, chances are they are playing with you. We all have met at least one person who goes so heavy on the sweet talk without even knowing you. 

After talking to them just once or twice, they are like, “you’re the best person I’ve ever met.” You don’t have to fall for these people because they’ll drag you into an unhealthy & suspicious relationship. They are only buttering you to impress you and because they are desperate to get you. 

Compliments are good but falling for them just on that basis is terrible. How good is enjoying what they say about you even when you know it’s not true? This is a red flag because you can’t just fall for a person who’s desperate to have you instead of knowing you first! 

Perspective about “certain types” of women

Some things are tricky, and you can quickly get stuck into them. You must have seen individuals complaining about how women think, behave, look or act, especially when you start dating or talking. 

guy in yellow background staring at camera

Men would compare your qualities with that of others to make you feel superior and loved. Beware of compliments that indulge comparison and degrade other women. 

  • “You are not like other women/girls.” It reflects their sick mentality and opinion towards different genders. They don’t respect ‘women’ in general, but like you because you are ‘different.’
  • “You are smarter than the average woman I have met in life.” 
  • “You don’t behave like an average girl.”

Such men believe in generalization and are mostly prejudiced. When men compliment you by complaining about other women, they will most likely do the same with you once you guys break up. 

It’s a red flag because people with such a mentality will end up judging you no matter how much they praise you at the moment. 

After all, if they can judge others, they will easily judge you as well. Not only online, but you’ll meet such people like this offline too. You have to avoid them on both the platforms because neither do they matter nor their opinion!

They respond with one-word answers 

(“Is it too much to write?” just ask)

When we first start talking to someone, there might be some awkwardness, and we make sure to work on it as much as possible. We talk and try to communicate on different topics and learn about each others’ conversing qualities. 

However, people who respond after hours or with one-word answers aren’t even worthy of your reply. People who give one-word answers or slow responses are confusing, and it’s one of the biggest turn-offs for many people. 

You’re too good to put effort into the conversation and do all the work. Instead, put that buddy on hold, and let’s explore what other options you got. 

If what you both want is not aligned 

We often involve ourselves in situations that can trouble us in the future. For example, if a person asks you what you’re looking for or what you are expecting from this online dating, you respond to them with something you disagree with. 

Tell people what you’re strictly looking for and trust them when they tell you theirs. Tell them if you want something serious or if you are here for just a fling, and just be honest (no shame). People change with time, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that a f*ckboy can never turn into marriage material or people with serious relationships can never turn to do casual hookups. 

They are embarrassed about meeting on a dating app 

Social media and dating apps have a history now, and it’s not something new that you should be ashamed of. Many people meet on Instagram, tinder, bumble, or hinge and turn out to be either best friends or best lovers and are not embarrassed about where they started their journey. 

People who are ashamed of something like this and want to hide reality from the world, then trust me darling, you’re too suitable for a person like this. Someone who carries two different personalities about things like this doesn’t deserve to be on a dating app in the first place. 

It’s time you put people like this aside and find a genuine person who cares and remembers details about your first date or other special events. A person who cares about meeting you more than where you met. 

They complain too much

For many, dating is supposed to be fun, but there is that one breed of stupids that find the negative in every situation. No matter what you do, they’ll always have some complaining to do. 

girls getting into a disagreement

They complain about everything that’s going around, and that kind of person will never be fun in a relationship. No matter how attractive their bio or pictures are, you’ll understand it’s not worth it when you talk to them. 

A person who thinks negatively in every circumstance, and does not see the tiniest bit of good in anything is a major red flag. 

Life is tough on all of us, but it’s beautiful too. Instead of just focusing on the bad, we should start looking towards all the good we already have, and be grateful for it. 

They don’t have enough photos

I understand that it’s our personal choice to either post many pictures or none at all, but you know when you’re on dating apps, you kinda have to be social. Not just to show how good you look, but also to assure that you’re not a fake account. 

There are many people who regularly create multiple fake accounts using other peoples’ pictures to trick many others into scams. You must always make sure you’re talking to a real person before you start to share about yourself. 

When there are two to three pictures on their profile, and they haven’t posted in months or even years, it is a red flag. By talking to such a person, you may open yourself to a possible scam. 

They have unrealistic photos

One of the biggest online dating red flags is a profile that looks too good to be true. By too good, I mean a profile where the person looks like a stylish model and is wearing visibly very expensive clothing! 

This may be a fake profile, and the pictures could have been downloaded from Google to impersonate someone. Always steer clear from profiles like these by asking yourself “Why is such a ‘stylishly perfect’ looking person connecting with me online?” 

You can check to see if they are real by video calling them. Make sure it is unexpected so he doesn’t get someone dolled up to talk with you, and you can see him for who he is. 

They talk themselves up a lot

If they start telling you about themselves, and not just the common info, but everything in detail like their background, family, and life, it can be a red flag. People usually take their time to open up and share personal information with anybody they meet online. 

So if someone is continuously telling you about the amazing car they drive, and how much money they make or the kind of Robin Hood life they live, chances are they are faking it to win you over. 

They warn you about themselves 

Life is too short to chase psycho, toxic people and think you’re a monk who can save them. If the person you’re talking to warns you about themselves, save yourself the time and leave them alone for good. 

If they repeatedly tell you they’re trouble, believe them. It is not your responsibility to find the good in people who can’t do it for themselves. You wouldn’t want to ignore a warning like this!

They are a party animal 

Profiles full of party shots, clubbing, vaping and other similar activities are also red flags, if you’re someone who prefers serious dating. They could easily hurt your feelings by ghosting you or being unavailable multiple times a day. 

Party animals spend most of their days socializing and regularly meeting numerous different people. They make friends every day, and if you think they’ll remember someone they met online or would think about them, you’re kidding yourself. 

So if you are someone who believes in forming a deep connection and take dating seriously, watch out for such profiles. 

They use pick-up lines you’ve heard 50 times already 

While some people are naturally great at using pick up lines to impress someone, there are many who simply Google pick up lines and copy paste in your IG direct messages. 

You need to know that they don’t have a flirty personality; they’re only copying and pasting lines on you, and on many other individuals. It’s a big red flag because not only they’re boring but they are also trying their luck on every person they find.

So, stay far away from people who use pick-up lines on you. A person with honest intentions is more important than the person who uses cringy tactics to impress you! 

They are incredibly demanding

Another major red flag is when they demand too much off you. 

Remember, a decent person will never ask for anything. People who demand for too much height, fair color, skinny body, perfect figure, and much more are simply not worth it. For them, it is more important for their partner to look a certain way than be genuinely beautiful inside out. 

It’s really essential to date a guy who accepts you the way you are; who is not only genuine but also polite. People who know nothing but demand too much are a terrible company and have nothing to offer but their good-looking fake personalities.

Stay away from these materialistic people! 

Bottom line 

Online dating is supposed to be fun and enjoyable rather than something that’s stressing you out. It’s a way to find new people, learn about their personalities, and possibly form a connection with them. It is not certain that you can only find your soulmate near your house or locality. Some people find their soulmates miles away, and can only date online to be together. 

Usually, people you meet online are very different. They haven’t met you in person, and they normally do not care about how you look or what your physical appearance is. They are more about how it feels to talk with you or date you. They simply like you for your personality and how you make them feel not so alone even after being so far away. 

However, all of this goes to vain when you find out the true colors of the person you’ve been dating online. This is why it’s necessary to know all the red flags when online dating, because if not, you’ll waste a lot of your time and be left with nothing. 

You have to stop being okay and compromising with things that can significantly affect your mental health. Online dating has made it easy to meet and get to know new people around the world. But don’t forget to put yourself first, because in the end, it’s you that matters.

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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