Here’s how guys can not become another victim.
In the past three years, the trend in the internet world has become all about transparency. Good people have started to emerge which made us trust people more.
After launching my podcast, which focuses on meeting people online a couple of months ago, I have been floored by the number of people asking me about online dating. Most of their questions were horror stories to most of us. I thought it would be important to share this with you as well.
I know it would be rude for some identification, and if you do, it would be easy to photoshop a government-issued photo ID. Here are the alternatives.
1. Always check the information on the person you have met online.
It is important that you have any of the following:
a. A common friend.
b. A common circle–like occupation or association.
c. A Facebook account that is, at least, more than two years old.
The first two involve people you know who may know her as well or have access to knowing her. Let’s say you both work in the same industry or know someone in common that gives you the assurance that the person you are dating online is a real person and not just some 15-year-old kid on the other side of the world laughing his heart out.
The third validator is hard to fake. Having to build an identity complete with the interaction of like any real Facebook account is hard to duplicate. So if the girl tells you that she does not have a Facebook account, I suggest that you ditch this one and start looking elsewhere. As I tell my listeners, no Facebook, no love.
2. Never ever send money no matter how long you have exchanged messages.
Treat online dating like actual face to face dating.
Question: Will you ever give money to a girl you have dated for the first time? Why? I would love to read your answers.
3. If the girl starts telling you stories about how sorry her life is, that is another red flag.
Yes, she does not ask you for money, but every conversation deals with her money problems. Here are some of the actual examples I have received from my listeners:
a. “My mother has been in the hospital for more than a year and our bills have been piling up. We do not know where to get the money just to keep her alive. But I am happy to have known you because you always listen to my sentiments.”
b. “My son is sick, and his father has abandoned us. My in-laws do not give me any money to help me buy the prescriptions that my son needs.”
c. “We do not have money to fix the roof of our house.”
Normally, the guys who have shared these stories with me admitted to sending a few hundred dollars every now and then and felt good doing so. They felt that they had done good deeds of helping out only to realize later on that the women were all hoax. Some were not even women at all. They were crushed not by the money that they have sent but the feeling of being misled.
If the girl you are dating starts telling you similar stories, then she should not spend most of her time dating in the first place. What she should be doing is looking for ways to make a living. Not unless she starts turning you into her source of income together with four other guys in nearby states.
4. The girl has not worked for the past six months.
People come up with all the craziest excuses about not working. Here are again some of the real life examples my listeners have shared:
a. “I have to watch out for my mother who is in the hospital. I have to bring her food every day and make sure that she gets to eat.”
b. “I could not get a job because I did not finish my college degree.”
I mean it’s common sense but sometimes, we men, are still the cavemen that we used to be. This is especially true when we see pictures and videos of the women we are dating on our screens. All logic vanishes just because of the hot girl who’s in front of our eyes.
5. Refuses to Skype.
Whatever reason, if the girl does not want to get into a Skype Call, start looking away.
Men have fallen for excuses like:
a. “I am not pretty and am afraid that you would not find me attractive.”
b. “I do not know how to use Skype.”
c. “I have awful internet connection.” I think she should not even consider online dating if this were the case.
Bonus Red Flag
So you have been getting to know this particular girl online, and she has passed with flying colors. She has held a job for more than a year. You know where she works and is consistently Skyping with you. However, you notice that she only Skypes during the weekdays and on certain hours like 8 AM and 8 PM EST only. No other times.
Start worrying and start asking. Why is she available during these times and days only? She might just be committed to someone else and only spends time with you when she’s alone. Your emotional investment might just go down the drain.
We sometimes disregard the little things when it comes to trusting people, but it is the little things that count.
It is important the we learn to trust, but it is equally important that we protect ourselves from people who look at us as their prey. The internet world may have started bringing out lots of good people to light, but it does not mean that the bad ones are gone.
If in doubt, doubt.
Photo: Flickr/ Roel Wijnants