Online Dating Red Flags (23 Signs to Look Out For)

Are you trying to match with a man online but not sure in what areas to remain vigilant? If you want to make sure the association doesn't fail, then you're going to need a guide to put you through.

There are subtle signs that reveal when a guy isn’t Mr. Right. If you can know these warning clues, you can save yourself from investing emotionally in an association that would fail.

We call these clues – online dating red flags. If you're curious to find out the red flag to look out for, then continue reading.

23 Online Dating Red Flags 

1. Focusing only on what they don't want

If someone's profile is mostly negative because they’re only focusing on what they don't want in a person, then it's a red lamp. Usually, when someone is online dating and searching for a companion, their requests are a mixture of positive and negative statements, where the good outweighs the bad. The negative should never be more than kind remarks.

If they only mention what they don't want, there's a likelihood that they will transcend that negativity to you. They'll concentrate on the aspects they don't like in you, which will be draining instead of delightful. They'll also be highly critical and would always have a reason to bring up your bad qualities, which is why you should avoid such people.

2. Overly sexy photos

overly sexy photos

Common online dating red flags include the case of someone using an incredibly beautiful or sexy picture to grab attention. This scenario is a red lamp because the photo may or may not be the person chatting with you. They might be time-wasters that'll only reveal their true selves after you've spent months or even years investing time and effort into the relationship. 

On the other hand, the picture could be real. However, it's essential to know that people who use sexy images to get awareness aren't searching for anything serious. Since they know all eyes are on them, they’ll find it hard to commit except you satisfy their needs. 

3. Doesn't have enough pictures

Another red flag you should look out for is a person not having enough photos. Understand that if a person has a smartphone, they will inevitably take pictures. It's a red lamp if they only send two old or unclear pictures and are reluctant to send more when you request for it. It could be that they're too insecure about their looks and shouldn’t be dating, or they’re lying about their identity. 

Either way, you shouldn't waste your time on such people. If they can't sneak a picture for you on their way to the office or on an outing, then you shouldn’t build a relationship with them. Such people might never even show up for dates.

4. No information on their profile

The idea of placing a bio section on profiles is to reveal more about a person before anyone starts a conversation. When a person deliberately neglects that portion, it's a bad sign. It leaves too much to the unknown, which is more detrimental than good. 

If someone is looking for a partner on love apps, they usually take their time to appear presentable to possible matches. However, if they don’t add a message, it shows a lack of enthusiasm towards finding a mate. If they want you to text them first before revealing more about themselves, it indicates they're hiding something, which could be a deal-breaker.

5. Making nasty remarks about specific types of women

Any man that lists out the qualities he detests in a woman would never indeed be satisfied with you even if you're his match. These are red flags to watch out for because such behavior shows how it poorly ended with the people he's complaining about, and there's a high chance it might end badly with you too. 

He's likely to find a preconceived negative thing to say about you, and classify you with the rest. He'll justify his claims that women are all bad and might try to use his actions to emotionally blackmail you into behaving in a certain way or doing activities for him.

6. Mirror or gym selfies

Online dating red flags are scenarios where someone only has ripped shirtless pictures of themselves. They never seem to have a casual picture where they're fully clothed. Instead, they'll prefer to send their mirror selfies with barely any clothes on their bodies. Such behavior reveals the self-engrossed personality of that person. 

They're in love with themselves and their bodies, so much that they’re using it to search for a mate online. Such people aren't looking to connect with their matches emotionally and are likely to make everything revolve around them. If he can't send you a typical picture of himself, it's a red lamp that indicates you should find someone new.

7. Loves to party

loves to party

A person's dating profile that depicts all kinds of party themes is a red lamp. This scenario is with the exception that you love parties too. However, know that party freaks are usually not looking for serious partners, but only to have fun. When people look for companions, they set up their accounts with an intention to impress and to send a message that they’re responsible. 

On the other hand, someone who uploads party photos and mentions how much they want to have fun is unserious about finding a love interest. If they don't share other aspects of themselves that reveal their personality, then it's a significant red light.

8. Complains all the time

A dating app is an avenue to fill up the missing pieces in everyone's dating lives. It allows people to find a mate faster than they usually would and is not a platform to complain about what went wrong. If someone is dwelling in the past and nagging about negative aspects of their lives, or perhaps, how their ex hurt them, then that person is a time-waster. 

Their behavior shows they're not genuinely ready to find a mate and move on. If their messages are filled with complaints, advise them to resolve their problems first and not dump them on others.  

9. Serious-faced pictures

Another online dating red lamp is when someone posts serious-faced pictures without a smile in sight. It shows they're putting little to no effort to seem presentable to you, which is a red light. The first thing a person thinks about when setting up an account is welcoming people and giving them a chance to know their positive sides. 

If they don't consider this fact essential and upload up a photo that puts people off, it shows they're not concerned about the little details; neither are they so eager to meet a mate either. Such people may not take your needs in high regard because of how they deal with essential subjects.  

10. They give you pet names immediately

Men that move too fast are the ones you should try to avoid. If someone is already calling you pet names and telling you how much he loves you after only a few days of chatting, it's a red flag. Understand that it's impossible to fall for someone online without forming a profitable connection first. 

A person looking for something serious will take time to get to know you and not want to scare you off with unnecessary sweet names. They might already like you, but they'll give the association time to grow. On the contrary, anyone trying to rush an association most likely has an ulterior motive they're trying to conceal.

11. Bragging about accomplishments

A man might try to grab your attention a few times with his bank figures' messages or the number of vacations he takes. However, it's a bad sign when a guy does this act all the time. He seems to find a way to shift the natural course of the conversation to his accomplishments to show you what a great catch he is. 

Although this action might seem impressive, it also shows how self-absorbed he is. He may never genuinely give you the attention you're looking for because he'll be persistently trying to make a point about how great he is. More so, there's also a chance that he's a phony trying to get you interested in him at all costs.

12. They avoid meeting in person

they avoid meeting in person

An online dating red lamp to watch out for is when someone refuses to meet you in person. In other words, they give excuses and reschedule every meeting. Although there are genuine instances when a person can't meet up with an appointment, know that it isn't coincidental if it happens every time. 

The person is deliberately trying not to be seen physically, which calls for suspicion. Nothing should stop someone from meeting the person they've connected deeply with online. This action shows that they're hiding something, or perhaps, faked their identity. You should never be emotionally entangled in someone who isn't straightforward with you because it will only end in heartbreak.

13. Putting a sexy condition for women

If someone's profile indicates that they're only looking for sexy matches, then it's a major red flag. In other words, being sexy is their password for starting a chat with them. You shouldn't contact such people even if you feel you're attractive and will easily pass their condition. 

Such people will never want anything serious with you and will, therefore, waste your time. They merely want to get physical with you. Except you're looking for a fling online, you shouldn't be investing your time in them. Their restrictions also show a lack of regard for the female gender and show their demeaning personality. 

14. He's not online most of the time

A person who can't survive on social media shouldn't be looking for dates online. If someone you recently started making a connection with goes offline for a large chunk of the time, you should move on and find someone new. This behavior is a red lamp because it suggests that they can't maintain an association online for whatever reason. 

Trying to sustain such an association will be draining and may not seem profitable in the end. If they keep giving excuses that their work or family doesn't allow them to stay online for long hours, then suggest that they look for a physical partner to avoid being deserted in the long run.

15. Stating only the qualities they want

Profiles that specifically say the features they're looking for in a lady are guys to avoid while online dating. If there's no background information on their qualities, but only what they want in a woman, it's a red lamp. The idea of meeting a mate online is centered on the concept of mutual concessions. 

People should be willing to offer something while looking for someone that equals their interests. If a person is more concerned about what they can benefit from, then it reveals they'll never cater to your needs as much as you desire. The association may turn out to be more about them than both of you.

16. The messages are off and don't seem personalized

You can spot a red flag when you get a message from someone that doesn't seem personalized. The text looks too generic, and you're confident it can also be used on several other women. If this type of scenario happens, then you should move on. 

Such behavior suggests that the man may be texting several other ladies and using the same techniques to woo them. As charming as things may get, there's a likelihood that he's not as emotionally invested in you as you think, which indicates a red lamp. It would be best to move on instead of getting entangled with an online manipulator.

17. The vibe of the conversation doesn't match the profile

 Although it's natural for a profile to slightly differ from someone's real personality, always bear in mind that the difference shouldn't be extreme. For example, if someone portrays being an animal lover with a calm persona on his account but is immensely hostile towards you, it's a red lamp. 

It would help if you didn't keep chatting with him with the impression that social media tends to miscommunicate people's moods. If you can sense the disparity in his character, then you should let him go and find someone new. It's crucial to protect yourself and not meddle with someone pretentious. Go for someone straightforward and honest with the information on their account instead.

18. He evades answering personal questions

he evades answering personal questions

If you want to find a match on a dating app, it's crucial to request more information about the person's life. If they are subtly evading your questions, then it's a major red flag. Anyone who isn't willing to share more information about themselves is most likely hiding something. More so, it shows that they're not ready for anything serious. 

If they want to take things forward, but would rather keep parts of their lives private, then you should consider moving on. Whatever they're hiding might turn out to be a deal-breaker and may cost you the time and effort you've already invested into the association.  

19. Opening line seems copied

You can sense a red lamp from the first statement a person makes online. If the opening statement seems copied from a love website or is too generic, you should move along and continue searching for a mate. There's a high chance that he's using similar opening remarks on multiple ladies without the intent to commit to the association emotionally. 

His statements might be wooing and a password to women's hearts, but you shouldn't fall for it. Understand that online discussions should be natural, where you can notice a person's intent to engage with you, and not otherwise. If he has to search and use enticing words to spark interest, then he may not be the perfect mate for you.  

20. He turns everything into sexting

There's a category of men that use dating apps for hookups. They have no genuine intention to start a relationship but would gladly spend the night with you. Although some would carefully exclude this fact in a profile, it's easy to spot guys like this. 

For example, if he tends to interrupt good discussions with a text about sex, then you can tell he's not looking for anything serious. Guys that are genuinely interested in you would never miss an opportunity to get to know you better. Thus, they'll reserve sexting for other moments. If this scenario isn't the case, then you should politely move on.

21. Saying, “I just moved here.” 

When people resettle in a new environment, their first line of action would be to make new friends, and not to find a new love interest. If they go on dating sites to look for people, they have no intention to build something profound. 

They would only want to get accustomed to the environment first. If a man makes such a statement, it's a red lamp that they're merely looking to have fun. If they want to take things forward, it would be best to advise them to look for friends first, and not partners. This action would prevent you from wasting your time investing in someone that won't commit.

22. Photos are cropped

If a person's social media profile has a cropped or group photo, it's a severe red flag. They may precisely like that one picture they took with someone else, but it shouldn't be the only photo they have altogether. If they can't provide single photos of themselves, then understand that they're possibly hiding something from you. 

It's easy to take a random picture at any time, so sending a single photo should never be a challenge. If such a person comes up with excuses about things like this, you should avoid them at all costs.   

23. Any negative trait

any negative trait

Sometimes, the biggest deal breakers are in the little negative characteristics we tend to overlook. If you sense someone exhibiting behaviors you dislike, it's a subtle hint for you to detach and move on. For example, the mere act of over-texting and not allowing you to fully express yourself. 

It would help if you didn't wait till a first date to conclude it's a trait you can't stand. If you're uncomfortable with the character someone displays online, nothing should stop you from politely moving on before it gets serious.


How do you know when online dating is serious?

When online dating is genuine, the person will take their time to get to know you. More so, they'll reply instantly, send you pictures, compliment you, and ask about the little details of your life, like how your day went. They will also be consistent and show commitment to these actions.

What are some red flags in a guy?

Examples of red flags are when guys are overly obsessed with themselves and love to send shirtless gym photos to impress ladies. Such guys are never willing to commit. More so, if he only talks about his accomplishments, and focuses on what he doesn't want in a lady, then you should consider moving on.

Is it a red flag if a guy moves too fast?

It's crucial to take everything slow if you want to find love online. Therefore, when a guy moves too fast, it's mostly a red flag. If his message already contains pet names for you, he might be trying hard to woo you. If he can't allow events to take a natural course, it might suggest that he's not looking for a long-term association.  

How do you know if a guy is being sincere online?

If the information on a guy's profile directly matches his character, it shows he's honest. More so, if he doesn't tell exaggerated stories to impress you, or make excuses each time you try to meet up physically, then he's a genuine partner.  

How can you tell if a guy is desperate?

If a guy's profile passes pity-me messages, it means he's desperate for awareness. He'll go through thousands of women profiles and be friends with multiple of them simultaneously. He'd date any lady that accepts him and would bring up the topic of settling down from the first discussion.

To Conclude

Did you enjoy this article on online dating red flags? Remember that you shouldn't waste more time trying to sustain an association if you sense a red lamp. Kindly leave a comment below if you liked this article and share it with others.

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