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We have been users of online dating longer than we care to admit and, although it is not a particular source of pride, we have grown accustomed to it as part of life. It has even given us a surprisingly strong sense of who people are based on thumbnail-sized profile pictures on a website. Of course, we cannot claim that these are scientifically proven “red flags”, but it sure counts for something.

Much like going on a date with a stranger on a dating site, here goes nothing!

(NOT) SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN ONLINE DATING RED FLAGS

The Hat and Sunglasses One-Two Punch

Over 90 per cent of people are good looking if the only patch of skin you’re looking at is a forehead. It’s doubly deceiving when a guy has a beard (hiding a weak jaw, maybe) or a girl is hiding under a scarf (no chin at all?). You really don’t want to take your chances when you’re thinking maaaybe this person is the Unabomber.

A Humanitarian

Is the only good picture of you the one where you’re feeding poor children in a third world country? You’re definitely sure you don’t have another one, right? You’re not just using this picture to score points as a selfless person? Because a point is only really driven home if it’s shoved in your face, of course.

“No Drama Queens, No Liars, No Cheats”

While this may be a reasonable request realistically speaking, things aren’t starting off on the right foot if you have to spell it out for someone. We have seen long rants about exes and manifestos on how women should act, which – no thanks. People who write about what they don’t want already sound like the type of negative person we don’t want to be around.

Only Lists Dude Shows, Dude Writers

Sure, The Walking Dead, Scarface, Hunter S. Thompson and Chuck Palahniuk are great, but would it kill you to list something in your interests that isn’t so male-oriented? We’re not saying a person should list female poets or “I love Joan Didion” to get laid, but if all your interests sway towards the male voice, maybe that’s all you’ll hear for the rest of your life.

Same goes for women who only mention The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and The Shopaholics books as favourites. But kudos if you list all those but then finish it off with a Pussy Riot reference.

PS. Always list The Wire as a favourite TV show.

Loves to Travel

A lot of people like to say that they are always travelling, and are never in one place for a long time. They wax on about the countries they’ve been to, and the “itch” to travel. Now, we are not against the concept of travel, but when it becomes a bragging right and leads to a picture of a person feeding morsels of food to a poor third world child, that laptop screen angle goes from 90 degrees to 0.

Also, if you’re looking for a somewhat long term relationship, it doesn’t really make sense to even entertain a person who is clearly looking to fill their passport book with stamps to show anyone and everyone around them.

Not everyone is terrible, but at least the terrible ones are entertaining. You definitely learn more about a person face to face, because not everyone can describe themselves succinctly via an online dating profile. But they should at least try, by avoiding red flags like these!