Online dating is a tricky and elusive world. While someone's profile picture of a perfectly sculpted torso might certainly be enticing, in many cases it quickly becomes obvious the body used in the profile doesn't match the one you meet IRL. And, if you fell for the good ol' torso trick, know that you already broke the first rule of meeting new people on online dating apps: a profile picture without a face is always a huge red flag.
But that's not the only alarming find in a Tinder, Grindr, OkCupid or any other dating app user profile that should immediately alert you to block that person, quickly. Most red flags are universal for straight and LGBTQ dating services, and should be carefully understood before ever engaging with one of these apps' plethora of users, hoping to find the one (or a one-night stand — no judgments).
For starters, the profile picture is one of the most crucial aspects of any dating profile. It's a chance for users to express themselves, show off their favorite selfie or even help break the ice if the photo features some sort of talking point, such being taken at a special event or location. However, it's also an opportunity for smart users to realize they might be getting played: If a "handsome, tall, dark and intellectual 34-year-old professor from Illinois" is using an image of a Minion as his dating profile picture, for example, it may be time to swipe left (and run and hide):
The "mystery" behind a profile picture without a face is nowhere near worth looking into. Most would argue not to trust those who put "ask me for a face pic and I'll send" in their profile. What kind of nonsense is that? Do we live in a society where we only choose to show our faces to each other after we've exchanged casual greetings and taken the first step towards becoming acquainted?
However, there's another side to the double-edged sword of online dating that's just as dangerous: over-sharing. There's no need to tell a stranger your entire life story right off the bat:
While it's nice to be wanted by someone, flattery can only go so far before becoming creepy:
If someone says your online dating profile reminds them of anything related to Disney, we'd argue that is indeed, quite possibly, the "Reddest Flag of All," Tyler:
If you need to specify that you aren't a serial killer on any platform, it should be considered one massive red flag — if not multiple red flags:
On the opposite side of the spectrum from a faceless profile picture, there's the professional headshot profile picture. You're not applying for an acting gig here (hopefully):
The great thing about online dating apps is they have leveled the playing field, allowing the world to communicate with people from all walks of life. One of the worst parts, however, is when etiquette surrounding icebreaker conversations flies out the window and people tend to be more outspoken about their differing beliefs — which leads to some awkward confrontations with total strangers:
And for some, even having a dating profile in the first place is a red flag. Especially when that person is your significant other:
Meanwhile, the biggest red flag for some men is a woman even being interested in them in the first place: