September 22, 2020

If you plan to use an online dating service, make sure you read profiles carefully and look for red flags.
Photo by Ashley Welford If you plan to use an online dating service, make sure you read profiles carefully and look for red flags.
By ASHLEY WELFORD-COSTELLOE

Chances are if you own a television, you have most likely seen commercials for online dating sites such as eHarmony, Match.com and many others.
They’re all the same. They all promise that you will find true love and a lasting relationship by using phrases such as “First dates on our site have a better chance of turning into happy relationships” or “with millions of singles online, our site is sure you’ll find someone special within six months.” Of course, one can’t forget the testimonials from the happily married couples who met on these dating sites.
Though these commercials do seem unbelievable, there are people who actually buy into the idea that becoming a member on one of these sites will instantly find them true love.
Why are most people so desperate to be in a relationship? Could it be all the pressure from family, friends and society in general to settle down, get married and start a family?
Marcy Moore is in her final year of general business. She often feels pressure from friends to “get out more.” However, Moore is enjoying her life the way it is.
“I’m happy the way I am,” she said. “If it happens, it happens. I’m not going to go out and look for anyone.”
The issue with online dating is that no one really knows the person they’re communicating with. Sometimes people are not who they say they are. Here are some red flags that have been listed on various websites so those who plan on trying online dating know what to look out for.
The username. If the username is overtly sexual, chances are that person is not looking for a long-term relationship.
The photo. If the photo is grainy or out of focus, this means he/she may have something to hide. Another thing to watch out for is what the person is wearing. If the person is half naked or wearing something inappropriate, then it’s best to move on to a different profile.
The braggers. If you come across a profile where the individual is bragging about his/her cars, homes, all the places he/she has travelled to, etc., you need to be careful. It’s likely a scam.
Mass email. Generally, when you get a response, you can usually tell if someone’s actually read your profile. If, however, you get a generic email that reads something like “Hi, let’s chat” then it’s best not to respond. It’s likely that the same message has been sent out to tons of other people.
If after you’ve established an email correspondence and the person is giving you inconsistent information, avoiding personal questions or refusing to speak on the phone, it is best to stop the communication right there.
Then there’s the ever-changing profile. As Moore discovered while lurking around on an online dating site, some people are constantly changing the content of their profiles to emulate the profiles of other people. This is a major red flag and that person should be avoided.
Online dating isn’t the only new way to date. Speed dating has become popular over the years. This is a formalized matchmaking process or dating system which helps people meet a large number of new people. Speed dating certainly has its advantages. Everybody is there to meet someone, they are grouped into compatible age ranges, it’s time efficient and the structured interaction eliminates the need to introduce oneself. This makes it a little less awkward for both parties.
“You’re not committed to talking to someone for an hour and a half over a meal,” said Moore.
She went on to say that even if you couldn’t find anything in common with the first person, that’s OK because you can always move onto the next person.
However, if you’re just not into the whole dating scene, it’s not the end of the world. Despite some of the pressures from family and other people to seek out a relationship, it’s best to wait it out.
“I don’t think you should try to make love happen, it just happens,” said Natasha Soper, a second-year student in early childhood education.
Soper has a few words for those who have decided to look for love and are about to go on their first date.
“Don’t take long getting ready,” she said. “Just be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not just to impress the person. If they don’t like you then that’s their problem.