Online dating has increased in popularity in the last 10 to 15 years, but it certainly does not erase some of the real struggles many daters face. Catfishing, defined by Google as luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona, is a major phenomenon. Creating a fictitious dating profile and social media account is quite easy, and even the best and brightest of people have fallen victim to this popular tactic.
Finding a partner who is authentic is one of the biggest struggles to overcome, but it can be done if you are willing to invest a little sweat equity.
DON’T SKIP VIDEO CHAT
Using social media to research your matches is not only a useful tool, but is absolutely essential. To go a step further, utilizing popular communication apps like Skype and WhatsApp can save you quite a bit of pain, money and heartache. You don’t need to meet in-person to realize that “John313” doesn’t have blonde hair and blue eyes (as stated in his profile). Taking online steps can help you to uncover potential problems.
BE WARY OF COMMITMENT-PHOBES
Another area of concern for many singles: Commitment. Relationships require time and investment in order to grow. If your partner is not genuinely interested to the dating process, whether physically, mentally or emotionally, there is simply no way to recoup on that time lost.
RUN FROM PREDATORS
Online dating has become a great place for predators of all kinds, and if you’re not smart, you may become victim to the many scams and schemes the internet has to offer. Dating safely online can be tricky, but with the right tools, you can better arm yourself against would-be attackers.
The best way to protect yourself as an online dater is to 1) Never share more than absolutely necessary; 2) Do your research by checking social media accounts including LinkedIn; 3) Ask appropriate questions especially if it sounds too good to be true; 4) Bring/tell a buddy, because having another point-of-view can be useful and 4) Always meet in public places.