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5 Online Dating Blunders to Watch Out For

By Andrea McGinty October 05, 2022 Dating

Yes, these are real! As a dating coach myself, who spends hours daily online with clients, working with an educated group looking for love, LTR, getting back into dating, the things we encounter just couldn’t be made up!

So here we go:

Free Profiles

If they didn’t pay, stay away. No skin in the game means the person isn’t serious. Always remember that dating apps – from Bumble to Match to Hinge and all those in between – are for profit businesses and marketing machines!

Yes, some sites allow “free” members – either to sign up as free or are left online long after their paid memberships have expired. The issue? You can message them as a paying member, but the chances of getting a response are less than 1%. So, don’t bother. Why?

When you send a message to a non-payer, they will likely receive it with a blurred photo of you. Clicking on the photo will take them to the app’s payment page. Basically, they can’t see you if they don’t pay for a membership, and they don’t. So, this is a time-waster for you.

Only pick singles that have real memberships easily seen on their profile.

Anyone with One Photo

If the profile only has a single photo, this is numero uno evidence of a scammer. It’s possible that a bot wrote the profile – not a real person. Stay on the safe side and delete.

Writing Long Messages to a Potential Date

Long messages waste your time. Keep it short and stick with 3-4 sentences with one question asked. Don’t reiterate things in your bio. Our minds have been trained to fast, easy gratification. Save talk of your past, kids, grandkids for future, in-real-life dates.

Phone Conversations

Over 90% of these are a waste of time. As a dating consultant with 30 years’ experience, I can tell you that messaging back and forth 3-4 times is great – then settle for making a date in person for lunch, coffee or a drink in a safe venue.

Chemistry happens in real, life and you don’t really need a phone buddy. Plus, here’s what can happen on the phone:

a) you have a 30-minute conversation and think you click and go into the date with way too high expectations, or

b) the phone conversation is stilted (some people aren’t good on the phone), and you eliminate this person who may have been a great date in person for you.

The only time I see a phone conversation as worthwhile is when you are contemplating meeting someone over 100+ miles away. In that case, a quick conversation may be beneficial to see if it’s worth the travel.

One Tiny Iota of Negativity in Their Profile or Response

Here’s a real message from a woman to one of my male clients: “Tell me about your marriage and why it ended. My ex cheated on me so I’m ultra-careful.” Mark and I looked at her message. Yes, she was super attractive, but her extra-carefulness would not work toward establishing a good relationship. Block. Delete.

As one of my favorite clients put it:

“Online dating is like going into an unknown jungle with all kinds of wild animals, dangerous plants, and traps…. but also, gorgeous flowers, sweet animals and revitalizing pools. A no-nonsense safety guide, who does the briefing BEFORE you go in and then is also the guide who points out things along the way, is imperative. Now, image going into the jungle with NO guide or briefing…. no wonder people have horrible experiences!”

Happy Dating! It’s an adventure!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What is your experience with free profiles on dating websites? Do you reply to messages that sound negative or talk about bad past relationships? What is a red line that you don’t cross in online dating?

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Lisa Stege

Yes, LOTS of scammers! The red line that I never cross (even on paying sites) is to never give out my email address or phone number until I’ve met someone in person. And only people within reasonable driving distance.

The Author

Andrea McGinty is the founder of It’s Just Lunch dating service. She sold it and founded so she could help singles navigating online dating. In the 2020s, she knows the best way to meet people is through online dating using a professional coach and specializes in singles in their 50s-70s!

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