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Three Online Love Traps That May Be Stopping You Finding Love Online

Updated on May 19, 2009

A frog is as a frog does...

Finding love online is becoming commonplace nowadays, however some people get caught up with game players, cheaters and outright scammers. Getting caught by these types is not only detrimental to your feelings, but it wastes time you could be using to actually find a real world partner.

The following three points will help you assess whether or not your online crush could be the real thing.

  • Establish the gender of the person you are communicating with. Men are normally quite suspicious online, (as any woman who doesn't have pics on her profile can attest), however women are usually much more trusting. Women can be taken in by other women pretending to be men, or men pretending to be women. This is especially prevalent in the case of women looking for other women. The online dating space gives people the chance to play pretend, unfortunately when there are very real feelings involved (and yes, you can fall in love online) then people can get hurt by these supposedly innocent games. Talking on the phone may help establish the gender identity of the person you are speaking with, but this can be faked. The best idea is to ask for a recent picture taken just for you. If you are at the stage where feelings are becoming serious, then this should not be too invasive of a request. People pretending to be other people won't be able to produce recent pictures and will do everything they can to stall you, make you feel bad for asking, or otherwise distract you.

This leads me to the next point. Think with your head, not with your heart or any other part of your anatomy. The online dating space is rife with fantasy, and if you are okay with playing along in another person's fantasy, then that is fine, but be aware that nothing real can ever come of it. If you are looking for the real deal, then be logical about the decisions you make and the risks you take.

  • Meet as soon as possible. Do not let days turn into weeks, turn into months. If you're serious about one another, you will know after a few weeks. Organize a safe, in person meeting in a public place. If the person does not show, then count yourself lucky and do not correspond with them again. Many people will ditch the first meeting then say that something came up. They were in the hospital, they choked on a pretzel, the feds came for them. Do not listen to these excuses without tangible proof. It is so easy to be strung along by a person who is dishonest.

That brings me to my final point. There are genuine people online, there really are. There are also online predators. These people will manipulate your emotions and say whatever they need to to keep you on the hook.

  • They will create fantasy worlds that you will yearn to be in, but they are not real. If a person is reticent about real world contact, if you are unable to call them at home, if they send old pictures (or even pictures of different people every time, claiming that they are the same person,) then cut them loose. It may hurt in the short term, but all you have lost is an illusion. Real people wanting real relationships do not play the sort of games that online scammers do. They are consistent in their stories. They will be happy to meet, to talk by phone and they will progress the relationship forward with you naturally.

Anything less than that may not necessarily be the mark of a scammer, but it is definitely the mark of someone who is playing games online, and someone you should avoid. The online dating game means that you will probably end up kissing a lot of virtual frogs. The trick to finding love is not to get up on the fairytales of the frog becoming a prince and realize that a frog is a frog 'till the end of its days. Dump the frog and find a prince. They're out there.

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