Now, as in most things, there are people around who are less than honest and can be seen to be dating cheats. By ‘cheats’ I mean people who describe a false history about themselves, claim to be single when they are not, and so on. They have rehearsed their stories well and, like many cheats, can be very credible.
I have some great friends who I have met through online dating and their experiences, together with my own, have enabled me to put together these tips. Patterns emerge, and cheating individuals may become known in the dating community. The very best cheats though are very credible and can bluff the best of us. I have friends who have been ‘conned’ for many months by serial cheats.
OK, so what about the tips for spotting these characters?
None of these hold true in all cases, and of course you cannot easily tell if a genuinely single person is not interested in a long term relationship unless they say so (and assuming that is what you also want).
Tip #1 – Telephone Talk – Phone Numbers
You have gone past the initial exchange of emails and arrange to start talking on the phone. From a male perspective, a genuine guy would usually offer his phone number, recognising that a lady may not want to disclose hers at an early stage on security grounds. If the arrangement is always that the other person calls you, then that is a potential signal.
If the other person says that they can only be called on their mobile phone or that they don’t have a landline phone number then that could be another signal. In today’s age, there are people who genuinely do not have landline phone numbers, relying on mobile phones and Skype. So, you should be able to Skype them at home in the evening (though of course you cannot be absolutely sure that they are at home).
Tip #2 – Telephone Talk – Timing
Most working people cannot take personal calls at work, and that is fine. However, if you find that the other person is saying things like:
- Only call me on Tuesdays and Thursdays… or
- I can’t do evenings because mobile reception is bad at home (and don’t have a landline)…
- I’ll call you on Wednesday at 7pm…
Tip #3 – Where do we Meet?
Most often, the first one or two dates are on neutral territory. After that, people will start travelling to each other’s areas or towns. If though, there is reluctance on the part of the other person to meet you on their territory, then this could be a signal that not all is as stated in their online dating profile.
Have they given you their home address? You can test this by saying ‘I’d like to see where you live’.
These are 3 great tips – don’t ignore them if you want to avoid disappointment! There are another 2 great tips in the Online Dating Guide.
None of these tips are, on their own, absolute identifiers of less than honest people, and the best liars will always keep as close to the truth as possible. Watch for patterns though.
Of course, at the end of it all, there are people who are intensely protective of their privacy (and may themselves be very cautious). However, if you are detecting a few of the signals I have listed, then you would be right to be suspicious.
There is the always chance that the other genuine person, protecting their privacy, would consider some of your ‘test questions’ to be intrusive or prying. However, you can always plead ‘I’ve been hurt before and do not want to be hurt again’. Most people would understand this.
In spite of all this, most people are genuine, so enjoy your dating!
The Online Dating Guide is unique, containing 4 bonus chapters and much distilled experience from years of online dating by Phil and his friends.
© 2010 Phil Marks