Four red flags to avoid while online dating

Posted at 10:19 AM, Feb 13, 2013

Dating is hard enough. But when you throw in a few thousand online profiles, it’s overwhelming. Dating coach, Joann Cohen says it’s easy to avoid the duds, if you know the red flags.

She gave us her list of warning signs to keep in mind.

1. Getting Lucky:  Guys who use a lot of terms involving physical touch, such as "I like massages, I like PDA, I like holding hands."  Cohen says one or two of those examples are ok, but goes on to add  that "if it's throughout the profile, he’s just looking to get lucky."

2. Gold Diggers:  Cohen says the men should keep an eye out for ladies with expensive taste. "If the person’s interests also include exotic vacations, Gucci bags, things like that, it’s a pretty good sign you have a gold digger," she said.

3. Dating Range:  If the range is too large, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s open minded. It’s quite the opposite.  For example, a 45-year-old man with a dating range of 18 – 46 is really interested in dating a younger woman. If you come in at the top end, he likely won’t be genuinely interested.

4. A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words: If you can’t see the person’s face because of large sunglasses or distance shots, Cohen says "chances are they are taken or unattractive."  If they are hidden behind other people in group shots in all of their photos, they could be overweight.  If you see too much of him, you know those dreaded mirror shots, Cohen says that’s a big red flag.

"They have no friends do they?  Why can’t they get their photo taken by somebody?" she said. 

If a woman has a photo she took over herself from a high angle, that only shows her cleavage, Cohen says she might be trying to hide her weight.

Cohen also offered a few other tips to help you with your search.  She says online daters should think of websites as a bar.  You’re going to have good people and those with ulterior motives. You just have to do your research to make the best choice.

If a man gives you his number in the first email it could be a bad sign. Think about it.  Using Cohen’s bar analogy, what would you do if a man walked up to you in a bar and handed you his number?  She says the magic number of emails back and forth before a meeting is 3 each way.

Cohen’s final piece of advice: "Be open minded, just not so open minded your brain falls out."