Fine tune your "Crazy Radar" and avoid wasting time on impostors with this online dating checklist.
But if you are talking to multiple people, which most people do when online dating, make their name in your phone something that will remind you of who they are. It's easy to lose track when you have no true face with the name, yet. You should check to see if he has a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social networking profile. Most people have some sort of online presence, regardless of their their age. By checking these sites, it will allow you to see if he has pictures with other people, if he has pictures with friends or family, his hobbies and interests. If someone tells you they do not have a Facebook or any other profile page, it always sets off a red flag in my mind. This does not mean you shouldn't meet them, but you should be a bit more cautious.
Power of the (cell) Phone. At some point, you should talk to him on the phone. Does his voice sound like a man? Is he speaking in full sentences or muttering words here and there, or (BIG RED FLAG) - always tired and doesn't have much to say? And if they are texting you while they are at the gym, park or watching the game, tell them to take a picture and send it. If their camera is broken - someone in the group has one. Resistance is futile. If they are resistance to sharing photos or talking on the phone, something is just not right.
Face to Face Time. Let's recap. You have ensured they have numerous photos, their profile meets your fancy, you have spoken at length, they have a Facebook or have proven enough to you that they have friends and they are who they say they are and most importantly, your instincts tell you its okay to meet this person. Make sure you meet someone in public for your first meeting. Tell a friend where you are going and the time you are going to be there. I suggest having a safe word that you can text to a friend about 15 minutes into the date to signal know you are okay. Ladies, do not let the guy pick you up on your first date and do not drink so much that he has to drive you home. It is also okay to let your date know you are telling someone where you are. If this seems to be a problem for him, that's another red flag. Most people will understand you are being safe and want to ensure your safety.
Although I advice using this this checklist to reduce your chaces of meeting an imposter online, always trust your instincts. It it smells (cat)fishy, it probably is.
Contributed by Kristin Waters, Online Dating Expert. Kristin is just a woman in her mid twenties who has been on way too many first dates to count. She has experienced it all from good to bad and now just wants to guide others to happiness. Learn more about her online dating experiences and adventures at http://tipsforonlinedatingfromapro.blogspot.com/2013_02_01_archive.html