Let’s be honest…
I’ve tried them all. From Tinder to OkCupid to Plenty Of Fish and even Match, Coffee Meets Bagel, Clover, Happn, Bumble, and Craigslist, just to name a few. I’ve had multiple accounts, been scammed by hackers, and met some interesting people along the way. Within the past year, I’ve chat with multiple people who have, like me; put themselves out there because it’s hard to get out of your circles and meet someone new in a safe way. Unfortunately, if you don’t know how to spot the liars and serial cheats, then you’ll get hurt deeply or spiral out. However, if you manage to develop a better eye at reading people, you may not get hurt as badly.
As for me…
I got hurt, tricked, used, lied to, scammed, stood up, and abused by different men I was vulnerable with. Some, actually, became friends because I offered it to them, which killed the romance part of the meetings. Also, many of them came back for more even after I decided it wasn’t a good idea. When things were low, I even joined Tawkify… which offered me great support but burned a hole in my wallet for three blind dates with men I would NEVER date… EVER. Yup!
Life isn’t easy but, after being through it all, you learn to get over broken hearts… and you get wiser.
Here are my nifty pick-ups!
(1) Ask questions.
Some people say asking too many questions is annoying and grating, but that’s usually because they have something to HIDE. People who are looking for a quick hook up, one night stand, or something very temporary or dirty want to stay as anonymous as possible. The people who ANSWER the questions and welcome more are the people willing to open up and have a relationship. This is something that is difficult to find but definitely a treasure when you do.
(2) Cross-check photos with scam reports online.
Did you know that American soldiers aren’t allowed to talk to people they don’t know? They don’t access dating sites while on the job and they don’t talk to strangers due to rules of being in the military. So, ALL of those online dating profiles featuring male soldiers often are scammer (from Nigeria) who take photos from social media accounts and use them to trick women into sending them money and iTunes cards.
I happened to meet a few, discover the truth about them, and then throw it in their faces. Sadly, he simply moved on to his next mark. If only we could wipe these scammer rings off the face of the earth. … There are plenty online websites featuring photos of army men and the truths about them. When I asked the real guy how he feels about others using his photos to scam women, he said he felt bad but there was nothing he could do but start watermarking his photos.
There really is no excuse anymore.
(3) Ask for Social Media Accounts.
I know it sounds fast and, you might not feel too secure about it all, but ask for their Facebook account and, should they give it to you, make sure it’s a real account. Another great tool is to track their social media activities, like on Twitter and Instagram. Real people post and interact with friends online. They post photos and reflect their lives in their social media accounts.
If they give it to you and the account shows that they have less than 10 friends, they gave you a fake account. Drop them, block them, and move on. If there are no photos on the page, not even a profile photo, it is also a fake account. Ignore them, block them, and let them go. If they don’t give it to you and their public accounts are sparse, they don’t want you to see what they want to hide from you. In this day and age, everyone has social media and are connected on other platforms.
(4) Meet in Public.
There is nothing more dangerous than meeting in a private place where you don’t feel like you have the advantage. When all people want is a hook up, it’s the perfect way to see it through. You meet, get it on, and then go. When wanting a relationship, you meet in public to make sure they’re not hiding anything. Wanting to feel comfortable and not pressured to do anything, public spaces make it easy for both people to relax and get to know each other better before doing anything else.
Only when the other insists on meeting at their place or your place do you need to worry that something is up. Again, most people who do that are ducking the public, which means they’re hiding something, or just looking to bang and leave. Be careful.
BE IN CONTROL.
(5) Be On Your Terms.
NEVER put yourself in an uncomfortable position where you don’t have control over the situation. That’s the reason of meeting in public, so that neither has more control over the situation than the other. When conversing through text messaging or app chat, don’t get too detailed about your life. Please remember that YOU ARE TALKING WITH A STRANGER. Getting to know someone slowly, making sure their facts check out right, EVERYTHING takes time and make sure it’s on YOUR time.
I hope I can save someone, anyone, from the pains of online liars and abusers. Be careful and remember to take care, check the information, and there are MANY scammers out there! Please, oh please, question everything and block any soldier!!
Maybe I’ll get to tell my story another time… of how I met the one…