When it comes to online dating, some people are downright honest about being...well, dishonest. If you've ever been on OkCupid, you've probably seen some men and women who openly admit to looking outside their current relationship. But more often, we find people trying to be secretive about that sort of thing (or, as the saying goes, to have their cake and eat it too). So how do you spot a cheater online? Well, there is no real fool-proof method. But there are some signs you can look for. And while those signs may not independently be the mark of a wannabe player, they should at least make you go "hmmm..something seems off here."
When it comes to meeting people online, your radar may be piqued by the types of photos someone posts (if they post any at all!), or by the information he/she chooses to share (or withhold) about themselves. It could have to do with what he/she is looking for (e.g., sex versus a relationship). Or it may be due to availability. Often, it's a combination of a least a couple of these things.
Identifying a cheater (or a possible cheater) takes a bit of work, but the headache and heartache are completely worth it in the long run! So the next time you're perusing a guy or gal's profile on OkCupid, keep these five things in mind before you agree to meet up.
1. They Don't Show Their Face (Or Any Part At All)
Why this could be perfectly reasonable: You can choose to post photos — or not — on OkCupid. If someone doesn't, well, OK...maybe they don't want to put their entire self on display in an open forum. That's cool; some people like a little privacy. This person may not want their friends, co-workers or family members to discover they're doing the online dating thing. She could also have the type of job that requires online discretion (think military, government etc.). There are lots of possibilities.
What to look for: The key is often in their written profile. Read it to see if they offers an explanation for the lack of pics, or the reason why they're maintaining some anonymity.
If they contact you: Even if they explain the lack of photos in their profile, ask them again; and see if the explanation is consistent. Ask them to send you a photo to your email address. If they're a bit hesitant, that doesn't mean automatically mean they're a cheater (personally, I don't share full-face photos until I've had a few back-and-forth messages with someone). But if they continue to refuse to send you a photo after you've been messaging for a while, that could be a "cheater red flag."
2. They Don't Offer A Lot Of Detail About Themselves
Why this could be perfectly reasonable: Same rationale as above. Some people simply like to maintain a bit of anonymity online.
What to look for: See if they post photos to make up for the lack of detail. Or if they provide their first name and/or occupation in their profile. Or if they answered a good number of personality questions. Basically, you want to gauge whether he's being purposefully vague or inadvertently inconsistent. Keep in mind: if they haven't posted photos or many details, it's possible they just haven't completed their profile yet. Sometimes when people create accounts, they jump immediately into contacting folks without taking the time to first do some work.
If they contact you: Find out how long they've been on OkCupid; it's possible they've just joined the site. Regardless, if they haven't provided enough information to give you a good sense of them, suggest they fill out their profile in more detail and answer a few personality questions. Encourage them that doing so will help them in the long run, in terms of increasing his chances of meeting a good match. Then, if they follow through, go through it to see if there are any gaping holes, inconsistencies, or signs that they may be withholding pertinent information.
3. They're Only Looking For Sex
Why this could be perfectly reasonable: Not everybody is looking for long-term romance online. Some folks go on OkCupid simply to find sex...and that's OK. May not be your bag, but hey, everyone has their own reasons for going online.
What to look for: Again, check for photos, and read their profile! Both could offer clues as to whether they're currently in a sexless or unsatisfying relationship. Make sure to check if they've selected "mostly non-monogamous" or "strictly non-monogamous" in the "Relationship Type" field. Also look for phrasing such as "I'm not looking to change my situation or yours" (this cliche is used a lot by people who cheat).
If they contact you: If they haven't posted a face pic, ask for one (if they're not trying to hide anything, it shouldn't be a big deal for them to share it with you by email). Also ask them to confirm some of the information you read in their profile; sometimes people screw up their lies when they're asked more than once for details.
4. They Say They Don't Have A Lot Of Time
Why this could be perfectly reasonable: They could simply just be a busy person. Lots of people have hectic jobs, irregular working hours, families (kids), and active social lives — and they're not looking for anything too serious that could disrupt their regular schedules.
What to look for: If they mention in their profile that they have limited free time, see if they offer a decent explanation. And, again, take a look to see if they've posted any photos, and whether they give you an idea of what they actually look like.
If they contact you: Remember, the first few messages with a new person can give you an opportunity to do some detective work. Look for inconsistencies not only in what they personally write to you, but their answers to the personality questions. And pay attention to not only what they say, but what they don't say or respond to.
5. They Can Only Meet During The Day
Why this could be perfectly reasonable: They may have an evening job, or could be a single parent.
What to look for: If they mention their availability (or lack thereof) in their profile, see if they offer a valid reason for it. And don't forget to look at their pics!
If they contact you: See #4.
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Images: Pexels; OKCupid.com (1, 2), Giphy.com (3, 4, 5)