11+ Online Dating Red Flags You Need To Look Out For

Last updated on June 18, 2022 by April Maccario

Romance has changed over the years, and it’s now increasingly rare that you’ll meet your future spouse in real life. Instead, online dating apps are where a lot of us are meeting our significant others. 

The fact that we have the ability to get to know others that we could potentially fall in love with on our phones is extraordinary. It’s an incredible cyber world out there for finding love!

However, as amazing as this is, there are now an array of online dating red flags that you need to be aware of. As long as you know these red flags when dating online, you’ll be able to avoid arranging and meeting time wasters for a first date. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the 12 most important warning signs to be aware of.

Online Dating Red Flags 

1. He’s Forward With Sexual Comments

There’s honestly nothing more disgusting and icky than having a man you don’t know being really sexual towards you or sending you explicit messages (or photos) that aren’t wanted. If a guy starts dropping sexual innuendos here and there as soon as you start talking, or somehow manages to turn everything you try to talk about into a bid for an exchange of sexy photos, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction!

This kind of guy is obviously not on this site to find love, rather he has joined to find women to be dirty with. If you’re looking for a quick one-night stand with a guy that has no plans on getting to know you and will likely not respect you, then by all means continue talking to them. 

But, if you’re actually trying to look for a kind, interesting person that you might be able to start a committed relationship with at some point in the future (like most people that use dating sites are), then block this guy and move on.

2. He Talks About His Ex, A Lot

he talks about his ex a lot

Let’s be honest, maybe a few dates in with someone you might decide to have the conversation about exes, but as soon as you start speaking to a guy online, the last thing you want to hear about is how awful their ex treated them. This is definitely one of the biggest red flags in dating online. No one in their right mind should be sharing details of their previous relationship if they are trying to entice a new woman in.

This guy is clearly hung up on his previous partner or has been seriously damaged by a previous relationship and hasn’t taken the time to heal from it. With a man like this, you’re unfortunately never going to be enough and they’re never going to focus on you fully because they’re stuck living in the past with another woman.

3. His Bio Has A Lack Of Information

If a guy you’re talking to has a lack of information in his profile, it’s not good news. If someone doesn’t have the time or doesn’t want to put the effort into writing a few sentences about themselves on their profile, then you have to wonder why they even signed up to a site in the first place. This just shows a lack of commitment to wanting to find a relationship, and if a guy is going to show a lack of commitment towards even finding a relationship, it’s a sure sign they’re not going to be committed within the relationship.

In addition, a lack of information on a profile just looks shady. Maybe this guy isn’t who he’s claiming to be? Or maybe they can’t share much information because they live a shady life? Whatever the reasons are, avoid anyone with a blank bio or a bio with a lack of information.

4. His Bio Is A List Of Demands

Let’s be honest, we’ve all seen it - the bio that looks like a list of demands. For example, it might say ‘looking for the perfect woman, under 5’6, blonde and slim’. Although you initially might just think this is a bit of a joke, it’s actually incredibly disturbing, and definitely a red flag you need to look out for.

Of course, most of us have a certain type or an idea of what our perfect partner would be like, but most of us would never demand, and only look for this type of person. If a guy is looking for a particular type of woman it’s probably because they’re way too narrow-minded and shallow. And also, what the hell makes them think they’re god’s gift? Stay away from these types of men!

5. His Profile Lacks An Array Of Photos Or His Photos Look Fake

his profile lacks an array of photos or his photos look fake

One of the most concerning things about a profile, and something that should put you on edge, is if they have maybe only one photo, or the photos look fake. I’m sure you’re aware of the TV program Catfish, and if you’re not, then basically it shows how people create fake profiles online to mess with others, or to hide their true identity because they struggle with self-acceptance.

You don’t want to find out the person you have been talking to and falling for is actually a fake, so make sure you stay away from profiles that look fake or only have one photo. If you are already speaking with a guy like this, ask them to share a few more photos of himself.

6. He Doesn’t Tell You His Real Name

On most sites, you have to use a made up name, to keep your identity hidden for security reasons until you start talking to someone and trusting them. So initially you won’t ever know anyone’s real name, but normally after exchanging a few messages, you will share your real names.

If once you get to this stage with talking, a guy avoids telling you their real name, this is definitely a warning sign. It’s also useful to watch out for those that share a fake name with you - you will be able to tell if it’s fake by searching online and seeing if any information shows up. There must be a shady, important reason this person isn’t sharing their name, so run in the opposite direction.

7. He Replies At Strange Times Of The Day

As busy, working adults, most of us usually utilize these kinds of apps during the evening. This is completely normal, and it’s the time when most singles are online. So, it might be concerning if you’re talking to a guy that replies at very strange times of the day. 

For example, if he only ever replies to your messages during working hours, or in the early hours of the morning/late at night, and you’re sure he has a normal day job, he might be replying when his partner isn’t around

Yes, you read that right..he might have a partner! Unfortunately, a lot of individuals that are already in relationships use these sites to initiate affairs and cheat on their partners. So, you’ll want to make sure you ask this guy why they reply at such weird times in the day, and unless they have a valid explanation, look elsewhere for love.

8. He Talks About Money On His Profile

he talks about money on his profile

Unless a man is wanting a golddigger to take interest in them, there is absolutely no reason to talk about finances on a dating profile. Talking about money is such a personal subject, and even when you’re in a relationship it takes a long time to feel comfortable talking about it, so to plaster how financially secure you are in a bio is a massive turn-off.

A guy that brags about how much money they have, what kind of car they have, their house, or their accessories is someone that’s incredibly materialistic and thinks they can win potential partners over with their money, rather than their personality. 

Most of the men that feel like they need to show off with material things are actually probably very insecure and lack confidence, so portray a rich front in the hope a woman will at least like them for that. This is actually incredibly sad, but it’s not your duty to fix anyone’s issues. Stay away from anyone like this.

9. He Avoids Talking About His Life

It’s never a good sign when a guy is shady about what their life is like or hesitant about sharing any kind of details with you. Most people understand that by going onto a dating site, they are signing up to talking to new people, which means they will have to share details about themself. So if someone is hesitant about sharing information about them, it could be because they are shady, or take part in something illegal or wrong that they can’t share.

In addition, if someone can’t tell you about their life and trust you with any personal information, they’re probably never going to trust you enough to be part of it. You deserve to talk to and meet a man that’s open and honest with you.

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10. He Lets You Down When You Plan To Meet Up

he lets you down when you plan to meet up

You defiantly want to stay as far away from anyone that’s flakey and cancels plans on you. If a guy lets you down on a first date, what do you think they’re going to do when it’s your second or third date? These kinds of guys are absolutely not worth your time or energy because they can’t even commit to a first date with you.

If someone reschedules plans once, and in advance, due to childcare commitments or a meeting, this is understandable. If someone gives no reason and continuously cancels on you last minute, get rid of them - you deserve more.

11. He Has No Other Social Media Profiles

Once you learn the person’s name that you’re talking to, it’s completely normal and valid that you will want to search them on an array of social media apps. So, it can seem incredibly strange if you’ve headed to Instagram or Facebook and searched their name and nothing comes up. 

Although a very very select amount of people don’t have social media because they want to stay completely private, these are definitely not going to be the kind of people that utilize online dating services. So not being able to find any social media profiles with this person’s name is one of the most obvious red flags for dating online. 

This person might be catfishing you, or they might have given you a fake name. Whatever they’re doing, it seems super strange and you can definitely do better!

12. He Sends You A Message That Definitely Wasn’t Meant For You

One of the worst kinds of red flags you need to be aware of, which you definitely will be aware of if it’s happened to you is a guy sending you a message that was actually meant for someone else. Let’s be honest, we’ve all sent the wrong person the wrong message before, and it can definitely lead to some really embarrassing consequences. 

However, there’s a complete difference between sending your mom a text that was meant for your best friend and a guy on a dating app sending you a message that was meant for another woman he’s flirting with.

If a guy sends you a reply that’s completely out of sync with your previous message, you will definitely want to start questioning things. Now obviously there’s nothing wrong with speaking to multiple potential partners on a site, in a way, that’s actually one of the bonuses of it because you get to know a selection of people at the same time. However, a guy that doesn’t take time to actually read the conversation and put effort into texting you back properly isn’t someone you should be wanting to see more of.


What does a red flag usually mean?

A red flag is a sign of danger, or that something is wrong. This pretty much has the same meaning when it comes to relationships, as a red flag is something that makes you feel weary and could indicate danger could lie ahead if you continue in a relationship with this person. 

What do you do when you see a red flag?

As mentioned above, a red flag is something that indicates danger, and therefore you should take it as a warning. It’s always best to stop speaking to the person, even if just temporarily, to really think about the negative qualities they’re showing and figure out why it’s a red flag. You could always ask them about what they’ve said (when the red flag popped up in your head) and unless they give an impressive answer and understand they were acting badly or said something wrong, ignore them and move on to bigger and better things!

How do you know when online dating is serious?

You’ll be able to tell when someone is serious about you because they will show interest in really getting to know you, they will be gracious and kind. Guys that are also looking for love rather than a one-night stand will also ask to meet up with you during the day time, on a proper romantic date.

How do you know if a guy is serious about you online?

As mentioned in the answer above, you can easily figure out whether someone is into you seriously or not by seeing if they ask you questions that will really help them to get to know you, if they address you in appropriate ways, if they ask you on a day time date and if they’re kind and not overly obsessive.

What's the opposite of a red flag?

Obviously, the opposite would be a green flag. However, there isn’t really such a thing as a green flag when it comes to a relationship, but you could say that a perfect man that didn’t have any warning signs attached or act strange flies a green flag.

In Summary…

This article should have opened your eyes up a lot to what you should be looking out for in the online world because although there’s a lot of amazing guys out there, some of the guys you’ll encounter aren’t so amazing and need to be avoided. 

Good luck with finding love online, and most importantly, never lose faith in finding love. Did you enjoy this article? Let us know in the comments and feel free to share it if you did.

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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