The Top 14 Online Dating Red Flags - Cool Dating Advice

The Top 14 Online Dating Red Flags

Online dating is one of the most popular reasons society uses technology today. It’s fun, time-consuming, and for some of us, it’s pretty effective. However, for others, it could be a destroyer of their hearts, bank accounts, and even of their time. As much fun as online dating is, it can be scary if you do not take precautions. I’m sure we have all heard of the show Catfish, and how many true relationships Nev and Max have actually discovered.

We’ve also heard or seen some of the relationships that turned out to be one-hundred percent fake. Here are some precautions to consider when dating someone online, especially if they are on the other side of the world. Either way, always be very aware of what you are saying and doing.

Brag, brag, brag…

If you have been dating this individual for a day or even six months, what have they been talking to you about? Have they been bragging about their job and how much they make, or have they been pretty funny and outgoing? If they have been talking to you about all of their wonderful accomplishments in life, then this is a red flag.

For example, if you had a really good day at school or work, and you earned some type of compliment or reward, your significant other will steer the conversation towards talking about something that they have once been rewarded with or complimented. This person may be too into themselves or really has a problem with their ego or self-esteem.


You just need to be cognizant of this type of behavior going forward.

Jealousy is overboard

You’ve never met in person, you’ve never called them, and you’ve never even video chatted with this person and they are already going crazy over you. They don’t want you talking to specific people or even close friends of yours, and they’ve reached the point where they are controlling you as well.

Some jealousy is appropriate and acceptable, however, too much jealousy could be very unhealthy. Although, if this person has never seen you before, how could they possibly love you so much? Let’s be real, who are they to even have a say on who you speak to or how you dress? You might as well let some random stranger from your local Walmart control you.

This is a massive RED flag!

Grammar issues = red flag

OK, let’s actually think about this. If you are seriously in love with someone, and you really want to be with someone, you will do everything to be as perfect as you can in that someone’s eyes.

If that person can not spell words correctly, or if their sentences are not complete or seem as if they were copied and pasted into the chatbox, then this is a red flag. Look for other signs or issues because this is not a deal killer just a warning to pay attention.

Texting or sexting

If you have been talking to this person for a while, and they like talking about sex or if they ask you for nudes, then this is definitely a red flag. Of course, there is nothing wrong with sex, however, conversations as such are not favored by a lot of people.

Therefore, it is completely fine to either steer the conversation in a different direction or to just straight up tell that person that you are not interested in them and then just cut things at the spot.

You should not be sending nude photos when you barely know someone and you shouldn’t do it if you know them. Those things tend to get posted online no matter how safe or how well you know the person that has them.

Just don’t do it.

Cancels plans last minute

Dating someone online that resides not too far away from you could result in a date of some type. Whether it’s meeting at a park, a restaurant, or even your house, make sure that you are meeting somewhere that is surrounded by people and not just you alone.


Although, that’s only if they don’t cancel your plans the same day of your date. Canceling once is acceptable if they did it for a good reason.

However, if they cancel the first time, and then the second date, and maybe even a third time, then three strikes you are out. You probably could have kicked them to the door on the second cancellation we were being generous.

Texting, video chatting or calling

If your online date prefers that you text all the time, then this is someone that you need to be careful when starting a relationship. They should be calling to talk on the phone or even video chatting especially as the relationship grows over the months. It should be something they actually want to do more than texting. If this is something they don’t do at all, then this is a red flag. You will have to play it by ear to see how this will work out.


Alright, lets seriously think about it, how many times did you get scammed or almost got scammed from stupid advertisements that mentioned if you do what they’re asking you, you will receive $500 every month. It’s pretty obvious that all of us would do anything to make some easy bucks.

If your date is constantly asking you to send them money for them to buy you things or to come to see you, then you should block this person completely. Remember to not give out any of your personal information to anybody, ever.

You need to wait to give out information about where you live and work until you really know someone. Most scams involving money occur within the month you start the relationship online. They will say they had to visit family in another country than a few days later contact you asking for money to get home. They spin elaborate stories that are very sad but not true.

Do not give money to any boyfriend or girlfriend unless you have at least dated a year or more. You actually should not give any money unless you get married.

What kind of boyfriend or girlfriend ask for money from their dating partner. The only person that does that is a mooch and they will keep asking you for money until you break-up with them.

They’re perfect

If they are constantly talking about how perfect they are, and that everything they do is wonderful, then this is definitely a red flag. Nobody is perfect, and they most likely are trying to brag about their selves to get you to believe in their lies.

This is someone with an ego that is probably too big for you to date. You need to move on when someone is that vain.

Photos and profile information

If someone’s online dating profile has a bunch of pictures but not much information about themselves in their profile, that’s shady. Hopefully, they used a recent photo and one that is you not of someone else that is hot looking.

Sooner or later you will meet them and if the picture does not match the real-life person then time to walk away. If they lied about their looks what else did they lie about on the profile?

You want someone to add a ton of good information about themselves, like what they do for a living, their hobbies/interests, and things of that nature are what people want to see in a profile. If the profile is really in-depth and the picture looks realistic then not a red flag. If the picture looks too perfect and no information in the profile then beware.

Check out our article on what to write in an online dating profile.

Work and sleep

If this person is a workaholic, then this is a red flag. Let’s be real, you can only be at work for so long, for goodness sake you can’t live at work. There has to be more to their lives than just working and sleeping. If this is what they are doing every time you ask them “what are you up to?”, then there has to be something they are hiding or they are just crazy workaholics.

You just need to watch out for people consumed by activities or their job. Do you really want to date someone that is never around because they work 24/7? This will really put a strain on a starting relationship if all your partner does is work. If they only have a few hours a week for you that is a problem.

Sounds like that person already has a wife and it is called work.

Baby, baby, baby…

If this word is constantly on repeat, and this is all he says, for one, it’s annoying, and for two, it’s fake. You can only call someone baby once or twice, and with a real relationship, you start joking around with each other and you don’t call each other “baby” until the next few hours. If they call you baby more than once in a half-hour period, this is a red flag.

Maybe this name would be OK for some women but most would not like you calling this all the time. It also goes for women calling the man some name that is annoying. Talk to them about it and if they keep doing it maybe you should move on.


“My friends made me do this” or “I hate my life” could be something that ends this relationship. If they seem to always be negative about something, then that is not good. They either want you to feel bad for them, or they are just really negative about their life. Either way, this could lead to a very unhealthy relationship and it would probably be better to end the relationship rather than keeping it going and trying to improve it.

I have dated people that are negative and it is not fun. You will not change them so do not even try. It would be better to just walk away from that potential dater as soon as you know they are negative all the time.

The Ex

We all have been through heartbreak before, for some of us, it’s easy to move on, for others, it’s not. For some reason, it makes us feel better to talk about them to someone. However, their new date shouldn’t be the one that is getting complained to about someone of their past. If it’s your first time talking or meeting up, do not bring up your ex. Of course, sometime in the future, you will be given the chance to talk to them about your heartbreak, although, not the first time.

This is like to golden rule of dating never talk about your past boyfriends or girlfriends ever. Don’t even bring it up once you have been together for a long time. Just bury that ship and never mention it again. Unless you have a psychopath ex that may do something to the new dating partner in your life. Then you may mention to the new person that they will have to watch out for the ex.

Requires you to answer within 15 seconds

You should not be required to answer within seconds, however, even with minutes, you should not be set with a time limit of when you need to respond to your new dating partner. If you don’t answer and they bombard you with twenty messages within a fifteen second period, then you need to end this relationship. They should not have a problem with you being busy, or not replying right away. They need to be patient.

No one wants someone keeping tabs on your every move. If you start dating someone that wants you to answer every call and every text within seconds then you are in the wrong relationship. This type of control and micro-management of a relationship is toxic whether it just started or is further along.


You have to keep yourself safe when you start to do online dating. The red flags mentioned above just give you an idea of things to be leery of when dating. Not all the red flags mean you have to end a relationship if it happens once but knowing red flags will keep you alert to possible issues down the road. If things get extreme like some of the examples then it is a good time to step back and maybe even step away from a relationship that could be heading into toxic.

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