In the wake of the Manti Te’o scandal, it’s easy to fear being duped by an online relationship.To avoid being “Catfished” — the term comes from both the 2010 doc, “Catfish,” which examined a deceitful online relationship, and the MTV show that followed — be sure to follow smart online-dating guidelines: How to avoid being “Catfished”: 1. Don’t be afraid to Google someone you’ve just met online. Don’t ignore any hesitancy or feelings of discomfort.If you met over Facebook, use Google’s “search by image” feature to check for multiple Facebook profiles using the same photo. Fake Facebook accounts usually have extremely low friend counts, photos with no tags in them (or no tags linking to actual Facebook pages) and photos that don’t include family members, friends, or everyday adventures. Even if your initial Google searches don’t bring up anything suspicious — or they do and you’re not sure what to do with the uncertainty — don’t hesitate to order a background check on the individual. Have privacy settings in place and be careful to not divulge too much personal information. If someone is pursuing you online, you have every right to ask as many questions as needed to put your mind at ease. You shouldn’t need to talk yourself into investing in a relationship with someone you haven’t met in person.If the person messaging you isn’t the only person claiming to have his face, you know you’re likely looking at a fake account. If every photo looks like it came straight from a modeling portfolio, raise that red flag. If the person really has your best interests at heart, he won’t be hurt when he later discovers that you took proactive steps to ensure you entered into a relationship carefully. Even if you’re chatting with someone who feels like an old friend, still treat her as a stranger — because she is. It’s not unreasonable to request proof of hard-to-believe information. Share a few details with your closest pals and ask them if they can identify any red flags. Don’t let a charming stranger or single-too-long desperation convince you to deny your gut feelings about the stranger you’ve just met. When you do eventually meet, do so in a public place. It’s too easy to keep secrets — or flat-out lie — when the relationship is strictly online, over text or even over the phone. If your virtual date is a model-slash-anything, boasts about his Lamborghini and claims to have invented a bionic prosthesis, he’s probably lying — if “he” even is a he. If she is who she claims, making you feel safe and secure will be a priority for her. The idiom is true: It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Don’t give out your address until you’re in an established, in-person relationship. If distance creates too great an obstacle to meet up in the near future, at least employ Skype to give you both a little face time. If anything sounds strange or unbelievable, ask questions. Beware of premature declarations of love or requests for sexy photos from your online crush.
Remember, he fell in love with the dynamic “you” who has her own interests and passions, who wanted to make him a part of your life, not the whole darn thing.Men are attracted to confident women who get the concept of “interdependence.” Interdependence requires that you’re both independent and dependent; that means you create a sacred space for your relationship as well as sacred space for your work, passions and friends. While you might think it is cute to have three glasses of wine at dinner, he does not. If you need to loosen up before a date, watch a comedy right before you leave or take a walk. One guy told us that he went on a first date and his date wouldn’t order any food because she wasn’t “hungry.” But then every time he cut a piece of steak on his plate, she reached over and ate it!Don’t lose the things that are most important to you, and keep doing what you were doing before you started dating him: your Sunday morning yoga class, a yearly vacation with your college roommates, etc. Best to leave your glass half full and your plate empty(ish). Some men ARE afraid of commitment (so they might need a little more time than you to decide if you’re the one).Even if a guy is relationship ready, if you bring up on date three that you’re ready for a relationship he’ll likely question whether you really want to be in a relationship with HIM or if you’re ready for a relationship with anyone.
He’s going to wonder how, after two dinners and one museum trip, you already know that you want him to be your boyfriend. As easy as it would be to base every opinion you have on an experience you had with a guy or listen to your best guy friend’s advice, not all men are the same.
So even though it’s great to let a new guy know where you are in your life or about your dating goals, take the time to get to know him before you decide. So even though these dating tips from men can be very helpful, men are ultimately individuals.