Modern dating is filled with ups and downs and all sorts of signs to decode that daters in previous generations never had to worry about. Meeting someone through an app isn’t for everyone, but even for those who do enjoy getting to know new prospective love interests online, it can be tricky to work out how to interpret the messages we receive.
When talking to someone through a dating app, we don’t have all the tools that would help us to identify potential red flags that we would have in real life, like body language or gut feeling reactions. So we have to rely on sorting out the things matches say which raise alarms versus those that make them seem promising.
There are a number of things guys can say through dating apps, and a number of ways they can say them, which should raise red flags for us. Things that let us know that they’re just wasting our time or that they’re only after one thing from us should all set off alarm bells. And similarly, there are things online matches can say which let us know that they could turn into something more in the future.
Check out these red flags to look out for on dating apps, and signs that the match is actually a promising one!
20 Red Flag: Messages That Are Rude
It should be a serious red flag if a guy is rude in his messages to you on a dating app. If he’s rude to you over an app designed to help him meet new people, you can almost be sure he’s going to be rude in real life. And contrary to popular belief, a rude boy isn’t actually that enticing!
This shows that he’s probably not a very nice person, and it’s up to you whether you want to make room for somebody like that in your life. A little sense of humor is fine, but blatant rudeness? No thanks.
19 Promising: He Seems To Want The Same Things That She Does
On the other hand, it is a promising sign if the guy you’re talking to on the dating app seems to want the same things that you want. You might be able to get an idea of this just by looking at his profile, although don’t let that be the deciding factor.
Remember, people put information that is embellished or downright untrue on their profiles all the time! But if you gather from his profile and from talking to him that he wants the same kind of relationship that you do, then it’s definitely a step in the right direction!
18 Red Flag: His Picture Was Taken A Long Time Ago
Some online dating experts believe that an out-of-date profile picture isn’t a good sign. Since this is the only way you have of knowing what this person looks like, you want to be able to trust it. If he tells you that his picture is from a really long time ago, that brings up the question of why he hasn’t updated it, when the aim of a dating profile is to put yourself out there and win potential love interests over.
If he hasn’t updated it in a long time, it could either point to the fact that he’s not happy with how he looks now, or he’s too lazy to change something that should be pretty important in the context of online dating.
17 Promising: Something That Intrigues Her
Chemistry between two people is a pretty amazing thing. You won’t know whether there’s really a spark between you and someone else until you meet them in person because that kind of thing doesn’t always translate online. But there are a few ways to tell whether you could possibly have chemistry even before you meet them.
It’s a good sign if he says something that hooks your interest and intrigues you. If he’s saying things that make him stand out in a good way from the other people you’re chatting to on the app, he might end up being the right one for you.
16 Red Flag: He Can’t Be Bothered To Fill Out His Profile Properly
When someone can’t be bothered to fill out their profile properly and leaves large sections blank, it raises a few alarms. This could mean that he’s lazy or that dating really isn’t that important to him. It could also show that there are details of his life he’d rather not disclose and that he wants to remain private about things that most people would be willing to share.
Again, you probably want to ask yourself why this is the case. At the end of the day, it’s good to meet someone who actually cares about this dating thing or your experience will probably be extremely frustrating and one-sided.
15 Promising: He Shows That He Has Mutual Interests
This makes a lot of sense! It’s a good sign when a guy has a lot of mutual interests with you. This immediately gives you some common ground and something to talk about if the conversation goes dry.
You’re more likely to enjoy meeting up in real life with someone who shares a lot in common with you rather than with someone who may as well come from another planet. It will be easier to hold a conversation and you’ll actually be interested in what they’re saying. Dating is always easier when you actually like the other person as a friend first.
14 Red Flag: He Goes Silent For Long Periods Of Time
You don’t want to get too caught up in how long a match takes to respond to you. If you start demanding that they respond sooner, you’ll probably scare them away (and we’d consider that red-flag behavior!). But at the same time, it’s no fun talking to someone who leaves you hanging for days without a response.
If you find that your match doesn’t reply to you all weekend and then suddenly responds on Monday, or even goes weeks without getting back to you, take it as a sign that they’re not too interested in you.
13 Promising: He Doesn’t Try To Rush The Process
In real-life dating and online dating, it’s never a good sign when someone tries to rush through the whole process. This could be them asking personal questions too early or even trying to get physical with you before you’re ready. That usually shows that they don’t have a steady, healthy relationship in mind, and probably aren’t the best candidate to date.
On the other hand, if they take things slow and don’t rush you in any way, it’s a much more promising sign. We tend to be more careful with the things we care about, prospective (and even online) dates included.
12 Red Flag: Anything Intended for Someone Else
Because of the way dating apps work, you can almost be sure that your match is also talking to other matches. You probably are too. There’s nothing wrong with that in the beginning when the two of you aren’t exclusive. That said, it’s not a nice feeling to feel like you’re just another anonymous match to somebody.
If the messages they send to you are generic, or clearly meant for someone else, take it as a red flag. They’re probably interested in the idea of dating and will settle for whoever replies to them rather than being interested in you for you.
11 Promising: Showing He’s A Kind Person Without Bragging
Whether you’re looking for a long-term relationship or something more casual, chances are you’re going to be the happiest with someone who has a kind heart. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a husband or a fling; his ability to be kind is important.
It’s a good sign if you get the feeling that he’s a kind person through the things he says. Keep in mind, though, that there’s a difference between being a genuinely decent person and bragging about how kind you are. If he sells the fact that he’s a nice guy, he’s probably not, whether online or in real life.
10 Red Flag: Questioning Why She Hasn’t Responded Quickly Enough
It’s a good thing for a guy to be interested in you to a reasonable extent when you’re dating, or chatting online, but there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed. If you’ve only been talking for a while and he starts questioning why you haven’t responded, or why you’re not responding quickly enough, consider it a red flag.
Some people freak out when they don’t get immediate responses to their messages, and he might bombard you with consecutive messages until you respond. If that’s the case, imagine how intense he’ll be once you start dating! It’s polite to reply to messages that people send you, but you don’t have to feel like you must drop what you’re doing and reply straight away.
9 Promising: Anything That Makes Her Laugh
Laughter is always a good sign in the dating game! Of course, it’s not the only thing that matters, and it certainly doesn’t cancel out all the other red flags if they’re showing up. But it’s a promising sign if he makes you laugh.
If he’s making you laugh now, in the early stages of chatting when you’re both probably feeling reserved and a little nervous, then the chances are he’s only going to get funnier. It’s important to date someone you like as a person and enjoy spending time with, rather than just someone you’re physically attracted to.
8 Red Flag: Trying To Establish A Level Of Power Over Her From The Beginning
If you’re chatting to someone through an online dating app who tries to establish his power over you in any way, or tries to make you feel inferior, un-match and move on! Nobody needs that kind of negativity in their life.
There are lots of ways to do this, but he might use superfluous language to try and make you think that he’s a lot smarter than he is, talk down to you like you possess half the intelligence that he does, or even respond to you coldly so you second-guess what you’ve said. He probably has major insecurity issues. Leave him be.
7 Promising: Commenting On Things She’s Said In Her Profile
It’s a promising sign when you’re chatting to someone new if that person is responsive to the details that you’ve included in your profile. He might ask you about something you’ve said in your About Me section or ask about one of your photos, or comment on any of the information you’ve included.
This shows that he’s actually taken the time to look at you as an individual and requires slightly more effort than sending a generic message to every person he matches with. It also suggests that there are things about you that interest him and that he knows how to carry a conversation by asking questions.
6 Red Flag: Disregarding What She Specifies In Her Profile
Now, on the flip side, if he totally disregards what you’ve said on your profile, that’s not a good sign at all. He might ask where you work, even though it’s blatantly stated beneath your profile picture, or ask how old you are when that information is already available to him. This isn’t a great sign because it shows that he hasn’t matched with you because of the things you’ve said about yourself—it’s probably solely because he liked your picture.
He also might completely ignore your requests. For example, you might say you’re looking for something serious, and he might match with you even though he’s looking for a fling. Red flag alert!
5 Promising: Asking Questions About Her
The early stages of chatting to someone new through a dating app can be really awkward. The conversations that go well and end up turning into something else are usually the ones where two people are able to really get to know each other. The best way to get to know someone is to ask a lot of questions, so if he’s asking questions to get you to reveal things about yourself, it could be a good sign!
It might show that he is interested in actually taking it to the next step and meeting you in person and is trying to find out as much about you as he can to judge whether that’s a good idea or not.
4 Red Flag: Anything That Shows He Only Wants One Thing
This is a no-brainer, really. If he gives you the feeling that he’s only after one thing from you, trust that feeling. And consider it a red flag. Unless you only want one thing from him, of course, it’s a strong hint that he’s not the guy for you.
If he’s being that forward about it in the initial stages of the connection, when you’re still chatting on an app, you can be sure that he’s not interested in anything meaningful. Chances are he’s trying his luck with a plethora of other girls at the same time and is just waiting to see which one bites first.
3 Promising: He’d Like To Meet Up (After A Reasonable Amount Of Time)
Naturally, it’s good news for you if talking to him is going well and then he tells you that he wants to meet up in person. There are a lot of timewasters out there, so the fact that he’s actually willing to set a date to meet up shows that he has at least a little more promise.
If he wants to meet up too quickly after you first start talking, though, it might not be as positive a sign. Waiting a bit of time, until you're both comfortable getting together, is a good sign he's looking for an actual connection and not something else.
2 Red Flag: Being Vague About Personal Details
Our generation has grown up being taught to stay safe online and not reveal certain information to people we don’t know in the digital world. But when it comes to online dating, you have to be willing to put yourself out there a little bit.
Most people who download dating apps understand that there are things about themselves they have to disclose in order to attract a potential love interest. So it’s not a good sign if he’s beings super vague about himself. Since revealing basic information is the norm, his reluctance to follow suit could mean that he has something to hide.
1 Promising: Conversation That Flows Easily
It can be really tricky to talk to someone new, especially if you’re more introverted than extroverted. So it’s always a good sign if you’ve matched with someone on a dating app and you find them easy to talk to.
They get your humor, you get theirs, they follow up what you say with questions, you naturally know how to respond to the things they say, and you flow together effortlessly in conversation. First dates are always a little awkward, but chances are it will be a lot less awkward if you enjoy talking to each other online already, so consider this a green light!