Online Dating: Are You Catfish-Proof?

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A growing number of people are content to look for (and have found) love online. Usually initial contact is followed by brief flirting and later back and forth contact via social media. Eventually plans are to meet face to face and things progress from there.

Yet for others, the last step which brings online contact to offline relationship never happens. Instead, individuals get entangled in a love affair with an idea rather than a person. They pin their hopes on a photograph and text on a screen, never dreaming that they are actually being strung along by a troll.

In short, these people have been "catfished".

The term is born from the movie and MTV television show. Often the television show embarrasses poor gullible souls who find out the hard way that they should have engaged in a bit more background checking.

Much of the time the persons they meet look nothing like they claim and are unrepentant narcissistic personality types. How charming.

Do you want to waste valuable time in an online "relationship" that doesn't pay off? Of course not!

Here are a few helpful tips to help you avoid falling into the dreaded catfish-trap of online dating:

1.) Don't Talk To Anyone Without A Webcam It's amazing how much drama you can avoid by simply refusing to chat to anyone whose personal appearance you can't immediately identify. Instead of trying to build an online relationship with a photo and text on a screen, you can skip to the part where you begin to connect with an actual person.

2.) If You've Never Met...It Isn't True Love. This is a hard pill for some people to swallow, especially with so many connections starting online. However, that's the whole point; the connections start online. What follows are typically in-person meetings and connections at some point.

It doesn't matter how much the person compliments you, bears their soul, or insists that you're the only person they love and that understands them. At a certain point, you need to meet. If a person claims to love you despite never meeting you and hems and haws about meeting you, let it be a sign to move on.

Got other tips to avoid being fooled while trying to date online? Share them below!

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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