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“Good night, sweet angel,” he texts you, just before you turn off your phone for the night. You’ve found Mr. Perfect. Sure, he’s an online boyfriend who lives halfway across the world, but he’s the best guy who’s ever come into your life.
Or is he?
Online Dating Is More Popular Than Ever Before
More and more people are meeting their significant other online these days. This is probably due to the number of dating sites and dating apps available, which makes it much easier to find your potential happy ever after.
However, with that increased use of online dating comes an increased risk that you’ll come across a shady character who is not exactly what he makes himself out to be.
Not every guy you meet online will be a player. In fact, some great guys are just so shy that finding a date online is a necessity.
Many very nice guys are just painfully shy when meeting new people. In some cases this borders on clinical social anxiety disorder. There are some tips for talking to strangers, but dating is something else altogether.
However, when they have an opportunity to introduce themselves to a girl through the safety of the internet, those girls get to know their personality first, making the first date go more smoothly.
Unfortunately, through a combination of hormones and immaturity, there are some guys who transform the system into one where they try to convince just about any girl to go on a date with them. This has led to a situation where the different sexes have different experiences of online dating.
Here are the red flags you should keep an eye out for to spot a guy who’s trying to pull a fast one on you. The following tips are some of the techniques online “players” use. Study them, and when you spot them, keep your guard up.
1. He’s Funny and Oh So Poetic
Most girls seem to love a guy with a good sense of humor. For those individuals, all it takes is a witty remark or flirty jesting to make a girl smile and break down those defensive shields around her heart.
This is difficult to accomplish in person, because it requires quick thinking and perfect timing. However, in a message on a dating app, a guy can think for several minutes before typing a reply.
How to spot him: Every joke he makes is extremely funny. He never misses an opportunity to show off his wit, but his responses are rarely quick. Seriously, time him. You’ll see.
2. He Talks About His Sister/Niece/Puppy All the Time
Animals are well known for attracting potential dates. Walk a puppy across a college campus, and you’ll see what we mean.
Why is this the case? Well, any guy who can express his love for a puppy becomes more attractive to some women (especially women dreaming about starting a family).
John Grogan, the author of Marley & Me, explained that after he wrote his book, he was suddenly approached by the sort of women who never would have given him a second glance before. In an op-ed on Men’s Health, Grogan wrote:
“…it’s all about the dog—and what that tells women: A man who can love, and be loved by, a dog is a man they can trust, a man with good odds of being decent and sincere and in touch with the soft center beneath the hardened shell.”
A player knows that this is a weakness nearly all women have. An online player manipulates that weakness skillfully. He’ll often describe how close he is to his dog, his little sister, or his young niece.
Hot to spot him: When the subject often returns to one of these hot topics, it means he’s constantly probing for your weak spot. If he does it too often, you’ve got an online player on your hands.
3. He Gets You Coming and Going
There is a quote from The Great Hand Book of Quotes, that states:
“Plant a good seed in people who have fertile hearts. When you are away, they’ll miss you. When you are coming again, they can’t wait!”
Every male player knows that the only way to grow the tree of desire in your heart is to plant a seed and water it often.
How this plays out online takes time and dedication. He’ll text you first thing in the morning so that he’s the first thing you think about. He’ll text you a sweet “good night” message just before you go to sleep so he’s the last thing you think about.
He may even be so clever as to learn your work schedule through conversation, and text you the moment you get home.
If done in a way that isn’t too intrusive in your schedule, this online personality will ease his way into every aspect of your day – even your lunch break and your train ride home.
Hot to spot him: Impeccable timing with messages. Short messages throughout the day. He may even drag you into all-night texting sessions.
4. He’s Done Everything
You mention rock climbing. He claims he’s a repelling expert, with hairraising stories to boot. You mention you’ve taken some photography classes, and he announces he’s an expert photographer with $15,000 worth of camera equipment.
You name it, he’s done it.
The rule of thumb is if he sounds too good to be true—if every one of your interests seem to mesh so perfectly into his—it’s probably not true.
Reality is usually far from perfect. Some core interests may align, but not usually all. And if he’s only 20- or 30-something, the odds are also pretty good he hasn’t had time to become an “expert” in that many things.
Hot to spot him: The “player” technique here is called “mirroring”. The online player is skilled at recognizing your “likes” and making sure to convince you that he has a lot to offer you in all of those areas.
5. He Uses Sexual Innuendo
The last move a guy usually makes while chatting with you online will be the sexual innuendo.
This will come at a point in the conversation where he believes you’ve developed a certain level of trust and attraction to him. It’ll usually start off small:
Man: “What what are you up to?”
Woman: “Oh, just laying in bed watching TV.”
Man: “Ooooh, what are you wearing? ;-)”
It’s written humorously, but it’s a passive way to test the waters to see if you’re potentially open to having more intimate or risque conversations.
Hot to spot him: The skilled “player” uses very subtle flirtations, first dipping his toes into your pool and checking to see if the water is warm. This can be a normal behavior in many relationships, but if it happens too often (and too early) then you know there’s a problem.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Online Dating
The idea here isn’t to make you mistrust every single guy you meet online. There are a lot of wonderful men out there looking for love, just like you are.
These tips are offered only to help you identify and avoid the players. There’s nothing wrong with online dating, but there’s no place for naivety when you’re opening your heart to a stranger.