The viral popularity of the movie and MTV spin-off series Catfish where Nev Schulman gets to the bottom of suspect romantic bonds forged online, has the rest of the dating world on high alert. And for good reason: without the physical cues present in good, old-fashioned, face-to-face interaction, all you have to go on, both literally and figuratively, is their word.
It’s best to separate the lies from the truth early on so you don’t land yourself in a dangerous situation or regret wasting time with someone who was lying online. When it comes to matters of the heart, whether online or in person, it can be easy to overlook subtle or even more seemingly obvious red flags when in the throes of a promising connection. In order to avoid future dicey or devastating situations, I’m here with four Dating with Dignity signs to look out for to determine whether your online paramour is hiding something:
Absence of Personal Pronouns
Much like crossed arms are a subconscious sign of physical distancing, the online liar can do the same with words. By omitting personal pronouns and most references to himself, he’s distancing himself from his own fabrication.
The Truth-Teller Will… employ “I” and “you” in abundance until eventually it becomes “we.”
Getting a “maybe,” “pretty sure,” or a “perhaps” when trying to make plans with someone you know is irritating enough, but it’s downright suspect when you have yet to meet the…well, suspect. If you’ve been conversing online for some time and have both agreed you feel a connection forming, he should be champing at the bit for the chance to meet you in person.
The Truth-Teller Will… not have any problem committing to opinions, plans, and (hopefully) you!
When someone has created an online persona for themselves, they may have trouble sticking to a consistent jargon or vocabulary that wouldn’t even be a second thought for someone who’s genuine. If you feel like your fella flip-flops between writing styles so much you’re starting to feel like he might be a tad schizophrenic, you might want to cut him off.
The Truth-Teller Will… use a digital jargon and style you recognize as you converse and doesn’t make you feel as though you’re talking to five different people.
Changes in Response
In addition to writing style, become well aware of the guy’s normal response time and verbosity. If someone who’s normally verbose becomes vague, or someone who normally responds promptly goes an unusual amount of time without explaining something, raise that red flag.
The Truth-Teller Will… report on reality rather than concocting an excuse; so barring other day to day distractions, you should receive a reasonable response in no time.