Biggest Red Flags When Using Online Dating Apps

Person Using a Dating App - Red Alert Warning

Online dating apps are a great way to meet new people, find true love, or secure a date for the weekend. While there is a true blessing in the ability to meet someone new in just minutes, all from the convenience of your device, there also comes the task of searching through a large sea of profiles to find the right person!

You probably already know this, but there are a TON of singles out there with profiles that are less than ideal. You are going to spend a lot more time swiping left than right. It’s just the nature of the game.

So in order to maximize your time and minimize the energy you put into viewing dud profile bios and photos, we have put together a list of the biggest red flags when using online dating apps! We hope this can streamline your vetting process and save you some time as you search for the right singles online!

#1: They Say They Are “Not Looking for Drama”

If someone states on their dating profile that they are not interested in any drama, you can bet your last dollar that they love drama and, in fact, thrive on it! This is one of those red flags that we see get brought up time and again in online message forums between dating app users commiserating their experiences.

Many recount stories of someone saying they were not looking for drama in the relationship, but they ended up being the biggest instigators of drama or would put themselves in certain scenarios where drama was bound to occur.

#2: Sarcasm is Important to Them

We have also seen a lot of warnings about profiles where singles have an unhealthy obsession with using sarcasm. In many cases, the user will more or less state that sarcasm is an important part of who they are and what they value in a partner. It is usually followed up with them saying that if you cannot accept this about them that things probably will not work out.

This was another one of those cases where people shared personal accounts. They shared that singles who hold sarcasm on this pedestal were often times verbally abusive and simply looking for someone who would never disagree with them. Holding sarcasm up as a high virtue in an online dating profile, we found, could be a strong indicator of an abrasive personality!

#3: They Are Overly Negative

If the person you are talking to is overly negative or speaks in a way that shows they are full of bitterness, this is a good warning to sign to move to greener pastures. Meeting someone new is about fun, possibilities, and excitement. Negativity is a total buzzkill and can undo a lot of things great expectations you might have when you are meeting someone online for the first time.

#4: They Use Bad Grammar

This can be a big dealbreaker for some singles, especially when it comes to how their profile bios are written or how someone speaks through messaging on the app. It can also be really annoying for people who are sticklers about punctuation, clauses, and such.

Bad grammar can make a person come across as uneducated, lacking self-awareness, or just plain lazy.

This is why it is important to read over anything you write before you send it out to someone. It can seem trivial or even a little bit petty, but the use of proper grammar is important to more people than one would think!

#5: They Use Cliches

These are just a few of the tired cliches that you will find on thousands of dating app profiles, and they are all smack of unoriginality. Cliches do nothing to make a user’s profile stand out in the sea of other singles. And some of these cliches are so commonly used and overdone that they have gotten to the point that they do not mean anything anymore! A lot of dating app users are going to take one look at a profile that is riddled with these cringey, overdone phrases and swipe left.

  • “I’m looking for my partner in crime.”
  • “Good vibes only.”
  • “I love having fun in my spare time.”
  • “I want someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.”
  • “I’m not interested in playing games.”

#6: They Are Hesitant to Meet Up

Have you ever met someone online, and when you push to meet them face-to-face in real life, they pull out every excuse in the book to avoid seeing you? This is one of the bigger red flags when it comes to using online dating apps. The best case scenario is that you are dealing with a legit user, and they are hesitant to meet because they might be shy or embarrassed about something like their appearance. The worst-case scenario is that you are detailing with a catfish who is either trying to get money or toy around with your emotions for fun.

#7: They Get Aggressive with Messaging

Have you ever been messaging someone online and noticed that they are super aggressive when it comes to the kind of messages they send and how frequently they send them? Aggressive messaging is one of those red flags that are not difficult to spot.

Here are some of the most common examples:

  • They will send messages that go on for several paragraphs, telling you things like their entire life story or chronicling injustices done to them by their ex.
  • They might send a series of rapid-fi messages all in the span of a minute or even less. An entire message is broken into three or four separate messages, and all are delivered one after another. It’s exactly like the long message but just broken up.
  • They are really quick at getting back to your message. A little too quick. Scary quick.
  • If they have been waiting on a response from you, they might send you several messages demanding to know why you haven’t answered them. These messages can begin off innocent enough but can become increasingly paranoid.

#8: Their Dating Bio is Underdeveloped

If there is little information posted in the profile bio, this can be another sign of a dating profile to pass up. An undeveloped profile is quite common with people who create fake profiles to lure or dupe others. It could also be the sign of a lazy individual who didn’t put any effort into their account. It can be difficult to tell which is which, but it’s not going to be easy for viewers to just swipe left too!

#9: No Photos on Their Profile

This can be a clear sign of a catfish, a spam account, or a fake profile. Why wouldn’t you post a picture to your online dating profile? Unless you have something to hide, this should not be a problem. In fact, many dating apps out there allow users to post pictures straight from their devices or from their Facebook accounts. The process is purposely made easy for convenience’s sake.

The most innocent thing that this could be is someone who took laziness to the next level or someone who is not tech-savvy (that is a real stretch, though). Or you could be dealing with someone who doesn’t like the way they look and they don’t have the confidence to put a picture of themselves out there.

#10: One Photo (More Like One and Done)

While one photo is way better than no photo, posting one photo can come off as incredibly lazy. It will leave a lot of online singles wondering, “He/she couldn’t have put a little more effort into this?”

#11: Using Stock Photos for a Profile

Then you have the dating app users who post stock photos on their profiles. This is the person who posts a photo of the American flag with a Bible verse alongside it. Or they will post a picture of the Chicago skyline because they hail from the Windy City. Maybe they are into football, so their profile photo is the Steelers’ logo or their very own Terrible Towel.

Basically, they post anything and everything but a photo of themselves!

Watch out for profiles like these. It is immediately suspicious that they do not feel the need to post photos of themselves. It could come from a place of being insecure about looks. Or it could be the sign of a catfish or a fake profile. Either way, it is probably best to swipe left or keep looking.

#12: Photos That Are Misleading

Have you ever visited someone’s dating profile and noticed that they take only photos of their face and not their body? Do you have someone who posts a lot of group photos, and you have to try and figure out which one is them? Or have you ever seen a photo that is taken at an odd angle to make someone look shorter or taller than they really are?

These are all examples of someone who misled the viewer with their profile photos. In nearly all cases, these are attempts to hide something about the way they look. If they are being deceptive with you now, who knows what else they will be deceptive with in the future?

#13: Excessive Use of Photo Filters

When singles meet each other on online dating apps, they want to see other singles for who they truly are. Filters can be great for generating more interest around a picture, but they should be used sparingly. And there are plenty of dating profiles out there where every single photo is run through some sort of filter.

Man Showing Before and After Using Photo Filter
Woman Showing Before and After Using Photo Filter

Although it might not be the user’s intent, filters can add a layer of deception or artificiality to profile photos. This can be a major turn-off for a lot of singles. A filtered photo here and there is not bad, but a profile that has no unfiltered photos might come across as fake or immature.

#14: Dating Profile Images That Are Bad Quality

Posting photos that aren’t focused right or sloppily cropped does not reflect well on the individual who posted the photo. It is going to leave singles thinking, “This photo? Really?” Make sure that any photo you post to your profile is clear, in focus, and taken at a good angle.

A bad photo could be a dealbreaker for some singles!

#15: Photos With Possible Competition

The reason you are using a dating app in the first place is that you are single and you are looking to meet new people. It is never a good look to post a picture of you with an ex or with someone who could possibly be mistaken as a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, or a possible love interest. People are going to take one good look at your profile photo and swipe left. No one is really interested in trying to compete for your attention (at least this early on in the game).