If I used the term ‘catfishing’, ‘kittenfishing’ or ‘breadcrumbing,’ would you have any idea what I am talking about?
For those that do, well I suspect you are a regular user of online dating sites and for those that don’t, well if you are on an online dating site you might want to get up to speed pretty quickly.
‘Catfishing’ involves people using complete fake profiles to take advantage of those online, often for nefarious means such as extorting money or stealing your identity.
‘Kittenfishers,’ whilst not quite as downright nasty, still cause great heartbreak by presenting themselves in a far more flattering light, exaggerating who they are and what they do.
‘Breadcrumbers’ are another group of deceivers who like to send flirty texts to string you along, despite having little to no intention of seriously dating you.
Sadly, those looking for love online can be a very easy ‘mark’ for those who enjoy a little bit of deceit, as when we start chatting with someone who seems interested in us, the neurotransmitters in the brain light up and we quickly get carried away with an image of what that person might be.
For the online dater wanting to protect themselves from making wrong choices, they must draw on the sleuth within, applying as the brilliant Dr Stan Tatkin coined in his wonderful book ‘Wired for Dating’ a Sherlockian use of deductive reasoning and intuition from their interactions.
Online dating can be a very powerful experience, with the excitement of potentially finding love causing the nervous system to be in a state of flux, creating a powerful rush of neuro-chemicals and hormones going through the body.
It creates a ‘love feeling’ can make us vulnerable to those whom perhaps do not have the best of intentions, so whilst there is nothing wrong with enjoying these feelings as long as you have a good awareness that this strong cocktail of “hormones” that is going on inside us.
So how do you put the emotion aside and protect your heart from making poor choices, yet still ensure that you get the maximum value from online dating by finding a good match for you?
The answer is to unleash your super sleuth! Here’s How:
Keeping your feet firmly planted
In life, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. So if you connect with someone online and they seem a little too perfect, well they probably are. So, hold back on releasing too much information about you and ask more questions about them. Trust your instincts and if it does not feel right, then it’s not right, so move on quickly.
Involve people who have your back
If you start to feel that powerful emotion of ‘love’ during your initial interactions it will cloud your judgement, so get a second opinion from a close friend or family member, someone who has always had your back. They will see more clearly as they are not caught up in the infatuation and will quickly raise any ‘red flags.’ If they do, trust them, get some clarity about their thoughts as it can save a lot of heartbreak.
Get your mindset right
When we are in the throes of trying to find the ‘one’ we tend to use the more primitive part of the brain, which can lead to some problems as the lower brain chooses more on love and attraction. So, get your mindset right before you go seeking love and allow some upper brain thinking by using more logic and reasoning when examining if this person is right for you.
Ask yourself the right questions
Online dating is a challenging process and requires solid “smarts” to navigate. This means staying calm, maintaining your focus and not letting yourself get carried away on someone else’s fantasy. So check-in regularly with yourself by asking, do I feel secure? Does this love interest ask questions about me? Are they curious about who I am? Does this feel safe? Do I feel trust? Answering each of these questions will quickly tell you if there is the possibility of a future relationship.
Don’t stay “virtual” for too long
Having super sleuthed your way to finding someone whom you believe you could have a ‘real’ relationship with, then do not waste time by spending weeks messaging backwards and forwards and meet as soon as you can. This will help you get a better read on if you are a good fit for each other and if a real connection can form in the ‘real’ world.
Once you are on a date…
Really observe the potential partner, not in a weird stalking kind of way, be subtle and take this person in with your eyes and watch and notice signs. Look at their eyes, face, smile, posture and how your respond instinctively will help you to formulate how you feel with this person.
Online dating is a wonderful place to meet people and perfect for singles looking for love! You will find a mix of those that are looking for love, looking for fun and everything in between !