How to spot a narcissist online dating

Those days are gone. The con artists of the world have caught on to how easy internet dating makes cheating on their partner, or financially scamming people, and you need to approach the whole thing with an almost unhealthy dose of skepticism. I get that too.


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After I got out of relationship number two, I thought long and hard about what red flags I was missing, and where I was going wrong. Frankly I think the whole debate over whether or not victims attract their abuser is a waste of time. If you are dating online and are over 45, divorced, overweight, have a disability, or give off the impression you have money, you are at an increased risk of being targeted. Like most people, I attract the full range of people, some are creepers, and some are awesome. No matter how much therapy you go through, you will still attract a creeper or a pervy construction worker every now and again.

As you probably know, Narcissists and codependent, or empathic people go together like peanut butter and jelly. There is no mystical woo-woo reason for this, other than nice, understanding, sympathetic people tend to be easily manipulated and suckered in by con artists. Once you start to see signs of bad behavior: You are the CEO of your own life. You choose who stays and who goes. To a Narcissist, high standards and solid boundaries are like garlic to a vampire.

The good news is that all con artists, both Narcissists and online scammers probably because many are Narcissists , tend to work out of the same playbook, and therefore, come with many of the same red flags. Once you know what to look for, avoiding them becomes a lot easier. More often than not the scammer will be the one to email you. One of the first things you might notice about an online scammer is that their language skills seem strange. Many scammers will try to get around this by telling their potential victims that they are from somewhere in Europe, but moved to the United States—which explains their accent, and strange word choice not true , so keep your guard up for this line of hooey.

Their profile has maybe one paragraph, and five pictures. What they are looking for in a potential mate is wide open, as they need to stay flexible enough to be able to morph into what you are looking for. They give a brief rundown of how successful,serious they are about a relationship, religious especially on religious-based dating sites like ChristianMingle. Lately, it seems like a lot of the scammers are claiming to be good-looking not a shocker , engineers, independent contractors, entrepreneurs, or in the Military.

How to Avoid Narcissists (and Other Online Dating Scammers)

That they are a good catch, and 2. That you will believe that they have the money to pay you back once they hit you up for some. As for Military service, most Americans have their guard down when it comes to people who claim to be serving in the Military. Many potential victims want to do all they can to support the troops, especially if this con artist claims they are stationed overseas.

Be on the look out for someone significantly younger than you that is trying to chat you up. The target might feel really flattered at first that this attractive, amazing and seemingly sincere person is so into them, but the more they communicate with this person, the more something seems off—or too good to be true. As a general rule, online dating con artists tend to target people over the age of 45, as they have a larger potential for having more money than a 25 year-old. Men over 45, watch out for sexy women under 27 who are emailing you.

Women, watch out for suave, charming men who have great jobs that are overseas. Wanting to get you off the site. Some sort of geographic challenge. This is the year It is super easy to meet large amounts of people online, and in your local area. If you are being chatted up by someone who seems too good to be true, and lives more than an hour or two away, then something is generally off. Right out of the gate the con artist will come across as flirty and coming on a little too strong. They will say and do all the right things, and shower you with attention.

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They have an accent. They might have told you that they are from another country in order to not have their accent be the red flag it should be. Most of them are smart enough to not say that they are from Africa, but many will claim that they are from Sweden, the UK, or Jamaica. Everything you like and want in your life, they do too! You love to hike and camp? You are a homebody? Never mind that their profile talks about them traveling the world, and doing all these other non-homebody things. You want to start a llama farm and dye them different colors like Easter eggs?

What are the odds?! They get all this info from your profile, from your pictures, and from talking to you at great length. All of this mirroring is done so they can proceed to 10…. Now that they have gathered all this information about you, they begin combining their love bombing with future faking. If you have kids, they want to be a great dad to them; if you are sick, they want to take care of you.

They weave a story of this ideal future full of all the elements that you want—and they want it to start as soon as humanly possible. They will tell you that they want to see you as soon as they return to the country. Targets find themselves really falling head over heels for the scammer, as they seem so sincere, and so ready, willing, and eager to commit.

They really do seem like the perfect person.

Everything about you is exactly what they were looking for. Everything is happening at lightning-fast speed. They will most likely want you to send them sexy pictures, or start talking dirty with them. The goal with rushing intimacy is to get you to feel exactly this way.

How to Avoid Narcissists (and Other Online Dating Scammers) – Thrive After Abuse

You start questioning yourself. Is what you are experiencing strange, or too good to be true? Maybe you just have issues with men? Is this a scam? The younger generation is growing up at an exciting yet terrifying time: We are being conditioned to believe that we are entitled to an unlimited number of choices as we swipe through what is virtually a human meat market. The problem is, the number of choices we have is doing little to assuage the need for fulfilling and meaningful relationships.

Those who are looking for casual dates and sex may be satisfied with the likes of Tinder, one of the most popular dating apps used by singles, but those who are looking for something more meaningful may be traumatized and retraumatized by the number of people who pretend to be looking for a serious relationship while misrepresenting their true intentions.

Studies show that deception is common on these apps, with users creating an illusory image of who they are and what they are looking for, resulting in frustrating romantic encounters Purvis, A digital detox is needed, especially in times like these. Frequent online dating app users may want to take a break from swiping-induced carpal tunnel and spend time alone or with family and friends rather than engaging in serial dating.

Look up from the screen and engage in face-to-face conversations with the people in front of you; the more we interact with others in real life, the more hope we have for connecting with humanity in more authentic ways. Predators can also adapt their profiles to create an image of themselves that appeal to their potential victims; a majority of online dating users have been shown to have profiles that stray from the truth in some capacity Wood, Manage your expectations and listen to your intuition when online.

Remember, immediate intimacy with someone can be a red flag of fast forwarding to get an agenda met. Always put your safety first and try not divulge too much about your income, your career, your relationship history or any other resource a predator might find appealing before getting to know someone. Build connections slowly and organically so that you have the necessary space to step back and reevaluate when needed.

Our current hookup culture and the rise of online dating apps have made emotional unavailability a new normal Garcia, et. Needless to say, the effects of hookup culture can be alarming to the psyche and have a psychological impact on the way that we view relationships and intimacy in the modern age. People can now latch themselves onto the next partner without taking the time to grieve or learn from past mistakes. For those who are looking for something casual and carefree, this can be empowering and exciting.

For those who are looking for a longer-term commitment, however, they may have to sort through many covert manipulators before finding someone who is compatible with their needs and desires. A half-hearted relationship that results in more losses than gains is one where no one wins — except, of course, the person who gets all the benefits of your company without the effort.

Manage your expectations online and realize that there will be many people in cyberspace who will try to get your maximum investment while putting in the minimum effort. The right person who is compatible with you will want what you want — whether you meet them online or in real life. It will be clear — and that will be the relationship that will be worth investing in.

Shahida is the author of Power: She is a staff writer at Thought Catalog. They respond to consequences. You deserve the best and more… so I strongly encourage you to get this book!