“To find a prince, you gotta kiss some toads.” ~Foxy Brown
Whether you’re recently divorced and “getting back out there” or you’re just single and looking, you’ve probably considered online dating at one time or another. And if you’re considering it now, this post is for you. It’s all about the current state of the online dating community – from stats to news to what’s working and what’s not. Plus, how you can avoid getting involved with toxic narcissist as you get back into dating after recovering from a toxic relationship.
If you’ve been with a narcissist in the past, you’re going to want to know exactly how to avoid them on dating sites before you jump in, right? Here’s exactly what you need to know to a narcissist’s dating profile on an online dating site or a dating app.
The stigma that was once associated with online dating is completely gone. As late as 2005, people were embarrassed to say they met online because so many people had a problem with it. Now, the majority of Americans feel like it’s a positive way to meet a mate.
Approximately 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. have used an online dating service or dating app at some point.
An estimated 66% of them have gone on at least one date with someone they met through a dating site.
People of all ages are meeting their dates online.
Some statistics, according to Pew Research:
People in their mid-20s through mid-40s are among the largest groups of online daters.
Some 22% of 25-34-year-olds and 17% of 35-44-year-olds have used an online dating site or mobile dating app.
45-54-year-olds are just as likely to date online as 18-24-year-olds
8% of 45-54-year-olds and 10% of 18-24-year-olds are online daters.
Middle-aged adults are described as a “thin dating market,” meaning that they have a relatively limited number of available partners within their immediate social circles.
9% of seniors aged 55 and up are on dating sites.
Only two-thirds of the people who are active on online dating sites have actually met someone in person.
Does this mean that a third of the fish in the online dating sea is of the ‘Catfish’ variety?
22 percent of online daters have had help creating their profiles. Just something to consider before you go all “love at first profile view” on anyone’s ass.
5 percent of all Americans in marriages or committed relationships, and 12 percent of those who married or met within the past five years, are reportedly thanks to having met online. That means that 95 percent of Americans met their spouse OFFLINE. Is this a telling statistic or just a simple fact? Time will tell, I guess.
Marrying someone you meet online could mean a happier, longer relationship.
On the plus side, a marriage between two people who met online is statistically more likely to succeed. Research shows that 6% of people who marry after meeting online break up, compared to 7.6% of people who found their spouse offline. These couples are also happier. A study found that the mean happiness index for couples who got together offline was 5.48, as compared to 5.64 for those who met in cyberspace.
Online dating scams are still happening every day.
In 2011, there were nearly 6,000 online dating scams REPORTED. Just imagine how many went untold – and there was reportedly more than $50 million stolen by online dating scammers.
Women (especially those over 40) are more likely to be targeted than men, for both scams and inappropriate contact.
Seventy percent of the online dating complaints made in 2011 involved women and more than half were 40 or older.
Men are still pigs online.
Maybe more so than in person. 42% of women reported feeling uncomfortable with unwanted contact via a dating site compared to 17% of men.
Nudes, dick pics, and unsolicited booty calls are the norm.
Can we talk about the dick pics? Anyone who is dating in the 21st century has received a dick pic or a nude, right? And even many couples who married before the whole dick pic thing was a thing admit to sending sexy snapshots to one another.
“So-called ‘dick pics’ in general have become an increasingly popular fad, especially for millennials,” according to data published in 2017 by YouGov Omnibus, which included the following dick-pic statistics, among others.
27% of millennial men have sent a “dick pic” to a woman, 24% without being asked.
34% of millennial men have been asked by a woman to send one.
53% of millennial women have received dick pics
78% of those received an unwanted dick pic
69% received dick pics by request.
1/3 of 35 to 54-year-olds have been sent dick pics
8% of those over the age of 55 also reported getting nudes by text.
5 Warning Signs Your Online Crush is a Scammer
You know that old saying, “with the sweet, comes the sour?” Well, that’s the case with online dating.
While it’s totally true that online dating has made it easier to find love, with such technology also comes a new way for shady types to run scams. If you’re considering online dating, it’s important to educate yourself about scams that, unfortunately, have become all too common.
Keep these important tips in mind when using online dating sites:
1. Know what a fake online dating profile looks like.
Fake online profiles can be an indication of a scam. It’s important to pay attention to all of the information a person posts online.
Fake profiles can include false names, incorrect ages, and stolen photographs. They can also include fake data about past relationships and education.
Fake profiles aren’t always easy to spot on online dating sites. Pay particular attention to inconsistencies. For example, a profile with a weight of 50 pounds doesn’t make sense with a height of six feet. Other clues can appear if you start searching for the data online.
ONLINE DATING HACK: Check the photos first! Use Google’s reverse image search or an app to see if the photos in a profile belong to someone else.
2. Make sure your crush is who they claim to be and not some scammer.
We’ve all heard stories of how a man or woman was swindled out her their life savings by some online asshole. Protect yourself!
Watch for basic grammar and spelling mistakes that make a person sound like English isn’t their first language (unless they admit that info upfront, obvs.).
An occasional typo shouldn’t scare you, but a profile filled with grammar and spelling mistakes needs to be approached carefully. It may be an indication of a foreign scam because they don’t understand the language well.
ONLINE DATING FYI: One of the most common scams on online dating websites is a person claiming to be from one country but actually living in another one – such as Nigeria, which actually has entire call centers dedicated to scamming people online.
3. Don’t give up your info too easily.
Be careful about sharing personal data. You probably know you shouldn’t give out banking information, but other data is important as well. Avoid mentioning your home address, phone numbers, your mother’s maiden name, and other information. Criminals can use this data in multiple ways.
HEADS UP! A common scam involves a tragic or sad story that makes you feel sorry for the person. Then, they ask you for help and tend to request large sums of money immediately. The stories differ, but they often involve a sick grandparent or dying uncle. This scam plays on your compassion to make you give money out of pity.
5. Don’t leave the dating website until you’ve done your due diligence.
Don’t let them demand that you communicate in any other way. If they have bad intentions, this will allow more direct access to you without the protection of anonymity. Once they get you off the site and get access to your private contact information, they could begin to pump you for information that they can use to hurt you or steal from you.
SCAM ALERT: Another scam involves you emailing or calling the person you meet online. Be careful about moving communication away from the original dating website.
Scammers will often ask you to provide personal email addresses and phone numbers. They may also ask you to video chat or send instant messages.
Another scam involves pushy requests to meet you in person.
It takes time to get to know a person online and ensure the interactions are real.
Avoid jumping too quickly into personal communication away from the website.
For your own safety, it’s important not to give in to pressure to make the relationship serious before you’re ready.
Are you ready to date after going through narcissistic abuse recovery? After being in a toxic relationship with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder or narcissistic traits, you may be feeling a whole, confusing spectrum of emotions. You might be struggling with fear of running into another narcissist, or fear of being rejected. You might feel old, or out of practice. You might even feel excited and ready – and everything in between.
But as long as you feel pretty comfortable in your codependency recovery, it might just be a good time to get back out there and start dating again Still, dating post-narcissist is a little more complicated in certain ways.
Why Dating Again After Narcissistic Abuse is Hard
In this video, I’ll explain exactly how and why dating after narcissistic abuse can be difficult at times.
Bottom Line: Have Fun, Be Smart and Find Your Soulmate (or your Hookup – I’m not judging you!) Online dating can be a fun adventure, but it’s important to have realistic expectations. Be cautious. Predators also use online dating. Like your mother told you – be safe out there.
“If you kiss on the first date and it’s not right, then there will be no second date. Sometimes it’s better to hold out and not kiss for a long time. I am a strong believer in kissing being very intimate, and the minute you kiss, the floodgates open for everything else.” ~Jennifer Lopez
So, you’ve recovered from narcissistic abuse and now you’re looking for love. Maybe you’re just looking for something fun for now – or, you’ve been single long enough and you want something more…permanent?
In any case, if you’re not dating online, there are lots of ways to go about finding new people to date – for example, maybe you’re meeting plenty of potential dates in clubs, stores, bars, church – aka “in-person” meetings.
But if not, maybe you’re looking for love elsewhere – at work, in the neighborhood? Or maybe, you’re finally ready to get set up by a friend or a family member.
Should you let your friends or family members ‘fix you up’ with a date?
Even though we’re deluged with dating ads from companies like PlentyOfFish, Harmony, and Match.com, there are advantages to meeting people through family and friends.
Looking for Love? This one’s for you.
Like I said, online dating sites exist and they do work. They are capable of helping you find thousands of people you would be unlikely to come across in your daily life – I happen to know a lot of married couples who’ve met that way, and there’s not one thing wrong with it. You just have to be careful, and I mean REALLY careful.
Interesting fact: 1/3 of recently married couples met online. My only other advice on that one is don’t spend too much money on it (but then you know me, I’m a cheap-skate!). But if you’re looking for something a little more traditional, you might want to consider getting set up by your friends or family members – or maybe even a co-worker.
After all, the people closest to you might have some pretty valuable insight into who would be a compatible partner for you. Here are seven strategies to get your friends to set you up on a successful date (that really works!).
Get the Hookup: 7 Surefire Strategies to Get Your Friends to Set You Up on a Successful Date
Advertise your availability.
Taking out a billboard would be extreme, but it’s okay to let your loved ones know you want to meet new suitors. That way, they can be on the lookout for you.
Let go of expectations.
We’re often unclear about how to build a lasting relationship. Relax and enjoy each other’s company on a date. If you’re compatible, the chemistry may emerge gradually.
Talk face to face.
Getting together for a cup of coffee beats texting when it comes to forming a more accurate impression of someone. Focus on real-world interactions.
Etiquette matters. It’s even more important when you have mutual friends. Smile, make eye contact and speak kindly.
Decide on a second date.
The only thing you need to figure out on most first dates is whether you would like to see each other at least one more time. If you find someone appealing, let them know.
A happy relationship is worth searching for if that’s what you want. And who better than your friends to help you find the right person. Even if a date does not work out, let your friends know you’re grateful for the connection anyway and that you’re still looking so they’ll keep sharing their contacts. Read about relationships and communication skills so you’ll be ready for love wherever you encounter it.
“Real love is more than a physical feeling. If there’s even the slightest doubt in your head about a guy, then forget about it. It’s not real.” ~Ethan Embry
Are you asking yourself if your online boyfriend is a fake? If so, you’re not alone–and if she’s single, divorced, or widowed, your mom might be there too.
There are 54,250,000 single people in the United States today, according to online dating statistics released by StatisticBrain, and more than 41 million of them admit that they’ve tried online dating. It’s how one in three are meeting their spouses these days – and the online dating industry raked in more than $1.2 BILLION last year. Yeah, you read that right. Billion.
Though online dating is more common than ever and given that nearly 20 percent of marriages in just the last year reportedly started out as online relationships, getting involved with someone you met online can be a risky venture. As is evident by the popularity of the MTV hit reality show, Catfish (not to mention the movie that sparked the show), there are plenty of weirdos, creeps, and scammers out there – not to mention narcissists, who absolutely love dating sites.
A disturbing trend in online dating: ‘catfish’ going after lonely women over 40.
Today, we’re focusing on the most dangerous kind of online boyfriend: toxic love scammers. You know the type–he’s the totally fake one who has no intention of really being with you. This kind of “boyfriend” is nothing more than a user, a taker, and someone who wants you only for what you can give them (usually, it involves plenty of cold, hard cash).
Your friends and family can see it–and they tell you all about it. But you feel like they just don’t understand, and you get defensive. Alternatively, you keep quiet about your online affair, telling only your very close friends, if anyone at all.
Is your online boyfriend a fake? How a toxic love scammer finds you
Scammers love hunting their victims via email and through various social media sites via private message. It’s a sneaky way to get their message to you in a seemingly personal and almost intimate way. There are a few fairly standard formulas, of course, but it usually looks something like this
Scam Alert: Love at First Profile Stalk
They usually claim to be from a foreign country and they’re often (at least in my case) hitting up the wrong sex/sexuality. That is, I’m always getting “French girls” and “Filipinas” who claim to have fallen hard for me after seeing my profile on some random social media site.
Then there are the dudes who follow a similar formula but they usually claim to be Italian or some kind of African, though this varies. A fairly notable percentage of these guys are actually working in call centers aimed at scamming people out of their hard-earned money.
Are you the target of an online love scam?
Profile stalkers tend to seek people who are (or appear to be) lonely or desperate for love. Those who are most vulnerable are generally women who may appear to have low self-esteem. The scammers count on the fact that they are starving for love so that they’re willing to allow themselves to fall for these “sweet talkers” who eventually intend to take everything they’ve got. And if they manage to bleed their victims dry, they’ll suddenly disappear without a word, eager to get started on the next affair/scam.
Who falls for this crap? A profile of the average victim
If you put all the victims in a database and creates your own Weird Science-type person out of the average of all factors and demographics of said victims, she might look something like this.
Single, divorced, or widowed
Lonely (or appears to be lonely)
Insecure about her age, body, looks, or all three
Empty nester or soon will be – maybe even a grandma
May not be very internet savvy
Doesn’t keep up with social media news
Upper-middle-class with healthy savings (or at least access to money/credit)
Because our victim is so seemingly happy in her station (but secretly insecure and thirsty for acceptance, love, closeness, intimacy, etc.), she allows herself to overlook the apparent clues that seem so glaring to those around her. Inside her head, she’s still a woman, after all–doesn’t she deserve to feel loved and treasured?
It feels good, knowing someone might love her, though she may secretly fear meeting him because she might not be as beautiful in person as in photos, or what if he thinks she looks too old/fat/poor/whatever else she worries about?
So her own fear of loss, embarrassment, and rejection, coupled with her inability to give up that “drug” of his attention (because that’s what it feels like when she talks to him…like she’s high on life) adds up to a certain amount of manipulation material for the “love of her life”–and he totally uses all of that to his advantage.
Top Two Signs Your Online Boyfriend is a Fake: It’s all about love and money.
He Tells You He Loves You Way Too Soon–And Before You Ever Meet In Person
He’s a smooth operator, and if he’s a little choppy with his English or doesn’t understand basic cultural references, you write it off to personality quirks–you might even find it cute.
That’s because part of what these guys do is play on the emotions of vulnerable women who just want to be loved. So, as any manipulator does, these guys will get their hooks into a woman the easy way–by playing on her weaknesses. That’s why, in order to create some kind of loyalty and sense of obligation in his victim, a love scammer will spit out the L word way too soon.
For example, the story of Jodi Bourgeois, who fell for a scammer initially.
“He was very good with words,” Bourgeois told the Huffington Post. “Some of the emails he sent me were unbelievable. I showed them to my friends and they were like, ‘Oh my god, he’s so romantic. He’s wonderful’.”
But when Garic, who had started telling her he loved her within a week and talked marriage within a month, asked her for money the first time, Bourgeois said it was like somebody punched her in the gut. He had promised an in-person meeting during a business trip to London but couldn’t make it happen without her giving him $1800. She refused, but sensed what was coming next.
“When it started coming up [more often], I was pulling back a little bit. I started getting a feeling,” she said. Eventually, she ended the relationship. She never gave him any money, but she still mourns the relationship she thought she had.
He Asks You For Money
Imagine this. He always has an excuse as to why he can’t meet you in person. Usually, all he needs is a little more money and then, he swears, you will be together…forever…
If he actually gets any cash from you, he’ll suddenly be madly, desperately, deeply in love with you. He makes plans to visit but never actually shows up. Often, he cancels at the last minute and makes outrageous excuses. And again, all he needs is a little more money so he can “come home to you.”
Personal Advice from QB: Do not ever, ever, ever send money to any man you meet online. Especially if you haven’t ever met them in person.
Women Who Got Love Scammed
Debbie Best’s story is one that personifies the stereotype. Best is described as “a 50-year-old residential habilitation trainer and employment specialist from Butte, Montana, found herself the unwitting victim of an online dating scam.”
“The man she thought was a long-distance boyfriend in Florida tricked her out of her money, her credit card information and her heart,” writes The Huffington Post‘s Anthonia Akitunde, adding that Best’s scammer appeared to be “part of a larger crime syndicate based in Africa, and that his profile is used in ‘many different areas around the country.’
Her story is almost a word-for-word stereotype. Take, for example, the story of how the man systematically began to groom Best and pull her into his web, published along with Akitunde’s commentary, partially quoted above.
“Two months into our relationship, he told me he was going to take his savings of $700,000 to the United Kingdom to buy some antiques and have them shipped back to the United States so they can be sold at auction. We were planning to meet some time after that. I got a phone call from him; he told me he had got some nice antiques and that he was going to Nigeria to buy some more things. And that’s when things kind of went to hell.
Another typical story comes from 51-year-old divorcee Mary Wheaton, who did lose money to her online love scammer.
“He told Wheaton that customs agents at the airport seized his cash,” writes Katie Bindley. “He said his daughter wasn’t feeling well and that he just wanted to get her someplace safe, so Wheaton says she wired him $2,000 to pay for his hotel room for two weeks. Then he needed $5,000 for legal fees. Wheaton felt that Slyd’s story didn’t add up: He asked for money to buy plane tickets to fly from Spain to Michigan, but why hadn’t he purchased round trip tickets in the first place?”
This is how you recognize a narcissist’s dating profile on an online dating site or a dating app.
More Signs Your Online Boyfriend is a Fake: What Former Victims of Online Love Scams Say
A support group for victims of online love scams has compiled a really thorough and specific list of tell-tale signs that your online boyfriend is a fake–in this case, a Nigerian scammer.
Their first ten tips:
– Their profile picture looks professionally done and can be found on a modeling website FocusHawaii.com, NewFaces.com, Q6.com, TheModelMax.com, BlackCuties.com, PerspectivePhotography.com to name a few
– Their height/weight is not proportional -e.g. 6′ and 95 lbs
– They claim to have blonde hair and blues eyes when the picture is dark hair and brown eyes or vice versa
– They have a wedding ring on the photo yet they claim to be single
– They claim to be Native American or some other ethnicity when the photo is Caucasian
– They claim to be older/younger than the photo looks
– Their specified age range seems to have no limit-e.g. 25-60
– They have weird usernames containing “4real” or “4luv”
– Their first names are also weird, like Martins, Williams, Kevins, Waynes, etc… (instead of Martin, William, Kevin, Wayne)
– The women names are often misspelled, like Jenifer instead of Jennifer, Ashly instead of Ashley, or Marry instead of Mary.
Are you the victim of an online predator? Take this test and find out now
Ever been in a social situation where you desperately want to participate in whatever’s happening, but you just can’t bring yourself to break out of your shell and do it?
This happened to me a year or so ago. While I’m generally pretty extroverted, I have my introvert moments.
In my situation, I was at a work-related function with several co-workers at a local karaoke bar. I had decided not to have drinks that night as I was driving myself home–and I’m pretty sure I was the only one who was stone-cold sober, not that it should matter–but that night, it made me feel a bit excluded.
While I really wanted to get up and sing and dance with my co-workers and friends, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was so disappointed in myself, and I came home feeling really sad because I felt that I’d missed out on an opportunity to have a lot of fun.
Maybe I was too worried about what they’d think of me, or I was feeling shy–or maybe I was just having an off-day. Whatever the cause, I decided that night that I needed to develop coping strategies for these occasional introverted moments.
Are you an introvert who is looking to expand your horizons?
Maybe you’d like a more active social life, or maybe you secretly envy a friend or coworker who makes being friendly and open look effortless.
Or, maybe you’re a diehard introvert and have no desire to change. There’s nothing wrong with that–and if that’s the case, you’re probably already clicking away to a new post.
But some introverts long to be comfortable in social situations and enjoy a richer social life or to be more aggressive in advancing professionally–and this post is for those people.
While change can be hard, especially the change from introvert to extrovert, it’s worth it in the long run.
You might have to fake it ’til you make it at first, but with a little persistence, being extroverted can become second nature to you.
What’s true of social styles is true of most things: when trying to attain a goal, you might find a certain degree of motivation and resistance in your way.
Try thinking of the motivation as the motor in your boat and the resistance as the wave you’re trying to power over. If you can reduce the size of the waves, the journey is much easier. Try these tips to help you get started.
Polish up those social skills.
Many introverts would be thrilled to be part of group social activities if they only felt comfortable about what to say and how to behave. But having a conversation with a stranger and feeling comfortable about it is something that anyone can learn to do.
The key is to attend these social events repeatedly, then evaluate yourself. Strive for progress, not perfection.
Remember to only compare your results to your previous results, not to the results of other people. Consider that perhaps they’ve had a lot more practice, or have been in environments that helped them cultivate those skills.
Expand your circles.
If you’ve largely kept to yourself for the last 10 years, you’re going to have to brainstorm. Ideally, seek out people who share the same interests. Join a basketball team at the YMCA. Join a book club. Use the online personals and say, “Hey, I’m just looking for a new friend.” (But be careful and smart about this kind of stuff–don’t trust anyone too quickly.)
There are plenty of lonely people who would love to have a friend or activity partner. You might even meet another introvert like yourself, and you can learn the ropes together and share a lot of mirth about it along the way! And there are plenty of active social groups that would love to have another person.
Try “real life” once in awhile.
I do a lot of my work online, part of which involves social media platforms. But I also make time for my family and friends in “real life” as often as I can.
See, as much as it can feel like it, socializing online is not the same as socializing with real people. In fact, studies have shown that the users that spend the most time on sites like Facebook report the highest levels of loneliness.
So, make it a point to unplug and get out there whenever you can. Ten years from now you’ll remember the canoe trip you took, not the online chat you had.
You’ll also find that if you have more meaningful relationships in the “real world,” you’ll have far less interest in spending time online.
Be brave–it doesn’t hurt, I promise.
People are almost universally lousy at assessing risk and reward. Consider the amount of fear the average man has just walking up to a beautiful woman and saying ‘hello’.
What’s the risk, really? Chances are, he will be safe pretty much regardless of what her response happens to be. And what’s the potential reward? Nearly unlimited.
Almost all of us are uncomfortable in similar situations. Sometimes you can gain a lot by stepping back and intellectually examining your feelings. Then you can go ahead and do the thing that frightens you.
After experiencing a few “failures,” you’ll quickly learn that it’s not unlike being afraid of the dark. When you turn on the light, there’s nothing there.
Being a lifelong introvert doesn’t mean your social future is set in stone. Changing yourself is always a little uncomfortable, but if you believe you can change, you’re halfway there.
Focus on all the benefits you’ll receive and the ways in which your life will improve. Even if you take small steps, as long as you continue, you can accomplish almost anything over time.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How do you feel about it? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.