Online dating can be a great way to meet guys, and while many are honest in their profiles, there are quite a few who tell a lie – or many – in order to grab your attention now and hope you’ll forgive them for their dishonesty later on. It may be tempting to immediately schedule a date with someone who catches your eye and interest, but you should hold off until you can learn more about him and find out if he’s telling the truth. While there’s never a 100 percent guarantee that the guy is being completely honest, there are several things you can do before your first meeting to help verify that what he’s telling you is the truth.
Ask to talk via email
I once had a guy email me from a “John Doe” email address rather than a real one. A friend told me she had a guy email her after talking for a couple of days and he started talking about how he needed money from her for this and that. Both instances are obviously highly suspicious. If any of these experiences happen to you, immediately stop talking to the guy and send his emails to spam.
Ask for a camera photo
There are several guys who will cut and paste photos from random Facebook profiles and try to pass them off as their own. Ask the guy you’re talking to to take a picture while he’s out one night. For example, if he’s texting you telling you how he’s wearing a new shirt he bought, ask him to take a picture and send it to you. It doesn’t mean he wouldn’t send you a fake picture he grabbed from somewhere else, but many guys who have fake profiles would come up with some type of excuse about why they couldn’t send you a picture at that moment.
Talk to him on the phone
Talking to the guy on the phone is one way to help get an idea of how he really is. If he rarely picks up when you call, calls you at strange hours or from an area code that’s not even close to where he says he’s from, you may want to take note that something fishy could be going on. It could be a sign that he’s in a relationship already or that he may be trying to pull off a scam, especially if he’s using a foreign phone number or one that’s private.
Check out his Facebook page
This is one of the best ways to get an idea of how much he told you is the truth. Check out his recent pictures, his birthday, where he lives and where he went to school and whether or not the friends on his profile are legitimate and he actually knows them in real life. If possible, don’t meet the guy without checking his profile first.
He makes excuses why he doesn’t want to get together
Sure life gets busy, but if you go months without actually hanging out with him despite trying to make plans, there’s a good chance that something is up. The biggest possibility is that he lied about his appearance. It’s not uncommon for people to stretch the truth a bit about their height or weight, but some go above and beyond and then are embarrassed to face up to the truth.
Take your time talking to him
Did you ever have someone tell you one thing and later when it came up in conversation the story somehow changed? If the guy can’t keep his story straight, it should be a red flag that something is going on. Spending a few weeks talking to him before you meet can allow you to pay attention that all his information matches up.
Just because a guy catches your interest online doesn’t mean you have to rush to meet him in person. Let things play out naturally over a couple of weeks, then get together in a safe, public place. Don’t let him rush or push you into meeting; a good guy will want to meet you but take things at your pace.
More from Lauren R:
Guys to avoid on online dating sites
Is your guy cheating online: 7 signs to help you figure it out
Pros and cons of online dating