Writer Suzanne Massie taught this Russian proverb to the late US president Ronald Reagan. Later this became his signature phrase when dealing with the Soviets. On and off, I’ve been doing online dating since the early 2000s and in my experience, when dating online there is no truer statement ever written.

“X has a great personality,” is a phrase fraught with apprehension. It’s a red flag as clear as when a realtor says “cozy” or “has character.” Hearing these words, you can expect to find a place that’s built around WW2, the size of a postage stamp and roaches the size of cats as roommates. Everyone  claims they love someone for their personality and that is likely true on down the line but at first meeting it’s what they look like. Do you find them
appealing enough to get to know their personality? If this were not true, then why do all dating sites have photos?

Here is my personal list of things to watch out for.

  1. Close up photos only, no full body shots. Makes you think what are they hiding?
  2. Photos are older than 1 year.  Why no recent photos? In our extrovert world of cameras there’s really no reason not to have an updated photo.
  3. Photos are cut outs from other photos. Did they recently split with someone? See 1&2.  
  4. Out of state messages especially from people with only one photo unless you’re looking for out of state. These are likely scammers.
  5. They’re cagey about personal information like what they do for a living, or wanting to meet after you’ve made a connection. (You’ll have to gage this for yourself.)
  6. They avoid communicating other than in email. Makes you wonder why.

Of course all these are subjective and not definitive. Your match can have legitimate reasons but someone who “loves to travel” and has an income of 25k is basically unemployed and homeless.


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