Is your mate being secretive? Does he or she ask too many questions? Are they too clingy? If yes, then chances are that they are hiding something from you. And if they don’t want to tell you why, then it’s time to back off.

Dating apps have become popular, but they aren’t always safe for relationships. It’s important to keep an eye out for potential red flags.# Even if someone isn’t trying to catfish you, they might still send messages or ask questions that could be considered signs of catfishing. But the real problem is when your head’s in the dating game and so are you, you’re both trying to figure out who has what qualities and who fits into whom, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able see the red flags in each other too easily. They could literally be standing right next to you, shouting at you for not seeing them, but you’re probably going to miss them.

“Online daters” tend to judge potential partners too quickly, according to one expert. Most people would benefit from putting aside their judgements for a few minutes and giving online dates more of an open-ended shot. “At the same moment however, keep an eye open for any potential red flags so you don’t end up wasting too much of your valuable resources.”

Some red-flag behaviors might be subtle enough that they don’t stand out right away, but if you notice them often, that could be an indication of something else going on behind the scenes. For some things, there’s no right or wrong answer; it depends on your personal preferences and tastes. But for others, I suggest using your best judgement. For example, if you don’t like the color blue, then you may want to avoid a product that comes in that shade.

And by being aware of potential red flag behaviors before they begin, you could avoid a whole lot of trouble later down the road. Here are 13 of the most common mistakes people make when meeting someone online through an online platform — some of which can be prevented!

For their study they looked at 500 thousand dating profiles of both heterosexual males and females who had met each other via an internet dating site. During their initial interactions, they discovered that certain common red flags include the following:

1. Lack of Interest

If someone seems uninterested in meeting you in person, does he or she say no when you suggest going out socially? Or does he or she cancel dates repeatedly? There could be an underlying reason. Maybe you’re not his or her type, or maybe you don’t fit his or her needs.

2. Too Much Information

Does he or she share every detail of his or her life? Does he or she tell you very personal stories, or just superficial ones? Some people provide detailed accounts of past relationships and offer overly specific details about future plans. If he or she reveals too much, you may not feel comfortable enough to meet him or her again.

3. No Contact

Do you never hear back after sending messages? Do you always end up messaging him or her via Facebook instead of texting? Is he or she unwilling to answer questions about himself or herself? These are all warning signs that point towards potential problems.

4. Unprofessional Photos

Who wants to date someone who takes photos that are either unflattering or poorly lit? While technology allows us to snap thousands of pictures with our phones, it’s best if those pictures aren’t taken badly. Look over each photo closely before agreeing to meet him or her in person.

5. No Communication

Is he or she unable to respond to your messages within 24 hours? Have you ever heard from him or her less than 48 hours after meeting? Has he or she shown up late to meetings? All of these indicate that communication is lacking.

6. Poor Attitude

Are you constantly apologizing for yourself? Are you rude in text conversations? If someone shows poor judgment toward other people or behaves in ways that make others uncomfortable, then consider ending the conversation.

7. Multiple Backups

Have you seen multiple versions of his or her profile picture? Have you noticed that he or she shares a different photo of themselves on each social network? If so, this could indicate that he or she has previously lied about something.

8. No Relationship Goals

Have you met with him or her alone? Are you the only member of your mutual friends group? What was discussed during the meeting? Did anyone else in the room participate? Is he or she interested in exploring a lasting relationship, or is he or she just trying to hook up?

9. Bad First Impressions

Did he or she act flirty before meeting you? Was he or she nervous when talking to you? Do other members of your mutual friend group talk negatively about him or her behind his or her back? These are all red flags.

10. Cheating

Has he or she ever cheated on another partner? If so, you should avoid entering into a serious relationship until this issue has been resolved.

11. No Interest In You

If he or she doesn’t seem to care about what you have to say, why would you want to spend time with him or her? This can mean one of two things: Either he or she isn’t really interested in dating you, or he or she is hiding something.

12. Not Available For Date Nights

Has he or she canceled several times without giving any reason? Has he or she cancelled dates at the last minute? If he or she cancels more than twice, then there might be an underlying problem.

13. He or She Doesn’t Want To Meet Your Friends

Does he or she refuse to introduce you to his or her friends? If he or she refuses to do this, then you should reconsider whether or not you want to continue pursuing a long-term relationship with him or her.

Are there any red flags when dating online?

Yes, indeed! There are many red flags when it comes to dating online. Here are some examples:

• They use multiple screen names.

• They send you unsolicited messages.

• Their photos look too good-to-be-true.

• They provide fake information.

• They ask you out before meeting them.

• They’re extremely shy.

• They ask for personal things in advance.

• They seem nervous or uncomfortable.

• They never contact you afterward.

• They change the subject.

If you notice these warning signs early enough, you can avoid getting caught in a bad date situation.

Let’s take a closer look at each one of those red flags.

They use multiple screen names. When you receive a message from someone who uses multiple screen names, it’s difficult to tell if you’re communicating with the same person. This makes following up on the conversation almost impossible!

When you communicate with someone who uses multiple screennames, always double check the email address provided. Your date may have been hiding behind different names to protect themselves from rejection. If you’re unsure whether an email belongs to the same person, just copy and paste every piece of the email address into Google search box and cross your fingers!

Then, go ahead and respond to all of the emails. A little persistence goes a long way.

They send you unsolicited messages

Sending you unsolicited messages could mean two things.

First, they may be spamming you. Spamming means sending unwanted messages to your inbox. Some spammers try to trick you into clicking on a link that sends you directly to a site where you can purchase something expensive such as software or health supplements. Other spammers will email you and pretend to be interested in meeting you.

Second, they may be attempting to sell you something. Selling something could mean selling you clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. Sometimes, a salesperson receives a salary from the company he/she sells for. These companies usually offer free trial periods before charging you.

Either way, you should definitely delete these messages. Unwanted messages are annoying, time wasting, and often lead to trouble.

Their photos look too good-too-be-true

Someone’s photo looks perfect, but is that really true? Is she wearing her makeup perfectly? Does he look handsome in his suit? Maybe he’s holding a flower and smiling!

Those pictures are professional shots taken well after the date took place. The chances are slim that he/she had no makeup on at the time of the date. And flowers aren’t bought at department stores. So, either they were lying about being single or they’re not a real match for you.

Be careful with profiles that look too perfect. At least half of the people who post pictures of themselves online lie about their age, weight, height, income, job, hobbies, etc.

Ask yourself, “Is everything on this profile accurate?”

Fake it until you make it!

Sometimes, people try to hide their flaws through editing. Let me give you an example. Someone who wears glasses wants to appear thinner than she actually is. She posts pictures of herself online wearing contacts, which shows off her eyes better.

Fake it until you become it!

Of course, everyone knows that people tend to believe what they see. So, if someone says the sun sets in the west in summertime, we accept it as fact. Why shouldn’t you?

Check references

Have you ever met someone and thought, “Wow, she looks great.” Well, you might want to check out her references before making a decision. You don’t want to meet someone based solely on looks and then realize later that she was married twice and lives in New York City.

On the flip side, sometimes people get married to someone they’re attracted to only to find out years later that they hated him/her.

Don’t let this happen to you! Get references before agreeing to date someone.

What about online dating sites?

There are plenty of websites dedicated to helping people find love. Many of these sites allow users to upload their own photographs and share information about themselves. It’s important to check references before deciding to sign up for a dating site.

If you’re serious about finding romance, consider using social networking sites to help you track down your next special someone. Facebook and Twitter are popular places to advertise your services.

Some people even create web pages specifically designed for attracting customers.