Online Dating Advice: Green Flags to Look For

Online dating has its ups and downs, just like traditional forms of dating. Some people think that online dating can never be on par with meeting people in real life, while other people argue that online dating has many more advantages. However, there is no correct answer: the success of online dating depends on each individual and how they go about it.

Whether you are using a personal matchmaker or an online dating app (or several), there are still red flags and green flags to look out for. But for this article, we’re going to focus on the green flags that can indicate that a person’s going to make a worthy date:

1. Their profile looks legit

This is the first green flag that you should look out for. If it doesn’t exist, don’t engage–there are too many creeps online using fake pictures and fake names on their profiles. Look for a sign that they are verified by the dating app (if the app has such a feature). Check their pictures as well. If they are too grainy or look weirdly cropped, they might be using someone else’s photos. Better yet–use Google image reverse search to verify.

Even if the profile looks legitimate, exercise caution as much as possible.

2. Their bio is not obnoxious

There are too many dating profiles that scream, “If you can’t handle *a negative trait*, keep on moving” or “If you want to be mine, you have to be *insert ridiculous list of preferences here*.” Sometimes, self-deprecating humor or purposely unpleasant bios can be hilarious. However, you have to think about what their personality is based on the bio they choose to put on their profile.

If their bio steers clear from obnoxious, arrogant, or derogatory statements, that’s a half green flag right there. Their bio has to be, well, pleasant. At least with a bio that’s not trying too hard to sound cool, you can have reasonable expectations about their personality.

3. They ask the right first question

Sometimes, you can tell a lot about a match based on the first question that they ask. If they ask right away to meet or exchange pictures, then it might not be a good fit (unless you are looking for that kind of relationship). If they ask a meaningful question that warrants a meaningful answer, then they might be genuinely trying to get to know you.

4. Their pictures are good

Look at the pictures they post on their profile. Do they post decent pictures of themselves, not pictures of them drinking or smoking? Do their images indicate that you have something in common with them? (e.g., hiking pics, travel pics, etc.) Pictures tell other people what you are all about, and if their pictures tell you that they’re someone you want to get to know, then go ahead and swipe right.

5. They don’t make the conversation all about themselves

When a person talks about themselves too much, even in an online conversation, it can mean that they are overselling. Overselling what, exactly? Maybe their profession, hobbies, skills, passions, and other things to cover for something faulty in their personality. While you shouldn’t jump to conclusions that this person has something wrong with them, you might not want to continue talking to someone who makes the conversation all about themselves.

On the other hand, if a match talks openly about themselves–but not too much–and makes an active effort to get to know you, too, that’s a green flag right there.

6. Their Instagram showcases similar interests

using social media

On several dating apps, users can link their Instagram accounts and show potential matches other hobbies and interests. If you find a match with a connected Instagram account, do a bit of digging to see if you like the same things that they do. Usually, you can tell more about their personality with the pictures they post on the ‘Gram. As we’ve said before, pictures show what you’re all about.

7. They ask for a date at the right time

While there’s no rule to how long someone has to wait before asking an online match out, there’s a good chance you’ll know when you’re ready. If the other person is the first to ask, asking at the right time is a green flag–not too soon nor too late. It could mean that they have thought about it more carefully, and they have a set of personal standards to adhere to.

At times, online dating can be more challenging to navigate than traditional dating. Nevertheless, these green flags should help you determine if a person deserves a first date in real life.

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