The Pew Research Center recently published the following survey results:
1. Almost 60 percent of Americans say online dating sites are a good way to meet people, up from 44 percent in 2005.
2. While one-third of those who use the sites never go on an actual date, that leaves 66 percent of users who do.
3. One in 5 young adults have used a dating site, and they’re growing in popularity with older adults, too.
I was one of those older adults who found online dating sites to be a convenient way to meet women for potential romance.
Middle-aged singles have a smaller pool to draw from because so many men and women are married with families by then. That makes finding love tough. [As an entrepreneurial businessman with my own business and a full schedule], I was elated when things progressed quickly online with a hot prospect.
I almost couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Unfortunately, I did believe it, which led to this woman taking advantage of me in the worst way. The woman set [me] up in an elaborate ruse that resulted in [me] going to jail on false charges while she took possession of everything I owned.
Something that was too good to be true wound up becoming a nightmare. [Through my own personal experience] I suggest these red flags for anyone planning to use online dating sites:
No. 1: She likes everything about you. To put it simply, I quit thinking with my brain.
No matter how smart, established or successful you may be in other aspects of life, just about everyone of any age loves being love-drunk; it’s not just for teens like Romeo and Juliet. But what are the chances that a smart and very attractive woman, about whom you know next to nothing, likes everything you like, do and are?
The food I liked, the hobbies I liked, the music I liked and political affiliations were identical to hers. That was a red flag.
No. 2: She asks you to move in almost immediately. Most smart young women are somewhat cautious while getting to know a potential new love interest.
This woman, however, was all too eager for me to leave my home state to move into her home. That should tell you one of at least two things: she’s either desperate for someone because she’s emotionally unstable, or she has no fear of you which could mean she’s working an angle.
No. 3: She really is, physically, too good to be true. It’s possible that a hot date that’s “out of your league” will come to love you for who you are — in time! On the other hand, when you weigh all of the conditions that may include the fact that you don’t really know her, nor she you; that you are financially sound and she is not; that she suggests a living situation that’s moving far too fast; that you’ve only known each other for a matter of weeks, and never met in person ... yeah, at that point, you should be at least a little skeptical.
(About the writer: Charles Massie is an engineer, former member of the U.S. Navy and businessman, overseeing several companies including Massie Engineering Associates and InfoTech Consulting.)