Red Flags Waving (PART TWO)

Hopefully you've already read part one on this topic. I don't want to have to recap it. This isn't a weekly TV series where we say, "Previously, on Let's Talk About Sex, Baby!" and then show a highlight reel of the previous episodes. It's not like I'm getting paid for this. Hell, the ads on the site are kind of broken at the moment. Have you noticed that?

Okay, continuing as if we never even stopped...

Suspiciously Cropped or Framed Photos and Odd Poses... and Inanimate Objects:
This is one I've fallen for, I couldn't tell you how many times. I swear I'm a sucker for wishful thinking. I'll say this as delicately as possible. If you take offense to it, it's likely you have some insecurities, or delusional. Here's the deal: I have a type. Well, several types. I like a few different types of guys, as far as body types go. Myself, I'm a big burly bearish guy. I'm 6-foot, 3-inches tall. I don't know what that is in metric. We don't use logical measuring systems here. I'm also 263 pounds. Currently anyway. I'm working on that one. And I'm a hairy dude. A big, heavy, hairy dude. What I am, is not my type. I like twinks, jocks, or sort of average build guys. If they're as big as me, they're likely too big for me. I make no apologies for having tastes, nor should you. 

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Now, I've encountered many, many guys on various apps who have face photos which are taken inexplicably close to their face. Their face fills the frame completely. They might even just show their lips, or an eye. Sometimes the photo is of a car, or a wall, or scenery. This person is hiding something. What are they hiding? Well, that's hard to say for sure. It could be much like the Funky Photos that I mentioned earlier, where the user is in a relationship and is on the down low. In my experience, the ones using scenery are "discreet" and that very well may be the case. I'd recommend avoiding these guys if only to avoid getting pulled into some other drama. Sometimes, though, the oddly cropped photos and super close-ups are used to hide a weight issue of some sort. Which brings me to my next red flag, which is a personal pet peeve of mine.

Missing Stats:
If all of the stats are missing, age, height, weight, location, etc., it could be that the person just hasn't filled out the info yet. If it's ALL filled out except one particular thing, they're hiding something. Nine times out of ten, that missing item is their weight. Okay, not actually 9 times out of 10. I don't know the actual figures, but it's a lot. Almost invariably, when the weight is missing, if you ask the person how much they weight, or ask for additional photos, you'll find out that they're overweight. 

I want to be clear on something here. I'm overweight. There are people who are into chubbier people. I don't fault a person for being chubby. I do, however, fault them for lying about it. And that's exactly what they are doing. They're attempting to be deceptive. 

I met up with a guy who had left his weight blank. His photos all showed a twinkish young man, who was small in stature. When I met up with him, that is not what I saw. The man I saw was easily twice that size. At first I thought maybe I had not looked carefully enough at the photos, so I powered through our time together, as best I could, but I was not into him at all. I was into the guy I saw in the photos; not this guy. After out awkward encounter, I dropped him off and then I double-checked his profile. Sure enough, it was a smaller guy in the photo... so I sent him a message to confront him, asking him how old that photo was. He said it was a couple of years old. 

I laid into him. I was angry and I went off on him, though tactfully. I did not want him to think that I was mad that he was fat. I wanted him to understand that I was mad that he had lied. I then advised him that he should use current photos and put his weight on his profile. I told him there's nothing wrong with being a bigger dude, though I'm not into bigger guys, but there are a great many guys who are, and you should make it easier for them to find you, rather than create awkward experiences every time you meet up with someone. 

He apologized and agreed to fix it, but I think he ultimately ended up blocking me. Later on, though, I did see him back online again, but using a current photo, so that showed some progress. 

Now, one of the other commonly missing pieces of information from the stats screen is the age. There are two common reasons why that's missing: The person is older than the average user, and they think they're going to fool you into believing that they're just a shitty looking 30-year old, rather than a 60-year old. The other reason it's missing is that the guy is under 18-years of age. This one is harder to tell, so you have to be careful. Very careful. Err on the side of caution, in fact. When you're on these apps you may notice that those super young looking guys are missing the age on their profiles. Not all of them. I'm sure some of those 18-year olds aren't actually 18, either. There have been a few times where one of these younger guys have contacted me, and their age was missing, and they disclosed that they were 16-years old. The best thing to do at that point is just report the profile as being underage, and block the user. It seems mean, especially since this kid probably just wants some friends or human interaction, though, more than likely, they want to get laid. But, to protect yourself from any chance of any allegations, report them and block them. 

Pic Collectors:
Picture collectors are annoying. These are people who will almost immediately ask you for nude photos. Don't send them. Just don't. Resist the urge. Even if they promise to send some back. They won't. Plus, I'm going to bet that this person doesn't have a profile pic, or they have a fake profile picture. So, how do you know you even want to see their naked body? So, you're response when someone immediately asks for nude photos should be any one of the following: 

  1. Derisive laughter in the form of many "LOLs."
  2. A simple "No" with no explanation.
  3. A "No" followed with an explanation that you do not have, nor send, nudes. 
  4. A reply in which you state that he, or she, should feel free to send you some photos, and you will be happy to reciprocate with similar photos. 

That last one is my personal favorite. It works as a good filter. You really find out who the assholes are when you use it. Some guys will respond by saying that they asked you first. You can then reply that since they asked first, they should have also sent first, as a showing of good faith. Remember, you have nothing to lose, here. This person is almost certainly just going to keep your photos and never talk to you again. There's also a fair chance your photos will end up online somewhere, so do not send any photos which include both your face and your naked body. That last one also works well in the event that they do send some photos because they may not send any nude photos. If they don't send any nude photos, then you shouldn't either. Send only the type of photos which they send. But, again, never any full-body, face-included photos, for your own protection. Also, if you feel like there's something off about the pictures that they sent to you, don't send any back. And tell him that something seems suspicious. 

Fake Photos:
This one is hard to explain and is more of a gut instinct, so it might be hard to give you much info. As was said in my previous post, watch out for obvious screenshot photos. No one should have screenshots of pictures. I've also seen cases where someone took a picture of a photo. They literally aimed their camera at their computer screen to take a picture of someone. What you get when you do that is a highly pixelated image. It looks sort of like a screen door. I do not know why someone would do that. 

Other tell-tale signs, or red flags, are professional looking photos. Most people use selfies or regular candid pictures. Rarely will you see a professional photo. Now, a professional photo, in and of itself, isn't too much of a red flag, but, that, in combination with the person looking like a model, and now you've got something suspicious. You can try taking a screenshot and then uploading the image to your computer to allow you to do a reverse image search on Google, but if the photo has been cropped in any way, or has a watermark from the app it may not work. If in doubt, ask for additional photos. When you ask for additional photos, send some of your own. In this type of case, don't ask for nudes, and don't send any. Just ask for more pics, and send some fully clothed pictures. 

Neediness and Obsessiveness (Insecure):
Lastly, I'll talk about the needy, obsessive types. These are a different variety than all of the others mentioned, who are doing things in a malicious manner, meant to be deceptive. This one is someone who has some issues, but means no harm. They'll message you, but when you don't reply right away, they'll jump to conclusions. I've had this happen on a few occasions. 

A guy would message me and we'd start talking, but the conversation might lull a bit and I'll set my phone down, or I might hop in my car to drive somewhere. I'll leave the app open so that I can continue to get messages and, sure enough, I'll get one. But, I'm driving, so I'll wait until I get to a red light, or stop sign, or a safe place to pull over, before I reply. Two minutes later they send another message. Then another. And another. Another. Then they accuse me of not being interested any more, in a very passive-aggressive manner. When I finally get a chance to pull over and read all of this, I don't get a chance to reply, because I had so much more to read, due to all of the previous messages.

This type of person is exhausting because they require constant reassurances that everything is fine and you're definitely still interested in them. Though, the more you have to assure them of this, the less interested you're becoming. 

I'm sure there are a million more different red flags. Some of which you'll just learn as you experience them, sadly. I still get fooled by people. It's frustrating, but it's a learning experience.