15 Online Dating Red Flags You Should RUN From!

online dating red flags

We have all heard the stories about online dating red flags and assumed we would know better or be able to see them coming. What we have learned though is that some online dating red flags are not apparent until it’s to late or you are already deep into them so we came up with a list of 15 online dating red flags to help you recognize them sooner and hopefully avoid them all together.


Anyone, anywhere can join an online ENM Dating app and post anything they wish and for the most part get away with it (check out our safety page to learn more). But with that said there are ways to save yourself the waste of time that creeps will create by following these simple 6 tips:

  1. Check their photos before you connect or respond to a connection request – Do they look way too professional or posed for? Do they show what looks to be a real life scenario such as a photo taken in a home bathroom mirror?
  2. READ their profile – does it give you clues about who they are or is it devoid of reasons to connect. Real people post real information and genuinely try to put their best foot forward to compel you to swipe right.
  3. Generic messages – Hey Baby, Hi Beautiful… you know the ones – if this is their level of effort to start something we can only imagine how unimaginative they will be in the future.
  4. Jumping right to sex talk – Why waste your time on this. There are literally dozens of other potential connections wishing to have a genuine connection and conversation instead of acting like an overzealous kid in a candy store.
  5. Ask to chat via voice or phone – this weeds out the fakes very quick, watch out for continuous excuses if they keep putting you off.
  6. Respect your Intuition – your gut knows so don’t only listen to your sex drive. No creep, no matter how sexy they look, is worth the drama.

It’s Too Good To Be True

This online dating red flag is surprisingly still hard to catch for some. You come across an over the top hot profile which seems to be written just for you… you reach out to connect and everything they are saying perfectly aligns with your wants, needs and desires… Do Your Due Diligence! We are not saying run but if things seem too good to be true then we strongly suggest you look as deep as you can before moving forward – your safety is worth the extra effort.

Signs Of A Narcissist

Narcissists hurt people and actually see no wrong in what they do. To them it’s always you not them and there are classical traits to identify someone who might have narcissistic tendencies. While this list is not definitive it is meant to allow you to piece together your own identification of someone and avoid them if you can. Keep in mind that online platforms such as ITL ENM attract all types and with our platform you are easily able to report bad behavior that we can investigate and take action on.

Some Narcissistic traits to watch for:

  • grandiose sense of self-importance
  • preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • the belief they’re special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
  • need for excessive admiration
  • sense of entitlement
  • interpersonally exploitative behavior
  • lack of empathy
  • envy of others or a belief that others are envious of them
  • demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes


“My partner doesn’t want to know” is just one example of lines that cheaters use. Great, your partner doesn’t want to know but they can still give consent directly before we take this further.

Unfortunately the swinging lifestyle, ENM and open relationships in general attract those that want to be in it for the wrong reasons and it is up to us to ensure we do our due diligence before engaging with new partners. Our feeling is that we are all in this together and if we want our ethical non-monogamy to be truly ethical it is up to all of us to see something and say something. If cheaters do not feel welcomed they will slither back to where they came from.

Signs Of A Catfish

Just like the above, too good to be true a catfish is something that your gut hopefully warns you about and you are willing to investigate that feeling before you go too far down the path. We strongly suggest using tools such as Reverse Image to see if a photo is being widely used for other scams and to not be too eager when you come across your perfect match. If the match is perfect it will work out even better if you take your time to build trust.


I love you is nice to hear as is a host of other terms of endearment but when it comes from someone you barely, if at all, know this is considered love bombing and is a big red flag. Some people get really caught up in NRE (New Relationship Energy) and that’s not a bad thing but if the compliments are flying fast and furious it might pay to slow it down and let the true feelings build in a more organic way.


WOW – you are a doctor, entrepreneur and an astronaut! Obviously this is a transparent lie but some lies are not and it is something to watch for. It is very easy to be anything you want to be online and sometimes the truth might get stretched in the hopes that something can be created more quickly.

Regardless of how small a lie is it is still a red flag as it tells us that lying is not a taboo and who knows how big they will get. One of the pillars of ENM is honesty and it should be expected at all phases of building a connection or a relationship.


Nobody wants to be played and players who look for notches on their bedposts can do way more damage than a fun experience is worth. Building trust with a person and not falling for deception like many of the other items in this article suggest is always the safest way to explore open relationships.

If you think someone feels like a player, seek out references from others that are connected to them or from people who might know them from local groups or clubs. At the very least be sure to again look into someone before you seek to meet in person so that you have a sense of who and what they are and make sure that aligns with your core values and what you are seeking.

Asking for Money

At absolutely no time is asking for money or other monetary help something that is appropriate online from people who are not in your inner circle. If someone gives you a story that is too sad to be true – it is! If you do find this happening to you we strongly suggest you immediately report it to our support department so we can investigate. This scam happens on every platform online so be very careful and watch out for this one amongst the other online dating red flags.

Warning About Themselves

If someone tells you who they are, believe them! If they tell you about getting jealous, angry or any other trait that you do not want in your life, take that as a warning sign about what might be down the road if you seek out a connection with that person. Kinda feels like politics lol! When someone tells you their online dating red flags – listen to them and believe them!

Obsession With An Ex

If they are still talking about past relationships most likely they are still putting energy there so be wary if that is something you want to take on. At some point you might be the next ex, do you want to be a potential obsession? This online dating red flags can be hard to pinpoint but keep it in mind and know what your boundaries are!

Quick Request To Change Platforms

You have recourse on the ITL ENM app as long as the conversation stays on our platform. Many other platforms might support you as well but if a new connection quickly wants to take the conversation to Whatsapp or Snapchat or other mainstream platforms you recourse will likely go down to zero.

We have tools in place to look into reported conversations and profiles that are involved in those conversations so we strongly recommend keeping initial conversations on the ITL ENM app until you get to know a new connection.

Only Replying During Certain Hours

Let me guess – they are during typical work hours… This online dating red flag can sometimes be innocent but from what we have been told it is typical for partnered people who are seeking without the consent or knowledge of their partners to only be available to talk while they are at work (and alone). 

Do you homework on this one before you get too far down the path to a potential connection!

“New” To The Platform

We were all new at one point but sometimes new accounts can and are used for not so transparent reasons. If you are interested in someone with a new account be sure to get to know a little more about their experience and what brought them to connect with you before jumping into anything. If something isn’t adding up be sure to flag an account so it can be looked into in case it is a fake account or someone with multiple accounts (our system does work diligently to ensure this does not happen but its better to be safe than sorry!).

This is one of the harder to catch online dating red flags and sometimes it is completely innocent.

Things You Would Have To Overlook

Core Values – we all have them and when they do not align it can be less than a great connection. Knowing what you want and what your boundaries are can really help you ascertain if you would need to overlook certain things to make a connection work. When it comes to online dating red flags knowing who you are before jumping in the pool really helps.

Online Dating Red Flags Conclusion

Online dating red flags and lists of them can go on forever based on your experience and who you are. All in all it takes common sense and due diligence to help you have the best online experience and to avoid coming up against red flags before you recognize them for what they are. Go slow, make connections and listen to your senses – if something doesn’t feel right keep swiping until it does!