By Kelly Rouba, GalTime.com

How to Navigate the Rough Seas of Online Dating

If you’re like me and haven’t found Mr. Right yet, chances are you’ve tried or may consider trying an online dating site.  Over the past few years, I’ve created profiles on a few sites and never had so much as one date come of it.  In fact, I decided to give up on online dating altogether last year after I discovered the one guy I was planning to go out with had a girlfriend.

However, I recently decided to jump back in the online dating pool after my housemate and best guy friend encouraged me to keep at it, so I gave it a try on one of the popular free sites.

To my surprise, my inbox has seen a steady stream of invitations from my male counterparts.  I’ve also actually gone out with a few of them – the first of which I thought had real potential until he revealed his true colors a month into dating.  As stunned as I was to see his alter ego emerge, I realize now that the signs were there and I should have proceeded with greater caution.

Since then, I’ve vowed to guard myself and created a list of men and equated them to various types of ‘fish’ as a reminder of who to watch out for during my quest to find love.  To all the lovely single ladies out there who are also searching for their soul mate among a vast sea of fish, I hope this list will help safeguard your heart as well.

Related: Can You ‘Create’ Chemistry?

The Blowfish-

This guy wants one thing and that’s to get in your pants!  He will come on fast and strong and may even disguise himself as Mr. Nice Guy on the first date or two before he reveals his kinky side.  In fact, one guy I dated did just that.  He went out of his way to charm me and win me over – even having his mom bake me cookies twice – before his conscience finally kicked in and he decided he had too much respect for me to use me for sex.

Moral of this story: Take it slow.   All will reveal itself in time, and the real deal will stick around because he knows you are worth waiting for.  So if you catch a blowfish, toss him back!

The Clownfish-

Everything is a joke to this guy, including dating you.  If you go out with him, expect to be embarrassed as it’s likely he will be surrounded by his drinking buddies and will succumb to their typical childish antics and rowdy, obnoxious behavior.  The good news is a clownfish is easy to spot thanks to his goofy and drunken profiles pictures, so steer clear!

The Starfish-

Every woman deserves to be treated like a princess – and by that I mean adored and respected.  A starfish will never do that because he is too into himself.  While his narcissistic personality may not always shine through online, it will on your first date.

My last date was a mild version of the starfish, and he dominated the evening with conversation about himself.  He never even asked me one question about myself and, in the process, he revealed too much about himself.  I quickly learned he is 8 years sober, broke and doesn’t really have the job title he proclaimed.  The guy later texted me to let me know he was nervous on our date and will be “calmer” on the next date.  Umm, what next date?

Related: 3 Biggest Mistakes Women Make in Bed

The Clam-

This guy may seem friendly at first, but as things start to heat up and you want to get to know him better, he will quickly “clam up.”   Dating someone secretive and tight-lipped only breeds suspicion and that’s no way to lay a foundation for an honest and open relationship.   Move on quick!

The Mussel-

Anyone got a mirror?  This guy will need it since he will be more into himself than admiring you.  It’s easy to spot Mr. Mussel, though, since all his profile pictures will feature his abs and biceps (and are often devoid of his head for some odd reason).  If you don’t let yourself get caught up drooling over his brawn (remember, you need a guy with brains too!), you’ll look for smooth sailing.

The Shark-

Beware of sharks!  These guys are ruthless and tough, and there’s not a romantic bone in their bodies.  Fortunately, sharks are also easy to detect since their profile names often have the word “death” or “dark” right in it and their image is equally as frightening.  Need I say more here?

The Snake-

The snake is a guy who is looking to create trouble in your life.  As a prime example, my housemate’s crush found me online and asked for my number so he could text me contact information for some contractors who could repair my basement wall.  After I gave him my digits, he instead hit on me via text and asked for more of my pictures.  (He never did give me the contractors’ contact information, either.)

Not wanting my housemate to find out from someone else about what had occurred, I felt obligated to tell her what happened so she wouldn’t think I was trying to steal her crush.  Sadly, she bought his bs response hook, line and sinker after she confronted him.  The good news is that you can be spared this type of agony if you keep an eye out for snakes!

The Hammerhead-

You will find yourself beating your head against the wall with this guy.  He always wants things his own way and will pout or whine until you give in – or he’ll just walk away.  And let him because there’s no reasoning with him and all relationships should involve compromise so both parties are happy.

The Goldfish-

This guy likes the finer things in life and will blow through his entire paycheck to get what he desires – from sports cars to gold chains (Notice I didn’t say your heart?).  It’s all about making him look good and there likely won’t be much left to spend on you, if he even wants to spare some change.  Instead, look for a guy who is willing to pamper you too!

The Guppy-

New at dating, this guy just wants to play the field.  He is unsure of what he wants, except for sex of course, and he is nowhere near settling down or even interested in a monogamous relationship.  Fortunately, on some dating sites, you can tell when another user is online.  So if the object of your affection is still on the prowl or barely setting aside time for you, move on!

Now that you’ve read these pearls of wisdom, hopefully you’ll know who to avoid during your search.  As a helpful hint, look for “the oyster.”  There’s a treasure inside this guy that is worth waiting for.  Happy fishing!