Cupid's Pulse Article: Relationship Advice: 8 Ways to Tell If Your Online Date is a CheaterCupid's Pulse Article: Relationship Advice: 8 Ways to Tell If Your Online Date is a Cheater

Online dating is a fairly new phenomenon, but one that is here to stay. For some, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people who share your interests, activities, and hobbies. But, how can you tell if their online persona is accurate and truthful? Are they really single and ready to mingle, or is your online suitor married with children? Several studies have concluded that up to 30% of those men using an online dating service are already married. The online dating site eHarmony states that 53% of online users lie on their dating profile, mostly about age, height and weight, and job/income.

Here are some signs to watch for so that you don’t fall in love with a serial cheater.

1. He’s on all of the online dating sites: Online dating apps like Tinder and OKCupid make it easy to keep a lot of irons in the fire. Someone who maintains profiles on ALL these sites are probably not interested in monogamy; if something doesn’t come from one contact, he is right back there working on his next one. Be sure and check to see if his user ID is active on multiple dating sites before getting too involved with your selection.

2. He refuses to meet you in real life (IRL): Some men enjoy the online attention and have no intention of ever meeting you IRL. If you’ve communicated frequently and are ready for a face to face in a public location, ask for it and gauge his reaction. You will find out how serious he really is about pursuing a relationship by how easily he makes it to connect with him IRL.

3. He may be unavailable and vague when asked direct personal questions: For someone looking for love on a dating website or app, ambiguous responses to basic questions like where they live or what they do for a living are a huge red flag. You want someone who is willing to reveal himself to you on a personal level, even if it’s just meeting for a cup of coffee. Serial cheaters stay intentionally vague so that you can’t pursue them; they can only pursue you on their terms, which don’t typically include living happily ever after.

4. He’s only willing to meet at odd times of the day or is unavailable for regular “date” activities: Someone who talks all night but gets off the phone hurriedly at 7am may have something (or someone) to hide. This may not apply to those guys who work a second or third shift, but if they are a 9-to-5er then watch their behavior carefully. Don’t accept rushed, last-minute invitations or booty calls!

5. He doesn’t appear confident in who he is and needs a lot of attention: Often serial cheaters are men who don’t like being alone or are very insecure. They use online dating to prop up their fragile egos by trolling for compliments, strokes, and contact with multiple women. You don’t want to waste your time on a dud who only wants to get something from you and not give anything in return.

6. He doesn’t want to change his relationship status: If you’ve already met in person and it seems to be getting serious, check out his reaction when you ask or tell him that you are ready to change your relationship status online. If he balks, he may want to continue appearing to be single so he can play the field. If you can have a conversation about it and mutually decide on this issue, he may indeed be serious.

7. He avoids talk of the future: If your guy likes to only discuss things in the here and now and isn’t willing to talk about the future, that may be another red flag. Every couple needs to have hopes and dreams that they share about their future together; if your guy changes the subject when you bring up your upcoming summer vacation plans, you might want to ask what his true intentions are for your future. Men who are in it for the short term or until someone better comes along will not want to make future plans together.

8. Sex is his primary objective: If someone initiates sexual conversation, flirting, or asking for naked pictures too soon, then that may be all that they are down for! It is always a good idea to have your own intimacy rules in place before ever pursuing online dating so that you know where the boundaries are upfront. Be honest with the guys too – if they are legit looking for love, they will totally appreciate knowing what the rules are.

Like anything online these days, do your homework before committing to anyone or anything. Always meet in a public place until you know the person better and don’t be afraid to hire a professional if you are truly serious about a guy and don’t know if he is or not. Reputable private investigators such as North American Investigations can ease your fears about your online romance or perhaps dig up enough information to know that he’s not a good fit for you.