If you're single and browsing the dating app world, you're probably in the market for other single ladies and fellas out there to chat with online. You're most likely not interested in meeting people who are in committed relationships or are married when browsing nonaffair sites like Tinder or Bumble. Unfortunately, you never know who is really behind that profile. Earlier this year, Tinder crashed nationwide, and there was a surge in Ashley Madison by 20 percent with new member sign-ups in both the US and the UK. Why? Well, according to a 2015 survey of around 1,282 active Tinder users (at the time there were around 50 million people on Tinder), nearly 30 percent of Tinder users are married, while another 12 percent are in a relationship. Yikes. While this was a small sampling, and who really knows if people tell the truth in those kinds of surveys, it is a good reminder to keep your guard up when you're dating online. Don't fall for liars on Tinder and other dating apps — prepare yourself with these tips. Here are the red flags to look out for that someone you meet on a dating site is either married or taken.
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If the photo is blurry, they're trying to hide something about themselves, and it could very well be a hidden secret family or relationship. If the person on the app is very recognizable, especially as these apps often overlap with the same people and match with mutual friends or those in close proximity to you, they'd run the risk of you seeing them on the app and mentioning it to their significant other.
If there's just a cute photo and no personal details, it means this person is trying to hide something from you, and it could definitely mean a partner. If they're single, they'll want to meet someone for a real relationship (beyond the physical or attention over chat), then they'll give some insight into what makes them tick.
If they won't provide any social media information, that's a problem. "It's very common to exchange basic social media information so you can get to know someone before you meet them," David Bennett, counselor and relationship expert with Double Trust Dating, told POPSUGAR. If you meet in person, and if every time you bring it up, they come up with an excuse why they can't share theirs, there may be someone in their life they don't want you to see, he adds.
This can be in person after you've met (and decided to keep seeing each other) or during basic conversation prior to setting up potential dates. "If they seem really engaging, then disappear at weird times for no reason, they may be unable to message because they are with their significant other," says Bennett. Even on the apps, if they go days and days without responding and don't ask you out, it could be a sign they are going through ups and downs with a partner and can't commit, as a single would.
Be warned: if they say it's complicated right now, this word could be code for "taken." "They may also use similarly evasive words to describe their relationship status or their current life situation," Bennett says, which might mean they're avoiding the topics because they are still with someone and can't reflect on a past instance as a single person could.
Sure, they might really have a roommate, but be wary here. "I'd be cautious if they mention a roommate frequently but then only provide vague and occasional details about this person," says Bennett. "I'd be especially cautious if they also live in an actual full-size house with this roommate," he says. That is a fair warning for marriage and maybe even children.
"If there are certain times you don't hear from them, they may be involved with someone else," Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW said to POPSUGAR. Likewise, if they always seem to message you back or call you at the same intervals of time, it might be when they are away from their family and have space. If they won't speak to you late at night, for instance, it could mean they're busy with someone else.
Weekends are time for significant others and family, as you aren't typically at work and have more downtime where you wake up and spend the day together. So, "if they limit their time to weekdays, they may be in a relationship," says Hershenson. If you keep asking to spend a Saturday or Sunday with them, and it's always a no, it's not a good sign.
Sure, some people don't like talking on the phone or using FaceTime. "They may be better on text, but it is a red flag if they won't pick up the phone to speak," says Hershenson. If you keep calling and want to speak, and they never hop on a call with you, it could be because their partner is sitting right next to them.
"The less information you have, the more likely there is something going on with another person," says Hershenson. If you keep asking what their full name is, let's say to plug into their phone, and they avoid it, it might mean something's up.
If it looks like the profile photos have been cropped to eliminate another person's face, it might mean it was a significant other in the photo who the online dater wanted to hide from you. "If it appears there was someone else in all their pictures that was photoshopped out, it's a warning sign," says Hershenson, and you should steer clear.