(Names changed to protect identities)
Getting your fingers burnt in Internet dating
Sudha had almost given up her search for true love when a friend recommended she give online dating a try. “It’s quite simple, you can choose to divulge how much you want. And of course, quit whenever you like,” her friend endorsed.
“The initial days weren’t as bad, really,” divulges Sudha, “Yes, there were the occasional creeps, but I also had a few good dates, one even leading to a fourth date. He was sensitive, attentive and quite reserved. I felt I had lucked out. Things got serious soon enough with Raman, because who has time to waste. Almost three months into our courtship, I thought I’d surprise him by turning up at his office early from a work trip. He had not been very communicative the past few days, saying that work was very hectic. I figured he deserved a nice dinner and relaxed time. So there I was, at his office, when the receptionist told me he had not come to office for three days. Why? Oh, his pregnant wife wasn’t keeping too well.”
There are many like Sudha who get bitten in the wonderland of online dating. And the experience leaves them heartbroken and bitter towards Internet dating itself. But it’s really not the medium that’s at fault. Online dating requires some precaution and care, so the Ramans of the world can be weeded out. Read on to know Bonobology’s 7 tips to spot married cheaters when dating online.
1. It’s all about you
Now we understand how precious it is to find a partner who actually wants to know more about you. About your day, your week, your stresses, your triumphs. But beware a partner who only wants to know more about you, without really telling much about themselves. Because they want to minimise their lies, they will not really share much about themselves. Especially anything that would be connected to their marriage, like stories of their adult lives, home address, details around where they live, etc. If you feel suspicious, ask more about them, and the truth is bound to emerge.
2. Rationing time
Modern life is hectic and we all have our time allotted in quotas. But if your online date is only available at specific times of the day, especially either during office hours, or late at night, then that could be a sign of trouble. Are they unresponsive during hours that one would normally be spending at home with family? Do they disappear for days? Are the calls and replies sporadic and does the person oscillate between being there occasionally to disappearing again? Set those alarm bells ringing if they aren’t already!
3. Do your homework
Repeat after me: ‘I will thoroughly check a person’s online history before committing to an online relationship’. Even if you are technologically challenged and not well versed with the webs of Facebook and 6 degrees of separation, we all have that one friend who is an expert at online stalking (used loosely not literally!). So use that friend, or sharpen your own skills, and dig up all you can about someone. It is possible, of course, that they may not have everything for public view, but there will always be a way to find out. Remember, hiding a spouse is not easy, one just needs to dig deeper.
4. Only sex on their mind
Sure, a lot of people are on the Internet just looking for a casual fling. But some of them could be married. And even if you don’t want something long-term, a person who straight shoots for the sex without even a little of getting-to-know-one-another could just be there for sex; not companionship or a partner, just sex. More specifically, sex outside their marriage. Even if all you want is cyber sex, it is still worth being careful to not be with an unfaithful person.
Even if all you want is cyber sex, it is still worth being careful to not be with an unfaithful person.
5. Outside, but in secret
You finally decide to meet this awesome person you’ve been chatting with and sexting with. Excitement levels are high and you are making a list of great places where you know you can have a great romantic dinner. But your date insists on selecting places that hardly get any footfall – quiet and remote. Well, he is either a serial killer or married! And if you meet, you find yourself with someone slightly anxious of their surroundings, and of meeting people. They will either not answer phone calls, or step away from you if they do. Some may even flat out lie about where they are, right in front of you. Either way, run.
6. No friends, no family
You’ve reached a level of comfort with your online date to open up about friends and family. And while they may be all ears, they aren’t as forthcoming about their friends and family. Remember, a married person will hide these details, as the more you know the easier to spot their lie. So ask about their friends or siblings. If it is early on, then do some online searches for them and see if they are actually friends/family and what their profiles say about the person you’re taking to. If the relationship has progressed to meeting, and he or she has still not mentioned any other human they know, or that you should be introduced to – there’s a reason for them to not do so.
Related reading: 15 valuable tips to save yourself from catfishing!
7. In the spouse’s shoes
For someone who is cheating on their spouse, the worry is not about hiding it from their online partner, but from their spouse. Remember that while there will be lies told to you, bigger lies are being told at home. Does he lie to others about who he is with when with you? Has she saved your number under another name on her phone? Have excuses been made to prevent you from ever dropping by at home? Does he not talk/text for long when at home? Excuses could be that they live with their families, or have a roommate who is disturbed and many more. But think of ways one hides a relationship with one’s spouse, and if you see those popping up, raise that red flag.