"No sooner met but they looked, no sooner looked but they loved, no sooner loved, but they sighed, no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason." this is a quote by William Shakespeare that probably describes the dating scene we find ourselves in these modern days.
Unlike the past when love, at first sight, was a thing to bank on, today love, at first sight, might actually burn your eyes.
Whether going on a blind date, an online date or meeting someone in a club, love has made us both vulnerable and gullible to strangers.
Take for instance the Tinder Swindler who took advantage of the fact that women were looking for love and tapped straight into their weakness.
This is not an isolated case, more and more women and men are finding themselves entangled in the arms of swindlers in the name of love.
Shalom Munyiri a life coach and director at Ritro Group Limited believes people jump into the dating pool thinking they are in control and only giving 'enough' information forgetting the other party is playing the same game. A game you could win or lose.
"Most people throw caution to the wind thinking they have anonymity as they are safe hiding away certain things from potential suitors, the wrong move, always have your guard up," she says.
She goes ahead to talk about some of the red flags people should watch out for whether dating offline or online:
- People despise me because I am shy
- Looking for responsible, mature friends! Anyone?
- My life purpose is to work with the dead
- Do you always feel bloated? Here is why
Too much too soon
When a stranger wants to know too much about you and you feel it is too soon, that's a red flag. They will ask personal questions about your family, and friends and for some ask for your nude photos or meet you too soon.
"Curiosity is good but be wary of people who move too fast. They might be forcing a connection so you can trust them instead of letting it play out as it should." Cautions Munyiri.
Sometimes dating is fun but other times strangers cross lines you feel uncomfortable with and that right there is a red flag.
"Yes you need to know each other but when the conversation is making you uncomfortable like say asking how much you earn; you need to end things before they move to the next step," Munyiri says.
Fairytales are in novels and movies and people who play the extra charming card always have something to hide.
"The thing about charmers is that they can only pretend for so long but the truth will out at some point, then what?" Shalom continues.
What have you got to lose?
How much you are willing to give in a relationship? If they are taking more than you are willing to give, that's a red flag.
"If they are asking for money or asking you to stay away from your friends when you barely know each other and it makes you uncomfortable, don't wait!" Munyiri cautions.
Before you commit
Research! Thanks to the internet, we can now do our personal research on people without compromising our relationships with them. Find out everything you can about them or at least ensure the things they say about themselves are true.
"Do they have a real job and where? Do they have any family or friends? As much as people don't give a lot of information on dates, just ensure the little they do give checks out" Munyiri advises.
She continues to say, "Do not isolate yourself from friends and family, these are the people who will help you figure out a genuine person from a fake."
However, dating is complicated and red flags will vary from person to person, what you consider a red flag may be a green light for another.