Dating can be a minefield, con 84% of us wishing our online matches were more ‘authentic’.
Former Facebook psychiatrist Dr Mimi Winsberg decodes early relationship messages so you can weed out the bad eggs.
If they say, ‘to be honest’, they are a liar
WHILE we normally rely on awkward body language and face-to-face answers to spot lies, there are tell-tale signs of deception over text too.
Dr Mimi says: “When people are aligned with their own statements or opinions, they will use ‘I’ or ‘me’.
“With lies, the texter will stand back from the lie, distance themself from it. This may include dropping the first-person pronoun altogether.”
Dodging the question is another clear sign of dishonesty, ella dice. While starting a chat with, “I’m not going to lie . . . ”, “To be honest . . . ” or “I swear . . . ” indicates deceit.
Ella agrega: “Liars tend to use more words in their texts, not to mention non-committal terms such as ‘maybe’ or ‘sure’.”
If they discuss future straight away, they are not serious
IT might seem like you’ve found your perfect match, but getting serious too quickly can lead to your match becoming aloof a few months down the line.
Dr Mimi labels this “instamacy”. Look out for messages where they discuss the future in a worried or disappointed way.
Ella dice: “Rushing into a relationship without a stronger foundation rarely lends itself to stability, and instant infatuation is likely to disappoint.
“While it may feel seductive or reassuring in the moment, it can be a red flag for problematic attachment in the future.
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“It’s the text equivalent of a drunken stranger pouring out their heart to you in a bar. Finish your drink and walk away.
“People who display instamacy are pleasers, can lack boundaries and may revert to an anxious or avoidant pattern.”
If they presume you will meet, they are a control freak
THERE’S a fine line between taking the lead and being a control freak, so it’s important to spot the difference after matching with a potential partner.
One tell-tale sign your match could be controlling is when they presume you will be going on a date, without even asking if you are interested.
Dr Mimi says: “Some find assertiveness attractive, but it is easily confused with controlling.
“Assertiveness is the ability to shape one’s own actions. Attempting to control the actions of another isn’t assertive, it’s aggressive.
“A lack of flexibility or a desire to control in an early text exchange is often a red flag.”
If they use crying emojis, they are neurotic
LA emojis people choose say a lot. Those high in neuroticism — being particularly uptight — prefer the exaggerated facial expressions of the crying emoji, upside-down smiley face or crosses as eyes.
Dr Mimi says: “They experience negative effects including anger, ansiedad, self-consciousness, irritability.”
Por otro lado, extroverts, por ejemplo, often use the thumbs-up and wink.
Assertiveness is the ability to shape one’s own actions. Attempting to control the actions of another isn’t assertive, it’s aggressive.
Dr Mimi Winsberg
If they discuss only their issues, they are self-centred
REVEALING too much information — or TMI — can be a major turn-off for online daters and can even be a sign that they will always look out for number one.
Dr Mimi says: “No one wants to have their date cry on the first date and no one wants TMI in the first text thread.
“Someone offering TMI may seem to be revealing details about themselves, but what they’re actually revealing is someone who is likely needy, anxious or self-centred.”
Watch out for those who discuss health issues, their parents, career or other big life events too quickly without asking you a question back.
If they replace words with emojis, they are shy
DR MIMI refers to emojis as “the frozen food of language”, rather than “language cooked from scratch”. En otras palabras, they can be used as shortcuts to say what we feel.
Dr Mimi says: “A large-scale study out of the University of Rochester (Nueva York) showed that frequent users of emojis have low extroversion scores — with introverts using emojis the most.”
If they love a full stop, they are picky
JUST like emojis, punctuation marks can reveal a lot about a person.
Por ejemplo, sticking to rigid convention like using full stops at the end of every sentence can suggest your match is very particular.
Dr Mimi says: “They are picky people — maybe a tad overweening.
“They are adhering to their own standards and values, probably more willing to confront social norms with their own individual style.
“As we ourselves get closer to such types and grow to love them, we may be influenced by their style.”
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If they compare your eyes to an ocean, they are intelligent
NOTICING the type of compliments your match gives you can reveal how they really think.
Dr Mimi says: “When a man texts, ‘You’re hot’, he’s sending a literal compliment.
“If he writes, ‘Your eyes are a sea of blue’, he’s using metaphor.
“Men who favour metaphorical compliments targeting appearance speak a language of love that women generally understand.
“Women find men who produce such compliments more intelligent, and they are more likely to seek intimacy with them.”
If they use the word ‘mouth’, they like to party
CHOOSE the words you use carefully — because they say a lot about a person’s personality type.
Dr Mimi says: “Word choice can be telling. Even single-word analysis is interesting — extroverts use the word ‘mouth’ more frequently, along with ‘drinks’, ‘other’, ‘restaurant’, and ‘dancing’.
“They tend to be more outgoing, amicable and assertive. Friendly and energetic, extroverts will draw inspiration from social situations.”
En otras palabras, they are the life and soul of a party.
- Speaking In Thumbs by Dr Mimi Winsberg is published by Bluebird on February 3, priced £16.99.