Internet Dating Red Flags: Avoiding Another Crazy Woman in the World Wide Spider Web

From the desk of CrazyBuster, Micksbabe:

So you’ve gone through the soul-sucking, painful and expensive process of ridding yourself of your Crazy Ex and now, understandably, you are lonely and would like to test the proverbial waters and find a woman to spend some time with and maybe, just maybe, you can find a woman who loves you as much as you love her, get married and live happily ever after.

It’s possible.

I know people who met their spouses on the Internet. It’s also understandable that, at this point, you might be a little gun shy, given that before the Crazy Ex pulled off her mask, you truly believed she was “THE ONE”.

Lots of good, decent and sane people are looking for love on the Internet. It’s the wave of the future.

Social networking is quicker and easier than in-person networking. You don’t even need to leave your chair (or your car, if you have the right App). You can shop for mates the way you shop for Christmas gifts on Amazon.

What would really be helpful though, is if Internet dating “shoppers” could leave unbiased reviews just like Amazon customers do.  For example, “I bought this convection oven six months ago and it’s already broken with no warranty!”

What if previous suitors on dating sites could leave reviews like, “This contestant looks nothing like her profile picture!”  Or, “This woman killed my cat in a fit of rage!”

It would be good to get a heads-up of this nature when looking for your next potential mate. Basically, there are only two ways to protect yourself — be a Psychic or learn to recognize Internet dating red flags.

For those not psychically inclined, I’ve noticed a few red flags that might be helpful in learning to weed through the Crazies.

1. “My Baby’s Daddy is a DEADBEAT!!!”

Her ex might be a “deadbeat.”  He also may  just be her ex and she’s pissed about being divorced. Either way, it doesn’t matter because, right or wrong, this chick is ANGRY and she needs a therapist, not a boyfriend. Certainly not another future “deadbeat.”

2. “My CHILDREN are my WORLD!!!!”

Odds are, if you selected the “Divorced” option on your preferences list, you’re going to meet divorced women who have children (just like you may have children). It’s great that she wants people to know that she loves her kids. In most cases, this goes without saying (and should go without saying).  However, if her children are her “world” then she needs to give her children a reprieve and get her own world – one where her children can just be children and not the reason she hasn’t offed herself yet.

Ironically, every woman I’ve ever met who uses this phrase, also uses her children as a prop to either garner sympathy for being a “single muuuther,” or as leverage against their “deadbeat” father to extort money. If you read or hear this phrase spoken, drop your laptop, phone or eating utensil and run. Don’t look back. Unless you can see she’s chasing you, then run faster.

3. “I live with my parents.”

We all occasionally fall on hard times and sometimes our parents are there to help us pick up the pieces. TEMPORARILY. Then there are people who spend their lives looking for someone else to pick up their pieces. There is a very fine line here.

You are well within your rights to inquire as to how long, and if ever she has lived completely on her own. Being able to stand on our own two feet without the support of others is a benchmark of being a grown up. It’s also what all of us need in a partner – someone that can give as well as take.

If you find out that a potential Internet mate has never lived on her own resources, she is a DEPENDENT and will likely always be a dependent. Don’t let her become yours.

4. “Accept me as I am.”

If this woman were a car, she would have a sticker that says, “As is. No warranty.” In Crazy-speak, “Accept me as I am,” means, “You are never allowed to disagree with or criticize me in any way. Ever.”  This is unacceptable in a relationship.

In a healthy relationship, both partners should be able to disagree on an issue and not come to blows. Your partner doesn’t have the right to decide how you feel. This candidate does not know how to be in a relationship. Do not “accept” her wink or nod or flirt or icebreaker.

5. “I want a real man.”

By all scientific definitions, a “real” man has an XY chromosome combination and male genitalia. What does she mean by “real” man?  I can only guess.

It likely means that she hates her Daddy and you and every man before you and after you will fail to be a “real” man because her expectations are unrealistic and because you are not, after all, her Daddy. Block her from contacting you.

6. “I’m new to this internet dating thingy.”

Unless she’s just recently become single, she’s probably lying. You can check the “member since” on a lot of dating sites.

Why would someone want to lie about how long they’ve been on a dating site?  Because they’ve sent countless men running for their lives and they don’t want you to do the same.  RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!

Shrink4Men Coaching and Consulting Services:

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.


  1. Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

    I also recommend avoiding women who identify themselves as goddesses, princesses, etc., and women who describe themselves as a “very special person who enjoys the finer things in life” — especially if she has no visible means of income.

    Anyone with a kissy duck face profile photo is also, naturally, to be avoided.

    • Micksbabe says

      I forgot about the duck face. Since this is primarily a 15 year old girl thing, the duck face should be an immediate indicator of her maturity level (15).

      On the topic of things to look for in photos – someone who obviously had professional photos taken for her dating profile. Red flag.

      • Driver says

        LOL…excellent article, Micksbabe.

        I had a great laugh at all of these points. There are so many women out there (especially on the internet) who fit the “I’m not quite sure about her” category. Whether it’s the “kids are my world” comment or “my ex used to stalk me” comment…they are all usually pretty funny (and those comments should be a red flag for anyone)…just run!

        Good stuff here!


    • Robert1 says

      The woman in the cubicle next to me at work openly brags about being a “princess”, and she is the very textbook definition of Histrionic Personality Disorder.

      Nonstop babbling about every meaningless detail of her personal life, and not ONCE does she ask someone else how they are doing. Worst of all, she does it in this squeaky, “Tee hee, I’m a widdle cutie” voice.

  2. Verbal says

    Find out what TV shows she watches. Reality TV is a huge red flag. Our societal standards are slowly becoming skewed by shows like The Real Housewives of East Buttfuck. Narcissism, entitlement and potty words (I should talk) are becoming accepted as the norm.

      • Robert1 says


        Remind me not to drink soda while I’m reading some of these comments.

        >>>porno for the personality disordered

        I think people view those “reality” shows as a template for their own lives, or perhaps to make them feel better by realizing that their own lives aren’t so screwed up. I fear that it’s more the first one.

    • Autumn says

      Reality T.V. is one of the reasons I don’t watch tv at all anymore. That, and the morning news has absolutely no news at all but fashion and gossip. Yay Netflix streaming.
      I’ve noticed the last few years how so many people are addicted to reality shows and will dissect each episode ad nauseum. I hate this genre, and can’t wait until its time has passed into the annals of shame. Glorifying the worst character traits human beings have to offer is admired and looked up to. Crazy B*’s look at it as “standing up for their rights” to abuse others and act rudely.

    • Driver says

      Amen, Verbal!

      When did reality TV become the “gauge” or standard for people? Pretty scary!

      Speaking of “The Real Housewives”. That show is another great example of how you can give someone a ton of money but in the end they are still “trash”.

      You can take the girl out of the trailer park (or ghetto) but you can’t take the trailer park (or ghetto) out of the girl!

      My thoughts.

  3. says

    You forgot to include a warning to also avoid the ones with a crazy/high drama generating family. While the object of your affection may be perfect, it’s the ones who are unwilling and/or unable to function independently of familial white noise that will break the deal.

  4. Mellaril says

    Great advice!

    Why limit it to the Internet? Change “this internet dating thingy” to “bar scene” in #6 and I think I heard all of them in bars somewhere along the way.

    Hearing #3 was a short term advantage. Most of the women who told you that often weren’t in any hurry to go home.

    You tested #6 by asking, “What did the bartender say his name was?”

    It was a long time ago but I remember reading somewhere, “Many men look for mates in light they wouldn’t buy a suit in.” There’s got to be a social media equivalent.

  5. Lebrocq says

    I have actually been out on a few dates in the last year from online meetings – but it was a lot of hard work – There are some real nuts online and my experiences would say avoid a woman:
    – who is in her 30’s and indicates her longest previous relationship is less than 2 years.
    – has a profile headline that makes a demand of any kind such as ‘must love dogs’

    • Sam says

      I would make that – in her 30s or 40s and her longest previous relationship is 3 years.

      Every relationship my ex had had lasted about 3 years (including ours). One year where she talked about, but essentially hid her problems, one year where all her issues became apparent, and one year for everything to fall apart.

  6. tallwheel says

    I’ve seen just about all of these. I actually ended up dating the “I live with my parents” woman. She was unemployed, so needless to say I had to pay for everything – and she would pick expensive restaurants too and hand me the bill. On about the 5th or 6th date she asked me to buy her clothes too, which I refused, and it was pretty much downhill from there. She could not wipe the frown off her face every time she recalled that I didn’t pay for her clothes that one time. I felt like I had become a wallet. She was too busy talking about the jerks at her previous workplaces to bring herself to begin hunting for a new job too. If she had not been incredibly attractive I wouldn’t have bothered with her as long as I did.

    I’m not so sure the reviews idea is such a good one. I can just see the next time I have one date with a woman from a dating site and decide not to pursue it further, I’ll end up with a review on my profile like, “OMG! He is such a losr! Im sur hes just looking to get laid. LADYS BWARE!”

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      In theory, the reviews are a good idea, but in the wrong hands, can become a smear campaign.

      There are already sites that do this, I think it would be better to put time, energy and money in educating men and women about the kinds of predators discussed here than giving PDIs another tool to hurt people who wisely decided not to buy them clothes or go on a second date.

      • Micksbabe says

        I was only kidding about the reviews. That would never work because there would be no way to discern between the lies and truth.

        Good decision not paying for her clothes.

    • Driver says

      Hey tallwheel…don’t feel bad.

      It was great to get those red flags, early. Buy her clothes on the 5th and 6th dates? What the hell?

      So next time (as a joke) you should introduce yourself like James Bond.

      “and you are?…Express…American Express.”



  7. EagleOne says

    Hi Tara,

    Your weblog is just awesome. After reading your blog, all crazy behaviours of my abusive and psychopath ex-wife started to make sense and how she is a textbook example of BPD and NPD!! First time when I saw your blog, I was in shock how you have explained my ex’s personality and behaviours accurately like you are a very close family friend of us!!

    I wish all men could read your posts and see the red flags which were always there when I met her but didn’t make sense to me until we got married and then divorced and finally I found your web blog!

    Now I’m recovering from all pain and mental trauma slowly. Yes, as a generic victim of a BPD/NPD wife, I went through all false allegations of domestic violence and rape when I decided to divorce her. You can understand better than anyone else how much pain I have suffered.

    I’ll come back here to share my experiences about online dating later. I have started using one of these web sites, assuming it’s time to get out of my lionesses and also having some fun.

    Having that horrible experience with a BPD maniac, I truly enjoy the wisdom I have obtained from that and how I can see stuff in women that I was not able to see beforehand. Although, the scars of those wounds are life long lasting, I enjoy being a stronger and better man at the end of story.

    Keep your great job up :)

  8. Mellaril says

    If you’re lucky, maybe they’re only after money.

    From recent news: “Mary Kay Beckman Sues After Wade Ridley Allegedly Tried To Murder Her”

    I remember “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” (1977) and “Fatal Attraction” (1987. I know “Fatal Attraction” made me wonder a little about who was sitting next to me in the theater.

    The risks are still the same, the Internet only makes it easier.

  9. thistooshallpass says

    I have been doing the internet dating thing for about a year and a half now. After meeting up with many women over that time, you start to learn A LOT about what certain things in the profile mean in real life.

    Here are my tips, as additions to the good ones above:

    1. Photos: If they have kissy duck face, as Dr. T so astutely mentions…avoid! Similarly, if every single one of their photos is ‘instragrammed’ and photo-filtered beyond belief….avoid. They are afraid to show their true face. Same if they are wearing sunglasses in every photo. (also, women with only filtered and doctored photos…NEVER look like that in person…and you will inevitably end up disappointed).

    2. What they say: There are some women who do the ‘im new to this internet thingy’…and thats fine, if its true. However, some of these women, a lot in fact, will write VERY LITTLE about themselves. Almost as if they think they are so attractive they don’t need to write anything. Avoid, even if they are attractive. They think they are ‘too good for’ internet dating…ie, better than everyone else on there…its offensive and insulting to those who put in an effort and put themselves out there and make themselves vulnerable on there. These women are actually very insecure if they can’t even fill out a profile. That, or they are really not serious about dating or relationships and just want attention (this happens a lot…women who just want messages and don’t want to actually ever meet up…)

    3. On the site I use, there is a question and answer section. One question is what is your demeanor on a daily basis. One answer is ‘cheerful’, another is ‘Meh’, and the last is ‘Depressed’ or something. After going out with many women who answer ‘Meh’….thinking they were maybe just being ‘realistic’…they are actually, in person, very depressed and oftentimes addicts too (in my personal experience). I try to stick to the ‘cheerful’ ones now.

    Hope this helps you all!

    • Recovering_awakening_male says

      Hey man! You really hit the nail on the head with this one: I in october found myself emotionally connected with a girl one a dating site who, as you point out in your second tip, tell very little, or in this case nothing even, about herself. We mailed each other and talked over the phone and it feelt as if I was actually going to find someone I was attracted to physically, mentally and emotionally. I mistook her sheer arrogance and feeling of utter superiority for “being selective” (i guess we sometimes see what we wanna/need to see) as she explained she wasn’t the type of girl who dated a lot of “nutters” without specifying what that meant to her (probably just that she thought she was better then most men/guys in every department)I just don’t understand why she was going out so serious with someone over 200 kilometers away, being good-looking, seemingly friendly and captivating, had she burned all her bridges “at home”, or maybe she only felt comfortable with someone she thought she’d never thought she’d ever meet, as thistooshallpass points out, just sought confirmation and attention from a “worthy” source. I will never really know, will I…

      With my personal predisposition, I am very inclined to let myself get caught up in the emotion and it is as if am unaware of all warning-signs; this girl even told me she did not wan’t to “scare me away yet”…but it was implicitly going to happen. She was going to call me back at a party at which she just “happened” to meet someone else she told me three days, alot of nerve wracking uncertainty and four unanswered textmessages later. “Bad timing” was the excuse she had, as if swapping me for someone was just a matter of timing, not personal choice or decision…terribly provoking and irresponsible. So much for that “serious relationship” – which leads me in to that little annoyance: never take anything for granted if you get involved with someone just out of their relationship-type preference. Oftentimes; they wan’t it all, meaning they want to remain in the purgatory in-between friendship, serious relationship and short romance (these girls are usually easier to see through since ur inclined not to allow yourself develop “serious feelings of affection for a girl like this) just makes sure YOU know what u wan’t (and what u are prepared for) before entering anything with anyone. Also, if you decide to get involved, make sure you get a picture of how many she/he is currently “in touch” with on the site in particular. If she finds this question intrusive, insulting or even controlling make sure to leave it “in the bud”, you have all the right to know if you are a honest straighshooter yourself. Remember the song about owner of a lonely heart so much better then the owner of a broken heart? Pretty damn true i’d say.

  10. jp says

    Good post.

    Another phrase that scares me is “Looking for a man to keep me on my toes.”. I have no idea what it even means but my gut screams red flag.

    Also, don’t date women that collect alimony. Period. I mean in this day and age, alimony, really? If she’s a known alimony collector you can be sure she sees you as a future source of support should things go belly up.


    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      “Also, don’t date women that collect alimony. Period. I mean in this day and age, alimony, really? If she’s a known alimony collector you can be sure she sees you as a future source of support should things go belly up.”

      And, if they collect alimony and talk trash about their ex, don’t just run away, run like your butt is on fire. That is hostile dependence writ large.

      • NeverAgain says


        My ex found her next victim just as my alimony payments ran out. She tried to get him to pay her alimony as well when he split, but they were only together about a year, and my state will not grant alimony for such a short relationship (though I’m sure there are exception).

        He did end up paying though, through fighting false domestic violence allegations when he finally left. I knew enough about BPD (only recently realized how much NPD fits as well) to realize that she might try something like that with me, so I was able to dodge that bullet.

        BTW – I found your site through the family of K.G. – the poem you published. Same NPD/BPD, whatever. The only saving grace is that many of the people she’s abused over the years managed to find each other to offer some support.

      • NeverAgain says

        I missed a ton of signs, I wouldn’t feel bad. It only cost me money and time (10 years), fortunately. It sounds like other people have had worse. Here’s a good one – “The reason I don’t trust you and accuse you of cheating on me constantly is because I once asked you if you would die for me, and you hesitated before answering.” Wow, how could I not have ran away from that?

        I think the problem is that unless you’ve been around crazy people before, most of us can’t recognize the crazy. Sure, some things seem off, but we’re trained to assume that most people’s intentions are good (which is likely true in most cases), that most people are basically good, and to overlook flaws. Which is fine, unless the flaw is that they are a crazy Narcissist who is going to do their best to destroy you.

        Also, mine always knew when to turn on the charm when there had been enough recent signs for me to start seriously questioning. They are really good at it.

        All of that said, I was only abused because I allowed it to happen. This is really important for anyone who comes to this site for help, because you can’t begin to get better until you accept that.

        Personally, I have moved on to a normal relationship, with a normal, loving woman. I’d forgotten what it felt like to have someone do nice things for me without expecting something in return, and to not have to constantly meet some moving bar to “prove” my undying devotion. Unfortunately, I had a child with my NPD/BPD, so she’ll be a part of my life for quite a while (mostly unfortunate for our kid). But it’s a lot easier to deal with when you can just not answer emails or phone calls that are obvious traps, because you don’t have to go home to face the wrath.

        • finallywokeup says

          I missed a lot of signs too! The first was being as though it was a long distance “relationship” her telling me I love you after 6 months of talking was the first sign. That was the first sign of her being a professional manipulator which I cannot believe that I fell for. When I finally woke up I want to kick myself in the ass everyday, but that will only slow up the process of purging her out of my system.

  11. EagleOne says

    Thank you Tara.

    Some certain things in the profile mean in real life:

    1) Too many photos: symptom of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)

    2) I am looking for “an open mind person”: It means I’m a slutty bitch who sleeps around and flirts with men. I’m looking for a partner who would ignore/handle/stand my slutty behaviour and not complain about it. There is no guarantee that I wouldn’t cheat on you!

    3) I am looking for “someone to make me laugh and is fun”: It means I’m looking for a monkey to entertain me all the time. Don’t expect me to stay beside you in the hard times of life and provide support to you. You are just a toy to make me laugh and with any issue between us in the future (totally natural in committed relationships like marriage), I’ll dump you and will find another cute male chimpanzee to entertain me.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Good points, EagleOne. Although, I’d take “open minded person” and expand it to “must be tolerant of any aberrant/abusive behaviors.”

      I would also avoid women who state that they hate men and many of them do. You just have to be paying attention to the profile. For example, “tired of players” or “tired of little boys” (the flip side of “looking for a real man” or “tired of game players” or “men who can’t commit,” etc.

  12. playmisty says

    I know it is a small thing, but how about one smile? People post half a dozen or more pictures without a hint of a smile. The austere bug-eyed look similar to General Petraeus’s squeeze really creeps me out. What is their target market? Also, older women unsubtly displaying their wares that are nearing their expiration date gives me the willies.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Actually, I think women who post photos of themselves pouting or smoldering with resentment or doing kissy duck face or sporting Krazy Eyez™ are telling you exactly what you are likely to get from them. Some pictures are worth a thousand words.

  13. SW-AL says

    Don’t forget the ones who “doth protest too much” about drama. They are “drama-free” they “hate drama”, etc. We know who the common denominator is…

    • joesixpack says

      “I hate drama” really means “I love to complain loudly about the drama I create”, or worse “I’ll be demanding that you save me from all the drama I create”. I’ve never had drama in my life until I was with someone who “hated it”, and then it never seemed to stop.

  14. Mr. Earls says

    I wonder how my ex moonbat landed her current beau. My kids had nicknames for 6 guys they met prior to him and now she is with an man who has 4 kids, an ex who was an ahem SAHM and getting alomony. They are quite the jet setters. Cruises, prequent trips to NYC where he has a place. My kids go in tow. I would love to see her profile, but another side of me does not. Same script, different players. Sad really. It amazes me how one reads the bill of goods and finds that there are inconsistencies but goes along with the program because…what are a few red herrings in the grand scheme of things? She’s a great mom, vibrant and ohhhhh so much fun and quite the live one in the sack! She wanted this lifestyle when we were married. Threatened more than once to quit her job when she became pregnant with DS16. Now, she may have all of that. He is successful. I’ve met him, read his business profile. No criminal record. He seems very mild mannered, kinda how I used to be. Poor bastard…

  15. Robert1 says

    Well, I’ve been lurking and taking note of the stories that I’ve read here. I’ve found validation in knowing that I’m not alone in surviving a relationship with a Borderline / Histrionic woman.

    After reading this post about Internet Dating Red Flags, I decided it was time to get into the discussion. I’m sorry to say that I was definitely taken for a ride by a woman that I met online. I sure wish that I would have read these warning signs a long time ago.

    >>>However, if her children are her “world” then she needs to give her children a reprieve and get her own world – one where her children can just be children and not the reason she hasn’t offed herself yet.

    I remember my ex that I met online once said, “If something ever happened to my daughter, then they’d have to come take me away.” At first, I thought that was just a mother being protective and concerned about the welfare of her child. Looking back though, that was a cuckoo thing to say.

    >>>“Accept me as I am,” means, “You are never allowed to disagree with or criticize me in any way. Ever.” This is unacceptable in a relationship.

    I don’t listen to much of the Top 40 anymore, but I’ve heard some songs recently by popular female artists who declare that anyone who listens to them is “perfect” and “beautiful” and has no need to change. Even if you have a four-alarm personality disorder, you are PERFECT. Anyone who disagrees is “afraid of a strong woman”.

    Anyway, I’ll have more to say later . . . but my oh my, there are some pretty young women on the Web who seem like angels at first, but will have you hopping the first train out of Crazytown.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Welcome, to S4M, Robert. I never cease to be amazed by how uncanny the similarities are with these types of personalities. It’s like they’re all hatched from the same pod.

  16. infojunkie says

    additionally: lots of Jesus banners, scripture references, spiritual advice, “praying for…” statements, etc… especially when mixed in with duck-face photos, creepy seduction poses, mommy-of-the-year poses, and the ever-present laundry lists of personal hardships recently overcome.

  17. Mellaril says

    Related blogs from the S4M archives:

    •8 Red Flag Dating Phrases that Should Send You Running (October 28, 2009)

    •Teaching Boys and Young Men about Women and Dating, Part 1 (March 16, 2011)

    •Dating Street Smarts: How to Spot Emotional Predators and Con Artists (November 4, 2009)

    •Are You “Institutionalized?” More Thoughts on Dating After Divorcing an Abusive, High-Conflict Spouse (August 8, 2011)

    •Dating After Divorcing a High-Conflict Woman: Are You Ready to Date Again? (August 2, 2011)

  18. LT Greenwald says

    I’ve seen some “red flags” with a woman I’ve been dating from an internet site:

    1. She wants to be with me every day, 24/7, and she gets sad/upset when I make other plans or just want to be by myself. Extreme neediness/control issues.

    2. She constantly questions me about other women — she thinks they all want me (I wish that was the case!) I find myself getting defensive about things for no reason. Extreme trust issues.

    3. She has huge daddy issues, which makes sense, because her dad is a pretty big asshole. But I feel like she unfairly paints all men with a broad brush. She makes negative comments about men not being able to express themselves emotionally, as if that’s supposed to get me to open up to her.

    There are a lot of great things about her, but I think these red flags might be the tip of the iceberg.

    What do y’all think?

    • Recovering_awakening_male says

      Hello. Does she show any awareness of these issues, is she mature enought to own them herself? How much have you two talked about it?

      My experience is, if you start out with no boundaries, (not saying that is the case here necesarily) the longer it goes without any the greater the odds are that there aint enough trust in the relationship or that it really lacks any basis in reality to stand the test of time.

      • LT Greenwald says

        She acknowledges some of her issues, but I’m not sure if she’s trying to fix them. I get the sense that she’ll say anything just to keep me around.

        As for boundaries, I’ve tried asserting boundaries as issues arise. But it’s hard. She’s very comfortable asserting her needs, but I feel like I have to tip toe around her.

        I think, at the end of the day, I need to trust my gut. She doesn’t give me a “warm and fuzzy” feeling. My gut tells me to run! :)

    • deltatango says

      Red flags are there so they can be seen from a distance. There are a lot of things you don’t have to understand in order to avoid. BPD is not contagious, but the symptoms are. Your defensiveness means you are already catching the BPD cooties.

      You will, Will, WILL, _WILL_ be cast as daddy and you will be asshole in her eyes. It will only get worse. It is only the tip of the iceberg

      • LT Greenwald says

        Great points, Recovering_awakening_male and deltatango.

        I find myself getting mad and blaming myself for not being able to understand and predict her behavior better. But what my head doesn’t understand, my gut does. And it’s telling me to head for the hills!

        • Recovering_awakening_male says

          I hope you have the courage to follow what is right, for you, not what you think/hope is right for her. I’ve tried to please women to the point of self-effacement. Don’t follow my fotsteps.

          The fact that you have to tip-toe even though you assert your boundaries is surely a warning-sign and I agree, the gut tells us what the mind/heart just refuse to pronounce!

          • LT Greenwald says

            Amen, brother! I just need to break the cycle. I’ve got a BPD mother and a BPD ex-wife. I’ve got to figure out what attracts me to these types and how I can avoid them in the future. :)

            I have faith I can do it. And this S4M community and it’s members like you have been great for aiding my learning process. Thanks!

  19. deltatango says

    LT and R_A_M,
    I went the same route and tried to please my ex, walked on eggshells, broken glass, etc. The only thing it got me was a loss of respect which made the divorce inevitable. I stumbled on this post:

    which was very illuminating. I was “Mr Nice Guy.” I “self-effaced”. NOW my job is to get me back and be rock solid with boundaries going forward. S4M has been awesome. Dr T is screamingly funny and understands NPD/BPD better than anyone I have talked to or read. This post is excellent!

    BEWARE any woman flaunting victimhood!

  20. deltatango says

    LT and R_A_M,
    I went the same route and tried to please my ex, walked on eggshells, broken glass, etc. The only thing it got me was a loss of respect which made the divorce inevitable. I stumbled on this post:

    which was very illuminating. I was “Mr Nice Guy.” I “self-effaced”. NOW my job is to get me back and be rock solid with boundaries going forward. S4M has been awesome. Dr T is screamingly funny and understands NPD/BPD better than anyone I have talked to or read. This post is excellent!

    BEWARE any woman flaunting victimhood!

  21. thatguy says

    Your partner doesn’t have the right to decide how you feel.

    My partner tells me all the time how I feel. I always say thank you because I didn’t know I felt that way.

    It is totally absurd when someone thinks they have you figured out that they are unwilling to listen to what you actually have to say because by some grace of god they know you better than you know yourself.

  22. jefe says

    I’m glad to say that most of the profiles I’ve read were pretty honest. My main objection is when they never respond to my emails.
    It seems to me, there is almost nothing we can write that won’t p!ss someone off.
    The one genuine red flag I watch for is when women describe their physique as “Average”. The “average” American women is actually forty pounds obese!

  23. mr says

    More or less, any profile that suggests that the writer is anything but an adult should be avoided.

    Recently, I saw a profile of a single mother that I recognized in passing from the park explicitly looking for an older, financially stable man who would take care of her (given her background as fairly attractive but unemployed cosmetologist, etc. with 2 kids living with her parents) . Struck me as a bit sickening and more than a definite red flag.

    Another major pitfall that I would avoid are women who do not have a proper job history. My experience and that of many of my friends is that this is often a prerequisite to a happy marriage and that, even if the wife is out of the workforce for a few years due to small children, if she has a history of responsible behavior, i.e. showing up to work on time, completing tasks, relating to a boss, etc., she is more likely to be understanding when either financial difficulties crop up and she has to go back to work, or when her husband needs to pull in extra hours to make sure that he can do the kind of job necessary to support his family.

    For me, my biggest nightmare is for my daughters to emulate their mom with respect to childish financial dependence. And, it is not just about education, as their mom is highly educated with several degrees from prestigious institutions, and has never held a paying job. And, I repeatedly stress to them that nearly every law school, business school and medical school is at least 40% female…meaning that a very large percentage of mothers work and help to support their family (and so should they). Another factor that I stress to both my son and my 2 daughters is that their life will be much happier if they learn not to blame others for their problems.

  24. John says

    Hi Dr T,
    Didn’t read all the comments so if the following comment is mentioned then it may at least be reinforcement … it is actually related to no 1 in your list. With the many women I have communicated with on this particular dating site, I always get around to asking: Do you have the children all the time, most will answer “yes the children don’t get along with their father …..” It isn’t a direct assault on the dad but I could make the assumption that the problem 50% of the time will be the mother (parental alienation) or it is something the dad has done or hasn’t done 50% of the time, either way I don’t like the odds :)

  25. cuatezon says

    Good post and I’d say overdue.

    If you want to see Internet Dating BPD/HCP 101 in action, go onto and look up the women profiles in southern california. Probably 95% of the profiles contain overwhelming amount of red flags mentioned in this post & comments. Its scary.

    • Cousin Dave says

      That doesn’t surprise me; you’d probably notice the same thing if you searched NYC or south Florida. There are certain areas of the country that are very attractive to Cluster B’s, so subsequently they wind up being a disproportionate percentage of the population. That’s why, if you live in these areas and you find yourself repeatedly getting involved with Cluster B’s, one measure you may have to take in order to fix the problem is to move. I used to live in south Florida, and knowing what I know now, there’s no way I would consider dating a woman from there unless she had exceptionally good evidence of normal and responsible behavior.

      • LT Greenwald says

        Ha, good point Cousin Dave. My best friend is married to a raging b*&^% of a Cluster B in South Florida. She’s oh-so-sweet and pretty in public and she punches my friend square in the face in private. The man is living in his own private hell.

        • cuatezon says

          Ouch. I met a lady on Jdate (I’m not Jewish but what the heck). We talked on phone and texted a bit, then finally met. On our first date after dinner, she grabbed me and began passionately kissing me in the parking lot, rubbing her hips into me etc. (We’re both in our 40s).

          Second date, we have dinner and a drink. In the parking lot, she starts ragging on me about how I didn’t call her while I had the flu. I told her when I’m really sick like that, I don’t want to be on the phone a long time, but reminded her that I did text her every day. She got agitated and tried slapping me twice, telling me not to argue with her.

          Then she grabbed me and started making out with me, pulled me on top of her in her car, and reached down inside of my pants. I admit I did kiss her back and liked the affection/attention…but realize this is a serial killer in training kinda lady.

          I’m not making this up. Needless to say, I decided not to date her anymore.

      • Confused says

        It is just not south Florida, southern California, or NYC with high number of cluster B types. I live in Savannah, GA and have dated many women here that have one or more cluster B disorders. Not sure what it is but I think it has to do with a low socio-economic demographic. There is also a large military presence here and you would not believe the number of women that are online looking to cheat on their husband/boyfriend while he is deployed. Its sickening.

  26. Siggie says

    Mine stated “you need to set my boundaries for me”…..naive me interpreted that as let her know if she does something that I consider un-agreeable to me……so I understand the missing the importance of things.

  27. SSG says

    “My children are my world” describes my husband’s ex. Not only has she lived through the children, putting extreme pressure on them to make HER look good, but she has definitely used (and I quote) the “struggling single mother living paycheck-to-paycheck” LIE to garner sympathy. Of course, there is the insinuation that the kids had a deadbeat dad.

    In our situation, the “my children are my world” also worked as a great excuse for her remaining single for 10-plus years. When the kids reached adulthood, when they greatly disappointed her and messed with the image she craved, and she was still not dating, she conveniently decided (no lie) that God told her to leave the country! She now owns nothing and lives among Hamas, trying to convert them to Christianity (because religion has served her so well and done so much for her life, you know)!

  28. JWE_escaped says

    My BPD ex-fiance was on within two weeks of us breaking up after a relationship of 4 1/2 years. A buddy saw her profile and told me she had 15-20 pictures and they were all professionally done and included pics with her kids, that I am sure she used as accessories to sell what a great mom she is. He said she described herself as a hardworking single mom who has worked hard for everything she has …… code for she will use her ASSet to get hold of what she can out of you. The night I asked her to leave she told me “I won’t have any trouble finding someone to take care of me, no trouble at all!”. Funny thing is she ran back to her cheating ex boyfriend at the same time so she was shopping herself around and using him as a crutch.

      • JWE_escaped says

        That was a year and a half ago and she tries every 3-4 months to try to contact me. She tries to create an issue/urgent matter that I “have” to respond to. I am now that shadow ex, except I do not reply. I have practiced NC since her last box left this house and I am sure that irritates the hell out of her. Each time she escalates the issue and each time she hears nothing. I even had her blocked from email but she found a way around that last time.

        I have tried the sites off and on and most Ladies are fresh out of relationships or looking for someone to take care of them.

        • cuatezon says

          I recently went on a date with a girl from China, but who has lived in the U.S. for 7 years. Her English was so-so but we got along pretty well. During dinner, though, she told me she is looking for a boyfriend to “support her” and help her get things out of storage for the music store she owns. She went on about how he should help carry things from storage to the store, put in a new railing in the upstairs part of the store, make repairs and maintenance at her store, etc. Basically looking for an errand boy. I told her she needs to make more female friends (supposedly she has no friends here). She seemed to get upset and went into the bathroom where I think she may have cried (?).

          Cluster Bs are a universal/international phenomena.

  29. killswitch says

    I met my soon to be ex wife on the internet. The thing is that she is a certified life coach. Yes, I said a professional life coach – clients and all. Online she’s a wonder to behold. But when I met her, she looked nothing like her photo, which I thought, “Well she’s a professional.” I, too am a professional so I had pro photos done for a former radio show and my business. Didn’t think nothing of it. After we married, all hell broke loose. I mean like a demonic nuclear bomb. She wanted a divorce after 12 days being married.

    Long story short, once I checked up on her past, I saw her for what she is and initiated a no contact strategy for my protection. I moved back home putting hundreds of miles between us. She uses her career/client list to hunt out prey (re: weak well to do men). After a while she sends pictures of her body and gets topless for her Skype sessions (found out by talking to her ex before me).

    Once I was away, the pieces just fell into place. By the grace of God, I found this site… which I am grateful.

    I could go on – and I will in other posts – but I need to read more articles.

    Thanks, Doc!

    • cuatezon says

      Welcome to the ‘club’ killswitch. I and many others know your pain. Gotta be honest, I envy your gumption and ability to see whats happening so soon into the relationship and cut the Hydra’s head off immediately…instead of waiting and languishing and procreating like I and others did. I dated a neuropsychiatrist/neurologist for a year, and she knew the head games and did all kinds of emotional stunts with me. Sometimes these professional types can be the worst sociopaths of all b/c on appearance they shine and are accepted in the community, yet behind closed doors are Dr. Hydes and major BPD/Narcissists.

      I recommend you also read the archives here lots of great info here.

  30. killswitch says

    If she sends you nude shots of herself or offers you a peep show on skype… because of course she feels an intense connection with you like no other, and she’s never done this with anyone else. But you’re a different story, because YOU are the ONE.

    Dude, run like the devil is chasing you.

    • davedal says

      Yea I read it and laughed you are so right . Guess how many guys she told that same thing to especially the ones who like hanging their twins out for the world to see just to get attention, Those are the ones to run from because guess what I learned even if you are with them your feelings are invisible to them you don’t really matter to them . They just want you and tons of others strictly for the attention.

  31. Sean2 says

    I have quite a bit of experience with meeting women from dating sites.

    Off the top of my head, probably met at least fifty women. And most of them were disasters. Rude and condescending on first meetings, spoke badly of men, made me feel like I was on a job interview..

    One ‘woman’ I met, who had went on and on negatively about men, had to walk backwards away from me as in her words all men wanted to do was look at her butt…

    One girl started talking about her Brazilian wax job she just got done, then started talking about her and her ex boyfriend who have shared custody of a dog…

    I have a lot more crazier stories than this. Point being is the thought of meeting another wild card off the internet completely exhausts me. The last girl I met was really weird. We hung out a few times. The last time I was at her apartment, and one minute she says that she just feels so comfortable with me blah blah, and then less than five minutes later she says she feels like she needs to entertain me! I thought she felt comfortable around me???

    Anyhow, by the time I got home I was in one of those wtf moments wondering what had just happened..

    90% of the women on the internet dating sites are nut jobs. Never again.

    Oh, there are a lot of red flags in their profiles. But my list of red flags was a little bit different than this list. I generally avoided single mothers.

    1) I work hard and I play harder
    2) I have a great family, great friends, and I love my dog.
    3) I’m looking for a guy who can fit into any social situation with ease.
    4) I can wear a baseball hat one minute, and transition into an evening gown for a night on the town next!
    5) I have a really active life and am looking for a man who can keep up!
    6) If you want to know anything else, just ask!

    • cuatezon says

      Welcome to the site Sean. Sounds like we’ve had very similar experiences. I work from home in southern California, so internet dating seems pragmatic way to meet women. Yet I’ve gotten the interview deal quite a bit, and ran into a lot of what you did too…and see the same things over and over again. Like your red flag list.

      I’d also add to the red flag list anything similar to the “Looking for a man who is emotionally secure and confident and can be a gentleman and treat me like a lady” statements. Isn’t it a given we’re all looking for someone who’s respectful and decent? I think these kinds of lines are ‘qualfying’ lines, kind of like the cheap marketing tricks Dr. T often refers to that these women use to ensnare unsuspecting or low self esteem men.

  32. cuatezon says

    Since I work from home, still doing internet dating. Its scary out there. Seeing red flag profiles left & right. On one online profile, the woman posted a caption under a photo saying “Don’t be fooled by my sweetness, I will take control sometimes and you will like it.” Its one of those sociopathic smiling photos too. Creepy!

    Here is an excerpt from the profile:
    A little more about me:
    7. I will try everything at least once, prefer to color outside of the lines, my inner 6-year old is alive and hopping! 8. I kiss better than I cook. 9. I can’t fix anything so you will be needed to come to the rescue with your power tools ;). 10. I don’t know how to work a remote control, especially if there are multiples. 11. I have never owned or leased a doghouse & have no intention of starting . 12. I will desire you more than I need you. 13. And lastly, like me, you know that waiting and taking the time to get to know one another is the ultimate aphrodisiac which is guaranteed to produce mind blowing love making down the road

    The one thing I wish MORE people would notice about me:
    Here is a random list contributed by my friends and former partners. 1. You can share anything with me, NOTHING is too hard to say or hear, I am masochistic like that :-). I prefer the “Do ask & do tell” policy. 2. You will rarely have to be a mind reader…I say what I mean and I mean what I say. 3. You will feel deeply appreciated and very well loved. 4. I am nice…even when I am PMSing… 5. I am smart enough to take care of myself AND I want you to be the man in the relationship…so grunt away;). 6. “I love you,” “I’m sorry,” “Please help me,” “Thank You,” and “Take Me Now” are easy to say AND deeply impactful

  33. Itza Sekret says

    Frames of Reference. People are more mobile now… so we end up in cities where we don’t have a lot of social history on a particular (internet) dating prospect, who is also likely from somewhere else. I ask a lot of questions about Family of Origin now… to understand if the Woman is anywhere close to my Frame of Reference. Are Moms & Pops together still? How did they relate? Siblings? Who has what kind of career?

    There are some quick DQ’s I look for in any “dating profile/personality”… some I learned from these pages ~

    1. Too many/repeated photos. (Needs & Demands Attention, Fascinated With Self)
    2. Kissy Duck Face pics with Momma/Sister/Friends (Enmeshment & Codependence)
    3. More than one “I am” in any 3 sentences.
    That includes “my friends describe me as xyz…”, which is just “I wish
    my friends would describe me as xyz…. but I”m not…”
    4. Sentences that mostly start with “I”
    5. “You need to make me laugh” (Entitled)
    6. “I need strong boundaries” (Admitting Bad Behavior)
    7. Any form of “How Great I Am” story.
    8. Pics only with Glamorous People (Xtremely Superficial)
    9. Too Much Titty On Display (Gonna Use These To Manipulate Everything….)

  34. jhan6120 says

    Awesome article!! All we ever hear about in our culture is how ‘men suck.’ It’s good for us men who DON’T SUCK to get some help now and then.

    Here’s a pet peeve of mine: women who portray themselves as ‘witty, funny and engaging’ in their profiles, and then when they actually deign to get into a message-conversation with me, they’re BORING AS HELL. They have NOTHING to say. They put the whole conversation on ME, like it’s MY JOB to keep them entertained or something.

    I think this an entitlement attitude. It’s a woman’s way of saying, ‘I’m great and it’s your job to keep me amused.’ REALLY?? Like I have nothing better to do all day than sit here and think up interesting s__t to say to you?? NEXT!!!

    One thing I’m always on the look out for in profiles is a lot of SNARKINESS. The ‘I’m so smart, let’s see if you can keep up with me’ routine. Women who need to show off their massive vocabularies, list all of the obscure po-mo books they’ve read, play word-games, etc.’ I’m in NYC, and I’ve dated a lot of these women. They’re often the most socially inept and annoying. These are the kinds of women who have an emotional need to argue with you about EVERYTHING because they think that’s being ‘assertive.’ I call it being a PAIN IN THE A__.

    And let’s not forget the woman with 5 profile pics, ALL of which are SELFIES. This is a sure sign of ‘I’m crazy and I have no friends.’

    Interesting fact: after I posted two photos of myself with a few attractive women friends, my response rate went WAY UP. A friend of mine told me to do this, because, in women’s eyes, that raises a man’s ‘social value.’ The idea is that when a woman sees you having a good time with other women, they have an innate desire to know what makes you so special that these women just HAVE to be around you.

    That s__t works. I got responses from ALL kinds of women, and even – GASP – a few cold approaches FROM women!!

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