This week I was asked:
“Dr. Donna, I met this guy on line and started dating him. It was our fifth date and over a steak dinner, that he had just prepared, he told me he was diagnosed by his therapist as a narcissist. The weird part was that he was smiling as he said it. Do you think he was kidding or is he a narcissist? And isn’t a narcissist a bad thing?”
I had to chuckle, “Well, it’s not a good thing. No one would be proud of being a narcissist except for a narcissist. He’s telling you the truth.” Her awkward smile turned to a look of true disappointment.
I continued, “The dating game does not have to be as difficult as some people believe it to be. You just need to be able to identify the flaws of a prospective date when searching on-line. Read into their profile and identify the “flags on the play.” You can gather a lot of information about someone just by how they advertise themselves. This will happen within the first two quarters of the game – Quarter one: the on-line chatting; Quarter two: the first phone conversation.”
When looking at a profile first look at their handles (code names they’ve given themselves that accompany their pictures). A code name like “fight on” would tend to tell you that this will be a battle. The handle “Lovmeplease” does not indicate politeness, but rather desperation. Asking how they picked their code names will give light to their personality and to their hobbies. If their code name is random letters and numbers this indicates that it will take a while for them to share anything of importance with you and this could serve as their first “flag on the play.”
Now let’s look at their pictures. If there is no picture, “flag on the play” for sure. That’s indicative of a person who wants to date but will not put themselves out there to do so. Just a waste of time. Also a good chance they are married.
Pictures of smiling perpetual dates don’t necessarily mean they are happy people. Remember, someone is often taking their picture and telling them to smile. And if it’s a selfie and they’re not smiling it tells you something right there, they are not happy. If they’re wearing sunglasses, they are hiding something. You may say they are trying to act cool. “Flag on the play”…if they need to act cool, then they are not.
If they are half naked in the picture, you can be sure that they will come on to you strong. It’s a sure sign that they are looking for a sexual hook up way before you may want one. Now if that’s what you’re looking for, go for it. But make no mistake your first date will have you reaching for that condom so make sure you have one.
Now for those profiles that have pictures of them fully clothed, no sunglasses and big smiles…So far so good! If the profile starts out with, “I’m a nice guy”…that’s a “flag on the play.” If someone has to tell you that they are nice, then you can be sure they are not. Nice people don’t need to mention that. As a matter of fact they don’t even think of it. They know they are nice and they assume everyone else is as well.
If they say they’re an entrepreneur, it’s another “flag on the play.” Most often they are unemployed. That is such a vague term and it could mean anything from turning in coke bottles for the deposits to investing other people’s money into projects they wouldn’t invest their own money in. Most often they are looking for a job.
Then there’s the question that I read on a lot of guys profiles, “Are you out there?” Flag on the play,” there’s millions of women out there, why are you asking such a silly question? A woman’s response should be… “Yeah I’m out here, are you worthy? There’s got to be a better advertisement hook.
Some people just have a picture and no profile. Well either they are not serious about dating or they think they are so good looking that you don’t need to read about them, “Flag on the play,” not much to explain here except it’s like advertising that there will be a football game and when you get to the stadium no one comes out of the tunnel. Don’t waste your time.
Okay, so the pictures look inviting and the written profile doesn’t call for any flags, so now you move to the exchange of contact information which is usually a cell phone number. It doesn’t’ matter who makes the first move here as long as it’s reciprocated. And we move to the second quarter of the game.
In the first 20 minutes of a phone call you can find out everything you need to know about someone, it’s actually when they are the most truthful. “Flag on the play” at this point are any comments that make you feel just the slightest bit uncomfortable. So listen for those early flags and if none present themselves you can go into the third quarter…the meet up.
Stay tuned for “flag on the play” as we go into the third and fourth quarter of the dating game in our next blog.