Navigating the dating world is difficult. And navigating the dating world when you’re addicted to attracting Mr Unavailables is even more difficult. We all know that once a Mr Unavailable has hooked us, it’s difficult to cut ourselves loose, so the best defense against getting stuck with these guys is to avoid dating them in the first place. Today I have a few tips on how to spot them on Internet dating sites so that you can avoid falling prey.

The first order of business, once you’ve decided to try Internet dating is to figure out which site or sites you will join. Mr Unavailables, whether they are unavailable because they are currently in a relationship or just out of one or addicted to a substance or are immature or mentally or whatever their issue is, will be looking for a site where women are quick prey. They will want access to a lot of women while spending the least time and money. Sites that give the option of stating your reason for being on the site as ‘sex’ or ‘fun’ will usually have Mr Unavailables in abundance as well as sites that make it very easy for people to contact each other directly and have instant messaging features. If you’re looking for a long term relationship and/or potential mate, I suggest sticking with websites that cost a bit more and really advertise that they’re ‘relationship sites’ as opposed to ‘dating sites,’ and by all means stay away from sites that advertise themselves as ‘sex sites.’

As women on Internet dating sites, we will receive many messages, ‘winks,’ etc. The important thing to remember is that we are not obligated in any way to respond to each and every message and show of interest. The most important thing to do once you’ve been contacted is to really look at the man’s profile and look for answers to questions such as (Keeping in mind that each site is different and may have a couple of unique fields, however most of the information is the same.) How long have they been on the website? and, What is their stated goal for being on the website? Also scrutinise their photo. If they’re flexing their muscles or there are women and or children in the photo, stay away. Predators will use children and/or mothers/sisters/women in wedding dresses as props to entice you. Also, most sites have a section where people write something in freeform. Stay away from men who tell you they’re wounded or just out of a relationship, etc.

Once you’ve responded to them and you begin a dialog, look out for red flags. Again, stop the dialog if they tell you they’re just out of a relationship, if they speak badly about their ex-wives/girlfriends, if they put themselves down, if they tell you they’re dating on multiple sites, if they tell you about other dates they’ve been on, if they’ve been on the dating sites continually for more than a year. Other red flags are if they want to move too quickly to another mode of communication ie. Yahoo or MSN or the phone. You shouldn’t spend an endless amount of time communicating via the dating site, but depending on your schedules, a few days to a week or so should suffice.

Be cautious of men who seem to want to get too serious too soon, and by all means, if a man tries to pressure you to meet him before you are ready, discontinue all communication. Likewise if he starts talking about sex too soon or tries to pressure you to send naked photos of yourself, two big signs that all he’s looking for is sex.

Most dating sites also have some feature that lets you know who’s on-line. If it appears as if this man is always on the site, as if chatting on the site is his major form of socialising, throw him back in the water.

Basically, use all of the same criteria to weed out a Mr. Unavailable in the on-line dating world as you would use in the real dating world. And never forget the golden rule’ – always go with your gut.

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