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Unfortunately, this happens quit often within the online dating scene. Men and women are out there prowling around the internet either looking for something on the side, trying to test the waters to see if they should leave their marriage (some are out right honest about it!). When I was a member on Plenty of Fish, a guy emailed me about meeting for drinks. When I checked his profile, because I always do prior to responding, it flat out stated he was married, had been contemplating cheating on his wife and now was the time. His headline stated “Don’t judge me.” He even posted a photo! That’s pretty ballsy considering everyone I know within the Tampa Bay area and is single is pretty much on this site. This man made it very easy to decide if you wanted to help him commit infidelity, usually this isn’t the case.  

Since I have been cheated on during the three major relationships in my life: first fiancé, second fiancé and then eventually my husband, I believe myself to be an expert within this topic. I have been the wife/ fiancee witnessing the weird behaviors from the supposedly committed man and also ended up being the other woman without my previous knowledge. When I wrote my Rule #9 Be Safe, Research Your Dates, in my book “10 Rules to Navigate the Dating Jungle,” that entire chapter spurred from a man I met online. Shortly after chatting with him via personal emails, I discovered from my own research he was married with a little boy. There are signs to tell if the person you are talking to on the internet is married or already in a committed relationship based on behaviors I have witnessed:

They don’t have a photo on their profile. This is just obvious. I never respond or contact anyone on a dating website who doesn’t have a photo. In this day and age everyone has a digital photo. Either on your smart phone, camera, internet cam, or someone else has one of the devices to take one for you. Don’t believe the lies that they don’t know how. Really? Do you even want to date someone that stupid who doesn’t know how to upload a photo to the internet? Even my 67 year old father can take photos and upload them to an email. If they don’t have a photo they are either a) concealing their identity because they are in a committed relationship or b) butt ass ugly.

They only email you and will not give out their phone number. The guy who I discovered was married from researching him, wouldn’t give me his phone number. He would only email me, yet wanted to meet me an hour away in Orlando. If you’re going to meet someone in person you need to get their digits just in case you end up at the wrong place. If they are reluctant it’s because they don’t want you calling them and their wife answering the phone.

They give you their phone number, but only call during working hours and disappear after 6 or 7 pm. This little trick I discovered from my ex-husband and I’ll thank him for that. He started dating an old high school sweet heart via Facebook during our marriage. She got suspicious that he would only call and talk to her during the daytime, while he was in the office, or in his car on his way home from work. After 6 pm every night he would go MIA. He wouldn’t return her text messages or phone calls. Why? Because he was in our home eating dinner with me, his wife. Be very suspicious if the person you are dating is only available certain hours of the day.

They will only meet you in secluded paces off the beaten path. Say you want to meet your date at the new posh place for dinner and they instead suggest a small restaurant way off the freeway out in the middle of nowhere, there’s something up. They obviously don’t want to be seen out in public with you.  If you live in the same area of town, they most likely are married, so they can’t risk taking you to a popular place because a friend, coworker or relative might see you two together.

They are never available around the holidays. If you’ve been dating someone for a while, but yet they can never hang out with you during say New Year’s Eve, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc. it’s most likely because they’re spending that quality time with their family. I don’t mean mom and dad, I mean their wife and kids. You invite your new boyfriend to your friends costume party that happens to fall right on Halloween, he says he has to work late and can’t go. He could be lying and really has to take his kids out trick-or-treating. Or this classic move, I have to give credit to my second fiancé for, he says he has to work on Valentine’s Day night. He takes me out to dinner the night prior instead. He wasn’t really working; he was just trying to fit two different dates in on one Holiday. Someone else got the Valentine’s Day date, I instead got shafted with the day before. Of course sometimes people do have to work and schedules may conflict, though if you start seeing a pattern be suspicious.

These are just a few of the tips I have from all my bad romance experiences. There are many many more, but it would make this entry too long. They will be a chapter in my upcoming book, “10 Rules to Navigate the Internet Dating Jungle.” Utilize these helpful hints if you think they’re might be something suspicious with a person you’re chatting with online or just started dating. The only thing you can always turn to when you have questions is your gut. Trust yourself and your intuitions. I never did in my twenties and it lead me to two failed engagements and a nasty divorce. My gut was always right, but my head told me to believe the lies my significant other was feeding me. Never let anyone instill doubt within yourself. You’re smart and you know what’s best for you. If you can’t trust yourself then who can you trust?

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.


Edited by Casey Cavanagh