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The Talon House

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You might already know to keep an eye out for the more blatant red flags such as lying, mood swings or excessive compliments. Here are a few more to add to the list of possible offenders.

Red Flag #1: The obvious form letter. I believe men are more guilty of this, because they (have to) send out far more intital contact letters. You can tell it's a "form letter" because he'll pontificate in a generic way about what he's looking for, never commenting specifically about your picture, interests or anything he's read about you at all.

Red Flag #2: Mentioning sex way too soon, (or at all). I don't know about you, but I don't want some stranger I don't even know telling me what a tantalizing lover he is. If he has to tell me, then something is just wrong with that picture. Some things are best left a mystery...

Red Flag #3: Mentioning how attractive one is. If beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, then let us be the judge of your photo. Let your photo do the talking. A combination of beauty and humility goes quite a long way.

Red Flag #4: Negativity in CAPS. If I see "NO LIARS, gameplayers, DRUNKS, etc." in the subject line of anyone's profile, (and this is typically a woman's flaw) I know to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction. We've all been hurt, but advertising something like this makes you look like you have too much anger to overcome. Happy attracts happy. Fake it for now and give the new guy a fighting chance. He's innocent and you don't want to drive him away before you even meet him.

Red Flag #5: No online flirting, followed by the immediate phone number. I'd rather get to know someone a bit via email banter before I take things further. I want to flirt first. I want to see if he can spell the word intelligent. Just because he thinks you're a babe in your profile doesn't mean you two have anything remotely in common.

Red Flag #6: Being too restrictive. If you're trying to hard to find the 'perfect one', you automatically exclude 90% of those who might have more in common with you than you think. If you demand something like this: "You must be between 6.0 and 6.2 and the ages of 31.5 and 36.3", you're really just setting yourself up to fail. True physical chemistry doesn't recognize age or height. In fact, sometimes it defies it.

Red Flag #7: No posted photo

Statistics prove that people get 10 to 12 times more responses when they post a photograph. It doesn't matter if she calls herself a model or if he describes himself as athletic . With a photo, you have the proof. And unless it looks like a prom photo taken during the height of the popularity of Flock of Seagulls, and he doesn't look like Brad Pitt's dateless twin brother, it's probably a safe bet that it's a genuine photo of him.

Red Flag #8: Demanding or inferring that a high income is mandatory. This is something women tend to be more guilty of pursuing. Most men don't care, but that's a whole other story. Still... regardless of how much money one makes, bringing it up (in an initial profile) is just in poor taste. Try to swap a few emails before you shake 'em down.

Red Flag #9: Seeking perfection unrealisitically Women who wont settle for anything less than Fabio, when they themselves are more on the level of Marge Simpson's sisters. Men who demand Pamela Lee Anderson (with more up top), yet who haven't worn a clean shirt since the Carter administration. Just because we can walk into the candy store, doesn't mean we can afford the priciest jawbreakers. Spread yourself out and keep openminded. You just might suprise yourself.

- by Brenda Ross

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