The Stages of Dating: Watch Out For Those Catfish…


There are millions of people looking for love online. Please be careful out there. A “Catfish” is a person who falsely creates an identity to lure people into romantic relationships. Let’s talk about the stages of dating.

Stage 1: Do you have chemistry? The purpose of this stage is to find similarities, commonality, and interest to warrant spending time with this person. Now, when dating online the non-verbal cues are missed. Body language accounts for up to 55% of how we communicate. Words can be deceptive; however, the human body is a terrible liar. Positive non-verbal cues that may be picked up on a first date, include moving in or leaning closer, relaxed uncrossed limbs, long periods of eye contact, looking down and away out of shyness, and genuine smiles. Negative non-verbal cues that may be picked up during the first date include moving or leaning away from you, crossed arms or legs, looking away to the side, feet pointed away from you, or towards an exit, and rubbing/scratching their nose, eyes, or the back of their neck.

Tip: Watch out for overly attractive profile pictures. These pictures may be taken off an unsuspecting person’s profile.If anyone says they are a model, watch out. Sensationalism is human kind’s greatest enemy. It may be too good to be true. Models are generally very busy and travel a lot. Also watch out for Facebook profiles with less than a 100 friends that do not have tagged pictures. If an account has minimal activity, it may be fabricated.

Stage 2: Stage two is the romantic stage. This stage usually last about two to three months in a normal dating situation. However in an online dating context this stage could last a lot longer. During this stage, the two of you want to spend a lot of time together. Now, since you are having fun and really attracted to each other, this is the phase when people tend to overlook those red flags or flaws in order to focus on the strong attraction and the positive feelings.

Tip: Now when dating online Catfish scammers generally tell lies associated with traumatic injuries and/or illness. If your online love says there in a car accident, death in the family, and or cancer patient to avoid meeting up with you, please be aware.

Stage 3: During this stage differences between the couple begin coming to the surface. This is the make it or break it phase. At this point each partner will decide for his or her self to continue the relationship. The relationship focuses on working through disagreements, differences of opinions, approaches to sex, communication and commitment. This is where trust develops in a relationship. In an online dating situation, this is the phase that comes about when you can longer ignore the red flags and your desire to physically meet the individual and deal with the unknowns becomes a reality.

Tip: Pictures are clues. If a person cannot send you pictures of themselves in this day and age, then you should proceed with caution.

Stage 4: Stage four involves learning how to maintain independence. For most couples, this stage emerges after the couple has been dating for more than six months. For some people the fear of their partner wanting to socialize without them, triggers insecurities. If the partner with the insecurity does not address the insecurity, this may result in a break-up.

Tip: If a person does not get a webcam after repeated requests and attempts, then maybe they don’t want you to see who they really are.

Stage 5: You now have a mature and committed relationship. Successfully completing the four previous stages, results in a foundation upon which a relationship can be built. This foundation should include trust, integrity, honesty, and monogamy.

Tip: If somebody asks you to wire them cash online, don’t do it. What a scammer will do is profess strong feeling for you and move the conversation away from email, to instant messaging and/or phone instead. After gaining your trust, they will then go in for kill and ask for your money. Visit our website at We are also on Twitter @ and Facebook @

I provided my expert opinion the following WLOX Channel 13 news segment:

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