A full 47% of dating app users report having dealt with flexters—people who exaggerate their assets online before meeting you in person—at one time or another. Here’s how to tell if the guy you’re talking to is one of them.
It just sounds too good to be true. Pretty much everyone exaggerates on their social media and dating app profiles to some degree, but there’s a limit to what’s acceptable here. If the guy you’re talking to is claiming to be a bodybuilding champion, an astrophysicist, or a Grammy award-winning songwriter, something’s clearly amiss. He might not be lying about his grandiose accomplishments, but it pays to do your research by hitting up Google and stalking him on social media.
He wants to tell you about all the girls he’s dated. The next time you’re faced with a guy who sees women as status symbols, run for the hills. Men like this are either complete jerks or incurably weak, neither of which are great qualities in a partner. If he seems really determined to impress you with his exes and how hot they were, he’s clearly so insecure that he’s already trying to make you jealous. That doesn’t bode well for your future.
He only talks about himself. If you’re talking to a guy on a dating app and he seems way too concerned with convincing you of how amazing he is, it’s probably because he really doesn’t have much to show for himself. The more a guy brags, the more you should doubt that he has anything to back all his big talk up with. Plus, you don’t want to be with someone who’s not actually interested in you. Relationships are a team effort, not a one-man show.
He’s all about “fitness.” Look, I’m as attracted to guys with six packs and Chris Hemsworth arms as the next straight woman, but I think we can all agree that some dudes take it a little too far. It’s great that they’ve chosen to view their bodies as temples, but I won’t be worshipping there anytime soon and neither should you. If you haven’t noticed, if a guy has to tell you he’s super fit, chances are he’s either really not or has nothing else going for him.
He has his height in his bio. If a guy posts his height on a dating app, you can bet on your life and the lives of all the people you love that he’s at least three inches shorter. The thing that’s so irritating about this is that you’re going to find out. It’s not like a guy can just show up to a date in stilettos and not be noticed. I think I can speak for most women here and say that dishonesty is a lot less attractive than below average height.
His job is a little vague. If you took a sip of mildly alcoholic beer for every “entrepreneur” or “self-employed” job description you saw in dating app bios, you’d be passed out after 10 minutes of swiping. If a guy is “self-employed,” you want to know what company he’s started, with a link to a website. In my experience, “self-employed,” “entrepreneur,” and “startup” are all synonyms for “unemployed.”
He tells you what he’s not looking for. There’s something truly pathetic about a guy who advertises himself by telling women what he doesn’t want from them. If he has to specify that he’s not interested if you’re tall or anything other than blonde, it’s because he’s resentful of how little he has to brag about and tries to use douchey-ness to convince you he’s a man’s man. It’s total BS.
When you mention hanging out, he gets evasive. Sometimes it’s hard not to take it personally when a guy seems to be leading you on and never agreeing to meet up in person, but in truth, it’s usually a sign that he’s been talking himself up a little too much. If you see each other, all of his exaggerations of greatness and beauty will be revealed to be nonexistent, so he treads water, forever evading your polite offers to finally meet IRL.
He never asks you anything about yourself. If a guy is trying to prove something he can’t back up, he’ll usually do it by talking about himself. A lot. In fact, the more he talks about himself, the more likely it is that he has nothing to show for it. Guys who are confident in themselves or who are normal and well-adjusted don’t need to try to impress you with how incredible they are—they’ll ask you about yourself and try to get to know you.
His photos aren’t the full picture. Is he wearing sunglasses? Is the room dark? Is he in a full-body Halloween costume? Is he an unspecified member of a very large crowd? If the answer to any of these questions is yes and his bio has a lot of impressive bullet points, it’s likely you’re seeing a flexter. If a guy has something to flaunt, believe me, he’ll flaunt it. There are enough gym selfies in the world (far, far too many) to prove that men are not shy about showing you their assets when they have them.
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