You are far more likely to meet an emotionally "unhealthy" person online than you are in real life, according to one of the UK’s top psychologists.
It’s an alarming warning, but there are signs you can look out for to make sure you don’t fall for the wrong person.
In an exclusive interview, Dr Becky Spelman explains that because of the vast number of people online and the ease of hiding true identity, internet dating attracts people willing to play out "unhealthy" or "unacceptable" behaviours.
These are the ‘red flag’ warning signs that you can look out for when you dating online.
According to Dr Spelman, you should "pay really close attention to early behaviours" when you start dating someone.
"If someone is very intense too soon, this would be a red flag," she explained.
"Also watch out for how controlling they are and, if they start to put you down even if it’s mixed up with lots of compliments, I would advise you to pay close attention to that."
"But the biggest red flag of all is how that person makes you feel within yourself," Dr Spelman continued.
"If you feel angry or very anxious or some sort of emotional alarm bells even if they’re on a low level, then I’d say watch out because healthy people do not evoke strong, negative emotions in us in the early days of communicating."
Paying attention to these signs can, according to Dr Spelman, help "keep you away from unhealthy, manipulative people individuals, who could cause quite severe emotional harm."
You can find out more about Dr Spelman’s work here: theprivatetherapyclinic.co.uk.
Dating trends you need to know about
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