1. ARE THEY A SCAMMER?
Scammers, figuratively speaking, come in all shapes and sizes. OK, that’s a little joke, but you get the idea. They can be male or female, from any country, and pretend to be or want what you want. What they all have in common, however, is they want to get something you can provide, whether it’s money (usually), some selfish amusement from play acting a “let’s pretend life” or whatever.
What they are not looking for is a serious, long term relationship.
The great majority of scammers operate mainly online, or at least make their initial contacts there. Online it’s easy to present a false profile and reach the greatest number of potential victims for their game.
That’s not to say a scammer cannot be in the present tense, real time, off line world, too. There are plenty of instances where a scammer initiates contact online, and then furthers the deception in an early offline early environment until they have accomplished their objective or tire of the game.
2. ARE THEY WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE?
Online it’s easier to initially deceive people. Phony physical descriptions and photos, claimed education and employment credentials, especially marital status and even the country they live in.. … these are popular deceptions, but there are almost an unlimited number of others.
Obviously, there are video web tools to at least “get a look” at the person you are interested in, but that’s only a beginning sense of who the person really is. In early stage online conversations they can present themselves as someone very different from whom they are in reality.
And again, even in an offline, person-to-person encounter you still might feel uncomfortable asking them to “prove” what they claim.
3. ARE THEY A GOOD RELATIONSHIP “FIT”?
Obviously, you both will not be able to answer this question in the earliest meeting and engagement period, but there is much to be said for how you both “feel,” early on. If it doesn’t feel quite right in the beginning, that may be a signal. It will be up to you to share serious communication about where you both want the relationship to “go.”
At the bottom of everything, you need to answer the question: “Does the person I’m interested in want what I want in o a relationship? Are they in it for the long term? Do our interests match enough where helpful and meld enough when different to insure a dynamic and stimulating committed partnership going forward.
Outsiders can help somewhat in assessing your relationship needs and how they match up with a prospective partner’s. Some people solicit friends’ or family members’ opinions of a potential partner and share how they think the two of you will match up. Others seek out those that have experience in the especially tricky world of cross-cultural relationships and specialize in helping those that are navigating within it.