A girlfriend of mine shared with me one of the worst online dating experiences I've ever heard. After chatting with the guy for two weeks online and over the phone, things started to smell fishy close to their planned first date (which she ran out of before it even began). She has allowed me to share her nightmarish story in hopes that you will learn from her mistakes, the biggest of which was missing the warning signs prior to meeting. So, straight from her lips, here are eight online dating red flags to look out for before the first date.

  1. Job white lies: The night before their first date the guy asked my friend to be Facebook friends, and something didn't quite match up when it came to where he worked. "He talked about how how he is financially secure and loves his job, and the first status I see, I am not kidding, is 'It's Fourth of July . . . no job and I have $37 to my name . . . what should I do?'"
  2. Outdated photos: She also realizes his online dating photos weren't what they seemed. "He tells me about how he only puts recent pics up because he doesn't ever want to feel like he is sending the wrong message out to people. I look at his pictures and the 'recent pics' on the dating site were from 2006, the first FB photos he put up."
  3. Suspicious photos: Also on Facebook: "His pictures only showed half his face . . . every pic. Like, Phantom of Opera status!"
  4. Cheap date: There's a difference between financially savvy and just plain rude. "We were trying to plan where we want to meet up and he's like, 'I have like $12 to free movie tickets I won at a picnic like four years ago . . . might as well use those.'"
  5. Passing on alcohol: I don't know which would be worse: drinking too much on the first date, or not drinking at all so you can "save up" for the weekend. "I was like, 'I was thinking of meeting up for a margarita or coffee?' and he's like, 'Well, I don't drink coffee . . . and I am planning on drinking a lot this weekend . . . so I'll just get juice or something.'"
  6. Sketchy past experiences: If his past dating stories make you cringe, you probably should stay away. "He was telling me about how the dating site had been for him in the past, and he was like, 'The past couple dates I had I took the girls to Applebee's, and they totally wanted to have sex with me. It was weird, like I'm not a prude, but girls need to calm down. They were major skankopotimisses!'"
  7. Derogatory jokes: "Then I am scrolling down his wall, and I see comments from friends about fat girls, like really horrible mean things. And he was like, 'Oh I can explain that, it's a pretty long story. One time my buddies and I were hanging out, and this fat girl came and asked me for my number, and all my friends made fun of me. That's the basic gist of it.'"
  8. Crappy car: "So we meet for coffee, and I hear this old, old, old, old, old Impala clunking down the road, smoking under the hood, and it's HIM, and the car stalls in the middle of the street! I literally ran away. I didn't even wait to talk to him!"

The moral of the story? Facebook friend each other ASAP. Do you have an online dating horror story? Share it in the comments!