By Ian Colgate

When Compete asked me to write Bedroom Sports, I have to admit I was flattered at first. But then after thinking about it for a bit I realized that writing about dating, relationships and sex would require me to actually date, consider a relationship and have sex  – but now with an eye to sharing those positive learning experiences with you.

So I started the dating process like many of you by going online. I decided to try the traditional dating sites first –, Chemistry and Compatible Partners. I toyed with the idea of Grindr and Scruff but for now, I put sites like those on the back burner.

The sign up process for the three sites was easy enough. They all make it sound like you’ll be inundated with replies to your free ad. What they don’t tell (well, maybe in the fine print nobody reads) is that if someone does show interest, you can’t contact them unless you pay for premium features, like the ability to contact people. It seems like offering you a car for sale but then telling you that you can’t drive it without purchasing an engine and four tires, all at additional cost!

After answering about a zillion questions and creating my profiles (I copied my same profile on each site), I was up and running on all three sites. At first the sites’ claims were true. I was fresh meat and I did get a number of winks, favorites, yanks (not really) and replies. It was all very exciting.

I decided to concentrate on one particular guy (for the sake of privacy I will call him Gavin). Gavin is a 36-year-old doctor here in my hometown. He told me he wasn’t out to anyone, a fact that of course should have been my first red flag. But he was a doctor and I needed to meet someone so I agreed to coffee.

We met at a local coffee house and had an enjoyable time. He was interesting, funny and good looking. But he wouldn’t tell me his last name. Can you say second red flag? We chatted and laughed for two hours then agreed we should meet again. Still, he wouldn’t give me his last name.

We went our separate ways and continued to email back and forth for a few days. He would call me from a blocked number and we’d talk endlessly. But he also wouldn’t give me his number. Are you getting the picture? Another red flag.

We had talked about meeting for dinner later that week when suddenly I got an email from Gavin asking me to remove a shirtless picture from my profile. When I questioned his request, he said “I would hate for you to be embarrassed by having a shirtless picture online.” OK, fourth and final red flag. I responded to the good doctor, advising him that I had many shirtless pictures online and I was not embarrassed by any of them.

Frankly, I was happy never to hear from him again. I looked at my watch and thought it is time to find another guy to date!

So if you are considering finding Mr. Right through an online dating service, please remember this advice.

The Four Red Flags of Dating:

Red Flag #1 – He’s on a dating site but says he’s not out to meet anyone.

Red Flag #2 – He won’t give you his last name.

Red Flag #3 – He won’t give you his telephone number.

Red Flag #4 – He begins to try to control you in one way or another.

My advice to you if you experience any of these red flags? Immediately, if not sooner, kiss him – Goodbye!


ryanBy Ryan O’Conner, Guest Columnist

Ryan O’Conner is just a regular guy who is dating in this great big world. His advice comes from personal experience and his advice is for entertainment purposes only. We recommend you consult a physician, counselor or therapist in your area for specific advice about your personal situation. Otherwise, questions can be submitted to