In the Sugar Bowl, amidst prospects of fulfilling and long lasting relationships, things can become dangerous. SBs and SDs alike have horror stories of dishonesty and manipulation by someone they believed was trustworthy.
Though you may know well enough to recognize the most common traits of a scammer through profiles and conversations, more insidious behaviors can pose the biggest threats. Consider these few subtle warning signs, or “pink flags,” to maximize your discretion during interactions with a potential partner.
It’s normal to ask a lot of questions when first getting to know someone. It’s necessary to determine the person’s intentions and whether you are compatible. The problem arises when one person has a tendency to ask many questions but is unwilling to share information about him or herself.
The questions may come in a barrage and feel like an interrogation, it may simply be the nature rather than number of questions that feels intrusive, or they may be few and rather perfunctory but the lack of reciprocation is still there. It is always best to be suspicious of someone who seems to be collecting information about you while retaining an air of mystery.
This shows a lack of openness, which may not be malevolent but, for many of us, is a prerequisite to any sort of intimacy. It could alternatively be an effort to mask ulterior motives. Pay attention to the way that a POT responds when you ask questions, push for answers to important ones, and know that, at a certain point, it is wiser to abandon than to continue with blind trust.
One often touted benefit of sugar dating is the opportunity for unprecedented travel. The dangers of leaving the country with or to visit a stranger are quite obvious, so most people refrain from doing so until a legitimate arrangement has been established.
However, not all local travel should not be assumed safe. Be wary of a POT who insists that you to travel for a first meet, is persistent about meeting at either person’s house, or agrees to meet at a public place but chooses one far from either of your homes. You may be comfortable visiting an unfamiliar person at a familiar place or an unfamiliar place with a familiar person, but an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar person is too many unknowns to take for granted.
You should never allow a new person into your home or visit the home of a new person before you are truly comfortable, and any excuse the person gives for preferring to meet there should be taken with a grain of salt. Your comfort and sense of security should be a priority, not something to be ignored or negotiated. If you find yourself in any of these situations, pay attention to a POT’s response to your suggestions for alternative venues.
A new relationship of any kind can inspire a multitude of strong emotions, and this can be a beautiful thing. It takes keen discernment to determine the source of these emotions and whether or not they are healthy. Emotions are powerful influencers of behavior, which makes them a potent tool for manipulation. A healthy relationship should never involve the use of emotion to elicit desired behaviors.
If a POT speaks often of sadness, happiness, anger or any other feeling as a reason for wanting you to do something, beware. Statements like “I would be so happy if …” and “I am sad that you …” frequently coupled with events or actions that you are uncomfortable with can be understood as efforts to make you conform to the speaker’s desires. Recurrent guilt-tripping is indicative of malicious intent as it pressures you to neglect yourself for the sake of someone else’s enjoyment, while that person very likely knows how doing so makes you feel.
Over time, this can lead you to begin making decisions based on pleasing the other person without even thinking about your own health, safety, and happiness. Pay attention to how frequently your decisions are met with an outright challenge or emotional plea and remember that no one can make you feel anyhow without your permission.