New Year, New Love with Smart Dating Academy's Bela Gandhi

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Looking for love in the new year? (WLS)

Tis the season to fall in love! For the 107 MILLION singles out there, the New Year brings a resolution to finally find that someone special and fall in love. The biggest rush to enter the online dating world is from December 15- February 15, according to

Dating Coach Bela Gandhi, founder of the Smart Dating Academy in Chicago, introduces us to the latest dating apps and warns about the red flags when you enter the online dating world. For tips and more information, visit Bela's website,



This app, like Tinder, uses Facebook as a starting point, but this one is different because it only matches you with people who have a connection to one of your Facebook friends, and always shows you what that connection is.


This app, also like Tinder - but with a twist. You can swipe right and make a connection, but the woman is the one who has to make the first contact. And it only gives you 24 hours to reach out, if you don't - that connection disappears.

Both of these are based on the Tinder model. Is Tinder exclusively a hook-up app? No. There have been real matches made on Tinder. Think of it like walking into a bar: some people are there just to hookup, but some really want to find that special someone.

RED FLAGS FOR DATING: from seeing a profile online to four months in
PHASE 1 - Corresponding Online / Before the Date.....
1. Too suggestive/sexual in profile/email (almost any mentions of physicality could tell you he's looking for a hook up for than a relationship)
2. Profile is written with very bad grammar - lots of run-on sentences, bad punctuation, spelling errors. Could be someone 'predatory' from another country, looking to scam you. Sometimes, these 'catfishers' also talk a lot about "God" in their profiles -- to throw us 'off the scent'.
3. Pictures - If someone looks 'too good to be true', and only has 1-2 photos, "reverse image search" the photos in Google to find out if those photos have been taken from somewhere else. Catfishers steal photos from others.
4. Negative - Anyone who sounds negative in their online communications, in phone, in person.
5. Asks you to email them at a personal address right away because they're 'canceling' their membership (catfishers want to get you off the site ASAP).
6. Wants to have a 'textual' or email relationship -- has no interest in talking on the phone, or going on a date! After several correspondences, suggest talking on the phone. If they don't, they're not interested.

PHASE 2 - First Several Dates
1. You feel butterflies in your stomach after the first date -- it could mean that your gut is telling you something is WRONG.
2. Too charming -- over complimentary, grandiose gestures, very expensive dates...signs of a narcissist! Has bad relationships with people in his circles (maybe family, kids, colleagues, etc.)
3. Too fast/furious -- wants to get exclusive very quickly. Wants to go on many dates per week, spend holidays together, introduce you to his inner circle, etc. Too fast flames out -- sign of someone who's emotionally unavailable
4. Signs of addictive behavior (of any kinds - alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, work, porn, etc)
5. Is mean to people he thinks are 'beneath' him - wait staff, valets, etc.

PHASE 3 - After you're 'dating' - 10+ dates
1. Critical - starts to say / do mean things. Starts out as little digs, and gets worse over time
2. Demands your total attention / you can't give enough
3. Doesn't respect your feelings or the feelings of others
4. Controlling - wants to know every move you make, who you're with, etc.
5. Volatile - gets very heated very quickly. It may not be with you right away, but you'll see the reactions with others. This anger will eventually turn on you.
6. Inconsistent behavior -- Any behavior changes are red flags that his feelings have changed. If he calls/texts every day then suddenly becomes 'too busy' - red flags.
7. Doesn't leave his phone around, ever. It has a passcode and he often guards it when you're around....
8. Doesn't 'friend' you on social media (may show someone is hiding something)
9. Asks you to do things you're uncomfortable with
10. Goes off the grid and doesn't respond to calls/texts for days, then suddenly reappears as if 'nothing is wrong.'
11. Behavior changes at 4 months (attachment hormones began to wane around then, and people that can attach/develop intimacy start to flake out around this point)

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