The personality traits listed above all have something in common: They’re vulnerable to getting swept up in an exciting new romance easily.
“The scammer always acts empathetically and attempts to create the impression in the victim that the two are perfectly synced in their shared view of life,” the researchers write in the paper on their findings. “The declarations of the scammer become increasingly affectionate and…a declaration of love is made within two weeks from initial contact.”
So if you fall into any of the above categories, it doesn’t hurt to make sure you take budding relationships slowly—and not just to avoid getting catfished! Rushing into relationships too quickly can generally be a recipe for disaster, exposing you to the risk of becoming emotionally dependent, getting attached to emotionally unavailable people, and other common relationship troubles.
In her book Love Skills, marriage therapist Linda Carroll, LMFT, recommends all people in the earlier honeymoon stage of their relationship avoid trusting only their heart.
“Beware of the fantasy of permanent bliss that this stage wraps you up in,” she writes. “That spectacular spike in feel-good neurochemicals can overpower common sense. … Take time to step back and observe your emotions and behaviors; ask yourself whether they’re objectively rational. Ask a trusted friend for a candid opinion about your relationship. Awareness is key.”
Oh, and definitely don’t send money to a person you met online that you’ve never met in person before. Good rule of thumb!