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It's often talked about in a funny, "haha that's so crazy" way, but the reality is that — and I don't mean to sound dramatic — there are real weirdos and predators out there.

From scams to get your money to people posing as someone else for attention, catfishing does happen, and you should always be on your guard.

If you're someone who needs time to move into anything romantic, you might experience some culture shock when you start online dating.

This is a direct result of the aforementioned fast pace intrinsic to online dating.

Whether you're a newcomer to the world of online dating or a veteran like myself, here are seven things that often get left out of conversations about apps like Ok Cupid and Tinder — I don't mean to scare you off, but you should be aware that online dating isn't all love-at-first-sight (or awesome casual sex).

This will not come as a shock to anyone as entrenched in the online dating world as me, but it seems people rarely talk about the fact that actively using dating apps is hard effing work.

Sure, it's a convenient way to meet people you might normally not, but it's also a huge time-suck, especially if you use sites like Ok Cupid and Match, where you have to make and maintain a lengthy profile.

I can't even quantify how many hours per week I spend on Ok Cupid, answering match questions, browsing profiles, and messaging an array of men.

With online dating, everything seems to move at warp speed.

I'm not suggesting everyone on Tinder is intentionally deceptive; it's just an unfortunate reality that online dating often attracts hordes of people who want a quick lay, and will lie about their intentions to get it.

Even if someone genuinely does want a relationship, he or she could easily get distracted by the multiple people knocking at their metaphorical door. Disclaimer: I am not saying that all men on dating apps are sexist, or that women can't also exhibit their fair share of sexism.

In my four years of online dating (oh wow), I've had plenty of ups and downs.

I've met some great people, as well as some serious jerks.

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