After online dating for over 15 years, then creating a profession out of it, I do not think there is a single lie I have not seen, heard or experienced. We all know the standard online dating lies at this point, where women are notorious for lying about their age and weight and men about their height and income, but I am addressing bigger lies and the professional (and, personal!) reasons I believe people often lie in their dating profiles. Three will not do this justice, but let’s start here:
People Genuinely Believe They Are Who They Portray
I have debated this subject with many people, many times. Male clients have expressed with frustration, “There’s no way she really thinks she is “athletic and toned”!” Unfortunately, this is one of the subjective things we cannot make sense of in life. What one person thinks “thin” looks like, another may not and what one person thinks “smart” means, another may not. I try to give people online the benefit of the doubt and realize that they genuinely believe they are who they portrayed themselves to be. Maybe a woman had a mother tell her how gorgeous she was since birth and she grew up fully believing it. It is actually a wonderful thing and we should all be so lucky to feel good about ourselves.
People Think They Can Make You Believe They Are Who They Portray
This one is a bit trickier and can be done unconsciously or manipulatively! These people are aware that they are lying or manipulating information or your perception of them, yet they continue to do so, without a harmful intention. I truly believe they do not mean to be hurtful by misleading you, but they desperately want to make you like or fall for them. They believe that by giving you the information you want to hear, you will eventually like them and want to meet them. They believe that if they post false photos, physical statistics, income level or a closer location, you will eventually fall for them and none of this will matter. You know…the person who has the perfect profile and personality on the phone, but is 10 years older and looks like a different person when you actually meet?! Like the old cliché states, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!”
People Have A Hidden Agenda Or Secret
In my opinion, this is the worst lie of all! Even if the person’s agenda or intention is not of ill-will or harmful in any way, that person is entering into a dating situation or relationship without truth or honesty. I understand that there are things that should not be revealed to the world and that we all have secrets! I would never advise someone to disclose information that could damage another person, however, I do advise to share the truth privately and allow the person on the other end to responsibly choose! I am deathly allergic to animals and have so many dating stories of guys who listed “No Pets” in their profiles, started relationships with me, then a month in, when I asked to come to their homes, revealed their roommate named Spike! I also have 100 stories about men who lied about having children, living in another state or the profession they were in. I am a smart cookie, so I was quick to discover these lies, but notice, I am NOT with these men! I believe people keep these secrets and lies, because they do not want to face whatever it is they are dealing with. I often think these people are running away from their problems and toward online dating, because they CAN get away with hiding the truth! I think that somewhere in their minds, they believe they are starting with a “clean slate”. I have clients complain that they met someone they liked who listed “divorced”, then turned out to be newly “separated”. I say, offer the info and let the person choose.
Like I said, we could dissect online dating lies for days, but let’s end on a positive note and understand that there is no reason to lie on Tempted.com. Remember, this is a site where there is someone and something for everyone! You can be visiting from another state and let everyone know it by posting a “Tempt” in The Playground or you can be that business owner who does not have time for a traditional relationship, but wants a partner for his season tickets to the Lakers games. This is an honest way to online date in my book!
– Tempted Dating Expert & Spokesperson, Brooke Lewis