The Truth Never Hurts
Have you considered shaving off a few years or adding an extra inch? Writer and dating blogger Jon Hamblin writes about the temptation to tweak the truth on your online dating profile.
“It is always the best policy to speak the truth, unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar.” – Jerome K. Jerome
We’ve all been there of course. Sat in the bar waiting for that tall, dark stranger. Nervously checking our watches, slowly sipping our beverage, and jerking our heads like a squirrel-spotting terrier every time the door opens. Then, someone walks in, and you think: ‘Is that them?’ Sure, the person that’s just walked in resembles their profile picture about as much as I resemble a Brazilian underwear model (Spoiler Alert: Not remotely), but you never know. Because the truth is, as shocking as it may seem, people lie on their online dating profiles.
Now they say that people that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones (maybe they should be more concerned that the person in question lives in a greenhouse), and so I should probably put my cards on the table here. I have lied on a dating profile.
Admittedly, it was on the advice of a dating coach who encouraged me to shave two years off my age to get it under that magical 35 cut-off zone that apparently exists, but it never really sat right with me. A small lie on my dating CV perhaps – after all, everything else on my profile was kosher, and my photos were all extremely recent, so I didn’t really think that changing one little digit would make that much of a difference.
But then whenever I went on dates, I found myself locked in an internal battle; wanting to reveal my deception, but also not wanting to start a potential relationship by revealing a lie. Perhaps they’d start to wonder if everything else was true, and that maybe I wasn’t actually a rugby-playing, multi-lingual musician/fighter pilot. Of course, if the date was going badly it was fairly inconsequential anyway, but if I thought it was going well, I’d always reveal my years, because well, what else are you going to do? Wait until your birthday and then yell ‘surprise!’ when everyone starts giving you birthday cards with your real age on?
Eventually, the whole thing just added another level of stress to the dating process, and I gave it up. Ok, that’s a lie. I was totally going to give it up, but then I stumbled into dating a wonderful girl who gave my butterflies butterflies, and so the whole idea of dating profiles became moot anyway.
The point is, lying about your age even by just two years is a pretty stressful way to massage your vanity – and some people lie about a lot of other things on top; height, smoking habits; marital status even. I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to go on a rendezvous when your date’s expecting you to be a strapping six-footer, while in reality your stature means you struggle to get on some of the faster rides at Alton Towers.
There’s a lot of evidence that lying is actually detrimental to your health too. A study at Notre Dame University found that reducing the amount of lies a subject told over a ten-week period could dramatically improve that person’s health, both physically and mentally. Maybe in the future, doctors will encourage patients to go on lie diets instead of food diets, and people will have to count their fib calories to stay in shape. Although meeting someone on their cheat day could obviously have disastrous consequences.
So is it wrong to lie on your online dating profile? Well bare in mind that you’ll also have to be ok with the potential consequences of that lie, especially if it’s something that’s easily disproved when you physically meet in person. By all means, keep telling yourself that if they’re the right person, it might not matter in the long run, and that your magnetic personality will utterly enchant them to the point where they can ignore your deception. But do you really want to take that risk? Wouldn’t you rather that your date like you for who you really are? That they know exactly what they’re getting themselves into? That they already like your height and your weight and the fact that you have seventeen adorable children before they even meet you? Because that’s what real love is – accepting someone fully, faults, quirks, kids and all. And real love is always a risk worth taking.
But hey, what do I know? After all, I’m just another liar.
Jon Hamblin writes ‘The Things I’ve Done To Impress Women”, an award winning blog that details his frequent failures to impress any women ever. Or does he?
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