Think you're going to go see that thin, blonde, buxom woman you've been chatting with online when you meet her for drinks tonight? Think that "affluent man" who you're about to join for an expensive dinner, will be able to pay for both of you? Think again!
Running an exclusive online dating site myself, I can attest to the constant battle in working to maintain the integrity of online dating communities by weeding out disingenuous profiles -- yes, surprise surprise! Online daters lie.
More than half of them, actually. After reviewing how many people have had to be turned away from my site, BeautifulPeople.com, because they had been deceitful in their application, I thought it would be prudent to commission a survey and dig a little deeper in to the most common deceptions. The study of 1,000 single men and women -- all of whom belong to various leading mainstream dating communities -- was conducted across the US and the UK by global research agency OpinionMatters.
The results uncovered a shameful excess of dishonesty from people purportedly looking to find their one true match. Fifty-three percent of American people surveyed said they lied in their online dating profiles. How in the world are you supposed to discover your TRUE match when what is being put out there isn't true?
It's as if some online daters are not hoping to have a romantic evening but rather are preparing to do battle by jousting with their noses.
Women lie more than men by nearly 10 percentage points! The survey found. With most lying about their looks. Do they really think that when they finally encounter their date in person, that it won't be immediately obvious that they are two cup sizes smaller, two inches shorter and 20 pounds heavier than they claimed online?
Perhaps they assume their personalities will magically make up for the fact they do not look anything like the picture that was posted online. Probably because over 20 percent of women post old pictures of themselves when they were younger and often thinner. That's if it is even their picture at all.
Men are not much better. Although fewer men lie than women, their top lie is about having a job that is better than the one they've actually got. A man could easily swindle a woman into a date, or even a relationship, before the woman discovers he's not a prince but a pauper. More than 40 percent of men try this tactic, confessing they wanted to make their job sound more prestigious. But wait, one third of women do this too, saying they wanted to make their job sound more glamorous.
And it gets even worse. Americans lie more than Britons, by 9 percentage points. More than 53 percent of Americans fabricate parts or all of their dating profile details, compared to 44 percent of Britons although neither is a number to be proud of.
It's not vilification people; it's a lack of common sense. Men admitted to lying about height, weight and physique in their top five lies -- behind jobs and ahead of money -- and women lied about weight, age, physique, and height, with money rounding out the top five.
The obvious problem here? Most of these are lies their dates can spot in the first few seconds of seeing them. In fact, a third of those surveyed said they falsified their information so much that it prevented them from getting a second date.
The only saving grace appears to be that with age comes wisdom. On both sides of the Atlantic, the older people got, the less likely they were to be untruthful. Clearly the older generations understand that it's better to be accepted for who you are rather than who you wish you were.
The Internet allows us the freedom to represent ourselves in a way we wish people would see us or the way we wish we could actually be. Unless you are happy living in cyber space indefinitely, your misrepresentations will no doubt come back to haunt you. You will miss or sabotage real opportunities at happiness with people you meet online. The virtual world can be fun indeed, but it has clear limitations -- the romantic relationships you make online must be brought into the real world in order to be fully rewarding.
Top 10 Lies Told by Men
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