Lies, Lies and more Lies: the On-Line Dating Experience

Photo Courtesy of Open Clip Art Library

Just saw this piece in The Atlantic about the number of lies we tell ourselves and others. One line leaped off the page:  “According to a study of online daters, a full 81 percent exaggerated their attributes on their dating profiles.”

Yeah, no joke.

I remember when I was writing my profile how I determined that I would speak truth about myself. I made no bones about it: I’m overly educated (earned doctorate), was just retired from a profession that tends to put people a little on the defensive (ordained clergy), an introvert who needs a lot of time alone to stay sane, and with numerous grandchildren.

Oh, and I don’t cook. I believe I described myself something like “not domesticated.”

Furthermore, I was in my mid-sixties.

This is not exactly a winning profile when many of the men any where near my age are looking for “hot” women 10 to 20 years younger than they, and often want such women to become very involved with the men’s families but without the equal commitment from them to care about their potential spouse’s family.  Many stated they wanted someone with no “baggage” as though they themselves didn’t carry any.

In other words, they were looking for a fantasy–and made up fantasy profiles to match. In fact, I joked with a friend once that every single man on Match was toned, tall, and made a lot of money.

When I did finally meet the man I am now going to marry, I was ready to leave behind this little experiment of meeting men. It would have been no big deal to me as I genuinely did not plan to marry again and had a lovely life that I enjoyed enormously.

Actually, I had met some very decent human beings, but there is no question but that a fair amount of electronic scrubbing had taken place.

My rule: I chose where we would meet first and it was always a place near my home so I could easily leave and get home. That way when the reality overtakes the fantasy, I had an easy exit route.

It’s a good way to start. And I ended up meeting a man who spoke truth. That’s as good as it gets.


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