How Much Lying Is Acceptable Online?

How much lying is acceptable online

Hi Evan,

I’m fairly new to your site, and to dating in general – back on the market after a long marriage – so, at this point, I’m mainly trying to figure out how things work, and what the unwritten rules and policies of the dating game are. I’ve had an account on a dating site for the last two months. I’ve had a decent number of peoplecontact me, and we mostly click fairly well when we meet in person. However, one thing that I notice puzzles me – it seems like no one bothers to list accurate information about themselves on their profile. I’m OK with people withholding, but I see things on men’s profiles that turn out to be downright misleading.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t get too upset if a guy’s profile picture is five years old, or if he’s really 5’8″ and not 5’10.” What I keep finding out, though, are things like “some college” means “no education past high school,” or that “work in research” means “factory worker at a plant whose clients are R&D companies,” and a white-collar technical profession listed on a profile really means “been out of work for some years.”

And “divorced” means “separated with no court date in sight!”  And these are the nicer ones…

My problem with misleading pieces of information like these is that I don’t know what else to expect. Can this person even be trusted? What else is he lying to me about? How can I tell if he just posted a little white lie on his profile, so he can get a first date and show me what a nice person he really is, or if he’s a con man through and through? Lastly, where do I draw the line? At what point does it stop being cute and start being a big deal? After all, here I am, meeting with total strangers from the Internet, and, like it or not, I have my personal safety to worry about. I did a search on your blog before I sat down to write this letter, and found a blog article where you say that it is okay to stretch the truth a little, just to get your foot in the door. Which I more or less agree with, but my question is, how can I tell between “a little” and “a lot?”

In the online dating world, how much lying is okay, and how much is considered too much? What are the red flags? Hope you can advise. Thanks!

Timely letter.

I just got back from a week-long vacation and discovered in my inbox a link to this eye-opening article posted by the fine folks at OkCupid, entitled “The Big Lies People Tell in Online Dating.” However, for all of the dating site’s advanced metrics and data, the subtitle of the piece could simply have been, “Duh.”

OkCupid merely confirmed what you and me –and everyone else who has ever dated online has seen ourselves – there is no detail small enough to resist exaggerating. The only things you may find surprising are that women lie about their height and income just as much as men do. Seriously. So no more self-righteous emails about men, okay?

Lying isn’t something that only others do. Like speeding and getting “creative” on your taxes, lying online is something that “we” do as a form of semi-accepted rule-breaking.

What I found fascinating was that the older you are, the more likely you are to lie.

Older people lie because they need to lie to get attention from the most desirable people.

You may conclude that people over the age of 35 are simply less ethical. That they’re more jaded. Less comfortable around computers. Perhaps life has burned them too many times. Maybe the civics courses in the 70’s were less effective because of Watergate. Really, I could spin any number of cockamamie theories, but the truth is much simpler.

Older people lie because they need to lie to get attention from the most desirable people.

A 22-year-old guy can make $24,000/yr as a waiter and not need to exaggerate. That simply won’t fly if he’s 35.

A 24-year-old woman can post a photo and watch responses roll in like the tide. A 44-year-old woman virtually drops off the face of the earth in comparison.

So when the market gets more and more competitive – and you recognize the realities of the situation, you’re forced into a tough decision:

Most women say to themselves: “There are hundreds of women on here who are younger and thinner than I am. They’re getting all of the attention of the men that I want to meet. So if I change my age from 44 to 39, or post a picture that was taken 5 years and 25lbs ago, it will give me a greater chance to get in the door. If I tell the truth – that I’m middle aged and slightly overweight – the only people who will pay attention to me are homely and desperate 60-year-old men.”

Needless to say, it works the exact same way for men. So 5’8” becomes 5’10”. $75,000 becomes $100,000 and 55 becomes 49. Not to mention the highly creative indulgences cited in the original email.

Ironically, the man who lies online sees himself as insecure, not untrustworthy.

Listen, I’ve been on the CBS Early Show defending women lying about their age. It’s certainly not an easy task. After all, anyone can decry someone who lies: what ELSE are they hiding? But given the pervasiveness of online lying, I came to the conclusion that lying, while not morally defensible, is at least UNDERSTANDABLE from a practical standpoint. People, for the most part, don’t lie because they’re bad folks who can’t tell the difference between right and wrong; they’re just insecure that telling the truth will eliminate them from contention before they ever get a chance to meet you.

If you have nothing to hide, then this has never occurred to you. I’m a 38-year-old guy with a decent job, a solid education, and good income. There’s no real incentive to lie, unless I want to make myself a bit taller than 5’9’’.

But the guy who has been separated for 18 months and his wife won’t sign the divorce papers, the guy who lost his prestigious job and hasn’t quite landed on his feet yet, the guy who was never formally educated but is wise from life experience – he knows that you will NOT give him a chance if he tells the truth.

And since you won’t give him a chance, HE’s going to give himself a chance.

Obviously, this plan backfires 90% of the time, but to the people who are lying, they see it as the only means to get in front of you. Because the truth is: you WON’T go out with the 5’6” guy, the guy in the wheelchair, or the guy who makes less than you. Don’t deny it. The evidence to support my assertion is overwhelming.

So, to answer your question after all, while I don’t know where the line is between the acceptable white lie and the unacceptable whopper – I will say this: ironically, the man who lies online sees himself as insecure, not untrustworthy; if he  doesn’t trust anything, it’s that you will actually give him a shot, in spite of his flaws.

And I have to say that, from what I’m observed, he’s right.

Is he wasting his time (and yours) by misrepresenting himself? Absolutely.

Would he have the chance to meet you if he didn’t misrepresent himself? Absolutely not.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    David

    What? No comments yet?
    About a year ago, I dated a woman I met online who listed her profile as “42” (I was 38). We dated about a year, and had a great time together.  Towards the end, she came to me with a confession.  I expected the worst.
    But she said “I’m 48″.  Phew! I thought it was something serious.
    I can completely understand why she wouldn’t put “48” on her online-dating profile.
    She generally liked to date younger men (35-42)  vs older men (47-55).  She was very physically fit, very active; and the older men she had dated in the past were very “middle aged” to her.  Not able to keep up, etc.  She wasn’t really looking to get married, she already had kids, and found the men in the 35-42 age group were her ideal dating partners.
    On the other hand, I have an acquaintance who just had her 41st b-day.  She lists on her profile that she’s 35.  Probably for a lot of the same reasons as the woman above.  However, this woman is looking to get married and hopefully have a child.  IMHO, this is a bit mis-leading.  Her “clock” is ticking very loud.
    An interesting topic, should make for a lively debate.

  2. 2
    Ruby

    It may be “easier” for younger folks to tell the truth, but the 24 year old man who is short still might be “too short” for many women his age, and the overweight 24 year old woman might still be “too heavy” for most men in her age range. And most people would rather fib a bit to get a foot in the door, than tell the truth and get few – or no- responses.
     
    I’ve lied about my age on-line by as much as 5 years, but I’m careful to make sure that none of my photos are more than a year old, and that at least one has been taken in the last 3-6 months. I don’t want to meet someone who doesn’t have a basic attraction to me as I look today. I’m constantly told I look about 7-10 years younger, so men never seem to guess (at least as far as I know)! And I’ve removed my info from data mining sites so no one can check me out anyway. That’s my only fib. Otherwise, I’d say I’m just as honest, if not more so, than many men I’ve met online, who also lie about their age (some by 10-15 years), height, marital status, education, relationship goals, health, and post 10-year-old photos.

  3. 3
    starthrower68

    @ David, #1…

    So it’s ok for the women who doesn’t want to get married to fib about her age, but for the one who does, it’s not ok?  I find that fascinating.

  4. 4
    Liz

    I’d say white lies and outright lies are probably frustrating, but par for the course in online dating. I’d try not to let it get me too upset. Don’t give up on it!

  5. 5
    Diana

    At the risk of sounding holier than thou, ;) and maybe not to be believed, I refuse to lie in my profile, despite the setbacks for not doing so. I do not fudge my age or weight, my children at home status, or include overstated platitudes, etc. While I can understand why others would do this, I just wouldn’t feel comfortable lying about myself.
     
    It is true that my not lying has a tendency to bring attention from individuals who I do not feel are right for me, and I understand this. I am not insecure about these issues.
     
    As for a man’s insecurities and how he may fudge his own stats, if it’s fairly innocuous, like a couple of inches re: his height, that’s alright. But the problem with lying about things such as marital status, employment, etc. is that if he feels the odds are pretty strong they’re deal breakers, then lying about them isn’t going to help, and will likely guarantee they’re definite deal breakers. Trying to just get your foot in the door sounds desperate.

  6. 6
    Liz

    @Starthrower: I think his point is that the woman is trying to target family-oriented men, while disguising an age that would probably elimate many if not all men who want biological children with their partner.

    If I were a male dater, let’s say 37, who wanted to start a family, and I went on five dates with a 35yo woman who seemed promising, I’d be PISSED to find out she was 41. Because that lie takes away six viable childbearing years. And fist-time fertility for women in their forties is often no picnic. Not all the time, but much of the time. I’d be mad.

  7. 7
    Liz

    Seems like most people who lie online rationalize it. Like saying “But I look 5 years younger than I am!” to excuse an age fib.

  8. 8
    Margaret

    Evan, I think you came down a bit hard on the letter-writer. Your tone is vitriolic at best: “Because the truth is: you WON’T go out with the 5’6” guy, the guy in the wheelchair, or the guy who makes less than you. Don’t deny it. The evidence to support my assertion is overwhelming.”
    Just because statistically most women won’t go out with these types of guys doesn’t mean that no one will, and it certainly doesn’t mean that she won’t.

  9. 9
    Diana

    I am leery of posted high incomes because I think that in most cases, they’re not true. It makes me wonder why they feel the need to inflate themselves. It feels like they’re trying to impress or catch the kind of woman where a man’s salary is so vital to her, or to try and show a status of success. To me, a man’s true success is not in what he earns.
     

    1. 9.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Diana: The reason that they need to inflate themselves is because women OVERWHELMINGLY care about a guy’s salary. This is the world we’re living in. Men care about youth and looks. Women care about age, height, education, salary. This is why people feel the need to lie. That’s the point of my post.

  10. 10
    Diana

    Evan [and Margaret #8], I thought about responding to this comment, too. I’m only 5′ 3.5″, so anything my height or better is fine with me, and I’ve stated before how I feel re: a lesser salary. I was also contacted by a guy in a wheelchair, and I very much appreciated his vulnerability and his honesty. He had the good sense to know that to not be upfront about this would have made for an uncomfortable situation upon discovery.

  11. 11
    Karl R

    Evan said:
    “this plan backfires 90% of the time,”

    The other 10% of the time, lying was unnecessary in the first place.

    Think about it. David (#1) discovered that his girlfriend was 6 years older than she said. Why was that okay? She was athletic, looked good, and he didn’t mind dating someone 10 years older than him. She might not have shown up in his searches, but I’d be willing to bet that he would have responded to an email from her.

    Ruby said: (#2)
    “That’s my only fib. Otherwise, I’d say I’m just as honest, if not more so, than many men I’ve met online,”

    Let’s say that you meet a man online whose only fib is his marital status (he’s really still married). Do you find this lie to be more acceptable because he’s “just as honest, if not more so,” than many women he’s met online?

    Try explaining why you lied to the person like Diana (#5) or me who didn’t lie at all. We know lots of other people lie online. Despite that, we chose not to do it.

    Ruby said: (#2)
    “I’m constantly told I look about 7-10 years younger,”

    It’s called flattery.

    Try betting a stranger $20 that they can’t guess your age (plus or minus five years). Let me know if you win that bet more often than you lose it.

  12. 12
    Steve

    Obviously, this plan backfires 90% of the time
     
    Bingo.  The truth has to come out some time.
     
     

  13. 13
    Sara

    I don’t condone lying in general, obviously, but online dating is weird in that you can set arbitrary limits on things that ultimately have very little to do with compatibility and attraction. Two inches, three years, 10 pounds, 10K per year in income will not generally make the difference between whether you are attracted to someone in real life, or compatible with him/her, but if you’re searching an online dating site, those things can certainly determine whether you’ll take a look at someone’s profile or not. I would tend to be pretty forgiving of things like this, if all other signs pointed to an honest person.
    I don’t think it’s really the same or fair to lie about having children, or marital status (divorced v. separated), however – those are hard lines that are easier to draw, and I don’t think it’s fair to would-be mates to pretend your situation is something that it’s not.

  14. 14
    Goldie

    Letter writer here, hi guys and girls :) I actually find the answer helpful. Here’s why. My approach to life in general is, as my kids put it, I “worry too much”. So what went through my head after talking to all the fine gentlemen mentioned in my email, was – okay, so I don’t really know anything about this guy. He just told me what’s on his profile is not true. How do I know if he’s telling me the truth now? What *is* the truth about him? If I go on a date with him, can I guarantee I’ll come back home to my kids? If he wants to pick me up at my place, is it safe to tell him where I live? That‘s the type of stuff I was thinking, not “OMG next thing I’m going to find out that he makes 5K less than I do and he’s really 5’6″ on heels! Oh the horrors.” :) So it’s good to know that online fibbing isn’t an indicator of anything else, other than the guy’s insecurity. (Not the most attractive quality in a man, either, but, to an extent, I can live with it.)
     
    Also, I actually might give the guy a chance even if he doesn’t fit my checklist precisely. If he sounds interesting to me, and we click, why not? As long as he’s upfront about it, so I know what to expect!
     
    Personally, believe it or not – I listed everything about me like it is. Every picture I have on my profile is no more than a year old. My reasoning was – well, if I’ve got to lie about myself to get a date with a man, then maybe he’s not the one I need. If he cannot accept me for what I am, then how am I going to date him? If I lie about my looks, I won’t get past the first date anyway; if I lie about things like education, marital status, what have you, the truth will come out anyway eventually and I will lose him then. Why the heck bother? Like Evan said, things could’ve been different if I had less to offer. But I figure that, the way I am in real life, I’ve got to attract enough people for me to choose from. If I’m not good enough for a guy, just the way I am in real life, then I won’t attract him, no matter what. Even if we end up dating, it won’t be fun, and it won’t be long. I am not interested if he cannot be interested. BTDT ;)
     
    I just needed help understanding why someone would feel otherwise. I am referring only to men in my email, not because I think men are the only ones who do this, but because I haven’t tried dating women, so I have no idea how things are on that end ;)
     
    Have to add, I don’t understand the salary part at all. First off, the site I’m on right now doesn’t have people’s incomes listed on their profiles. But, even if it did, I’d probably skip that part, because how the heck am I going to find out the truth? Ask to see his paystub? his W2? And what for? If we have common interests, similar professional levels, similar lifestyles, then I’ll just assume he is somewhere in my salary range, if not higher, and leave it at that. How’s that relevant anyway? I’m not looking to get married and join our finances. So, yeah, I *will* go out with a guy who makes less than me, and I won’t probably even find out that he does, all other things being equal.

  15. 15
    Diana

    Hi Evan ~ I know. :) I think it was your emphatic tone that seemed to be saying that every woman is this way. I’m just different I guess. It’s sad when people allow others to make them feel that they have to lie about who they are in order to meet someone.

  16. 16
    A-L

    I’m with Goldie and Karl about why I didn’t lie in my profile.  And Goldie, do not give your address to the guy until you’ve at least met up in person at some neutral location for at least one date, and as many more as you need to feel comfortable with this guy knowing that info (though if it takes a lot of dates you might want to question if you actually want to be dating this guy).
     
    I think if a person reveals his or her lie of their own volition, then it’s not as much of a character flaw than if they never fess up and you find out about it through some other means.  It’s sort of like Evan’s advice about lying on the age issue.  Put a lower number in the system, but reveal your real age in the text of your profile (or at the latest in e-mails, phone convo, or at the latest on 1st or 2nd date).  Longer than that and I start to think it’s a character flaw.  I understand the idea of getting your foot in the door, but continuing on with some false charade just seems to indicate one is a liar.

  17. 17
    Stacy

    Oh, this is a good one. Back when I was online, i got a fair share of those lies. My all time favorites are “i am in real estate” (from a superintendant) and “i run a hedge fund” – from a guy who was in operations at a large hedge fund (for non-finance folks – portfolio managers run hedge funds, operations guys are merely support personnel, a step above guys who stuff fridge with water)

  18. 18
    Cat

    @Goldie. You definitely do NOT need to give a guy your address until you’ve met him in public enough times to feel comfortable. I’ve found that guys who date online are generally more understanding of women’s need to be cautious then, say, someone you’ve met at a party or through friends.

    And I totally agree about having recent pictures up. I don’t know why some of these guys wouldn’t prefer to be rejected online than in person!

    I’m on Match.com, and I’ve been surprised to find so many men asking for women with specific incomes and height. I’m 5’1″ barefoot, but I’m rarely barefoot. I’ll be 5’4″ or taller on the date with heels so I get confused when guys ask for a certain height! (A lot of them put 5’3″ as a minimum height for a lady to be, then they disregard what they asked for and write to me anyway. Go figure.)

  19. 19
    Diana

    Hi Goldie. For safety’s sake, always meet a new date in a public place, let others know who you are meeting and where, and about how long you will be gone. Do not provide your home address or home phone number. Providing your cell number is safer. I recommend meeting in a public place for the first three dates. Honestly, the odds are that the first date will not lead to a second, and you don’t want a relative stranger to have that kind of information.
     
    As for how can you know if he may be lying, that’s tricky. Even in real life where you might meet a new man who asks you out, he can be filling your head with a pack of lies, though clearly not how tall he is. ;) How’s one to know? You don’t. You just have to listen carefully, follow your gut instinct, and use some deductive reasoning.
     
    What did the man lie about in his profile, and what was his reasoning for it?
     
     

  20. 20
    Lulubell

    This post gets to my biggest problem with online dating…that dishonesty is supposed to be an acceptable part of the system. I am really looking to find a life partner, and I state that in my profile, so why should I just accept that it will start by having a date with someone who lied about age/height/job/marital status/whatever…just to get a first date? I agree with Goldie and Karl R, that these are NOT the kind of people I want to meet, because it is a slippery slope. A white lie about age can easily become a white lie about overspending on credit cards, meeting another woman for “just a drink” or whatever. I am NOT a suspicious person….really can be too trusting….which is why I take these lies as red flags.

    My profile is honest, and it has likely limited my “volume” since I am honest about my age (51).  I think Evan has a reasonable solution, using a fake age for sort purposes and then coming clean in the text. But, I don’t resort to that, because I don’t want a man who is shallow enough to not even date a woman his own age. IMHO, it’s his loss. And, luckily for me, there are actually guys online who will date an older woman, and they are smart not to limit their options. I kinda view this as a “law of attraction” thing…where I attract honest men by being honest. If everyone would adopt this mindset, just think how much better it would be?!?!?

    Evan, I do understand your position, that you just report the truth, but I am disappointed that you took the easy way out to just blame it on the “system”. We ARE the system, and could change it if we really wanted. It would help to have some leadership in that area, from people like you.

    Lastly, I think the OP needs some good advice on how to proceed….that it is best to have a few dates to get comfortable with a guy before letting him know her address. And, letting a friend know who she’s seeing, just as a safeguard. We all know that a white lie about marital status is NOT the same as fudging age or height. Hope for the best and plan for the worst.

  21. 21
    Bill

    The funny thing about online dating no one really believes anything thats listed online anymore. lol If it sounds too good to be true it is probably not true.

  22. 22
    sayanta

    Diana-

    I’m with you- people keep telling me to fudge my age to 30 or 31 (at the ripe old age of 32, I’m ‘out of range’ for many men- who are actually the same age as me!) LOL

    I can’t do it though- no reason other than it just doesn’t feel right to me- and if something doesn’t feel right, I don’t do it.

  23. 23
    Ruby

    Karl #12
     
    First, let me state that I’m not saying that everyone should lie, and that it’s no big deal. It bothers me to do it, but my women friends who are older and who reveal their true ages don’t get many responses on-line, so I’ve done it. I’m not talking about 32-year-olds, I’m talking about women who are 45-50 and over. Of course, though, truth is best, because then there’s nothing to hide.
     
    Still, I don’t feel that a woman knocking three years off her age is as bad as a man saying he’s single when he’s still married.
     
    As far as people flattering me, I don’t think that women or platonic male friends and colleagues I meet have any reason to go out of their way to flatter me, and they guess my age to be younger as often as potential dates do. Besides, I’d never knock 7-10 years off my age anyway.

  24. 24
    Diana

    Hey Sayanta ~ good for you! I’m turning 50 this year, and I love where my life is right now. If I have to change my age stat (or whatever) to get someone to ask me out, he’s not the kind of man I want. Besides ~ I can see and feel the way men look at me in real life. ;) While I may not appear in a man’s searches because he’s pushing 60 and looking for 40 and younger, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I don’t attract men. It only means he’s a dreamer who’s afraid to face reality.

  25. 25
    Jane

    I lie about my age all the time. I’m in my mid 30’s, but state that I am 29. Men never seem to mind if you actually do look like your photo and appear closer to your fake than real age AND if you are attractive. I actually prefer younger men. The  biggest lie that women have been told is that Men get better looking with age. Some do, but most don’t. Looks and age matter to women as well.

  26. 26
    Mr_Right

    Hmmm. I went on quite a few online dates before I found my girl, and I went through a lot of lies on women’s profiles.

    As a guy who values honesty, I started to get sick of women lying about what they do, what they look like, age, etc… I didn’t even understand the point. If they’re going to lie about what they look like, the truth will come out when you meet up. My tolerance level went down the more I dated.

    I would think that the women out there are taking a real chance if they lie in their profile. Sure, you might get more hits, but a) is it really worth it; b) they’re going to find out eventualy; and c) if you can’t be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with.

    And yes, my profile was accurate and honest. I left myself out there honestly, and I knew that the women who went out with me were getting who I was and who I looked like.

  27. 27
    BeenThruTheWars

    I detest smoking, have never smoked, am in fact allergic to smoke, and my profile indicated I wouldn’t date a regular smoker. My husband said in his profile that he was a “social smoker.”  To me, that’s someone who might bum a cigarette off someone at a bar or at a party once in a while.  So… I decided to give him a whirl anyway, as I liked everything else about his profile.  His car was immaculate, he didn’t smell of tobacco, we spent hours together on dates and I never saw him light up once… or display any kind of niccing behavior… until after we were exclusive.  Guess what? He was a pack-a-day smoker and hid it from me.  He would practically polish his car ashtray and shampoo his upholstery before every date so I wouldn’t know. His friends gave him all kinds of grief about it (I found out much later).  Once we were getting serious, right around the three-month mark (we were engaged at six months), out it came. By then, I was falling in love with him, so decided not to kick him to the curb, “because surely, he would quit one day.” Right?  (Ha.)
    So now, fast-forward almost six years later.  Guess what the ONE thing we fight about is?  Yep.  His smoking.  And he freely admits, “I have no one to blame but myself because I hid it from you.”  He enjoys smoking and doesn’t want to quit; however, I’m sick of having my friends tell me I smell like smoke after being in his car.  I’m tired of having my nose and eyes itch and run, and have to sit on ashes, any time I ride in his car.  He only smokes outside, never in the house; and doesn’t smoke while I’m actually IN the car with him.  But it’s still a real irritant for me, personally.  I’m also concerned about his health, as he’s smoked regularly for almost 20 years.  And I’m concerned about my health, breathing in second-hand ash and airborne particulates.
    I guess it’s an example of how one person’s lie to “get in the door” with another person can create a serious bone of contention between them that lasts for years.  As much as I love him, and as happy as we are in virtually every other regard?  I wish I’d had the opportunity to make an informed choice from the beginning about whether I wanted to date him.
     

  28. 28
    Joe

    Two questions for the liars:

    1) How soon do you reveal your true age (assuming you haven’t done the text reveal thing)?

    2) What proportion of the guys you’ve spilled to continued to date you for more than a couple more dates?

  29. 29
    Jonesey

    I hate online dating. I will never do it again, it is such a weird experience. All the lying and misrepresentation and people disappearing and reappearing and not being at all what you want.

    Thank god I have someone. Go out with someone you’ve known a long time. No way to lie. You already know each other.  

  30. 30
    Karl R

    Ruby said: (#24)
    “my women friends who are older and who reveal their true ages don’t get many responses on-line,”

    – Short men who reveal their true height don’t get many responses.
    – Poorer men who reveal their true income don’t get many responses.
    – Unemployed men and women who reveal their true employment status don’t get many responses.
    – Overweight men and women who reveal their true weight (or who show current, full body photos) don’t get many responses.
    – Men without degrees who reveal their true education status don’t get many responses.
    – Single mothers with kids at home who reveal their true family status don’t get many responses.
    – Married men and women who reveal their true marital status don’t get many responses.

    If there is any category where you’re inclined to rule someone out, some person is inclined to lie about it to increase the number of responses they get.

    We rule people out for reasons that matter (at least to us). I ruled out women who lived hundreds of miles away because I didn’t want to buy a plane ticket just to kiss my girlfriend. The reason could be completely shallow, but it matters.

    Think about the things that matter to you. Are you about to ignore them just because you had a first date with someone? Okay … you might ignore them if he’s drop dead gorgeous.

    So if that’s the only thing that would cause you to overlook one of the criteria that matters to you, what on earth possesses you to believe that men will behave differently … unless you’re drop dead gorgeous.

    Ruby said: (#24)
    “I don’t think that women or platonic male friends and colleagues I meet have any reason to go out of their way to flatter me, and they guess my age to be younger as often as potential dates do.”

    Why is it that everyone on this blog (including me) gets guessed as being 10 years younger than their actual age … often by platonic friends. It doesn’t make sense that everyone looks 10 years younger than their actual age. If that was the case, who are we comparing people to?

    The reality is, we look 10 years younger than a few people our age who smoke, drink heavily or spend way too much time in the sun. We look 10 years younger than the people who have prematurely aged themselves.

    I also look like an athelete compared to the morbidly obese. I look like a wealthy man compared to the impoverished. And I look extremely tall next to the American Society of Little People.

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