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. 31
    Zann

    The Truth Will Set You Free! 

    I’m one of those “older” women who have been mentioned, age 57, and I never lie about my age, and it doesn’t seem to stop younger men from writing to me or dating me.  But the truth of the matter is, I prefer to date men around my own age, because there’s just more common ground and I think that is what leads to a more in-depth relationship.  To lie about your age (in my opinion) indicates you’re insecure about it, and insecurity is just not flattering.  I once had a first meeting with a man who was just as attractive in person as his on-line pictures.  After talking for a while, he admitted that he was actually 10  years older than the age in his profile.  My immediate reaction was to feel like I’d been deceived, which I didn’t appreciate, and he suddenly seemed less attractive to me because of his lie.  It was like he had broadcast his insecurity.   

    A man who’s confident about himself  (not to be confused with arrogance) and comfortable with his true age is sexy to me.  So, I assume men feel the same way about a woman’s honesty and self-assurance, so why lie?

    But getting back to Goldie’s question, I don’t think there IS any fool-proof way to detect when someone you meet on-line is being dishonest.  It’s a gamble you take when agreeing to meet up with a stranger.  In my experience, though, most men do tell the truth in their profiles about who they are and how they look, or “within the ballpark” but they often have stories about women they’ve met who were dishonest in their profiles.

    To me, it’s pointless to lie about yourself in your profile, because the truth will out, and then you wind looking very insecure…and insecurity, in my book, is just not flattering. 

  2. 32
    Selena

    The thing about looking 10 years younger…you DO NOT look 10 years younger to someone who actually IS 10 years younger. Test this yourself: when was the last time you mistook someone 10 years older for your own age?

  3. 33
    Steve

    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?
    Well, aside from being lied to/flattered by the platonic friends as you imply, maybe we are looking at the people who over-lie about their age on online dating sites?
    The whole lying about age thing didn’t sink in for me until I started seeing profiles where I thought “Wow, this person looks like hell for ____ years of age” and read on blogs like this one that lying about age is common.
     
     

  4. 34
    JB

    8/6/2010

    @Evan #11 – “men care about youth and looks.Women care about age,height,education,and salary”
    I’m pretty sure you can throw in LOOKS in that women’s list,maybe not at the top but at least second.

    @Goldie #15 -“If I lie about education,marital status,etc…the truth will come out anyway eventually and I’ll lose him then.”
    No you won’t,not if he’s attracted to you,likes you and is having a great time with you.Are YOU that replaceable Goldie? Men are men and those are just stats.

    @BeenThruTheWars #28- you’re a saint.Never the less….I smoke 2 or 3 cigarettes a week when I’m out with the guys.I’m certainly not going to put in my Match profile I’m an occasional smoker because it would virtually eliminate 90% of possible matches.I don’t smoke around women I’m dating.It’s not a woman I’ve never met’s business what I do when I’m not with them(assuming I’m not a crack head drunk…lol).So I put “non-smoker” and I always will.That’s a big difference from a “pack a day” smoker that always smells though and has to smoke when they’re on a date with you etc…. again I think you’re a saint ! :-) You must really love the guy unconditionally.I’m pretty sure it was what helped end my relationship with a woman 5 yrs ago.Since then 2 a week and NEVER around women that don’t smoke.(unless I want to get rid of them…lol)
    I think “smoking” is the #1 dating deal breaker for most people.
    Obviosly men are little more forgiving on this one if a woman is hot!!..LOL

    Getting back to the original topic………it would be a wonderful utopian world if noone ever HAD to lie in their profile and everyone would meet tons of people and live happily ever after but that’s delusional thinking and we live on Planet Earth. I’ll always do it and I just expect every woman I email is doing it to some extent.You want to know a funny thing,I don’t see that much difference in the amount of success I have even with the”stretched truth”profile because I still look the way I look and my job IS what it IS.I don’t lie on either of those.
    Oh and just so you all know…long before the internet when some of us “pioneers” were doing newspaper/magazine personals in 1990 by snail mail everyone was lying then too.It’s human nature.

    Bottom line is, nothing matters until you MEET someone anyway because then you can at least place a real beginning value on them(assuming you enjoyed a phone conversation etc…).If you’re not attracted to them does it matter if they lied about their age,weight,income,education etc….They could of been honest about all 4 you could still be NOT attracted to them OR they could of lied about all 4 and you could think they’re “HOT”and hit it off! I’ve been in both spots. Ladies,if a guy finds you physically attractive and he likes your personality he can let a lot of things slide….LOL Just my opinion.

  5. 35
    Marc

    Until dating sites require members to come to their offices for in-person interviews to validate what they’ve written about themselves in their profiles, online daters are doomed to decoding lies. 5’10 is 5’7…average medium build is 20 extra pounds, 35 is really 47, etc. Once you’ve done the online thing for a bit, you become adept at deciphering these sad little lies people tell to get noticed. They’re kind of like the phantom tag at second base during a double play, or the extra step an NBA player takes before dunking the ball – minor infractions that are ignored to keep the game moving.  I’ve always found the first phone call to be a great way to weed out the truly undateable.

  6. 36
    Christie Hartman, PhD

    This is a great topic, and I just blogged on it the other day.
     
    When I get involved in discussions on this topic, the overwhelming thing that hits me is this: the problem isn’t just that people are deceptive, it’s also that online daters often have unrealistic criteria for what they’re looking for. Studies have shown that what online daters say they want is NOT the same as what they’re willing to actually try. In other words, the woman who says she wants a 6-foot tall guy is actually willing to date a shorter one. This is true with height, weight, age, income, and education. I have seen this anecdotally as well. Case in point: online, men almost always say they want women their age or younger. Yet in the offline world, I get interest from younger men on a regular basis.
     
    My point? Deception, to some extent, is a reaction to this tendency people have to be excessively picky online. Why would any man exaggerate his height if he knew women were looking for a quality man rather than screening out all men under 5’10″?
     
    Given that, I’m against deception – it’s irritating and it only makes you look insecure. No one’s perfect – be proud of who you are and put up a well-crafted profile highlighting your strengths. Confidence and being comfortable with yourself are more attractive than anything.

    1. 36.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Christie: Great line: “Deception, to some extent, is a reaction to this tendency people have to be excessively picky online.” That’s what I was trying to say, but couldn’t quite figure it out. Well done.

  7. 37
    Diana

    BeenThruTheWars #28, I feel your frustration. After more than 25 years together, I found out my former husband was a smoker. He didn’t share this with me, and I think that is what hurt and upset me the most. I found out via lab work. It sounds unbelievable, but there was no evidence of his smoking. I didn’t see him with a cigarette until after we divorced (not because of his smoking). He smoked whenever he felt stressed, so I think he’d go for months without lighting up. But his new lifestyle turned him into a much heavier smoker. I don’t tolerate smoke well at all, even though I grew up with a chain smoker ~ ugh. He died of cancer and heart failure.
     
    Geez, this is depressing, thinking that anyone I might meet thru OLD is likely not as they presented themselves to be.

  8. 38
    Steve

    Selena 33
    The thing about looking 10 years younger…you DO NOT look 10 years younger to someone who actually IS 10 years younger. Test this yourself: when was the last time you mistook someone 10 years older for your own age
     

    Selena wins the excellent point of the day.   I like to go back to my college town periodically to eat at a favorite Chinese restaurant.   It really straightens out my perspective on how old I am and how young I am.

  9. 39
    Steve

    @Evan #38
     
    You and Christie have an excellent point.  The problem is that there is no homeroom teacher to complain too about how unfair it is.  People are still going to be picky online, right or wrong.   All is fair in love and war.   FWIW, I think there are more than a few people out there who find it sexy when someone chooses not to live by that, even if it means they lose in the short run.

  10. 40
    BeenThereDoneThat

    I am honest in my profile.  If someone chooses to pass me by because I’m 40, I’m ok with that.  I pass by men based on age as well, too old and too young.  I just can’t imagine saying to someone down the road “you know, I wasn’t honest about  . . . “.  To each their own.  

    My teenage daughter and her friend whom I’d never met before were meeting me at the park to watch 4th of July fireworks.  As they started to approach my blanket, my daughter’s friend asked “why are we going to see a teenager?”  My daughter responded, “we’re not.  That’s my mom.” 
       

  11. 41
    sayanta

    Diana-

    I’m so sorry about your husband…that’s such a horrible thing to go through.

    I don’t know about the whole lying thing- like I said, I dont’ lie about my age, but I think some of you read my former posts, where I said I had a really hot pic up but was getting few responses- my profile was very deep, intense, passionate- which, I think, is how I am- didn’t tell my whole life story, but gave a good picture of me. Girlfriends said it was amazing.

    Anyway…got sick of getting no responses- so I ‘dumbed’ it down- I don’t sound like a total ditz, but a lot less ‘deep and passionate’ than my old profile.

    I got 20 e-mails and winks in one day.

    So, I should be happy, right? Nope- crying miserable actually. Some of these men were ones who’d passed me over with the old profile.

    Why the misery? Because this new profile isn’t really ‘me’ as much as the old one was. And it makes me think that maybe…(and I’m not saying this out of despair, but more detached resignation) I’m just not meant to connect with men. Not that I’m lesbian (it would make things easier if I were, actually- LOL), but in real life I’ve never been able to bond emotionally with men- and online, there’s even less of a chance for it happening. I mean- I can’t become a completely different person just because it’ll please guys. I guess that’s how the world works- but, that’s why I’ve always loved my fantasy novels. ;-)

    I advised someone on this blog that sometimes, some people are too broken to be in a relationship- that they have to work things out about themselves first. I think I’m one of those people I gave that advice too- don’t know if I’m ‘broken’ exactly, but dating/relationships…I’m one of those people who can’t handle this process, and I accept that.

  12. 42
    Roger

    We have only ourselves to Blame!


    By choosing only those who are tall, good looking,young, thin, well off and educated, we have forced those who do not meet ALL those criteria to lie to get a chance at romance. Honestly, how many people meet ALL those criteria? Do you?  This is like ordering a lover out of a catalog. Who would choose less than great ratings on all the criteria?

    What is the average person to do? be honest and give up their chance at having some one special in their lives?Should all but the top 5% of the single population stop wasting their money at Match.com or what ever?
    I propose that people get over their demand for a great  profile and behave as they do in the face-to-face world. If one looks around the “real” world, you notice that many people are paired off who would not be considered ideal on-line matches–over weight, mismatched height, not that good looking…..  Yet they have chosen each other. Why? Because they did not place an order from a catalog, but rather met a living human being and developed a relationship over time.
    Of course, these people have some requirements that must be met to make a relationship work, but there are obviously more trade-offs being made than we online daters are willing to make.
    Roger

  13. 43
    Helen

    Sayanta, I would be more optimistic, both toward yourself and toward these men.
     
    No one, male or female, feels really comfortable with a huge dose of heaviness and life philosophy immediately upon meeting someone new. I LOVE deep conversations on all topics, but getting too much at once from someone I’ve just met seems like oversharing. An example: I was recently on a business trip and meeting a colleague for the first time; we’d exchanged emails but never actually met. Upon our meeting, he immediately started talking about all kinds of issues he’d had at his former workplace, and his family… It didn’t turn me off to him, but I did find it strange and somewhat inappropriate.
     
    So, relax. Your having a “light” profile does not mean that you’re dumbing yourself down or are not genuinely an intense person. Nor does it mean that the men responding to you are airheads. Get to know them first, in person, before you decide that. In fact, sometimes you can know someone for a long time without uncovering their deep and passionate side; then, when you do, it’s always a delight.
     

  14. 44
    Karl R

    sayanta said: (#43)
    “I’ve never been able to bond emotionally with men”

    What do you mean by “bond emotionally”?

    The reason I ask is because I’ve read a few fantasy novels that use concepts that could be described that way … and there’s a reason that they’re fantasy novels.

    On the other hand, you could just be using the term for something fairly normal that I would describe in other words. So could you explain to me what the difference is between a relationship (such as a friendship) where there is an emotional bond and a similar relationship where there isn’t one?

  15. 45
    Diana

    Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I know I look years younger [LOL]. And that’s the truth. :) So there.
     
    Sayanta, thank you for your kindness. :)

  16. 46
    A-L

    Sayanta,
     
    Helen makes an excellent point in #45.  A lot of people aren’t into overly intense beginnings, on an online profile or in life, but are people who enjoy deep and intense things once they get to know you.
     
    As far as your profile goes, think about the traits that you think a guy that you would be interested in would want.  Then think about how you have those traits, and what short anecdotes you could share to illustrate those traits.  Because remember, an online profile is not a biography.  It’s an ad.  You’re trying to market yourself to the guys you’re interested in.  So it should be interesting to them, and focus on what would grab their attention.  They don’t need to know all about you; they just need to find out enough to want to contact you.  That’s it.  Subsequent communications (e-mail, phone, and dates) will allow the two of you to learn more about each other and see if you’re a good fit.

  17. 47
    Amit

    I think that lying is not acceptable at all!! I feel that profiles should be truthful otherwise all you’re doing is saving the “brutal truth” for later. It’s going to come out one way or the other so might as well just have it there up front.
    I don’t think that it’s necessary to have a long overdrawn profile to be a good one that tells a lot about you. Maybe a story about something from you life can be a great way to tell someone about yourself without involving too much philosophy. :)

  18. 48
    Sayanta

    Ok- so I just re-read my post and I was seriously cringing. Thanks guys, again, for all your insight. (and for putting up with me)

    You know what- even though I was in drama queen/victimhood mode yesterday big time- there is truth in what I wrote. I really do feel, whether it’s right or wrong, that women go out of their way to appeal to men, whereas men don’t do the same for us. I mean, I’m sitting there updating my profile constantly, and the guys are there with these stream of consciousness- I like to ‘work hard and play hard’ issues- and I’m sure they’re getting more dates than I do!

    All I know is dating really does put me on an emotional rollercoaster- and I’ve definitely got to work on fixing that before I go on Match or anywhere else.

    A-L- THanks for your how-to, though- when I feel I am ready to do really do this in a detached, relaxed way, I’ll try to revamp my ‘image’ using what you’ve said (I mean, it obviously worked for you :-))

  19. 49
    A-L

    Thanks, Sayanta, but I’m pretty sure that a lot of what I said has already been said…by Evan.  But I’m glad that you’re in a better place today and hope that things just continue to improve from here for you.

  20. 50
    JerseyGirl

    Is everyone familiar with HGTV? That home improvement channel that show cases all the ways to improve your home to make it enticing to sellers or just shows general home improvements? No one is happy anymore with laminate counter tops or carpeted floors. Everyone wants granite counter tops and hardwood floors. Even the guy/girl that works at McDonalds.
    This is part of the problem. People equate their worth to the value society puts on the “quality” of their possesions. And this translates to people. When our grandparents and parents where getting married, falling in love, they were not inundated with a million images about what they “deserved”. They did not have an endless catalog of potential “love” interests at their fingertips that rivals the books at the New York Public Library. People lie because they want to be accepted. Period. Whether it’s your boyfriend lying to you about loving your parents or the guy lying about his height. And sometimes people lie to themselves about their own “worth”.

  21. 51
    BeenthereDonethat

    @ Sayanta
     
    I remember once that Mr. Right posted how many dates he’d been on before meeting his fiance/wife.  I wish I could remember which post it was on.  Anyway, I was surprised at the high number.  And it helped me realize that just because I haven’t met someone yet, its not time to give up when I haven’t gone on 10% of his number of dates.  Keep your chin up.

  22. 52
    Annie

    @43.

    I’ve felt the same way, and to a degree I still do. But I’ve met a couple of guys in the last few years who, after being casual and fun friends for a while, showed their deeper nature to me.

    Men communicate differently, and they aren’t usually “deep” at first. But mainly because I’ve found that men take a while to trust some-one with their  feelings. I think men are actually hurt more, by some-one disregarding their private thoughts so they are more closed and sensitive.

    For men, emotional intimacy takes time.

    As an example, I’ve become friends with a man (firstly just online), where we’ve chatted and had a lot of feisty, fun conversations. Then, after almost 2 years, he shares with me his love of native america flute playing(he’s native america), that he released a CD that sold very well, and that he really tries to be in touch with his emotions through music. I listened to his music, and I never would have imagined that such a fun, cocky kind of guy had some a lovely deep side to him.

    He shares it with very few.

    This is why I tend to ignore initial chemisty. Because it doesn’t show depth, just lust. Believe in yourself, and just be yourself. A deeper male, who loves to think, discuss and respects a thoughtful woman, will notice you, even if it takes a little time for him to get “deep”. And, have fun. Don’t worry.

    Cheers
    Annie

  23. 53
    Selena

    @#52

    Great post Jersey. :) I totally agree.

    As an aside, I stopped watching HGTV because I got tired of looking at identically furnished homes. In 10 years the hard wood floors, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances are going to look every bit as dated as the choclate carpeting, dark wood cabinets, and avocado green appliances of the 1970’s did a decade later.

    Now I browse Houzz.com and enjoy looking diversely designed rooms instead.

  24. 54
    christina

    But I dint understand why people lie, when they know that truth cant be hidden, and they will loose anyone they are lying to. I think relationship is build on confidence, but if the base of relationship starts from lie then relationship will be highly imbalanced. And you loose your respect also. So to loose your dignity by lying better find someone who will aspect you for what you are. I know this is difficult but not impossible. this is what I think…

  25. 55
    morgan

    I’m pretty black and white on this one – no lies, in any form, anywhere in the profile.

    My profile is completely honest but I’m lucky in that I don’t feel like I need to mislead anyone.  Yes, I’m sure I’d get more suitors if I said I was younger (I’m 45) but the dishonesty (even when you ‘fess up in the body of your profile) sets a bad precedent.

    My past experience of people who haven’t been altogether honest in their profiles, suggests that these people aren’t altogether comfortable with aspects of themselves – be it their age, body shape, whatever.  As far as I’m concerned gliding the lily is a red flag.   

  26. 56
    Plan

    I started online dating for the very first time a few weeks ago. I suppose I’m unusually honest, because my age is listed truthfully, all my photos are very recent (weeks old), and I was pretty self-deprecating in my profile. The only thing that was a slight stretch is my height — I’m 5’9″ and change instead of 5’10”, but I’m not sure half or a quarter of an inch makes a difference when I’m 5’11” in shoes anyway.
    The salary issue is absurd to me and a big warning sign to stay away from women who are overly concerned with it.
    I’m a young guy, I work in journalism and I make a decent salary. Not terrible, not great. But I can leave and take a job in PR if I want. I have the experience to more than double my salary by switching fields.
    But from my perspective, a woman who thinks the salary thing is make-or-break would never, ever have a chance anyway. I would like someone with a brain, a genuine, good person who values real things, thanks very much. Peace to all the vapid women, and good luck with the Wall Street types

  27. 57
    C.

    BeenThruWars, I’ve experienced this with my ex, and we didn’t meet online. He was a smoker but the party that I met him at he wasn’t smoking because he was trying to quit. But he couldn’t quit and hid it from me..until after I already fell for him. By 6 months he would smoke in front of me, and he got testy if I complained about it. It wasn’t the only reason we broke up, but it was a source of arguing, and at times I felt like he was purposely blowing smoke in my face. At least your husband doesn’t smoke around you..best of luck!
    So now that I’m dating online, I only respond to non-smokers. If a guy lies about it to get his foot in the door with me, well, that could pose a major problem down the line. Am I being to picky? Perhaps, but its based on knowing what has been a problem in the past. Why would I want to go through that again?

  28. 58
    Christie Hartman, PhD

    @Evan – thanks, glad I was able to offer something helpful.
    JerseyGirl (#52) makes several good points. Just like selling a house, we’re selling ourselves to the other sex when we date, and we all want to be the beautiful house in the great neighborhood that everyone wants. :)

  29. 59
    Nancy

    I am tall for a women, 5’8″, and thin. When men lie about their height I notice it immediately, obviously, and that is a major turn off. Ditto weight/build. A guy who looks like he is smuggling bowling balls under his shirt is not athletic/muscular build. I have friends who are female who do the same thing. Lying about a physical attribute is just plain dumb, it is something that is immediately apparent.

  30. 60
    JerseyGirl

    I also think that people tend to be more critical online. I see it in myself. I will look at a guys picture or see something he said and be quick to wrinkle my nose. But if I saw that guy in a real setting, in real life, i probably wouldn’t. I’ve noticed that about myself and I am sure others have had that exerience to. And it’s not even that I am more forgiving in real life when I meet men. It’s just that it’s a more authentic experience then cataloging men by height, income, interests online.
    And lets be honest. No one wants to be lied to. But come on, we all lie in some way or have lied at some point. Maybe not for online dating but no one is perfect. Just because you lied once doesn’t mean you aren’t trust worthy. So I try to cut the men that I know have lied some slack. I recongnize it’s something they thought wouldn’t make them an attractive canidate. They might be insecure about this. As long as it’s something small like his height…big deal. But if he lies about something like being married or having kids and not being open about that, that would be different.

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