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 people contact 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.

Join our conversation (198 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 91


    No one is mocking the not so easy on the eyes women. That’s your thought process. Besides, attractiveness is subjective IMO.

    Jim M.,

    As you stated physical attraction is fundamental. But compatibility cannot be undermined. At the end of the day, hot and attractive gets old.

    1. 91.1

      Perhaps you are right, N. I did grow up with acceptance being based on my performance. It’s easy to translate some of these things as “not measuring up” and “unworthy” not because of what is said but sometimes the way it’s said.

  2. 92

    What’s telling is, I said nothing about anyone having to date fat, unattractive people and right out of the gate the response is, “the only men who go for fat women blah blah blah”. Fascinating.

  3. 93

    A man adding a couple of inches to his height might not matter to shorter women but I’m 5’8″ barefoot, which is emphasized on my profile. In my boots I’m 5’10 so I WILL notice the discrepancy. If a man who’s 5’9 fabricates his height “up” two inches (they do fairly frequently) I will be taller than he is when we meet. And I HAVE noticed that there seems to be a very wide variety of what 5’11 measures up to. I get that people want to lie about their height, age and photos to get their foot in the door. They think that, once you meet them you’ll be so impressed with their (dishonest) personality that you’ll overlook those little fibs. For me it’s a deal breaker. All it does is prove that you’re a liar. Is that any way to start off a potential relationship? No second date. You’re a waste of my time. I think it’s really sad that the bar has been lowered to such a degree people are surprised when you’re legit. I’ve routinely seen the shocked expression on men’s faces when I actually look like my photos in real life. Everyone comments on it right away and one even had the decency to be ashamed he’d tricked me with HIS fake photos. Seriously, what is wrong with people???

    1. 93.1
      Jim morrison

      You sort of proved my point my dear…I met a woman on a dating site…I lied to her about my “age”   by 15 years…we have now been together for a year and a half…we live together, with no intentions of ever breaking up…so you see…lying gets your foot in the door to people that would have never given you the chance…but lying about age is not lying about a physical thing like height…age is a numerical thing…like bodyweight…if you say your thin, but really obese…they you lied about a physical thing…if you say you’re 5’10, but really 5’7, you lied about something physical…but age is not physical…people looking at you, don’t know you lied…unless you take off 50 years..haha

      1. 93.1.1

        “lying about age is not lying about a physical thing like height…age is a numerical thing…like bodyweight…if you say your thin, but really obese…they you lied about a physical thing…”

        Dude. Age IS a physical thing. Is a thirty year old woman physically different from when she was twenty? Or what about when she’s forty?

        Look, you lied. Big time. You got lucky, I guess. But 15 years??? I mean if she thought you were 35, then you’d actually be 50! Geez, and then you have the gall to suggest that it’s fundamentally different than a woman saying she’s thin when she’s obese. It’s NOT fundamentally different. Both cases are black/white lies.

        1. jim morrison

          Sorry, but age is not a physical thing…we can agree to disagree…and there is a huge difference between a woman lying about her weight, than a man lying about his age…if you seen me, you’d never know I lied…but I sure as hell can tell you lied about your weight…my point is, if you like how I look…and are attracted to me, age shouldn’t make any difference whatsover…And a 40 or 50 year old man, can easily be as physically fit as he was in his 20’s.  Even more so…so how is a person different…I think it’s different for men than women….men, in this society are still playing action roles into their 60’s…liam neeson in the taken movies…and guys in their mid 40’s and 50’s are still playing action hero’s…jason statham, 49, the rock…etc…while you will never ever see a woman in those sort of roles past 30.  it’s very very rare…so society views man and women differently, when it comes to age…men can still be in their prime well into their 50’s…of course they have to look the part…

      2. 93.1.2

        Both age and weight are numerical AND physical. Saying that age is not a physical thing is delusional. Some people wear their age well, just like some people carry their weight well. I don’t think an online profile needs to quantify these factors down to the exact number, but I wouldn’t advise lying either. You are setting yourself up for getting the foot in the door only to have said door slammed on your face.

        1. Katie

          Don’t bother with this guy, Almudena. He’s just bored at work and trying to stir people up, as evidenced by him plastering illogical assertions literally ALL over and just restating the exact same illogical thing when someone points out that he doesn’t make any sense. Pick someone else with an opposing viewpoint to comment to. One who actually cares to debate. This one doesn’t.

        2. jim morrison

          but looking at someone, you can tell if they lied about their weight…you can’t always tell about age…some people look very young…and I don’t think age is a physical thing…we can disagree…anyways…I am in a relationship…for over a year and half..we live together..I lied about my “age”  by the time I told her though, I had her…which was the point…get your foot in the door, so your age won’t matter…not saying it always works…but it does work…

  4. 94

    Oh, and as far as lying about age. I’m a very fit 45 year old woman. I’d FAR rather tell the truth and see the pleasantly surprised look on a man’s face when we meet, followed by “Wow. You look at least a decade younger!” then lie and see suspicion or disappointment in their eyes. If you really do look 10 years younger that’s great! No need to lie about it. Your dates will be so very pleased when they meet you. Trust me, I know! 😉

  5. 95

    I lie about my age online to be seen first. I list 49 but Im in my mid 50s. I did that because I found if I listed my real age I seem to no longer exist online. All my pics posted are taken within the last few months and they are good quality.

    I don’t claim to look younger (as most of the men do), but I am in great physical shape and Im attractive enough get a lot of mail. I write in the body of my profile that Im actually 294 years old and I only date younger ( as a joke).

    This works for me and because I get so much interest I can afford it. The down side is getting contact from guys over 50 who write how stunning I look, whom I find have written in their profile that they absolutely don’t want to hear from women over 50.

    The guys Ive met and dated could care less about my age. I lie about my age because Ive found it effective in the online world for me.

    1. 95.1
      jim morrison

      It’s funny…when I say I do this..I get a load of crap for it…haha i’m called a troll…it’s done for a reason…to meet people that other wise wouldn’t have met you…if they wanna play the game of “i won’t meet you if you’re over 35” i can play the game and lie about it…alls fair…

  6. 96

    Oh the lies people tell. . .
    I recently met a woman online. We had dinner, then went to her house and danced and drank wine until around 1 AM. It was divine, and we were having a blast. Two days later we took a day trip up the coast that ended up becoming a three day date, complete with sleepovers. The following weekend, we spent every minute together and had more fun than either of us could remember, however (and here it comes) there was something that didn’t seem to add up. She seemed a little nervous at times; you know that look that someone gets when they are concealing something from you, and they aren’t sure whether that moment is the right time to drop the bomb on you. I saw that more on Friday, and she seemed a little distant.

    When I received the first email from her a few days prior, the email address was appended with a year that was four years younger than she said she was on her profile. I assumed (correctly) that she had lied about her age. She looked about ten years younger than she actually was, and was everything I had always wanted in a woman, so I stuffed that thought way down in a place that wouldn’t bubble up and upset the proverbial apple cart. I didn’t take, ultimately.

    This also happened to me four years ago. 52 is the new 42? That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard, so please stop with that malarkey already people! At least that liar told me about it the day after our first date, along with the three divorces and two children I was also unaware of, but I do digress . . .

    The new girl and I were literally falling madly in love with each other. Friday at her house, then Saturday afternoon while driving to lunch, I turned the radio off and looked straight at her and said: “were you born in 1973 or 1969?” She said plainly “Uhh, yes”. I was beside myself because I had mentioned how cool I thought it was that we were the same age and graduated high school the same year. By the way, I mentioned this three times to her in the 8 days between our first date and the “moment of truth”; she therefore had no less than three opportunities to come clean about the age lie. Let me add that I would not have cared if the 52 year-old would have been honest upfront, she was hot and we got along great. Same thing with this one – I could care less about age; I am more interested in the chemistry and the connection. Did I mention that her bio mentioned that honesty was important to her? How about how mine said that I was seeking “. . . sincerity, honesty, and sweetness”?

    She said she knew I would be upset, but at that moment I said I didn’t care, and I just stuffed it way down there, right on top of the repressed email feelings. We had big dinner plans (meaning really expensive/fancy/etc.) later that night that had been in the works all week. She had her stuff at my house for the weekend already. Was I supposed to get mad at her, then have a crappy lunch, and dinner, and drop her off at home a day early? I just wanted to forget about it. She joked that she thought I was going to ditch her at the restaurant, and at that moment it didn’t seem like a bad idea (more on that soon.) She asked what I thought about “it”, and I said “If you are lying about that, then what else are your lying about?” She got a little miffed and stated that she is “not a liar”, and that everyone online lies about their age.” Umm, sorry honey, that is not how it works, and yes you are a liar. She said it was eating at her and felt relieved to finally have me know, but you see – she didn’t tell me, I had to ask, so who knows how long she could have carried the lie.

    Now, this is trend, for example: date two-coast trip – I told her about another date I had the prior evening – the day after our first date. We had a laugh about it, but I didn’t mention the lie that day, but I did at the moment-of-truth-lunch. I explained how that one lied about her age and I called her on it at dinner, if only accidentally. She said “Oh, please don’t be mad throughout the dinner that I lied about my age.” I was roundly pissed, and couldn’t wait to run out of there, and at that moment I was so happy that my new-and-soon-to-be-GF was not lying about her age to me, right? Wrong!

    At lunch, moment of ‘truth’: She said how a friend had asked her when she was going to tell me. She said “he had a few women lie to him before, and he was very unhappy about it”. The problem I have is that I brought it up several times, and she just went right along without telling me. The problem after finding out about it, she lost a little bit of luster in my eyes. No, not because she was older, but because she lied, and that is an unforgivable offense in my book of life.

    We made it through a wonderful Saturday evening and all-day Sunday together, and I dropped her off at home. About ten minutes later on the drive home, it all sunk in on me and I phoned her. She didn’t answer or call me back. An hour later I sent her a text indicating my strong unhappiness about the perpetuated lie. She was stunned and replied the next morning that maybe we shouldn’t continue. Uhh, you are giving up that easily? Then there must be something else you probably don’t want me to know. I figured we would cool down for a few days and talk about it, hoping she would at least apologize, which never happened. Then a day later she sent me a vitriolic-laden text, to which my only reply was that any chance of righting the ship just sank and that was that.

    I miss her so much, and I wish she would have been honest with me, but once a liar – always a liar. I don’t care if you want to call something a noble lie, a little white lie, or whatever. A lie, is a lie, is a lie – period. I have a good feeling she and her ex, who was still in the (ahem, bedroom) picture apparently when we met (she did come clean about that and said she put an end to their shenanigans, and I believe her – or do I?) So there’s that, and probably more. Get the picture people?

    1. 96.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Yes, we get the picture. You dated a bad woman, ignored your feelings at your own expense, and you both handled the situation poorly. There’s really nothing for anyone to learn apart from that. Unless you think every man or woman who has ever lowered his/her age on a dating site is the exact same as the woman you described above.

  7. 97

    I so agree with this article.  Woman of 75 who don’t look over 60 and have a recent photo

    everyone agrees looks just like her and says on a website she is 60 is ostracized.  Besides

    that anyone she does connect with can look her up BEFORE he meets her and then

    she’s doomed.  It happened to me – we really connected for 2 weeks on the phone and

    were ready to meet but I was a little evasive about some things, he became suspicious and

    made a really big deal about the lie.  He is 70 years old himself.  What was the big deal.

    It is very unfair for older women now a days to have their age plastered all over the internet.

    That didn’t happen to attractive women years ago.  I am so despondent over this you have no idea.  It’s like I have no life.  I am very vivacious and fun but if I can’t get to that first date I’m sunk.

    1. 97.1
      Karmic Equation

      Some men who wrote to me online had their ages as 50, but they looked 55-60 to me. They could very well have been great looking 65 year olds who looked great for 65. but didn’t look quite as young as they thought they did, and in fact, looked like very “0ld” 50 year olds. Had they put their age only 5 years off at 60, they would have looked like great 60 yo’s.


      I don’t think you should lie about your age to more than 5 years. That’s because there is a big difference between a 60 yo and a 75 yo. One isn’t even old enough to retire yet and the the other is close to 80. I know that hurts. I’m sorry.


      If you’re vivacious and fun in person, you should try to meet men via hobbies and activities and use OLD as a back up, not as a primary way of meeting men.

      1. 97.1.1
        Not Jerry

        I don’t think you can lie about your age, or anything else on an online dating site.  You can’t make a relationship based on lies!  Anyone who thinks that’s OK is a liar. But I guess you knew that.

        That said, I know some men just want to hook up, so they lie freely.  I’m against that, and they should be outed or thrown off the site if found out.

  8. 98

    I have unfortunately found that the biggest indicator that a man is lying in some substantial way is that he feels the need to tell you, either in his profile, his screen name, or or profile header (or 2 or 3 of 3!) how ‘honest’ he is. I guarantee you, it always means he’s NOT being honest.  I’d rather be shown how honest you are than told. Words are cheap.

    Also you’d be surprised what you can verify with very little information. Phone #s can be Googled and lead to a name and/or address, which can be searched. Always Google someone’s screen name since many people use them for multiple things/sites. Once you have a full name and/or address, a check of online property records at the county prothonotary’s office can tell you if your date shares a deed with a spouse, and often has marriage license info too (if he/she married in their current county). If not find out where he/she is from and search there.

    Search their name on social media too. A guy who claims to be unattached yet has tons of photos with the same woman hanging on him in his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter photos is probably tied down. Also there are many sites who will verify ages, related family members, employer and/or industry … and most of this is FREE. A little legwork using your computer can give you a lot of peace of mind.

    This is how i know that a LOT of married men are on OLD dating sites pretending to be single or divorced and think none of us will ever know. Since I don’t like being taken for a fool and having my time wasted, I always check. It’s sad that in this day and age one needs to do that but I’ve learned you can’t be too careful.  Also lots of men equate being separated with being divorced and available and free from entanglements. They’ll argue that ‘we live in the same house but on separate floors’ or yes we are still technically married but it’s been over for a long time we just haven’t caught the paperwork up yet’. And I know a ton of separated people in real life who get back together, too, so if you proceed with one of those guys, don’t be surprised if one day he figures out the grass wasn’t greener anywhere else and goes back.




    1. 98.1

      I have also found a good percentage of men lying online and agree you need to do some background checking first.  I am also helping a friend in CA navigate through the OLD waters as her husband passed away a few years ago and she has had several men with fake profiles/fake pics contact her and try to sweep her off her feet immediately.  They talk for weeks on end and claim their love for her (and have taken their profiles off because they found “the one”)  before they even met.  She thought something was up but didn’t see this as the huge red flag that it is.    We have done the google image search and also name/address search under and now she knows to do some research on these guys before hand.  She is gullible and naive to the OLD world so she wants to believe everyone. Its quite disheartening for her as she was married to her childhood sweetheart for almost 30 years and is an inexperienced dater.  I had to break the news that not everyone is as honest and noble as she is.  Actions speak louder than words is a great motto to live by.

      1. 98.1.1
        Jim morrison

        In order to do a background check, you need his real name….haha…what if he doesn’t give you his real name…he could easily say, “he doesn’t want people googling him and knowing about him and his family…I never give out my last name..not ever…as far as social media.  nothing is under my real name…nothing….haha

        1. Perfecta

          We know, dude:  Jim Morrison would never act as uncool as you.

  9. 99

    I refuse to lie on my profile. I am a 54 year old female and I can pass for younger.  I am comfortable in my skin to be honest. I feel that if one lies about ANYTHING it shows insecurity . I have met men that told me (when we met) that they were older. I automatically got this sinking feeling in my gut. All I could think of is what else are they lying about? If they choose an age yet confess in their profile that they are older I will not respond. Yea, I get some answers like my friend filled the requirements out or I made a mistake in the year and can’t change it now… What a crock of bull. Some people are O.K. with lies, I’m not.

    1. 99.1
      Karmic Equation

      I don’t think lying about age is that big a deal.

      I mean think about it, IRL, do you ask men you find attractive how old they are? Do they ask you?

      If you look at a man’s picture and find him attractive, then it doesn’t matter if he’s older than his stated age. It might matter if he’s a lot YOUNGER than his stated age, but people don’t tend to add to their age, so this is not a real problem.

      What I would judge a man by was that if I was searching for 35-55, and his picture showed up and I think to myself, wow, he’s pretty old looking for 55. Odds were that guy was 60’ish, not 55.

      What that forced me to do was change my search criteria and preferred age range, from 35-55 to 35-48, which wasn’t really indicative of real preference, but I figured that would weed out the 60-somethings trying to pass themselves off as 50 somethings. I figured the 50-somethings would try to pass off as 40-somethings, which ended up being the case.

      Oh and if a guy is less than 6′ in his profile, I would automatically deduct 2″ from his stated height, because most men seem to add 2 inches to their height, if they’re under 6′.

      1. 99.1.1

        Age definitely does matter to me, whereas conventional attractiveness is pretty far down my list.  I used to be open to a wider age range (exes include 10 years younger – 28 years older) and I got sick of (felt uncomfortable/not understood or “home”) when I found myself constantly explaining cultural references from the POV of someone who was near my age, with similar life goals now and at the time.

        3 years either way seems to work best for me, I list a range of 5 years, and if I see someone outstanding (another introverted, engineer or scientist with an intensecurious about the universe, who loves making things, for instance) I am willing to extend that to as much as 7 because the cultural references don’t seem to matter quite as much.

        I recently got a Match message from a 53 year old guy who listed himself as 50 (and fesses up at the very top of his profile).  He could easily pass for much younger than 50, he is attractive, and he has a lot of the other traits I enjoy in a partner — childfree, former Catholic/current agnostic, scientist.  Perhaps he’s lying about his height, which would make him closer to my my ideal (he lists himself as 6’0″; I’m 5’4″ and  prefer short to average men, all other things being equal).

        However, instead of saying “obviously this guy wants to turn up in searches, and it’s not so bad, he fessed up right away” my gut reaction is “what else is he lying about?”  I thought about writing him back anyway, chewed on it for a few days in case my initial reaction calmed down a bit, and STILL my gut still told me not to reply.

        So, while this strategy may work for him more often than not, it made the difference between at least one of his interests replying or not replying.

  10. 100

    If you don’t care if someone lies that’s your thing. I now ask on the phone if a man is what is age and height are in his profile. Also, the status of his home situation regarding children is another thing I have to ask about. I went out with a guy recently and he told me he was 8 years older than stated..(uuugghh) Also, he wrote that his kids were grown,   then told me his teenage son lives with him. Lesson learned here. Also, IRL,  after I’m chatting with someone, yes questions like age will come up. I have no reason to lie about anything and I expect the same.

    1. 100.1
      Karmic Equation

      To each her own.

      A lot of people will find love before you do.

      Because they know the difference between what makes a relationship last and what does not.

      Ultimately, age, height, children at home/no children at home, isn’t going to make a relationship a happy or sad one.

      It matters less that he lied about those things than that you have it on your list to disqualify a guy.

      If you don’t care about age, height, or where the children live, then they’re not issues to grill him about.

  11. 101

    Once again.. I don’t like liars. If you do  that’s your thing. My best relationships started and ended with the truth.  I just met someone at my pool. He is older than me and so far we are starting off to a good start. The cards are out in the open for both of us. What the future brings who knows.

    1. 101.1
      Karmic Equation

      I don’t like liars, ann. No one does.

      But everyone has told at least little white lies. They’re still lies.

      Wearing makeup is lying. Make up covers the real you. Some men believe make up DO make women liars (and some women, particularly those who don’t wear make up) believe women who wear make up are liars.

      There are lies that are harmful to relationships and there are lies that are irrelevant.

      “Honey, do I look fat in this dress?”

      “No baby, you look great!” — even though you know you’ve gained 15 #s.

      So you’re lying about not lying, unless you’ve never worn makeup and never told a white lie.

      1. 101.1.1

        If a woman has makeup on, you can see it in her profile. If that isn’t your thing don’t write back. If a man does not like makeup on a woman, state so in your profile.  That’s the same logic for as a man telling a lie. If he has a mustache or beard is that a lie? I think not.  If a women thinks that facial hair is a lie then don’t write back and state in your profile that you do not care for facial hair.   Honestly, we are talking about basic info. here. Being honest about age, height, job, children, marital status and what one writes in their profile should be simple and honest. Is that to much to ask for a suitable mate?

  12. 102

    When I was online dating at age 41 (now 48) I honestly did not lie one bit.  I still found someone. And if I were to online date now, I still would not lie.  I would just feel too weird.

  13. 103

    One thing that is a turn off with the lying is the feeling I get that they don’t accept themselves as they are.  Lying about age hints that the person hates getting older and wants to reject “older” people.  Lying about income tells me they do not feel good enough and don’t want to be seen as a “loser”.  It just doesn’t say “I am comfortable with where I am and who I am”.  It speaks of insecurity. And I really don’t care for ageist people in general.

  14. 104

    I am 50 and tried online dating after my divorce in 2011.  It was the most frustrating experience I have ever gone through in my life and most of the frustration resulted from misrepresentation on profiles.  And one lie in the beginning will result  in a great deal of heartbreak because the one I met did lie about income, lifestyle, etc.  Anyway I have not been online in over a year.  It wasn’t just the lying but the lack of respect.  But back to the main topic about misrepresenting yourself.  For me if I did not give my correct age, weight, employment status, income and so on, I would feel like an idiot. Trying to explain why you lied looks a bit foolish. I have found that men in their 30s seeking a woman my age have a great misconception of us.  But that does not change much with age, I have found the internet dating sites to be a meat market. Anyway it was fun reading the responses.

  15. 105
    Ron w

    I do not want to whine but I am a little saddened by the number of profiles which demand integrity or honesty in their potential partners yet are clearly being less than truthful themselves.

  16. 106

    What is very educational to me is seeing the online dating profiles of women I know and how they stretch the truth or outright lie on their profiles. I live in a not-so-large city in the middle of the country, and at my age (54), the dating pool isn’t all that big, so you see a lot of the same people show up again and again on Match. I’ve had dates with a few of these women, and a handful are those I know personally, through work or wherever.

    Here are a couple of the lies I’ve seen. One woman who I worked with about 5 or 6 years ago lists herself as “slender”. Well, yes, 5 or 6 years ago she was very slender. However, she’s put on about 20 or so pounds in the meantime, and now rightly should list herself as “about average” if she’s going to be truthful. I know one gal (also a former co-worker) who listed herself as “about average” when “a few extra pounds” would have been much more accurate. Of course, with the weight of the average person in America constantly on the increase, perhaps they’re not lying so much in comparison with everyone else. I’m not saying these women look bad (in fact, I find them quite attractive), but it’s obvious to me that I need to take self-descriptions with a grain of salt. Guess that’s what it takes to get a date for a woman.

    I used to work with one gal who listed as a non-smoker, when I know for a fact that she lit up regularly. That to me is an outright lie. I myself am a smoker, and I list myself that way. However, I do stretch things just a bit and list myself as “occasional” instead of “daily” (I really don’t like the choices they give you on Match), as I consume about half a pack a day, and would like to de-emphasize it a bit (don’t want to sound like I’m a 3-pack-a-day chain smoker). Saying you don’t smoke when you do is something that’s only going to be found out pretty quickly by the non-smokers you date, they’ll be able to smell it before too long. Better to be honest about it.

    I list myself as 5’9″, though when I was in the military a number of years ago, they measured me at 5’9-1/2″, so I could probably get away with listing myself as 5’10” to score a few dates (and only date women 5’6″ and under so they would be less likely to tell). Don’t know if that would work for me, but maybe I’ll give it a try the next time I activate my Match profile just to see what happens. I’d bet that just like women need to drop a few pounds in a virtual sense to increase their chances, guys need to add a little height for the same reason.

    Something that gets me, though, is the old photos. I had a date with one gal who had a chain of pictures on her profile, perhaps 8-10 of them, showing her age progression from when she was apparently in her 20s to today. And she had the youngest picture of herself as her main profile photo. Well, that’s all well and good, but I don’t care what you looked like 20 or 30 years ago. You might as well put up baby pictures of yourself. All you’re showing me is that you used to be young and beautiful (or hot), and because I didn’t know you back then, I didn’t get the chance to be with you then. So stop rubbing my nose in it and showing me what I missed out on. At the very least, if you’re going to include an old photo for whatever reason, caption it with the date or year so I know it’s an old one. That way it doesn’t look like you’re trying to pull a fast one when we meet in person and you don’t look like that anymore.

    1. 106.1

      The old photos make no sense to me either.  I mean okay they get you more attention but when you show up and not look like that, what do you expect? I could never personally show up knowing I had mislead someone as to how I looked, it would make me very uncomfortable.  Do people maybe believe they still look that way?   As far as weight it is subjective, the categories they give you so what I think is a few extra pounds, may be average weight to some people, it is all in perspective.  I think the best thing to do is to post several full length up close recent pictures of yourself, that way the people know what they are getting and don’t rely on these subjective descriptions.  Do people think they are going to show up and wow you with their personality so you will forget that you were lied to?  Umm that does not happen.   You don’t get a second date, and the men that lie are bitter and the women that lie feel insecure and hurt.  There is someone for everyone online.  So maybe if you post honest pictures you won’t get the 6’2 Handsome doctor, but there are plenty of 5’8 computer scientists that would make great partners for you, same goes for the men.  If you are 5’6 making 30K a year and average looking, stop emailing only 9s and 10s and getting mad that they don’t respond.     I am below 5’6 and my fiance is 6’4, I date tall, but I would not notice if you were 5’10 or 5’9 1/2 I think you would be fine with rounding up even for the tall women.

    2. 106.2

      And if there is any smoking at all listed in the profile I would not go out with that man.  I found that “occasional” really meant daily and I cannot tolerate smoking.

  17. 107

    A worse type of lie is when the guy chats with you for three weeks before meeting up due to schedule differences, and is always respectful, considerate, kind and interesting and when you meet him in person he is disrespectful, negative, selfish, bad-tempered, sarcastic and picks fights for no reason. That´s a worse kind of lie because he has misrepresented himself for weeks without showing an inkling of how he really is. We need pointers to learn to weed out the guys who are putting on a fake mask and concealing a lot of negative flaws that would make them intolerable to spend even a minute with.

  18. 108

    I do the opposite. I always undersell myself. That way they won’t be disappointed.

  19. 109

    It is better to be honest/real and unliked/unpopular, than to be dishonest/fake, and be liked/popular. People should see beyond physical appearance. That’s like getting a card/letter, and being more interested in the envelope than the card/letter. There is nothing wrong with creating fiction, if people use it to entertain/amuse/enlighten, etc., instead of trying to disguise it as, and/or pass it off as truth.

  20. 110

    Funny, I was just chatting with a nice looking man with an interesting profile on a dating site. Things were going well until he admitted he had lied about his age in his profile. I disagree that since “everyone does it,” it doesn’t mean the same people won’t be dishonest about other things in the relationship. Why fudge something on your profile that will get found out if/when you meet the person? I want the man I ultimately fall in love with to love me for who I am, “flaws” and all, so I have no reason to fudge anything. I wouldn’t have cared if the guy who lied about his age had stated his true age (61 instead of the stated 57). His photo (hopefully) stands on its own as far as his looks. My feeling, though, is if they can’t trust that what they’re offering will be good enough for the right woman, they don’t have a very high opinion of themselves. And self-esteem is key when it comes to having a healthy relationship.

    1. 110.1

      I don’t know what it’s like to be dating at 57-61, but I can certainly tell you what it’s like at 74. the cultural voice smears, ” what is someone so old doing still dating? ”

      The reality is that lying about age may not have anything to do with opinion of self, but merely an honest reaction to the extreme ageism in our culture. I thought recently about lying about my age, but decided against it for the practical reason that every mis-step in building a relationship can easily break the relationship (plus the real fact that we now have a “one strike you’re out” culture thanks to the ubiquity of Tinder). I live in a small city, and the dating pool is super small for the 60+ crowd. At last count, Match only listed 383 women in the 60-71 range. And when I’ve tried to make contact, less than 10% of women even show the courtesy of saying “Thanks for the interest, but I’m not interested” (or some such response). Would it be any different if I listed my age as 69? I did a small experiment the other day. I created a new profile with NO information, NO photos, just my age which I put at 54. And almost immediately got quite a few notes….. and this without a single scrap of real information…. curious.

  21. 111

    when i was younger i was in relationships for love itself, friendship, connection. I was not concerned with the money a man made as long as he wasn’t trying to sponge off me.  I did, and do, take people for who they are. I was also really good looking.

    Still good looking but 56. Tried online people are but SO AGEIST, men especially. Even these sites and blogs about online dating seem to end discussion past 50.

    If I’d known, if I even recognized the invisibility, the sneering attitude toward “middle aged” and “old ” people and read between the lines, I would have been much more calculating. I did not see myself as a diminishing object and I am blindsided that this is how it is.

    1. 111.1

      I’m 74, and the older I get, the more I become aware of my own ageism. It’s difficult to admit this, but necessary in order to understand my reactions in this digital space where we have so few real inputs, just words, numbers and images. My wife died 2 1/2 years ago, and I never thought that I would try digital dating. My experience has been mostly about frustration. I haven’t experienced any lying, so that’s a good thing. The frustration comes from two aspects…. in the last year I’ve sent perhaps 100 notes explaining why I had been attracted/intrigued by someones profile, and receiving only 10 replies. I’ve had coffee with all of these 10, and two became good friends… that’s certainly also a good outcome, but  not really what I would call movement towards a relationship. The other aspect is that I get few views, and I can only imagine it’s because women just don’t want to start a relationship with someone over 70. Recently I thought briefly about lying about my age (I truly look around 68-69), but decided against it since this lie would certainly come back to bite me.

      Fortunately I have a large social circle, which is so much better a way to meet new people. Best of luck on your search.

      1. 111.1.1
        Yet Another Guy


        I am willing to bet that Martina never reached out to a man, or if she did, she only reached out to men her junior.  Fifty-something women love to complain about Fifty-something men tending to only reach out to women their junior.  If put into the role of pursuer, fifty-something women also tend to go younger when reaching out; therefore, they have no right to complain, people desire what they desire.

        I have conducted enough experiments to do know that women are guilty of the same ageism of which they accuse men.  The difference between men and women is that filtering starts at age 50 for men and kicks into high gear after age 55.  After a man crosses over the age 55 threshold, the only women who reach out to him are his senior.  The same problem that women experience a few years earlier.

        With respect to receiving 1 reply per every 10 messages sent, that is par for the course for the average guy.  It helps to know your SMV (sexual market value) when reaching out on an online dating site.  Women are significantly more selective online than they are in person; therefore, a man who attempts to date out his league looks-wise is not going to be very successful.  Posting flattering, but representative photos will go a long way towards improving your response rate.  Unlike women, men tend to post non-flattering photos such as the notorious “fish” photos.  You only need three photos, a headshot, a full body shot, and a shot of you doing something you enjoy.


        1. ScottH

          YAG-  you should watch this video, esp around the 2-4 minute marks.  Note what she says about engineers.  The first time I watched this, I didn’t notice that the age range stops at 40.



        2. Yet Another Guy


          I do not believe that the rejection of engineers and scientists is universal.  However, any man who is an engineer or scientist does need to demonstrate that he is not one-dimensional because STEM graduates suffer from heavy stereotyping.  I have been musician since I was a kid, which is something that I make note of in my profile.  I played lead guitar in gigging bands when I was younger, and I know a lot about music, music history, and genres. I have rotated several photos from my gigging days though my profile.  Tom Scholz of Boston holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT.  I can assure you that he has never had difficulty getting women.

          With that said, women have biases just like men.  They accuse men of being interested in only the most attractive women, but research has demonstrated that women are even more shallow than men when it comes to looks.  Women claim that they compromise on looks, but that is only because they start with ridiculously high requirements looks-wise and they have a long lists of requirements, something has to give.  Men start with a lower looks threshold, and they have little in the way of additional requirements. With respect to the age question, I do not know a single man my age who chases thirty-something let alone twenty-something women.  Most are married to or date women within ten years of their own age.  My current girlfriend is closer in age than my ex-wife.

        3. Mrs Happy

          Thanks for posting that video ScottH.  Interesting.

          I suspect though there are many confounders muddying her conclusion, e.g. maybe people who profile write less and then text fewer characters are not only scared of rejection as she concludes, but aren’t as desirous of a relationship, or have many irons in the fire and are texting numerous matches so have less time to open up with any single one, or are more reserved in temperament thus less attractive as partners, or are less educated, less verbally able.

          Weird finding re male engineers being less attractive to women, w.r.t. their career.  I know many engineers, men and women, and quite like their intelligence and practicality.  (Though now I reflect on it, I’ve never dated an engineer.  What an oversight!)

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Mrs Happy

          (Though now I reflect on it, I’ve never dated an engineer.  What an oversight!)

          The problem with most engineers is that they do not have to rely on social intelligence to earn a decent living, that is, at first.  Sooner or later, technical types have to start focusing on people skills and being less one dimensional because engineering tends to be an up or out discipline. I believe that the aversion to engineers and scientists was due to the average age of the sample population, which was 28.  At that age engineers and scientists are still pretty darn socially awkward as a whole.  Maturity brings about the realization that one cannot survive just by analytical ability alone.

        5. AdaGrace

          @Mrs Happy: I, too, immediately thought, “correlation !== causation” when I watched that.

          re: STEM guys: They (especially software engineers) comprise a significant part of my dating/marriage history as well as my current dating pool… and I consider that to be an awesome thing :->

  22. 112

    I met someoneone online that lied about his ethnicity and religeon. He sent me a photograpgh and I could see and so could numerous friends of mine that he was not causcasian. I never asked him. Then he found me on facebook and I added him as a friend, he blocked me. When I asked him why he blocked me he denied ever having a facebook account and asked “Whats your problem?” three days later he unblocked me from facebook hoping that I would add him on, which I did not. Insecurity is a horrible word, i would have loved to meet him but fear that if he could lie online imagine how he could lie to my face.

  23. 113

    I just have to share a story about a gentleman I met online a few months back. In his profile he stated that he was 50 years old and he was 5’8. (I’m 5’7) and I’m 58 years old. The photo that he posted looked like someone who  was in his early 40’s but I gave this guy the benefit of the doubt. After all, we all look younger than we really are right? Anyway, I thought I’d give this guy a chance because I was very flattered that a 50 year old man would be interested in me! Although – I did have some reservations about the whole situation – I gave it a go. We exchanged phone numbers and we texted for about a week. He was funny and smart in his texts and I decided that we needed to meet. I asked him a few fair questions such as – will I recognize you when I meet you? More or less was his response. Do you look like your photo? More or less he says. Long story short – when I met him…he was only 5’5, 54 years old and did not even look like his picture. ( it was a photo of when he was in his late 30’s ) I was so upset. I was completely honest with my age, height, job etc and this guy was a total lie to himself. And when I was having a one on one conversation with him – he was a very depressed man – unlike his texts. I experienced a lot of different emotions after that meeting. And it took me a while to start trusting again. All I have to say is always be honest with who you are. Always.

  24. 114

    Lying NEVER works.  If I show up and you are 50 pounds heavier or several inches shorter, I will not give you a second date, nor will most people. I don’t get it.  Maybe one in 100K times does this work out for people?  So please just stop doing it.  And women lying about their age is a bigger than superficial issues.  If a man wants kids and you say that you are 35 but are really 42 that’s a problem and it’s unfair, even if you look 42.

  25. 115

    wow, what an eye-opener. Today I was talking with a long time friend about online dating, and I told him that the frustrations are making me question the wisdom of putting any more energy into this route. I’m 74, with energy, positive attitude, willingness to try new things of someone in their mid 60’s. I’ve been widowed for 2 years, and live in a small city (Santa Fe). The dating pool is definitely limited (Match showed 383 women between the age of 60-71). I had the great good fortune to sell my last company in 2000, and retired from the world of business to dedicate myself to marriage to a lovely woman from Spain. Our life together was charmed. We traveled extensively, performing our original puppetry, I got back to my music, picked up Nia dance and Contact Improv, wrote constantly, hiked all the time, and had a very active social life. So why can’t I attract even one positive response?… it’s my age. No matter what I write (and I’ve had several women friends write and re-write my profile), and no matter what photos I post, I get no responses. I tried an experiment a couple of days ago… I created a dummy profile – no text, no photos, just my age. I put it at 55. Almost immediately I had women writing me… talk about a blind date…LOL

    Today I was wondering about lowering the age on my profile, perhaps to 68-69. I really don’t like the idea of lying about age in the profile (no need to lie about anything else). I certainly never do that when I meet a woman in social circumstances. I’m fortunate to have arrived at this age with plenty of resources, both material and emotional…. and I am very sincere about wanting to meet a woman who brings all her experiences and strengths to a relationship.

    I’d love to get some feedback.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *