A friend became a member of an online dating site several months ago. He has shared some of his experiences with me and there are many similarities with my own online dating experiences in the past. The most pervasive commonality is dishonesty. Many people have said "Everybody lies in online dating profiles." One would hope this isn't true. And if it is true, our culture has a psycho/social problem.
My friend clicked the option "seeking long-term relationship". He is feeling ready and this is what he honestly wants. He only responded to ads that indicated the same choice. He met a woman. They spoke on the phone for a couple weeks. They met. They dated. He was having feelings for her. On the third date, she told him she was seeking a casual relationship because there was a man in prison for whom she still had feelings. My friend took this personally and felt angry and hurt. And now he doesn't have the same level of interest in online dating. A single, honest click on the profile, could have prevented this.
Probably only this woman knows the rationale behind her lie. And that's not really our business. However; there are a few common threads when it comes to dishonesty. Typically when we lie we either want to avoid negative consequences (I didn't do it!) or to make ourselves look better and/or to get something we want. Think of lies you've told and you will quite likely find yourself in one of these three categories. Another common cause of dishonesty is being a sociopath but that's beyond the scope of this article.
The following argument has also been heard many times: "If I am totally honest, I won't get any responses." Again, let's hope this isn't true. But if it is, this reflects some sad phenomena. People don't like themselves for who they are. People are on the edge of desperation to not be alone. People through online dating sites are seen as toys or games and not quite as human beings. People accept dishonesty, almost unconsciously, because honesty is too difficult or painful. Failed relationships, one after another, because they do not have a foundation of trust...which is based on honesty.
So, let's say you are a person who tries to live honestly. It's one of your personal ethics. What do you do? Well, you can stick with your principal and be very patient as you believe there has to be someone similar out there. Or you can stop dating and return to enjoying your single life. Or you could jump the ethics ship and join the herd; where you will experience unhealthy, unhappy, short-term relationships.
The need to love and be loved is a powerful characteristic of human beings. And yet so many of us self-sabotage this very need through dishonesty. Sometimes without even being aware of it. A simple physical analogy: it is impossible to breathe and swallow at the same time. (you just tried it, didn't you!) It is impossible to have a loving relationship and dishonesty at the same time. Stick to your ethics, be yourself and love will find you. Probably right around the same time you are ready to give up!