A study was released last week claiming that online daters tend to lie - about their ages, their looks, their jobs, and even about their marital status.
I'm sure many of you weren't surprised to read this. After all, you've probably had at least one experience where you've shown up for an online date expecting the person you saw in the photos, only to find someone who looks 30 pounds heavier or 15 years older. It's common knowledge that many online daters "finesse" their profiles to make themselves seem more attractive, some to a larger extent than others.
But is everyone a liar? Hardly. First, we should consider the source of the study, a website called WhatsYourPrice.com which allows men to bid on women for dates. (There's a little more motivation to lie and compete with other daters, don't you think?)
I can't say that there's an online dating site that doesn't have its share of liars, however. Lying happens on the Web, so it's important to be careful and safe. But there is a difference between someone looking to deliberately mislead potential dates and someone who wants to make himself appear more attractive when lumped in a crowd of matches.
I'm not going to judge someone for subtracting a couple of years from their age in an online dating profile to make themselves more "searchable." I think many people are too rigid in their filters. For example, if you decide you'll only look at profiles of men aged 35-45, what if you miss out on a great relationship with a 46 year old? However, lying about your marital status is deliberately misleading potential dates, as is lying about your job. Be honest about who you are and the choices you've made.
Remember, it's important to understand that online dating profiles are a first stop on the way to an actual date. Not everyone you meet will accurately portray themselves. But what really counts is whether you ultimately connect with your date, not how tall he is or how much she weighs. And I still think online dating is a great way to get there - to the connection.