In the pursuit of the right one, we like to pretend to be a little better on dating sites than we are, according to research. Especially with regard to height, weight and age, we distort the truth. But will the white lie ultimately work in your favor? “He called me from prison.”
As a brand new dater (which sounds a lot better than brand new single), I run into a familiar problem. You want to date online and post a profile, but what do you put in it? And even more important: What do you show of yourself and what don’t you?
To warm up a bit, I create a profile on a well-known dating site. The first doubt begins with the heading hobbies. Instead of just sharing my favorite movies, I think about the “impression” those movies make on my future dates.
Personally I think The Naked Gun 3 1/3 for example, one of the very best movies ever made. But I am convinced that the ladies I focus on get the image of someone without good taste. So I go into Fargo. Not a total lie, but an embellished truth.
When you select a photo, an even bigger problem arises. I know there is a list of things that turn many women off in men. I’m not short, not fat, but bald as a billiard ball. Should I add a picture of myself on a sunny holiday island wearing a hidden cap?
Fortunately, I’m not the only one struggling with his online presentation. It is bursting with single women hidden behind sunglasses and wine glasses. Pictures often come from different periods. Also, in the description of personal preferences and hobbies, most of them evoke a rosy picture. All are very sporty and active and ambitious. But they also enjoy spending an evening on the sofa.
A survey of eleven hundred singles conducted last year shows that men and women lie a lot when it comes to online dating. But they lie about other things. The gentlemen seem to be pimping out about their professions and hobbies. Women are more likely to misrepresent the truth about their weight and age.
The purpose of all these white lies is of course clear: you want to make the best possible impression online on your future love. But there is also a pitfall. Because no matter how beautifully you present yourself online, the extra kilos and missing hair are hard to hide on the very first date.
Just an adventure?
Emma (35), who works in education, has had a bad experience with this. “I met him through Tinder, a Spaniard. A spontaneous, boyish Mediterranean type. He looked very good in the three pictures on his profile. He looked very mischievous and seductive. We are speeding it up immediately. I think we texted for ten hours straight He texted me things like guapahoney in spanish.
I checked: was he an expat leaving soon and looking for an adventure? I didn’t feel that way. But he assured me that he had lived in Holland for a long time and had no intention of leaving.
After the day and a half of intensive contact, we decided to meet. I was very motivated and had quite high expectations. We had already discussed so much. I was supposed to meet him at a big beer pub.
Kissing without meaning
When I entered, I immediately saw him sitting on a sofa in the corner. He was at least twenty kilos heavier than in the picture. Really too fat. He had such a double chin! Suddenly I understood why all the pictures were of his head. And from several years ago. There was only one on which a piece of shoulder was seen. That should have been a warning.
I knew immediately: this is not going to happen. But then the evening was not yet to begin. He was really nice, wasn’t he. But we had already texted so many personal things back and forth that we were almost done talking on our first date. Finally he asked if he could kiss me. I did, even though I didn’t feel like it. The next day I let them know I wasn’t interested. He wrote back: ‘I see’. I think he himself understood that he had misunderstood things a little.
Up to my armpits
With Asha (47), the lies of online dating partners went beyond relatively innocent cheating about pictures and weight.
“I started online dating because I was looking for a permanent relationship. I’ve tried many dating sites, even a Christian one and one for mixed couples. But I can’t say that my experiences are particularly positive. I have experienced some really strange things. Men who tried to hide the fact that they still lived with their parents. A man who claimed to be a sales representative, but did gray debt collection, by force. Or a man who allowed himself to be filmed sitting alone behind the webcam. At the first appointment, it became clear why: it came up to my armpit.
Revealed by his second partner
But I also got into a brief nine-month relationship with a man who got me pregnant. He was found to be registered on five other websites. And having adventures everywhere. One of his other girlfriends then exposed him by announcing it to everyone in his address book. That’s how I found out.
He got so angry about it that he abused her. Oddly enough, when he ended up in jail for it, I was the first person he called. Luckily, but it’s hindsight, I had a miscarriage. I would not have wanted to have a memory of him in the form of a child.
But I’m not always lied to. One of my dates was dying to know my measurements so he could order me something from a well-known erotic lingerie store. Some latex. I didn’t feel that way. But at least he was honest.”
It proves once again: even without lying, dating is complicated enough. Finally, I decide to post a picture without the cap and sunglasses. I go for the cold, hard, bare reality. After all, it is better to be rejected beforehand than afterwards.
By Matthijs van der Pol
How nice to have you here! Do you like us too? So follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter!