White Lies = Red Flags

Comments (2) Boomer Life, Online Dating, Relationships/Marriage/Divorce

Men assume that I am older than the age I have posted on my online dating profile. At least, that’s the discouraging news that one man passed along to me when we met for a glass of wine.

Apparently, so many men and women lie about their age online, that it is commonly assumed that you are “fudging”. I’ve been told that many viewers automatically add at least several years onto your age, or maybe just round up to the next milestone. Does my 56 get rounded up to 60?

I recently read a males profile that stated his age as 61. When I got to the end of his self-description, he had a disclaimer that said his age was a few years older than what he had stated.

Since he wanted to meet, I responded by asking him if it was only a few years, why would he bother to be deceptive, and how was his strategy working for him?

He responded that he was actually 71, and that his caveat was working quite well. He boasted that he actually had received compliments for admitting that he hadn’t stated his true age.

That made me feel a bit annoyed. Women were praising him for being truthful about his deceitfulness! I wasn’t impressed when he told me he had dated many women younger than me, and I didn’t meet him.

From the research I have done personally and through online blogs and articles, I believe that the two most common lies that men tell are about their age and their height. Men tend to add two inches to their height and to deduct as much as ten years or more from their age.

They also try to be deceptive about their hair, or lack of it. I have seen men’s profiles with numerous photos of them in different settings, but always wearing a baseball cap.

I read an article that claimed that men lie online more than women, but women are certainly doing their fair share of deception. Nearly every man I have met has told me about at least one frustrating date with a woman who was obviously older (sometimes much older) than she said she was.

Maybe the most shocking story I have heard is of the woman who actually ‘fessed up (after being confronted by her disgruntled date), that she had posted photos of her daughter!

After the “age deception complaint”, the second most common beef I have heard from men is about women representing themselves as thinner than they actually are. Every guy seems to have a story about the woman who listed herself as “about average”, who in reality was very overweight, or even obese.

One tactic overweight women employ is to only have headshots posted. Another strategy is to post flattering photos from thinner days gone by, which means the photo is also of a younger woman.

Hearing about those tactics always makes me curious how women think they are going to pull that off in person? I ask the same question about how men think they are going to hide their lack of hair? Maybe they will suggest meeting at a sports bar so they can wear their baseball cap.

I had a man tell me that he didn’t feel good about it, but he actually had turned around and headed for his car when he saw his date waiting for him. In his opinion, she was overweight. Does that make him a jerk, or is it fair if she had misrepresented herself?

I would rather stay at home than have a disappointed date. I can hope that he will want to get to know me and discover how wonderful I am; but the problem is, if I deceived him to get him there, then I am not what he expected. That’s a shaky start.

Gregory Hartley, former military interrogator and co-author of How To Spot A Liar: Why People Don’t Tell the Truth? and How You Can Catch Them says, “We are working in an area that is new to most people. The world’s oldest game on the world’s newest field. The Internet dating scene is about filtering among the vast numbers for an opportunity. It is about evolution. It is both very primitive and very modern.”

Is there harm in telling a few teensy white lies when you are looking for a new relationship? What’s a couple of pounds, a few inches, or even a marriage or two?

Hartley says, “This depends on the lie; sure we all omit facts about our past. I am no advocate of radical truth. Do you really want someone to come out and tell you how many people they have slept with?”

Hartley warns, “In my mind, a lie at the beginning of a relationship is asking for trouble later. No lie can stand alone. To sustain a lie you must tell other lies. Before you know it, deception is rampant.”

“Which means those harmless little white lies are more harmful than we thought. Can pretending to be something you’re not quite be keeping you from finding a real relationship? If you are one of two people offering up their fake selves, how can you possibly meet your true soul mate? You can’t.”

What seems blatantly obvious to me, is that beside the fact that someone has offered you a false self, how do you ever really trust someone that you know lied to you right out of the gate?

I’ve heard people make light of this behavior with the comment “everyone does it”. Actually, I don’t believe that’s true, “everyone” doesn’t lie and there are plenty of people who want to start a relationship with an honest foundation.

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Cheryl Alexandra Michaels, CPC, CSC is a Certified Professional Coach and Spiritual Coach.  She is a Reiki Master, an Angel Therapy™ Practitioner and a Reconnective Healing™ Practitioner.  She lives in the suburbs of Seattle, Washington.


2 Responses to White Lies = Red Flags

  1. Irina Grinberg says:

    White Lies = Online Personals

    Imagine meeting a perfect stranger on the morning train and finding his charming smile and worldly views so attractive that you exchange phone numbers and agree to meet for a cup of coffee lunch time next week.

    You didn’t ask him for his age, profession, etc. as his eloquent speech, silver hair and business suit illustrated his beautiful stories.

    And maybe he had no wedding ring or even mentioned being separated.

    In time and after few conversations the two of you will find more things in common and start dating or notice that he is totally self-centered and
    drift apart…

    Now let’s return to reality — Online Dating.
    Welcome to the World of Virtual Reality…here you are judged by the quality of your photo and physical dimensions posted, your ability to write catchy introduction and list of hobbies you have or wish you had,
    number of children, salary range, living arrangements, etc. etc. etc…

    And than we ask: “Why do people post their old photos, younger age, more attractive body type and other white lies?”

    I think they are just looking for a chance to meet people face to face and suspect (or already know) that listing their shortcomings will not do

  2. Irina Grinberg says:

    And don’t forget the phenomena of “age range search”
    Couple of years (plus or minus) may leave one out of ‘age group selected’ and his/her profile will never be seen no matter how real and good the photos and story are…so the perfect stranger you have missed by not taking morning train will never meet you for cup of coffee in local Starbucks as his age was 2 years ‘over your age range search’…how sad…

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