Poll: Ladies, would you lie on your online profile?
The chances are that, right now, you are fibbing about something on your online dating profile. Who can blame you? In the competitive world of ‘Generation Swipe’ is it possible to stand out from the crowd and find love without a few little white lies?
Online dating websites have become increasingly popular as a means for meeting singles, but despite its success, it is a proven fertile ground for deception. According to a study led by Catalina L. Toma, an assistant professor in the department of communication arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as much as 81 percent of people lie on their online profile.
Modern day dating is blighted by the fact that we are a generation that is becoming increasingly fickle, dismissing individuals for the most absurd reasons. It is all too easy to swipe away the profile of a perfectly suitable match who may only be one pound too heavy, or one inch too short in height, knowing another option will instantaneously appear in its place. It is little wonder that singles feel pressurized to manipulate the truth to increase their social desirability.
You could easily put it all down to vanity but, in actual fact, online daters do not usually lie for the sake of lying —it is generally out of insecurity and fear of rejection, in the desperate search to find companionship.
Should you forgive someone after you have found out that they have been dishonest? There is no simple answer. Ask yourself if it is something you can overlook or is it too much of a whopper to stomach. Given the amount of people lying on their dating profiles, it is more than likely you will find someone who has lied than someone who is being entirely honest. The reality is that if you are adamant that you do not want someone who has fudged their details, even just a little bit, you will be left with very slim pickings.
Certainly, your date should come clean and reveal their little white lie to you in the very early stages of your relationship. It would be completely unacceptable for someone to get intimate with you before telling you the truth. If you are suspicious that someone is not being honest about a particular matter, probe him or her face to face, in several different ways if necessary, to get to the bottom of it.
Would you lie on your online profile? We asked some singles to come clean
Sarah, 33, London
I often lie on my dating profiles; nothing too big, just sugar coating to make myself sound more normal and less like a social misfit. Lying is something most people do, but just won’t admit to.
Stephanie, 31, Devon
I reckon if you are good enough to get away with it, then go right ahead. I don’t have a problem with somebody telling a little white lie on their dating profile. The problem would not be the lie itself, but keeping up the pretense.
David, 25, London
I do lie on my profile because I think everyone lies a little bit on these websites. You put yourself out there like a piece of shiny meat in the hope that someone picks you and you need to do whatever it takes.
Adam, 28, Essex
I try not to lie on dating profiles but I have in the past. I once stated that I loved dogs but I’m not an animal person, I just wanted to sound like a sweet guy!
Claire, 29, Essex
I choose to be honest when writing a dating profile and I like to think other people are too. Lies can get very complicated so I think they are more trouble than they’re worth. I also don’t see the point. A guy should like me for who I am.
Anna, 27, London
I’ve only tried online dating a couple of times, without success, and I did notice that some users embellished their attributes somewhat after chatting online and meeting up with a few. I kept my profile very simple and honest and perhaps that’s where I went wrong!
Samuel, 35, Gloucestershire
I have never lied on a dating profile and I wouldn’t consider it because I have always prided myself on being an open book. If someone lies to me as harmless fun then it’s OK, but if it’s serious then it’s definitely not.
Mark, 32, Surrey
I have definitely thought about lying, but in the end I just decided that there wasn’t anything worth lying about! In fact, I realised how pointless it would be because the truth will always come out.
Photo: Ryan Mcquire