Pinocchio

Liar liar, online dating pants on fire

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Beth Cook is a dating coach and throws private dating events for San Francisco’s most awesome and unattached. She also writes and draws about her own dating experiences. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

Last year I was laughing and sipping wine on a date with a guy I’d met online (who weirdly looked like Michael Keaton), when he suddenly admitted that he’d lied about age on his profile.

I angrily swallowed and then casually said, “Why would you do that?”

“I don’t know…I just thought it would sound better if I were a couple of years older. Then people would think I looked young for my age.”

Let me tell you something, friends: Lying is the biggest turnoff there is.

There are two types of lies flying around online dating sites: actual lies and missing truths.

I’m sure you’re familiar with a lie in the traditional sense. It’s when you write things about yourself that are not true. Sorry, but close to the truth doesn’t equal the truth. If you’re a 5’6” dude or a chick nearing 40, you’d better be honest about it. Whoever you date will find out about it sooner than later and will likely dismiss you—based your dishonesty, not your height or age.

I wish this weren’t a common occurrence, but just this month three women have told me that they’ve caught dudes lying about their age. All of those ladies have moved on to other guys. Point taken?

The other type of lying, concealing the truth, is even more common. People don’t think that omitting things is the same as lying…but oh, it is. It is incredibly dishonest to leave significant things out of a profile that would factor into someone’s decision to date you (i.e. you have a kid; you smoke a pack a day).

I know you don't want to give people a reason to preemptively dismiss you, but the truth is that you’re saving everyone’s time if you’re honest and upfront. Are all of your profile pictures from the shoulders up? Do they showcase you in a hat? Forget that—flaunt your curves and balding head. You’re not going to fool anyone for long.

Because the more you love yourself, the more others will love you, and that's the best piece of dating advice I can give you. Embrace what you have to offer. No one’s perfect. Plus, “If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.” (Mark Twain)

Photo by Grubby Mits