Yesterday night Crockett was using my iPad (can you believe I let him touch it? Best girlfriend ever) and he came across an article I had open in Safari. Why You Should Lie in Your Online Dating Profile
And hilarity ensued!! Not really – nothing much happened. He asked how my dating profile was coming along, and I explained that I was going to write about it here, and showed it to him, and he let it go.
Isn’t he nice? In my humble opinion, there are very few men who are stable enough to have a flirt for a girlfriend and to not blink an eye when you see that article on her computer. (Especially since he recently saw an email from Chemistry.com or Eharmony.com or something in my junk email – I seriously have no idea what that was about.)
So as not to make a liar out of myself, I'm getting around to actually writing about it. Nicole Ellison, of Michigan State University, found that 9 out of 10 people lie in their online dating profiles.
I don’t know why I’m so surprised by this. I’ve helped friends write profiles (and one of them is now married to her first and only date she met online – good job, Match.com!), and I don’t seem to recall a lot of lies or even exaggerations, but it was awhile ago. According to Ms. Ellison and her colleagues, the most common deceptions are height and weight, and many of them are so small as to be hard to detect once you meet face to face.
I took an exceptionally brief foray into the online dating world myself, at the same time as my now married friend – about four years ago. Turns out Match still has my profile on file, which is sort of creepy, but currently helpful.
Shall we see if I lied?
|Sports and exercise:||
|Exercise habits:||Exercise 5 or more times per week|
|Occupation:||Sales / Marketing|
|Pets I have:||
Would you look at that? I didn’t have to put my height or weight in! I did totally lie, though – nightclubs and dancing? Really, 2006 Emma? Point me to one time that you went to a nightclub, honestly. It turns out that my height is actually behind the scenes somewhere and likely searchable, but I left the body type field completely blank. I don't know what I would have said. (Dear Crockett: can you help me figure out what body type I have? Your choices are: perfect, banging, awesome, and the best ever. Thanks!)
So yeah, I lied a little - but maybe that's not all bad. Apparently, lying is a good idea, because people are more uptight about what they search for online than they are in real life.
Eastwick and Finkel invited 163 undergraduate students to a two-hour speed-dating event – having first had them fill out questionaires stating what kind of looks, personality, and earning power they were looking for in a partner. While the gender differences you would expect were evident in the pre-event questionairres (men go for looks, women go for money), those preferences seemed to vanish when it came time to choose a partner in physical space.
Match also still has my ‘what I want in a man’ section. Shall we see how picky I was?
About my date
|Height:||5'6" (168cms) to 6'5" (196cms)|
I still find this reasonable, but I’m interested in the fact that I drew the line above post high school education. He didn’t have to finish college, but he had to start. And I like that I didn’t rule out men making more than $150k – isn’t that sweet of me? Those guys must have such a hard time finding dates. Also, if men under 5’6” can’t date me, who can they date? And is it really right for me to take a 6'5" man when there are so many tall women out there who need one?
If a man is 5’5”, and he puts that on his profile, he would have been ruled out of even MY search – even though he’d still be a full 5 inches taller than me. I also didn’t include men who described themselves as ‘heavyset’ or ‘stocky’, even though I’m not actually sure how either of those differs from ‘a few extra pounds’. If a man was shorter or heavier than advertised, if it was a matter of a few inches or a few pounds, I probably wouldn’t walk out of a date. Ms. Ellison is onto something.
So take that to heart, ladies and gentlemen of the online dating world. Getting caught in the search nets is the first step – at least that way you’ll have a chance to explain why you lied.