Whenever we ask women about their experiences with online dating, one thing comes up more often than others:
Time and time again, frustrated users or ex-users of online dating services tell us how many times they’ve been lied to by women that they’ve met on this sites and apps.
Sounds simple enough, right?
These women are obviously portraying themselves as something that they’re not. You find out that they’re not single or they don’t have the job that they told you they had. Maybe she has children and told you she did not. Those photos may have been from 15 years ago.
Those are certainly lies. No doubt about it.
But what about when you just feel like you’ve been lied to? Have you been?
This is where it gets a little gray.
Here’s the simple truth (pun possibly intended): sometimes we’re not great at telling others what we want and need.
Online dating is a breeding ground for this. People write bad profiles, containing mostly useless information. Trying to make sense of the scattered words, you read between the lines.
And sometimes, you’re going to be reading those lines wrong.
The outdated photo… did you ask if it was current? Sometimes people are on dating sites for a really long time (I know I was). They don’t always keep their profiles current.
What about that photo of her skiing in Colorado? You saw it and got excited because you LOVE to ski. Obviously she loves it too.
But does she really?
You get to chatting and realize that she HATES skiing and other outdoorsy things.
You swore she said in her profile that she loves skiing. Has she lied to you?
And then there’s your profile.
Is it as good as it can be? Is it clear? Is it current?
There will always be the people who don’t read or who think they can persuade you away from what you say you want. Sadly, you can’t avoid that.
But you can limit it by taking the time to put the best “you” out there.
It doesn’t have to be a novel; people aren’t going to read all of it anyway (it’s a sad, sad non-reading world we live in).
However, you can be clear and to the point, not wasting your word space on unnecessary info and using those words for the things that matter the most to you.
In the pre-Pam years, I had my profile on many many sites and I cannot tell you how many profiles I would run across that offered me so little to go on. All of the spaces were filled in, there were photos. But I came away with little that was helpful, little to connect it all together, or I maybe came away with something she hadn’t intended.
If I had contacted one of those women and came away with something different than what her profile gave me, I probably would have felt betrayed. Lied to.
If something is unclear, don’t fill in the blanks. Ask her about that skiing photo. Ask her what “loves going out” really means.
Look, this is the situation: people can be awful. Some will lie. Some will scam.
But others can be wonderful.
The best you can do is protect ourselves from the awful ones so that you make sure that you don’t miss out on the wonderful ones. And that takes a little extra effort.
Stay safe out there in those online dating streets.