Why People Lie in their Online Dating Profiles
Lately, more than ever, the subject of lying in one’s cyberdating profile has become a hot topic. Some have become accustomed to the age, height, and income exaggerations for the benefit of showing up in a search.
It appears that lying on your profiles never goes out of style. It’s become a bit of an epidemic. On July 29, I will be a guest on The Stars of PR with Cindy R at 7am/PT. Her radio show segment is called The Big Lie on VoiceAmerica Radio Network. Cindy contacted me as lying has become so in vogue that she wanted to do an entire segment on why singles lie to fit into a search. Just days later after confirming my show segment with Cindy Rakowitz, my friend Sam Yagan at OkCupid sent me an email with their latest statistical great post in OkTrends called The Big Lies People Tell in Online Dating. I am a big fan of OkCupid and always look forward to their blogposts.
Let’s take a deeper look at OkCupid’s findings, which are not shocking. Of course, I’ll toss my two cents in.
1. Height – Reality: People are 2 inches shorter in real life. If you have read my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, which was released on Valentine’s Day in 2009, there is a chapter called “Profile Definitions.” In this chapter I list a side-by-side comparison of 21 profile definitions in “What They Say” and “What They Mean.”
My first entry simply said:
WHAT THEY SAY: Male: Height 5’7″
WHAT THEY MEAN: Male: Height 5’5″
It appears things have not changed in the past few years.
2. Income – Reality: People are 20% poorer than they say they are.
OkCupid says that apparently, an online dater’s imagination is the best performing mutual fund of the last 10 years. I have to agree. More often than not, men are not putting their income on their profiles so they don’t have to see for themselves what the economy has done. Others aren’t interested in finding gold diggers. A recent online dater that I know of listed his previous salary which was 50% higher than his current income. He was in his 50s. He also said he was divorced, however he was “separated, divorce pending.” Interesting data from OkCupid.
3. Photos – REALITY: The more attractive the picture, the more likely it is to be out-of-date.
OkCupid has some terrific tricks to determine when a photo was actually taken. It’s worth taking a look at. Their findings claim that “most of the pictures on their online dating site were of recent vintage; site-wide the median photo age at upload was just 92 days. However, hotter photos were much more likely to be outdated than normal ones.”
I don’t disagree, but here’s a refreshing and amusing twist on the other side. A recent dater that I know of sat across from his attractive date and confessed the following: “I’m sorry. I’m uncomfortable. You appear too young for me.” Yes, you read this correctly. He was expecting an older woman, someone closer in age to himself or at least visually closer in age to his ex-wife, and not a woman that appeared closer in age to his daughter.
He added that, “Most women lie about their age in their profiles so I was hoping you would be older. You look younger than your photo.” Now, this isn’t the norm, but are we accustomed to being disappointed on our first dates to the fact that if you do indeed look like your profile it is a complete shock?
4. Swinging Both Ways – REALITY: 80% of self-identified bisexuals are only interested in one gender.
OkCupid claims to be a gay-friendly site and has some interesting statistics about their members in their study. The fantasy is clearly greater than the reality.
Feel free to comment and share your opinion. Do you lie on your online dating profile? Have your expectations been lowered to the point that you are in shock when someone looks like their profile and accurately represents themselves?
I hope you listen to our radio show segment on this subject on July 22, 2010.
Julie Spira is known as the Cyber-Dating Expert. She created her first online dating profile in 1994. She is the author of bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at CyberdatingExpert.com. Follow her on Twitter @JulieSpira. Like the Fan Page