The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Online Dating

good bad ugly of online datingThe “good, the bad and the ugly” isn’t just the name of a famous Clint Eastwood movie it’s also the reality of online dating!

Sadly, online dating has become known for the dishonesty people who register for online dating employ in their search for a soul mate. Old photographs from a time when the person was handsome or beautiful, “little white lies” about details such as weight, height, gray hair, and so on abound on profiles posted on online dating sites. Although these sites encourage honesty and generally have articles posted which advise that “honesty is the best policy” approach when attempting to find a mate online, many other sites and organizations, such as local police departments, etc., recommend that personal details such as name, date of birth, address, etc., be kept confidential since anyone, including thieves, rapists, mass-murderers, etc., can register for online dating. The reality is that there are no credibility or criminal record checks required in order to join these senior dating sites. This means that seniors who register for online dating must “weed out” those they meet online to find those that are potentially “good” mates. So how does one determine which profiles are for “good” mates and which profiles are for “bad” mates?

The Huffington Post recently published an article on the “Top 10 Lies Told by Internet Daters”, which reported that as many as 53% of online daters lie about themselves. As many as 1/3 of those who lied on their profiles admitted that they had falsified their information so badly that it prevented them from getting a second date with the same person. The top 10 lies told by men are as follows: 1) having a better job than they do, 2) taller than they really are 3) weight is less than it really is 4) more athletic than they really are 5) have more money than they really do 6) have more work seniority than they do 7) are in a more interesting profession than they really are 8) know celebrities 9) have employees or an assistant and 10) work in the film industry. The top 10 lies told by women are as follows: 1) they weigh less than they do and are losing a few pounds 2) they are younger than they really are 3) they have a better physique than they really do 4) they are taller than in reality 5) they have money 6) they have a larger bust than they do 7) they are in a glamorous profession 8) they know celebrities 9) they have an assistant or employees and 10) they work in entertainment.

Why do so many people falsify their profiles? The obvious answer is that the internet allows us to be someone we are not, simply because others cannot really see who we are. When we post a profile on the internet, we are in essence, ensuring that others only see what we want them to see. Whether or not what is posted is true or real, the fact remains that we have significant control over what others see of our real selves. So what does this mean for the senior entering the online dating pool for the first time? It means that seniors must be cautious when entering into the online dating world, recognizing that many people falsify their profiles and therefore, it is not reasonable or safe to believe everything that has been posted.

Instead, seniors must take their time in developing online relationships and in particular, before deciding whether or not to meet someone in person. How to tell if someone is lying? Watch for stories that don’t add up. Patterns that don’t fit such as only being able to chat online at certain times of the day, etc. Photos that are clearly out of date in quality and in the clothing worn by the person in the photo. Unrealistic stories and details. And connections that avoid meeting in person or who ask for money online. By taking time to get to know the other person and evaluating the consistency of their stories, it should be possible to sort out the good from the bad and the ugly!