Here’s one of many good reasons to date mature women—they lie less frequently than women younger than 45. Men also lie less as they age. Perhaps that’s because as we mature, we generally accept who we are and we’re looking for people who will take us as we are. There just isn’t time for games and deception.
Nevertheless, lying in online dating profiles and on the first date or two is pervasive enough that we should remain mindful.
What Women Lie About in Their Online Dating Profile and Why
A study conducted for BeautifulPeople.com by OpinionMatters found that 53% of all US online daters lie in their profiles. That falls to 42% in the 45 and older group.
Women lie more than men by about 10 percent, with weight, age, and physique being the top three fibs. (Men tend to lie about their jobs, height, and weight in that order.)
There are four major reasons why people lie in their online dating profiles.
1. They want to score dates
They want to succeed at getting dates and if you look good online, you get more dates. The feeling is that a little white lie won’t hurt anyone.
It’s almost expected. 60% of the people surveyed felt online dating profiles were exaggerated to be more appealing than they really are.
2. They fear getting fleeced
Another reason for lying is that people are fearful of scams, with good reason. Statistics from the Better Business Bureau say,
- Romance scams cost victims in the US and Canada nearly $1 billion in the last three years.
- There are 25,000 scammers online at any given time.
- A company that screens profiles for dating companies says that 500,000 of the 3.5 million profiles it reviews monthly are fraudulent.
- In the US there are about 1 million victims of romance fraud.
- The FBI says that romance fraud is only topped by investment fraud.
3. Their lies are just exaggerations (so they think)
Sometimes the lies are the result of good intentions. eHarmony says that 22% of online daters ask their friends to help create their profile.
That’s because it’s hard to talk about yourself. A well-intentioned friend, hoping to drum up some good dating business for her friend, will “help” her friend by glamorizing her profile.
4. They want to protect themselves
Aside from financial predators, there is the issue of sexual predators. It’s common sense that women must take steps to protect their identities until trust is established.
With these valid reasons in mind, consider it a chivalrous act to give your first dates a little leeway about white lies that protect their online dating security.
And remember, the top things women lie about (weight, age, and physique) will be self-evident on the first date if the lie is big enough.
Lies about their background will come out eventually. The sooner they’re revealed, the sooner that the trust you want in a good relationship begins to build.
For instance, my partner Daisy and I met online. She said she was 59 in her profile when she was in fact 63. Yet she disclosed that right away, along with a very good reason.
Daisy felt that the algorithms on the dating site favored women under 60 and that it would change the types of men suggested to her as possible connections, screening out many men under 60. So she put herself at 59. And the fact that she looks much younger than her age made the fib easy to pull off on a first date.
Would I have ignored her if I knew she was 63? No, but there was the chance that we might not have connected when we did.
Which brings us to some pointers about how to detect lies on the first few dates.
What Women Lie About on First Dates
Once you meet on your first date, the weight, age, and physique lies will be out of the bag. If you’re OK with these and want to continue dating, there are other lies that might pop up in these first few dates.
Apparently lying is a prevalent human trait. A UMass study discovered that 60 percent of people lied at least once during a ten-minute conversation and told an average of three lies. Women tend to lie to make the other person feel good while men tended to lie to make themselves look better.
The OpinionMatters survey said 32% of women admit to lying about their job. Some of these lies include:
- Exaggerating how much money they make
- Glamorizing their job title
- Lying about their industry
- Lying about being employed
Dating couples lie to each other a third of the time
An article about lies that women tell in Men’s Fitness says that according to a Texas A&M University study, “dating couples lie to each other about 33 percent of the time.”
If your first date starts with the infamous lie, “I’ll be ready in five minutes,” you know you’re probably in for a few more truth-stretching moments. But to be fair, that’s probably about the same as a guy saying, “I’ll be home in five minutes.” We’ll concede on that one!
Aside from that, the article mentions “I wasn’t that into my last boyfriend.” If the prior boyfriend was a serious relationship lasting more than a couple months, then yes, they were into their last boyfriend. Otherwise it wouldn’t have lasted more than a couple of days.
Another lie is a tendency to under-report their previous sexual life as in “I’ve only slept with two men,” or avoidance of the topic altogether.
These kinds of lies indicate they want you to consider them as good relationship material. And on the first date or two, conversation about sexual history isn’t necessarily appropriate. Let her lead the way.
But at some point, preferably before sex in a committed relationship, the full truth should emerge.
How to Detect Lying on a First Date and in Online Dating Profiles
In How to Spot a Liar from the Harvard Business School, Carmen Nobel offers these cues when you’re with someone in person.
“Telltale signs may include running of the mouth, an excessive use of third-person pronouns, and an increase in profanity.” Their study found a Pinocchio effect in outright liars, in that “the number of words grew along with the lie.” They use far more words than truth tellers.
Those who lied by omission tended to use fewer words and short sentences. Liars also used more swear words and more third-person pronouns.
Matchmaker Louanne Ward suggests this as an easy way to spot potential lies.
“’Anything that doesn’t have an “I” in front of it – they’re trying to detach themselves from the lie.
If you read a sentence and it says, “I love to travel,” generally they are people who do love to travel and do actually travel.
If they are not owning an attribute or trait, they tend to leave the “I” out of the sentence. It doesn’t mean they’re definitely lying but subconsciously as humans we think if we detach from the lie then it’s not a lie.”
From the Love & Harmony blog at eHarmony, 15 Ways to See Through Lies, here are some telltale signs your potential date is lying.
Do you know the signs that someone is lying?
- Inconsistencies. Liars have difficulty keeping a lot of facts straight, especially as the lie develops.
- Vagueness, incomplete, or generic profiles.
- In conversation, if your date says she lies to her boss, friends, or anyone else, it’s a warning flag.
Diana Raab, in 7 Signs That Someone’s Lying to You and Why They Lie, adds other cues to pick up on when you’re with someone.
- Changes in vocal pitch
- Inability to make eye contact,
- Self-soothing with nervous gestures such as ear-tugging, neck touching, and mouth covering
- Facial gestures inconsistent with content of the message.
Can you spot a liar within just seconds?
In 6 Ways to Detect a Liar in Just Seconds, Gregory L. Jantz, Ph. D. suggests you start by asking neutral questions such as those about weather, weekend plans, etc. Observe their normal body language.
That gives you a baseline for comparison when you get to the important questions. Responses that are lies will show up differently than normal responses.
Mens’s Fitness reminds us to pay attention to gut feelings, our intuition. Intuition is our sub-conscious mind at work. Its signals are reliable indicators of where to direct our attention and often, of what to do.
The only danger here is if you’ve had relationships in which your partner was a known liar, feelings of anxiety might not be entirely trustworthy. It is however, a signal you should do some introspective work, perhaps with a therapist. Get to a point where you can trust your intuition.
If you’re at the beginning of your relationship, a few white lies in the dating profile or on the first few dates are not a reason to end it. However, moving forward towards a healthy relationship, lying must disappear so that trust and true love can grow.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky has good advice about truth in The Brothers Karamazov:
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
A good man always expects the most from himself.
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