By: Jess Downey, Copy Cutie
As I was listening to Laurie speak at Single in Stilettos, questions revealing the negative perceptions women have of online dating was an ongoing topic. As someone who’s been searching for love on the interwebs for more than a decade, I can definitely relate to the bad, but also, see the good. Here's a special series of Fail to Fabs that are all about tackling the bad apples of dating digitally.
Fail: A few years ago, I made plans to meet up with a guy from a dating site. He was running late, so I waited at the bar for him. When he arrived, I stood up to hug him … and realized I was at least two inches taller than him. Normally this wouldn’t have fazed me, but his profile said he was 6 feet tall — and since I’m 5’10” there was an obvious discrepancy. Unfortunately, it was a bit hard to bounce back after discovering the height difference because it made me wonder what else he was hiding.
Fab: While flat out lying on your profile is never OK, studies have shown that many people twist the truth to a certain degree online — a few pounds here, a couple of dollars there, and while we’re at it, a few inches where they’re needed. Generally, people don’t mean to harm anyone, and sometimes, that ‘extra’ something simply helps a person’s confidence rise, especially if he or she is navigating online dating territory.
When you’re messaging a potential match and you suspect a fib, don’t fret — you’re still online and can stop and/or block contact. Ask him or her questions to know more. Lean on the inquisitive side rather than interrogating. Whatever is happening — truth or lie — will be revealed in no time.
If your suspicions are confirmed before you meet, take the time to see what you’re dealing with. In the case that it’s something trivial (like height) it probably has no bearing on their actual personality. Tread lightly, but know that since you’re still in the beginning stages, it’s OK to be open to seeing what the future holds — this isn’t an end-all, be-all situation.
On the other hand, if you find out on the first meeting that your date over-embellished on his or her profile, try not to let it totally ruin the date. Nothing is more awkward than an all-out confrontation with a stranger in a public place. Keep calm and feel things out; freaking out might not even be worth it.
But if you come to the conclusion that your date is somewhat of a pathological liar, or lies about major stuff, cut your losses and move on to the next. For every liar, there are plenty who will give the honest truth.
Remember: One person does not everyone make so don’t let one bad apple online leave a bitter taste in your mouth for all those yet to come. After all — the more you search, the better chance you have of finding something sweet.