Flickr: Photo by Dan HankinsI experienced a brief period of online dating, and I have to say it was a lot of fun. I was lucky enough to not run into any of the nightmares some of my friends have as they navigate the net; and not once did anyone I met misrepresent himself. I thought I was lucky, but apparently, that's the norm.
A recent study shows that most people dating online are not likely to lie about their apperance, age, education or job situation. Of course my girlfriends are laughing their heads off at this news, since, wow, have I heard some good stories.
Perhaps they're just not using the right website. The study, by a University of Kansas researcher, questioned users of an unnamed dating site that focuses on long-term relationships. (I'm just going to guess eHarmony.) Most respondents were interested in having a good first meeting, so the desire to paint a different picture than reality was not prevelant.
The small percentage of people who did lie, tended to lie about the same things by gender. Women were more prone to lie about their weight, men would lie about education and income.
That makes perfect sense to me. I do wonder about men and women who lie dramatically about their weight, (not by five or so pounds, I would totally knock off a few) when it's going to be quite obvious when you meet the person. Other lies, like education or job aren't as easily uncovered, but again -- if you're pursuing a relationship, why would you start out on such shaky footing?
The point the study made, was that if a person would lie about his income in person, he's going to lie online. There wasn't much disparity in how people behaved online or off -- in the dating website world, anyway.
So fear not, single peeps looking for love online, what you see is probably what you'll get.
Have you ever lied on an online dating site?