Avoiding Temptation on Dating Sites

What kind of temptation? You might be thinking. No, we’re not talking about the temptation to cheat on your partner or anything like that. We’re talking about the temptation to stretch or withhold truths from a potential partner, just a little bit.

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Up to 80% of people have confessed to lying when it comes to online dating. After all, we all want to put our best foot forward when we are dating. What’s the harm of a slightly touched-up or filtered photo? Is someone really going to be able to tell if we meet up in person that I’m really 5’11” and not 6’2”? How about if I only make 50k a year and not 60k?

While so many of these common dating lies may seem harmless, and so, so easy to pull off when it comes to online dating, they are still a bad idea for a few reasons.

  1. Dishonesty is not a good relationship foundation

A relationship, even if it is only a short-term or purely sexual relationship has to have some degree of trust. Every lie that comes out will erode that trust. If you really like someone, you want to have the best shot to make that relationship work! That means being honest from the get-go. Maybe sometimes there is wiggle room in a profile, but if you lie in your profile that just means you’ll have to have an awkward conversation where you confess the truth early on, because the longer you leave it, the worse it will be.

  1. You want who you are to be what your partner wants

Sometimes, we might feel an impulse to lie or withhold information because we want to appear good and to cast a wide net. Keep in mind though, ultimately you want to form a connection with someone. Do you really want to form a connection with someone who doesn’t want to be with you? If that person is judgemental about height, weight, wealth, or any other attribute, maybe that person isn’t the person you want to be with (even if you do happen to measure up to their standards), or maybe you’re discerning in those areas too so then consider– how would you like it if you were tricked? Not very good. It’s better to just be who you are and that way you can be sure the person you are talking to is actually interested in you

  1. Dealbreakers are dealbreakers for a reason

While dealbreakers that are based around superficial things like height and weight might seem silly, people are allowed to choose what they value. And people also commonly lie about things like wanting a relationship in the first place! This is why being open and honest about where you are coming from is a way to both establish and respect boundaries. This demonstrates respect for yourself and respect for your potential date.

  1. It’s wrong 

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It’s not that hard to understand, lying, and lying by omission are wrong. This is something we’re taught as children, and we can understand it in rules like “treat others the way you would like to be treated.” In ethical terms, we can look to Kantian ethics to understand just how things break down. After all, if it’s okay for you to lie, then we have to accept that anyone else could lie at any time, and then how can we believe anything that anyone says ever? This is already kind of where we are at with dating apps and it is sad to have to complete a whole research dissertation on Google before you can feel safe going on a date with someone you meet online. Why not be part of the solution and do your part by making dating apps a more honest place?

As a final caveat, when we encourage honesty, this doesn’t mean you literally need to tell everyone everything always. Privacy is important and you can preserve your privacy without lying or withholding about big things (like whether you want a relationship or kids!). 

How would you feel if you found out a person you really liked had lied in their dating profile? 


Let us know in the comments. 


Here at Mate Machine, we are committed to helping you find your perfect mate.

MateMachine is a Vancouver-based Technology start-up that has invented a unique secret crush search engine that can be used for connecting with the ones that we already know and have hidden feelings for. This happens through a unique and innovative search engine and is usable by anyone.

This work was supported by Mitacs through the Mitacs Business Strategy Internship.

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