Telling The Truth About Online Honesty And Dating

Telling The Truth About Online Honesty And Dating

I’m back, and it seems just in the nick of time since Dawn announced she’s taking a break from the world of online dating. Never fear: I’ll continue to try to entertain you with my own experiences, both comedic and tragic.

Dating And Online Honesty

Before I start with this week’s topic, I want to thank the readers for such a warm response to my first article. While I’ve written online for quite a while, I’m used to comments telling me how stupid my opinions are, questioning my parentage, or suggesting I’m a pedophile/adulterer/goat-lover (which makes me wonder… what did goats ever do to earn the distinction of being used in so many insults?). Because of your comments, I’m taking a slightly different approach to this week’s article, because many of you brought up a topic worth contemplating: online honesty.

Telling The Truth About Online Honesty And Dating

Robin stated that “most men are dishonest online,” while Shoshana admitted dishonesty wasn’t limited to gender: “I dare say men and women are not honest when it comes to online dating.”. But the crux of the matter came from Beth, who suggested that we are all “so much bolder online.”  I think the truth is in the middle somewhere.

Are most men dishonest online? Well, a big part of the reason Dawn gave up online dating is because she experienced that most men were after one thing: sex. Dishonesty is certainly a technique that can be used to draw people in for that end. Post a wholesome image in a dating profile to attract women and then snap the trap once a guy has their attention? That certainly sounds plausible. After all, one woman I met told me about a guy who invited her to play a game of “Words with Friends,” only to have his profile picture on the game be naked and ready to go, if you know what I mean. Needless to say, she didn’t play for very long.

I would suggest, however, that women are equally capable of dishonesty and deception when it comes to online dating. I mean, come on. How is it possible for so many people to be interested in kayaking and skiing as their main hobbies? While women may not be after the same nefarious purpose, they still bend the truth, and the ways they do it aren’t all that original. Here’s a few of the beauties I’ve found in the past year. Yes, all of these actually happened, although this is an article about lying online, so maybe they didn’t….

Telling The Truth About Online Honesty And Dating

Looking For A Long Time Companion – Not surprising, women tend to be looking for Mr. Right, not Mr. Right-Now. Oddly though, they want that Mr. Right to be with them right away. More than once I’ve matched with someone I thought had potential, only to have all conversations die down when I wasn’t available/interested in meeting with them in person that night, or that weekend. I get not wanting to spend forever in a text-based conversation, but to kill any possibility just because I can’t/don’t want to meet you at a bar so quickly?

Location, Location, Location – This one has also happened a couple of times and is kind of the opposite of the previous one. Connect with a woman, strike up a conversation that is going well, only to find out they aren’t actually nearby. Apparently some of the dating sites allow you to explore other areas as if you lived there without actually living there. I know some people meet online over great distances and manage to make it work, but I’m not in a position to uproot my life. It’s safer to restrict my potential “dating area” to a reasonable distance. So it’s great that we’ve connected and you live in Ohio, but now I’m just depressed to know you’re out there but it’s unlikely we’re ever going to meet.

Geek Grrl – I admit to being a geek. In fact, I don’t think I have a dating profile that doesn’t acknowledge it clearly up front. But that means I know what I’m talking about. Pretending just ends up being embarrassing, especially when she talks about “being excited for Doctor Who’s next episode” or “liking that movie where the midgets have the ring” or playing video games, but really meaning Candy Crush. I get that, somewhere along the way, being geek has become chic, but being a poser isn’t going to do either of us any favors.

Vegetarian – I can respect her dietary choice, but when I ask what she likes to eat so I can plan for a first date and she tells me steak, it calls everything else on her profile into question. Do you actually like dogs? Are you really 37? Have you actually read Harry Potter, or just seen the movies? Because if you’re going to lie about something so many people take so seriously, what could possibly be off limits?

The Gospel Truth – Much like dietary lifestyles, I can respect women who are focused on their Faith. It’s not for me, though, and women who are looking for “a man who is strong in his faith,” is usually a good indicator to pass on by, as I can tell things wouldn’t work out. But when her profile reads about her strong faith, acknowledges she hasn’t been married before, and her pictures show her and her four kids (from four different men)… well, something isn’t on the up-and-up there.

The Notebook Is My Favorite Movie – No, wait, that’s not a lie. Just a sign that your tastes aren’t quite as developed as I am hoping for.

Telling The Truth About Online Honesty And Dating

The truth is we all lie online. It’s not a guy thing. It’s not a girl thing. It’s a human thing, because, as Beth said, we are all bolder online. We share the good stuff on Facebook, not the bad stuff. We become the people we want to be, or at least put on the appearance of it. We attempt to impress our friends, ignore our enemies, and (for those of us who are looking) maybe attract some new company along the way.

What Are Your Thoughts On Online Honesty And Dating?

Do you agree or disagree with with my thoughts on the subject? What are your experiences? I would love to see what you think in the comments below.

About Rafe Telsch

Rafe Telsch is a former teacher and on-again/ off-again blogger who is just trying to find a new path in life. He is a fan of cinema, video games, books, and good stories in just about any medium. He has completed NaNoWriMo twice and hopes one of these days that will amount to a completed, polished novel. His companions are his eight-year-old son and a small dog, although there is room for another in this adventure of life.


  1. I met my husband online. I had good success on my first try, but I have some friends with real horror stories from guys they have met online.

  2. Although I didn’t meet my husband online I did try online dating. There is a lot of crazies out there but there are some good people too.

  3. I think our online personas can be a cross between who we were and who we want to be. Our true self lies somewhere in between. It’s understandable to put your guards up and lie a little but eventually the truth will have to be told.

  4. Oh the struggles of online dating. The good ones are definitely hard to come by. You bring up many good points!

  5. I see the ads for on line dating and wonder if people actually try this out. I don’t know anyone who found and married anyone off of these sites.

    • Dawn McAlexander says

      I met Jay {the man I am currently separated from} online and we were married and together for 10 years. So there are definitely success stories.

  6. Oh man, dating online would be tough. I’m not sure if I could do it or not. People are liars or irritating online. I just don’t have the patience as I get older.

  7. People are people period. Whatever they are in real life is only magnified online.
    Yes people tend to elaborate the good on Facebook but then you have those other people who post every single drama in dramatic detail lol.
    I find that people lie to your face as well.
    It just depends on where they are in their paths.
    When a person is ready, to be honest with themselves they are far more likely, to be honest with others.
    That is the crux!
    A person may lie to you but just know, they are lying to themselves even more!
    For the record, I met my husband online!
    In a game of all things.
    I think we both fudged a little at first wanting to draw the attention of each other more.
    It did not take long however for us to meet in person and really get real.

  8. I think the show Catfish has taught us all that we need to be careful when looking for love/dating online. I agree that we all become a bit bolder when it comes to our online personalities. However, some people really get carried away and then before you know it they’ve made themselves into completely different people than who they are in real life.

    If I were still single, I don’t think online dating would be something I’d try in this day and age. It would definitely be a last resort.

  9. I don’t date online, so I really don’t have an opinion. I know it is a thing, but I can honestly say I am so glad I am married and if I wasn’t, I don’t think I would use any apps either.

  10. I do think people tend to want to present themselves in an idealized way online. I think online dating probably takes more trial and error because outside of the internet you usually date someone you’ve already known for a while.

  11. Oh the lies I’ve seen spread across social media, of people I actually know in real life! It’s crazy. I honestly couldn’t imagine the lies that are spread across dating sites.

  12. I am not for or against online dating. I personally know that I am more of an in-person kind of gal. I need that immediate physical attraction that I can see and smell (the scent of a man is my weakness).

  13. I fins that everyone exaggerates a little online. As far as online dating goes I try and be as truthful as possible.

  14. I do NOT miss the world of dating. It wasn’t that long ago that I was there, and it is rough… I also experienced that most men just wanted sex, but I’ll totally admit that I’d seen both men and women be dishonest online. The last few years I dated I had an all-honesty policy. I didn’t want any games-and that sometimes made it harder, but it also made it so much freer!

  15. Dating seems far more complicated now than it did when I was doing it. I do know several people (my sister and her husband) who have met online and maintained a succesful relationship. You point out valid points. Hang in there.

  16. I met my first husband online – it worked out for about 12 years so I’d say that’s a win

  17. I wouldn’t want to represent myself in other light but the bare truth. It’s easier to find a true companion that way.

  18. My Teen Guide says

    I think whether you look for a partner online or through the traditional way, there is still a likely chance that the person may lie or conceal something about themselves. We must just be able to see through the person.