Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Acceptable lies

While looking for a photo to go with my post about drinking habits, I came across this post from The Daily Dot. The author, Beth Cook, is a Dating Coach (I wonder if she's an expert, too). She's also a little bit of a liar, apparently. Or, at least she gives permission to others to lie.

I agree with some of what she says.
For some odd reason, certain online daters feel the need to share bad things about exes. “I like outdoorsy girls. My ex-girlfriend wasn't interested in hiking and camping.” Oh, really? Is that why you two broke up? Of course not, unless you permanently live off the land. No need to talk about past relationships (including marriages), or really any past experiences. Get into the present and write about what you want now.
*Exception to the above rule: Your past may have led to children. In that case, you should mention them. It’s creepy if you don’t.
If you prefer an "outdoorsy girl" definitely say so. Do you need to mention the bit about the ex? No - but that's not really a lie, either. Also, it is definitely creepy if you have kids and don't mention them. Super creepy.

I don't agree that it's OK to lie about your height, weight, or only show photos from the waist up. I get what she's saying (best foot forward and all), but I believe your best foot includes working with what you've got. I'm a curvy girl, and I would never not post that on a dating profile. What good is that doing? If a guy knows he's only attracted to thin women, I'm just wasting his time - and mine.

[PS - How dare anyone suggest that in order for a curvy girl to put her best foot forward, she needs to hide her body?]

Ms. Cook also said it's OK to lie about vices.
Are you a twice a week social smoker or a once a month marijuana dabbler? Forget about it. Even people who are super-anti whatever mild vice this might be for you probably won't care if you do it only occasionally or only with certain friends. I wouldn't worry about describing your substance habits unless they are excessive. Your date probably behaves the same way.
NO she doesn't behave the same way, and YES she does want to know if you "dabble" in anything, especially if it's illegal where she lives. To some of us - and our jobs - this sort of information is deal-breaking. I wonder if Ms. Cook will pay my mortgage when I lose my job because my next date gets me arrested for possession because it was OK to forget to mention his intense cocaine habit?

Of course it takes time to share everything about your life with someone. No one does that upfront. I'll tell you I'm divorced before we've ever met, but it might be a while before I share all the details about what happened.

But if I don't even mention I've been married before? That's uncool.

Lying is a time-waster. It's not up to anyone to decide what is and is not a deal-breaker for others. Your job isn't to get inside your potential date's head; your job is to show off who you are, and let the right date find you.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, the lies were the worst part of online dating. I started to assume that they were lying and had a mental range of heights, weights and squinted a lot to see if I still found them attractive.