Liar, Liar, Your Profile’s on Fire

March 28, 2013

Liar, Liar, Profile’s on Fire by Lisa Daily

Almost everybody lies.

We tell Aunt Edna that we’d love to come to her nursing home’s 4-hour musical production of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas on Thursday night, but our boss is making us work late. We call ourselves “athletic”, when the only sports we actively participate in occur via television broadcast, riding a Barcalounger while balancing a plate of jalapeno nachos. And, sometimes we prune just enough birthdays off our age to bump us down to the next lowest age bracket.

A recent study on Internet dating found that online daters claimed to be richer, better educated, taller, thinner and more likely to have blonde hair than the rest of the population. Uh huh.

Dr. Marianne Dainton, a Communication professor at La Salle University says, “up to 62% of statements made in conversation could be classified as deceptive. Do the math: that means that only 38% of statements in our everyday conversations are purely truthful.”

Gregory Hartley, former military interrogator and co-author of the
I-couldn’t-put-it-down book called How To Spot A Liar: Why People Don’t Tell the Truth… and How You Can Catch Them (Career Press, 2006) says, “We live in a society that values wealth and beauty. Most people are not willing to just be an average person. When we meet in person we have our looks, our fashion sense, our sense of humor, and even body chemistry working for us. When we walk into a room, potential partners quickly assess our value within minutes (if not seconds.) Most of us have learned how to manage the trappings of that game. Now, in a virtual dating environment where everyone is beautiful, wealthy, educated, and athletic, who would not want to exaggerate to stand out in the crowd?”

Hartley says, “ We are working in an area that is new to most people. The world’s oldest game on the world’s newest field. We are constantly striving to improve our technique. The Internet dating scene is about filtering among the vast numbers for an opportunity – If I stand out I get first chance. It is about evolution. It is as primitive as we get meets modern as we get.”

But what’s the harm of a few white lies in a new online dating relationship? Who does it really hurt to add a few inches or subtract a few pounds? Or marriages? Or felonies?

Hartley says, “This depends on the lie; sure we all omit facts about our past. I am no advocate of radical truth. Do you really want someone to come out and tell you how many people they have slept with? Or tell you which how badly you suck at your favorite hobby?”

There are basically two types of lies: Lies by omission (allowing someone to believe something that isn’t true) and lies of commission (telling someone a lie.)

Both experts agree that lying by commission (telling an outright lie) is considered worse. Hartley warns, “In my mind, a lie at the beginning of a relationship is asking for trouble later. No lie can stand alone. Your life is like a photo album. Lies (typically not well thought out,) are more like a snapshot, and lack detail to relate to the rest of the album. To sustain a lie you must tell other lies. Before you know it, deception is rampant.”

Which means those harmless little white lies are more harmful than we thought. Can pretending to be something you’re not quite be keeping you from finding a real relationship? If you are one of two people offering up their fake selves, how can you possibly meet your true soulmate?

You can’t. Instead of connecting with someone who appreciates you as a total hottie/ Love Boat trivia savant/gourmet popcorn aficionado, you doom yourself to disappointing all the people you meet. As great as you are, you’re not what they expected. And the reason is because you led them to expect something else.

Hartley says, “People are composed of many roles. All of these roles contribute to the whole person. It is very easy to become enamored of a role that you observe. Some of these roles come from the entertainment industry, others from co-workers, friends and family. The problem is that even the role you are so eager to recreate is only one aspect of the person you are envious of.”

But why do we lie in the first place? Fear. Fear we’re not good enough. Fear we’ll be found out. Fear we won’t be loved for who we are. Fear we’ll be left. Which is why we have to ask ourselves, do we really want to be with someone who wouldn’t love us if we were 15 pounds heavier with brown hair?

Hartley sums it up,” You bait the trap and catch your quarry only to discover you have no place to accommodate the beast.”

So the next time you’re wavering about whether you should pad the ‘ol profile, just remember you’re not making yourself more likely to find the date of your dreams, but less.

And that’s no lie.


(c) Copyright 2001-2015 by Lisa Daily. All Rights Reserved. Plus me on Google, darling, would you please? Thanks!

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: