Shorter, Fatter, Balder: Men’s misleading online profiles
It happens all the time. Women who are new to online dating complain, in outrage, about some guy who turned out to be an inch or two shorter — or a few pounds heavier — than he claimed in his profile. Well, I’m here to tell you ladies to get used to it. It’s my experience that the majority of men lie in their profiles. (Maybe a majority of women, too? I don’t have any experience dating women, so I wouldn’t know.) After almost a decade of online dating experience, I can say with absolute certainty that men are pretty insecure when it comes to their appearance. And that they’re shameless liars. I’ve talked with quite a few guys about this (friends, ex-boyfriends), and what they tell me is that they feel pressured to lie because everyone else is doing it.
Now, I kind of feel that that’s a load of crap, but that’s what’s happening. So much so that I’ve just started to expect all of the men I meet online to be shorter, fatter and balder than they are in their online profile/pictures. This becomes more extreme as the guys get older. Shorter is the biggest issue for the ones in their 20s, and then they get fatter and balder (than their pics) through their 30s and 40s.
You see, I feel it’s important to have realistic expectations, and when it comes to a first date with a guy I’ve met online, I feel like the realistic thing to expect is for him to not look much like his picture. This way, I’m not disappointed.
I know, this doesn’t quite seem fair or right. I post recent pictures of myself with my profile. And I always advise everyone, men and women, to use recent photos. But life isn’t always fair, and people don’t always play by the rules.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about what happens when Mr. Shorter/Fatter walks into the bar (as just happened to me the other night — in this case, he still had a full head of hair, but was a good 30 pounds heavier than his profile picture suggested). As far as I’m concerned, there is only one mature way to deal with this — smile. Smile and act like everything is fine. As a smart woman, you’ve gone into the date with the knowledge that his picture and profile might be misleading, so there’s no excuse to be rude or to say anything about the fact that you expected him to be taller or thinner. Just smile and be polite and make some pleasant conversation. What’s the worst that can happen — you spend 20 minutes with someone you’re not interested in? Who knows, maybe you’ll make a new friend.
- Full Disclosure in Online Dating
- 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Picking Your Online Dating Profile Picture
- How to Represent Yourself Honestly Online