"Sometimes your knight in shining armor is just a retard in tin foil". - Anonymous
It was the night after Christmas Eve. I had just broken up with my girlfriend the previous morning. It just wasn't working out between the two of us. Though the breakup was far from amicable, I'm sure she was just as glad that it had come to an end. I won't deny it—I was heartbroken and vulnerable. I had become so used to love that I felt I couldn't breathe without it. My soul longed for belongingness and my heart craved a companion. And amongst these clouds of despair and sadness, there she was, the brightest ray of hope. Her smile so sweet, it melted my heart. Her eyes so bright, the glint in them was hard to miss. Her hair so lustrous, they fell over her shoulder just perfectly. She was indeed the most beautiful girl I had ever set my eyes on. I had fallen in love, and I had fallen hard. I just knew it! She was 'The One' for me, she was my soulmate! Not only was she a young woman of only 25, she was 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighed 51.7 kg, worked for a magazine, earned heftily, was interested in young and straight men, and enjoyed traveling and reading. The best part about her was that she was single and available!
*Dude! How in the world did you get these details about her just by looking at her!?* Oh, didn't I tell you at the start that I was browsing a very popular online dating site? Duh.
Then again, Love can sometimes be magic. But magic can sometimes...just be an illusion. My heart-shaped thought bubble which pictured my beautiful soulmate burst into a thousand pieces when I actually met her. She was barely 5 feet 'tall', was heavy as 'heavy', worked from home for a 'magazine' as a freelance columnist, and by earning 'heftily' she might have meant checks that bought her hefty hot dogs and burgers. When asked about her traveling and reading interests, apparently a visit to her mother's was 'traveling', and reading the comic strip in the morning newspaper counted as 'reading'! As if this wasn't enough, she had very easily forgotten to mention that she was 'married', 'divorced', and had two 'children' from her marriage too! Wow! Talk about 'how difficult could it be to find love?!'
Feels like I just stole a page out of your life and put it up here? Out of the 54 million single Americans, I steal this page from the lives of more than the 40 million who use online dating services, and are subject to lies too. Be wary of these common lies in online dating, and save yourself from more heartbreaks and disappointments.
Jobs and Professions
If your online love interest's dating profile says he is the managing lead of a popular brand, or she is the public relations officer of a leading musician or television actor, rest assured you are being duped. People with such high-profile jobs do not have the time to create accounts for themselves on such websites, and wait for someone to hit them up.
When people come looking for love, online or otherwise, most of them have genuine interests at heart and seek long-term relationships or even lifelong companions. If a profile doesn't sound financially secure, chances are that person will not be desired as much. Fake users are aware of this, and lie about how much they earn to lure other daters.
Height and Weight
According to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cornell University, it was found that more than 80% users on online dating websites lie about their age, weight, and height. The average American adult is highly obsessed with physical appearance and stature. To think that women suffer from a bigger complex, and most of the time are not comfortable with their body or the way they look, would be wrong. Men lie about their height, weight, age, and physical appearance just as much as women do. To give their lie a platform to rest on, users upload pictures that were taken at a time when they were comparatively thinner and more attractive.
As brutal and shallow as the fact may be, the first impressions are generated on the basis of a person's body type, the way they dress up ,and their physical personality. A user, of any sex for that matter, is instantly attracted to a slender and well-built frame, and would prefer them over someone who is on the heavier side. Some sites give the user the benefit of selecting options like slender, curvy, petite, slim, skinny, full-figured, which sound appealing but do not give a clear idea about the weight or height of the user. So don't be surprised if a round women shows up on your date when she had actually listed her body type as 'curvy' on the website.
Sexual Orientation and Preferences
Lying about sexual orientation and preferences sure raises eyebrows, as the exact reason people hide their sexual preference is still vague. Social pressure and status may compel people to lie. Sometimes, people may also use dating sites as a tool to explore their sexual tendencies.
Hobbies and Interests
Hobbies, like traveling, reading, listening to music, sports, cooking are very generic, and do not give a fair idea about the likes or interests of a person. For example, a person listing their love for music as 'I love listening to all kinds of music', is completely faking it. Neither does everyone like listening to hip-hop numbers, nor does everyone prefer heavy metal or classical music. There has to be some kind of preference or dislike for that matter.
Misrepresenting themselves as individuals who lead exciting lifestyles by traveling and taking up a different hobby every month makes them sound interesting. Many users also lie about the kind of car they drive, the ways in which they like spending their money, and the number of holidays they take every year, amongst other things that lead other users to believe that they are living a high-end life.
High Profile Connections
Why would you find someone who boasts of having a professional or personal relationship with Ashton Kutcher on a mere dating website, when they could end up being hitched with some of the most desirable and awesome people? Think about it. Online users believe using the 'I have a connection with a director who will direct amazing movies this year' as bait, attracts more users than their 'plain, boring' profile would.
Past and Current Relationship Status
Online users fear that a past or history of relationships might affect their chances of finding a suitor, and hence, they lie by saying that they don't come with any extra baggage. Studies have shown that online daters even lie about not having kids when, in reality, they do. Most users look for a fresh start to life, and want to steer clear of people who have 'been there and done that'.
'Honesty is the key to a relationship. If you can fake that, you're in'. This seems to be the motto of online dating websites now. And in the words of Greg Hodge, the MD of Beautiful People, which is an online dating community which caters only to the relationship needs of 'good-looking' people, "The online dating industry is a minefield of people representing themselves". For all the liars and cheaters out there, not everyone is as shallow as you are. Some people visit these sites looking for genuine love. Don't be the reason of their sorrow or disappointment. Spare a heartbreak or two.