Back in October I wrote a post:

At some point in the conversation, Leslie and I discussed lying on dating apps:

  1. Does everyone lie on a dating app?
  2. Is it OK to lie on a dating app?
  3. If it’s OK to lie on a dating app, are there parameters?

I have never used a dating app. I met my husband playing tennis. He was roommates with my doubles partner. There was no match or bumble or whatever, so I have no knowledge of how dating apps work…


It would appear that this is the way many people meet their partners. As I’ve never done it, I can’t really talk about the experience, though from what I’ve heard, I don’t know how much I would have liked it…But if people like it and it works, then have at it…

The biggest criticism I’ve heard about dating apps is the license that one takes when filling out their profile…

  1. Pictures that are old
  2. Overly generous of one’s height or under generous of one’s weight
  3. whether they are married or separated
  4. being vague about their age
  5. skirting around drinking, drugs or smoking

But the other side of the coin is that IF you tell the truth about certain things, will anyone swipe right…

Like, if you are a woman who is fifteen pounds overweight, is hovering around age 60, and likes a cocktail or three at night, how do you display yourself?

Do you write:

Overweight fan of Jack Daniels who was alive when Kennedy was president

or do you say:

Full bodied woman who likes a full bodied drink and appreciates things that are aged well


Size 8 Gen Xer looking for someone who appreciates a glass of wine with dinner

Ignoring my ineptitude at writing these…

Which one gets a date? The flat-out honest one, the one that embellished, or the one that pretty much lied? Why?

In a world of five second attention spans and Instagram perfect lives, can we actually be honest on a dating app? Or do all profiles have a bit of bait and switch?

Just for fun, write yourself a dating app (to be clear this is a writing exercise, not an invitation to enter the world of online dating) and if you have a partner, write their dating app.

I’ll wait…

OK- how much truth stretching is there? Are you brutally honest? Did you represent yourself as you are?

more importantly:

Do you think anyone is messaging you based on the description?

If you were to include a picture, would you use one that was taken just as you got out of bed, or would you use the one at someone’s wedding where you were in spiffy clothes and you were looking relaxed and attractive? In short- would you use a photo of what you can look like instead of how you do look?

Is the world of online dating a big wall of deception?

Does it need to be a big wall of deception?


76 thoughts on “Is Lying on a Dating App the Norm

      1. so one of your main points about dating apps is how freighted they are with misrepresentation….and then in the comment section you traffic in a throughly debunked decades old political meme …come on girl you’re smarter than that…I mean you’re post was thoughtful and really well written…what…you thought it was a giggle…to equate George Santos and Al Gore…. sorry…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Was it though? While I agree that Santos is ridiculous….so was gore saying he invented the internet. Talk about a stretch of the truth


  1. It’s this very thing that keeps me from dating apps. Even with my Meetup Group, which is for singles 50s and 60s, the pictures people use are so often from younger years. You meet them in person at an outing and they look nothing like the picture. Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was out with two single friends yesterday…neither will use dating apps because the misrepresentation is so rampant and they don’t want to put themselves through that


  2. Snarky me wants to say that most everything anymore is plastered in some level of fake. I don’t understand dating apps or why people actually use them- really. It’s a fantasy world so if that’s how you want to live…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is a level of “embellishment” now…and letting people see good things…I will say my friends daughter met her husband in a dating app….of course they are both intelligent with highly skilled jobs, family oriented, and attractive, so no embellishment needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I was big time into dating apps after my divorce. I could probably write a book about them. Let’s just say my best matches were those that didn’t come from dating sites.

    I think the secret isn’t lying so much as it is smoothing the edges. You’re not fat, you’re size 4-challenged; you’re not a smoker, you enjoy all six food groups: fruits, veggies, grains, protein, dairy, and tobacco. That sort of thing. While I didn’t find my perfect match through an online dating site, I always had fun writing humorous profiles.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We have two couples in our neighborhood who met through dating apps. One woman told me she couldn’t believe it because her now husband didn’t lie on the App. He was exactly who he said he was.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Did I ever tell you my Ashley Madison story? I’m trying to remember it, but my friend knew someone who thought her husband was cheating with an in-line profile. There were a few women in the group and one was a blowhard, always looking to one up everyone. They all say and looked up profiles from their area….it turns out the initial women’s husband wasn’t in there, but the blowhards husband was…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think she sucked it up but she redecorated…they knew the headless pic was him be cause he was seated on their custom designed couch

        Liked by 2 people

    1. What a delightful occurrence on both counts: the meeting and the not lying on the dating app! We also have a friend who met his soon-to-be-wife on a dating app. He told us he was completely honest because he was looking for a “real” match.

      But if you you’ve seen the filters like super-glam on TikTok it makes you wonder if people’s sense of reality has been distorted?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My daughter is currently using an app (I can’t remember if it is Bumble or Twitch because she started on one and then changed to the other). She is 26. So far she’s gone as far as actually meeting with two of the guys she talked to, after talking to them for over a month before meeting. Neither worked out but it was not because they lied on their info. It was more a personality type issue which is something that doesn’t come through on an app. The last one said that he liked techno music and when my daughter said she didn’t he said, “Well you’ll have to get used to that.” Big red flag right there. I would not want to have to start dating at this stage that’s for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My only experience is watching dating app scenarios embedded into movies. They follow the stereotypes of lying/exaggerating. Given the way people present themselves on social media, I would imagine that dating that way is Russian roulette. My sympathies to those who are looking for a partner these days; it has got to be hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m chuckling about your fictional dating leads and you ask such great questions. I think we often lie when we date in person but it’s just more subtle withholding of the truth. Also, online dating is so hard because my default reaction is that if someone doesn’t get a date because they tell the truth then they’ve saved time but I know that not getting picked is hard.

    It’s been almost 10 years since my short stint of online dating but that foray told me that the biggest weakness is that we don’t know what we want. We can create profiles, check boxes and think life will be easier if we have a perfect match. But it doesn’t add up to what you probably knew pretty quickly when meeting your husband, and that is whether there was some chemistry and interest.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This post, not surprisingly, pretty well describes my post-divorce conundrum around this issue. I met my ex video dating, which fell between personal ads and dating apps on the timeline. This time around, if I do finally decide I want “that kind” of companionship, I feel like I at least have a better idea of what I DO want, whereas last time I had kind of looked at what I didn’t want before deciding if it was worth my while to meet a particular individual. Maybe the result will be better?

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I kind of think it is like a job application. Some people embellish and for some of the employers, they just keep posting the same old thing leading us to wander ‘is it for real?’ If something or someone is too good to be true, move on. Of course, I am with the older generation and appreciate meeting people and jobs for real. There, I have indicated my age.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve never used a dating app but it seems to me that the idea is to eventually meet the person in real life. So, what’s the point of lying? If I met someone who lied about his height, weight, age, education level, etc., it would be a deal-breaker. (Btw, the whole Gore saying he invented the internet has long been shown as a bunch of hooey.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Technically in an interview on CNN, gores exact quote was “I took the initiative in creating the internet.” You can spin that anyway you like…


      1. “I’ll be offering my vision when my campaign begins. And it will be comprehensive and sweeping. And I hope that it will be compelling enough to draw people toward it. I feel that it will be. But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I’ve traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.”

        After this interview, Gore became the subject of controversy and ridicule when his statement “I took the initiative in creating the Internet”[53] was widely quoted out of context. It was often misquoted by comedians and figures in American popular media who framed this statement as a claim that Gore believed he had personally invented the Internet.[54] Gore’s actual words, however, were widely reaffirmed by notable Internet pioneers, such as Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, who stated, “No one in public life has been more intellectually engaged in helping to create the climate for a thriving Internet than the Vice President.”[55]

        Former UCLA professor of information studies Philip E. Agre and journalist Eric Boehlert argued that three articles in Wired News led to the creation of the widely spread urban legend that Gore claimed to have “invented the Internet,” which followed this interview.[56][57][58] Jim Wilkinson, who at the time was working as congressman Dick Armey’s spokesman, also helped sell the idea that Gore claimed to have “invented the internet.”[59][60][61] Computer professionals and congressional colleagues argued against this characterization. Internet pioneers Cerf and Kahn stated that “we don’t think, as some people have argued, that Gore intended to claim he ‘invented’ the Internet. Moreover, there is no question in our minds that while serving as Senator, Gore’s initiatives had a significant and beneficial effect on the still-evolving Internet.”[3][57] Cerf would also later state: “Al Gore had seen what happened with the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, which his father introduced as a military bill. It was very powerful. Housing went up, suburban boom happened, everybody became mobile. Al was attuned to the power of networking much more than any of his elective colleagues. His initiatives led directly to the commercialization of the Internet. So he really does deserve credit.”[62]

        In a speech to the American Political Science Association, former Republican Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich also stated: “In all fairness, it’s something Gore had worked on a long time. Gore is not the Father of the Internet, but in all fairness, Gore is the person who, in the Congress, most systematically worked to make sure that we got to an Internet, and the truth is—and I worked with him starting in 1978 when I got [to Congress], we were both part of a “futures group”—the fact is, in the Clinton administration, the world we had talked about in the ’80s began to actually happen.”[63] Finally, Wolf Blitzer (who conducted the original 1999 interview) stated in 2008 that:

        “I didn’t ask him about the Internet. I asked him about the differences he had with Bill Bradley … Honestly, at the time, when he said it, it didn’t dawn on me that this was going to have the impact that it wound up having, because it was distorted to a certain degree and people said they took what he said, which was a carefully phrased comment about taking the initiative in creating the Internet to—I invented the Internet. And that was the sort of shorthand, the way his enemies projected it and it wound up being a devastating setback to him and it hurt him, as I’m sure he acknowledges to this very day.”

        Hey LA, how would you spin that Florida recount, The Supreme Court intervention, the Brooks Brothers riot. Think this meme cost Gore 500 Votes. Politics is “small ball” writ large.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I took the initiative in creating the internet. That statement. Is this the truth, or an exaggeration? Was this statement a provocative attempt at distancing himself from the charming Clinton and a direct appeal to get out from under the vice presidential shadow? As a statement was this correct information or misleading. You threw in a whole bunch of things, but my point was people exaggerate to come to an end goal. Maybe you don’t think he exaggerated to get people to like him. But if he said that in a dating app, what would people say.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The statement was true, whether proffered on a dating app or in a POTUS debate, and would be received that way by people of good faith or aware of how the internet evolved. Or the statement could be parsed with simple ignorance, or calculated nefariousness.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. My husband and I met on a dating app. OkCupid I think. I was completely honest on it because you’re gonna meet people, why lie? I posted recent pictures and everything. Basically, I said, that what they see on my profile, is what they get, and if they didn’t like my profile, they were free to move on. Didn’t hide the fact that I was over 40, overweight, jobless (fresh out of college and moving to the city I created a profile in) had physical difficulties, and was mentally interesting. I was talking to… I wanna say… five other guys when I met Doug. But once we met, that was that. We’ve been together eleven years now.

    He was pretty honest in his profile too, if I remember correctly. It’s been a while. I don’t remember thinking, “This dude doesn’t look like his picture.” whenever I met him. So there’s that.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Did dating services, newspaper dating, phone dating, internet dating…and they all usually sucked. Anyone I was ever in a relationship with prior to my wife with the exception of one I met through other means. Never used an app, grateful. Once had someone flat out tell me I was less a 5 and more a 2 on plenty of fish. Never lied on any. Of course being honest made for less connections sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well, I found you pretend profiles very entertaining! No experience with apps. Once upon a time I did a personal sad in the paper (now that’s dating myself!) and was not thrilled with the experience at all. I met my husband at a singles party. Not the best venue perhaps, but certainly better than online.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I asked my daughter how her friends, and remember they are in college presently, Met their boyfriends, and she said of her friends who have boyfriends, they almost all met on dating apps. Brave new world

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh you just know I’m going to have stuff to say on this subject! 😀

    Does everyone lie on a dating app? No
    Is it OK to lie on a dating app? No

    I would say lying is commonplace rather than the norm (and I’m sorry for nit-picking). I know people who have lied and those who’ve been lied to; I’ve dated people in both categories too. But I also know a huge number who do not and will not. One friend binned a man she thought was The One after discovering he’d lied; I didn’t, but it might have been a better decision if I had.

    If it’s OK to lie on a dating app, are there parameters? I’d probably have said yes once, so long as no one was hurt, and they weren’t manipulating your dating criteria. After the experience above, I now think it could be a valuable indication of their relationship with the truth.

    Descriptions are there to put the meat on the bones rather than provide details of the basics of age, height, body type etc. Your descriptions can be truthful without being dull or brutal. You may have intended your first description to be off-putting, but I found it funny; 2 said to me that you have a vocabulary and know how to use it. You learn to read a profile, and the same old stuff is trite and cliched (but only to those who find it so). In the end, it’s just a matching game, so be who you are, ‘cos you should only be looking for someone who finds the you that you truly are to be their cup of tea. Oh & description 3 is a totally and utter no-no, and a waste of everyone’s time. It might get you the date, but it’ll be a short one that leads nowhere, so keep it truthful.

    It’s so important to use current, clear and unfiltered photos – one face/head & shoulders, one full-length, as a minimum – rather than overly flattering ones. No-one wants that “who the heck are you” reaction when you turn up on the first date, any more than the “six footer” leaning in to kiss your cheek who’s barely taller than your 5’6″.

    The truth about online dating is there’s a lot of screening to do. But, unless you’re lucky and have a really wide social circle, online can be your only option, so keeping a sense of humour about it is key.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant commentary as always!! I’m going to do a future post about what is lying vs embellishment vs exaggeration. The problem is I think we all have different definitions of this. Like, if your 5 foot 10, and you say on your profile 6 feet…is that a problem? What if you’re 5’11? I’m thinking it through for may

      Liked by 1 person

  14. LA, could you delete my last comment? I got carried away (you know I’m really passionate on the subject) but I don’t want this coming across (as it does on a re-read) as an advert for my service. I always try to keep the personal and professional blogs separate, and think I’ve slipped up. Thanks ❤


  15. I wrote this before reading any comments. Everyone – but everyone – has terrible stories about dating (including me). But there’s a lot of good people who date online, you just have to learn how to find them.

    This is what I do professionally as a dating coach – I help people get clarity on what they truly want (and believe me it can be very different to what they start with); to deal with their past stuff rather than ignore it, hope it goes away, just shove it in a box, otherwise they’ll repeat it; I build their self-worth and confidence; teach them how to write profiles using their own words but to paint a picture to attract what they’re looking for; how to screen effectively so they don’t waste time; how to use boundaries; and how to have a fabulous time outside of dating so they’re never ever the least bit desperate.

    Online dating does work, but you have to do the work on yourself first, or it doesn’t – and that’s based on my professional opinion and experience (and those of my peers regardless what age group, gender, or identity you work with).

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Haha I say it all the time…I’m glad I’m not looking to date anyone. Here’s what my profile would read if I were:

    Nearing 50 woman who likes to spend copious amounts of time with herself, but in the event that I need opposite-sex dating, then I hope you’d be on standby 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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