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Why even small lies on your online dating profile mean big trouble

My work as a marriage and family therapist in Scottsdale, Arizona helps to  instill hope and change through the use of techniques including: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Parenting Skills Training, and Brief Solution focused therapy. I u...

More people are lying on their dating profiles than you think

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we have love on our minds. What sounds better than joining a dating site or app to meet a new interest? Well, be careful! Not everyone out there is as honest as you think they are.

Have you ever looked at online dating profiles? There can be so many to go through. Potential matches will do whatever they can to stand out or leave the impression that they are successful, good looking, young and attractive in all areas. Additionally, online dating has potential for competition, as the dating field is filled with apps and online sites with so many daters in all age groups. The problem with competition, however, is that it breeds dishonesty.

Many men and women might feel that they are not good enough, thin enough, young enough or rich enough, so they might change details or subtract years from their age. We know that the modeling industry and advertisers alter photos to make models more appealing, and many online dating photos might be older photos from when the person was younger or were altered to appear more beautiful.

More: How the media is promoting unhealthy body image expectations

Thus, it seems that online dating has a dark side embodying dishonest profiles. The term “catfish” is often used to describe a person who uses another photo of someone who is not them; however, I am referring to small inconsistencies that people might use to get the edge in the online universe.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cornell University found that 80 percent of online daters lie about their height, weight or age. I would even estimate now that lying about photos and professions are lies people tell often. It would seem that men might lie about their age to attract a younger woman and using an old photo would show the guy in a younger time.

More: Why technology might actually be making dating worse

Using these deceptive techniques will never turn out well. Can you imagine if you thought you were meeting up with someone you thought was 39 years old but turned out to be 52 years old (the person having obviously lied on their profile)?. Altering photos will stop someone in their tracks when they meet in person — as people are observant and will notice differences. Most likely, these tricks will not produce a healthy relationship or start off on the right foot.

The best rules to follow for online dating is to be genuine and honest. Put up real photos that show yourself in a good light, but don’t try to hide your age or weight. Someone will like you for who you are and why would you want anything less?

Being authentic and honest are qualities that are valuable and make the dating process easier for everyone, so be proud of exactly who you are. Put out there what you would like back — honesty and authenticity; everything else will fall into place in the dating world.

More: 4 Tips to survive dating during the holidays

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