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Dating From the Inside Out
by Susan S. Davis

Truth Matters in Online Dating

In this day and age, technology has connected us to things we’d never imagined possible: information, activities, ideas, and, of course, ways to find possible romantic prospects. The nature of romance is very personal, and, as such, with the advent of online dating, there was a bit of skepticism, which still exists today. Even with the outgrowth of reputable services, there are still those who are cynical about the prospect of meeting someone through an Internet venue.

The above is just one of the reasons that above all, to be successful in online dating, honesty is of the utmost importance. It is tempting to become a different entity online, because it is so easy to do it. People have been known to do everything from tell little white lies about themselves, to craft elaborate stories about who they are, all in the name of being accepted by another person enough to be found suitable as a potential date. But those who are savvy online daters, know that the truth is the only way to go. The more honest one is about themselves on every level, the better chance of actually finding someone to connect with.


Why does the truth matter so much in the online dating arena? First and foremost, it’s a common sense issue. Whomever it is that is being deceived, will find out eventually, so isn’t it just better to be honest in the first place? The reality is that no one likes the bait and switch game. The cliché of do unto others, really does apply here. No one likes to be lied to. And misrepresentation, no matter how miniscule it may seem, can only serve as a catalyst to harbor resentment later. Often, once a person finds out about a lie, they have a very difficult time ever trusting the person caught in it, again. And this is unfortunate, because oftentimes, the person telling the fib, is actually, for the most part, a very good person and could be a great candidate in general, for dating.

The most problematic thing about lack of truth telling when it comes to online dating, is that on a very basic level, anyone who finds it okay to indulge in it, demonstrates questionable character and ethics. Lying is lying, no matter what the reason may be, and still serves to create an atmosphere of distrust. And there is almost nothing more damaging than that, when it comes to interpersonal relationships, dating and romance. In addition, lying is just not a good way to start any relationship.

Many people, when asked what the number one deal breaker for them when it comes to romance is, will indicate that it is something to do with misinterpretation. Many issues that couples deal with, are actually, at the very heart of them, truth issues. Whether it is infidelity, or something less innocuous, many of the more problematic issues that couples face, have to do with telling the truth.

Basically, the fact that anyone finds it acceptable to be less than truthful online, would most likely have no trouble being untruthful in other circumstances, which makes them less likely to be trusted in general. If you take away trust, there is no foundation for any interpersonal relationship, upon which to build.

The world is filled with people who want their needs met, some by whatever means necessary, it would seem. However tempting it may be, unfortunately, lack of honesty is not easily overcome.

The truth is even more important in online dating, because it is already an area that has been rife with skepticism, so dishonesty only fuels that fire. While the truth may scare what appears to be a great potential partner away, or cause them to rush to judgment or assumptions, half-truths, omissions and outright lies, always prove to be much more problematic.

Think of it as misrepresentation of the worst kind - because interpersonal relationships are fragile to begin with. So untruthfulness just makes the whole process more daunting. The reality is that we all have a variety of challenges to face in our lives and entering into a new relationship - whether casual or with more permanency in mind, deserves to be treated with the kind of respect we all know that we desire - and that includes, being truthful.

The real issue then, is how to deal with telling the truth without compromising ourselves, and knowing exactly what to say and when. Much information may be revealed in such a way, that the message gets across, often in the essay portion of a profile, so that there is no question where we stand on issues, and what our background is.

Keeping in mind that we are all human and that we are not alone in whatever we’ve had to face, it just could be, that the person you seek, is understanding of certain issues, even possibly having dealt with them also. In fact, many people find new friendships through adversity. Any truly intelligent, worthwhile person, is not looking for perfection, because, ultimately, there is no such thing as perfection in the human element.

Dating is an emotional experience, which is another reason why truthfulness is so important. It only makes sense that someone who is recovering from something, may feel that they can best relate to another person in the same situation, however, whether or not that is a good idea, depends upon the people involved. For example, someone challenged with parenting may be looking for someone as interested as they are in finding healthy solutions for their children.

Whatever the issue is that you are dealing with, sharing the story may actually prove helpful in finding a supportive partner. Ultimately, that could be much more beneficial than simply connecting with someone to spend some time with. In reality, if a situation scares someone away, logically, that person is not the right partner to focus on.

A person’s perspective on challenges will also serve to distinguish viewpoints, from negative to more positive. Looking at issues from the vantage point of learning and growing from them, is a stance that is much more likely to attract like-minded individuals who realize that one can actually benefit from the wisdom that they may have acquired, from what they have faced, vs. seeing the situation as a negative or downside to their life.

Knowing that facing challenges can create more capable, appreciative, compassionate, forgiving, and spiritually enhanced individuals, also can make one more confident, which, in and of itself, can be an enormous asset in terms of attractiveness.

It is important to remember, that generally, people are far more interested in a relationship with someone who faces and handles problems, and learns and grows from them, than with someone who resorts to victimizing themselves.

The more that we honor ourselves for the strides that we have made, and for who we are, the more confident in sharing ourselves with others that we can be. And what it comes down to, is facing the truth about ourselves, who we are, and where we want to go, so that we can connect on the most important levels with humanity. Facing where we have been is equally as important as knowing where we are and where we want to go. Once we determine what path we’ve taken, we can better understand how to get to our desired destinations, in all facets of our lives, which, of course, includes one of the more beneficial and spiritually enriching areas - romance.

Susan S. Davis is a published book author and writer, currently doing research for a romantic screenplay she is writing. Her Dating From The Inside Out column is published every Tuesday.

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