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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Online Dating Lies

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Beyond the Lies of Online Dating:
Online Dating Profile "Fibs"

My friend was telling me how his sister decided to try online dating.  She was feeling good about it and was set for her first date with a guy who had presented himself well online.  Then she met him.  He was, apparently, about four feet tall and very awkward.  She was wearing a sweater and he leaned in real close and said to her, “Pretty sweater.  Did you knit that yourself?”  She hadn’t.  The date did not go so well.  Probably because she was ready to run for the door upon meeting him.

That’s the risk you take when you try online dating.  You never know if the person you see on the screen is going to be the person you meet in real life.  It’s easy for someone to put things down in writing, or even have a wonderful conversation with you online.  It’s easier that way.  When it comes down to having a face-to-face conversation, they may be more shy or nervous and not able to communicate as well.  That is, in many cases, why people do participate in online dating—because it’s a way to warm up to people before you actually meet them.  As for people giving false information, that’s just wrong.  But as for people being, well, not quite what you expected, then that can be something to consider.  Not everyone is going to fit the ideal that you have of them on the computer screen.  That person that you enjoy talking to so much may be just a little different in person, so sometimes, it’s best to keep an open mind.  The question is, just how open should you keep it?

I have been on my fair share of dates when guys who claimed to be taller than me, well, were not.  While it might have made me feel a little awkward at first, it turned out that it made them feel more awkward, being the shorter guy and all.  Hello!  I listed my height!  Just because you fudged yours a little, shouldn’t make mine a surprise to you.  I, in fact, am honest in my profile.

Then I dated the guy who completely made stuff up because he wanted to make sure he could get a date with me.  No joke.  He claimed to like my favorite baseball team, my favorite author, and love dogs, like I do.  It turned out that he hated baseball and when I asked him his favorite book by that author, he had no clue what to answer.  Oh, and he hated dogs.  Now, those things would not have mattered at all to me.  He didn’t need to make stuff up to try and have things in common with me.  Everyone has their differences.  In the end, I was a little more perturbed that he had in fact made stuff up just to see me.  Again, honesty is key.

You know how you never know who you’re going to end up dating when you try this stuff?  Well, that’s the truth.  I once dated a guy who turned out to be a former teacher of mine’s son.  Red alert.  It was just a funny coincidence at first, until he told me (and he was serious) that he was going to ask his Dad for information about me to see what I was really like.  Not that I had anything to hide, especially that my teachers from years before would know, but still, it was a little creepy, and I didn’t stick around to find out what his Dad had to say.

One of the more awkward dates I have been on is one where the guy had absolutely nothing to say.  Before we met, we talked a lot and things were going well, and then we met and I immediately sensed how shy he was.  He was actually making me nervous.  I tried and tried to initiate conversation, but the whole time it was as if I was really having a conversation with myself.  We only went on that one date, which was kind of a let down, because I feel like if he actually spoke, we should have had a lot to talk about.  But it wasn’t worth answering my own questions.

That said, as much as you dissect their profile and exchange emails and even talk on the phone before you meet, there might be a couple surprises waiting for you when you do actually meet in person.  The important thing is to realize and acknowledge that yes, certain things will be different, but again, that all goes with learning about someone else.  Besides, you are finally meeting them, and that is the end goal in all of this:  to get through the online process and get to the date.  The fun stuff.  Everyone has their quirks…even you!  So try to relax and take things as they come.  And hopefully, you’ll enjoy spending time with the real-life person better than the online version.


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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