Life is full of little white lies. We fudge a few pounds on our driver’s license, drop a few bucks when we brag about scoring a great deal on a new blazer, recall imaginary “other plans” when we don’t feel like spending time with someone, and use a fictional “important call” to interrupt a boring conversation. The list of little white lies we tell grows longer every day, and it filters over into our online dating profiles. Writing in Scientific American, researcher Robert Epstein discovered that – try not to be shocked! — more than 90% of online daters fudge a few facts in their dating profiles!
Most dating profile lies are fairly harmless: peeling off a few pounds or “growing” an inch or two. In fact, height and weight appear to be responsible for the majority of the little lies circulating on online dating sites. Some of the lying appears to be inadvertent, or at least wishful thinking. A Michigan State University study found that most men overestimate their height by an inch, and most women underestimate their weight by 5 to 20 pounds. The study discovered a direct relationship between a woman’s age and the number of pounds she shaves off her weight. Not surprisingly, the older a woman gets, the more weight she magically drops! Given America’s worship of the tall and thin, it’s not surprising that MSU researchers found that short and fat people tell the biggest whoppers in their online dating profiles.
Age was found to be another honesty quagmire, although it was more of an issue for women than men. The MSU study found a statistically unrealistic increase in the number of women claiming to be either 29 or between 30 and 34. Men tended to lie more about income and education. One of the more interesting revelations was that only 13% of married men tried to pass themselves off as single.
What have you lied about in your online dating profile?