Saturday, November 2, 2013

How Important is Honesty in Dating?

This seems like a no-brainer, but is honesty really that important? It’s amusing when I hear people talk about how honest and real people are on social media. They can absolutely trust someone who texts as opposed to actually calling them. I don’t try to dissuade these people because I realize they’ll believe what they want to believe.

There comes a time when this willingness to suspend all disbelief can get you in trouble. A story from China recently demonstrates this very well. An older man who was bored in his marriage posted a photo of a younger friend, made up a name and a profile, including a wife who had recently passed away, and got online. He soon found himself chatting with attractive young women who were sympathetic to the new widower.

On the other side of the computer screen was a married woman who wanted to get some action on the side so she posted a fake photo and profile. After sending intimate emails back and forth, they agreed to meet in a hotel. The woman leaves her house in a rush leaving her last email open. Her husband, who has come home from a business trip early, discovers it, and goes to the same hotel. He finds his wife meeting his own father for a hookup. It is hard to know who was more shocked of the three. The son reacted by assaulting both of them.

How can a person avoid situations like these? The simple solution is not to date while married, which they both did. Let’s take it a little farther. Don’t put up profile photos of other people and claim they’re yours. When your date does arrive, he or she will feel tricked. This is never a good way to start a date.

 I’ve had people say they couldn’t put up photos because of security reasons, or that they’re in the service or the military. That’s another way of saying married.

It is easy to see that the two got themselves in trouble by using fake profiles, names, and photos. I’ve had issues, as has my sweetie, with stalking by people you didn’t want to date. This happens because we share too much information via our online profile or on the initial date. This makes me wonder how much should we share.

Keep in mind, I am talking about sharing, not lying. Most profiles may have a cute tagline to get someone interested, although most people will use their middle name or nickname. They never ever should use their last name. When meeting people, you do not have to reveal your last name, where you work, or where you live.  There is a good chance the date won’t work out. You might need go out three times before you decide it is a no-go.

With this in mind, do you want a recent 1st date waiting in your work parking lot to question you why you won’t go out with him? Probably not. By not blabbing your life story on the first date, you appear more polished and interesting.

We are the keeper of our own secrets. By this, I mean you aren’t obligated to reveal all on the first date, and I would advise against it. Dating is about getting to know someone. You may give out all you know leaving no reason for a second date. Your sudden eruption of information may earn you a label of being pitiful and needy.

On the other hand, if you insist on being all cloak and dagger, then you just might find yourself meeting your old boyfriend, the one you hoped never to see still breathing, for a date. Dating is a calculated risk. Sure, your ex might know you’re dating. It is better than the alternative of remaining at home, dateless, pining for the ex.

 As for the other people’s online profiles, read them with a discerning eye. If it sounds too good or too romantic to be true, then it probably is.  If the profile sounds ordinary, you might have a real deal.

People lie in person, just not online. How do you know if you are being played? Look for inconsistencies. This usually takes more than one conversation or date to spot. Ask about what you have questions about.

 I asked one man if he owned the plane he stood in front of in his profile photo and he confessed he didn’t. I asked another question; had he spontaneously kissed an unknown woman in an airport as stated on his profile? He hadn’t. They both admitted they were trying to look more interesting via their profiles.

In the end, they came off as dishonest. I am sure I wasn’t the only woman to ask. In dating, you don’t have to reveal all, but make sure what you to do tell is actually about you, not the you that you are aspiring to be.  Yes, I had that happen once, but ironically, I had read the same book he decided to base his life on.

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