TrueDater.com, providing today's online daters with the ability to read or review the truthfulness of people¹s dating profiles, asked its users which quality online daters are most likely to exaggerate in their dating profiles. Men and women both said the two qualities most likely to be misrepresented were weight and overall physical appearance.Very interesting results. Although the imbalance noted in the last paragraph (anecdotally, I know the situation to be just the opposite) has me wondering how many people they interviewed for this survey. One last note that will sound familiar to my regular readers. There are certain elements of physical appearance that are objective, and will be learned/observed/discovered when we first meet someone. Height is one of these elements: if you're 5'5 and tell me you're 5'8, and if "5'8" you and "5'5" me are looking into each other's eyes without the aid of heels when we finally meet, then I know, you've lied. Does the height matter that much, especially if the personality and humor are a match? Not to me. (Especially on JDate: I tend to automatically deduct 2-3 inches from the stated height in a JDater's profile. For some reason Jewish guys seem to have no idea how tall they are.) But the fact that you lied? That matters a bit. And it might make a girl wonder what else you're hiding... And in terms of the lying about weight thing, I just need to reiterate that while weight is by definition an objective measure (even a non-science oriented person like me understands that a pound is a pound), weight looks different on different people. It can depend on how muscular a person is, how tall s/he is, the build, where s/he wears his/her weight, etc. Because of those variables, I think the "frame" descriptor is better than listing a numerical weight. Unless I'm your boxing coach (or you're mine) and we're prepping for a match, I maintain that there's no need to determine whether we're lightweights, middleweights or heavyweights. I also think it goes without saying that sometimes an internal attraction can alter a perception of physical beauty. There's also another component...I'm reminded of that scene from The Matrix, wherein Neo is in the simulation for the first time, and he sees himself in a certain way. Morpheus explains to him that this is the way he sees himself (even though in the "outside" world, he wears sackcloth and has all these connectors up his spine and in his head). Because we all see ourselves a certain way, we may be unable to see why a photo might be construed as an underestimation or overestimation of our physical assets. I may (theoretically) see myself as "fit" or "muscular" while someone else might describe me as "average," "overweight," "medium," or even (in the Jewish world with my 5 feet and 5 inches) "tall." In our heads, we're all individual Neos. But how each individual set of eyes in each person in the world sees us? We can't control that. As for Truedater.com, who knows if it will take off. I guess that depends on how many people feel they'd like to review their dates for the site. And how many people will tune into this new site as a vetting process to decide whether or not the person's worth going out with. And whether people will be able to distinguish the lies that matter from the unwitting misrepresentations that we undoubtedly all make when describing ourselves to others.
"Amazon has book reviews, TrueDater provides dating profile reviews. Based on ourfree service, we are encouraging online daters to pledge honesty not only in their profiles, but in their everyday lives and a growing movement is championing this effort," said Jason Jordan, TrueDater Co-Founder.
Users were asked what qualities online daters exaggerate or lie about most often. Choices were: height, weight, age, income, marital status, physical appearance and "other."
- 34% of the respondents chose weight, with physical appearance coming in at 27%.
- Male voters ranked weight first with 45%, and physical appearance second with 20%.
- Marital status ranked third with 13%, all others received 10% or less.
- With female voters, general physical appearance ranked first with 36% of the vote, followed by weight (19%) and age (16%).
Surprisingly, female voters said men were more likely to exaggerate weight and appearance than height and income level. Also, more men than women complained that online daters had been dishonest about their marital status.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Lies Lies Lies, Yeah
And now, from the "News That Isn't Really News" Department... TrueDater.com just released a study that confirms what we already suspected to be true: that online daters lie about what they really look like. I know what you're asking: What's TrueDater.com? Think of it as Epinions for online dating profiles: