We’re taught not to lie when we’re very young – and in most of life, the advice holds good over the years.
When it comes to chatting to people on the internet, the idea that site users might not always be who they say they are is always worth considering – because in rare instances, it can happen.
Luckily, by far the majority of people who use dating sites are honest people, simply looking to use the service in an open way – just like you.
But the fact that it could be easy to tell fibs if you want to is just one reason why it’s really important to be honest when you’re online dating…
Not only that, but when you’re using a dating site, you may well be looking for someone to have a meaningful and lasting connection with, and it’s always best to start this sort of things off as honestly as possible.
Here are our tips for keeping things honest online.
It’s not just the big things…
Lying about who you are completely is an obvious no-no, but it’s not just large scale lies that are a bad idea online. Even small lies can cause problems. Examples of little lies that can come up include exaggerating your height or saying you’re a little younger than you really are.
These might not seem like a big deal, but consider what it will be like telling someone the truth later down the line if the relationship is blooming. Yes, most people will probably shrug it off if the lie is small, but do you really want to start things off on a dishonest foot?
Remember that even knowing someone has told you a small lie can make you question them. For a start, if you know they’ve lied about their age, for example, you could find yourself wondering if there’s anything else they’ve told fibs about…
Pictures can tell fibs too
Pictures can also be misleading, so make sure you’re not falling into the trap of thinking that it’s not a lie just because it doesn’t involve words.
Yes, we all know that people will pick especially flattering pictures of themselves for dating sites a lot of the time, but there’s a difference between going for a very flattering picture and choosing a picture that’s five years old, because back then you had more hair. Don’t do it.
If anything, showing yourself as you really are proves you have confidence. On the other hand, someone who meets you and finds that you don’t look at all like the pictures you’ve posted will potentially get the sense that you are not at peace with yourself – and that’s not attractive.
Think about honesty when it comes to things like filters, too. It’s best to present yourself looking as close to how you would in a real-life meeting as possible, so don’t use technology to alter yourself beyond recognition!
Being honest doesn’t mean telling all
There’s certain information that it’s safer to withhold from strangers online – and then there is other information that you will simply not feel like revealing, at least until you’re in a stable relationship.
But that doesn’t meant it’s okay to lie. For example, you probably shouldn’t tell someone exactly where you work when you first chat and don’t know them well.
If they ask, you’ve got plenty of options for handling the situation that don’t involve actual lies. You can give them a vague answer, or politely tell them you don’t want to say. It’s okay to hold things back – but it’s not okay to tell fibs (unless you really feel you have to for your own safety).