The world of online dating isn’t exactly the most honest and transparent. A study by Stanford and University of Oregon professors Jeffrey Hancock and Dave Markowitz, reported by The Cut, took a look at some of the most common lies told during the process of online dating.
When first impressions are everything and which way someone swipes can be the difference between finding your soulmate and spending another night alone at home, it’s only natural to try and put your absolute best self out there — even if that best self might not be 100 percent reflective of your true self.
But at the same time, with the pressures of online dating and ghosting at an all-time high, some of the most common lies are used to escape the awkwardness of a Tinder date. We’ve all done it. Whether that was lying about our height, availability, or interests.
The study, which was recently published in the Journal of Communication, claims we lie both to get someone to date us and to try and shake someone we don’t want to date anymore.
Below you’ll find some of the most common lies we use on the likes of Tinder, Bumble, or OK Cupid.
To look better or wittier
The study found that more than a third of the deceptive messages involved in the study had to do with the person sending them. This is what the researchers called “self-presentation lies,” where someone would, for example, pretend to have the same interests as whoever they were chatting with or stretch the truth about themselves in order to seem cooler or funnier than they actually were.
An example given was when a participant messaged a match saying they wanted to “walk into a grocery store and buy an entire shelf of Bold Rock.” Exaggerating the desire to buy an entire shelf of hard cider was done in an effort to seem witter or more interesting.
To swerve a face-to-face meet
On the other hand, almost a third of the lies were seemingly the opposite: the desire to get out of meeting someone they had been chatting with. It was found that people often lied about their time (or lack thereof) in order to avoid meeting face-to-face. Popular excuses were schedule conflicts, exhausting days, and not being able to commit to a date until their life had “calmed down.”
Some people apparently make a real effort for their excuses to seem reasonable, while others really do not care. One participant wrote: “Well I have my finals on Wednesday and them I’m leaving on a vacation Thursday. So a couple weeks at least.”
To soften rejection
Once the match had been rejected or successfully swerved with a lie about time constraints, a lot of participants felt the need to follow that up with another lie to soften the blow. Seemingly feeling guilty about having just lied or maybe just not wanting to lose contact with their match they would tell lies like, “I wish I could go.”
While sometimes successfully softening the blow, these lies were not always told out of kindness but instead were self-serving in a way, so that both communicators could save face and keep open the possibility of meeting at some point down the road.
To cover being late or slow to respond
Also among the most common lies were those told to cover timing mishaps. Messages like “I’ll be there soon” or “On the way” were included in this category. These lies, however, are not exclusive to the online dating world, as anyone who has ever been late or been left waiting for anyone anywhere can attest to. According to the study these lies were also among the easiest to forgive.
Have you ever lied on a dating app? How truthful are you on Tinder, Bumble, etc.? Let us know in the comments.
In other news, this new study says pop music is getting more depressing.