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The Dating Website Misrepresentation Problem Solved

In the spirit of last Tuesday’s post (What People Are REALLY Saying on Dating Websites), I thought I’d get a little more serious about dating websites.

Anyway…

Dating websites. I love ‘em. I hate ‘em.

I love ‘em because there are so many awesome people on them.

I hate ‘em because there are so many weirdos, skanks, and frauds that always have a way of showing up to the party, too.

And yes. I said frauds. I know I got in trouble for that (with my Dating Misrepresentation post) for not appreciating when a woman showed up to a date with me much heavier than she presented herself to be online. Oh well. I still don’t think it’s okay.

Obviously there are certain levels of weirdness, skankiness, grossness, and fraud that every person is willing to put up with.

I’m okay with somebody showing up a little heavier or lighter than their pictures, with a different hairstyle or color, or even not having completely accurately portrayed how much they enjoy, oh, I don’t know… the great outdoors.

What I’m not okay with is showing up for a date and meeting someone who is not at all the person she presented herself to be on her dating profile.

I’m okay with somebody being a real flirt, having fun, and goofing off.

What I’m not okay with is a girl showing up with one intention… a one night stand.

I’m okay with weirdness. My friend Kelsey Blue Eyes, for example, is weird. I met her on a dating website. She watches Pokemon, plays video games, and even <gulp> plays Magic cards among other things. That’s weird for sure, but not a deal breaker. After all, I have my weird things that the women I date have to put up with.

Other women are way too weird, though. Like the ones who brag about their strange “toys” on a first date. And yes, it has happened more than once.

I’m okay with a little grossness, too. Though not a whole lot. Especially at first.

If a woman hasn’t fluffed one by month three. That’s a red flag. If a woman fluffs one, or even worse, rips a big one on date number one… that’s too gross and is a bigger red flag.

47 comments
rebekahbrowerjackson
rebekahbrowerjackson

I love that idea!!! I attended a Battered Women's group for several years, and we talked about starting a site that shows our exes pictures and criminal record (even the ones he got away with) to prevent some other woman from making the same mistake, but were told we could get in trouble for slander, but the idea is fantastic!

Chea
Chea

Great suggestion!  I gave up on the online dating, it was way too much to handle. But I did see a commercial the other day that Match is doing a group meet up thing now. I do think thats a great idea. Bring a bunch of single people to one place, and make it a social. I feel like I do much better in person, face to face. And I like to meet people that way too. Vibes can make or break something, and you cant get that very clearly over a computer.

I want something more like that.

BethGarfinkel
BethGarfinkel

Good suggestion about profiles.

Here's a note for any men reading this: about the weight thing--that's probably your own countertransference, and it's perfectly okay to act on it while choosing a partner.  But whatever you do, find a way to get rid of it before you find yourself with a daughter to raise, because it's one of the most destructive trips a girl can have laid on her, and chances are that in this society, she will do it to herself, and will need you for counterbalance.  Something to think about, I hope.

Lucia King
Lucia King

Potentially.. we have it on trademe (like ebay) where you get ratings from each person you buy/sell from/to. There's def the potential for abuse, there too (though admittedly not as strongly), but one bad review doesn't colour you too badly if the rest are good, you just think 'that one didn't work out for some reason' (though you do pay special attention to what it says in case!) So yeah, undecided.. def good points & bad points

Brandi Miller Hays
Brandi Miller Hays

I agree there's room for abuse but aren't we essentially searching for a "product"- granted its a relationship but there are reviews on Amazon & EBay & Overstock- there are reviews for Lawyers & Physicians & Businesses- why not for Individuals on dating sites? (I'm married now, to someone I met on a dating site- but I would've LOVED a review of sorts for those I considered dating. How is that any different than if said invidiual was a friend once removed - ie a friend of a friend. Wouldn't you ask your mutual friend about this potential partner?

KB
KB

You are definately on to something Dan!  Isn't it sad that it comes to this?  That you can't TRUST anyone!  TRUST is the reason I got divorced, AND the reason I am still single.  It's amazing how just one thing can ruin EVERYTHING!  Good luck hunting!

Kori L Persic
Kori L Persic

I like it, even though i am already in a relationship, I've been there 7 think it's a good idea.

JeanetteSmithLamb
JeanetteSmithLamb

I've sometimes wondered why the hell people grossly misrepresent themselves on a dating profile. Ok, if you never have any intention of meeting anyone, I think I could wrap my head around that one. I am exactly who I say I am, men tell me wow, you look just like your picture (for good or ill).  I've been single for 9 years so trust me, I've experienced some stories. If I date someone for a while that I met on a dating website we usually exchange horror stories, none of mine compared to two that instantly spring to mind:

1. This  chick shows up with her husband (she had presented herself as 100% single)  they wanted to have a 3 way with this poor guy, he ran like hell.

2. This lady had shown many pictures of herself as being a 30 something, thin, blonde, when she showed up for the date she was much older and oh, SHE WAS BLACK. It's not the fact that she was black, it was the fact that she had 100% lied about every.single.detail.

How the heck can you even start dating or hope to have a relationship when you go into it with a lie/mistrust??

AnneMarieJones
AnneMarieJones

I think people would avoid that site like the plague and stick with Match.com, where you can falsify all you want.  That's what people are looking for on the internet--the ability to be who they want and hide behind anonymity.  I also think that people won't want to be honest in their assessments about how accurately that person presented themselves, because that could lead to confrontation (what do you MEAN, I'm fat? you asshole!) and no one likes confrontation.  

FrancesMarrero
FrancesMarrero

I met so many guys on Match.com who represented themselves as looking for a relationship, when all they were after was some tail! I met my boyfriend 2 years ago, btw and have yet to "fluff" in front of him, nor has he! It's just common courtesy not to subject others to something you may not even want to deal with yourself!

KelseyFoster
KelseyFoster

That is why working with a professional matchmaker is an increasingly popular choice. As a matchmaker, I've met and verified that both people are who they say they are. For busy singles, it saves a lot of time and possible heartache. And it's actually more affordable than you might think! :)

Lana Marie Hobbs
Lana Marie Hobbs

remember how you said you did NOT want a dislike button on facebook, after all? that is kinda how i feel about this meter idea... it sounds good but there is a lot of room for abuse.

Shelane Chaddick
Shelane Chaddick

Seriously? I would have to take a new picture every time I got a haircut?? Good God.

laughingmom
laughingmom

Please tell me you've seen the short film "Full Disclosure."  I think they have it on iTunes.  Too funny.  This meeting people business is just way harder than it seems like it ought to be.  I guess at least you are guaranteed some good stories.  

JulieChris
JulieChris

When you said 'fluffed one', I wasn't thinking of farting...

DYS
DYS

Hmmm, let's see.  I tried eHarmony after my divorce in 2001 and went out with a few people - nice guys but no click.  Then "Christian" Cafe - guy turned out to be married.  So I let it go for 10 YEARS!  Got on Match recently - found a guy I know on there who is married, had 2 profiles: one as "separated" one as "divorced."  It is funny to me that the profiles for the the BIG overweight guys say their "match" has to be "slender and athletic".  Or in their profile they are so adoring, romantic, like to give back rubs, walk on the beach, cook together, blah, blah, blah.  If it were true, I suspect they wouldn't be divorced.  What's a girl to do?  I think hang out with other girls and just go do stuff and have fun.  At this stage in most of our lives, we can pay our own bills, so we aren't looking for a sugar daddy - just a nice, respectable, normal guy to do life with.  Guys my age (53) are looking for 30-somethings.  Older guys are looking for nurses.  Lots of lonely, lying, people out there. 

Val
Val

I love it.  I kind of think *take me as I am or not at all.*  I'm not really looking to get married or anything, I'd like to meet someone to have as a friend, to go out, companionship.  My ad would probably read " slightly overweight 52 year old woman ( with grey hair I will never color) with a quirky sense of humor that is not to everyones taste, ( it runs to the dark side a LOT) likes bike riding and walking when I can work it into my schedule, and yoga a couple times a week. Wants company with someone with a sense of humor to go out to eat ( I'm fine paying my own way - less complicated that way) movie marathons - with popcorn AND candy, and sometimes just hanging out in pjs on a sunday morning reading a newspaper, eating in bed and enjoying the morning. yes, I like sex, but only with someone I know and like " that doesn't seem as popular as sexy 35 year old swinger who feeds the homeless in her spare time.

MeganDunlapJarrett
MeganDunlapJarrett

But...what about the girl who THINKS she's really HotterThanHot? People often have a skewed idea of themselves. That guy that annoys everyone at parties? He probably thinks he's FASCINATING. Or that you guys just can't handle the amazingly intelligent ideas he brings up. Or that girl who wears waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too tight clothes? She probably thinks they look good on her because, face it, people don't want to look gross!So I think that's part of where the misrepresentation happens. Even if you are trying to paint an accurate picture of yourself, your own viewpoint has a skewed perspective. Although your idea would also work towards helping people with that as well. However, it could be dire. Someone who thinks they're superhot, and they go on a date, and they simply aren't to the liking of the prospective soul mate...well, they get a bad rating. Maybe he's more of a boobs guy, and she's got a great butt, but wears a training bra. Or, what if there's a person looking for a one-night stand, or believes that dinner=sex? and the other doesn't? Feelings will be hurt, and they will instantly get clicked to have a lower rating. And then...if you get too many low ratings, you delete your profile and start again.It's an interesting idea, but I don't think it'd solve the problem.

Gay Dad Laughing
Gay Dad Laughing

I have been there far too many times myself, I am only glad I do nothave to do it anymore. But when I did have to the dreaded online dating thing,I always set up a phone call from a friend in the event that the person hadcompletely lied out the nose just to get me to buy dinner. I did not do itsolely for this purpose, I also did it for safety reasons. I lived in a smalltown and a very red state, so dating (especially online) was always a bit of arisk. I didn't want to end up in some ditch missing a kidney or worse. Though itwas technically lying in a sense, I always figured that if I did in fact bailbecause they had lied, my lying was justified by their initial lies.

Oh, and Kelsey is soooo not weird for watching cartoons and playing video games. I mean, I do those thing and I am not weird, right? ... right?!?

Steph at the Circus
Steph at the Circus

I don't know if it's still around but I met my husband through salt lake singles (it covered Ogden to Provo).  They made you come into their office where they did a back ground check to make sure you were really single and you know, not a felon, and they took a picture of you right then and there that they put on your profile so there would be a current picture.  You could add any other pictures you wanted, but that picture they took would be there too.  On every profile.  Plus they did monthly activities to encourage people to meet.  Maybe you would be interested in seeing if that's something that still happens?  I paid their fee just to know I had a little extra insurance of the real representation on there.

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones

I met my husband on eharmony. He was the first and only person I met after signing up for the site, and we were both completely honest about everything on our profiles. So dating websites can be a GREAT thing if done properly! If not done properly, I think this is a great idea lol!

Nicole Powell
Nicole Powell

Hey Dan! Great article! I've been married for 15 years so thankfully I don't have to worry about this but I still found your article interesting and amusing! I don't know if you're a country music fan but thought you'd enjoy this if you haven't already seen it. A great music video by Brad Paisley with at least three former Seinfeld stars as well as William Shattner, The song is called [So Much Cooler] "Online": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE6iAjEv9dQ

Turner
Turner

A pretty good idea, but I'm willing to bet it could get abused just as easily by those who has a bad date and doesn't want that person to have another.

JennyGolfin
JennyGolfin

An accuracy rating feature would be freaking fantastic. 

It should also include something about how long it takes a person to respond to your response. A lot of people contacted me, I replied back and then never heard anything. A sorry no longer interested response is sometimes good. 

JennyGolfin
JennyGolfin

I met my now ex-husband through a dating site. He completely lied on his profile. He said he loved the outdoors, music, etc. All the things I liked but in reality the last time he went hiking was when he was in high school. His picture was accurate though. On my profile for that particular site I actually used a photo that shows what I look like first thing in the morning before a comb or a washcloth has touched me, can't get anymore accurate than that. And I accurately listed in the small space provided my likes, dislikes, wants and don't wants. 

Recently I used eHarmony and matched up with someone who after talking to them via text and email for four months finally met. We're in a "relationship" still but after we had been officially together for four months he points out that I must have lied on my profile because I make less than the $60,000 a year he was looking for in a "life partner." Mind you he knew that before we met. Now of course our relationship has dwindled down to the point where we see each other two days out of the month and he only lives a 1 hour and 15 minutes away. 

JillH
JillH

My frustration (ok ONE of my frustrations) with online dating is when people don't bother to respond to a contact.  I do my best to respond to every person who takes the time (and chance) to send me an email whether I am interested in pursuing a date with them or not.  It's simple courtesy.  I contact guys I find attractive - they aren't some Adonis and I don't think I'm "out of my league" with them - yet they never respond.  On good days I think "wow - they are missing out on an opportunity to meet me - I'm a great catch!"  On not-so-good days it's more along the lines of "what's wrong me me/my profile to make them not even curious?"  So Dan, I'm asking you - what makes you choose to respond to someone who contacts you?  Do you reply to them all?  Or do you just ignore the emails from ladies you know you have no interest in going out with?  As far as an accuracy meter ... I think judging the accuracy is subjective in some areas (obviously height, relationship status, kids - those aren't).  What if I think the person underrated themselves?  Would these accuracy ratings be posted on their site?  If they were public and one person felt they were completely accurate, that's presenting a bias for others - what if Woman A felt the guy was nowhere near as funny as he claimed to be but that was because their sense of humor didn't mesh well ... but I think he's the funniest guy I ever met?  Just think it would lead to more confusion than clarity.

Mary Andrews Flanagan
Mary Andrews Flanagan

Great idea. Just like if there was a site for "real" people that can be honest and comfortable with themselves, who know they are beautiful just the way they are....

Suzi Kaiser
Suzi Kaiser

People with low accuracy scores will just sign up under a new name and repeat the same dishonest BS. Its a neverending cycle.

Wendy Nicholson
Wendy Nicholson

I agree with Robin the theory is sound. I do wonder if in application, a bad date would post falsely so you'd have to have some capacity for response as that's only fair. Obviously if the same person has more than three posters stating their inaccurate it tells a story. Def. make it multiple choice. Some people, do best in that format and otherwise it could get quite ugly.

charmednj
charmednj

As someone who has done the online dating thing...I get your frustration. I've had some pretty funny experiences but did meet my current boyfriend through a site. I think your idea is great, but flawed only because once someone feels rejected I don't believe they will give a fair rating on the other person's accuracy. 

Emmytee17
Emmytee17

I love this idea!  You should take it and run with it! :)

caroline;)
caroline;)

First off I'm clapping at the fact you don't want a one night stand!!!!!! Most guys,that's all they want! The other things I think are to subjective. What one may feel was a major misrepresentation another may not, or people may use it as a pay back or a kind of revenge nasty thing. Try to enjoy the ride you will find someone to love and to love you!

Robin Dawe
Robin Dawe

good idea... obviously has a few kinks to work out [lover scorned indeed] but i think the principal of this idea is fantastic... good idea Dan! :)

cyduction
cyduction

@BethGarfinkel The problem is Not with being attracted to a certain body type, All people have a body type preference. The problem is the women who lie about it to get dates. And I dont mean lie a little, I mean ALOT. Its not counter transference to be upset with a woman who cannot be comfortable enough with herself to say this is me and like it or dont. 

Turner
Turner

@Turner Had, rather

Tiffani
Tiffani

@JillH I think it also depends on the quality of the message. I'm one of those annoying people who doesn't really respond to messages very often, even though I do read them, because if I were to scroll through my inbox right now, about 10 of the dozen messages I've received from guys over the last few months have included no more than five words! If a guy took the time to say something halfway interesting and get an email conversation rolling instead of just saying "Hey, what's up?" I'd be far more likely to respond. In fact, one of the few times a guy sent me a message that actually had substance to it, I responded, and I ended up meeting the guy. Although we aren't in a relationship, we are good friends!

Mouse
Mouse

@JillH I think a lot of the profiles are from people who don't actually use the site. Almost everyone I know has a profile on several dating websites, but I only know 1 person who actually uses it. The rest just wanted to see what it was like, or they wanted to use it but got busy/distracted & never seem to get around to it, or they got so many creepy people contacting them that they have just stopped reading the emails, etc. In short, no  replies isn't necessarily something to take personally.