Most People Swear They Aren’t Lying About Anything on Dating Apps ... But Are They?

Most People Swear They Aren’t Lying About Anything on Dating Apps ... But Are They?

Oh, so you really are 6'2". And handsome. And rich. 

By Marianne Garvey

We all know about the dating nightmare where someone puts up an old profile picture and claims they are over six feet tall, then you meet them and they are as tall as the bar stool and a solid ten years older than that blurry pic? Yeah, people aren’t doing that so much anymore.

When it comes to self-descriptions on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, OkCupid, and other dating apps, a new study has found that most people who put up profiles aren’t lying about who they are. The Journal of Communication study, completed by researchers Jeffrey Hancock, a communications professor at Stanford, and Dave Markowitz, a professor of communication at the University of Oregon, analyzed 3,000 messages sent by 200 people and continued to monitor the conversations between match time on an app and the eventual face-to-face. Two-thirds of the people who participated swore they hadn’t lied about themselves on the app. Maybe they are lying about lying?

Anyway, the seven percent who did fib fibbed about why they had to get out of a conversation — in other words, they lied to be polite, whether that was a lie about an appointment or some reason to get off the phone or out of texting because they weren’t really feeling the person.

According to the study, “self-presentation lies” were popular for those who did lie. That’s when you pretend to have the same interests or hobbies as someone you like — as in 'oh yes, I love baseball so much,' when in reality you have never been to a baseball game in your life and could really care less about the sport.

Others lied about why they couldn’t meet face-to face instead of letting someone down easily. Most said they were too busy, caught up with work, were tired or had a scheduling conflict.

To let someone go easily, people lied about wanting to go, saying they “wish” they could, but really never intended to meet in person.

I’m a block away! Be there in five minutes! These were lies people told when they were late to a personal meeting, but was considered a little white lie and a common one.

“The idea that most people were reportedly honest was not necessarily shocking,” the study’s author said. “It was encouraging to see this finding in a dating setting, however, because it suggests that trust and honesty are still crucial social dynamics when people are communicating as strangers.”

“[People sometimes] feel overexposed,” the study reports. “This, in turn, may lead people to deceive others about their actual status or availability.”

Overall, people lies were driven by "impression management," particularly "self-presentation" and "availability management goals."

Dirty John Season 1 premieres Sunday, Nov 20 at 10/9c. 

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