What You See is What You Get … or is it?

The unique thing about online dating is that you don’t know what you’re truly getting until you actually meet in person.  It’s not quite blind dating because you aren’t being introduced by someone else.  It’s certainly not like meeting someone at a pub or on the street.  You meet this person, you see the pictures they want you to see, you know what they tell you about themselves and you get to know each other online before meeting in person.  You would think it helps you paint a more accurate picture of them, or does it?  Of course, this is assuming they are not misrepresenting themselves, that what they say is actually true.  Why would someone lie, you ask?  Well, many reasons.  Way back in the early 1990’s I presented a paper at a conference for “computer mediated communications”.  This was way before the days of online dating and Facebook.  This was in the days of ICQ and the like.  People would meet online via these venues and chat.  The paper I presented was on how people used online settings to be who they want to be, not necessarily who they are.  These are people with low self confidence or people with something to hide.

So, does this phenomenon still exist?  I believe so, however, I think it’s somewhat more difficult to pull off.  With uber search engines you can find almost anything and anyone in the world.  If a person exists, you can find them.  You can check out anyone’s story quite easily if you really wanted to.  Their online profile could be legit, or not, but how do you know?  Well, personally, I just take people on their word until they prove otherwise.  For example, I’ve had guys say they liked reading classic novels in their profile and when I asked about it I found out they haven’t picked up one book since they were forced to read Dickens in school.  Something minor you say?  Well, makes you wonder if they lie about something so minor, then they are certainly capable of more.  How do you know they really are single?  I have met men who totally came off as single and I found out they were married.  One guy slipped by using his wife’s email to chat on MSN and I ended up finding him out by a Facebook “people you may know too” link.  You can read about that story on my personal blog here.  I have lots of dating adventures of guys misrepresenting themselves.  So how do you know?  Just go with the flow until they slip up.  They eventually will.

Game players exist everywhere you go.  Don’t be one of them.  You just have to go with your gut instinct when meeting someone new and enjoy yourself.  Take everything anyone tells you with a grain of salt.  They may be everything you ever wanted in a mate, or seem to be, hopefully they are, but just know that perhaps they aren’t everything they are showing themselves to be or telling you just what you want to hear.  I know I just burst every dreamy bubble out there … only because I care, and I’m a tough love kind of friend.  I’m realistic, but I have dreamy bubbles too.  I know what it’s like to be out there, looking for love.  It’s not easy and there are a lot of creeps out there, men and women, so be vigilant and be safe.  Words laced in honey aren’t always so sweet after the bees catch up with you!

Happy Dating!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva

Originally Published on Singles Warehouse