The Big Little Lies of Online Dating: “Don’t Get Carried Away by Smoke and Mirrors”


did you watch The Tinder scammer again? If the main protagonist of the doco is the “everyone” on every dating app, you should step aside now.

Not all online daters steal millions and millions from their girlfriends while living a parallel life with another GF. And another GF. But there are always warning signs, regardless of your gender.

Online dating was something many of us were too embarrassed or scared to admit 10 years ago (like when we were irritated to declare our COVID 19 status just a year ago), but now there is absolutely no looking back.

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I went on a dating site about 10 years ago, about five years after my relationship with my son’s father ended.

Before venturing down what might be an online rabbit hole, I was actually having some good old-fashioned authentic dates. You know the ones where you just met someone at a bar/party/restaurant or through a friend? How picturesque. (Then you automatically went back to Google or checked it out on Facebook, which you had just agreed to see the next evening.)

By the way, we all have to agree on one thing: who doesn’t immediately Google a person, once you’ve made contact? Followed by an Insta, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter swipe?

The “old school” dates were all nice and pleasant, but nothing good came of it.

After no coaxing from anyone, I decided to create an online dating account. Being an incredibly self-sufficient person who enjoys my own company; has great friends, a job and a family in my life, the point came where most of my friends were married, gay or just as single, just like me.

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So I just thought, give it a try, Hoyer!

I actually met someone and had a relationship for four years. Yes. four ! Unfortunately, it ended abruptly, so it took me a few years to put my toe back on the online omnibus and get back on the horse, so to speak.

What I noticed this time around is that there are still a few of the same faces from ten years ago (!) and everyone seems to be a fully-fledged skier, a water sports enthusiast or some kind of ball sports player.

With all due respect, judging by the looks of some of them, I somewhat doubt that. The little white lies that are told, or in some cases the outright lies (when there is no fact checking) are hilarious.

What is skiing? Images of some online “matches” have spots resembling ants running down a slope. How do we even know if the ant is the person in question?

And gym shots. And shots of surfing in action. Not to mention images with broken potentials with their all family, and even some photographed with ex-wives or partners.

Or the “match” where someone scratched the ex’s head with one of his kid’s text messages. Hadn’t he heard of simply cropping a photo?

Many have obviously composed a standard, standard, and not-so-catchy mini CV of their own – sometimes sent unsolicited, seconds after hitting the “Like” button or liking an image or one of the millions of ways whose potential match may show their attraction to one of these sites.

I think we all feel the vibe whether the person you’re looking at or matched with is in your desirability aisle.

Many have pictures of themselves with a cat. Or a dog. Or even a snake. But the overwhelming thing you discover is the fairly ordinary quality of photos that some daters put up to sell themselves.

I’d hate to count how many loos with seats up I’ve seen in the background. Or singlet shots with the old beer rack, still sexually hanging over a few stubbies.

I like one tradie toolkit more than another, but at least make a little effort in the marketing department yourself.

Just a word of advice ladies, gentlemen and everyone in between, bathroom lighting is not your friend, especially noticeable if you’re trying to mark the love of your life.

And as for a few other big white lies. Age. You say “I love my grandkids” – which must have gotten you started very early as a baby maker if you’re now 48. Physically possible. . . but highly unlikely.

When a background living space has a slightly mummified lace tablecloth, carried away by the wind curtains, he most likely lives with your mother. When “runs my own business” is trotted out, you get the feeling he might be unemployed right now. That’s cool, but just tell the truth!

Oh, so you work in construction? When every snap on a profile is some high profile guy, you have to wonder if there’s a lot of that “international man of mystery and travel life” (you speak of) going on.

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And then the “matches” who live hundreds and hundreds of miles away, wearing sunglasses, often playing guitar on an unmade bed with a basket of laundry and a few mismatched socks strewn on the floor, saying to themselves “J would love to meet again. “

How is this going to happen? Planning to park your private plane somewhere and pick me up?

As I write this, I seriously think I’ve come up with a business idea: how to perfect your dating site profile. Mmmmm. Must follow this…

OK some of my words may make online dating a little too tedious to contemplate (so I’m rarely there) but to be honest some of these sites are like scrolling through Insta – it can actually be a nice waste of time and who knows? I had many friends who met their soul mates and their relationships ended in marriage and are stronger than ever.

If you ever choose to go the online route, don’t get carried away by the smoke and mirror image someone might try to build on themselves.

There has to be a reality check? Does your match really hit the gym five times or is he more like many of us, more inclined to order UberEats and binge cop shows most nights.

Wouldn’t you rather someone say, “I don’t ski, I don’t surf, and I don’t keep busy 24/7, but what I do have is a sense of killer humor, no luggage, I take care of myself, I love restaurants, followed by couch surfing most weekends.”

Everyone needs to put a whirlwind of online dating into perspective. Are you looking for a person for the rest of your life, a shag, someone to do “things” with or just a simple really good boyfriend.

Then you can take it from there. So if someone piques your interest, chat, do your due diligence, and oh, go take some ski lessons.

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