My friend Lisa was doing online dating for at while, and at one point she was matched with a guy online who seemed pretty promising. One question she always dealt with early on was height. She’s 5 feet 9 inches, and she didn’t want to be taller than her prospective mate.
“I’m 5’9″too,” he wrote in an email.
What a relief.
After emailing for a while longer, they agreed to meet up at a coffee shop. When she arrived, she recognized him from his profile picture, and when she walked over to him, he stood up. He was significantly shorter than she was.
She stood there for a couple of seconds, and then Lisa, who is a very kind, accepting person, said, “I’ve got to go,” and she walked out. The guy had straight up lied to her, and it was about his height of all things, a lie that would quickly be found out.
Let this guy’s foolish decision function as a cautionary tale for all our online daters. You may not be stupid enough to lie about your height or say you’re an FBI agent when you actually work security at the mall, but there are plenty of other ways you can exaggerate in an attempt to sell yourself as something you’re not.
- You can find a photo from your freshman year of college that doesn’t reflect how you currently look.
- You can exaggerate your interest in whatever hobby is important to the other person (exercise seems to be a popular option here).
- You can cover up your dysfunctional dating history by leaving out unflattering details about yourself.
- You can overstate or undersell the degree to which you’re committed to your faith.
- You can insinuate financial success that doesn’t line up with your bank account.
Now, to be clear, I’m not calling out people who simply pick a nice profile picture or strategically share their positive attributes. Anyone who’s dating — online or otherwise — has to do a little self-promotion, so I don’t blame people who put their best foot forward.
The tricksters I’m talking about are those who are deceptively stringing prospective matches along in hopes of making a romantic connection. It shows a major lack of foresight and disrespect for others, and those folks are probably going to be found out shortly into dating — at least I hope you’re found out so your prospective mate can recognize your lack of integrity early on.
If you’re one of these disingenuous folks, the sad part about this whole thing is it can also something profoundly troubling about you: You don’t like who you are, and you’re so insecure about it you’d rather deceive someone than be honest about your own life. Most of you probably don’t outright lie like my friend’s date, but even in the process of trying to paint yourself different than you really are, you’re doubting your own value, and you’re doubting that you on your own are worth loving. People who can’t love who they are will struggle to extend love to other people. And that’s a relationship that neither you nor others want to be in.
If you’re in this place, it’s time to stop what you’re doing and take stock of your life. Develop a solid relationship with Jesus before you try to develop it with others. As you draw near to Jesus, you can receive the love you so badly want to give and realize who you are in Him: loved, set free, accepted, adopted, filled, redeemed, chosen, forgiven and complete (1 John 3:3; Colossians 3:12; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Ephesians 1:6; Romans 8:15; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 1:14; John 15:16; Colossians 2:10).
If you get that kind of truth into your heart you won’t necessarily get more dates (or married, as Lisa did), but you’ll be more confident in the person whom God so dearly loves. And if you eventually meet that someone special, you’ll introduce them to the real you, who is more than enough in Christ.