Sussing Out the Truth: Top Ten Lies that Online Daters Tell

"Yep, these are totally my real breasts. Wouldn't lie to you about that, ha ha!"

“Yep, these are totally my real breasts. Wouldn’t lie to you about that, ha ha!”

On the TV show “House MD,” the show’s main character had a saying: Everybody lies. Most of us know this to be at least a little bit true, and if you’ve spent any time in the world of online dating, you know that it’s more common than some might think. Many, many online dating profiles (more than half of them, as it turns out) contain fudged facts, little white lies and outright whoppers in order to make themselves more desirable and, presumably, datable. After all, it’s easy to make up a few things (or leave out a few things) about ourselves when we’re on the hunt for a mate via the web. The internet is an anonymous platform, revealing only what we wish, until real life and in-person meetups bring the whole thing crashing down, of course.

So what are the most common lies told by those on internet dating sites? Huff Post Style did a piece a few years ago about this very topic, and the findings of the referenced study were interesting. As expected, men and women lied about very similar things, although not all exactly the same and not all in the same order. Older people lied less than younger people, and women lied more than men, by about 10 percentage points (and mostly about how they look). Americans lied more than the British people in the study, but in the end, most of the online daters fibbed.

Without further ado, the lists of the most popular lies told…

Top 10 Things Women Lie About on Dating Profiles

10. Saying that they “work in entertainment”

9. Claiming to have an assistant or direct reports under them

8. Claiming to know famous people

7. Claiming to have a fancy, exciting or glamorous job

6. Claiming to have a larger bust than they do

5. Saying they have more money than they actually have

4. Pretending to be taller than they are

3. Claiming to have a “toned” physique

2. Pretending to be a few years younger than they are

1. Saying they weigh less than they do


Top 10 Things Men Lie About on Dating Profiles

10. Claiming to work in the “film industry”

9. Claiming to have employees or an assistant

8. Claiming to know famous people

7. Pretending to have an interesting job

6. Saying that they’re higher up at work than they are

5. Claiming to have more money than they do

4. Pretending to have an “athletic” physique

3. Saying they weigh less than they do

2. Claiming to be taller than they are

1. Saying that their job is better than it actually is


Dating Sites By the Numbers

fingersThere are more dating sites on the web right now than anyone can count, with new ones springing up or shutting down every day. The site(s) you choose to join may depend on many factors, from overall membership numbers to cost to whether the site supports same sex matchups. Thanks to Wikipedia, we can give you a quick rundown of some of the more popular US online dating sites, in case you’re having trouble deciding on one. NOTE: This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you’d like more info on these sites or any others, follow the wiki link above.

Membership: 96 million registered as of 2009, with 1.7 million active

Free? nope, this one will cost you, both for joining and for messaging other members.

Same sex couples ok? Yes!


Free? No, you have to pay to join and also to message other members.

Same sex couples ok? No, this is a hetero-only site.

Membership: 5.6 million active as of 2010

Free? Yep, this site is free to join and to message others.

Same sex couples ok? Yes!

Plenty of Fish

Membership: 40 million registered as of 2012

Free? You betcha. Free to join, free to message others.

Same sex couples ok? Yes!


Membership: 50 million as of 2011

Free? No, this one costs you to sign up and also send messages.

Same sex couples ok? Yes!

Membership: 9 million registered as of 2010

Free? Parts of it are, but the full site access will cost you.

Same sex couples ok? Yes!

Gay Romeo/Planet Romeo

Membership: 6.7 million registered, over a million active

Free? Communication and profile/page views are free

Same sex couples ok? That’s a stupid question. Yes.

Membership: 11 million as of 2010

Free? Parts of it are free, but communicating with other members is not

Same sex couples ok? Yes!


Membership: 197 million as of 2013

Free? There’s a free option, but premium services do cost money

Same sex couples ok? Yes!

Ashley Madison

Membership: 17.8 million as of 2013

Free? Partial access for free, but most of it costs

Same sex couples ok? Yes!

Eight Steps to Make Your Dating Profile “Ideal”

There are millions of dating profiles on the web, spread across countless dating sites. Many of them seem as diverse as they could be. But in reality, there’s a pattern to the madness. Certain hobbies, certain interests, certain aspects of personality and appearance… There are trends in how both men and women view these things and which ones rise to the top. Wired did the research and crunched the data on profiles from OKCupid and Match, and based on their findings, here are some tips to help you fashion a dating profile most likely to appeal to others.

Outside hobbies make you more attractive.

Outside hobbies make you more attractive.

1. Outdoor hobbies matter (some more than others). Wired found that upper middle class sports drew interest, while sports like basketball and kickball didn’t fare so well. Among men, the top three outdoor activities were surfing, yoga and skiing (in that order), while for women, the top three were yoga, surfing and running (also in that order). So the bottom line is, learn to surf.

2. Get to know the right shows and movies. For attractiveness, men scored highest when they mentioned watching “Homeland” and “Arrested Development,” while women scored best for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Pulp Fiction.” Women plummeted in the ratings for talking about liking “Twilight” or “Star Trek,” and men dropped like rocks for “Doctor Who” and “NCIS.”

3. Money talks, but age walks (at least for women). When it comes to work-related words that pop up in profiles, the most attractive word for women to read in a man’s profile is “retirement.” But if a woman puts that same word in her own profile, it drops to the second-least attractive word. Men don’t like thinking of women aging, we guess.

4. Smile with teeth – no duckface! The photos rated the hottest on dating profiles featured a majority of pics with people smiling open-lipped. On the flipside, only 6% of the hottest pics had duckface kissy lips in them.

5. Does music matter? Apparently so. For both men and women, the best band you could mention on your profile is the same: Radiohead.

Religion is fine, but focusing too much on it may cost you.

Religion is fine, but focusing too much on it may cost you.

6. Watch the mention of religion. Religion can be a deal-breaker for many people, so while you many want to put it all out there (and you should certainly be honest about your beliefs), the word “God” makes your profile less attractive. That said, of all the people willing to date outside their faith, Mormon men are the most likely to do it.

7. Log in at the right time to get the most activity. On many of the main dating sites (Grindr, Tinder, OKCupid, Match), there’s a big spike of activity on Sundays. Also, Grindr users tend to be online in the midafternoon, while Tinder and Match/OKCupid are on into the evening hours. So get online on Sunday if you want the best chance of chatting with someone in real-time.

8. Want sex? Know what most people want. Sex is important in most relationships, but how long do you wait to have it with someone new, and how often once you start? OKCupid did a poll, and they found that most users of all genders and sexual orientations wanted to wait 3-5 dates before getting busy with a new partner. After that, the most popular choice for how often to have sex was 3-4 times per week. Obviously, everyone is different, so don’t assume your new love interest has the same sexual timeline as you: Communicate!