**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.
We all fib a little bit in the online dating world. Maybe we tell a white lie or two when trying to impress a potential date. It seems harmless at the time. Perhaps you edit your photos to make yourself look more appealing or you exaggerate your job credentials. You might even express an interest in a hobby or activity that you've never tried just to sound more interesting.
It happens. Humans get lonely and we frequently use dating apps to find romantic connections. However, in the desperation to land a date, sometimes many of us go too far in the fib department.
I once accepted a date with a guy I found on an online dating site. He said he was 6 feet tall with blonde hair and blue eyes. There were a few pictures of him. We chatted online for a few weeks. He seemed likable enough to give it a try in person.
So, we arranged to meet at a local restaurant.
When the night arrived, I drove over to the restaurant and lingered around in the waiting area. When he came towards me, I almost walked right past him but he obviously recognized me from my profile picture and walked right in front of me with his hand out so I had to stop.
Who was this person? This man was shorter than me and I'm 5'7".
He was definitely not 6 feet tall.
I mean, I'm not completely against dating a man who's shorter than me under certain circumstances but this was ridiculous. He completely lied about his height. I was absolutely stunned. Not only that but this guy even lied about his eye color. Why would you do that? I mean, I get that some women are into guys with blue eyes, but I've never known eye color to be a dealbreaker.
So, we had a really awkward initial meeting. I literally did not know how to tell this guy that he was nothing I expected based on his profile description. I mean, I'm sure he was aware of it. I couldn't be the first date to meet him in person and recognize it.
During dinner, I felt angry. I tried to be polite but I had trouble hiding my irritation. At one point, he asked me if I preferred taller men and if he was shorter than I had expected.
That was it.
I didn't even want to eat my food. I told him I got an emergency text from my friend and had to go. He offered to accompany me, but I declined. I left that restaurant as quickly as I could.
The whole drive home, I fumed. However, I also wondered if I was being too shallow. Did it really matter that much that he was several inches shorter than he had claimed? Kind of. But, more importantly, it mattered to me that he had been so brazen with his deception. It implied something a bit more sinister, in my personal opinion. It didn't give me a good feeling. It was creepy.
And so I ghosted the guy. I never responded to any of his messages again and ended up blocking him when he started spamming me. He became pretty irate in his messages once I stopped responding which only solidified my belief that something was not okay with this person.
That was a hard lesson to learn during my brief stint with online dating. Unfortunately, you never really know what you're going to get when you decide to meet someone in person after choosing them online. Those are the risks.
In the end, I learned that it's best to give an honest online description and image to anyone you're potentially going to meet in person. It saves a lot of time. Don't say you're tall when you're not. Don't say you're in a career that you're not. Don't lie. It's just a waste of time for the other person involved.
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