Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Would You Dump The Liar?

OK.  I admit it.  I’m guilty.  I occasionally read the announcements in the Sunday .  I don’t read them every week.  And even when I do read them I don’t obsess over the little details like where people got married or how they met.  I’m one of those sad, pathetic older women who looks to see how old they all are.  And yeah, I don’t like it when all of the brides are younger than me.

But not every week.

Anyway, I took a peek at them this past Sunday and this story caught my eye. The woman was in her late 20s and wasn’t meeting any decent guys so her friends talked her into joining .com.  She got a message from a man in his late 30s and while she was put off by the difference she liked his profile and so they met and started dating.  They fell for each other.  And then, after they’d been together for a short while she finds out that he’s really 10 years older than he’d said (so he is 20 years older than her, and she was initially hesitant about dating someone 10 years older).  She decided to forgive him the lie and now a couple years later they are featured in the Vows column of the NYTimes.

Well, damn.

I really don’t know how I feel about this.  He lied.  Flat out lied.  He needed to lie to get what he wanted and so he lied.  I know lots of people lie about their ages in their profiles.  It’s actually something I can live with if it’s only a few years – I’ve written about that before. But 10 years is not a small lie.   It’s a whopper.

But she adored him and so she forgave him.  It’s a pattern I’ve lived through many times myself, so I understand it.  But it’s not a great way to start a life together (one person lies to get what they want, the other forgives).

And I guess that’s what got under my skin more than anything else.  The way the piece was written made it seem like everything worked out for the best.  And, well, maybe it did.  Maybe they will live happily ever after.

But I don’t know. I don’t know if I could have done it.  If it were me in her shoes, I don’t know if I could’ve just forgiven him that whopper of a lie.  What about you?  What would you have done in her shoes?

  • She did the right thing. She forgave the man she loved. (9 votes)
  • She should have dumped him. Once a , always a . (24 votes)
  • It’s impossible to know. I might forgive someone if I really felt they were sorry and it was a one time thing. (46 votes)

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19 to “Would You Dump The Liar?”


  1. iamalejandra says:

    You need more options for your polls, lol. I would have clicked on “She should have dumped him. He lied about something FUNDAMENTAL”. Guys might only lie once but if it’s something huge then it’s not forgivable.

  2. lorilori17 says:

    That’s such a hard question. My gut instinct is that if someone would keep up a lie like that until he “had what he wanted,” then that person isn’t someone whose values are like mine at all. I have no idea what I’d do unless I was faced with this situation, but I would worry about the precedent it sets.

    Plus, I just don’t get the point in lying about age. It’s a fact of being a human. Terrific, lovable people come in all ages.

  3. bellaressa says:

    I read the article and the only thing that got me more was they kept calling her doctor. I hate when people lie for no reason, without purpose. His only purpose was probably saw a younger, pretty woman and decided he wanted to date her but he lied. My mom told me reasently that my dad lied to her about his age and he was like 20 years older than she was but from the pictures and what I remember he was not an old man they look like they maybe was no less than 5 years apart or the same age. I don’t know if I would date him but she found out once she formed an attachment. She took a chance and gave him another chance.

    For me it always boils down to: do you want to invest yourself wholeheartedly. You could take the plunge and invest and then see where it goes: will he continue to lie on trivial matters or is he genuine.

    I don’t know if I would have been so understanding, I would have probably wanted to know why he felt the need to lie for something that was silly.

  4. starangel82 says:

    It’s a tough question. Full of gray. Would I have forgiven him about the 20 year older than me lie? Probably not. I’m not adverse to dating a guy older than me, but 10 years is my limit. On the other hand, I’ve never been in the situtation so I can’t say for sure. Once I had fallen for a guy, would I really forgive him? Maybe. (But probably not.) It’s hard to tell.

    There are some things are unforgivable. There are some things you have to decide if loving him is enough to make you forget and forgive. It’s just a big, gloppy, gray area.

  5. derek7272 says:

    A girl I went out on a couple dates last year misrepresented both her height (5’0″) and where she lived (Long Island). I wasn’t impressed, but I do think there’s is some difference between misrepresenting yourself on an online dating profile and lying to someone specifically. Obv., it’s still dishonest tho. … Ultimately I figured I would let it slide, but then decided she was too much of a “chatty cathy” for me.

  6. CHFBrian says:

    I think this is too difficult a question to answer and really depends on the two people involved. My gut reaction would be to leave and never look back if I found out someone I was dating had been lying to that degree – but I know there are girls that I’ve dated that I would have forgiven without a second thought.

    It would probably come down to why she felt the need to lie, I suppose. Tough question.

  7. Hammer86 says:

    I would never lie in my profile, but that said, I get why a guy would lie about his age. Women are overly judgmental in online dating (and maybe rightfully so considering that they have so much to sift through), much more so than they are in real life. It’s to the point where I would almost feel justified in lying to get my foot in the door.

  8. Fabulously Broke says:

    Would she have given him a chance if she knew he was 20 years older? Probably not. He lied but for a good cause and not to intentionally hurt her, but to have her give him a chance without judging his age.

    BF is almost 15 years older than me, had I known I may not have given him a chance but we ended up falling in love

    Fabulously Broke in the City
    “Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver.”

  9. queenie_nyc says:

    I think what makes it such a tough call is that he lied about a factor that, when looking for partner, I try not to weight too heavily. So, even though it was a big lie in terms of exaggeration, it wasn’t a lie about something I hold too dear.

    That said, if someone is willing to lie about something that small for that long, then I’d worry about what ELSE they’d lie about. It’s a vicious circle. To me, it’s the kind of thing you’d have to come out with on the second or third date for me to forgive – any longer, and I’d wonder what else is hiding underneath that hat…

  10. mariamiles says:

    I feel that obviously the point of lieing in the first place to get what you what is for sure not an honest way to start a MARRIAGE or any relationship for that matter. However due to the nature of those dating sites, it is all based off of the very few details of a person such as their name, age, and city they live in before a woman clicks on the profile to learn more. (Not that you truly learn a person through that.) So he probably didn’t want women to be put off by his age. She was in her late 20′s as mentioned so I feel that maybe this situation was “okay” with a little risk, but would be a different story if she was younger 20′s and the guy was just obviously being a little perv-y.
    Its a tough call!

  11. SINgleGIRL says:

    This WAS a tough one, wasn’t it?
    -iamalejandra,
    So for you it was an unforgivable lie. I can understand that point of you. I’m not sure I share it (I’ve been waffling all day). But I totally get it.
    -lorilori17
    It is a values thing. I agree that it’s ridiculous to lie about your age, but in online dating land that and height are the two biggest things that guys lie about (even more than marital status) – in my experience. And I am sympathetic to a point. People use the search feature to find people to date and they search by age, etc. But I don’t lie and none of the people I love and I respect lie…
    -belleressa
    Yeah, the Times wedding section is very status focused. Makes me ill. That’s interesting about your parents. I’m assuming your mom saw the good in him and decided it wasn’t that big of a deal. More of a little fib than a big lie.
    -starangel82
    It is all gray and murky. It makes me wonder, maybe some people are just better at forgiveness?
    -CHFBrian
    Well the “need” in this story is that he wanted to meet younger women. He set his age when he set up him match.com account just like the rest of us and he make the decision to lie about it. And then he chose to not tell her for weeks. Yes, it’s a hard question. And I’ve forgiven all kinds of shit for guys I was crazy about. But it was never in my best interest.
    -Hammer86
    I will never be convinced that women are any more judgmental than men in their online dating habits. Online dating breeds a high level of pickiness from most people. All folks have is a picture and profile and so they get fussy about their standards. Men are just as “bad” as women. BTW, just about 25% of the men I’ve been involved with who I’ve met online have lied in some way (height, weight, age, marital status) but I tend to be forgiving as long as it’s a small lie. I strongly believe most men would not be as forgiving.
    -Fabulously Broke,
    Sorry to pry, but did your bf actually lie to you about his age or did you just not know at first? Because, again, that’s my issue. The lie, not the age difference. This guy didn’t lie so SHE would give him a chance. He registered for match.com and put down a false age. Hardly a romantic gesture.
    -queenie_nyc,
    Your answer is pretty much the closest to how I feel about this (although age does matter to me in that I don’t date guys younger than me). If he’d said something on the 3rd date I would say, FINE. But he didn’t. And that makes me think I would walk away. Ugh. I should stop reading the Style section.

  12. SINgleGIRL says:

    -mariamiles,
    Oops, missed you before. Yes, it is a tough call. As I said in my earlier reply, I think online dating breeds pickiness and in some ways breeds deception because of that. That’s why I’ve been pretty forgiving in the past when guys have been shorter, fatter, older than their profiles stated.

  13. bellaressa says:

    SG, I guess but I don’t know if I would. I would always wonder what else would he lie about if he lied about something so small what else would he hide. Maybe I am paranoid but I like honest people.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “Once a liar, always a liar”? I mean come on, we’re all liars. I wouldn’t believe a single person on this earth has never told a lie. And age isn’t really that fundamental. He was able to fool her in the first place, wasn’t he? Proving that not only was her initial reservation about him being 10 years older was misguided, but any reservations she would have had about him being 20 years older were also misguided, because guess what? She fell in love with him. People these days are so quick to dismiss a potential partner as if there’s some perfect rubric that someone will eventually fill. And meeting someone through match.com is so artificial anyway. Learn to forgive and learn to love.

  15. SINgleGIRL says:

    -belleressa
    I’d be with you on that, I think. And perhaps paranoid is not the best choice of words? Cautious would be more accurate
    -Anonymous
    It’s true that there are few people who’ve lived their whole lives w/o telling a single lie, but I tend to think that most people give up lying as they mature. I know you’re not alone in thinking that since he was “youthful” in appearance and actions then this wasn’t a big deal. But I tend to think that getting away with a lie doesn’t make the act of lying OK. And well, if you think that meeting someone on match.com is artificial – what are you doing reading my blog? I meet men online all of the time. I strongly believe that there is NO BAD WAY TO MEET ANOTHER PERSON. People do what works for them.

  16. Mimi09 says:

    …and this is how I found your blog…

    I met a wonderful man, online (not Match), and we’ve been dating almost 6 months. It is a long-distance relationship, established before meeting that if it were to become serious, he would move to be with me. He includes my two children…we have even all been on a vacation. So far, love.

    Until earlier tonight…I went on Classmates.com…thought ‘ooh, fun, I’ll look him up’…it is posted that his graduation date is ten years earlier than what I was told. Meaning he is ten years older than what he listed on his profile online…and from what he has verbally stated his age to be. And, yes, I’m sure it’s him…his picture is posted.

    I’m stunned. This was so good. Long-distant relationships are a breed of their own to begin with, great amounts of trust are required. Here I am, wondering if I forgive this…and he doesn’t know I know, yet…or if I should for once, quit making excuses for a guy and walk away. I realize that he probably lied to get me to start correspondence, but he should have come clean with this by now. Say this relationship does work out, and 10 years from now, a situation happens where he lies about something else thinking that I will just forgive him again, why do I want him to think that it’s okay to do that to me, again?

    So, the next time I pick him up at the airport, do I just stand there and ask for his driver’s license? Do I email him? Do I end this? Do I give him a chance to explain?

    It isn’t about the age difference. It is the lie.

  17. SINgleGIRL says:

    -Mimi09
    Wow, first welcome. I’m always happy to have new readers. Let me start by saying that I am not an expert. I must say that at least once a week. I laugh when I see other bloggers give relationship advice because unless you’re in a person’s shoes it’s hard to know the right thing to do.

    I have no idea what I’d do in your shoes. I do know this. I’ve been in long distance situations and the things I’ve regretted most from those is that I let emotions build up because I was saving important conversations until we saw each other and then other times we had important conversations over the phone that really should have happened in person. There never was a right answer.

    My guess is that just like you said he lied up front to initiate contact and now he feels trapped in the lie. It’s ridiculous. And also something guys do everyday. About big things and small things.

    Knowing myself I couldn’t sit on this for more than a couple of days even if it mean having to talk about it on the phone. And I’d just be really honest about how hurt and disappointed I was. I’d give him the opportunity to make it right.

    Sorry, no magic answers from me. :-) Good luck.

  18. Mimi09 says:

    ~SINgleGirl, thank you for your answer… what you shared regarding conversations and long distance is so true. It becomes difficult sometimes whether to let go of the ego and allow someone to be forgiven, to be human… or to know when the line was crossed and you’ve compromised your own worth.

    This helped. Thank you! =)

  19. grad student says:

    I dunno. Tough one. Maybe it will work out. But, a precedent has been set. He may think that he can lie through the marriage and be forgiven. “I lied before and you forgave me”. She may start wondering. Once the ‘honeymoon’ wears off, there is jut real life.

    I am married 14 years. There are still honeymoon moments (sometimes days and weeks in length) but also, there is real life. We are complicated people. So, once she is in that real life, she may begin to doubt things he says. It could be he is lying OR it could be she is feeling insecure because of something in herself (weight gain, failure to get pregnant, feeling ‘left behind’ if he is advancing in a career and she isn’t (or is a homemaker)). Then, his truth may be taken as lies. So, its tough to say. They have a tougher row to hoe, thats for sure