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

Liars Lie

So, a year or so ago (maybe longer, I can’t keep track) I went out with a man who lied on his online profile.

Shocking, I know!

He misrepresented his age by several years, and didn’t fool me one bit. I knew he was lying from the get go. He just looked older than he was claiming to be. But, I tend(ed) to have a fairly low expectation for the truth, insofar as these things go. In other words, I assumed most guys lied about something and decided, in advance, that I was going to be OK with it.

Anyway, I wrote about the whole thing here. And don’t really feel like dragging up the whole story, as there are bits to it that are really silly. Suffice it to say, I eventually confronted him in as nice a way as possible. And he admitted to the lying. And for reasons that had nothing to do with that, we only saw each other a few times.

BUT, many of my readers pointed out that the fact that maybe his less than truthful behavior before we met should have been a sign that he was going to be a less than truthful person, in general. That…liars lie.

Seemed like smart-ish advice to me. That starting a relationship out on a lie was maybe a sign that someone will continue lying.

So, here I come to today’s story. I was on a date recently. A fun, kinda awesome date. With someone I met online. But, and it’s a big but, he misrepresented himself prior to our meeting. In one small, fairly common way and one biggish way.

First, the small way. REALLY old picture. He’s still a very attractive man. But the pics he’s using for online dating show him several years younger and MANY pounds lighter. Whatever.

The biggish way is more troubling to me. His profile clearly says he lives in NYC. He didn’t say anything to me, prior to our meeting, to let me know that that was untrue. It’s untrue. He actually lives in the ‘burbs. Not a near burb. A far, far away burb.

He commutes into the city for work. Which means he’s here all the time. But that’s not exactly the same thing.

So what? Well, if I’d known, in advance, that he lived where he lives I still would have gone out with him. It’s not my preference, but the majority of guys I’ve been going out with lately don’t actually live in NYC. Not sure why. It just is what it is. My age, I guess.  But he lied about it.

Not sure I should care. I kinda don’t. Liars lie, but part of being a grown up is understanding that not everything is black and white. Mostly it’s just a lot of gray.

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46 to “Liars Lie”

  1. NikkiB says:

    Yeah, liars lie. But.

    We also live in a world full of pressure to be This Kind of Person. That only These Things/Physical Traits will get you noticed.

    I mean… would you have agreed to go out with him if he hadn’t lied those lies? And, when you met him, was he kinda awesome?

    I mean… it’s not ok to lie. But, flip side, we ALL try to pick the photos that make us look best. We ALL try to fudge a lil here or there. Well. Maybe not everyone. But, online dating is marketing. Plain and simple.
    NikkiB recently posted..What we can all learn from National Coming Out Day. And then some.My Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      Yep. It’s all marketing. And while I would have gone out with him anyway, the truth is that many of the women he’s interested in probably wouldn’t. And I have a hard time getting all riled about that.

      Although, there’s a difference between picking a picture that makes you look good, and one that misrepresents what you look like in 2011. I understand why people do this shit.

      • Liz says:

        I’ve never posted an “overly flattering” photo because it would be horrible to see the look of disappointment on my date’s face!

  2. Does this lab coat make me look fat? Never mind. – So now you have to read another story:

    A long time ago I started to go out with someone – but there were these funny little signs. Things she said didn’t add up. Some I ignored, but they bothered me. One of the difficulties with being busy is sometimes a relationship will fall into inertia- and this one did. Still -behaviors were off, lies were told, and yet blindly I kept in the relationship. After the relationship ended (badly) a number of people asked me why I had gone out with her- to them it was obvious. To me, after it all fit together that she would lie without thinking about it, and it was part of a pattern.

    What I learned was a few things (a) – I am not always the best judge of people, and it is not bad to have other people give me feedback about individuals I work with (b) When an alarm goes off, it is worth listening to.

    You seem to have a much better sense of these things than I do- and it sounds like you might “accept” something, on the face of it- but won’t get too involved.

    One question — is Phoenix a burb of NY?

    • Simone Grant says:

      Ha! Why, do you know any decent guys in Phoenix you’d like to introduce me to? It’s a long flight, but honestly… I’m so tired of dating guys who live several hours drive away, I barely see the the difference at this point.

      I am also not a great judge of character, as everyone knows. My new strategy is to just take everything super-slow and see what I learn.

      • Liz says:

        I don’t like dating someone who even lives an hour away because a dinner date can easily turn into a five-hour ordeal. But I think that is my “dating burnout” talking– feeling like my dates don’t ever work out long-term so I don’t want to put that much work into them.

    • Roz says:

      I can certainly relate about dating someone that turns out to be nothing like which he represented himself to be. I am a divorcee with two daughters, currently working on my bachelors and presently disabled. I have struggled with my disabled for three years and finally in a place where I can start my career again. Now if you ask me any advice on children, education, family, finance, or anything other than a relationship I can provide excellent feedback. However, I believe I am a terrible judge of character for myself. I dated this guy, of course, we met online, and we talked every day for hours for months, we visited each other, and made plans for him to relocate since I had children in academic programs and his supposedly 16-year-old son was not. I interviewed this man and questioned him on every aspect of his life. I am sure some clues were there…did I say I am clueless when it comes to my own dating relationships. Let me recollect the lies he has told me…1) his 16 year old son, is not his, it is his sisters. 2)His nephew that passed away a little after New Year’s…did not die, in fact he is very much alive. 3) He has a criminal record…I worked in the criminal justice industry for years and did not want to date anyone with a record and told him this…I guess I should not have. 4) His Lexus is in the shop…in fact it has been in the shop our whole relationship. 5) He was long distance truck driver for over 20 years and now works as foreman for the same company…yet both jobs are missing from his resume. 6) He has a college degree…but cannot even articulate enough to complete an application on his own.
      Now after telling you all this and advising him that I know longer want to date him or pursue any type of relationship he was dumb founded. He could not understand if I loved him why I did not want as he said, “make this work.” Make what work, I have no clue who he is nor at this point want to. I would love to have a meaningful relationship with an individual that can be himself but at this point in my 43 years of living I have threw in the towel. In fact, I think I will invest into a battery company for the rest of my life.

  3. NuHere says:

    Posts like this make me wonder how you handle introducing your blog to the men you date. If he knows about this blog and reads this post, aren’t you afraid he might be offended by what you said? If he doesn’t know about this blog, isn’t that a lie in its own way?

    • Simone Grant says:

      Good questions, I guess. I’ve been all over the place when it comes to bringing up this blog. I’ve mentioned it on the first date, 3rd date, after a few months. It’s a case by case thing. What I don’t do is lie about it. I tell guys what I do for a living and part of that is blogging. I just don’t get super-specific until I feel the guy is worth it.

      As for him getting offended? I said he was very attractive and that I’d have gone out with him even if he didn’t lie on his profile. I can’t imagine what would be offensive about either of those things.

  4. Green Monkey says:

    Simone – my father always told me to give privately, not expecting anything… so I make a habit of never telling people when I’m pimping them out, but… I have to tell you that you’re blog is so fresh and my new favorite thing to talk about. I really admire your honesty and most of all… you’re clever.

    and you inspire me… I have this GREAT faux man story. A guy I meet online during the late 90’s when aol was first getting started and we were all hooked on hearing “YOU’VE GOT MAIL” … it was like heroin .

    I’ll save the rest for a post and then I’ll tell you about it, because its a really good TRUE story and it speaks to how twisted I am.

    anyway…….. thanks for keeping it real and reeling me back in again and again!

  5. JM says:

    I’m a little sensitive with the lying because my ex was the liar of all liars. I agree though, it’s marketing. You just have to trust your gut and your judgement. I don’t give my true zipcode. Why? Because even though I live literally 10 minutes outside the city limits, my area has a “thing” about living in the ‘burbs. Like you are infected if you do, or at least a republican. Also, I live in an area that screams materialism and snobbery. I only live here because I refuse to commute and my office is strangely also in the ‘burbs but the truth is I’m a city person through and through.
    JM recently posted..FlakeMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      I understand the reasons why people who live in some burbs say they live in the city. In this case, I was really put off because he lives so far away and he didn’t correct the false impression during the week+ that we were communicating pre date.

      But then, dating is hard and people do all kinds of silly things.

  6. Black Iris says:

    I don’t know. If it’s okay to lie with a nicer photo to get a date, why isn’t it okay to lie about where you live if you’re mostly in NYC anyway? And online dating give people a big incentive to lie so that they can get past a filter and meet someone.

    On the other hand, there is something to do the idea that if a person lies about a lot of little things that aren’t so important, they may make it a habit.

    • Simone Grant says:

      “Mostly in NYC” is not how I would describe someone who lives over an hour away but works in the city. Having dated men who live way out there, many times, it makes a big difference (where a person sleeps and spends their weekends). It’s a huge lifestyle thing.

  7. Sandyvs says:

    Well, first off, the photos ‘may’ get him A date, but not a second with me. I feel that if they’re going to lie about something that is OBVIOUSLY a lie, I don’t want to have anything to do with them.
    I just had a coffee date with a guy that told me he had a first date with a woman that told him she was married (had the ring and all) and that the marriage was over and dead. After the initial date, where they agreed they both wanted to see each other again, she messaged him that she’d lied, and she wasn’t married. He told her that changed the whole dynamics of their situation. He’d gone into it thinking that she was in a relationship and that it would never get past a certain point, (because he is just looking to date, and not have a serious committed relationship) and now, it could. A relationship based on a lie does not have a good foundation.
    I don’t lie. That way, I don’t have to remember what I said.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I agree, a relationship based on lies doesn’t have a good foundation. And I still cringe every time I hear someone justify their online dating lies (age, height) because “everyone does it.” Everyone doesn’t do it. I don’t.

      • Jeannette says:

        Hi everyone,
        Lying to get a date online is completely wrong, I was set up on a blind-date with a guy who lied about taking me to a Whitney Houston concert, when I arrived at the location, there were 2 blind men singing.
        The date didn’t go well!!!

      • AS says:

        I guess whichever way you dress it up – a lie is a lie is a lie… Not the best footing to start a relationship. Some may argue that a white lie is fine but when you start lying about fundamental things like your age, appearance, location it’s not on and not fair to the genuine people, who do not lie on their profiles. I guess you just got to get smart about it all and ask the right questions and pre-qualify if you like, before going on a date.

  8. Liz says:

    Lying about age always bothers me, and I hate that a lot of people assume that all women are lying online about their age so just go ahead and add five years or whatever. Totally untrue, in my case.

    Lying about the NYC thing doesn’t seem like I big deal and here’s why. Perhaps 95% of the women who lives in his suburb are married, so he figured that if he put NYC as his residence, more single women will find him online when they search five or ten miles out. Just a thought. Of course, since most men do the “approaching,” that argument makes more sense for a woman.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Yep, the age thing really pisses me off too. As a woman in her early 40s I proudly put my real age. Always have. And assuming I continue to be single, I always will.

  9. Jodie Lea says:

    Two thoughts popped up.
    1. After dating a guy for a few days, I OH him tell a client he was unable to make a meeting, because “he was involved in an accident.” DANGER! DANGER! It made me question why he’d lie about the situation in such a dramatic way. Everyone (I think) has fibbed a little when running late, but to say you were in a car wreck is a little insane. In my humble opinion. No surprise, he was a huge liar.
    2. Perhaps the women this man was pursuing wouldn’t have talked to him if he’d been more truthful, but if they wouldn’t have gone out with him because of these specific issues in the first place, I highly doubt they’d continue dating after learning the lies. Dishonesty never built a good relationship (for most). Fish in your own pond.

  10. Yeah! I’ve been there, done that. I’m already fed up with guys who lie so now I make sure that I don’t date without verifying them. :)
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  11. Jenny says:

    I’ve dated a few liars. I’ve also been on a few dates with a guy honest enough to shock me. This is funny, but on a second or third date a guy told me he had been in an accident and had had to have his testicles removed! How’s that for honesty? I know I shouldn’t think this is funny but he seemed pretty okay with not having them anymore. Up until then, I didn’t even know guys without balls (eunuchs?) could even have sex! I am glad he had the “balls” to tell me before I found out later! 😉

  12. Black Iris says:

    The other thing that occurred to me is that he could have put up the profile a long time ago and then found someone and stopped using it. So then when he started it up again, he didn’t think through the whole thing about his age, picture, and moving out of NYC. In other words, the small lies could add up to something like being married.

  13. For me it all just illustrates the inherent fakery and archness of finding a connection to another human being via the internet, which consistently promises more than it delivers.

  14. Ellen Groves Paiva says:

    this is so interesting. I am not a new yorker nor on the dating scene. I am a 48, married mother and doing ok. I was divorced in 1998 after 4 years of marriage to someone I met through a dating service. He never really lied because he didnt see it as something of a lie or a concern. I always had my concerns but he was/is good with comebacks and justifications. I wanted to put a hault to the engagement or at least stop and look around and discuss what we were doing, but all he did,was for “us”. Well, we got married in an over the top wedding and honeymoon. I was very stressed and didnt really enjoy the moment because I was rushed from one event to the next (buying and remodeling a home, big wedding and honeymoon and putting concerns aside). Turns out, I should have listened to my intuitions; he turned out to be a control freak because he suffered from OCD/Anxiety and on top of it, a big time mommys boy. It was a very unhealthy environment, so I divorced him. After my divorce I dated guys from on line who were oversexed (maybe because I was 36 and divorced at the time, they thoght that I’d be too). I did meet someone who stuck around a while. He turned out to be a liar. He lied about his age (because he was immature and neredowell). He said he was a Pharmacists by trade, a Marine and a real sweetheart; he was a lab assistant, in navy reserve and was a reformed drug addict. Top it off he lived in his ex-fiancee’s basement. I am doing very well now because I gave up on the whole dating scene when my current husband happened to come around: I didnt want to know anymore men! We worked togther and then I quit. Pain in the ass calling me all the time for a date…rest is history. Good man.

    People lie because like, you said, they want a “fair” try. I think people should just be friends and go with the flow. Things fall into place eventually if you keep your antennas out there, but have a good life for yourself at the same time. I am all for online dating; just people over analyze the whole process. Enjoy yourself. If it isnt right, move on. Be polite and be honest.

  15. doris says:

    hmn.. liars lie … yah .. sometimes.. but not always for bad reasons .. some people lie because they need to do it.. but they dont want to .. like what nikkiB says .. if he did not tell those lie to you, will you entertain him like you do ? :)

  16. Mihai says:

    I am 51 years old man and I will never hide my real existence for try to find a princes to try construct real love with her, and even I am orphan from little chilhood I do not stop to believe in true love who can be created just with woman and man but, if there not exist a princes for me, I can’t judge God or people for do not give my chance for try to construct with her true love. I am ready and I was all the time to not be tired to love for ever because I learn what does mean existence of humankind on this ostile Universe and if people choose to not believe in construct real love it’s with them to believe to live just in liar poesie and just pay taxes toghether’s conditioned by this SYSTEM who stole from all peple real feelings to create energy and to feel live real life with love. Many friends tell me what I am looking for is not real I try to explain to me I will never find a princes for me with this aspect to see what happend arround me on this World. But with this all kindness from my friend’s and with all advice’s from you and from all of the World people I will never stop to believe and do not be tired to encourage my princes to believe in real love even for eternity because I will tell you something, in fact what are we going to do on our life’s and on this Universe, to be just good for pay taxes and to be like Dinosaur’s just another some kind of specie living conditionated by one System life or by one political System to serve them for pay TAXES? I said NO all the time when I feel people hide their pain with this fact. I know, I-m taken like jerk but never stop to believe in what does mean man and woman can be more like just pay taxes but they can give from their true love to this Universe most beatiful’s sentiments and created the best ENERGY of material and imaterial Universe. Maybe, we humans, have just one life each, but I think it’s not enough just simple live and die with out feel we can feel this empty Universe with our love our true love what does mean, a real existence for all thing’s and for ever because our emotion’s it’s flours and existence of true Life in eternity. If I go to forward check your motive of existence life.

  17. Well, that really hurts specially when you already learned to love him and without knowing that he’s just only making a fool on you. That is why, it is preferable to know that particular person is before engaging into a date. That’s what they meant by giving more time on knowing each other..

  18. Elena says:

    This also has happened to me as well, where the guy totally put up an old picture of himself being a marathoner and with curly hair to show up to the date fat and bald.

    It’s REALLY misleading and he’s willing to lie about the little things to make himself look better. I would NOT want to be dating a guy like that, because who knows what else he’s lying to you about? He lies to make himself look better, to inflate his ego, and that’s bad. Really bad. A man should be proud of who he is.

    I would stay away from those petty white liars, because what other stuff are they lying about?
    Elena recently posted..How NOT to First Time Message a Girl through Online Dating: The 5 No-NosMy Profile

  19. Emmber says:

    Lying to get dates seems like a personal loss unless your only goal is to amass dates. It also has a feel of insecurity about it. Definitely an all around bad impression to make.
    Emmber recently posted..A Relationship Breakup – You Will Get Over ItMy Profile

  20. James says:

    I am a very honest person, it’s in my nature. It has been my downfall on many occasions. I’ve lost count of the times where what most people would consider a ‘little white lie’ would save me time, money, embarrassment, face etc but I’m unable to. That’s not to say I can’t lie, I can lie when I believe it’s the right thing to do but I can’t like for purely my own gain.

    Suffice to say I have always felt at a disadvantage in life, for example have you ever read that statistic that 80% of people lie on their CV’s? Constantly people will say “it’s marketing” or “you have to bend the truth” etc but no! It’s still telling a lie to gain an unfair advantage!

    Unfortunately we are evolved to lie, if our descendent were dishonest in anyway and it gave them an advantage then that trait was passed on. For this reason most people are inherently selfish to a fairly large degree.

    Sad but true and the amount of drug cheats in sport in recent years provide strong evidence.

  21. Bob says:

    Lying never pays, short or long term. All lying will ever do for you is cause distrust in others. Most of us think,”if I do it then so does everyone else.”
    Unfortunately, most people, male or female never figure this out and are constantly in and out of bad relationships.

  22. I could be wrong, but I think just about everyone has told an untruth. I consider myself an honest person, but I have told the occassional untruth. Most recently, I told my co-workers that I was late to work because of traffic and never mentioned I overslept. Perhaps that means I should be called a liar although I don’t consider myself to be a liar. 99.9% of the time I tell the truth, even if it is a difficult truth to tell. I do think some lies are inherently worse then other lies. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = “harmless” lie, 10 = great big honkin’ lie), I think that lying about your marital status is a 10 and lying about what time you went to bed the night before is a 1. I actually think that any significant lie on a dating website is very unfair to the other person because that person is making a decision based on that lie. I’m sure others would say a lie is a lie is a lie and none are acceptable. I tend to live more in the gray area.
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  23. Jacky says:

    For the long term relationship, don’t be lie at first place. Because one day the lie would be exposed out and nobody would trust the liar again.

    Guy, please treasure your reputation even to date a girl.

  24. Tilly says:

    Yeah I agree with you Liz if your partner live even an hour away then it does become really difficult to see that person and you might only see them once in a while. It will also have you worrying because there would be plenty of girls who live close to him as well.
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  25. Patty says:

    If a relationship starts off with lies it can never be recovered, just as lies dont help further into relationships. Lies can only cause harm and hurt.

  26. Joe says:

    I don’t understand why choose to misrepresent themselves on things like dating profiles for a number of reasons, 1. a lie isn’t the way to build on a relationship 2. you just setting yourself up for a fail, if your profile is a picture from back in you hay day with killer abs but really you’re no longer what you used to be your not what t

  27. Redsky says:

    Don’t judge someone because they sin differently than you.
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  28. Sandra says:

    I think you might be being a little harsh on the NYC guy to be honest.

    I am not sure that is so much a lie as a convenient geographical marker for who he wants to date and where they might live.

    The pictures would worry me more. It says something about online dating that somehow a culture of putting up 10 year old pictures is acceptable!

    Turning up to meet a handsome, slim 35 year old man. Is NOT the same thing as meeting the same guy when he has put on 50 pounds, ten years and has lost some hair!

    What is the world coming to?
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  29. Every body deceives in different ways. I agree with you Redsky
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  30. Evie says:

    Liars do lie, I went out with a guy who claimed to be 29, turned out he was 33. I really don’t understand what the point of that was, but it didn’t turn out to be the only thing he lied about. I don’t understand the old photos on dating profiles. I put up a mix, some where I look nice others where I’m looking a little in the rougher side. I’d hate to think someone rocked up to a date with me and their first thought was that I was much hotter in my online photo.
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  31. Gari says:

    I do think that if someone is going to lie right from the start like that, their thinking is that it’s okay to lie…and they probably wouldn’t even call that a lie. A slight misrepresentation maybe or slight distortion of the truth. But not a lie.

    Yes, I understand that we would like to put our best foot forward if we’re looking to meet someone, but my philosophy is that lies always catch up with us and once a lie is told, well, more lies follow to cover up the previous one/s. Anyone willing to tell a lie without conscience, is going to lie again. Liars lie because they have to.

    Thanks for an excellent blog Simone.
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  32. Cheska says:

    After all, it’s a practical world with so many people having so many things that keeps them busy. You can never expect honesty, truth, and straight forwardness from everybody. Undoubtedly, the world has been left with not much people that use “truth” as their weapon. Especially, stay careful and attentive while doing activities on online dating forums.