[Image: Glee promo picture showing character Kurt Hummel with his finger and his thumb in a shape of an L on his forehead.]
I’ve been watching the final season of Glee on Netflix and thoroughly enjoying the musical numbers and Lea Michele’s amazing voice. On one episode, Kurt Hummel, still reeling from his breakup with fiance, Blaine, goes on a date with someone he met on the internet. When he arrives at Breadstix for the meeting he finds that his date was not who he said he was. At all.
The man in question put up a 20-year-old photo of himself on the site and also edited certain parts out of his life. It turns out that he’s in his 50s, he was married for multiple decades, only came out of the closet a year previously and has children Kurt’s age. He explains to Kurt that he feels younger and didn’t want to scare Kurt off with his personal history. So he just hid it all. Kurt decides that this explanation is acceptable and continues to date the man. However, this is not acceptable and should absolutely have been a deal breaker.
People who date are always taking a risk that the person they think they’re talking to is actually the person they’re talking to. They have to put a certain amount of trust into their date because all they know about them is information they have provided, as well as their own words in conversation. If they misrepresent themselves, especially as significantly as this man did, they are abusing your trust in them. No matter how much someone wants to appeal to a date, they need to be upfront about their situation and especially their age.
It’s one thing for a person to lie and say they’re younger when they’re of legal age. When someone represents themselves as older when they’re underage, the police like to get involved. And when the cops get called on your date, no one is going to have a good time.
Personally, my profile was as accurate as possible and I updated it frequently. All of my photos were clear representations of myself, as I usually am, and were taken within a year of when I set up the profile. I had no interest in trying to fool anyone about who I am or what I wanted out of online dating. My goal was to meet people and I knew that meeting people would mean they would see what I look like and find out about me as a person. I wanted to make sure that nothing I put up there was in anyway misleading.
If I met someone who presented himself a certain way only to find out that he lied about his age, previous marital status, and children, I would not see them again. And no one else should feel obligated to either. When it comes to trust, it has to be earned. If their entire profile is a lie, they have broken your trust and tricked you into going out with them. It’s completely unfair to expect someone who would otherwise not be interested in dating someone that old with that history to go along with your feeling of being younger and your desire to date someone their age.
So kids, don’t lie on your online dating profiles. Post accurate pictures, give people a clear view of who you are and where you are in life. Don’t expect that someone who won’t date you if they find out you’re not making $100k a year is going to be so enthralled with your personality that they ignore the fact you lied AND you don’t make $100k a year. No one should be misled in a relationship, especially at the start. If you want to build a foundation for a friendship, a casual dating relationship, or something deeper, don’t think that you can build this based off of lies.