Is honesty the best policy in online dating?

On the surface, this seems like a really easy to answer question. Of course dating honest is important, right? Well, what about in situations where the truth might hurt someone? What about little white lies that will make things easier on someone else? That’s what we want to talk about today. Is honesty the best policy in online dating in ALL situations?

honesty caricature

The Answer Up Front – Dating Honesty

Instead of working our way to the correct answer, we wanted to give it to you up front and then explain why it’s right. The answer is that there are zero situations where lying to fibbing to another online dater is the right thing to do. Period. It doesn’t matter how big or small of a fib we’re talking about; it’s never right.

Why Is Dating Honesty Always Important?

We know that some of you reading this might be in disagreement with us. You might be a little curious how we can confidently take such a hard line. We get it. Situations like the following are instances where you might be tempted to tell a little white lie.

Someone messages you and you’re just not into them. Maybe you’re not sexually attracted to them or maybe they don’t have all the traits that you desire in a potential mate? Wouldn’t it just be easier to tell them you’re already talking to someone else or that it’s you and not them?

Or what happens if that super hot guy or gal messages you and talks about how much they like people who volunteer. But you don’t volunteer, or at least you haven’t since you were little. What would it hurt playing up what you did when you were little? You’ve been planning on getting back into volunteering, right?

We get it. This can be tempting, but it’s wrong, wrong, wrong. Let’s talk about why.

Read: Should You Lie On Your Dating Profile?

Why Any Dating Lies Are Wrong

Here are some question that can tell you why this is so wrong.

  • Would you like someone to lie to you about these things?
  • Would you like them to make up some story about why they can’t talk to you and string you along a little bit, or would you just prefer they tell you they’re not interested?
  • Would you like someone you’re talking to to lie about what they’re in to just to make you like them more?

We’re going to go ahead and guess that the answer is a clear no to all three of these questions. If you wouldn’t want someone to do it to you, why would you ever think it was okay to do to them?

You see, here’s the problem. A lot of people are scared of conflict, and they’re scared of hurting someone else’s feelings. The problem, though, is that by lying to them you end up doing more damage. When more and more people do this, people start to think it’s acceptable.

What You Can Do – Dating Honesty

Be strong. Don’t be part of the problem. If you’re going to be dating online or in person, you’re going to have to learn to be honest with people. Sometimes that’s not going to be easy, but if you’re always telling the truth, you have nothing to worry about. If it upsets them, well, they’re going to have to learn to grow up.

The bottom line is that yes, honesty is ALWAYS the best policy in online dating in all situations.

Read: Honesty When Dating as an Entrepreneur

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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.