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Men and online dating: What they're really looking for

Men and online dating


Is he for real – how to spot a fibber!

If he sounds too good to be true... © Thinkstock
If he sounds too good to be true... © Thinkstock
That’s your profile dealt with, but what can you learn about a man by looking at his? Surely they can’t all be as perfect as they make out?

Well according to our experts, there are a few easy ways to spot a chap who’s been stretching the truth on his profile.
“Men are no more likely to lie on their profiles than women are,” points out Dr. Gonzaga. “However when men do lie they tend to lie about little things such as height and weight, or they’ll exaggerate their proficiency at sports or hobbies. They might say ‘I’m a keen snowboarder’ when they’ve only been once, but the bare-faced lies actually happen less often.”
Karen Dickinson agrees. “We find that men are generally wary of exaggerating too wildly,” she says. “You’re unlikely to come across claims of rocket science or lion taming.

"What you need to look out for are the smaller things – a couple of inches added to their height, a couple of years taken off their age, a subtle massage of their job title… You might also be able to tell if they’ve put up an old picture of themselves – look for fashion and hairstyles that are a little out of date!”

In general though, it seems as if large-scale bluffers are few and far between in the world of online dating. “If I meet someone I like, she’s going to find out if I’ve been making stuff up,” says Nick, 26, a teacher from Islington. “In the long run, it just isn’t worth the hassle!”

The first message – how should you play it?

Once you’ve managed to sort the wheat from the chaff, it’s time to start swapping messages, hopefully resulting in the arrangement of a date. But how to play your opening hand?
Karen Dickinson advocates a light-hearted approach. “Keep your first message short and sweet,” she advises. “About a paragraph will do. Write about something you think you might have in common to try and establish a rapport and ask questions, as this gives them something to respond to. Don’t be afraid to be a bit cheeky either! Men respond well to a bit of banter.”
On top of that, she also makes the point that the world of online dating is not the place to agonize over looking too keen. “There’s a lot of competition out there,” she says, “and any time that you spend demurring is time that someone else will take advantage. 

The person who’s messaged you may well have messaged 10 other women. If you’re first to reply with a bit of banter and establish a rapport, you’re more likely to be the first to get a date.”


George Wales
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