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Dating And Your Health - Keeping Secrets Hurts

Have you lied on your dating app?

On the first version of my profile on the first dating app I opened in 2019, I lied about my age.

I tried to justify it by saying that 'everyone' does it, so I can too. It's just a little white lie so it's ok.

No! It's not ok. Despite the fact that lying on your dating app is a widespread practice, I stopped doing it. Why? I felt shitty about myself until I spilled the beans, I carried this dread about telling the other person the truth.

When to tell the truth and how to tell the truth were scenarios running through my brain as I got to know someone. I always knew I would 'confess' but while I waited for the 'right time' I would feel guilty. The guilt affected my ability to get to know the other person and there are a surprising number of ways that small lies need to be covered up and the cover-ups are always more lies.

Lying about my age, even if it was only a small lie, was a double standard. I wanted the other person to be fully honest but didn't hold myself accountable to the same standard. I didn't feel good about that!

When I met someone as my younger self on my dating profile, I realized I was entering into a relationship knowing that I was going to break their trust. When you break trust early after meeting someone, it's much harder to build trust with that person. And if you don't confess right away, you have the guilt of lying for a long time thereby increasing the risk of a confession being a big deal.

Relationships built on half-truths are stressful and unfulfilling. The strongest, longest, happiest relationships are built on a foundation of trust. Actively lying to someone to keep dating them is stressful and I didn't like how I felt about myself.

I didn't think it was a big deal until I had to keep track of the year I was born. When I mentioned things like graduation dates or important personal and cultural milestones I had to do the mental math and change my answers to align with my fictitious birthdate. My brain should have been concentrating on the feeling of being with that person, instead I was monitoring what I said to align with the age-lie.

As you may have found out the hard way, most dating apps do not allow you to change your birthdate easily (or at all). I ended up switching apps because I couldn't change the year I was born. so really think about whether you want to lie about something on your dating profile. in the short-term you might get more matches but you'll then spend time building unhealthy relationships on an unstable foundation.

Here's some more food for thought. Keeping secrets means that you don't trust the other person to like or love you for who you are.

Being in a relationship where you are not accepted is a waste of time, for you and the other person. So are you keeping secrets because you are insecure or because you don't feel like the other person is a safe place for you?

I'm not advocating that on the first few dates you dump all your dirty laundry and dish all your secrets. You need to build trust to know that the other person is there for you. Building trust starts with little things and builds up to be something strong where you know you are safe and cherished.

If you are insecure, you need to be honest even though it is hard because as hard as it might be at first, you need to show that you are strong enough to be a reliable partner in a relationship.

If you don't feel like the other person is a safe place, maybe it's time to SAFELY speak your truth and either know for sure that this person isn't capable of building a relationship OR find out through your honesty that they are capable of building a strong relationship through honestly.

Dating is hard enough. Don't make it harder on yourself by taking actions that do not align with the kind of person you are. You'll waste your time, the time of the other person and you'll only be able to build unfulfilling relationships. Advice I wish I had heard in 2019.

Cartoon image of a poisoned heart inside a heart shaped bottle.
Don't poison your relationship with lies.



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