Moscow dating: no shame in lying

While drinking a bottle of wine, my friends and I once tried to think up a fake profession for me that I could use for chatting and dating with men on Tinder.

The thing is that my real job usually causes too many questions to be asked and provokes people to come to false conclusions. So, we decided to come up with something new. By my brief reflections, we stopped at veterinary-herpetologist (this is the one about reptiles). Everyone agreed that it’s consistent with my personality, and at the same time there is nothing to ask or rant about.


Neither my friends nor I were perturbed by the fact that it was going to be a simple lie. And now I wonder: why? When did it become normal to lie to each other at the very first meeting? Is it the specifics of Moscow dating or a global trend? Why do we so easily let ourselves deceive others and also be deceived by them on the surface, while seemingly trying to make an adequate, empathetic human connection—even if just for one night?

And here’s my conclusion.

Let’s start from the fact that everybody, or almost everybody lies on Tinder. It’s just not shameful anymore. Excuses for lying could be respectful and even bring some charm to a person.

Profession is the most harmless point to make up a bit. I can give plenty of examples from my own research and my friends’ experiences of when Tinder matches were hiding their real fields of activity from each other. And sometimes these fibs didn’t even make any sense.

So, the girl from the fashion industry pretends to be a cosmetic surgeon, a man who owns a small business lies and claims he is a corporate lawyer, the girl-promoter says that she’s a designer, and a conventional encoder pretends to be a cosmologist, etc.2

Continuing to reflect on the theme of jobs, I realized that probably for both men and women regarding this issue, there are absolute showstoppers. And that turns out to be true.

According to a survey I conducted among girls, Tinder-correspondence is more likely to be stopped by a woman, when it suddenly turns out that the man is, for example–a photographer, a journalist, a fitness trainer, an actor or a model. In their turn, interviewed men admitted that they would unlikely be interested in talking to a sales-girl, secretary, fast-food restaurant worker, yoga teacher, psychologist or even a coach.

Age is another popular reason to lie in the Tinder sphere. One man, in spite of a long and detailed conversation, admitted that he had rejuvenated himself a bit with a younger age at the second meeting–taking away four years or so. He even said that it was a strategically acquitted marketing ploy. Perhaps it was. Another friend of mine also uses incorrect age information, which became outdated six years ago.

For women to hide their true age is even a kind of honorable tradition… Like I said, sometimes the explanation of a lie can sound so logical and definitive that its author can hold more weight in your eyes.

And since we are now talking about weight… I think we have all been in a situation, where after a heated chat with a hot macho or a sultry chick, we find someone we weren’t expecting when we meet them offline. I’m not sure if you can relate, but I personally have always worried about the fact that in the pictures I may look somewhat better than in real life. Younger, slimmer, more fun – whatever.

On my Tinder profile, I intentionally put a minor photo of myself without makeup and even a hint of a smile, so the men would know exactly who they were dealing with in advance. I would appreciate the same frankness from my “matches”. We all know the male super-ability to suck in the tummy and look slim while posing topless… And if they could hold out in this state at least until the end of the date – there would be no questions anymore. But they can’t, I’ve checked.3

By the way, a doubt of “do I look ‘ok’ enough to coincide with my own pics uploaded to Tinder?” came to me just after a series of complaints (not about me, but still) by male friends. According to them, girls in reality usually differ from their pictures so dramatically that guys feel insidiously cheated. The main complaint is, of course, about the figure. Well what can I say? The genius ability of making a nice pose for photos was granted to many women by birth. Those, to whom it wasn’t granted, developed it as one of the most important skills for survival in the wild nature of a big city.

Another friend once complained that the longhaired Rapunzel from Tinder in reality turned out to be a boy cropped hipster-girl. And I think it’s cruel. Maybe I’m wrong and you can say “the hair will grow back,” but, in my opinion, nevertheless, when it comes to a woman’s hairstyle, long curls or a bob is a big difference. Especially given the fact that to mention long-term prospects on Tinder is defined as mauvais ton.4

The hair issue, by the way, isn’t relevant to just women. I had a case where a pleasant conversation with a comely European flowed from Tinder to WhatsApp, and during the exchange of relevant selfies revealed that time has not spared his thick hair. Now dreary bald spots are left in its place, which of course is not so suitable for self-presentation.

Well finally, the most, in my opinion, insidious lie that you can make on Tinder is to put the notorious phrase, “open-minded,” in your profile description. Because sadly each of us is still a victim of stereotypes and our own complexes, which has held our minds within insurmountable borders.

Our intentions to look more beautiful, more successful, and more attractive for a desired partner are more than understandable. By creating an improved image of ourselves on the Internet, we dream to believe in them too. And rather than finally sticking to a diet, quitting our habit of smoking, or learning all that online lectures can teach us–which are saved in our tabs–we instead continue to pull in the tummy, retouch yellow teeth in photos and compose bright, catchy descriptions for multi-faceted versions of ourselves.

A strategically acquitted marketing ploy.

About Yana141 Articles
Journalist by education, barstool philosopher by heart. Moskvaer. Rebel. Frustrated hedonist.

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