Why 70% of Men and Women Lie on their Online Dating Profiles…and How Personal Branding Can Be Deceptive

A whopping 70% of online daters lie in their dating profile, mostly about height, weight and age, says relationship and online dating expert Dr. Jess Carbino. But only major exaggerations seem to matter much to people using the platforms.

Dr. Jess, a PhD sociologist, has researched how people create their own personal storefront and romantic brand to attract the attention of potential mates on dating sites like Tinder and Bumble. She’s found some surprising differences in how men and women personally brand themselves and behave on dating platforms.

  • Men swipe right much more often: Jess says that’s unfortunate, because it often leads to a disconnect about male daters’ true level of interest in meeting some of the women they’ve swiped right on. The average swipe-right ratio for women on Tinder or Bumble is about 40%. For men, it’s four. While women swipe more deliberately, men can’t afford to be so discriminating.
  • Instagram has led to deceptive behavior: Jess thinks Instagram has led people to feel they can’t upload profile photos that show how they look in real life, and she suspects a significant number of profile photos have been Photoshopped to some degree. Just like on Instagram, online daters tend to post pictures of the kind of lifestyle they aspire to rather than the kind they lead.
  • Both sexes stick to gender stereotypes: Jess analyzed 12,000 photos that women used on a dating app and found that not one showed the woman wearing a long-sleeve button-down shirt. In real life, women are wearing traditional men’s styles much more frequently than in decades past, but on dating sites, they’re overwhelmingly marketing themselves in traditionally feminine styles that may not match the way they dress every day. Men typically try to present themselves more seriously through the clothing they wear in profile photos.
  • Men and women are looking for different qualities in a romantic partner: “I want to find someone who’s kind” is one of the top phrases that women use when describing their ideal male romantic partner. Meanwhile, men are driven to find somebody who’s interesting and easygoing, Dr. Jess says.

Ghosting is a real problem in the online dating world, one that Dr. Jess has researched. To hear what her research uncovered, listen to the episode.