Truth In Dating Laws

j0438505 We have Truth-In-Lending laws why can’t we have a Truth-In-Dating Law.  I personally think there should be a Truth-In-Dating Law somewhere accompanied by a lie detector test. If only that could really happen, dating, online or otherwise, might not be such a disastrous thing for so many of us who still have the old school values of honesty, integrity and character.  Alright, I know the word “disastrous” is a bit extreme and may paint me as a complete failure in the dating realm, but, chill for a sec.  I’m using a bit of exaggeration here just to make a point.  The reality is, people lie when they date these days.  In fact, I just heard in a discussion group I’m a part of, that 1/3 of all men on internet dating sites are married representing themselves as single.  For the single mom out there who just wants to try to find a decent unattached guy out there to spend some time with that just bites. Because, no matter how you slice it or dice it, the married man or the separated-and-still married man is just not available, emotionally or otherwise. Well, maybe sexually but for someone looking to build some kind of authentic meaningful relationship that’s just “Ewww!”.

I personally believe this is due to the fact that our culture is a culture of the external.  We don’t care how good a product is anymore, we care how it’s packaged, and quite frankly there’s several hundred thousands of my salary and more being spent on research just to find out what certain things attract what certain demographics. And, as a nation, the U.S. has fallen right into the little marketing myth of “if it looks good, it must be good”. 

Sigh. 

This translates very negatively to the dating world, and other areas, I might add, but I’m talking about dating here so I will attempt to stay focused. 

Instead of putting ourselves out there and promoting our good character (because see, people don’t really care about that anymore) we promote all things about us that are appealing.  That’s not a bad thing, but then we take things a bit too far in merely presenting the positive. We don’t really lie, but we do leave out vital tidbits of information. And, some people out and out lie.

Some of the things I’ve come across in the last two years of dating will blow your mind, if you’re the honest, truth-abiding sort.  For starters, let’s try the many, many men who put on their profiles that they were single only to reveal later that they were not only not single they were still married with no paperwork in progress…for whatever reason…and trust me, I’ve heard many.

Disappointing?  Yes.  Frustrating?  Yes.  Infuriating?  What do you think? 

PH01614J I always try to learn something from every experience and these experiences taught me that I needed to ask to see signed legal paperwork before engaging the person in conversation. Which is exactly what I started doing.  This didn’t keep the dudes from trying to lie, but somehow more of them seemed to come out with it earlier on. 

“Um,” they’d clear their throats and I could hear it coming, “Yeah, I’ve been separated for two years but we can’t file right now due to financial reasons.”

“Oh,” I’d ask, “So then, you are just out for some booty?”

Click.

I did have a few men online approach me and tell me up front they were still married.  Of course, after telling me all about their loveless marriages and how they were staying in it for the kids (which is such a crock and there’s good research to back it up), they then proceeded to convince me that an affair with them would be something I’d never regret.

On what planet does this make any sense?

I mean, kudos for the honesty, but reverse the call due to the completely skanky disrespectful thing they were attempting there. Some of them I just clicked off with a “No thanks.”  At some point though, I decided to have some fun with it.  They invariably folded when I told them I was looking for something authentic ( that word, to the lying married man, is like a cross and garlic to Dracula) which could possibly lead to a white picket fence and three (more) children playing in the yard.  Yeah, scares ‘em away every time. 

Many think this is simply the reality of online dating and I’d tend to agree…

maybe…

…if I weren’t me.

I’ve been just as impressed and stunned by the audacity of men I’ve met in face-to-face (F2F) world. For example, there is the standard run of the mill deceiver, who is just a victim of his own ego, and who can’t make up his mind between the real and warm present and a figment of his imagination from the past.  These men are not emotionally available, though, they might be available in every other sense of the word which makes them difficult to spot.  Sad thing is, unless you really pay close attention to the “I’m just not that into you” signals he’s giving off you’ll end up blindsided and heartbroken by this dude.

The most bizarre incident, was the guy who was introduced to me through friends.  I figured, these are my friends, right?  They know I am not into dating married peeps, right?  Wrong.  The third or fourth date in and conversation turns to the GOYA Club. 

“The what?” I asked. 

“The GOYA Club, “ they repeated laughing hysterically, “The Get Off Your Ass and file the papers club.”  It was then that I learned that my date was separated, had been for two years, but was no where near filing the divorce papers even though he had good income and was financially able to.  Very calmly and with a completely straight face I turned to him and said, “I’d like to go home now.”  I hear that three months later he was divorced and less than six months later remarried. Bizarre. Better her than me.

In the last month alone I’ve had men come on to me, set up dates with me, and back out admitting they already had girlfriends. (Whatever.)  It apparently didn’t work out with the girlfriend for one guy because right after the new year he emailed me asking if he could have a fresh start and an opportunity to explain.  I’m not kidding!  What do you think I said? 

“Yes!  Ooooh! Ooooh!  Pick me!  Pick me!”  Uh, not exactly. 

“Sure, I’d love to give you the opportunity to explain,” I texted back. “I’d just like to take the opportunity to remind you that I am a blogger and I was wondering, could I record this conversation?”  Never heard from him again. I just wonder what people like this think?  Seriously?  They just notified me that someone else was first in line and they ditched me (yeah, I’m being gracious about the whole deception thing here) for that person.  It didn’t work out with them, so now they contact me hoping I’m still free and insecure enough to be so thrilled that they decided to go to the second string. Wow.  What must people be thinking these days?

j0406568 The really sad thing that all this brings me to conclude is this:  Many are desperate for deep and meaningful connection with another human being.  We desire intimacy and that experience of knowing and being known.  We want to know that wonderful exquisite experience of being able to be completely vulnerable, without fear and to know that we will be treated gently, lovingly, carefully and that even with our flaws, failures, past mistakes and bad choices we will be accepted for the unique individual we are and loved regardless. 

This is a human and admirable thing to desire.

But so many of us go about it in the wrong ways.  Instead of being transparent we cover and hide. We start the very relationships we hope will save us out on footing that is sure to falter, stumble and fall. We think, “Oh, if they could only get to know me first the rest wouldn’t matter.”  This is the biggest lie of them all.

The really disappointing thing is in all this is, that when we lie to another person in this way, we deprive them and ourselves of enjoying something real. Somebody in the dialogue isn’t being honest.  The other person is developing trust and connecting based on the information they have rather than the truth. The relationship is predicated of falsehood and deception.  The other person is not given the chance to make an informed choice for themselves.  When that truth is finally revealed what the deceived person experiences is nothing short of betrayal.  Not a real great way to begin a relationship you hope will last.

This is not a good thing. 

Not if what we seek is something really special.j0438386 

Not if what we seek is something authentic, built on trust that is proven and demonstrated.

Not if we want that special something that provides both people a safe haven to retreat to at the end of each day.

None of the hiding deceptiveness will ever really, truly be able to amount to love, because love by nature requires trust and trust is dependent upon honesty.

I just think things would be very different if people behaved as though they had to sign a Truth-In-Dating Clause.  I, for one, am thinking that before I go out with the next guy I’m going to have to fax him the form.

20 thoughts on “Truth In Dating Laws

  1. It seems to me that you are point an extra long finger at men here. I have found the lies and betrayals to be common on both sides. Did I ever tell you that in my youth I worked in a nursing home for a while? I was the only guy on an entire shift of women, nearly all of them young and attractive women. They were ALL married and virtually every last one of them put the hit on me at one time or another. One lady actually tried to physically pull me into a linen closet. Do you think that this was because I was a good looking stud? Hell no! There were several hours of slack time in the second half of the shift. They just got bored and I was there. Not a single one of these girls even tried to hide the fact that they were married and most of them would not have looked twice at me out on the street. I was nothing special. Not a superstud, not movie-star handsome. I was just locked in their cage with them and had the right equipment.
    I have spent my life in search of a deep and meaningful relationship, but I have had no interest in being a monk along the way. All that means is that I eventually die after having had less fun, but I do not cheat or lie. I never will and I do not understand men who find sex so difficult to get that they are willing to lie to get it.
    My last ex-girlfriend told me when we met, that I did everything for her that no man had ever done before. We shared everything and liked all the same things, always out on the hiking trails together, cooking at home or just making love. When she broke up with me, she told me that I was only supposed to have been a weekend fling. This was nine months later. But shame on me for realizing that she had relationship-sabotage issues from day one and falling in love with her anyway.
    The girl I nearly married in the early 1990’s told me that I was the love of her life, but decided to take on every guy she could possibly get into her bed while I was working out of town. My answering machine malfunctioned and recorded a conversation with her and her best friend where she was bragging about it merrily, going into great detail about each encounter and laughing about how I was just a sucker who would never know a thing about it.
    The ex-wife continues to baffle me. Nothing she has ever done has made any sense, including marrying me. Of course, I could ask myself why I married her, but I know. I was young, dumber than a stump and horny. Yet, for satisfying my sex drive I made what was probably the worst choice on the planet. She was hot after me to marry and as soon as the ring was on her finger, proceeded to sit down in front of the television and start eating eating, only grudgingly allowing me sex once in a week or two while angrily urging me to hurry. All the while her middle expanded until nowadays she looks like a middle-aged beachball with a ham sandwich in one hand and a doughnut in the other. After our divorce, she went aimlessly from man to man, usually ending up abused and/or ripped off. In later years she attempted to get me back and said she did not know why she had been like that to me. I said I did not know either, but there was no way in hell I was going back for more.
    In the middle of the last decade I spent five or six months getting serious with a gorgeous redhead in central Oregon, only to have her suddenly inform me out of the clear blue that she was breaking up with me because she had scored on a wealthy 65 yr old man and would never have to work again if she married him. Yes, she told me that, as I was packing to head her way for the weekend we had planned together. I hung up the phone, sat down heavily and thought, well then. Anyone have a cold beer?
    I guess Wildmind, that some of us are just magnets for bad apples. And yea, there are a whole hell of a lot of bad apples out there. Not only bad apples, there are other factors as well. A number of times when I have met someone who fit my preferences completely and wanted to get closer, there was no chemistry from their side. When that happens you just have to walk away with a sore spot on your ego. Welcome to dating. I have been doing it for a long time.

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  2. I think this is a pretty accurate portrayal of what many of us find in the post-divorce dating pool, particularly over 40.

    It is worsened by the commodity-style to dating, encouraged via checklists and online sites. And yet – we use them – sometimes very effectively – to fill a variety of needs at constantly evolving stages following the end of a marriage.

    I wrote extensively on this last summer – http://dailyplateofcrazy.com/2009/07/30/around-around-around-we-go-with-online-dating/ – and the fact is, we do go back for more. Partly because we still believe – somewhere inside – that good matches exist. They will not be fairy tale (real life doesn’t work that way), and they may bring relationships of assorted types – including great friendships.

    On these sites – “truth-in-advertising” would be as helpful as your truth-in-dating clause, but then, we all do our share of marketing and self-promotion as we meet people. It’s human nature.

    Just as it is human nature to want to believe that love is possible, that good men and good women will find each other, and that there is a difference between truth-in-dating and presenting a positive package – yet one that is, as you say, authentic.

    Great article.

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    1. I’m really hating this return to the life where I have to wait till I get home every night to approve comments and reply. It also means I’m limited in getting back to all those blogs I know and love, yours being one of them. Thanks so much for checking in and leaving the link to your post. I will definitely check it out…that is…if I’m alive after screwing up tonight’s meal. 😉

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  3. I have to say that a lot of what The Wild Mind wrote is correct. I am also equally sure that it is the same with women.

    My biggest agreement here, though, is with Custis and I have copied it below.

    “Welcome to dating. I have been doing it for a long time.”

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    1. Nicki…and Custis,
      As if any of this is okay or acceptable?
      I’ve been dating a long time too. Maybe not as long as you, but it is long enough. Deception, on any level is inappropriate if what one hopes to achieve is a meaningful connection with another human being. Those smarmy skanks who are married can simply go respond to those solicitations for “Lonely Wives” and get their rocks off there, but for crying out loud…stop spoiling it for the rest of us decent men and women who just want a chance at something special. We should all be outraged. There should be laws. (lol…that was a bit of overdramtatization to make a point, in case you didn’t read that into the text). 😀
      Sigh….

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      1. Wow! LOL…just a touch of overdramatization. Point is well taken. I will say, though, that sometimes we make a choice to, at some point in a relationship, to not be 100% truthful for the best interest of the other party. I am not saying an out and out lie but to not agree with the full truth. Yes, a lie none the less, but maybe slightly justifiable.

        I have done the total truth thing. The problem is when you don’t know what of the total truth of someone else’s you can share. I am not good at picking at what can and cannot be shared. If I am asked to keep something in confidence, I get it but if everything is a confidence where is reality.

        It is getting late and I am thinking my thoughts are not coherent so I will stop for now.

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        1. I have to respectfully disagree. In my opinion there is never a time when you are not 100% truthful with another person for “their best interests”. That kind of thinking is for your own best interests not the other person. By leaving out details, information or what have you, you deny the other person the opportunity to make an informed decision about their own welfare, for themselves. That, no matter how you slice it or dice it is just not respectful. Do you have to drop bombs and be insensitive? No. But denying another person the right to full disclosure is simply selfish and cowardly, IMHO.

          It’s called a civilization because we decided (at one point) that we were all going to abide by certain rules with respect to how we treat each other. Those rules are changing and in some ways it isn’t exactly for the best.

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  4. You said “so many of us who still have the old school values of honesty, integrity and character” early on in your blog and I agree and I’m sure you do (at least from what little I know from our interactions). BUT, look at what happens in D.C. and our celebrity culture? Is character valued AT ALL anymore? Obama promised complete transparency and how did the Dems get the healthcare bill thru to the next steps? Will nothing but deceit, behind the door dealing, and bribes. And, I actually think Obama thinks he’s an honest guy. I know his intentions are honest, even if his beliefs tend to be extremely radical and dangerous (especially where it concerns our safety). So, now look who’s side-tracking!

    My point is that honesty and integrity just aren’t as valued as they once were. There are no James Stewarts in Washington (“Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”) or much in real life. I worked in the entertainment business so, trust me, I experienced dishonesty and deal-breaking regularly and first-hand.

    It’s wrong not to be clear and up-front. What your experiences teach, sadly, is you just have to be more vigilant in how you approach dating. There are a few good men and women out there. I know two of the men and three of the women (I married one of those – who I met online and told me the truth, including her “advanced” age).

    Is life fair? I’m sure you don’t tell your kids it is. So, I’d say just suck it up, be smart, and don’t give up. And, read my column called “Internet Dating 101 and How I Met My Wife” on my web-site (can’t help a little plug – relentless is my middle name).

    Bruce Sallan
    http://www.brucesallan.com

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    1. Thanks Bruce,
      I did read your column, but I do believe it was after I’d pulled all my online profiles down. Sigh. It is frustrating…I mean…I’m a big girl. I’m getting pretty good at weeding out the skanks, but…still…it just seems so wrong. Why can’t all those losers go to the website that offers “Lonely Wives Looking For Action” and leave the rest of us well meaning individuals alone? 😀

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  5. OK. I’m back. The little girl is asleep and I have managed to put together my thoughts.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but dating is usually equated with sex, right? So, the lies these men (and women, thanks Custis) tell are lies that have been told for a long time. Evolutionary psychologists would explain it is a natural phenomenon. For one thing, in nature, the males are not monogamous. It is a part of their genetics to breed and breed and breed. They were formed to have as many children as possible.

    Well, we are an advanced species. We have intelligence. We can also think. (Not that animals can’t…but I think you know what I am trying to say.) But, we still have the same sex drive. Men and women want sex. They crave sex.

    So, perhaps the bigger question is, has materialism crossed over to relationships? Do we want and want because we think we deserve it? Perhaps these guys feel they are entitled to have sex with as many women as they want.

    Do I think that is right? Heck no. But, that is for another time.

    Now, back to dating. These men and women who cheat on their spouses are thinking about one thing only: sex. They like their spouses well enough, they are just getting bored with their personal sex lives. So, why not go out and find someone else for a short fling?

    And, wow, I could go on.

    It is vicious and horrible for people who are dating to be lied to. My uncle lied to a woman about his marital status. Soon, his wife found out about it and filed for divorce. The sad thing is? My uncle would do the same thing over and over. I loved his first wife. I was so sad for her. I love his current wife. Once again, I am sad for her. Of course, my uncle has other issues that could be the reason behind his cheating. I don’t know. Whatever it is, he is breaking his wife’s heart. And hurting other family members as well.

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    1. Ambrosia,
      Ugh, seriously, if men can’t be expected to do anything more than simply fulfill their animalistic desires…I have to say I’m out. Personally, I have to respectfully disagree that dating = sex. I agree that we “crave” sex…but I believe what we really crave is connection, intimacy and meaningful relationship. As human beings we have the ability to delay gratification for a greater purpose. It becomes more than just being all about us. For me, dating = connection, relationship…with sex being a bonus if the relationship is meaningful and connected and based on trust with some commitment there to the other person. ( I know, call me freaking old school.) Personally, when I get into bed with someone, I like to be fairly assured that I’m going to be getting a callback, that he’s going to be around the next day, and the day after and the day after.
      As for the infidelity thing and your uncle….this is definitely a subject I can speak to with some expertise (though really nothing licensed and professional and only personal) …the cheating isn’t about just needing to get his rocks off with someone new…it has to do with something deeper. He has an inability to attach…at least that would be my guess and I am no psychologist. His infidelity is the result of an inability to stay connected and deal with the tough stuff that comes up in every relationship. He disengages because he’s unable to go deep or afraid to. Again, that is only a guess, based on some very good personal experience, but it is not the advice of a professional so don’t take it as such. This is incredibly painful to the people around your uncle…which is why I go back to my statement…
      Decisons we make, things we do, lies we tell…
      well…
      it’s just not all about us in this life.
      We ought to all be a bit more cognizant of that at times, methinks, and dating is most definitely one of those times.

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      1. Wild Mind, I agree with you. And, you know what? I am old school as well. In fact, I think that when people equate dating with sex they are missing out on the connections you talked about.

        Growing up, I was taught to abstain from sexual relations until I was married. I did that. I am so happy I did. In fact, I will be talking about that on my blog in the next couple of weeks.

        As for my uncle. He has a very sad history. In fact, all of my mother’s siblings have certain attachment and anger issues. It revolves around the messy divorce of their parents. And, I mean messy. My uncle refuses to have children, despite his wife’s desires. Sheesh, the man had “the surgery” without telling his wife! The reason I get angry with him is because he is hurting his wife. His wonderful and sweet wife. The infidelity is a small fraction of his abuses.

        You said it so well: “Its just not all about us in this life.” Yes. We might fool ourselves into thinking this, but it is a false and tragic lie.

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  6. Good point Wildmind. In fact, I thought of that just as soon as I had already posted my comment and looked in vain for an Edit button.
    The lady I have been dating has gotten cold feet and backed out of our weekend plans. However, I understand her reasons and I believe that they are sincere and have nothing to do with me. When we were together I could feel sadness eminating from her and I know exactly how she feels. Instead of being angry and suffering from a bruised ego, I feel bad for her and wish there was something I could do to help, but I know all too well that time is the only thing that will do any good. I have wished her luck and told her not to be shy if there is anything at all I can do for her.
    I can understand when someone falls out of love with you and no longer wishes to be with you, but what I do not understand is the heartless way that so many of them choose to do it and the nasty little things they do to hurt you afterwards. I could go on about it, but I think everyone knows what I am talking about and most have been through it. I guess no one ever told us that life would be perfect.

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    1. I’m not expecting life to be perfect. I’m willing to take the lumps and deal with the sadness and pain that accompanies relationship that might not work out. I’m only asking that I be given the opportunity to make decisions about whether or not to enter into that relationship (no matter how serious or casual) based on fact rather than deception.
      I don’t think it’s too much to expect. I’m fully aware it isn’t reality to expect what I’m looking for. That doesn’t mean that what we all encounter on this level is right or good or even respectful.

      I might also add that though I’m talking about the skanks here, it must be noted, that I’ve met a few (very few, but I have met them) men who are a.) free and clear so to speak and b.) pretty decent wonderful people. So, it isn’t all bad. It is just that the many are screwing it up royally for the few in this case.

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  7. Hi all,

    I came here via The Wild Mind’s post in a Facebook group – A Dad’s Point of View.

    Now I’ve been single again for sometime and I’m not relishing going back onto the dating scene (I never was really in it and it takes a different form here in the UK compared to the US). However, over the last say 4 years I tend to be approached by married men – typically.

    It’s incredibly frustrating as it started to give me a complex as to what am I giving off to attract these types of men (based on you attract what vibration you give off).

    I too believe that before a couple even set a date, it should be clear what each person is looking for. I personally wouldn’t want to get to date 2 or later to find out that the man is separated or married – that’s a waste of my time and he’s cutting in on my ‘dance card’!

    I’m not sure how I would do it – outright bluntness would probably be a start but I’m at the stage where I don’t have time to waste.

    I too also agree that while there are women who also play the same game, there are other communities, websites and resources for married folks to play away. However I can only think that the reason why they don’t want to play with other marrieds is due to power. Imagine the power and the ego boost for someone who can sweet talk their way into your heart and bedsheets only to overpromise and underdeliver emotionally…*yawn*. A yearning singleton for love is more vulnerable than a married who could also do the dirty on a married person. The possibilities and reasons are most likely endless and I agree with most of the ones above, but they are personal to the individual and their situations.

    In time I will look more into the vibration thingy as I’m getting real tired of not attracting singletons however in the meantime, I just want to spend time in male company for the time being until I meet someone who blows my mind. I’ve had that experience before and I know I will again.

    All the best in your dating endeavours and I pray/send karma that you’ll find the love you’re seeking.

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  8. I too have blogged about it. Men, dating and manipulation. Although mine leans more toward the manipulation aspect of dishonesty. I’m 39 and on a scale of 0 to 40, hell I’m there. 🙂 My kids are older, 18 and 16 so men aren’t afraid of the “She’s look for a daddy to her kids” thing. I just find the amount of lies in general, from both genders, is ridiculous. There is very little authenticity in people anymore and those of us who are authentic bring up the rear in the treck to find a good connection. I talked with a man online who said he was 41… maybe in dog years. He looked 65+ if he’s day…. it made me start checking for curiosities sake. I never met him in person of course but his name is unique so it wasn’t hard to pin down the info. Public records are wonderful! He’s 62. Passes off his grandkids as his own, online. As for women, make up, fancy hairstyles, designer jeans, fake nails, it’s all just packaging/marketing to the dating audience. Men do the same thing in different ways. I’d rather see what’s in the box, regardless of what’s on the packaging outside and unfortunately that’s increasingly difficult.

    I really appreciate this post you made. 🙂 It’s so true!

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