I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with Grndr guys showing up at my door looking 20 years older than they are and three inches shorter than they advertised if you know what I mean. Is it bad karma to turn away a guy at your door if he totally lied about himself? Or should I be nice, let them in and let them down gently?
— Feeling Guilty
Dear Feeling Guilty:
I don’t think you have the right to turn them away. You have the obligation to do it. Don’t confuse bad karma with good sense. You should be punishing liars, not rewarding them.
Let’s face it; there are guys online who lie so much their business cards say, “Professional Liar.” These guys are counting on your horniness blurring your vision and turning their visit into a Convenience f#ck. The best way to stop these guys is to insist on lots of pictures *before* you meet them. If the pics don’t match or look suspicious, meet them in a neutral place or don’t meet them at all.
The whole lying thing reminds me of a concept called, “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Here’s the condensed version: If individuals exploit the resources of a common piece of land without thinking about the costs of that exploitation to other users, the land will wither and die. Hence, the “Tragedy.”
If apps are the land then trust is the resource. Anybody who lies about something important is exploiting “the commons” for their own personal gain and ruining it for others. That’s why it’s so important that you call out the liars.
Now, almost everyone fibs and fudges online, according to a study quoted on WebMD. In fact, the study showed 81% of online daters fibbed. That’s for heterosexuals. Can you imagine what it is for gay guys? You’d have to have advanced degrees in trigonometry and geometry to scale the heights of that number.
Fortunately, the study showed that “extreme lies” are rare, probably because the people who tell whoppers get tired of doors slamming in their face. The eventuality of meeting limits the lying to acceptable and undetectable levels. BTW, the majority of the fibs in the study were about age and weight, and most of those were fairly undetectable in real life. For example, stating that you weigh 160 lbs when you actually weigh 150 lbs.
So how do we avoid the “Tragedy of the Commons” when most of us are going to fib? By making sure that the lies do no harm. That means never lying if it:
- Compromises the Other Person’s Values. If he believes in monogamy and you lie about being single…well, you just manipulated him into violating his own moral code. Don’t do it.
- Puts His Health And Safety At Risk. That includes lying about STDs, drug use or, worse, owning the complete collection of Olivia Newton John albums.
- Pisses Him Off Because The Lies Are So Fucking Obvious. It’s okay to lie about your age if you really look the age you’re lying about. But if you say you’re 28 and you look like you owe Jesus three bucks for the lumber, then that’s NOT OKAY. It’s okay to lie about your weight if you’re near the weight you’re lying about. But it’s not okay if the guy’s looking for a slender build and you’re so fat you were born on the 24th, 25th and 26th of July.
Bottom Line: If somebody lies about something important, turn him away. Don’t be rude but do be direct. Just say, “I’m sorry but you don’t look anything like your pictures or anything in your profile. This isn’t going to work. Goodbye.”