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All The Ladies Are Interested Now

This article was written by in People. 54 comments.


This is a guest article by Sam, the author of the blog Financial Samurai and the founder of the Yakezie Challenge and Network. He writes a column for Consumerism Commentary every other Tuesday.

What a difference a couple weeks makes! Craig has gone from depressed online dater to someone with a ton of self esteem. What happened in those two weeks you ask? First of all, Craig reached his one-month anniversary on his site, so his account was automatically upgraded to “regular member” status. This helps him show up in more search results since many women choose to view men who have been members at least one month to weed out less serious candidates. Second of all, Craig did raise his reported income level from $55,000 to $100,000 thanks to all the advice from readers who said that even though women say they don’t care about money, they really do.

The final major difference Craig employed was to stop feeling sorry for himself and start actively going out and contacting women he finds interesting. The more he contacted, the more responses he got. It’s not like every woman is responding. Far from it. Instead, Craig notes that about one in every five women get back to him. Simple math therefore dictates that if he were to contact 30 women a month, he’d be able to start dialogues with around six of them — and that is exactly what he’s done.

Fabio lives

The key advice Craig tells us during our weekly poker games is that online dating is a numbers game. “Take nothing personally guys! There are so many women out there looking for love, it just takes patience!” “I’ve lined up two dates a week for the past two weeks, and I’m planning on going out with this hot tamale!”

Craig brings up a picture of this one beautiful woman on his iPhone and everybody starts clamoring. She’s incredibly fit with flaming red hair and a body that could very well be in the next Sports Illustrated swimsuit magazine. “Wow, you sure she didn’t respond to you by mistake?” asked one player. “Craig, there’s no way in hell you’re going out with her,” says another.

With each passing of the iPhone, we all take turns busting Craig’s chops, now that he thinks he’s Casanova. All was going according to plan until the phone reached one fella who did a double take. “Wait a minute, I could have sworn I’ve seen her somewhere before.”

“Shut the hell up, Tim. You’ve never seen her before fool!” Craig retorted.

“No, no, I really have seen her before! She was on Craigslist’s Adult Services section before the Feds shut it down,” Tim explained. At this point, we all busted out laughing. All of us, except for Tim. “I’m dead serious guys! Since the Feds shut down Craigslist’s shady section, where do you think all these women suddenly go?”

“Hmmm, good point Tim, but I don’t care. She’s hot and the only thing I’m paying for is sashimi and sake, punk!” Craig says defiantly.

Let’s discuss: he said

I’m sure some of you want to rewind back to Craig’s second initiative, and that is him raising his income level to $100,000. Is it really so bad to fudge a little on income if women fudge on their weight, height, and age? Craig actually went out with one 33 year old woman last week who looked like she was still in her mid twenties from her picture. Surprise, surprise. She looked like she was in her mid twenties because the picture was taken six years ago! Craig couldn’t wait to pay the bill and get out!

What’s the harm in saying you make $45,000 a year more than you really make? Who’s to say Craig can’t make $45,000 more in the next 12 months? Craig certainly can, and until 12 months is over, he’s not lying one bit. So long as Craig treats the woman well, that’s all that matters since he looks exactly like what his pictures show, and enjoys things exactly as his profile describes.

Let’s discuss: she said

Craig is actually incredibly disappointed by this red-haired woman who calls herself AvedaQueen. thanks to Tim’s comments. She is an incredibly attractive hair colorist who hasn’t been responsive, yet she has agreed to go out with him. She’s an eight out of ten in Craig’s mind in terms of attractiveness. Now all Craig thinks about is whether AvedaQueen really is a prostitute and whether she finds Craig interesting.

It doesn’t matter one bit that AvedaQueen colors hair for a living or has a five year old child at 28 years old. He likes her profile and finds her attractive. If she is a part-time prostitute, how does she expect to get paid since most guys will have no idea such a curve ball is coming? Perhaps after a great evening of fine wine, where she’s lulled him in so deeply with her beauty and charm, she can tell him the truth and proposition him? Yes, that must be it because at that point, she’ll have at least eaten a free meal and had a good time.

He won’t know until he tries

Maybe AvedaQueen is not a prostitute, and Tim is just joking around. Or maybe she is, and is using a free online dating site to lure new customers. Whatever the case may be, Tim is still extremely curious and wants to at least take her out and see for himself. Tim’s income exaggeration pales in comparison to AvedaQueen’s deception. A simple role reversion buttresses the point. In the land of online data, nothing is what it seems. As long as you enter the world with your eyes wide open, you’ll be fine!

Readers, is it OK stretch the truth in the online dating world since it is so prevalent? Who is being more deceptive here, Craig or AvedaQueen? Once again, does it really matter how much a guy makes, and if not, does it matter how much Craig says he makes?

Published or updated November 2, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Sam writes about personal finance at Financial Samurai and is the founder of the Yakezie, one of the largest personal finance and lifestyle networks in the world. Follow Financial Samurai on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Cindy

So, to recap: It’s ok to lie, as long as it *could* be true someday, and hey, the chick looks nice, but a friend who doesn’t know her says she might be a prostitute, so why feel bad about misleading her? After all, she’s a hair-colorist who had a kid at a perfectly reasonable age. What a loser. She deserves to be lied to! Great examples of how to think of fellow human beings. I hope you don’t justify your own actions the way you’re excusing your friend’s.

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avatar Juggler314

A nice piece of politicking – pick a tiny point out and go after that. The point here was is it ok to fudge something if you know it’s likely everyone else is also fudging something. I did this years ago and was extremely truthful in my profile, I often was told it was surprising and refreshing to meet someone who was exactly as tall as they said they were (5’8″ – and I can assure you MANY men uder 5’10″ wouldn’t even think about listing their true height) as well as being truthful about everything else. I think if it’s a “get the toe in the door gesture” and one were to come clean at some reasonably early point – why not. If the woman wont date anyone under X dollars/year in income she’ll never talk to him again – no harm, and if not it’ll work out.

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avatar tom

Physical appearance and income are completely separate. You can lie all you want about physical characteristics, but as soon you meet that person you see the “truth”.

Income is completely different. The person you start dating might not know the truth until well past the “reasonably early point” in the relationship. By the time it comes out, it very well could be deal breaker. You can argue that if it’s about money then you’re shallow, blah blah blah. It’s not about money, it’s about honesty and respect. Especially in this case where Craig is doubling his “income”.

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avatar Juggler314

I think the long story short is that if the person were to hide something like this, and end up in a relationship based on it – it would likely go badly. If he ends up in a relationship and the person is ok with this early “white lie” then it’s all good isn’t it. The saying goes “All’s fair in love and war”.

I think another thing people don’t realize is that unless someone really and truly doesn’t care about income they are always going to check a few of those boxes about who to search for. And likely anyone (especially in the tri-state area) is going to look for 100K+ – something you would not be selecting for when you meet people other ways. Even if it’s not really a requirement, women may be prone to not even considering because the option is there to check.

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

Juggler, stop it already. You are being to rational and objective!

avatar Stevedh

Getting back to money matters; So this means the woman who bought the Mercedes based on the income she might have been making if she was working rather than collecting disability is good to go — huh?

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avatar Beth

Good point! Aren’t PF blogs always saying not to make money decisions based on cash you don’t have?

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

Don’t listen to PF bloggers. They are all a little crazy and egomaniacal!

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avatar Mary

Me to my mortgage broker: “Well, I could be making $100,000 by the end of the year…”

How do you think THAT conversation is going to go?

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

Perhaps. Every day there’s a transaction that requires a judgement call. A school let’s you in bc of your potential, a bank loans you money bc of your business plan, etc.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,485 (Platinum)

And if you lie about your grades or SAT scores (well, they’re official documents, so you’d have to forge them), the school would be letting you in under false pretenses. Schools have codes of ethics and if you’re caught violating them, you’re out. If you lie about your financials to a bank in order to get a loan, you could end up in serious trouble. You’re not making your case for lying. Income may be an intrusive question to ask about for an online dating website, but it’s not a judgment call. It’s usually pretty specific, even though it doesn’t account for regional variations in income or cost-of-living differences.

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avatar Beth

So all women lie, so it’s okay for men to lie? Two wrongs don’t make a right, and they certainly don’t make for successful relationships. You have to be better than that.

Sorry, but this situation is a joke. This post is a joke. I wish Craig well, but I hope he meets someone because he’s honest and because of his good traits — not because he’s screwing around. Sorry dude, but you’re wasting your time.

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avatar Mary

I think Craig’s success has more to do with the fact that he’s putting himself out there more and stopped feeling sorry for himself. We don’t know income was the issue, so how can we suddenly say that the lie has made him a success?

I hope once Craig gets this little deception out of his system that he’ll realize there are honest people out there and that he would rather be one of them than someone who has to lie to get dates.

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

You’re probably right. Dating is totally a numbers game as it is an inefficient market. He’s confident and putting himself out there now!

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avatar tom

I think the real question is:

Why was your friend Tim surfing the Craig’s List Adult Services section?

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

That was exactly what I asked Tim!! His response? “Uhhh, errrrr, ummm, u know.” :)

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,485 (Platinum)

First of all, you can’t attribute more responses to the change in income status because it’s not the only variable in this “experiment” that has changed. Second of all, just because some women lie (about their image or weight, for example) doesn’t make it ok for a man to lie (about his income or anything else). Even if Craig thinks his income may approach $100,000, it’s still a lie. Now, he may find a woman who doesn’t care if the man is not authentic. Let the two settle for each other and live happily ever after.

If an initial interaction is based on at a flat out lie — not even a legitimate embellishment — that’s bad news for a long term relationship with anyone who cares about authenticity.

If this merely a social experiment, Craig playing games to see what would happen if he lied on a social dating website, it’s not very nice to involve other people who are not aware they are part of an experiment and whose feelings are affected by the experiment.

Everything is pointing to Craig being what most people would consider a “jerk” — whether it’s lying to seem more attractive to others or to boost his self-esteem, or conducting a social experiment using real people. Sorry, Craig!

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avatar Mary

Kudos, Flexo!

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avatar Beth

Yay, Flexo! I agree with you on the social experiment. There’s a reason that research facilities have a strict ethics review procedure. Frankly, I think this whole situation is immature and takes away from the value of the Consumerism Commentary blog.

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

Dang, no wonder why Flexo put up another post soon after this one! He’s reading all comments and listening to his readers! Way to go Beth!

How long have you been with your loved one Beth? And would you tolerate it if he said he got a small promotion, even if he didn’t b/c all he wanted to do was make you feel proud of him?

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avatar Beth

Nah, in web publishing controversy drives traffic. I know how it works.

And in answer to your question, if he has to lie to me about getting a promotion, there’s obviously a much bigger problem going on and I’d want to address that.

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

How long have you been with your boyfriend/husband?

avatar Beth

What, are you trying to be one of my girlfriends now? Sorry, but I don’t talk specifics with most of them either.

I do recommend reading up on logical fallacies. You’re getting away from the argument at hand. If someone lies about their income at any stage of a relationship, it’s not going to have a good outcome. Sure, the consequences are different for a new relationship versus an established one, but I’d still argue that lying is wrong in any case.

avatar eric ♦1,549 (Half-Dollar)

Gotta give it to you on this one Flexo. Victory point for you :)

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

Who are we battling?

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avatar tom

I completely disagree with Craig fudging his income.

No offense intended to your friend, but if he’s only making $55K at 32… he will not be making $100 by 33, especially in this construction market.

I’m already married, but if my wife, when we started dating, said I make $100K a year and I come to find out she only makes $55K. I would be pissed. Relationships have to be based on trust, so unless your buddy Craig is prepared to deal with the consequences of coming clean, I suggest he tell truth.

Also, fudging your income and “lying” about weight and physical characteristics are mutually exclusive. If a woman lies about her weight or puts a picture of her that’s 6 years old, all that comes out on the first date. He said it himself (or you did) that when he went out with a woman and found out she “lied” about her picture, he couldn’t wait to get out of there. What does he think is going to happen when he divulges (eventually) that he fudged his income and said he makes TWICE as much as he actually does?

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avatar tom

mutually exclusive is not the correct phrase…

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

Maybe by the time Craig gets to that stage of magic in 3 hrs, he’ll make that much?

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avatar jim

And maybe pigs will fly?

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avatar First Gen American

The online dating thing wasn’t that popular when I was single a gazillion years ago, but I hear from friends that the younger thinner profile picture is quite common for men and women.

Perhaps the hot redhead isn’t a prostitute at all, but stole the profile picture off the internet to use as her own.

I’d be pretty mad about the income thing or any other blatant lies. Dating stinks because it takes forever to figure out what part of the person is real vs made up. I guess that’s why I ended up marrying someone I knew for a while before we ever started dating. I knew exactly what he was like already.

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

Dating sure does take FOREVER! Some love it, some don’t. Heck, there are guys who are in their mid 30s and 40s who are still dating or been withthe same woman since their 20s and 30s and can’t commit!

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avatar Apex

I agree with everyone here that lying about the income is a bad idea and is likely to not be helpful if his goal is long term.

However it is naive for people to suggest money doesn’t matter at all to women, but the thing is 55K is not chump change. That’s above median income so there have to be plenty of people who would find that number acceptable.

If Craig is hoping to land someone who is expecting a 6 figure income, well that has downsides as well. Women want the man to make enough to not be a bum. Women who want the man to make enough so they are rich intend to spend that money. So personally, while I do make 6 figures, I don’t want a woman who expects me to make 6 figures cause I will only have 4 figures left when she is done. It also might hypothetically attract red haired prostitutes who realize you have the funds to purchase their product.

Be careful what you wish for.

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avatar Beth

Very true! I think guys tend to assign much more value to size than they should — it’s what you do with it! I want someone who shares my values and money smarts, it doesn’t matter how much he makes if he can’t save or give back.

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

“I will only have 4 figures when she’s done” Awesome!! Hopefully, you had a great time tho!

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avatar Money Obedience

Different strokes for different folks. My wife and I do not condone any lie and find telling lies unacceptable. We met online almost eight years ago and neither one of us lied about anything. I told her right away that I was a good match for her except for my two left legs that couldn’t salsa dance with her. This was fine by her. There is no way that either one of us would enter into a long-term relationship that starts out even with as little as a white lie. We would not adjust our attitude just because almost everybody else lies while dating on the internet. It doesn’t make it right just because the majority does it.

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

I hope your wife and you don’t condone lying to each other. Good thing Craig hardly knows any of these women.

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avatar DonnaFreedman ♦80 (Newbie)

A relationship built on lies isn’t much of a relationship. It also seems like a huge double standard: Craig moans that all women care about is money, but all he seems to care about is whether a “hot tamale” would want to date him.
If the same profile that AvedaQueen used were paired with an ordinary-looking woman, he’d probably fly right on by. Yet women are supposed to look past a guy’s salary and see into his soul?
How magnanimous of him not to be bothered by the fact that she “colors hair for a living.” Would he want to hear her say to her friends, “He’s a nail-banger but I guess I’m OK with that.” Both occupations are perfectly respectable.
So he’s willing to play fast and loose with the numbers. Suppose he falls deeply in love with one of his online dates and they get engaged — and it turns out that she has $55k in consumer debt. “I didn’t tell you because I *might* have paid it off before the wedding,” she says. “Besides, you make $100,000 a year — we can handle the payments, right?”

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avatar Alice

If I were online dating and saw your profile show a $55k income, then a week later saw it was increased to $100k, I would call shenanigans and move on, probably blocking your profile altogether so I would never see it again and you couldn’t contact me. It is extremely shady and gives the impression that you think women are shallow and greedy. Whether or not they ARE shallow and greedy, you don’t want to give that impression if you’re trying to find a date, do you?

And why couldn’t you “wait to pay the bill and get out” of the date with the 33 year old woman? Did the date just go that badly? Were you only interested in women 10 years younger than yourself (which is pretty shallow)? Or were you disgusted that she lied by posting an outdated photo?

As for AvedaQueen, even prostitutes (current or former) are entitled to want to find love, sometimes. She may be completely legitimate.

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

True. Even prostitutes need love too.

Craig just found the woman attractive in real life. Oh well.

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avatar Evan

If money doesn’t mean anything to women…then whether he put 52K or 100K or 1mil shouldn’t really matter, should it? Falling back on the “trust” issue argument is PURE BS and you (whoever is using it – I am not directing this at one person) are just using the argument to make yourself feel betterr – because you are “above” the money thing.

Call a spade a spade – Money matters and that is ok! Just like anyone that says “all else being equal (i.e. not impeding on hapiness) I don’t want to be wealthy” is just lying

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avatar Beth

Well, I can’t speak for others, but trust is a big issue for me because I’ve had it betrayed so many times. It’s not BS, and I can’t see how the argument makes me feel better about myself?

Yes, money matters to me, but as I pointed out in earlier comments it’s how my potential partner manages it that matters more so than the amount. A guy who’s got his life together — e.g. job he enjoys, savings, no consumer debt, etc. — is what counts.

I’m sorry if that’s a threat to the guys out there who are proud of their big incomes, but that makes them feel better, not me.

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avatar Beth

Okay, let me be more specific. I don’t earn as much as Craig does. Most of the people in my social circle don’t earn six figures either. Doesn’t stop us from being happy, well-adjusted people and enjoying life. Doesn’t stop us from loving and being loved.

Saying that trust matters to me and a high income doesn’t isn’t some lie I’m telling myself to feel better. (I have more self-respect than that!) It’s the experience I live, and it’s part of my values and faith.

If you don’t want to believe that, that’s fine. It’s your problem, not mine.

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avatar Evan

Maybe the wrong women are checking out Match.com and the right women are chilling out on Consumerism Commentary?

I am not saying trust isn’t important, but can’t a man’s income (or lied about income in this case lol) be important as well? Maybe it isn’t as important, but it certaintly is important.

Men and Women are hardwired genetically to look for certain things. Going back to caveman days safetfy and stability is one of them for women. Does it mean all women? absolutely not and like I said maybe the awesome ones are just chilling on Flexo’s site.

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avatar Beth

lol! Good point! If I was looking to make my fortune by marrying well, I wouldn’t be reading personal finances sites ;) Instead, I take care of myself and I’m a bit of a cynic when it comes to money.

Safety and stability is one thing, but we’ve also got centuries of oppression behind us too. I’m not trying to go all feminist here, but until the last 60 years or so most women didn’t have too many options for supporting themselves and their children. The husband was it. It’s really hard to let go of those deeply ingrained social norms.

I don’t doubt money is important to many women, but we’re in a better position now to earn it ourselves than ever before ;)

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,485 (Platinum)

Sure, money can be important, and *is* important when you figure that many successful relationships include people who similar attitudes towards money (and income potential)… and because money *is* important, like anything important, it is worth *not* lying about. Not only does it make things difficult when the truth is revealed, but many people live by a set of ethics (morals, technically) that includes truthfulness, though people are certainly free not to include this in their set of ethics.

avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

I like calling a spade a heart flush draw. Careful here Evan! You will outnumbered if you go on your regular rant!!

Stay neutral mate.

avatar jim

Money is important. Trust is important.

Lying about *anything* is a sign that you’re untrustworthy. That is even true for things that I don’t really consider important.

I mean I really don’t care if people prefer white rice or brown rice. If someone tells me they hate brown rice and then I turn around and see them eating a ton of brown rice then I’m going to wonder. If someone tells me they make $100k and then I find out they make $55k then I’m going to label them a liar. I don’t care how much they make. But if they lie about their income then they have demonstrated they lie about things. Who knows what else they might lie about?

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avatar Brucebucks

I have heard of so many women who adjust their weight and pit up old pictures of themselves on these online dating sites. if they do not give accurate information about themselves then tell craig to increase his salary. The other question is does he want a woman who only wants to date for his money. Might want to wait for a girl who likes him no matter what he makes.

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avatar jim

Lying is not a good idea. Lying in your online dating profile is not a good idea.
Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Nearly doubling your income is not “fudging”.
Claiming he *might* make that much is just a BS rationalization.

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avatar Mary

I still don’t get it. If a girl is going to reject Craig’s profile because he earns $55K, then isn’t she going to reject him later on for the same reason? Is she supposed to meet him and think he’s so great that she’ll overlook the fact that he isn’t a high earner AND he lied about it?

Craig needs to get some self-respect.

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avatar jim

I guess that when the lies are exposed, then they both chuckle, clink their glasses together, get married and live happily ever after?

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avatar Beth

I think that only works if you’re a character in a Disney movie. I’m pretty sure Craig doesn’t have a genie in a lamp, though that would solve the problem of him earning $100K this year… ;)

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avatar Financial Samurai ♦290 (Nickel)

Howdy folks, I thought it would be a good idea to check in on what you guys would want to read about in the “Looking For Love In All The Right Places” thematic series that I’ve been writing about. I’ve got a lot of ideas, but thought I’d ask anyway.

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avatar KNS Financial ♦404 (Nickel)

Sam, you definitely have a gift for getting people “riled up”!

I don’t think it’s ok for anyone to lie. I’d much rather be with someone who is ok with me making my current salary, than to feel as though I have to constantly live up to something I’m not. It’s also not fair to the person on the other end. No one wants to prepare to pick up a 26 year old, and end up going out with someone who’s 45!

I think all parties involved should just be honest and upfront, and let things happen naturally. Obviously, the prostitute just needs to find another line of business anyway!

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