Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences

Dear Michele,
I think I know the answer to this, but is it okay to stretch the truth a little to show my best light on my profile, kinda like how I would on my resume? I mean, too much information too soon is never good, right? I figure when I meet the right guy, I can tell him the truth about me once I know he’s interested, because then he will be much more accepting. If you have noticed, dating is not a very tolerant place to bear your true self, so I’m not sure what else to do?


My Best Self

Dear My Best Self,

Well, you’re right. You do already know the answer to your question. Sounds like you want someone to justify your rationale. I hear you using the difficulty of dating as an excuse to make it harder on yourself by lying. Maybe you don’t know this part: the more you lie, the more you are likely to attract other liars. Your true self is always better than your best self if you’re stretching the truth, and they should be the same “self” when you are able to be completely honest.

You may now be saying to yourself, “I’m not lying, just showing myself in the best light possible.” Ok, it’s true your profile is not the place to explain anything you feel shameful about. But it is the place to be honest about your marriage status, your age, your Catholic faith and your feelings about children, just to name a few. If you feel shame about any of these areas, then it’s likely you need to examine why you feel that way. Thinking others will see you in a negative light might be more of your own perception of how you feel about your past.

If you are still struggling with events from your past, then take your feelings to the Cross and bring them to the foot of Jesus. He does not judge you, and neither should other faithful Catholics. If you haven’t gone to reconciliation, then go. And don’t take a 10 minute slot on a Saturday, schedule a time where you can be relaxed and not rushed with the priest so you can explain the depths of your feelings. If you have gone, then go again and explain your struggle with feeling confident in who you are and forgiven for your past. You can also confide in a trusted mentor or counselor.

Of course I don’t have the specifics on what you are trying to hide. Maybe you’re simply answering the questions on the profile in a way that you hope will make you more attractive to potential dates. But if you attract someone by stretching the truth, then you will always have the underlying anxiety about when he may discover the “real” you. Relationships are hard enough, why add complications so quickly? People who date with character and integrity, two ingredients for healthy long-term relationships, would likely walk away after learning you were not completely honest.

Remember the biblical principle: Be of the Light, and those of the Light will be attracted to you. Your profile is simply your introduction page. There really shouldn’t be any reason to lie. Then, if you start dating someone, choose the appropriate time to reveal more of yourself, both the good and the bad. The right date, the one who is also living in the Light, will be attracted to your honesty and ability to be humble. Those who could never handle it to begin with will turn and run away, and will stop wasting your time. And isn’t that what you really want anyhow?

God Bless on your journey,

Michele Fleming, M.A.