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Jewish Journal

Dating 101: Lying vs. Embellishing

by Ilana Angel

March 27, 2014 | 3:56 pm

Have you ever been on a date and wondered to yourself, “What the hell am I doing here?” I think that often as I sit across from a man I have nothing in common with and can barely recognize from the picture that was used to lure me away from the comfort of my own home. Why do I bother? How is it I can think we would have something to talk about when I read their online profile, then be sitting with a man I have absolutely nothing to talk about with? Answer: Because it turns out most people lie about who they are.

I am able to talk to just about anyone. I am open and approachable, funny and charming. My online profile is honest and a true representation of who I am. My pictures are current, I know my height, age, and weight. I am quite simply fabulous and while not for everyone, there is someone out there who will find in me the person he wants to share his life with. That is how it works. Well, that is how it is supposed to work, but success requires both participating parties to be honest with each other and that rarely happens.

I have met men who have lied about everything from height, weight, marital status, religion, employment, and what they are looking for. I like to think people are inherently kind and lying comes from a place of loneliness, not a desire to deceive or hurt another human being. The lies could also come from a profound need to get laid, which I also understand, but the truth is that you will increase your chances of getting laid if the person you meet online looks like the person you meet in person. No good comes from lying.

This isn’t a blog about lying, but rather a look at my dating life. Not even specifically my dating life, as I imagine it is the same for everyone who is out there dating. It is hard. We all go through the same trials and tribulations. Nobody is without moments of joy and laughter, heartbreak and humiliation, but in the end the most important thing to hang onto when you are dating is hope. It is different for women than it is for men of course, but at the heart of the matter, we all need hope in order to date.

Hope that we will be safe, respected, entertained, and left with our hope intact. Not every date is going to be a keeper, but there is no reason every date can’t have value and leave you wanting to keep trying, rather than a desire to stick your hand down your own throat and remove a kidney. Dating should not be hard. It can be exhausting, but it should not be hard. I pride myself on being a kind and decent dater and I am amazed at how many men I meet who seem to lack the kind and decent gene. It is fascinating.

Am I dating the wrong types of men for me? Am I limiting myself by only dating Jews? Am I doing myself a disservice by not dating men with very young children? I have been thinking about this a lot lately and the answer to all three questions is no. I don’t know what my type is so dating a variety of men is a good thing. I am Jewish in my soul and I want a Jewish partner, so anything else would be settling. My son is heading off to college and so dating anyone with kids under the age of 13 makes no real sense.

I will continue to date because I would like to be in a relationship with a man who makes me happy, teaches me things, inspires me to be better, makes my heart flutter, and turns me on sexually. I have had all of things with different men over the years, but have yet to meet one man to give me everything. He will make me laugh, understand sarcasm, embrace romance, be a great kisser, and appreciate a woman who is both sensitive and bold. He will be kind to strangers and believe in helping those less fortunate.

I like men, am a strong woman, and have no hang-ups with gender roles. I like to clean house, cook, iron, do laundry, and pamper my partner. I can work a 10 hour day and still come home to make dinner and give a great massage. I am not ashamed to say such things. I am forward thinking but old fashioned. I like being a girl. I don’t need a man to take of me financially, but I do need him to take are of me emotionally. I want to be wanted and needed. I respect myself and therefore insist he respect me also.

I have learned over time that the man of my dreams will not look a certain way. He could be tall or short, heavy or thin, rich or poor. Those things don't matter because his heart, soul, character, and sense of humor will be what make an impact. I was contacted by a man online last week that I was intrigued by, and we spoke this week. He is at a complicated place in his life but when we spoke I sat up straight and may have even twirled my hair while I was taking to him, and so in the end there is always hope.

When I read this blog to my sister she told me the man I am describing is actually a woman. That's funny. She also said my dating life will be easier if I realize people don’t lie as much as they embellish. Everyone wants the same thing, just approach it differently. People are lonely and are trying to find love so when it comes to dating, we must hate the game not the player. Dating is indeed a game and when you throw in the Internet, it becomes a tristed game that is played by many and mastered by more.

We must learn to not take people's need to embellish personally. If we can look at our fellow daters as decent and kind people who are simply trying to meet someone, perhaps we can be a bit more compassionate. We will still be frustrated of course, and I am not saying to turn a blind eye to the obvious socipaths and douchebags, just maybe remember that dating is very hard and sometimes a person's desire to meet someone trumps the ability to diferentiate between a lie and an embellshment. 

To the single people who follow my dating life and write to share their own stories, stay hopeful. There are days we will want to give up, case the local animal shelter thinking of the cats inside, and go on dates feeling invincible and leave feeling broken. All of it is okay and nothing you experience is anything we are not all going through. It is going to be okay because we not only have hope, but we have each other. We will find what we seek if we believe and remember to keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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