Author Topic: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?  (Read 9468 times)

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Hawkwatcher

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2013, 01:00:51 PM »

I'm curious about whether the dating site actually had an option for "Southern European Ancestry, born in South America, currently a US citizen". If not, then I'd say it's up to the user to choose which of the closest options she wants to pick. But the choice she chose *was* accurate - she is of caucasian descent. Someone of Italian ancestry who was raised in Japan would not list Japanese as their ethnicity, even if they spoke English with a Japanese accent.

I would put most of these things under the same category as wearing flattering makeup and clothing and being on your best behaviour on the first date, or using a very good but untouched photo on the site.

For a similar example - some women are grossed out by excessive back hair. But guys aren't expected to show a topless back picture to let those women filter them out of their responses. If they want that detail, they have to get to know the guy, or ask directly before arranging a date.

Exactly. Let's pretend for a moment that Claudia's ancestors immigrated to South America during the late 19th century.  Would we think it strange for Claudia to describe her ethnicity as Asian despite being born in South America?

Twik

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2013, 07:36:03 PM »
Regarding Claudia's ancestry, I should have stated that dating sites (at least in the USA) tend to include "Hispanic/Latino" as an ethnicity. But Claudia marked "White/Caucasian/European" not only because she is of Italian ancestry, but because she does not want a particularly nasty stereotype about Latinas to be held against her.

In the Plenty of Fish site, the lowest option actually is "less than a year". I do not know if that is better or worse than to break ut down into "less than six months" and "between six months and a year". I do not consider several (meaning more than 3) dates in the span of 6 months to be tremendously short. In fact, if you make it to the third date, it likely means that there is nothing wrong with you and that there is even something desirable about you. But some people are really judgmental about other people not having been in a relationship before. Hence Suzanne put the "between 6 months and a year" option.

The older you are the more the fact that you haven't been in a long term relationship is worrying. Because it makes you wonder why. Is it because they just had bad luck and never found someone? Is it because they are so busy with other things they didn't have time for it then? Is it because they have unrealistic expectations of relationships? Is it because there is something wrong with them?

All or none of them could be the reason but I admit that I am not looking to be someone's first big relationship at this point in my life. They could be perfectly wonderful, but I don't want to go through those growing pains right now.

I am glad my boyfriend (of almost 13 months now) did not feel that way. He is my first serious relationship. Before meeting him, my longest relationship was pretty similar to Suzanne's case. I am happy that he gave me a chance. And he is happy too.

And how old are you? Like I said - the older you are the more of a difference it makes. What I wouldn't see as a big deal in a 17 year old I would see as a concern in a 35 year old and as a huge red flag in a 65 year old.
...

I'm sorry, but this is getting very close to offensive.

*Anyone* currently looking for a partner might have "something wrong with them," whether they have had a zillion partners or none. You are entitled to your own preferences, but you do not need to insult others on the board.
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2013, 07:04:09 AM »
Regarding Claudia's ancestry, I should have stated that dating sites (at least in the USA) tend to include "Hispanic/Latino" as an ethnicity. But Claudia marked "White/Caucasian/European" not only because she is of Italian ancestry, but because she does not want a particularly nasty stereotype about Latinas to be held against her.

In the Plenty of Fish site, the lowest option actually is "less than a year". I do not know if that is better or worse than to break ut down into "less than six months" and "between six months and a year". I do not consider several (meaning more than 3) dates in the span of 6 months to be tremendously short. In fact, if you make it to the third date, it likely means that there is nothing wrong with you and that there is even something desirable about you. But some people are really judgmental about other people not having been in a relationship before. Hence Suzanne put the "between 6 months and a year" option.

The older you are the more the fact that you haven't been in a long term relationship is worrying. Because it makes you wonder why. Is it because they just had bad luck and never found someone? Is it because they are so busy with other things they didn't have time for it then? Is it because they have unrealistic expectations of relationships? Is it because there is something wrong with them?

All or none of them could be the reason but I admit that I am not looking to be someone's first big relationship at this point in my life. They could be perfectly wonderful, but I don't want to go through those growing pains right now.

I am glad my boyfriend (of almost 13 months now) did not feel that way. He is my first serious relationship. Before meeting him, my longest relationship was pretty similar to Suzanne's case. I am happy that he gave me a chance. And he is happy too.

And how old are you? Like I said - the older you are the more of a difference it makes. What I wouldn't see as a big deal in a 17 year old I would see as a concern in a 35 year old and as a huge red flag in a 65 year old.
...

I'm sorry, but this is getting very close to offensive.

*Anyone* currently looking for a partner might have "something wrong with them," whether they have had a zillion partners or none. You are entitled to your own preferences, but you do not need to insult others on the board.

I don't see this as offensive. The fact is, as people get older, the chances of their never having had a relationship get smaller and smaller. Many (most?) 17 year olds have never had a relationship. Some 35 year olds have never had a relationship. And very few 65 year olds have never had a relationship. In other words, the older the person, the bigger the deviation from the societal norm. It's not right or wrong, it's just how it is.

You could say the same thing about a person who's never held a driver's licence, or travelled beyond their home state, or moved out of their parents' home. It's normal (by society's standards) for a 17 year old to never have done those things. Unusual for a 35 year old never to have done those things. And downright rare for a 65 year old never to have done those things.


MariaE

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2013, 07:15:43 AM »
I don't see this as offensive. The fact is, as people get older, the chances of their never having had a relationship get smaller and smaller. Many (most?) 17 year olds have never had a relationship. Some 35 year olds have never had a relationship. And very few 65 year olds have never had a relationship. In other words, the older the person, the bigger the deviation from the societal norm. It's not right or wrong, it's just how it is.

You could say the same thing about a person who's never held a driver's licence, or travelled beyond their home state, or moved out of their parents' home. It's normal (by society's standards) for a 17 year old to never have done those things. Unusual for a 35 year old never to have done those things. And downright rare for a 65 year old never to have done those things.

And if the original quote had just been that it's rare, I doubt Twik would ever have replied, but the words used were "concern" and "red flag". I doubt the poster meant any offence, but I understand Twik's objections.
 
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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2013, 08:12:56 AM »
I don't see this as offensive. The fact is, as people get older, the chances of their never having had a relationship get smaller and smaller. Many (most?) 17 year olds have never had a relationship. Some 35 year olds have never had a relationship. And very few 65 year olds have never had a relationship. In other words, the older the person, the bigger the deviation from the societal norm. It's not right or wrong, it's just how it is.

You could say the same thing about a person who's never held a driver's licence, or travelled beyond their home state, or moved out of their parents' home. It's normal (by society's standards) for a 17 year old to never have done those things. Unusual for a 35 year old never to have done those things. And downright rare for a 65 year old never to have done those things.

And if the original quote had just been that it's rare, I doubt Twik would ever have replied, but the words used were "concern" and "red flag". I doubt the poster meant any offence, but I understand Twik's objections.

But a person's red flags are personal views and a way to filter through the thousands of profiles. Many people would consider a 35 year old who lived with his parents a red flag, even though there may be perfectly good reasons for that arrangement. Or someone who was divorced multiple times (they may have changed, it may not have been their fault, etc).

Does that mean that the person in the ad is a failure? No. But some people believe they will have a better chance of connecting with someone with a different background and experience.

wolfie

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2013, 11:31:30 AM »
I don't see this as offensive. The fact is, as people get older, the chances of their never having had a relationship get smaller and smaller. Many (most?) 17 year olds have never had a relationship. Some 35 year olds have never had a relationship. And very few 65 year olds have never had a relationship. In other words, the older the person, the bigger the deviation from the societal norm. It's not right or wrong, it's just how it is.

You could say the same thing about a person who's never held a driver's licence, or travelled beyond their home state, or moved out of their parents' home. It's normal (by society's standards) for a 17 year old to never have done those things. Unusual for a 35 year old never to have done those things. And downright rare for a 65 year old never to have done those things.

And if the original quote had just been that it's rare, I doubt Twik would ever have replied, but the words used were "concern" and "red flag". I doubt the poster meant any offence, but I understand Twik's objections.

And they are red flags and concerns to me. They might not be red flags or concerns to other people. There are threads on this board that state anyone who has been divorced is a red flag to them. I am divorced - should I be offended that other people wouldn't want to date me? No - because wether or not I think they have a valid reason is irrelevant - everyone gets to make decisions for themselves as to what they do and do not want in their partner.

I did not mean any offense. And the previous poster was right - the older you get without having had some life experiences the further from the norm you are and that can be a cause for concern. I am also right out of a 12 year marriage. Things I am not willing to deal with today, might be things I don't care about a year from now. And vice versa - I may decide that previous relationships don't matter but your smoking history do. That is one of the joys of dating - everyone is different and noone is static.

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2013, 12:15:05 PM »

I'm curious about whether the dating site actually had an option for "Southern European Ancestry, born in South America, currently a US citizen". If not, then I'd say it's up to the user to choose which of the closest options she wants to pick. But the choice she chose *was* accurate - she is of caucasian descent. Someone of Italian ancestry who was raised in Japan would not list Japanese as their ethnicity, even if they spoke English with a Japanese accent.

I would put most of these things under the same category as wearing flattering makeup and clothing and being on your best behaviour on the first date, or using a very good but untouched photo on the site.

For a similar example - some women are grossed out by excessive back hair. But guys aren't expected to show a topless back picture to let those women filter them out of their responses. If they want that detail, they have to get to know the guy, or ask directly before arranging a date.

Precisely. I have a slender build but a little bit of a tummy - should I post a pic of myself in a crop top to be sure I'm being totally transparent and honest about my appearance? I certainly don't want to trick a man who prefers ladies who have washboard abs into going on a casual date with me!

I think it is safe to assume that any person you meet is going to have something about their appearance that may not be to your taste. If there isn't enough chemistry/attraction otherwise to "cancel out" the perceived flaw, then there probably isn't enough chemistry/attraction for the relationship to have worked out anyway.

TurtleDove

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2013, 12:16:22 PM »

And they are red flags and concerns to me. They might not be red flags or concerns to other people. There are threads on this board that state anyone who has been divorced is a red flag to them. I am divorced - should I be offended that other people wouldn't want to date me? No - because wether or not I think they have a valid reason is irrelevant - everyone gets to make decisions for themselves as to what they do and do not want in their partner.

I did not mean any offense. And the previous poster was right - the older you get without having had some life experiences the further from the norm you are and that can be a cause for concern. I am also right out of a 12 year marriage. Things I am not willing to deal with today, might be things I don't care about a year from now. And vice versa - I may decide that previous relationships don't matter but your smoking history do. That is one of the joys of dating - everyone is different and noone is static.

Well stated.  As an aside, I am both divorced and widowed at age 39, with a child by a third man I was never married to.  That sounds awful on paper, and these are major red flags to many people.  But my boyfriend saw these facts as character building and were part of his attraction to me - he knew I had been through some really hard things in life and thrived despite them. Different people are looking for different things!

gollymolly2

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2013, 12:49:06 PM »

And they are red flags and concerns to me. They might not be red flags or concerns to other people. There are threads on this board that state anyone who has been divorced is a red flag to them. I am divorced - should I be offended that other people wouldn't want to date me? No - because wether or not I think they have a valid reason is irrelevant - everyone gets to make decisions for themselves as to what they do and do not want in their partner.

I did not mean any offense. And the previous poster was right - the older you get without having had some life experiences the further from the norm you are and that can be a cause for concern. I am also right out of a 12 year marriage. Things I am not willing to deal with today, might be things I don't care about a year from now. And vice versa - I may decide that previous relationships don't matter but your smoking history do. That is one of the joys of dating - everyone is different and noone is static.

Well stated.  As an aside, I am both divorced and widowed at age 39, with a child by a third man I was never married to.  That sounds awful on paper, and these are major red flags to many people.  But my boyfriend saw these facts as character building and were part of his attraction to me - he knew I had been through some really hard things in life and thrived despite them. Different people are looking for different things!

Right.  We all have all things about ourselves that are unappealing on paper or could throw up red flags for some segment of the population.  If you're on spouse number 4, it's simply a reality that some strangers on a dating site are going to think "what's her deal?"

Never having had a relationship in your thirties is similarly unusual, and would likely cause people to wonder at the reasons. That's true, whether or not the conclusions they draw are fair or accurate.

I understand Suzanne's conundrum here. Because if I were online dating, I would definitely filter out people who hadn't had at least one long term relationship by this point. Not because there's something wrong with them, necessarily, but because as a previous poster said, I'm just not interested in being in a relationship with that experience level at this point of my life. So even though I might otherwise be keen to go on a date with Suzanne, I wouldn't if she answered the question honestly. And I imagine I'm not the only one who would screen her out for that reason. So it makes sense for her to fudge the numbers.

On the other hand, it does seem somewhat deceitful to change an attribute about yourself for the sole purpose of not getting rejected by people who don't like that attribute. 

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2013, 02:18:24 PM »
I did online dating for about five years before I met DH (with time off for six months here and there when I met someone who I clicked with for an extended period of time).

For the first, oh, three and a half years, the pictures I used were of me wearing makeup and contacts.  And that's generally what I'd look like on my first few dates.  But after that, I'd usually revert to what I looked like the other 95% of the time: no makeup, and glasses, unless it was a special occasion.  While nobody ever complained that I was misrepresenting myself, after so many years of not really successful online dating, I decided to change my approach.

I put up pictures that I felt really represented how I looked on an average day.  Not necessarily unattractive, but definitely not putting my best foot forward.  I figured I'd rather someone be pleasantly surprised by my appearance than unpleasantly.  I also changed the content of my profile to tell prospective suitors exactly what I expected from them in their initial contact but that's not relevant here. 

I found that I didn't get any fewer responses after the profile overhaul, and actually connected better with those who did respond.  DH was one of them.

So, in my case I felt like being honest about my appearance worked out better.

But here's an example of a small misrepresentation that I was okay with.  One of the guys I met online and dated for several months had listed his height on his profile as 5'6".  Before we actually met but after several flirtatious emails, he admitted to me that his height was actually more like 5'3", but explained that he was often filtered out of girl's searches since they were looking for someone taller.  His height didn't matter too much to me (and he was shorter than I am) but I think I, too, had indicated a minimum height of 5'6" on what I was looking for, without even really thinking about it.  So in his case, I didn't mind the dishonesty, especially since he came clean before we even met.

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2013, 02:19:49 PM »
I did not mean any offense. And the previous poster was right - the older you get without having had some life experiences the further from the norm you are and that can be a cause for concern.

I am quite happy to accept that you don't mean any offence, but you might have wanted to stop after saying that. Being the "norm" is no guarantee that there is no cause for concern.
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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #41 on: May 23, 2013, 02:30:18 PM »
As Earthgirl showed so nicely, the minor misrepresentations can work against the person seeking dates. The one I think of is the one about the woman who has ties to Argentina and is worried about people thinking she had a bad temper.

Why would you want to date someone who holds such ridiculous views? It's like pretending you are of a different race so you can date a racist?

One should include such information to screen out idiots.

However, I can see why you may want to avoid mentioning the information if, instead of screening out idiots, it attracted them. A previous poster mentioned that she met many men who made assumptions about her easy Scrabble availability based on her nationality. In that case, I can see not mentioning it.

Basically, think of who you want to be with and put together a profile that people you would dislike will reject, but would attract people you would like.


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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #42 on: May 23, 2013, 02:45:47 PM »
I did not mean any offense. And the previous poster was right - the older you get without having had some life experiences the further from the norm you are and that can be a cause for concern.

I am quite happy to accept that you don't mean any offence, but you might have wanted to stop after saying that. Being the "norm" is no guarantee that there is no cause for concern.

I also didn't say it was a cause for concern. I said it can be. Some people won't care. Some people will. I have a few things about me that are further from the norm and honestly I would be surprised if it didn't give someone a pause. I would hope that if we were clicking they would decide they could live with it, but if they can't then so be it. It doesn't really say anything about either of us other then that we are not compatible.

TurtleDove

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #43 on: May 23, 2013, 03:11:29 PM »
I am not really following why some people are offended by what other people look for or don't in a mate. It's not a personal slam against anyone, it's simply a matter of preference. I mean, I think women are great, but I wouldn't want to date one. I also think men under age 35 or over 50 are great, but I wouldn't want to date one. I think men under six feet tall are great, but I wouldn't want to date one. I am absolutely positive that none of you on this site would want to date me....and I don't want to date you either! I cannot fathom being offended by that!

And regarding cause for concern....this is all so unique to each particular person that I don't understand being offended. So particular people are not compatible! All it means is that they wouldn't work as mates, not that one is "right" and one "wrong," or one is "date able" and the other is not!

Lynn2000

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Re: Small misrepresentations- marketing, or deceit?
« Reply #44 on: May 23, 2013, 04:47:59 PM »
I understand Suzanne's conundrum here. Because if I were online dating, I would definitely filter out people who hadn't had at least one long term relationship by this point. Not because there's something wrong with them, necessarily, but because as a previous poster said, I'm just not interested in being in a relationship with that experience level at this point of my life. So even though I might otherwise be keen to go on a date with Suzanne, I wouldn't if she answered the question honestly. And I imagine I'm not the only one who would screen her out for that reason. So it makes sense for her to fudge the numbers.

On the other hand, it does seem somewhat deceitful to change an attribute about yourself for the sole purpose of not getting rejected by people who don't like that attribute.

Interesting thread! Someone said earlier that some people on dating sites get into the mindset that they're "shopping" for a "perfect match," which I think is probably reinforced by the ability to search by all these different criteria. I mean, if the search page says, "What height would you prefer?" it's going to filter by literally whatever you choose--the computer is not going to say, "I know you wanted him to be at least 5'7", but there's this really charming guy who's 5'5" and matches all your other criteria, how about giving him a try?" Now THAT would be an award-winning algorithm! :)

To me it's the mindset behind a choice that's more important. It sounds like Suzanne is deliberately stretching the "6 months to a year" choice to cover a situation that she knows is not what is typically meant, in order to make herself seem more appealing (aka, not a "loser"). It might not be the sort of deception that someone else would immediately notice (as opposed to, say, 6 inches difference in height), but I think it's... self-deceptive, if that makes sense. It shows that Suzanne thinks of herself, in some sense, as a loser that people wouldn't want to date if they knew the "truth." If I were in her shoes--knowing the most accurate answer was X, but fearing that X would make me less appealing--I would just leave the question blank, rather than contorting the answer to be Y in my head.

To me the ethnicity one is trickier. Again my concern is more with why Claudia is choosing X and not Y. I think I might have chosen "White" on the searchable list, then in the bio said something like, "born in Argentina of Italian background, now a US citizen..." Avoiding "Latino" on the searchable options would filter out those who were looking for "hot Latinas" pretty quickly, but then the bio would expand on something that is, presumably, important to my self-identity and my journey in life. Personally I am a plain white bread Northern European mutt, so I've never had to decide from multiple ethnicity options, and can't claim much insight into the process; but to me it would be sad if someone said (like Suzanne), "Well, instinctively I know I ought to choose X, but I can 'pass' for Y, and Y seems more appealing to people, so I'm going to choose that."

The arm thing is, I think, completely in the normal range of choosing flattering clothing and poses, especially if the photo is typical of how she dresses most of the time. To me, more extreme would be posting only "glamor shots" with heavy make-up, styled hair, and fancy clothes that in no way represent what the person looks like 99% of the time. Even then I think it'd be less of a "liar, liar" moment and more like, "Oh. Don't you think you look nice normally?"
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