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?"