Lying about age is surest way to alienate a date

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
October 16, 2019, 10:00 AM GMT+0

Weight, salary, political leanings: YouGov looks at the fibs most likely to hurt your chances of a second date

Last year a Dutch man named Emile Ratelband went to court to ask that his age be legally reduced from 69 to 49. The near-septuagenarian – who admittedly does look much younger than his years – told judges that his actual age damaged his dating prospects. Sadly for Mr Ratelband, the request was declined.

Now new YouGov RealTime research reveals that lies about age are more likely than any other to alienate prospective partners.

Six in ten Britons (61%) say it would bother them “a lot” or “a fair amount” if their date turned out to be a lot older than they had said. A similar proportion (60%) feel the same way of a date being much younger than they had implied.

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Age exaggerations are especially likely to bother younger people – which is not necessarily surprising, as big lies to younger adults could represent much more noticeable differences.

For instance, while 72% of 18 to 29 year olds would be bothered by someone being a lot older than they claimed, and 66% said the same of someone who was a lot younger, these figures fall to 59% and 56% respectively for those aged 60 and over.

Just as likely to annoy people is lying about your motivations for going on a date, at 60%. This bothers women a lot more than men, at 69% versus 50%.

Women are especially unimpressed by people claiming to be taller

Earlier this year, Tinder played an April Fool’s joke on users by telling them that it would be introducing a new “height verification” function, to ensure that swipers weren’t exaggerating.

While the feature may have been just a joke, it’s seemingly something that women would welcome: 53% say they would be annoyed to find their date was a lot shorter than they had claimed. This was in fact the issue most likely to divide the genders, with only 22% of men saying they would be bothered by a much shorter date than they expected. The results also showed that 28% of women would also be bothered by a date being a little shorter, compared to just 8% of men.

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Tinder’s prank backfired to a certain extent, with many users on social media telling the company that they should introduce a weight verification tool instead. The results show that this too might be a well-received feature, with half of Britons (51%) would be bothered by someone who weighed a lot more than they had said. This is a view held just as likely to be held by women (53%) as men (50%).

Aside from fibs about physical appearance, the study also found that 43% would be bothered if they found out their date didn’t actually have the same hobbies and interests as they claimed, as well as 39% who would be perturbed by lies about political views.

In comparison to this, lies about affluence (27%) and career (22%) were much less likely to upset those on the receiving end.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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