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Hookup Help: The Iceberg Effect in Online Dating

Iceberg and Reflection

Q: Dear Jenny. I finally broke down and joined a dating site. I’m the last holdout amongst my friends and still think I’d prefer to meet women in real life, but it’s been hard. One thing that put me off joining was listening to my friends’ horror stories about the crazy women they’d meet, and how women misrepresent themselves on their dating profiles. I’m sure men do this too, but I just don’t see the point. I’m afraid to even contact a woman without a full-body pic, hence The Iceberg Effect. Do you think everyone is lying about something in their profile? -Steven

A: Hi Steven! I wrote recently about people lying about age in online dating profiles, and I don’t see the point either. The truth always comes out as they say, and if you really want to meet someone (especially for something serious) you might as well be who you are and state what you want. You don’t have to put all your skeletons on display, but don’t be afraid to show a few quirks. I really believe there’s someone for everyone, even if it’s just a hookup.

I heard about The Iceberg Effect from someone I’d met online. If you don’t know, it’s when you meet someone who only posts head shots, because they are overweight or obese, and are worried no one will contact them if they post a full-body picture. This makes me a little sad because most of these dates probably don’t get past the coffee phase, and perhaps not because someone found them unattractive but because they purposefully kept this a secret.

I don’t think everyone lies on dating profiles, but I’m sure most keep certain things to themselves. Maybe a woman doesn’t want to post that she’s been divorced twice, or a man doesn’t want to talk about his debt. These are things that don’t need to be there… but should come out if things become more than a one night stand.

Don’t be afraid to take your time if you’re new to online dating. I always say to newbies: trust your instincts, don’t take it too seriously, and have fun!

Have you experienced The Iceberg Effect or other surprises when dating online?

Hookup Help is a Q&A series. If you want advice or a female’s perspective on hooking up, online dating, relationships, or sex… we want to hear from you. SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION, and who knows, you may appear in the next Hookup Land newsletter. -xo Jenny and Tia

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