Over the past decade in the single world, as online dating really took off, there were many debates among my peers as to when it is acceptable to fudge the truth a bit on your dating profile.  Here are the 4 big things everyone agreed you should not lie about:

1. Height, weight or age— seriously, it is so easy to get busted on those lies in the first date, and we can all agree that it is not nice to waste someone’s time.  What may seem superficial to one, may not be to another, who maybe only want to date a person that is over 6 feet, or a certain physique or age.   We all have our reasons for liking certain attributes.

2. Geographic location.  Sadly, a lot of us do think about commute time and how hard it will be to date someone outside a 20 mile radius.

3. Family situation.  Accept where you are in life, and that some people may not want to get involved with a pending divorce or complicated custody schedule.  No one should misrepresent his/her marital status or obligations towards their children.

4. Future vision– If you want to marry and/or have kids (which is normal for about 80% of the population) just be aware of the fact that not everyone shares this as a mission.  And if you never want to marry or have kids, just own that these are your choices and realize that you should not provide another with false hope.  It is simply not fair to let someone develop a connection with you when you are not on the same page about future goals.

So, what are the two areas where most people agree it is okay to say a white lie?

#1- No one needs to know early on the full reasons for your last break up; and

#2- Your profession– many believe it is quite appropriate to dumb it down a bit either to screen out  gold diggers or not intimidate potential suitors.

If you are not sure what to say about your last break up or your profession, run it by some friends.  Mine will never let me live down the fact that at times over the last few years I told people I was simply a writer or data analyst, which is true-– I do write every day, and I do analyze data, but as we all know that’s a pretty minor part of my job as a family lawyer and legal commentator in DC.

It’s tough to navigate all the challenges that arise with online dating, and not everyone is above-board and ethical.  But guess what?  It is how many people meet these days, and regardless of what others are doing, just use your own moral compass to guide you and never forget those disaster dates for they will help you appreciate just how lucky you are when you do find the one.

Dating is like playing the lotto– you have to play to win.