How To Deal When You Find Out Someone Lied On Their Dating Profile

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What Is Catfishing? How To Deal With Someone Who Lies On Their Dating Profile

When you finally meet the attractive man or woman you matched with on dating apps like Tinder or Bumble in person — only to discover they were lying on their online dating profile and look nothing like their photo — your thoughts of having a relationship and falling in love go right out the window.

You've heard of being catfished, but what is catfishing exactly and is that what just happened to you?

Catfishing is when a person creates a fake identity online in an attempt to manipulate you into having a romantic relationship with them via their false identity — whether it's a fake photo, name, or an entire false backstory.

Your dating profile in dating apps and online dating apps are supposed to tell potential dates who you really are and what you have to offer as a partner. But, understandably, a major fear many men and women have is that they'll find out their date looks nothing like the photos they posted on their online dating profile.

In this modern era of catfishing and fake profiles, it makes sense to be cautious.

RELATED: A 4-Step Guide To Creating The Perfect Dating Profile (Says Study)

But what should you do when you go on a first date with someone who barely resembles their online dating profile photo?

For starters, accept this: No one really looks like their photo. After all, a photo simply captures how its subject looks in a specific light during one instant of time. But some photos are clearly years old or pounds heavier. And yes, using these photos to attract dates feels dishonest.

So how do you handle such a situation without offending the other person and making them feel bad?

Well, since you've met them online through a dating app, this first date is simply an opportunity to discover whether you like each other in person or not. When you think of it this way, you'll realize that you have no obligation to stay for a minimum length of time or to commit to seeing this person again.

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There will be times when you are absolutely positive that there is no way you can move forward with this person once you meet them in person. But avoid jumping to conclusions based on a guy's looks or first impression alone.

Instead, take 15 to 20 minutes to verify that your date truly has no redeeming qualities that you find attractive. If he doesn't, there is no reason to continue to waste his time — or yours!

Tell him that you must leave, but thank him for making the effort to meet with you and wish him luck in his search for love. Be sure to leave money for your share of any expenses, if you don’t want to feel obligated to him.

Then get up and go — it's as easy as that.

The trick is to act with confidence and courtesy: Don’t hesitate or apologize. In the unlikely event that he insists on an explanation, you can be honest and tell him he doesn't look like his picture.

Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid meeting people who misrepresent themselves, whether you meet them online or in real life. It’s your job to walk away when you discover that someone is not the person you thought they were.

So take the pressure off of the first date by thinking of it as a "getting to know you" meeting, rather than a full-blown date where you expect the romantic sparks to fly. And keep the duration of first meetings to a minimum, too.

As a general rule of thumb, when you’re meeting someone online for the first time, don’t stay longer than 20 minutes to an hour.

That’s enough time to get to know each other well enough to decide if you want to keep moving forward ... or not.

And if you’re really enjoying each other’s company, leave after an hour and be sure to end the date on a high note. Let him know that you had fun and enjoyed chatting with him so he feels inspired to ask you out again.

RELATED: 4 Q's To Ask Your Friends To Create The Perfect Dating Profile

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Annie Gleason is a Dating Coach whose strategic dating advice has provided lasting love to hundreds of women. To find love, don't leave it to chance. Get more free dating advice by visiting her website.

This article was originally published at Get A Love Life . Reprinted with permission from the author.