I’ll never forget my date with a guy—I’ll call him Steve—who I had been corresponding with online for a few weeks. We were due to meet, and I was waiting in the cafe. I scanned the room when I walked in, not seeing the tall, blond, bearded man from Steve’s pictures. Finally, I decided to leave—he had totally stood me up. Then a bald man I’d seen earlier approached me—clean shaven and about two inches shorter than the 6’ of his stated height.

He said “It’s me, Steve!” after I clearly did not recognize him.

Um…okay. So who was the guy in his profile pics? I’m not kidding—he looked nothing like the pictures I’d seen. When I finally asked about his pictures (since he hadn’t mentioned it), he said he used some stock photos, all with the same guy, because he wasn’t photogenic, and his buddies told him to do it.

Seriously? Needless to say, I wasn’t interested in another date. I mean, he was nice enough, attractive, in his own right. But he seemed to think that misrepresenting himself was totally fine.

I always tell this story when my clients ask me if it’s okay to lie on their dating profiles.

First off, it’s not my job to tell people what to do or how to live their lives. But typically, people want to know if there is some spiritual penalty they will have to pay, some “bad karma” that will come their way if they tell these little lies. Again, I’m not in possession of The Truth, but I know what I believe and have seen over time. Lying about yourself to others—however small the lie may be—will usually turn out, if not bad, then kind of meh. What I find more interesting is why we feel we need to lie and the level of self-acceptance that lies at the heart of this issue.

Bad Karma? 

In our infinitely compassionate and loving universe, I’d say that the Divine has no interest in punishing you for lying about your weight on your dating profile. That’s not how karma works anyway. Karma is cause and effect—period. It’s neutral, although we can interpret karma as being helpful or positive, hurtful or negative. If you lie, will someone lie to you in return? Probably. Because you, as a growing soul, want to experience how lying works—all sides of the coin. In the meta, there is no judgment about if lying is right or wrong; only if it is an experience that brings us closer to our divine selves.

So karmically, what you put out there will come back, until you decide to experience something different.

My client Wendy illustrated this beautifully. She consistently struggled with her weight and hated this about herself (the real issue), assuming that because weighing twenty pounds over her ideal was unacceptable to her, it would be for others, too. “And I don’t want to attract fat guys,” she said. A very telling statement.

She complained to me that she consistently got matched with men who turned out to be older than their profiles suggested. A few of these men had outright lied about their ages; others used misleading pictures. She found this outrageous and frustrating. They, in turn, often mentioned that they thought she’d be skinnier (ugh, I know). I pointed out the cause and effect of the situation. She didn’t like omissions and falsity but was mad when people accused her of the same.

“Weight isn’t the same as age!” she protested. “It’s a totally different thing.”

That wasn’t the point, and ultimately she was able to see that the real issue was self-acceptance. Her lack of esteem was attracting men who felt the same about themselves. When she put a recent picture of her heavier self on her profile, she stopped attracting men who lied about their age. When she began to address her own judgment of “fat people,” she was able to accept dates with men based on more important qualities than weight. In fact, the man she’s been dating for six months now was thirty pounds heavier than his ideal. They started out as gym buddies to help each other lose weight, and it turned into a great relationship.

Who Are You Trying to Impress?

When clients want to lie about how much money they make, their age, weight, or how much hair they have, it is always indicative of a self-worth issue. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves, but, of course, society has us believe that unless you are perfect, you won’t find love, passion, or the partner you desire.

I help my clients challenge this belief. When we dig deeper into past life issues or work on energetic blocks to love, we invariably find that the person they are trying to impress is a figure from the past! If not mom or dad, it’s that first crush, the prom king, the head cheerleader, or someone from ten lifetimes ago. With patience and healing work, we can release the old judgments and learn to be more self-loving and accepting.

Lying on your dating profile isn’t a capital crime, and I don’t support guilting people out or judging them. But I always counter the questions, “Is it okay if…” with, “Why do you want to?” I guarantee that if you deal with your self-judgments and self-loathing (a hard word, but we all have it), you will be in a far better position to attract the healthy love you want. And you won’t have to bother with the question of “to lie, or not to lie.”

It takes guts to put yourself out there in the online dating world. But life isn’t a magazine or soap opera. People have flaws, and people have amazing, unique idiosyncrasies. We are all a work in progress. If you love yourself and accept this, then you can just put yourself out there. Your honesty and courage will bring you back the same in return.

If you are grappling with self-love issues or relationship questions, an advisor on Keen can be of great service. Get the support you need today!