When scientists set out to find what online daters lie about most, the results weren't that surprising: height and weight. What is really interesting is how you can tell when someone's lying.

According to Forbes, online dating deceptions follow a couple of patterns. Liars tend to use negation a lot, saying "not boring" instead of "exciting." So that guy who is "not a drug addict currently awaiting trial for felony charges" is totally a drug addict currently awaiting trial for felony charges. Also, people who were lying had shorter profiles, maybe so they could more easily keep track of all their lies. People who lied about their looks also talked about their looks less. Finally, liars were less likely to use the word "I," possibly "because they want to distance themselves from their deceptive statements."

A couple of these are good things to avoid in general. People whose profiles are too short could just be lazy. And if you're talking about everything you're not — or, even worse, everything you're not looking for in a partner — why are you such a hater? The last two pose some problems, though. The people who talk the most about their looks and use "I" the most are probably raging narcissists. So trying too hard to filter out liars could result only in dating guys who act like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Basically, online dating is a lot like dating in real life, in that it involves separating those who have perilously low self-esteem and thus are assholes from those who have overly high self-esteem — and thus are assholes. Good luck, everybody!

How to Nail an Online Liar: It's All About the Words [Forbes]

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