An entrepreneur named Evan caught the attention of one Laurann O’Neill, a 26-year old using the dating app Bumble in hopes of meeting her ideal partner. However, Evan’s dating profile did not strike Laurann the way he hoped it would. Laurann describes Evans, 23 years old, as attractive but obnoxious. His featured photo includes him hanging out on a boat while popping open a bottle of champagne. Evans revealed that hopping on a private jet without a destination in mind is his ideal first date. Sure enough, he also has a picture inside a private plane with his friend.
As O’Neill scrolled deeper into Evan’s dating profile, the less she liked him. He has a photo of himself driving a Lamborghini. In his response to the “two truths and a lie” question, Evans shared that he has a skydiving license, he destroyed his recently-purchased Lamborghini Aventador, and that he is good friends with Luxembourg’s royal family.
O’Neill, a law clerk from the Bronx, shared that Evan’s dating profile is a perfect example of a person that makes you want to roll your eyes. O’Neill came across Evan’s dating profile while binge-watching the television show, Vanderpump Rules, which is about a group of spoiled millennials. There is a possibility that reality television shows similar to Real Housewives and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, as well as YouTube influencers, contribute to the increasing amount of people overcompensating in their dating profiles.
O’Neill sums up her dating life at the point of Evan’s profile as trying to find guys imitating the lives of reality TV rich kids. She could not believe that the guy’s lifestyle was real. After taking screenshots of Evan’s photos, O’Neill sent it to her friends so that she could share her feelings of disbelief. She feels convinced that the guy was pretentious. Out of curiosity, O’Neill decided to try if she would match with him. However, she discovered that they did not match.
Other people with dating profile apps will try to take on more subtle ways in hopes of wooing a potential match. They would say that they came from an Ivy League school, post photos with their dogs with a swimming pool or a red sports car on the background, or going on their formal wear during a classy dinner. The dating industry, which is currently collecting profit north of $2 billion, has a lot of players that are humble and more authentic than most.
For every guy that is trying to be subtle with their profiles, there is another trying to flex their wealth and lifestyle. Profiles that say that they are a competition winner or trying to relax despite a career-driven path are becoming invisible to profiles that state that they like to spend their weekends at their houses in Manhattan’s Upper East Side or taking a ride with their Ferrari F60 America. Subtle dating profiles try to give potential dating matches a peek of their lives while bragging dating profiles tend to stroke their egos.
Single people are overselling themselves on their dating profiles, which is how aspirational dating works. If they happen to get a match and meet up for a first date, they now sell themselves short. The constant showing off of valuables in a bragging way is what society calls flexing. Incorporating flexing in dating profiles as a way to attract attention, meanwhile, is humblebragging.
Because of the way people handling their dating apps, millennials are starting to show off the perfect narrative of their life on Instagram and Facebook, regardless of what they post is an accurate representation of their lifestyles. Dan Ilani, the founder of the fitness-based dating app Sweatt, refers to dating sites as an extension of their social media profiles. People are trying to go to great lengths to show themselves off in a flattering light. The humblebragging of dating profiles are starting to put people’s lives through a photo filter.
Ilani believes that flaunting an extravagant lifestyle may reduce the potential matches of single people, despite having a photo of yourself on a yacht is a better description than 1,000 words. He also says that people showing off travel experiences and hobbies are more likely to land a date than those who are just bragging about material possessions and wealth. However, there are minor loopholes that make people think if you are sharing your experience or showing off. For example, Ilani states that a person talking about his vacation in Thailand can send mixed signals. Some potential matches will think that the person is sharing his travel experience or just showing off that he has a lot of money to take a trip to Thailand.
In the online dating world, men tend to exaggerate their successes in hopes of impressing others more compared to women. According to a study from the Australian Catholic University and the University College of London, braggadocious behavior surfaces more in men than women, and that wealthier people tend to show off more than individuals that have a lower income.
Dating app veterans like Jessie Breheim advise millennials not to believe in everything a potential match will put in their dating profiles. Breheim states that she once dated someone with a big ego. After talking in the dating app Plenty of Fish for the past two years, Breheim and her match went on their first date. During that time, Breheim felt excited when his date told her that he is good friends with a business tycoon and that he came from a wealthy family.
However, Breheim started getting curious when her date’s connections with Hollywood movie stars did not pan out during their relationship. Later, she began to notice that her partner was lying about his wealth because she would pay for food on most of their dates. Breheim then confirmed her suspicions after seeing a food-stamp card in his wallet, making him broke and a liar.
Breheim is among the many people that were fooled by pretentious dating profiles. Dating apps make it possible for single people to filter their photos and lie about their wealth, valuable possessions, and connections. According to a BeautifulPeople.com study, 53% of Americans are lying about themselves in their dating profiles. As a way to prevent misleading other people, dating sites are pushing their users to connect their social media accounts and use their first names.
Smart Dating Academy founder Bela Gandhi states that there is a way people can be proud of what they have without needing to show off. Gandhi believes that humblebragging can help people show off their personality without sounding pretentious. If you are passionate about your ongoing career, you can post in your dating profile that you are grateful that you have the work that brings out the best in you, which is an example of a humble brag.
However, there is a thin line between bragging, humblebragging, and just desperate to impress people. Single people on dating apps want to find someone to connect with on a personal level. If you fail to impress a potential match, you will find that the dating app will offer you a chance to find others. If you are lucky and manage to get a first date, whatever you say on your profile will help you land a second date.