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Here’s A Tip: Everybody Lies, Especially On The Internet

, , , , | Romantic | July 8, 2021

A few years ago, I tried online dating. I started talking to a guy who portrayed himself as being fairly wealthy, with pictures of sports cars, beach houses, and mountain resorts filling his profile page. I tried asking him a few times in our online chats how his family earned their apparent wealth, but I never got a straight answer from him.

After chatting through the site for a few weeks, we agreed to go out to dinner. Our server was super friendly and entertaining, and every bite of food was delicious. When the servers asked if we’d be paying together or separate, I tried to say separate, but my date interrupted and insisted that he would pay for everything. I initially protested, but I remembered all the signs of wealth from his dating profile and gave in and let him pay.

When he filled out the payment slip, I noticed that he only added about a 3% tip; he just rounded up to the next whole dollar and called it good.

Me: “Hey, you should leave more of a tip. She was awesome tonight, and our food was great.”

Guy: “Nah, that’s plenty. Come on, let’s head out.”

I ended up leaving a $20 bill on the table while my date was walking out. We went our separate ways after leaving the restaurant, and after stewing over it for a few days, I decided to message him on the dating site to tell him that I didn’t think things were going to work out between us.

Guy: “Why not? I really like talking to you, and we had fun on our date, didn’t we?”

Me: “Yeah, it was fun, but honestly, you leaving such a small tip kind of stood out in a bad way. I worked as a waitress in high school and college, and if I got that small a tip on such a great meal, I would have felt terrible.”

Guy: “Look, I’ll be honest. I was kind of short on cash that night, so I couldn’t afford a bigger tip. I wasn’t trying to stiff her or anything. I would have left more if I knew it would be that big a deal for you.”

Me: “If you were short on cash, I could have paid for my own meal. I let you pay because you insisted on it, and you have all those pictures on here showing fancy cars and vacations, so I thought you had plenty of money.”

Guy: “Those are all photoshopped. I couldn’t get any girls when I had regular pictures, so I had to do something to get dates. And I know what you’re going to say, but we had so much fun talking and everything. Just give me a chance to show you who I am, and I know we can make this work.”

Me: “Okay, now we’re definitely done. Bye, [Guy].”

I blocked him immediately and ended up deleting my account on that site a few weeks later. I started questioning every guy’s profile that I saw and couldn’t get over the idea that they might all be lying just to get a date.