Dear Ethel-Mae,

I’m in my mid-40s and dating on Match.com.

For the most part, I meet nice men but I usually find something that’s a deal-breaker for me. A few of my friends said I was too picky. I tell them I just have high standards. They said that’s an excuse for not giving a guy a chance. I don’t know if it’s just me or if it’s online dating in general, but many of the men I meet on Match are either serial daters or lie on their profiles. I’m getting jaded about dating.

My last date, “Tom”, asked me to meet him for drinks at a cool local pub. We were having a nice conversation when he told me that he hoped he wasn’t being presumptuous but that he’d made dinner reservations in advance in case we wanted to continue our evening into dinner and thought maybe that we might. I agreed.

When he stood up to walk to our dinner table, I was taken aback. His profile said he was 5′ 8″ tall. Being 5′ 7″, that was about where my comfort level stopped as I like to wear heels and don’t like the feeling of towering over my date. He was closer to 5′ 6″ tall! He sort of looked up at me with a slightly embarrassed look but I didn’t say a word. He was trying to impress me, so I figured the least I could do was overlook my discomfort with height.

Dinner started out well until he let me know that he wasn’t actually divorced as his profile stated. Instead, he was newly separated. He said that he checked that box because he felt that his chances of meeting women was better if he stated he was divorced and then he’d explain his real status on the date if he felt like it was a match he’d like to pursue.

I began wondering, “What next?” but decided to keep it nice until the date ended. I have my reasons for not dating a man newly separated. And it was bugging me that he lied about an obvious thing like height.

The next day he called me to ask me out again, but I said “no”. He said he was sorry about misleading me and asked for a second chance.

Those lies were red flags to me. Am I passing up a chance for Mr. Right? Not sure what to do here.

—Picky Match Dater in Central Oregon

Dear Picky Match Dater,

Picky, schmicky… NOT!

Seemingly harmless lies from a total stranger designed to get him dates isn’t about the severity of the lie. The issue here is that he is willing to lie to any woman who comes across his profile with the intent of manipulating more dates based on his feeling or experience that his height and marital status are a handicap. That’s not cool.

Right away, this tells me he lacks confidence and is too insecure to present himself as he is. This guy might be better off getting through his divorce, finding a new hobby and making new friends through Meetups rather than try to bluff his way into online dates knowing that he may have to straighten out a lie or two if he likes the woman.

Those lies are red flags. If you think he could be your Mr. Right, tell him to call you when his divorce is final and go from there. Don’t try to force yourself into something just because you’re fearful you could lose something that you never had in the first place.

Date with confidence and optimism, not fear.

More importantly, if you’re finding that the men you’re meeting online are consistently displaying behavior outside your realm of acceptance, then you might also want to try new ways to meet men… Meetups, a matchmaking service, new hobbies, joining a local church, volunteering… if you’re going to places and doing activities that interest you, you’re more likely to meet a man with similar interests. That, in itself, is a solid place to begin.

Ethel-Mae