Here’s an article from Best Dating Sites that I was asked to consider mentioning. This one is a great classroom discussion generator and concerns the signs of a “fake gentleman”. Here are the signs—see the original article for more on these signs:
- He always knows exactly what to say
- He’s never ruffled or agitated
- He always has an excuse
- He’s evasive about his past
- You’ve caught him in a few lies
- He’s surgically attached to his cellphone
- He steers the subject away from commitment
- You’ve never met his friends
- He’s a little bit too smooth
- He assumes that you’ll be available on very short notice
Some of these are no doubt accurate as the guests on Maury and the Jerry Springer Show regularly demonstrate. One problem with lists like this, as I see it, is that it’s often male bashing. I don’t notice a comparable post on the “fake woman”. And, again, if Maury’s and Jerry’s guests are any indication there are fakes in both genders.
Another problem with this is that is encourages a suspicious attitude and approach in relationships which, I suspect, is not always healthy. I’m sure there are many examples where people regret not having been suspicious enough but there are likely to be people whose suspicions ruined a potentially great relationship. This type of thing also advises the person to assume a deception bias—an assumption that the other person is lying. Assuming a deception bias may be useful to the police officer interrogating a probable suspect but it may not be so useful or productive in interpersonal relationships, especially in the beginning stages of those relationships. It seems we’re programmed to assume a truth bias—we assume that the person we’re talking with is telling the truth; it’s one of the assumptions that make conversation possible and satisfying.
I suspect this type of post will generate lots of ideas, different points of view, and great classroom discussion of gender differences in relationships, the changing landscape of interpersonal relationships, and a variety of other topics we focus on in interpersonal communication.