If you’re wondering, “Should I use my real name on dating sites and apps?” you’re not alone. Even though the world of online dating has become mainstream, many people feel wary about offering too much information.
But there are caveats that come with withholding your real name or using a fake name. In this article, I’ll go over the different reasons that you may be reticent when it comes to using your real name on dating sites and apps. I’ll also offer a solution and some ways you can make your profile stand out from the competition regardless of what you decide to do.
Do You Want to Protect the Privacy of Your Kids?
If you’re a single parent, it’s understandable that you want to respect the privacy of your kids. Aside from excluding them from any of the dating photos you post on your profile, you may wonder, “Should I use my real name?”
After all, if people see your real name on dating sites and apps, they can easily look you up. Even if you’re not on Facebook, the internet makes it easy to find all kinds of information. If you reveal your name, you’re a Google search away and basic information about your children could be a Google search away as well.
Basically, I get it. If you have hesitation about it, simply don’t use your real name. It’s completely understandable.
However, it is important that you mention that you have children when creating a dating bio. Disclosing that you have kids is another thing that male clients come to me to ask about, as they are often worried that women will be put off or consider the fact that they have kids “baggage.”
But honestly, anyone who views your children as “baggage” isn’t someone you want to date anyhow. And there are other reasons it’s important to disclose the fact that you are a parent even if you choose to withhold your real name.
Why You Need to Disclose Children and Divorce
For the sake of privacy, particularly when children are involved, the answer to the question, “Should I use my real name?” is no, not if it makes you uncomfortable.
However, it’s important that women you plan to potentially date know upfront that you have children and/or are divorced. Not only will this fend off any women who consider children a dealbreaker, but listing this on your profile prevents you from having to broach the subject during a first date or later.
Even though it may seem like something you don’t need to disclose right away, women are going to find it shady that you hid that information from them. Trust and honesty and the most important things when it comes to building the foundation of a relationship. If you’re omitting certain truths from the get, it’s going to leave otherwise compatible, attractive women wary of you.
Case in Point…
I have a friend who has always been very active in the dating scene. She’s also open-minded and has never considered a guy with kids to be a dealbreaker when it comes to dating.
However, she ended up going out on a date with a guy who she really liked a few years back. It was an amazing date and she couldn’t wait to go out with him again. The thing is, he never disclosed that he had children. He also never disclosed that he had been divorced.
They had met on OkCupid and he had simply listed that he was single and didn’t have kids. Right there that’s a lie.
She later found out that he had children and was divorced and they went on a few more dates. But that dishonesty colored the rest of those dates and the relationship didn’t progress.
Along with the fact that she wasn’t sure if she could trust him, there was something off from date one. She found out the guy was nervous about the fact that he didn’t tell her he had kids and that he was divorced, which added to his nerves and altered his behavior.
So you see? This was a woman who wouldn’t have batted an eye at the fact that the guy was divorced and had kids. After all, a whopping 40 to 50% of American marriages end in divorce, and millions of children are being raised in single-parent households according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s not at all uncommon and chances are that most women will be completely unfazed by your status.
The most important thing to remember when crafting a dating bio that discloses the fact that you are divorced and/or have children is:
- Be positive
- Don’t bash your ex
If You Have a Weird Name
Remember that girl I told you about who went out with the divorced single dad? She ALSO went out with a guy with a super weird name.
(FYI: In case you’re wondering, NO, the woman in question is not me. Given the fact that I did a 100-date experiment and speak about my dating experiences frequently, I would let you know. She just has gone on a lot of dates and likes regaling people with stories.)
Specifically, it was the dude’s last name that would cause someone in the same situation to ask, “Should I use my real name on dating sites and apps?” The guy’s last name was Shart. Yes, like THAT kind of shart.
A friend of hers was horrified.
“If you get married, do you realize you’re going to be Mrs. Shart??” he asked.
But the thing is, that really didn’t matter. Yes, it’s kind of a shitty (haha) last name, but really, what’s in a name?
There are tons of weird and funny names out there and people have to suck it up and deal with it. That same girl had a biology teacher who was Mrs. Semen. Yes, her last name was Semen and she chose to teach biology. That takes confidence. And confidence is key to attracting a compatible partner.
Even if your name is Woody Penis…well…first of all, maybe consider having it legally changed or asking your parents if they hate you…but AFTER THAT, wear your name with pride and don’t be shy about using it on your dating profiles.
Remember, she’s going to have to find out your name eventually.
Of course, there is one way to solve this if you’re really shy, which — as promised — I will get into at the end of this article.
Should You Use Your Middle Name?
Will a woman distrust you if you tell her you were using your middle name? If you don’t go by your middle name normally, she may wonder why you chose to withhold your first name.
Again, when you withhold information, you simply run the risk of coming off as shady. Women may wonder if you have a secret wife or girlfriend. At the very least, they may wonder what else you’re hiding if you were so hesitant to offer the actual name you go by.
Remember This as Well
Certain apps like Tinder connect with your Facebook and Instagram accounts, so the name you have listed on Facebook automatically shows up. You can go in and change this on Facebook if you’re concerned about privacy, but remember that women may be able to find out your name anyway if they go snooping around your other accounts.
Because women like to keep their wits about them in the online dating world, they often want to verify you’re a safe person to be around, so will conduct their own personal background checks before agreeing to a date with you. Thus, they may find out your real name anyway even if you don’t use it on your profile.
So how do you balance privacy and authenticity on dating apps?
Should I Use My Real Name? The Solution
If you’re uncomfortable with using your real name but don’t want to risk coming off as shady, I have a solution for you.
Think about nicknames your friends currently call you by or even ones you had in college.
Use a blatantly obvious nickname like “Batman” or Mr. Mustache or something else funny your friends call you. This way, she won’t feel like you’re being shady when you tell her your real name because she’ll know that your nickname is not your legal name.
It will be obvious that you are intentionally keeping your real name private and won’t feel like a lie when you reveal your real name. Not only will she not find it shady, but if you have a humorous nickname, you’ll be making her chuckle which increases the chances of her swiping right on you.
And it won’t feel awkward when you later reveal your legal name because the nickname wasn’t a lie — it’s an actual name you sometimes go by.
The Big Reveal
When it comes to telling her your real name, don’t be awkward or dramatic about it. Simply let her know that, even though online dating is so mainstream nowadays, there’s still a lot of shady stuff out there on the internet. Let her know that you wanted to wait until you got to talking to someone a bit to reveal your name, just to be on the safe side.
Voila! Do you see how this not only helps you avoid coming off as shady but actually makes you seem the very opposite of shady? Just like many women using dating apps, you’re simply being smart by keeping your wits about you.
Get Real About Your Dating Success
Whether or not you choose to share your real name on dating apps or sites, I can help you get real about finding success in the dating world so that you can find the woman of your dreams!
Want to learn more? Head over to my calendar and book a new client 1-on-1 Skype session with me today! During our session, we will discuss your dating roadblocks and create an individualized action plan to help you overcome those roadblocks. This plan will set you on a path to attract gorgeous women with the goal soon-thereafter to break out of your single status and into a real life relationship.
If you would like exclusive help with online dating, check out my Dating Profile Services. Whether you want a basic assessment of your current profiles or help to build a profile from scratch, I’ve got you covered.