When someone is knowingly using outright fake images and still planning on meeting, this is usually motivated by strong emotional needs for love, relief from loneliness, desire for a relationship or interaction with another person, and needs for validation. These strong needs and emotions can feed thinking patterns like rationalization, denial, and false hope. The person may tell themselves that an in-person meeting will result in a chemistry so strong that the false photos won’t matter or some other hope-based fantasy.
—Dr. Joseph Cilona, a Manhattan psychologist, answers the question I’ve so often wondered: Why do guys use fake pictures on services like Manhunt, Adam4Adam, and Grindr, when it’s going to be painfully obvious after first meeting that you are definitely not the six-packed adonis you had me believing you were. (Ahem, faux George Michael.) [Edge; photo via]