Just yesterday I had an interesting email from a customer of mine, here’s what it said:
“Sorry to bother you. My true age is 65, I do look much younger than my age and I’m active. When I put 65 on the profile men “half in the grave” email me. Now I put 59. I don’t feel really good about it, lying that is, what is your take?”
This article is my answer to her (I’ve changed her name for her privacy, let’s call her Anna)
A delightful woman
Anna is a delightful woman, a truly great catch for some lucky guy for sure. She has a charming character with a blend of intelligence, humor and humility (I had the good fortune to speak with her so I can confirm this) and yes, after looking at her online dating photos she definitely looks 10 years younger.
So what should she do? Her experience is one I’ve heard from many people: she’s tired of dating men who look old and tired compared to her. Should she lie about her age, or tell the whole truth?
The question here is simple:
Is it OK to bend the truth a little in your profile—or are you asking for trouble?
OK so she’s 65 but she knows she’ll probably get a lot more interest if she posts her age as 59.
Maybe you too have the same problem as Anna, perhaps you’re a 50-year-old who’s looked after themselves, who dresses in a stylish way, you like the latest music and aren’t ready to settle into old age quite yet. Would it really be so wrong to say your age was “45-ish”?
Age is an issue, no matter what age we are, online dating sites magnify this issue because we’re given the choice of selecting the characteristics we find important in a partner and age is one of them.
Age is important because when we date online we’re using it as one of the criteria for picking a partner rather than the old school way of meeting someone we like, getting to know them and learning how old they are later.
In our modern society youth is associated with beauty, but it goes further~ in order for any relationship to succeed, partners need to have some shared interests and lifestyle plans.
These things often are age-related, for example there’s a huge difference between the goals of a 20 year old man to those of a 40-year-old woman.
3-5 Years older
It’s been said that online daters shave 3-5 years off their ages. And it’s also been said that 80% of online daters lie in their profiles – but they leave clues that give them away.
“I say I’m 37 because that’s approximately the age I’m looking for in my date. I’ve had way more emails since I changed my age. I told a white lie (I’m really 42), but the people I’m interested in, (the ones who really like me), are finding me”.
“I say I’m 3 years younger than I am—it’s closer to the age I look and feel. When I posted my real age, I got emails from guys who looked old enough to be my father. So I lied and changed it to 44 and now I get lots of attention. So far, no one has ever questioned my age!”
“Many people who’ve been tempted to lie about age online think it’s a big mistake because once you start lying, you’ll end up stuck in your own tangled web of lies! Imagine telling someone that you’re a certain age and then they ask you what year you graduated. Would you avoid the issue when you meet them on a date? And if the conversation moves in that direction then do you change the subject, keep lying, or tell the truth?
“Some people say you should lie about your age if you look younger and then at the first meeting, put the truth “on the table” as soon as possible. The opinion is as long as you confess quickly it’s not really lying.”
Hm…“As long as you confess quickly it’s not really lying.” That’s stretching my definition of lying.
I’ve heard other people say that you can tell the truth once you’ve made a connection. The opinion here is that when you’ve connected, then hopefully he or she’s is less likely to be upset at your lie and walk away.
What choices do you have?
To summarize what I’ve just said you really only have 3 options:
Be honest about your age and don’t lie
Lie about your age and confess later
Lie about your age and never confess
Now I’m not here to moralize, just present choices for you to make as an adult.
I’d say that the idea of lying about your age and never telling a partner is not really an option that many people would chose! So for practical purposes we can narrow our three options down to just two choices: either be honest or Lie about your age and confess.
Now if you swear that the evidence you shall give online, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth then you may meet older people, and it may take longer to find someone (If you happen to look 10 years older).
Although you could argue that “beauty is only skin deep” and you’ll find someone like you who you are better suited to.
Lie about your age and confess when you can.
Let’s look at people’s responses to people who are lied to.
My personal opinion
I personally don’t care about age differences, but I do care about lies, if she tells me that she’s 45 and I find out she’s 50, then there’s clear evidence that she’ll lie to me about the small things if it suits her. And what else will she lie about? Will she lie about how much money she earns a year or anything else, this is someone posting purposely deceitful information to further their agenda. Also my belief is that if I want someone decent then I have to be decent myself and decent people don’t lie. Also to me someone who lies about their age comes across as “needy”, so I would walk away not just from the lie but from the neediness of the lie, insecurity about age to me is unattractive.
I looked online in many dating “forums” and found that there are a lot of people who share my opinion.
Two liars meet
During the date she asked me about the age of my children, then she went quiet and I felt like she was doing the math and would catch me in my lie, so I said I want to be honest with you. I’m not 50. I’m 57.”
She said, “Thank you.” It turns out that she’d lied, too. She claimed that she was 48, but she was really 50.
A more relaxed answer
“People lie about their age, it’s not important, if they look good who cares. If you reckon what’s written on profiles is the truth and nothing but the truth then you must live with the fairies. All lies are not created equal. Some are harmless, some are harmful. Learn the difference.”
An unrepentant liar’s answer
“Always take ten years off your age. When you’re drunk and she asks you what year you were born you don’t have to deal with the math.”
“My 10-year strategy makes it a simple. Let’s say you were born in 1967. Plus ten is a simple 1977.”
No number of martinis can tear the logic off that one!
Also there’s another reason to stick to the 10-year rule: It’s better to look too old for 42 than young for 52.
I hope I’ve presented you with the facts to make the right choice for you. The most important thing is to do what you feel comfortable with and live with the consequences of our choices. If you lie and get caught then don’t go whining to anyone, accept that you screwed things up due to lack of honesty.
Another approach that just might work
Here’s an approach that worked for me. I looked at a woman’s profile and it went something like this (I changed a few details to protect her privacy)
“What can I say about myself? I’m a fun loving, funny, sarcastic French curvy woman who is family oriented, I love Sports, Reading, Dancing, Spending time with my Family and Friends, I have learned that real beauty lies beyond the outside exterior of a person. I’m looking for someone who will be my best friend, my partner and my lover, someone who actually sees me, respects me and accepts me. someone who is more than willing to give me my place in their life. I don’t like games or drama, so I need someone who is straight forward, honest and has the same values as I do. I’m the kind of person who is fiercely loyal, devoted to the ones I care about, and 100% faithful to the man in my life. PS. My True age is 47 I know that in my profile I said 42, as you can see I’m active, look much younger and take care of myself, I found that when I put 47 that I was meeting men who looked old enough to be my father!”
Now reading this would you have a problem? I certainly do not, its honest and if I liked her pictures and read a little more I would not feel lied to.
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