Relationship Ramblings

Why Lie About Your Age on Online Dating Sites?

I’ve always had a thing for older men.

Some time around my early to mid-30’s, I met a guy, Jesse*, who seemed an absolute gent. He said he was 49. A few weeks and a few dates later, he slipped and said he was 52. I made mention of the disparity. He said that he was afraid I’d be scared off if he knew how old he really was. I assured him that I liked him for who he was. Three years. No real biggie.

As time passed, things didn’t add up. Cultural references to things he mentioned about his specific age spans in his past didn’t add up, not to mention other things that started to sound dubious, as well as flaky, creepy and stalkerish. It got bad enough that I hired a private investigator to see if I needed to get a personal protection order. Aside from learning several things about him that made me run, I found out that he wasn’t 52. He was 59.

Jesse wasn’t the only guy who lied about his age when I did the online dating thing. There was another guy, Dan*, who lied about his age by about 18 years. I didn’t know this until after he stalled about meeting after about two weeks of talking on the phone. I stopped wasting my time. After several unanswered phone calls and messages I didn’t return, I got an email from him in which he confessed that he wasn’t 44, the same age I was at the time. He was 62. He also confessed that he used a fake photo and name, too.

The scariest thing was that he totally ripped off a lot of things from another person who I was able to “verify” on Google and LinkedIn.

To “make things right”, he sent me his real email address, LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile and profile from his work website with his current photo. He seemed to be truly sorry, begged for my forgiveness, and said he really wanted to meet me. He said that he never imagined that a woman like me would fall for a guy like him.

He was right. I would never fall for a guy who had such low self-esteem, would lie to that extreme, and would rip off someone else’s identity.

Lots of people lie about all kinds of things on their online dating profiles, but lying about age seems to be prevalent among people in their 50’s and 60’s.

I’ve heard from and read about several people who say that they’ve come across people who have lied about their ages. When the truth is revealed, the excuses are pretty much the same. They either felt like no one would be interested in them or find them desirable or that shaving off a few years would open up the dating pool for them.

Lying about your age isn’t going to make you sexier or make you look more attractive or desirable … maybe unless you’re after someone significantly younger. I’m not saying that it’s an unrealistic expectation, but in most cases, a wide age gap can be a total deal breaker. Then again, there are women like me who have a thing for older men.

Eventually, the truth comes out. Then what? You get dumped because you lied? What would you do if you were the other person? Would you accept that kind of dishonesty from somebody? Would you wonder about other things they may have lied about? Honesty isn’t just a courtesy. It’s plain damn common sense. Does this childhood lesson really need to be explained to people who are old enough to be grandparents?

The dating pool does get shallower the older we get in more ways than one, at least on online dating sites. I have a dear friend, Rob*, 49, who’s just getting back into dating.

“I was looking at some of these women my age and they looked so old,” he said. “Some of them looked like they were worn and driven hard.”

As much as I love Rob as a friend, his comment bothered me. He’s a guy who could pass for 59. There’s nothing wrong with looking or being 59. If I didn’t know him and was doing the online dating thing, I wouldn’t pass him over based on looks. But would he pass me up? At least he’s not lying about his age as far as I know.

But people in their 50’s, 60’s and older date. You don’t need hundreds of thousands of choices on an online dating site to find that one person who could be be the all-time love of your life or a fantastic fuck buddy. I even know a guy in his 80’s who met his 60-year-old second wife on popular online dating site.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m picking on men. I know women do this, too. From what I’ve heard, women do this as a vanity thing. They often get a pass because of the age-old custom that woman never tells her age. Ladies, let go of that 1950’s bullshit. If you’re still hot and rocking, tell the world how old you are. Be proud of it and brag about your age. Lots of men find that appealing and really are looking for a woman just like you.

So why lie about your age? Your chances of meeting and keeping someone if you’re honest about your age, as well as everything else, are much better.

*Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.