I’ve been told by friends, both male and female that it’s OK to lie about your age on your dating profile by 3 to 5 years.
I’ve heard: “Everyone does it”, “It’s expected that you’ll lie, especially if you’re over 40”, “It casts a wider net in the search engine”. I’m sure all of these reasons are valid and true to some extent. But does that make it OK?
Honestly, folks for me it’s not OK. First, I’m a what you see is what you get kinda gal. I don’t want to be in a relationship where I feel like I have to put up a facade of any kind. If I do feel the need to be something I’m not, then I’ll audition for a play and hopefully get cast in it. A 2 hour performance onstage where I get to be a “character” completely alien to the “real me” is creative and fun and cathartic. Trying to be a different person to accommodate someone else’s vision is not. And I carry this attitude into everything, even something as simple as my age…and I expect that the men I meet will be secure enough with themselves to do the same.
This week I got an email from a man expressing interest in me. His age was about 5 years over my stated “dateable” range. It was a nice letter though and since I truly believe that age is all between the ears, I wrote back. We spoke on the phone this morning and in conversation I mentioned the year I graduated college.
“Uh-oh, you’re giving away your real age”, he teased.
“No”, I replied “You already know it, it’s on my profile”.
There was a second or two of silence. “Oh, I assumed you were older than that. Everyone lies about their age”.
I told him I don’t and asked him if he fudged the truth on his age. Turns out he did, by about 3 years.
There was an awkward few seconds of silence and he asked me if it was an issue. I thought about this…and discovered that it was more of an issue than I thought. I was completely turned off, not so much by the fact that he was 8 years older than anyone I’d ever dated before, but more so by the fact that he was untruthful.
After I got off the phone I really put some thought into why this bothered me SO much, and this is what I know:
I am extremely sensitive to a person’s honesty and integrity. Probably because I’ve been lied to more often than I care to think about – about big things, and small things. The big lies can hit you like a ton of bricks and the small ones cause insidious little cracks in a relationship that break it over time. No matter what the lie, big whoppers or little white lies….they’ve never boded well for me, my trust levels or, eventually, the life of the relationship. So yes…I am very, VERY sensitive to being lied to.
So, I will continue to state my true age on my profile. If some men bypass me because I’m a year or two or ten older than they prefer…then so be it…their loss. If I meet (and I HAVE) men who insist that I’m probably older than the stated age…I have a birth certificate to prove it, Darling. I will most likely continue to be annoyed, turned off, ticked off and otherwise distrustful of men who lie about their age too. I also know that somewhere out there is a truthful man, a man secure enough in himself and his life to be honest about everything, even his age. That’s my guy, my soulmate, my best friend, my other half.