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Why do men lie about their age?

Posted on Jun 4, 2014 in Life

I’ve been writing a good deal about things I’ve learned, helpful tips etcetera. But this is one issue I know nothing about, and I’d love your perspective.

I recently (briefly) dated a man that lied about his age. I met him online and yes, I know that it is common to fib about your age online. One survey showed that more than 53% lied in their online dating profiles. Women actually lie more. Celebrities lie a lot. The New York Times reported some research about this lying stuff and my favorite stat is that apparently people are more likely to say they are “fat“ than admit they are “conservative.”  I understand this.

This particular guy’s online profile listed him as 47. On our third date, I asked about his age, he said 49. Said his birthday was in July. I made some remark about an opportunity for a big bash.

(OMG as I am writing this I am watching the MadMen episode where Peggy says she turned 39 a few weeks ago and now she’s become one of those women who lies about her age. Coincidence?)

N-eee-way, I took note and it bugged me a little, but as acknowledged earlier, I met him online, so I just let it go. After all, I liked this guy. I would not have gone on the second date, and a third, and the fourth, eagerly, if I did not. I’m 47 and he knew it. I didn’t care if he was 47, 49, or 51 or 57 for that matter. He seemed cool. I was psyched.

Which is interesting, because it turns out, he’s actually 51.

But he did not tell me this. After I decided to stop seeing him (for reasons other than this pesky white age lie) I had an understandable moment of sad, which inevitably takes me to a dash of obsession, so I did what anyone[1] would do and Googled him. And damn if those online White Pages don’t tell report your age. Seriously, dating was much less painful when the phone book doubled as a booster chair and Facebook was a printed student directory (except at ND, where it is called the Dogbook).

I am baffled and hurt by this little lie. The only answer I have is that it was clear he was not interested in dating me past July.

At this point in my life I just want to be me. Not older, not younger, just me. I’m struggling to be ok with me at 47, to know that I am right where I am supposed to be. It’s not always easy. I’ve lied before too, and I joke about it being the anniversary of my 30th birthday sometimes, so I’m not perfect. I believe most of us are younger inside than out.

So what I am wondering is, I know people lie about their age. But other than the opportunity to join the Armed Forces, WHY do we do it?

Here is what my friend Jim says, while trying to make me laugh all the way from Brazil:

It is okay for him to lie about his weight or the fact that he used to be a woman, but if he lies about his age, it’s because he is a liar.  –Jim

Truth? What do you think? Is this age fabrication stuff a big deal or not? Does it mean anything? Have you done it?


[1] Right???




  1. Rick Barrett
    June 5, 2014

    Just don’t understand why any guy (or woman for that matter) would lie about his/her age other than he/she is insecure and probably a shame based person to boot. For some reason they see some sort of shame in their age. Kinda pathetic really. I mean what kinda person really gives a hoot if somebody is 47, 49 or 51? Age has nothing to do with character. If one lies about something as frivolous and fleeting as age, they lie about other stuff as well. The way I look at it, you shouldn’t fret over stuff ya have no control over… like age. I’m 61. I’m happy.

  2. Jack Buoscio
    June 5, 2014

    I agree with Jim. Bottom line-he is a liar. We all tell white lies for various reasons, but this went beyond. Keep on trucking, the world is a crazy thing but you will attract the right one-you just have to deal with some 51 yeard old roadblocks every once in a while.

  3. LeeAnn
    June 6, 2014

    I’ve never understood this – I’m quite proud of my age (45) and have never lied about it. My guess is it’s insecurity. Here’s the bottom line – he showed you who he is early and it’s good you got out early. As Maya Angelou once said “the first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” 🙂

  4. DZ
    June 7, 2014

    I had no idea you were 47, I thought you were in were like 39..(not kidding and I’m good at guessing ages)..I never understood why people want to start a potential relationship off with a lie? It always catches up to them one way or another. 47? Looking good Kelly….keep it up whatever you’re doing…



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