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lying to get an online dateIf someone lies about their age in an online dating profile, is it a sign that they’re lying about other things?

Dear Sandy,

I am tired of viewing the online profiles of men who lie about their age. Sometimes they come clean with their real age in their essay and say that they posted a different age for search purposes. But they are still lying. My question for you is: if they lie about their age, should I assume that they are lying about other things? Should I write these guys off, or should I give them a chance?

Frustrated and Forty (really!)

Dear Frustrated,

I understand how discouraging it can be when a guy lies about his age. Women do it, too. How can you trust anyone online? Here’s the thing; an online dating profile is just a brief glimpse into a person’s life. Potential dates are quickly judged based on a few key factors: looks, age, and what they choose to write about themselves – but mostly looks and age (many people don’t read essays). Some people post very old pictures – your high school yearbook photo? Come on! Some even post photos of other people. Tip: if someone looks like an Abercrombie model, it most likely is a scanned photo of an Abercrombie model. I once found a profile featuring a photo of Larry David (no, he’s not on JDate.com)

What about the age fib? People lie about their age for many reasons. Maybe it’s because they want to come up in your search. When you set your online dating preferences, you put in an age range. If a person falls out of that range by even a year, they won’t appear in your search. These people may be thinking, “Hey, I look and feel amazing, and I could pass for someone much younger. Maybe someone will give me a chance if I lower my age just to come up in their search.” Each person has their own rationale for the age fib.

Does lying about your age mean that you are lying about other things? Maybe, maybe not. Some people only lie about their age, and some are perpetual liars. The age fib used to be a deal breaker for me. But a few years into online dating, I realized that almost everyone I knew had shaved a few years off their real age. I am consistently told that I look 5-10 years younger than I am. One of the men that I met through a social setting and dated for several months was 9 years younger. But in my late 50’s, I wasn’t coming up in online dating searches nearly as much as I did in my early 50’s.

I never thought I’d do this, but about a month ago, I decided to join the crowd and do an experiment. I altered my profile by taking four years off my age and changing my location from Connecticut to New York City, just to see if I attracted more quality men. By nature, I am an absolute truth-teller, sometimes to a fault. But if online dating is filled with mistruths, why not play that game with a little white lie? Once I met a guy, I would come clean.

It worked. Even though Connecticut is only 45 minutes from New York City, men had often passed me by because they thought I lived too far away. Now I was meeting more men, and isn’t that the point of online dating?

Don’t judge a man (or woman) as a pathological liar just for fibbing about his age. However, if impeccable truth-telling is an absolute deal breaker for you, stick to your guns and continue telling and seeking the truth online. But be forewarned; in online dating, if everyone else seems to be fibbing about their age, you might want to join the crowd.

Best of luck in love,

Sandy

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To Lie Or Not To Lie? The Age Fib In Online Dating was last modified: by

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