Lying About Your Age on Dating Sites? Why You Should Stop

lying about age on dating sites

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

Dating websites and dating apps are still the number one way people meet, connect and fall in love. That said, there are some downsides. one negative is the ease in which people can lie, specifically about age. So, are you lying about your age on dating sites? I want to tell you why you should stop.

The ability to get away with lying about your age on dating sites is scary, and it happens a lot. People can provide any number they choose, photos can be deceiving or site users can post old photos to back up the lie. Read this email I got from a divorced woman:

I went out with a guy who claimed to be 45 when he was really 58. He didn’t tell me his actual age until we had gone out on several dates. I liked him so I continued to see him, but his age was always an issue for me. Looking back, I probably should have ended things when I found out his age. We broke up recently (after over a year of dating), and I noticed he’s online again saying he’s 13 years younger. I find this utterly annoying and wrong. He’s not a bad guy, but it’s so unfair and misleading.

First of all, I have a hard time believing that 58 can pass for 45, but that’s beside the point. This story is so disappointing to me on many levels. First of all, any lie is a big red flag. But second, it is obvious this man is pretending to be younger for the purpose of attracting younger women, which is really, really unfair. It is unethical and quite frankly, slimy.


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I’m not going to say that if he wants to attract women in their 30s and 40s that he would get them if he posted his real age. He probably wouldn’t. But, I wonder: Why does he want such a large age gap in the women he dates, anyhow?

I cannot even count the number of women I know in their 40s and 50s who are gorgeous! They have beautiful, healthy bodies, they are active and smart and wealthy and kind and worldly. I’m really questioning this guy’s priorities. Not to say younger women don’t have any of these things. They definitely do. But what they don’t have is commonality with Mr. 58.

Men over 40

I have interviewed dozens of men over 40 who want to date women their own age for reasons that include:

• They have a lot to talk about.

• It’s comfortable.

• They find the women interesting.

• They feel a connection.

I find that so many men these days care less about a number and more about wisdom, life experience and common interests.


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Lying about your age on dating sites:

People who lie about their age in online dating aren’t very smart. Don’t they realize that almost all outcomes will be bad? The person they lied to could see them in person for the first time and know they are lying immediately, and that might be the end right there. Or, let’s say the liar and his or her date hit it off and start seeing each other regularly. The liar is going to have to come clean at some point. When they do, do they think the person they lied to is just going to say, “Oh, that’s OK. No biggie.” Wrong. The red flag will immediately go up, respect will be lost, and the person will wonder what else the liar isn’t telling them.

The other downside of lying about your age on dating sites  is that you are really lying about who you are. While we all want to say “age is just a number,” (and I do believe that) how old we are really is a part of who we are. I can say that while in my core I’ve always been the same person, I am very different in my fifties than I was in my forties, thirties and twenties.

Although no one likes getting old, aging is a beautiful thing because with every birthday we gain experience and wisdom and empathy. We become better people. We make mistakes and we learn from them. So if you think about it, we just keep getting better and better the older we get.

I do want to say that I know a lot of happy couples with big age differences, including my parents, who were 12 years apart and who were together for 57 years. But, what sets these couples apart is that their spouse didn’t lie about his or her age. The person knew the age up front. So, the relationship started out authentically.


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Online dating has its benefits and it is still the number one way men and women meet, connect and find love. But be careful. A married person can have a profile status that states he or she is single. Someone can say they are 6 feet 2 when really they are under 5 feet (not that that is a bad thing – it’s just a dishonest thing.) Someone can say they are a corporate vice-president when in reality they are unemployed, and of course, anyone can state that they are any age. Remember that when you put yourself out there online, the most important thing is to be proud of who you are.

Like this article? Check out my article, “9 Signs of a Healthy Romantic Relationship”


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    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

    One Response to “Lying About Your Age on Dating Sites? Why You Should Stop”

    1. Liz Hurst

      Such a no-no for me too. The big question is this: if he lies about his age because he thinks he can get away with it, what else is he capable of lying about?
      I’ve been divorced 7 years now and after a couple of failed relationships I’m now dating again. So glad I found your site Jackie, I’ll be reading more of it 🙂 x


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