How Much Lying Is Acceptable Online?

How Much Lying Is Acceptable Online
Hi Evan,

I’m fairly new to your site, and to dating in general – back on the market after a long marriage – so, at this point, I’m mainly trying to figure out how things work, and what the unwritten rules and policies of the dating game are. I’ve had an account on a dating site for the last two months. I’ve had a decent number of people contact me, and we mostly click fairly well when we meet in person. However, one thing that I notice puzzles me – it seems like no one bothers to list accurate information about themselves on their profile. I’m OK with people withholding, but I see things on men’s profiles that turn out to be downright misleading.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t get too upset if a guy’s profile picture is five years old, or if he’s really 5’8″ and not 5’10.” What I keep finding out, though, are things like “some college” means “no education past high school,” or that “work in research” means “factory worker at a plant whose clients are R&D companies,” and a white-collar technical profession listed on a profile really means “been out of work for some years.”

And “divorced” means “separated with no court date in sight!”  And these are the nicer ones…

My problem with misleading pieces of information like these is that I don’t know what else to expect. Can this person even be trusted? What else is he lying to me about? How can I tell if he just posted a little white lie on his profile, so he can get a first date and show me what a nice person he really is, or if he’s a con man through and through? Lastly, where do I draw the line? At what point does it stop being cute and start being a big deal? After all, here I am, meeting with total strangers from the Internet, and, like it or not, I have my personal safety to worry about. I did a search on your blog before I sat down to write this letter, and found a blog article where you say that it is okay to stretch the truth a little, just to get your foot in the door. Which I more or less agree with, but my question is, how can I tell between “a little” and “a lot?”

In the online dating world, how much lying is okay, and how much is considered too much? What are the red flags? Hope you can advise. Thanks!

Timely letter.

I just got back from a week-long vacation and discovered in my inbox a link to this eye-opening article posted by the fine folks at OkCupid, entitled “The Big Lies People Tell in Online Dating.” However, for all of the dating site’s advanced metrics and data, the subtitle of the piece could simply have been, “Duh.”

OkCupid merely confirmed what you and me –and everyone else who has ever dated online has seen ourselves – there is no detail small enough to resist exaggerating. The only things you may find surprising are that women lie about their height and income just as much as men do. Seriously. So no more self-righteous emails about men, okay?

Lying isn’t something that only others do. Like speeding and getting “creative” on your taxes, lying online is something that “we” do as a form of semi-accepted rule-breaking.

What I found fascinating was that the older you are, the more likely you are to lie.

Older people lie because they need to lie to get attention from the most desirable people.

You may conclude that people over the age of 35 are simply less ethical. That they’re more jaded. Less comfortable around computers. Perhaps life has burned them too many times. Maybe the civics courses in the 70’s were less effective because of Watergate. Really, I could spin any number of cockamamie theories, but the truth is much simpler.

Older people lie because they need to lie to get attention from the most desirable people.

A 22-year-old guy can make $24,000/yr as a waiter and not need to exaggerate. That simply won’t fly if he’s 35.

A 24-year-old woman can post a photo and watch responses roll in like the tide. A 44-year-old woman virtually drops off the face of the earth in comparison.

So when the market gets more and more competitive – and you recognize the realities of the situation, you’re forced into a tough decision:

Most women say to themselves: “There are hundreds of women on here who are younger and thinner than I am. They’re getting all of the attention of the men that I want to meet. So if I change my age from 44 to 39, or post a picture that was taken 5 years and 25lbs ago, it will give me a greater chance to get in the door. If I tell the truth – that I’m middle aged and slightly overweight – the only people who will pay attention to me are homely and desperate 60-year-old men.”

Needless to say, it works the exact same way for men. So 5’8” becomes 5’10”. $75,000 becomes $100,000 and 55 becomes 49. Not to mention the highly creative indulgences cited in the original email.

Ironically, the man who lies online sees himself as insecure, not untrustworthy.

Listen, I’ve been on the CBS Early Show defending women lying about their age. It’s certainly not an easy task. After all, anyone can decry someone who lies: what ELSE are they hiding? But given the pervasiveness of online lying, I came to the conclusion that lying, while not morally defensible, is at least UNDERSTANDABLE from a practical standpoint. People, for the most part, don’t lie because they’re bad folks who can’t tell the difference between right and wrong; they’re just insecure that telling the truth will eliminate them from contention before they ever get a chance to meet you.

If you have nothing to hide, then this has never occurred to you. I’m a 38-year-old guy with a decent job, a solid education, and good income. There’s no real incentive to lie, unless I want to make myself a bit taller than 5’9’’.

But the guy who has been separated for 18 months and his wife won’t sign the divorce papers, the guy who lost his prestigious job and hasn’t quite landed on his feet yet, the guy who was never formally educated but is wise from life experience – he knows that you will NOT give him a chance if he tells the truth.

And since you won’t give him a chance, HE’s going to give himself a chance.

Obviously, this plan backfires 90% of the time, but to the people who are lying, they see it as the only means to get in front of you. Because the truth is: you WON’T go out with the 5’6” guy, the guy in the wheelchair, or the guy who makes less than you. Don’t deny it. The evidence to support my assertion is overwhelming.

So, to answer your question after all, while I don’t know where the line is between the acceptable white lie and the unacceptable whopper – I will say this: ironically, the man who lies online sees himself as insecure, not untrustworthy; if he  doesn’t trust anything, it’s that you will actually give him a shot, in spite of his flaws.

And I have to say that, from what I’m observed, he’s right.

Is he wasting his time (and yours) by misrepresenting himself? Absolutely.

Would he have the chance to meet you if he didn’t misrepresent himself? Absolutely not.

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  1. 61

    @ JerseyGirl #62:

    People are quick to judge online–with the minutest criteria–because the next person is only a click away, and there are hundreds of them.  If you’re meeting someone at a party, there are usually only a few other people you could meet.  If you don’t like a guy’s nose online, you click “next.”  You’re introduced to someone at a party and don’t like his nose, but you spend a few minutes talking to him because it’d be rude not to, and you find out that he’s really interesting.

  2. 62
    Christie Hartman, PhD

    Whether lying is tolerable also depends on what they’re lying about. Lying about height, weight, or age, while annoying and inadvisable, is at least somewhat harmless. Lying about marital status (saying you’re divorced when you’re separated, or worse, saying you’re single when you’re married) is much more serious. Years ago, I had a beer with a man who lied online about having a child, and admitted it during the date. He said he did it because he felt that “some women are shallow” – i.e. that they won’t date him if he admits to having a child. He was very sour about the online dating experience and never once recognized his own role in his problems.

    1. 62.1

      Not only is lying about martial status more serious, it can even be a suable offense in some states, including NC, Illinois, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah (at last count.) Just do a search for “criminal conversation” and “alienation of affection” lawsuits. For a sobering breakdown of the various offenses, look here. [Link no longer available.] Mentioned several times: “It is not a defense that: the defendant did not know the other person was married.” Alienation of affection doesn’t even require proof of extramarital sex.

      How costly is it? A NC jury gave the wronged wife a $9 million settlement.

      Personally, I don’t want to date a guy until he’s divorced. (I know Evan has a few interesting exceptions, such as this one.) The fact that it’s suable in my state makes me even more cautious…

    2. 62.2

      I think lying about age can be just as serious, if the man is looking to have kids and a woman is beyond child bearing years and says she is not.

  3. 63

    In response to the original question : I recommend not emailing  guys endlessly, preferring to speak on the phone fairly soon. This gives you the chance to ask pertinent questions 

    ” I see on your profile you are divorced…how  long has it been?. or I love that pic of you smiling in a restaurant and the food looks great.Whats your favourite dish there…etc”

    Most people will not lie outright when speaking like this in normal conversation. If they do there are often hesitations. I think it is plain crazy to agree to meet someone if you have not talked on the phone. Vet via the phone. Saves a lot of time and energy 🙂

    For the first date only meet for a quick coffee. Again, not much time or energy invested if they are not who they portrayed. I wouldn’t agree to have dinner with a total stranger if we met in real llfe, say at a book shop for instance, but I would go for a quick coffee. Same thing needs to happen online.

    I dont think anyone should have to reveal their age on line either. Its personal. If you met at the bookshop you wouldn’t be asking the person their are either attracted to the whole package or you are not. Recent photos are very important..much more than the age being out by a few years. 

    So for me the trick is to screen, screen, screen via the phone in a fun way. The dulcet tones of a persons voice and the ease of conversation between the two of you will let you know if it someone worth the time and energy to meet.

    Good Luck

  4. 64

    @Cat #65: Apparently, most states (including mine – whew) have enacted legislation to abolish the right to bring an alienation of affection lawsuit.
    Full list is here: I agree, if it were suable in my state, that to me would be scary enough to abandon all online dating altogether (since people seem to withhold or change that information in their profiles), and only date close friends that I know well. Scary!

    1. 64.1

      Goldie #67, I still do online dating! Otherwise, I’d severely limit my ability to date. But I’m careful. What’s that Russian proverb? Trust but verify. 🙂

      Evan has a great, comprehensive guide to online dating that is a must for anyone who’s new to online dating or not getting the results they want.

      1. 64.1.1

        Russian proverb? uh no, that was our own president Ronald Reagan who uttered that piece of wisdom TO the Russians.

  5. 65
    Kat Wilder

    I used to fudge my age by a few years, until I went on a coffee-meet date with a guy and, while discussing our experience with online dating, he called me on it.
    And, he was right! So, I stopped.
    Instead of hoping to show up on someone’s radar, I began writing to men who interested me, feeling (perhaps with some cockiness) confident that my picture and profile description would be sufficient to interest an intelligent man. And, it did, many times, and men would tell me how I “didn’t look my age.” (whatever my age looks like; who knows?) And that’s how my BF and I got together years ago.
    @lulubell makes sense. Once we allow honesty to be flexible, we’re in trouble.

  6. 66
    Orlando Singles

    Lying is such a waste of time and energy. Why bother to get responses at all if they are going nowhere as soon as the other person realizes you lied.  Let’s face it, none of us are perfect.  Therefore, you probably aren’t going to meet a perfect person on line just because they sound so good.  I think reality is best.  Lay the cards on the table and deal with “what is” not “what you wish is.”  And by the way, I’m over 35.  Thanks for the chance to voice my opinion.

  7. 67

    @Orlando #70,

    You are correct, but we all have this mistaken notion we are going to find the *perfect* person on line, the one who doesn’t exist.  And of course eHarmony and other dating sites who advertise and use only the best-looking members (assuming that they’re not just actors in some cases) perpetuate that notion.  While I’m sure there are many who actually do read the profiles, I would say the majority of us don’t read them, if we don’t like the picture or there is no picture.

  8. 68

    Lying is a dealbreaker for me. Three years on the age? Dealbreaker. It demonstrates an incredible lack of character. I actually felt nauseous after someone ‘came clean’ and told me the truth about their age, employment, etc. If someone is going to pass you by because of 3 inches on height or 5 years on age, who cares? There are thousands more who will welcome you. I met a man 5 years ago who said in his profile that he was 5’6″. My first thought was: wow. This guy is either a midget or an honest man. I liked him because he really was 5’6″ and height was irrelevant to him. And so, it became irrelevant to me. I am 5’9″. We are still together. What I can’t figure out is why height is so important to women. Are there not things couples do in bed where the size of something else is more relevant? I have met many tall men who were ‘small’, limp, etc. It actually makes me laugh to think that women will choose height over quality, kindness, integrity, and ‘masculinity.’

  9. 69

    I think people who have complicated relationships makes things complicated. One of these complications is lying or keeping quiet and not telling the truth.

    I want a clean, healthy relationship and not get tied up in messy stuff. So, I don’t lie or support lying.

  10. 70


    @Tall #72
    If someone passes you by because you’re 3 inches on height or 5 years on age who cares their are thousands more WILL welcome you.

    That’s a statement coming from a woman who’s never been a man trying to date online.There’ AREN’T thousands more who welcome you.If that were true no men would lie because they would have too many options with 100% honest profile.There are very few for most average men.

    And to try and explain to you why women prefer tall/taller men?……..It has nothing to do with sexual positions and everything to do with feeling feminine to the mans masculine. At 5’9″ I totally understand why women that are 5’8″ won’t answer me online.I don’t like it but I understand it.I actually prefer women that are shorter than me but I would never disqualify a woman who was attractive just because she was taller than me within reason.

  11. 71
    No Crap

    @Been Thru the Wars #28
    If I found out a man was a smoker, I would drop him like a hot rock.  Even if it were the day before the wedding, I would cancel the ceremony.  If I found out after the wedding, I would have the marriage annulled or divorce him.  Smoking is that much of an absolute deal breaker for me.
    While I do sympatize because of the risks to your health, you knew what you were getting into.  Maybe I’m just a hard-ass, but I can’t ever imagine being so much “in love” that I would be willing to risk lung cancer from second hand smoke.  Don’t you feel betrayed?  I would.

  12. 72
    Slim P

    I’ve posed this question here before – quite a while ago – but if someone can’t write their way out of a wet paper bag is it lying if they hire Evan here to help put together a profile?  Actually I’m not quite sure exactly what it is that Evan does,  but I gather creating a profile is part of it.
    Personally I’d be upset if I responded to a well written profile,  only to find a ghost writer lurking in the background.   I’d figure that out before any sort of meeting, because I liked (taken) a fair amount of email chat first, but would be none too happy about the wasted time anyway.  I suspect many might not.

    1. 72.1

      Just like when someone hires a stylist (to dress better) or a personal trainer at the gym (to get a better looking body,) hiring a dating coach – or a personal trainer for love – is simply a smart choice to be successful at dating, especially in such a competitive arena as online dating where first impressions are everything. People can be terrible writers -“unable to write their way out of a paper bag” – but have very interesting lives and just need some help translating it into a good profile. Someone’s blah “I love to travel” becomes “I love walking the cobblestone streets in San Miguel de Allende, browsing the open market for locally woven rugs, hitting Alhombra behind the Parroquia for posole, and finishing the night with salsa dancing under the stars.” When someone helps you write a profile, it’s not lying; they’re helping you become specific about your experiences and desires.

  13. 73

    I went out on a date with a guy who listed 30 and was really 40.  He looked really young, but I was turned off by the fact that he LIED!!!  Sorry, you got thru the door, but you are not staying in.  Honesty is always the best policy!

    1. 73.1
      jim morrison

      Well, that just means, you didn’t like him that much to begin with…I guarantee that…if you meet someone, and they like you, they won’t give a dam about your age…exactly what happened to me…and even if you what you say is true…for every person that thinks like you, there are 10 more who don’t…Lying can get your foot in the door, that would have been other wised closed…It’s  ok to not like the method.  but we all have to do what works…sometimes being honest, doesn’t work…

  14. 74

    I think people lie in online dating because they can.  In the ‘real world’ of dating, a man would never think of walking up to a woman asking her age, salary, if she was divorced or single…height, etc.  Same thing with a woman meeting a man.

    When online dating you can choose to only look at men/women that are between X and Y years of age, make $x amount, have X education,etc.  It is strange if you think about it.

    1. 74.1
      jim morrison

      If a woman asks me my age…first thing I say is, “why does it matter my age”  is that going to somehow change how you feel, one way or another?  You either are attracted to the person or either have things in common or either get along with the person or you don’t….age makes no difference..

      And to those saying that older men can’t give healthy babies…not sure where that came from…that goes for women not men…men in their 80’s have had kids…so it makes no difference the age of the man..

      1. 74.1.1

        Actually, it is risky for men over 45 to Father children.  Increased rates of Autism, retardation and other birth defects:  Just because you “can”, doesn’t mean that you should.

  15. 75


    @tk #78 “Sorry,you got thru the door but you’re not staying in”

    I’ve “gotten thru the door” plenty of times and left when “I” decided to.If I could get responses by being 100% honest instead of “fudging” on things that are irrelevant and not physical,like,income,education,saying I’m “divorced” even though I’ve never been married…yadda yadda,yadda.After 13 yrs,I’ve learned the hard way.Some responses/dates are better than none.Just remember even if you don’t lie,you’re competing with AND emailng to people that are. You can’t change human nature.Fight fire with fire.

    The internet has changed the dating/relationship landscape so drastically to the point where everyone has pointed out above,people(women) check off “little boxes” and when Mr.Model/Masters Degree/100K doesn’t show up they say “I tried the internet,there’s no good men on there”. Oh well…..

  16. 76

    Being authentic, if a person can’t be authentic, then what’s the point?  That’s either on line or in person.  I am completely honest in my profile, about everything.  It doesn’t feel right not to be completely honest, I am who I am and the man that wants me, wants me for exactly who I am. 

    What I have found with on line dating and this approach, if I think about it, is I weed out people who don’t have the integrity and values that I appreciate.  I may not get as many interactions, but the ones I do get are of high quality.  I also never have to worry about remembering what I said on line, and I can focus on the person I am with, getting to know them, instead of being in my head, being someone I’m not.  (Most of the on line profiles I read of men, and I’ve read a lot!, comment that they just want the woman to be herself, to be authentic 🙂

  17. 77

    “Just remember even if you don’t lie,you’re competing with AND emailng to people that are. You can’t change human nature.Fight fire with fire.”

    Two wrongs don’t make it right.

    One attracts those of similar maturity and character.

  18. 78


    @Kaitlyn 79

    You are right in the “real world” people don’t ask SOME of those questions directly but as a man in the “real world” women would and still do “qualify” me by using conversation type qualifying questions like “where did you go to school?” ie: are you educated with a degree and if so where from? Or the famous one we men always get asked in social situations “what do you do?” ie: How much money do you make?Do you have a good job title? Can you afford me?

    Of course we ask women “if they’re single” we want to gage their answer for interest.I also ask how many kids/ages in conversation so I know what I’m dealing with.

    So yes in the real world upon meeting each other men and woman go about getting info and qualifying each other in different ways for different reasons but the internet has turned the “qualifying” process on it’s head.

    It’s real easy for most of the women on this blog to say “just be 100% honest and let the cards fall where they may” that’s because you guys have never been a MAN online to see what goes on from our perspective.

  19. 79

    I found that guys lie a lot online. One guy said he was 5′-8″, and he was 5′-2″ when I met him. I’m 5-10″, so then I set my upped height range preference to 5′-10″ instead of the 5′-6″ it was before. Another guy lied about his job and income, so I set the income preference to the same height that mine is even though I was willing to go a notch or two lower than what I make. But I wasn’t willing to date someone unemployed who WANTED to stay on unemployment. Another guy told me I was brave to admit I was divorced (I had no children), and that he was divorced, too. But he didn’t think that counted b/c they didn’t have kids, so he put “single” on his profile. Other guys lied about being married, already having kids, or wanting a relationship. I got so tired of all of the lying that I just quit dating at all. How do you know a guy isn’t lying to you? You gotta hire a detective these days, I guess.

  20. 80

    Lying, in general, is a huge turn off. I would not pass up a guy’s profile because he was 5’5″, but if his profile says he’s 5’10” and we meet and it turns out he’s 5’5″, I have a serious problem with that. I get that the fib might be about trying to meet someone without the “height bias”, but now, having met and discovered this untruth, I’m just left wondering what else he hasn’t been honest about. I guess to me, a lie like that screams desperation, or worse yet, that the person is not comfortable or confident enough in himself to be honest. And that’s a deal breaker.

    1. 80.1

      Most men lie ONLY about their height. The degree to which women make a certain height (over 5′ 10″) a requirement forces some men to do this. 
      Suggesting that a man who lies about his height is likely to lie about other things is the same as saying a woman who lies about her weight by 8 lbs is likely to evade her taxes, lie on her resume,  and lie about her marital status. In other words, it’s not at all likely. 
      For women, short height is a deal-breaker. 
      My Equinox gym is full of men who are 5′ 6″ and built like Jason Statham. Many probably can’t get dates, despite having ripped bods. Those guys may be VERY confident about their bodies, endowment, and intelligence. But women may STILL reject them because they’re 5′ 5″/5′ 6″. It’s got NOTHING to do with confidence. The wold is full of men who are 6′ 4″, very shy, afflicted with anxiety disorders, and totally lacking in confidence who has pretty 5′ 2″ girlfriends. 

  21. 81

    I totally disagree with ur assertion that 44 yr old women have to roll it up…..I’m 44 and my inbox get’s flooded with hundreds of emails from men 18 and up, too many to answer…..I switched my profile age just to see if there would be a change down to 34, the same men responded…what I think is there is a bunch of garbage on the internet and that women who are in the know, know what is really going on out here, when it comes to men. They are desperate and many lie about their age….I’ve met men who said they are 45 and when I see them they are well over 55 and I want to puke…..older men are gross and they look like I’m dating an older dude. 45 is still a hot age for some men, it pisses me off that these older men think that I want a 60 year old….excuse me I need hard wood in the bedroom. I’m not dating some old dude who’s going to need me to be his nurse in 10 yrs….goodbye and as far as the $ and career stats, plenty of men I have met are professionals, educated, and are gentlemen. Women should date ten years down since we outlive men anyway.

    1. 81.1

      Now you are a woman who totally gets me.  I finally found one who knows what I’m talking about.

  22. 82

    I’ve had guys lie about their age and most recently, a man who put on his profile that he had no kids, texted me that he had just spent a weekend with his son.  I had just breezed through his profile and did not realize this lie until an hour or so after the conversation.  That does it for me.  Douchebag! 

  23. 83

    Hi, I thought this was a pretty honest article – not kind, but ‘telling it like it is’. What is going on, it seems, is a kinduv ‘arms race’, or ‘evolution’, in that we discover which rules we need to break in order to survive – ie to what we need to lie about to get a date (chance to mate). But if everyone lies about those things we are not at an advantage any more, so the stakes are going to keep getting higher. It seems inevitable. On the other hand, we could imagine that the pressures ‘irl’ are the same, so do we think more lying is going on online? If so, why? There are people who are less inclined to tell these lies of course – so do they always miss out? I am not convinced. But, speaking as someone who has thought of themselves as very honest (but, no, I would be lying if I said I never told lies), I certainly haven’t got very far up the greasy pole – but I do have a partner and 2 kids and we are both employed and (relatively) solvent. I think you are probably right though – lying is a strategy that becomes more common as the competition increases. We can afford the luxury of honesty as a matter of principle if there isn’t too much at stake. Most people would not opt to die for that principle. I am still not going to condone it though. Some people will use lying as a strategy with much less pressure than others. I am not going to say that is a character flaw. Perhaps relationships work best when this value, like many others, are held similarly by both partners – if you are both lying about the same level of things, you can’t be too surprised to when you find out the truth. It is a really thorny issue though – because I think that yes, if someone is lying about one thing then yes, they ARE more likely to lie about other things. If you assume the other person is lying, trust, which is critical to an intimate relationship, is hard to establish. I suppose the point is to remember that when you meet somene online, you need to take time to get to know them and ‘get a feel’ for them. During that time, you need to keep your head and NOT take things at face value.

  24. 84

    Before I really get into what I want to say, I have to challenge some of the ideas put forward above:

    1)  A lot of why women have extremely unfair standards of beauty placed on them their whole lives is that there’s a bias put forward by men that assumes that THEY care about youth and beauty, and WE care about stability, income and whatever else was suggested above.  Next thing we know, we’re catering to that assumption….which we as a gender (women) need to STOP doing.  Hey guys, guess what?  Who SAYS??  Who says we don’t like them young also?  Who says we don’t care if you’re pretty?  And….who says that in this day and age, you’re not judging us as much for our careers, financial stability and position in the world as we’re judging you for the same?  I have seen it over and over again.  In my experience, the commodities of value in the human dating pool are superficial, exterior, and EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS, regardless of your gender.  It’s almost 2015, let’s catch up. 

    2)  I can’t speak for every woman out there, but I don’t like a tall man because I assume he MAKES MORE MONEY if he’s taller.  That is a ridiculous concept.  It may give a guy a temporary advantage in superficial impression that helps him in the professional world, but then you have to prove you can do what they’re giving you the chance to do, and height does not equal capability.  The ability and inclination to earn wealth is basically I(ntelligence) + D(drive)+ F(ocus) + Ch(cr) (Ch = a childhood that wasn’t an absolute shipwreck, though some people overcome that, Cr = creativity)(Opportunity) = wealth.  Height is not part of that equation.  I like a tall man because a) he tends to carry weight on his frame better and more importantly, b) because when a man is taller than i am, I feel more protected.  It’s just a perception, a sensation, but it FEELS stronger.  Also, he’s more likely to be able to lift me up during sex (leverage).  Some women who are looking to have children, not me, also like a taller man because in our society, height (in men and women….can a woman who’s 5’4″ be a high fashion model?  No.) is considered a preferred physical feature that they want to pass on to their children.

    And that said, I’ve found plenty of men who aren’t tall to be attractive.  The guy I lost my virginity to was 5’6″ at the time.  Unless a woman is tall, this isn’t a deal breaker usually, and sometimes not even then.  Just try to keep your weight in proportion to your height and I’m sure you’ll do fine.

    3)  So please do not equate your struggles with being vertically challenged to a woman’s struggle with suddenly having lost her viability overnight when she says her age.  You didn’t just have a key part of your self identity stripped away from you; you were always untall. 

    I saw this page at the doctor’s office after I Googled the question, “How bad is it to lie about your age to someone you’re dating?”  This is something I never thought I would ever consider much less sit there and Google.

    I’ve had two men lie about their ages to me (one added 4 years, one added 3), and it really broke trust…of course, in both cases, I realized that this was just the first in a long string of lies, lies which led to my heart being broken, in one case, devastatingly.  If I were to do this, it wouldn’t be just the first in a string.  It would just be that.  Only that.  It’s a sad thing that it’s come to this. I’m very straight and direct about every single other thing, even if it doesn’t make me look particularly good.  I’ve always been straight about my age also….but I’m rethinking it.
    The problem is that something in the way men respond to me changed nearly overnight when I turned 45-46 (all of a sudden, I was supposed to be matronly and content with that role).  Understand that I am not just talking about online.  I have seen the same man who was all over me, very attracted to me, trying to pick me up, knows what he’s looking at, visibly or behaviorally change reactions when he hears how old I am (“I really like you….but you’re 46!!” said one guy.  He gave me his number, I never called him.  Starting from a negative proving to a guy he should OVERLOOK something about me is not my idea of joy.  “I would snap you up in a second if you were 15 years younger” [from someone I was supposed to already be mutually in love with and who knew my age while that love was supposedly developing]}.  I’m sure you can imagine how good it felt.  I’m still living with the pain four months later (that and a lot of other things).  

    Part of this is a compliment.  It means that based on looking at me, they didn’t see it coming.  I’m not aging poorly, this means.  I do a lot to take care of myself and hold on to my health and youth for as long as I can (a lot of supplements, I work out hard and regularly, if I need a doctor, I go INSTANTLY, I don’t try to walk things off and let them deteriorate into other things).  I have a very youthful personality that actually makes me better suited to the significantly younger guys I tend to date (generally speaking, I don’t want to be generalized about on the basis of my age and I try not to do it to men either.  I think if there can be a female like me, there can be a male like me, I just wish they were a bit less freakin’ rare and not using that prime maintenance to try to date women younger than THEY are, but if they’re going to do it, then I’m going to do it for as long as I can.).  However, part of this is anything BUT a compliment.  What it is is a stark reminder of the cruelty of life — that you spend the first 15 or so years of your life building who you basically are, the next 15 years developing that person and getting to know that person well (you become attached to the man or woman you know yourself to be), and the 15 years after that on a decline you have no idea is happening to the inevitable point where biology and society take it away from you quite suddenly.  All of a sudden, neither men nor younger female FRIENDS see you the same way.  It’s horrific.  Then what?  You’re supposed to be old for 30-40….YEARS???


    What a crock o’ crap that is.  

    I’m not trying to attract people who aren’t attracted to me, I’m trying to keep people with me who ARE.  I’m trying to not have someone be into me, and then promptly write me off when he hears my age when all things being equal, he really digs everything else, and to not have people who are over 25 thinking of me as their MOM when I’m not remotely on that same page, and I’m viewing them as boyfriends or in the case of women, sort of like younger sisters. 

    -When it’s time for the floating out on the iceberg thing, I’ll be the first person to know it, and I’ll be sure to tell everyone.  

  25. 85
    Jim morrison

    Lying about your age, is not always found out. Trust me. If you workout, take care of yourself, you can easily look the age you say. There are certain things you need to know though. A woman will often times ask for your full name..”cause she’s curious” That’s bull crap. They want your name, so they can google you. Always know that. I’ve learned the hard way. never ever give a woman your last name. If you do, change the last few letters of your name. If it ends in an E, make it an i. This way when they try and google you, it will not come up. Also, going to your home, might also be a mistake…They will look up who owns the house. Get your name that way…Why do I lie about my age. Very very simple. Contrary to what is being said, it has nothing to do with being insecure. I am attracted to women 19-30. Are there exceptions, of course. But in general. I prefer how young women look. Plus, my hobbies are more in line with younger women.. Online dating has women putting age ranges, which will most likely exclude me from their preferences. So, I have 2 choices. I can either be “honest” about my age, and pretty much date women that I have absolutely no attraction or interest in, or lie and have a chance with the younger girls. Point of note…Not one girl has ever questioned my age. And I shave a good 15 years off. Either i’m going to be alone and simply not date or date women i have no interest in, or lie and get with women that I like. Not really a tough choice…

    1. 85.1

      That may not have bitten you in the rear end yet. But the truth always catches up with us one way or another.

      1. 85.1.1
        Jim morrison

        Yes, I agree. But, by that time, hopefully they are so into you, it won’t matter. When I met my ex wife. I lied about my age. someone in my family gave it away accidentally. When I explained myself, she totally understood. Ya, she was a bit upset at first, but at that point, she was into me, so it really didn’t matter.

        Society is the one that pushes the over importance of age. I personally believe that age shouldn’t even be told on dating sites. I think it’s totally irrelevant. If you’re physically attracted to someone, a number shouldn’t matter. If you have things in common, a number shouldn’t matter. Those are what’s important.

        1. hawaiistar

          I have com across men that shave off so many years off their age and I think they’re sooo ridiculous. They message me and they’re the last person I’d ever reply to.  From their photos it’s so obvious they’re lying.


          I met up with a guy who posted a photo about 12 years younger. When I went to meet him, I couldn’t even spot him in the crowd. He looked so so much older. Who did he think he was going to fool?


          Men like that will end up with gold diggers, or women with psychological problems that other younger men her own age will run away from, etc.

        2. Lisa

          I would leave you if we were married, had kids, it would not matter. I would not be so in love with you to forget that you shaved 15 years off your age! 2 or 3 okay but 15?  That’s very deceptive.  And although no man wants to admit it Viagra does not help everything and your age will eventually show in bed.  a 30 year old woman wants more than a 50 year old man can handle.

      2. 85.1.2
        Jim morrison

        Listen…If a girl likes how you look, and you get along and are attracted to each other…why should a number matter?  I now have a girlfriend…we have been together for over a year…we live together…and have no thoughts of every leaving one another…I lied to her about my age…I took off 15 years…why?  It was my foot in the door.   Once she liked me.  I told her the truth..but by that time. she was invested in me…and she accepted it…People have to remember…especially true for men…guys that workout, look good…may not consider themselves that age…whether or not they are that age is irrelevant…in their minds, they are young…and see themselves that way…

    2. 85.2
      Karmic Equation

      Men lying about their age is less of an issue than women. Primarily if a man is looking to start a family, a woman beyond her childbearing years is gonna have to come clean about not being able to bear children at some point. In this sense men are lucky.

      That said, while you MAY think you look 15 years younger than your actual age, I suspect most women know that you’re lying and either you’re rich enough, successful enough, or have high enough status that they overlook that. Nobody looks 15 years younger than their age unless they’ve had plastic surgery. 5-10 years. Sure. I’m 47 and get hit on by 20-somethings all the time who think I’m in my mid-30s.

      The problem is this for anyone who lies about their age that much is that if you look younger than your age, then you’re a great looking 45 year old if that’s your real age. But if you state you’re 30, now you’re an OLD looking 30 year old. Shaving 5 years is about the max and still look good. Anything more and you’re just an old-looking guy for that age group and the women who date you are overlooking that for other reasons. Not because you look as young as YOU think you look. Tha’s just wishful thinking.

      1. 85.2.1
        Jim morrison

        There are many women out there, where they don’t care. They can totally love how you look, but the mere fact that you’re over their desired age range is enough for them not to date you. That to me is the most insane thing I have ever heard of. And people do not know how old other people are. They just don’t. Age is a matter of perception. It always has been. If you dress a certain way. If you’re really muscular, have many tattoos, that may throw their curiosity off. And yes, people can look much much younger, Johnny depp most certainly does not look 51. Yet, i guarantee he can get any woman of any age he wants, regardless if he’s famous or not. So could the rock..

        1. Karmic Equation

          Those guys are hot. Irrespective of age. So if you’re either Johnny Depp or The Rock’s doppelganger, then I agree, age doesn’t matter. Good for you.

          But MOST people out there are not hot. At least not without P.S.

          So advocating MOST people lying is not helping most people.

        2. starthrower68

          But the thing is, even though YOU think it’s insane, as is your right, if a younger woman wants to reject you for age, that’s HER right. You effectively want to make the decision for her.

        3. hawaiistar

          I’m not interested in a 51 year old even if he was a famous actor. Also, I want a younger man to father my children. As men age, they can pass many more mutations to their offspring. It starts at age 25, so it’s better to mate with a younger man.


          For example, some cases of schizophrenia in adult children has been linked to having have a father of advanced age, compare to average.

  26. 86

    Whatever floats your boat. For me, I prefer to be hated for what I am rather than loved for what I am not.

  27. 87
    jim morrison

    If she has the right to judge me based on my age, then I have every right to lie about it. We may disagree, but that’s how I feel. If you’re attracted to someone, that shouldn’t suddenly change, cause their “age” is something different than what you thought. Thats like me suddenly not liking a girl cause I found out she weighed 135lbs, instead of 125lbs. It shouldn’t matter.

    I only mentioned the rock and depp to prove a point. Age doesn’t matter. And it shouldn’t even be a part of dating or a necessary thing to put on a profile..

    1. 87.1
      Karmic Equation

      It does matter Jim, and especially to you.

      If it didn’t, you would be ALSO be looking to date women your own age who “look young for their age.”

      You are such a hypocrite.

      1. 87.1.1

        I’m just glad none of those 19-year-olds are my daughter.

        1. Kh77

          I would be honestly almost disgusted if I were to date a man 15 years older than me who lied about it (and no one looks that much younger) that is a huge difference and if it’s a woman who wants children with a man who she believes is her age who can have them as well that’s extremely selfish if you to waste her time. I know men in their late 40s and 50s can have children but the risk for birth defects is higher, they certainly aren’t at their prime to be a new father at that age.

          I’m a young woman, news flash, most of us want to date guys around our age, it’s your issue if you are seeking women substantially younger than you. It’s people like you who lend to the bad rap of online dating with blatant lying on your profile. Age is one thing there is no estimate on, there is no gray area, you are x years old.

          Age does matter, and it’s not for shallow reasons. You’re a walking cliche of the older guy who wants young women for shallow reasons.

        2. Perfecta


      2. 87.1.2
        jim morrison

        I don’t date according to age. I date according to physical attraction. I have dated older women. But I said in general. I prefer how the younger women look. They are generally less fat, in better shape, not quite so angry and bitter, Plus, I want to be the teacher, not the student, if you get what I’m saying…haha…If I met a 50 year old, and I was attracted to her, sure I’d date her. IN a second…

      3. 87.1.3
        jim morrison

        Age is no more relevant than a person’s bodyweight.  They are both just numbers that mean nothing.   There are many reasons why I prefer younger women.  I workout alot, and want someone who’s going to make me look good as well.   Older women tend to be into more older women type things.  and no, most young girls do not want guys there own age . thats crap.  Most girls I have ever known, want guys older.  Plus, If I meet a girl in real life, I simply do not tell her my age.  I don’t lie, I just don’t tell them.  When they ask why, I simply say, I don’t want to be judged on it.

        1. Lisa

          Actually age is more relevant than body weight.  You cannot change your age, you can change your body weight.   If i am looking to have kids with a man I do not want him to be dead before they graduate high school and I have dated older men and they simply cannot keep up in the bedroom.  And if younger women like older men why do you need to lie about your age?

      4. 87.1.4
        Jim morrison

        sorry, but no 40 or 50 year old woman looks 22…they just don’t…and more than that…younger girls are just into different things…an older woman’s idea of a good time is to see an opera or a play…a younger girls idea is to go to the beach..get a tattoo…roam the malls…catch a horror movie…it’s more how they think and act…it’s not all looks..  and most women my age look fucking old…there’s always that…

  28. 88
    jim morrison

    KH77: got news for you hun,… most girls do not want to date guys their own age. What world are you living in? Ever since i was a kid growing up till now, girls have always wanted to and have dated guys older than them. It’s natural. That’s how it’s been for thousands of years.

    I do not believe in age, as how you might. Age is nothing more than a chronological number. Nothing more. A man made concept of keeping track of time. It holds no special meaning. It only holds meaning, if you give it meaning…Do you know how many girls I knew growing up, that were 15, that were dating guys in their early 20’s? Tons. And many girls don’t want to have kids. If they do, they can move on and find someone that does. Simple…

    I don’t want anyone for shallow reasons. I am a guy that works out 6 days per week, I’m extremely big and muscular and prefer to be with someone that also going to make me look good. And sorry hun, But being with a 35+ year old woman, in general, doesn’t fit that bill. Now, if its Jennifer Aniston, then yes… but most women that age do not look like her..

    1. 88.1

      You don’t want anyone for shallow reasons but in the same paragraph say you want someone who makes YOU look good.

      1. 88.1.1
        Jim morrison

        Anyone who says they don’t want someone who looks good is a liar…for there to be attraction, you have to be attracted to that person…so appearance is a huge part of it…it always will be..

    2. 88.2

      We liked older guys when we were younger (High School, College).

      Now we like younger guys too.


  29. 89

    I personally could care less who you date. But when you say in the same paragraph that you don’t date for shallow reasons but want someone who makes look good, it leaves one scratching their head.

    1. 89.1
      jim morrison

      Physical attraction is the #1 necessity for finding a mate. To deny this isn’t being logical. What makes you want to date someone, to kiss them. etc.. it’s physical attraction… That’s not shallow, that’s normal. We all go for what we find attractive.. Once you find someone you’re attracted to, the personality is what keeps people together. But physical attraction always comes first…

      Not really sure why that’s confusing.. Am I supposed to date someone I don’t find attractive??

      1. 89.1.1

        No, pple are just telling u to stop lying, esp by 15 yrs. There are women who are open to dating older guys (usually those older guys have to be smthg special though). I’ve dated men who are much older before–but they were honest about their age. This is just simple Golden Rule stuff, and at 50 u really should understand without ppl explaining it to u.

        1. jim morrison

          Sweetheart. I am not 50. haha. Should a girl be obligated to tell a man her exact bodyweight? I don’t think so. So why age? Age is nothing more than a chronological number..Here’s what I do understand. Many women will not even date me, cause of my age. That is not something I’m willing to tolerate.. If they see me, and like what they see, what difference should a number make? is that going to somehow make my uglier? Of course not..

        2. twinkle

          @Jim: Oops sorry for that error, I dunno how I got the impression u were around 50. But anyway.

          U mentioned body weight. If a guy asked me my weight, I’d just tell him. Well ok I might minus a few pounds if I had gained some weight over the holidays. 😉 But I’d tell my approximate true weight. Overweight women might say “I’d rather not tell”. But it wouldn’t cross my mind to subtract 15 pounds.

          For age, it’s even more impt to tell the true age. A woman may be worried abt a higher risk of health problems for any kids who u father. There are also women who want a bf/spouse of the same generation, maybe to have common cultural experiences. Or–and this is smthg that is an impt issue to me–the woman may fear that if she marries the much older man, she will be alone in her old age. U’re not letting the women make an informed decision regarding ur age–don’t u think this is wrong?

          The guy I’m currently dating is a lot older than me. He really does look 10 yrs younger though. & he has lots of integrity. I like him a lot, but I would be SO disappointed if I found out he had told this big lie.

          There are women who are open-minded to dating older guys as long as they consider u a better catch overall than the guys their own age. It seems better to focus on dating those ladies–or the attractive women around ur age–rather than starting rships based on a lie.

      2. 89.1.2

        You’re being intentionally obtuse, but as I said, I don’t have any investment either way in who you date.

  30. 90

    Jim M.,

    I’m not saying it’s right but it is true that majority of men are looking to date hot attractive women that will make them look good and perhaps be an envy of other men. My beau whom I admire for his honesty, kindness, humility along with his successes, swagger and good looks jokingly told me once while were grocery shopping at Whole Foods; “Sweetie, I want you to walk with me so people know I’m with you..”

    Huh? I wanted to say “what about you go to seafood and I’ll go to produce and we’ll be out of here in 10 minutes..” I’m a woman with a mission. But because he was being playful and I didn’t want to ruin his moment (and he asked very nicely) I indulged him. This happened again in yoga class.

    Now, one of the reasons I admire this man is that he is very self-aware, honest and direct. I never thought of him as shallow. So when the opportunity presented itself I asked him about those incidents that transpired. His response, men like hot attractive women. And men want to be with them and feel good when they are around them. Show me a man who would say he likes fat, unattractive woman. It is easier to give free passes to a hot girlfriend when she is having crazy moments than to put up with the BS of fat, unattractive, crazy woman. As long as the crazy doesn’t tip to 10-scale, he added.

    1. 90.1

      We mock the fat and unattractive. But it has its perks. 😉

    2. 90.2
      jim morrison

      The only men who go for fat unattractive women, are the ones that can’t get anything else…I’m not looking for a super model. I just want a thin, attractive woman. Under 35. IN general. If i met a girl that looked like jennifer aniston or Cameron diaz, Id go for them in a heart beat. I’m talking in general terms..

      1. 90.2.1

        Watch who you cut down. You never know who you might be talking to. 😉

        1. jim morrison

          That goes both ways… I’m not insulting anyone in particular, just making an observation…

        2. starthrower68

          Except that nobody cut you down.

    3. 90.3
      Jim morrison

      You indulged him??  That’s just crazy to me…sweetie,  you’re his woman…you should do as he tells you…there is no obliging…if you said that to me…I’d tell you, “are you serious..I’m your man and you do what I tell you”  so many women in this day and age like to think they are a man’s partner…you’re not..he is the man and you are the do what he tells you do to do..the man should always have the final say…As I do in my relationship…You obliged him..haha….I find that funny…You should feel honored that he feels that way…you being his woman, you should do everything to make him happy…no is not part of your vocabulary…

      1. 90.3.1

        Don’t feed the troll, people.

        1. jim morrison

          Being honest is being a troll?  I’m not intentionally saying things to upset people..I’m telling you things many men wouldn’t have the balls to say…

          It’s just my personal opinion, a big reason why the divorce rate in this country is over 50%   I think too many women think of marriage as a partnership…that is a big’s not…the man is and should always be in charge…he should have the final say…In my relationship…she can have her say…be independent…but i have the final all men should…I know that goes against the feminist movement..but that’s also a reason why most people hate feminism..

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