By Tom Blake
In my previous column, I wrote about Dave, 81, a widower, who said he had a quandary. He looks 15 years younger than his age. Dave commented, “Several online dating sites advised me to adjust my age downward on my profile, then communicate my true age upfront when there is a connection.”
I wrote that I thought it was okay that he lower his age by a few years on his profile.
Dave felt justified to do so. Later, he wrote, “In the last year, on a top dating site, I have encountered women who have posted their age that was three to 10 years younger than their actual age. These same women posted pictures taken from three to 15 years ago.
“One woman confided, ‘If I had posted my current picture, you would not have wanted to meet for lunch.’”
Five women responded to my quasi-approval of him lying about his age. Four were adamant about revealing one’s true age on dating profiles.
Sarah said: “I would suggest that somewhere in his script on the dating site, Dave indicate that he is a young 81-year-old and full of vitality in lieu of telling an untruth. He needs to be as he expects, and I doubt he expects or wants a woman to lie about her age, or anything else for that matter.”
Joan emailed, “The thought of someone lying about their age or anything on the dating site is always a red flag for me, and as soon as I find out the truth, which may be in the first email back and forth, I drop the person.
“I am 68 and look not more than 50, I am told. I am proud of that and feel lucky and, also work at maintaining that. I would rather have a man tell me how good I look for my age than have him deal with how easily a lie can roll off my tongue and wonder what else I will lie about later.
“I am probably getting off the sites forever after my free six months with Match.com is over. Even though I know people who met on Match.com and got married, I think it’s such a needle in a haystack that it’s not worth the trouble. If I ever meet someone, it will be very random, like when looking at vegetables at Trader Joe’s.”
Karen, 63, wrote, “Please advise Dave to be truthful about his age on dating sites. When my girlfriends and I find out a man has lied on his profile, we eliminate him from possibility. If he’s lied about one thing, everything else he’s said is suspect, too. Truth is always the best. He will attract a great, honest woman if he keeps his faith!”
Christine Baumgartner, an Orange County dating and relationship coach, said, “When I coach my clients, I tell them to always tell the truth about themselves including their age. It’s very important not to lie.
“When you write in your profile and include all the facets of yourself, who you are will show through. If you are 70 and look, feel and act 60, then your photographs and what you write should reflect this.
“If you don’t include your activities, hobbies, and interests, how will anyone reading your profile know the age you feel? Don’t just say you feel young or your friends say you look young, prove it with your words that describe your life.”
One woman, Dana, however, thought lying about age is no big deal. She commented, “If you look young, I see nothing wrong with saying maybe you are five to eight-years younger. Catch the fish, then in person, you can disclose your real age if you like the person. There are worse things to lie about like health issues.”
My position has changed. I was wrong and I think the four women were right. Senior daters, when writing your dating profile or stating your age, make it your true age. That’s what honest senior daters want to know.
Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites at www.findingloveafter50.com; www.vicsta.com and www.travelafter55.com. To receive Tom’s weekly online newsletter, sign up at www.findingloveafter50.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.