The Ask

Should I Lie About My Age?

I want to date younger women and I'm thinking of shaving off some years in my online profile. Am I wrong?

Photograph by Getty Images/Ikon Images

Dear Stephen,

I’m 55 years old, and never married. I want to date younger women only. Should I lie about my age in my online profile? Or should I put my real age and run the risk of being pursued by a bunch of 55-year-old women I don’t want to go out with?

Self-centered in LA

Dear Self-Centered,

You, my friend, are a cliché.

You didn’t ask me why you are fixated on youth and beauty over the wisdom, shared interests and sexual confidence you might find in a woman in her late 40s or early 50s. So I will get right to the point about whether you should lie about your age online in order to attract young, hot chicks: No, you shouldn’t.

The idea has several flaws:

First, what if the falsely youthful you is pursued by an equally falsely youthful 55-year-old woman? What if the two of you meet for the first time at some young, trendy restaurant only to realize that both of you are too old? (With luck, you’d come to your senses and go home together for some grownup fun.)

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Second: How many years will you shave off your 1958 birthdate in order to deceive and seduce younger women? Ten years? Fifteen? Do you have any hair on your head? Is your equipment functioning well? Can you get up off the couch without groaning? If not, she’ll figure it out pretty quick. And my guess is you answered “no” to at least one of the above questions (unless you're still lying).

Third: What is your knowledge of pop culture circa 1994–2004, when current thirtysomethings came of age? That culture would include Britney Spears, TLC and early Eminem. For TV, that would be "Full House," "Coach" and "Saved by the Bell." Could you bond about this stuff today over ramen burgers and cronuts? I doubt it. Even with the Wikipedia app, lying is hard.

To quote a popular novel/film of your own youth called "Love Story" (which your younger date will probably think was a silent film or something): “Love means never having to say you are sorry.” But if you lie about your age you are definitely going to be saying sorry. Even if by some insane calculation you are able to convince a younger women you aren’t as wrinkled as you look, the fun won’t last. Eventually, the truth will come out, and you will end up being called a liar. Or a pig. Or a pervert. Or worse. That’s going to be one unpleasant apology.

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Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t date younger women. By all means, go ahead, if that’s what you want. Just be transparent. There are lots of younger women who seem to like older men. A survey done by a dating website called found that 52 percent of women would consider dating a man 30 years older then them. So, tell it like it is, and see where life takes you.

Ask Stephen anything about love, sex, ethical quandaries and other conundrums. Stephen and his experts are here to help. Email:

Tags: aging

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