Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

If Age is Just a Number Why Do I Still Want to Lie About It?

OFF-winners

Yadda yadda, people lie about their age. In fact, the woman I’m dating at the moment, said she was 49 in her online profile. And when we met, I couldn’t have told you any different. But she was 57. She admitted it fairly early on in our first date.

I get it. The women who proposition me on Match.com look much more like my mom than I’d care to admit. (Please, at least try to update your look, won’t you?)

If we could forget that number is an age, we might find compatibility in a wider range of people.

And when I first entered the online dating pool I posted my age as 45, rather than 50. It just felt a lot more like my tribe. But I learned pretty quickly that I was mistaken. When you start courting younger women and begin to look for connections beyond youth, beauty, and “having fun,” there might not be a lot of common ground. Your musical tastes will be different. You grew up with different TV shows, movies, bands, global events. It can be done, but I’ve found a lot of comfort in being with women of my own age, or god-forbid, a bit older.

So when this woman was clearly within my range of beauty and fitness and admitted to lying about her age, I was nonplussed. “Yeah, I did that before. (pause) But I am 51.”

Here are few of the assumptions I have about age.

  • People our age (50’s) are often more like my parents than my peers.
  • If you haven’t taken care of yourself (mentally and physically) by the time you are 50, you will be looking 60.
  • Gray hair might be nice, on octogenarians.
  • Fitness can be a factor at any age, but in your 5o’s you’re either fit or you’re not. (And I’m not talking about weight, exactly.)
  • Age is one of the first qualifiers or disqualifies when looking online for a date

I used to like looking at the younger 4o-somethings and imagining… But the actually engagement rate was very low. And when I did hook one in for a date, I was underwhelmed by their banter. It was a missed connection from the start. Even when the cutest girl I had laid eyes on in more than two years was sitting in my car after a first date that involved margaritas, I was tempted but not really interested in kissing her or pursuing the next date.

She was a bit miffed later and she texted me, “You looked like you were going to kiss me, but you didn’t. WTH?”

I was still unclear on what I would get out of a “relationship” with this young runner. She was fit, pretty, smiled and laughed a lot, and we had nothing in common.

So there is some wisdom to the adage, stick with people your own age. At least within your high school class. (That would be a 4-year range on either side of your actual age.)

Now physical age is different from attitude or youthfulness. I am 51, and I’ll admit to taking the George Clooney out of my hair every 6 – 8 weeks, but I’m always getting, “No way,” when I tell the younger women, my real age. (This is not from online dating, I’ve been reporting my real birthday since my second week there–four years ago.) So age is a number, how?

  • What you do in the evenings
  • What you do for fun
  • What you do to stay fit
  • Your curiosity and joy at learning new things
  • How you entertain yourself when you are alone
  • What you bring to the conversation
  • How much energy you have
  • How much joy you have

It is NOT:

  • How much partying you can do
  • How much you like to drink
  • How good you are in bed
  • How flat your stomach is
  • The color of your hair (though I have succumbed to this trap, more for work purposes than dating, but it helps.)

If we could forget that number is an age, we might find compatibility in a wider range of people. But it’s a deal breaker for me. I’m sure the genius 42 year-old is out there. She’s a famous rockstar named Imogen Heap. But there’s a really slim chance we’re ever going to meet. Outside of that, I’ll take beauty, age, and wisdom over fitness, youth, and spontaneity, every time.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

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image: four prize winners bathing suit competition 1922, creative commons usage

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