Young woman with iPadA girl friend of mine, Anna, is going through the daunting/depressing/exciting task of creating her first online dating profile. Naturally she turned to me for advice, as she knows I've been lurking among the internet desperados for a while.
I gave her the standard tips: pick a nice selection of photos, don't show off, don't use the phrase "I work hard and play hard".
But the main question she had was: "What age should I be?"
I was genuinely appalled, and I told her so. She should just use her real age, obviously.
"But I'm 33 and the competition is hot, I have to say I'm younger," was her response.
At this point I feel I should vouch for Anna's character. She is a very nice, honest person. I am certain that if she were to sell you a sofa or a cat, she would never make it sound better than it was in order to dupe you into buying it. Any cat you purchased from Anna would be in good physical condition and would not constantly throw up or attack children. And if this wasn't the case, Anna would warn you in advance. That's the kind of person she is.
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But when it came to selling herself, here she was planning to tell the biggest whopper of all — the amount of years she has been on earth.
There were several reasons this concerned me. For one, I thought it was an idiotic idea simply because when the truth was finally revealed, Anna would be unceremoniously dumped. They say you should never ask a woman's age. But by the same token, a woman should never lie about it to any man she likes. If it was me I'd feel cheated, like if someone sold me a cat with no kidneys. It would be irrelevant how much I'd grown to like her in the meantime.
If a girl lies about her age at the start, at what point does she plan to eventually reveal the truth? After she's married? Moments before she dies? (Slightly earlier than her husband expected her to.)
You can't begin a serious relationship, which is what Anna is seeking, with a huge lie.
Secondly, I was saddened that 33-year-old women are so jaded about their chances of finding a decent man that they assume they need to do this.
Thirdly, and most chillingly, I wondered how many of the girls I'd been on dates with had been lying about their age. Or anything else for that matter.
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I consider myself reasonably savvy and streetwise, but I'm also quite trusting. I think most people are. If someone who seems alright tells me something that sounds feasible, I'll generally believe them. But Anna is alright, and she intends to tell lies to people like me.
I'm aware the internet is a haven for fibbers and fantasists, but the point of online dating is that you actually meet them. So starting with a lie just seems silly.
As a result of Anna's devious plan, I'm now forced to be suspicious of everything girls on dating websites say, especially their age. So thanks for that, Anna. And I also better tweak my own profile from so it stops saying I'm a personal trainer.
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