in: dating + single

Online Dating & Ageism

Brooke Lewis

Fear of being accepted may interfere with our level of honesty on online profiles. Brooke Lewis discusses one root cause of such an issue: ageism.


Have I ever lied about my age? If I tell you I have not, I would be lying twice.

I recently met a guy online who I quickly discovered was 10 years older than his profile stated. I was so frustrated, thought about how this had happened to me more times than I can count throughout my online dating history and felt compelled to share some of my theories about online dating and ageism and how to handle it.

1. Changing your age puts you into a different search.

After meeting many men online who have lowered their age by 10 to 12 years, I had to learn what this was about (other than deception). Some men have been forthright enough to reveal their real age on the first phone call, others have done so on the first date and I have shockingly discovered the rest on my own at our first face-to-face. My tip-off? when I am expecting a 38-year old and in walks a 50-year old in his place (and, let me tell you that I love dating older men, it is the surprise that is my issue).

I have to admit that the explanations have been fair and consistent. Both men I have met and my female clients have shared that they ended up in a much smaller search group when they listed their true age. Many men and women feel that they have the energy and stamina at 50 to date a 35 year old. And, why not? More power to them.

I have also experienced the opposite on certain online dating sites where you can regulate the age of people who contact you. Ladies, there are quite a few 22-year old guys who seem to love a sexy older woman, so they list their age as older, then give their true age in the body of their profile and explain how they are much more attracted to older women. Hmmm…maybe we can accept this explanation.

2. Many men search for women who are within childbearing age.

This is a theory that I completely understand, but in some ways has always fascinated me. Statistics show that the age range for childbearing women is primarily 20-35. I have found that more and more men and women are focused on and building their careers and businesses through their 40s and even 50s. Biologically, this can create a challenge for women who want to bear their own children.

Men, on the other hand, can pull a Tony Randall and reproduce at 75. I genuinely believe that we should all go after and create everything we want in life, so I encourage men to court younger women if they dream of having biological children. The part that always fascinates me is when I receive emails from men who are in their 60s (my Dad’s age) and I think about what we might have in common and how he will be 80 when our child is in college. 

3. People have a skewed view of who they are and who they should date.

Yes, it is normal to date 20 years younger and much hotter in Hollywood, but I would like to address the rest of the world here. I have shared this in many online dating articles and I stand firmly on the fact that many people truly do have a false perception of themselves.

Remember, people can create anything they want to in an online dating profile and post 10-year old photos, as well. It makes me sad to think that people still want to hold on to who they were and what they looked like 20 years ago, rather than embracing who they are now…wrinkles, extra few pounds and all.

Rather than a mature gentleman emailing a much younger Trophy wife, I suggest he contact women around his age or a few years younger, as he may discover that there are many women over 40 who are equally as beautiful, fit, active, fun, sexy and sensual as the 25-year old chippy in the previous profile. And, those mature women may appreciate this man way more.

4. People do not want their personal information online.

This justification may not really involve ageism, but I actually understand and respect the rationale behind it and feel it is important for you to think about. I had a high profile, successful client who explained that he changed his birthdate by a year and a half because he did not want strangers knowing his personal information to research him and his businesses online. 

I realize that privacy is not part of the internet and when you put yourself out there, you risk everyone finding out who you are, where you live and where you ate dinner last night; but I also know it is important to protect your privacy when you are in the public eye. 

[image: via Ash90291 on flickr]

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About the Author:

Brooke Lewis Brooke Lewis

Brooke Lewis is a life coach and dating expert. Find out more about Brooke and the work she’s doing at her site, Be You and Be Fearless. You can also connect with Brooke on Facebook and on Twitter.

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