- Gender and Relationships
How and Simple Ways to Ask or Asking a Man or a Woman or Women About His or Her Age Young George Clooney
Older Men Look Distinguished
Age Idiom for Men
I decided to start my discussion on how to ask someone their age from a male's perspective, since it seems to me that men are not sensitive regarding their age or how old they may look as they grow older. And why should they be?
As demonstrated in our culture and as shown by pictures of men in magazines and other media, men tend to embrace aging, probably because of the perception that they tend to become mature and look more distinguished as they age.
An example of such a man is George Clooney, who I think looks even more handsome now than when he was younger.
On the flip side is David Cassidy, who was handsome when he was younger, but, to me, lost his looks as he got older -- at least to me anyway.
The lines on men faces give them a look that can be appealing, when compared to the pimple face they may have sported in their very early years.
However, for women, the perception of aging, growing older and looking older is quite different. Lines are seen as "worry," or "aging" lines.
There are other differences as well.
Older, Aging Women Look_________________
Age Idiom for Women
I will let you complete the sentence above. What words come to your mind? Let's try a few -- "tired,", "angry," "old and dried up", "like she needs to rest," -- there are many many more. The point is the terms are negative in nature.
It is no wonder we women (I include myself in this group as well) will use whatever means we have to stay as young looking as we can, for as long as we can. The cosmetic industry is booming with all types of creams, mosturizers and other products that claim will lead us to the fountain of youth -- a path that I will happily follow.
By the way, there is truth behind the term "beauty sleep." Nature gave us a way to stay looking younger, simply by getting enough sleep.
Age Perception Demo A Real Live Example
Age Broadcasting by Men versus Women
In a public place, I overheard a male yell to his friend, "I just had a birthday!" The friend yelled back loudly, "Really? How old are you?"
Now this is what surprised me. He answered back really loud and clear "I just turned 57."
Then even more alarming to me was the friend's response. "I got 7 years on you... I'm 64!"
Amazing! Such public exchange of what I would consider sensitive information.
Some women, of course, do not mind telling their ages, but it is well known, I think, that no one should ask a woman her age, unless she says it's ok. This rule, apparently, do not apply to men.
Are you familiar with the term PDA for Public Display of Affection, or TMI for Too Much Information. I'm coining another term along that vein -- PDI -- Public Display of Information, incurred by divulging your age in public or in a public place within hearing distances of others. I repeat -- Telling your age in public is PDI!
When is it OK to tell your age?
With Me -- Age is Personal!
Personally, I think my age is my own personal business. So unless there is a dire need for someone to know my age -- My age is "for me to know, and for you to find out."
However, that being said, I'm finding that more and more women do not seem to mind telling their age -- even older women.
For example, Debbie Reynolds proudly volunteered to everyone during a television show that she was 80. A few days later, on another television show, Jane Fonda revealed that she was 74. In Jane Fonda's case, I think she was asked her age by the host of the show. But she did volunteer that she had a hip and knee replacements!
And the age reveals continue. Mary Lou Henner of Taxi fame recently told everyone on a talk show that she was 60. Surprisingly since he is obviously a man, William Shatner muffled and put his fingers in front of his mouth when he muttered in a low voice that he was 81. William Shatner's personna was unlike Ryan O'Neal who matter of factly stated that he was 71.
What is the big deal with age anyway?
You may ask, what is the big deal? We all, for the most part, get older, and we know what the alternative to not getting older is!
I would respond, it's a matter of etiquette and giving someone their sense of privacy. I use "sense of privacy", because in today's internet world, you can just "Google" someone and find out how old they are.
My focus here is on what you should say if you are maybe at a party or a gathering and are wondering how old someone is. Show your maturity by not asking, especially if you do not know how that person would feel about or react to you asking them how old they are.
Remember, you can always get their name, and "Google" them later on and find out their age without asking them directly.
Age Revelations -- An Individual Decision
Of course, whether or not you divulge your age is an individual decision.
As for me, I put asking how old I am, in the same category as asking how much money I make. I will go even further to say that I think it's rude to ask a woman her age -- even if she does not mind telling you. Her age is none of your business!
Perplexed by the age question? I have to know how old he or she is!
If you absolutely must know someone's age, follow the steps below:
How to ask a woman her age: If you are maybe at a party or gathering, and your curiosity about her age is wearing you down -- the polite way to ask is to inquire if she would mind telling you her age. In response -- she may or may not respond in kind.
How to ask a man his age: There is really no protocol -- just ask away!