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Why do MEN lie about their age?

Updated on February 23, 2010

I had quite a shock recently.... I discovered that a male friend had been lying to me about his age?! Women have been doing it since the dawn of time, I just never realised that men did it. It really did surprise me, I wondered what possible reason a man would have for lying about something that seems to me, so trivial.

It occurred to me that he'd lied about all kinds of things, he'd had to because of the first, simple lie. Things like the ages of his children, the age he had them, how many years he'd been in certain previous relationships. I was completely baffled.... what on earth would make him do this?

 I met this particular friend through a dating site, we saw each other for about three months.  Although it didn't work out romantically for us, we have stayed friends.

At first, I found it quite amusing that he'd lied about his age.... it seemed rather "girly" and I made a point of teasing him about it at every opportunity.  The more I thought about it though, the more I found it perplexing and if I'm honest, I was a bit peeved.  We didn't make it as a couple due to circumstances but it turned out he was a lying sod after all.

When I spoke to girlfriends about it, they did the typical thing of tutting and saying things like "all men are liars" and "they're all the same" but I wasn't able to leave it at that.  For some reason, I wanted to get to the bottom of this.  I felt like a child... you know the type who continually ask "why?"

My friend was being of no help whatsoever, he shrugged it off and couldn't understand why I found it such a big deal..... neither did I but, I did.

People tend not to question why women lie about their age, simply because it's been going on for so long it's maybe expected and or accepted.  The only time I've considered lying about my age was when I was 16 and wanted to get served alcohol in a pub.... turned out, I never got questioned anyway!

So.... more questions... why was my friend lying about his age freaking me out so much?  Was it because he'd lied?  Was it because I was curious about a man lying about his age?  Did I have concerns about our friendship now that he'd been exposed as a liar?  Would it have made a difference if he'd told me his real age at the beginning?  I won't drone on with all the questions I had... that would be really boring!!

I've always assumed that women lie about their age because they have some strange notion that being younger makes them more desirable to men.  This could possibly have something to do with females having an inner clock ticking away telling them they need to be married and reproduce.  Do men make quick calculations when they meet a woman?  Something like... "she's 32 now, we need to have a couple of years courting, 18 months to plan a wedding, maybe 12 months trying to concieve.... that makes her... blimey... too old for me"  I thought that was what women did? 

I needed to talk to a man about this!  I have several male friends and enlisted the help of one who has never lied about his age.  When I told him about my older friend, he asked how we met.  I told him it was through a dating site and without pausing he told me he'd lied to get more dates!!

I don't know if you've ever been on dating sites but the one that I used to use (I've given them up now) gave you the option in search criteria to choose a from and to age.  It could therefore be very broad... you could choose, for example from age 18 to 40.  My friend told me that when he searched, he would put in a vast age range as he wasn't too picky... charming!!  It seems that women are a bit more selective and would be more inclined to choose the actual ages they are interested in.  I could see his point... I used to search for 38 to 45!  I've never been interested in younger men but neither did I want anybody too old.

The friend who'd never lied to me about his age told me he did on the dating sites.... he's 38 but always put 35.  He said that way a woman being selective and rounding up to the nearest 5 would find him, we choose in 5 year blocks apparantly?  Being 38 would put him in the 35-40 box and would limit his potential for dates. 

Unbelievable!!  Nothing too complicated at all, just a guy trying to get himself out on a date.... it worked at least.  I just wish he'd come clean once it was obvious that I was rather taken with him.  By that point, I really couldn't have cared less about his age.

The truth had only come out when I'd invited him over for a birthday drink... when I questioned why he was so depressed about turning a year older and gave him a hard time for being a total misery guts, he finally admitted his real age.  He was only four years older than he'd told me originally so it wasn't that much of a big deal really.

He came over for a birthday drink, or so he thought!!  I'd made him a lovely three course dinner, got in his favourite wine, played his favourite music and got him a huge birthday cake.... it nearly took my eyebrows off, what with all 50 candles blazing!


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      monique 3 years ago

      im 24 bout to be 25 in two months.i been going out with this guy for a year and four months.when we first started to date.he told me that he was 31 years old.i was cool with that.well like two months ago i found out that he lied about his age which his real age is 43.i was heated once i found out becasuse i never been with a guy that was 18 years older then me.but now,i kinda do look at him diffient now because if you lie about your age,what else cause you lie about.i would break up with him but we are expection a baby boy like in a month., and we also live together. why do men have to lie about there age and also try to hide it.the truth will come out to light one day and it will also catch up to you twice harder.

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      skylark 7 years ago

      lol!! I recently had to take my on again off again boyfriend to the emergency ward and when I looked at his medical report, discovered he is 52 and not 50 as he told me he was. No wonder he looked so down on his so-called 50th birthday! lol

      The first time we emailed each other on a dating site he said he just submitted his PhD thesis -- that was a year ago and he still hasn't finalised! :)

      Another lie he told was that he hadn't been in a relationship for years, but had pursued a woman for two years who wasn't interested. He gave me her name..... lo and behold, 10 months later he told me how much he was missing his ex girlfriend who he spent two years with during the time he had pursued the other woman.

      More bizarre, was the fact he told me he was married for 10 years and in a serious relationship for 6 years... they broke up around 3-4 years ago. Given his ex wife fell pregnant shortly after they met and his daugther is now 17 years old, well...... go figure!

      It took the revelation in the hospital to finally wake me up.... this guy told enough lies to light up a Christmas tree!! :)

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      JMT 7 years ago

      The same thing happened to me recently. I discovered that a male friend lied to me about his age. Since I always research the men I go out with, that’s how I discovered the truth. I told him right from the beginning I wasn’t interested in him romantically, because the chemistry wasn’t there, but we remained friends, and went out to dinner to a very nice restaurant. I think it’s funny that he'd lied about how much older he really is. He told me he's 62, and he's really 78!

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      Richard Bivins 7 years ago from Charleston, SC

      LOL funny and brings back memories of when I was in school. I was brought up 2 grades when I was 12 and that made me the youngest kid in school with the biggest attitude. I lied about my age by making myself older and had to continue the lies when things like driver's education rolled around or when friends where getting those summer jobs. I'd have to make up stories about how much trouble I was in and being punished... Yes it had everything to do with ego and pride. Funny thing is, I didn't really let the cat out of the bag until my 20th high school reunion a couple years ago when I could let everyone there know that I was younger than they yes still an ego thing. Never lied to get in a relationship with a younger woman, did to get in one with an older girl in high school.