Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Happy Birthday to Me

No, it’s not actually my birthday.  But it is later this month (I’m a Gemini, for any of you that care.  I’ve never been into that).  I’ll be turning 39.


Yep, 39.

39 and never been married, and no I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me or with that.  I’m not desperate or panicked to meet some guy, get married and immediately start IVF so that I can push out a baby (that statement being for my newer readers, who may not be familiar with my semi-regular diatribes on the subject).

I’ll be 39 and single. And dating.  I date because I genuinely like men.  I like having men in my life.  Like having them in my bed.  Like having someone around on a pretty regular basis.  I wouldn’t mind living with someone or getting married but those things are not on my “must do before I die” list. (That list includes:  go back to Paris and spend at least a month living there, see more of Central America, travel through Africa, publish a novel, learn to keep plants alive, improve my Spanish to the point that I can go all day speaking Spanish without having to stop and ask someone for a word, get my health in check to the point that I am no longer completely dependant on my medication, learn to swim and whole bunch of other things that would bore you to tears.)

Anyway, it’s not my birthday yet and I’m sure I’ll mention it again.  I do have a good reason for mentioning it today.

Several times in the last week, I’ve either taken part in or tripped over conversations about women and and maybe even potentially about age.  I’ve been counselled, more than once (in real life not in cyberspace), that since I look so young that maybe it’s time for me to start shaving a few years off my age.  Maybe start to tell people I’m 34, instead of 39.  It would be easy to do as I’m frequently mistaken for someone still in her 20s.

And I know lots of other people who do this.  Maybe this is one of those things that’s so common in New York that it’s a given, and not so common other places?  I have no idea.  But I have two exes who lied about their ages online and then told me the truth after me met.  I wasn’t pleased that they’d lied, but I shrugged it off the way I shrug off guys lying about their height and weight. And it’s not just in online dating, btw.  I have a family member who met her significant other at a party and seriously misrepresented her age.  They are now practically living together and everyone she knows has to tiptoe around basic facts (like how long they’ve known each other, how old the are, what year they went on such and such a trip) because she doesn’t want to tell this guy the truth.

Clearly, there are a lot of people lying.  And a lot of people out there who think that it’s OK to fib about one’s age.  I don’t think it’s OK, but if a guy comes clean with me right away (1st or 2nd date, no later) I’m cool with it.

So, here I am.  About to be 39.  And I know (KNOW!!!!) that it’d be much easier for me to date if I’d just shave those years off my age.  Pretend that I was really only 34.

Here are my thoughts.

A) I actually like older guys.  I tend to like men who are 5-10 years older than me.

B) That was a little bit of a fib.  My IDEAL is really around the 5 year older mark.  Ten years older can sometimes be great. I’ve gone as high as 12 years older.  But sometimes 10 years older can just be too damn old for me.  I would never have gone past the 8 years older mark if it weren’t for the fact that so many guys closer to my age stopped being interested.

C) I hate lying.  I hate everything about it. I can’t imagine having to say to a guy, btw, I’m actually older than I initially stated.

So here’s my question, and really, I’d like you to be honest with me (sometimes I think some of my readers give the socially acceptable reply, rather than their gut honest one):

Do you think it makes sense for me, or other women and men in my situation, to start lying about our age?

  • Yes. As long as you plan on telling the truth shortly after meeting someone you like. (9 votes)
  • Yes. Age shouldn’t matter. It’s a superficial criteria. Someone should like you for you. (6 votes)
  • No. A lie is a lie. You can try to justify it, but it’s still a lie. (67 votes)

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25 to “Happy Birthday to Me”

  1. Joe aka apocalypse_then says:

    Would it be easier to date if you fibbed about your age? I don’t know and wouldn’t pretend to know. Anyone who places limits based on such criteria is close minded enough that their lack of interest is both your blessing and their loss. A woman’s allure is hardly limited by the number of summers she’s seen. Nor a man’s. How thoroughly she’s enjoyed the time she has been given is a far better indicator, in my not so humble opinion.

    Okay hokey pep talk over.

    The other issue is, and as a relatively new reader (

  2. SpikeTheLobster says:

    Well, first off – Happy Prebirthday! (And welcome to the 39 club when you get here – me too!) It’s more fun than they say it is, honest.
    As for lying about your age, I say “No”. A lie is a lie, no matter how carefully you dress it in orange and pretend it’s an exotic fruit. I see no point. If the person you could potentially have dated has a problem with 39, but not 34, then they’ll still have that problem when you tell them – even if they pretend they don’t. Maybe I’m being simplistic. Maybe our age really is an exotic fruit.

  3. MrBangBang says:

    This is a tough one to answer. I’m actually still not sure about what I think is right. On one hand I think you should never lie about anything, unless you have that tone in your voice or sparkle in your eyes that clearly indicates that you are flirting/joking.
    But I voted that it’s ok to lie about this as it’s just a superficial criteria in my opinion. People are just too focused on superficial things these days. At some point I think you should tell it, but I honestly don’t think it matters at all. If a woman was really desperate to know my age I would seriously consider if I wanted to take it much further.

    PS: First comment here from Denmark. Really enjoy reading your blog. Keep it coming please. You bring up some interesting stuff, and gives good inspiration for interesting conversation topics with women 😉

  4. Anonymous says:

    I voted no. I think I hate commercialization as much as you hate lying. You know, the stuff that tells us on the media all the time that we need to stay young looking or we’ll never find a partner. How being complimented on looking younger is the only way to go. I imagine a world where there’s no need to feed the fears, feed on the fears, of our society. I can also imagine I am nuts for even imagining this. Let’s be who we are because when it comes down to it, we’re pretty damn cool, all of us!
    Happy birthday in advance Simone :)

  5. starangel82 says:

    I hate lying. I can’t stand lying. I guess it’s because I’ve been lied to before. Once upon a time, I lied as well and it really messed up a good thing. So I’m now anti-lying. I do believe people should have the opportunity to be forgiven if they lie… but like you, the guy had better tell me in the first 1-2 dates and not on the 20th.

  6. FitDarcie says:

    I’m fortunate that most of my friends are older than me, so I usually meet people that are older than me. So I don’t need to lie and people think that I’m young enough anyway.

  7. PiscesInPurple says:

    I’m 32 but could probably pass for mid 20s if I wanted to. But I’d never bother to lie about my age for the simple reason that it makes things more complicated. I also tend to like older guys, so it’s not really an issue. (I also don’t really date, so it’s doubly not an issue.)

  8. damiella says:

    I think lying about age is gross. Lying about anything is horrible, but this is a core fact about yourself. To mislead someone like that sets a bad tone to any potential relationship. I cannot convey just how vehemently against it I am.

  9. Monique@dazzlinglysingle says:

    Definitely no. I hate to lie. The problem about lying is that once you decide it’s ok to lie about certain things, you might keep on lying about other things and all these ‘small’ lies add up. I’d rather say the truth up front and if the guy is not interested, well, then life goes on.

    And Happy birthday in advance! My birthday is at the end of the month too, and it’s my time for the big 3-0. I can’t wait !!!!

  10. Teifion says:

    What about guys that are younger?

    And you don’t get a happy birthday from me until it’s actually your birthday 😛

  11. tekkaus says:

    Happy Birthday in advance! ;D

  12. MindyMom says:

    Hey, thanks for the link love! As you already know, my vote is “no” about lying. I know people who have done it and ended up in LTRs, but it’s not for me. Like you I often pass for younger than 39 and could easily get away with shaving off several years but I dont. I would like to think I can find a man who likes and appreciates me for me. As the comments from the men on my last post suggest – we should be able to!

  13. sfsingleguy says:

    I guess this depends on what your definition of a lie is.

    “I’m in my 30’s” – Truthful

    “I’m in my late 30’s” – Truthful

    “I’m 29” – That’s a lie

    “I’m 34” – That’s a lie

    Happy Birthday!

  14. Singlegal says:

    good gawd no! Don’t lie about your age! I think I have the opposite problem – or did. I think I look older. Maybe not look older – but I think my career and demeanor has always given people the impression that I am older than I am. I attract older men – always have – but am still not convinced that’s the direction I want to go in (I really prefer very close to my own age, despite all my Puma talk). And if I thought anyone was lying about their age, I’d be livid! Too funny – I hadn’t even really considered this as a possibility.
    Happy pre-Birthday!
    Geminis ROCK!

  15. SINgleGIRL says:

    Well, first – welcome to the blog to a few new readers/commenters: Joe aka apocalypse_then, MrBangBang, tekkaus and MindyMom. Thank you all for diving in and joining the conversation.

    I am very torn about this. Clearly the “tell the truth” crowd is in the majority here. That is pretty much ALWAYS my policy. And it never would have occurred to me a few years ago to think of this for myself. But, as I said, with each passing year, I see myself becoming less and less “popular” with men in their 40s. I guess I just need to focus on the fact that I don’t really want the men who aren’t interested in dating me because I’m 39. That the good ones, the ones I’m interested in, will be interested in me, for me. 39 years old and proud of every last day of it.

    *sigh* The numbers are dwindling.

  16. SerialSinner says:

    I’d advice you not to lie if you are looking for the type of person *I* would consider a good catch. i.e, me.

    First, you are going against your character, which, if shows, can be a big turn off.

    Second, hot women who are comfortable in their skin are extremely attractive.

    My two cents :)

  17. parlezvouskiwi says:

    I personally think that if you start lying about your age, you will feel guilty about it and imagine getting caught out? It’s not worth it.

    I agree with singleguy, if you say “late 30’s”, that’s a good enough answer!

    You sound like you have a great attitude to life and are happy with yourself, so why change who you are because it sounds better? (age).

    Remember you are only as old as the man you feel 😉

  18. Anonymous says:

    Age is just a number

  19. Carolyn Cordon says:

    Age is an artificial construct. My dad always said “you’re only as old as the woman you’re feeling.” He was a bit naughty like that.

    We’re born, we grow, we die – you’re still at the growing stage, that’s all that matters.

  20. SINgleGIRL says:

    So the Nos have it this time. Got it. No lying about my age for me.
    SerialSinner, it’s funny how you mention being comfortable in one’s skin. I am now, but wasn’t until I hit 35. Then magically, one day, I was perfectly capable of looking at myself naked in a full length mirror without cringing(I certainly could never have done that header pic ten years ago, although technically I might have been in “better” shape).

    Oh and Carolyn Cordon, welcome to the blog. So happy you joined the conversation.

  21. Azarel says:

    i like to joke about my age…i love teasing…thats till the girl i’m with goes crazy enough to flick my wallet to check my id (got a couple of old and very convincing fake ids in there too) XD
    But no, i’d never lie about my age without the other person knowing that its a lie :)

  22. Simone Grant says:

    Welcome to the blog. Good point. There’s a big difference between lying and joking/teasing.

  23. MichaelVInNYC says:

    I’m a new arrival to this blog, so Hello, Everybody!

    I voted Yes. I’m obviously in the minority on this issue, so I figure I should explain my reasoning. Dating is a very competitive sport; it’s hard enough to simply get a first date at all. The earliest stages of a dating experience are always, by definition, superficial; you can only rely on surface criteria to gauge whether or not you’ll be able to get into this person later. So, you can reasonably embellish a little bit to get your foot into the proverbial door. As long as you set the record straight soon, no harm no foul.

    Now, to be honest, if a woman lied about her age to me, I’d be a little put off, because she’s assuming that I’d judge her on it. It’s bad enough that it’s a lie, but it’s an utterly unnecessary one. But you know what? Until she gets to know me, that’s a reasonable assumption on her part. Until the second or third date, I’m not an actual individual yet; I’m just some guy whom she’d like to be into her. I get it. And she probably believes that if she *didn’t* lie about her age, then she probably wouldn’t even get the chance for me to get to know her better. That belief might be wrong, but it’s definitely sensible, and as such I wouldn’t hold it against her.

  24. MichaelVInNYC says:

    Oh, and, Happy Birthday, SG!

  25. Simone Grant says:

    Welcome (again). And thank you for that thoughtful explanation. I’m actually more surprised that more people didn’t vote with you. It seems like a perfectly reasonable argument to me.