Swipe This! Is it wrong to lie about my age on a dating app?

Swipe This! Is it wrong to lie about my age on a dating app?

You told a little white lie, and it blew up in your face.

Swipe This! is an advice column about how to navigate human relationships and connections in an age when we depend so heavily on technology. Have a question? Email

It wasn’t my intention to deceive anyone. But when I turned 40, I noticed that my dating options shifted. I was only matching with men who were much older or much younger than me. I wanted to meet someone closer to my age. So I shaved off three years and said I was 37.

Then I met someone lovely. He was 38-so actually only two years younger than me! It was fairly casual at first, but we were having great fun. A few months in, I realized we had the potential to be more serious. I suppose he did too because he introduced me to his kids and members of his extended family. This all happened quite quickly and without any planning. And when it did, I realized I needed to come clean.

It did not go well. He flipped out. He told me I had no integrity. He said he could never trust me after this. I was devastated. I tried to explain my point of view, but he wouldn’t hear me.

The whole thing made me feel pathetic. I didn’t even want to date. So I took a few months off the apps this summer and focused on my own interests. But now I’m feeling the urge to date again. I don’t want to be single forever. I want to find a partner.

So I’m wondering… Do I have to reset my age to 40? I don’t want to dig myself into another mess-but I don’t want to go back to sifting through 65-year-olds and 20-year-olds. I also feel like an idiot for screwing up a good Philippines brides thing. Maybe if I’d told the truth, I wouldn’t be alone in the first place.

Ah, what a frustrating ending indeed. You told a little white lie, and it blew up in your face. I wonder why this information hit your former dating partner so hard. Sure, no one likes to be lied to, but his reaction seems outsized to me. It’s possible he has major trust issues and was already looking for a reason to stop trusting you.

Swipe This! Is it wrong to lie about my age on a dating app?

It’s also possible that he lacks empathy in a major way. Why couldn’t he listen to your point of view? Is it really that hard to understand why a woman living in a world that tells her she has an expiration date might shave off a few vanity years when setting out to find a potential match?

He doesn’t have to agree with your choices, and he certainly doesn’t have to like the fact that you lied, but if he can’t have sympathy for your choices, I doubt he would make a very good partner when you’re facing life’s bigger challenges. As disappointing as this ending may have been, I hope you’ll trust me when I say you dodged a bullet!

But now you’re left with a bit of a moral quandary. You’re asking me if what you did was wrong. I’d argue that it’s in a bit of a gray area. It’s not a crime, but peppering little lies into your life is not a great way to start a relationship. If you were interested in dating casually, I’d honestly say, who cares? Say you’re 25 if you want!

But you’re not looking for casual. You’re looking for a life partner-someone who will know you, see you, and support you. Imagine you’ve found that person. Do you really want to set yourself up for another moment where you have to reveal that you’ve lied about a basic detail of who you are?

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