SINGLE PROFESSIONALS: You write, I answer!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Q: Hi, Chris:

What do women in there 40’s and 50’s (but look 10 years or younger) do these days? I don’t look even close to my age, yet I don’t want to lie.

Men online and the age I typically date rarely look in my category. Yet I look the same age of women many of these guys prefer. Sometimes I think I should put the age I look, rather than the age I am.

I'm considered a very attractive woman and people every day mistake me for 10-years younger. I’m attracted to younger men and they’re attracted to me. I feel really stuck, and I’m not sure what to do.

--- Washington state, Aging beautifully

A: Dear Bachelorette:

This question is near and dear to my heart. Here is what I’ve discovered:

If you’ve met someone OFFLINE on your own (like bumping into a cute guy at the grocery store), there is no need to mention your chronological age before you’ve had several dates. Even then it’s not necessary, unless he asks your age and you’re comfortable sharing it. 

If you’re doing ONLINE dating, just select your age on the dating site as something silly, like 99 (although it might reduce your chances having appropriate men preview your profile and photos.) It’s certainly harmless enough to do, though. It makes its point in a humorous way, particularly if someone takes a peek and sees a lovely woman who is obviously younger than age 99.

This may even start an engaging conversation about why age really matters anyway!

My personal vote for filling out online dating profiles may surprise you. However politically incorrect, I say if you feel a need, put the age “you look” (but PLEASE be realistic!) You know if this applies to you or not--I’m certainly not suggesting everyone do it. But it's also not a crime if you do. (Anyone under age 40 shouldn't even have to think about it. Pa-leeze!)

Now getting back to our "Aging Beautifully" reader (by the way, she shared her photo with me and she looks FANTASTIC):

If people you bump into regularly mistake you for 10-years younger, and are shocked to learn otherwise, use that number on your online dating profile. If that's not the case, then don't.

Let your inner voice steer you once you meet the guy. If your first date leads to a couple more, good for you! Your age at that point isn't really relevant.

As long as the person you’re dating isn’t looking to have biological kids, and you're not hiding any serious health issues from him, where is the harm?

Let’s face it; if you’ve made it to date three, the guy is into you. From that point on, do what you feel is best and where your conscience guides you.

If the man is truly attracted to you, he probably won't care about your age at that point. He might be secretly thrilled to have captivated a wise and older beautiful woman. If not, then move onward and forward.

Think of it as his loss, not yours.

Ageism is rampant in the U.S., and is generally less so in Europe. Men in Europe tend to appreciate a beautiful and older woman, just like fine wine. In the U.S., not so much.

I’ll probably get flack for my response, particularly from men. So if there are any guys out there who wish to respond, I’d love to hear from you!

I document and verify the age of all my members for my matchmaking club, but that’s expected for business and professional reasons. If I tell a client he’s dating a 38-year-old, then she's 38, because we’ve done a background check.

But if you want to chat personally, and not professionally, it’s not as black and white!

Women AND men have lied to me about their age over the years (when applying to my matchmaking club.) Guess what? It's getting worse, not better. It's sad when society and the media view those over 40 as has-beens. While it's worse for older women (even women 35 feel ancient), I can see men are starting to feel the dreaded age issue, too.

Bare in mind, until you’ve experienced “ageism” firsthand (whether dating or in the workplace), you’ll never know how ridiculous it is or how hurtful it can feel.

Men in particular place such emphasis on a woman’s chronological age, rather than how she actually looks, thinks, feels and acts. I experience this often with my own clients. Sometimes it’s justified, most of the time it’s not.

But in the world of upscale matchmaking, "give the customer what he wants." That doesn't mean I don't guide my bachelors when choosing potential soul mates (I do), but ultimately they decide who they wish to meet or not.

And men, as much as we love you, PLEASE don’t equate older women with bad health or low energy—there are just as many younger women with health problems or little energy, as there are older women with no health problems and high energy!

Best bet would be taking a health exam together, if that is what you’re worried about.

I am 100% for doing that, and it could be a bonding experience and informative at the same time. Your overall good health, body kept in shape and an interesting lifestyle, mean MORE than chronological age.

Or it should!