Is It Ok To Lie About Age On Dating Sites? Why Do Guys And Girls Use Deceiving Online Dating Photos? How Old Should Your Online Dating Photos Be? Catfishing

When it comes to online dating profiles, one of the questions I get often from men and women is: “Is it ok to lie about my age on my dating profile?” It’s something I hear from both genders from those in their 30s to those in their 60s. There are many reasons why someone might be tempted to shave off a few years about their age but my hard line stance on this topic is a firm no. I’ve actually turned down working with folks on their dating profiles and photos over this seemingly small detail.

My goal, when it comes to online dating photos, is to present natural, candid honest representations of folks (which is why I don’t photoshop images or take weird angles) and to improve the dating pool and experience for all –  I cannot do this if folks lie about their age despite it being one of the most common lies on dating profiles.

For additional tips on online dating etiquette, read this post about messaging, first dates and more.

Is It Ok To Lie About Age On A Dating Profile?

When it comes to dating, I am a firm believer in telling the truth. I am aware many people lie or stretch the truth when it comes to their dating profiles – slimming photograph angles, favorable articles of clothing, outdated photos, filters, hatfishing etc. and while those hover on subjective lines of truth, those are all lies in my opinion and age is no different.

Lying about something as simple and seemingly innocent as one’s age is a sign of insecurity in my opinion – if you are lying about your age right off the bat, what else are you lying about in your profile? What other lies can I expect in the conversations, our first date? Read more about online dating red flags here


Reasons For Lying About Age On A Dating App

The most common reasons I get from men when it comes to lying about their age is that they look or feel young (aka I want to date or I think I can date younger women or don’t want to date men their age). While it is true some men might be more vigorous, youthful, athletic than men their age, lying about one’s age is not only misleading but deceptive.

Age can come into play when it comes to family planning, generational common interests etc. This perception is perpetuated in movies and society – visit a popular matchmaker’s website and you will see wealthy men in their 60s seek out women in their 40s and even 30s. There is nothing wrong with targeting people of a certain age but lying about is wrong and can even get you kicked off dating sites and apps (if you see someone lying about their age you should flag their profile).


Why Women Lie About Age On Dating Apps

As for women, the main reasons for lying about one’s age is that they look and feel young and would like to date men closer to their age or slightly below their age. It’s common for women to get propositioned by men 10, 20, 30 years older than then on dating sites despite making it clear on their profiles they are seeking men of a certain age or looking to start a family.

Often times I hear that women do not want to get overlooked through search filters, so they will subtract 2-7 years from their age to make a cutoff on age filters and preferences. I do sympathize with women in that men routinely target women much younger than themselves leaving older men to hit on them, but I am a strong believer in being as honest in a profile as possible to establish confidence.

Addressing the lie on your profile doesn’t help out much either. It will appear like a bait and switch at best or insecurity or lying on your Facebook and/or dating profile or all of the above.

Tinder Worst Profile

Tinder Worst Profile

Why Men Lie About Age On Dating Apps

Some men learn this bad behavior at an early age – they seem to get away with it or are enjoying the chase so to speak. Women typically seek men their age or older early on in their dating lives. These two behaviors grow and spiral out of control decades later.

If men could learn to be more mature (and refrain from dating younger women who are more likely to put up with their behavior) and date women closer to their age AND if women would date more men their age or even few years younger earlier on in their lives I think we could start to chip away at this age gap and see some changes in behavior early on.

While that pipe dream hangs out in the clouds for the time being, you should learn to analyze profiles and photos to see if people are telling the truth when it comes to age, ask questions on your first date, and cross-reference public sites and profiles.

Shaving off a few years is typically seen more so on dating apps that veer toward more casual and hookup culture but that doesn’t mean sites like Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel or Bumble are free of people with inaccurate ages. Lying about one’s age is a red flag and a possible sign for things to come. 


How Old Should Your Online Dating Photos Be?

Typically, 2-3 years or at least resemble how you would look like on a first date (considering weight, hair style, hair color, facial features etc.). If you use older photos than this, you can be accused of catfishing. Generally, your photos should represent how you should look like on a first date with someone. Having too many varying photos (age, hairstyle, hair color, facial hair etc.) can raise some doubts or concerns and increase left swipes on your profiles. For more online dating FAQ’s, read this handy intro guide.


How To Tell How Old A Photo Is On A Dating App?

If you have questions about how recent a photo is on a dating app or curious to confirm someone’s age, there are various methods to do so. I don’t want to alert folks to the methods used and have them cover their tracks so instead I offer clients this service to do this for them and also find subtle ways to inquire about photos in a profile.


Why Do Men Lie About Their Height on Dating Apps Like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge?

Like age, men feel attacked whenever they are told no or told they can’t have something. Many successful men or men who have A-type personalities think money, status, confidence etc. can make up for height deficiencies and so it is not uncommon for a guy to add 1-2 inches to his height. Call it the Napolean syndrome. You can see all the outrage by men online once Tinder announced the height verification feature on April Fool’s Day last year.


Next Topic: Kids Photo Etiquette in Your Dating Profile

Additional Reading: The Most Common Lies Told On Dating Apps

About Eddie Hernandez 

Eddie Hernandez is a professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle. In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice and date ideas.

Dating Profile Critique, Makeover

For those of you who are remote or virtual dating help and are looking for an online dating profile critique you can read more about my services here.

For other helpful online dating tips check out my blog for more helpful advice:

Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions (Photos, App Choice, Wardrobe, Messaging, Bios and More):

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