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Suzanne, Therapist, LCSW
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
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I am a 20 year old woman who has recently been engaging with

Resolved Question:

I am a 20 year old woman who has recently been engaging with a gentleman (aged 31) on a reputable online dating site. Subsequent to exchanging a number of emails we decided to meet up and from the onset appeared to connect. A second date has now been arranged. However, when writing my initial online profile I set my age to 24. I must stress that this was not done to deceive; I strongly believe that trust, honesty and respect are integral facets’ of all healthy human relations and form a framework for establishment of the same. My rationale is simply that, although chronologically I am 20, nobody thinks this, as due to life experiences etc, I appear and can be said to be, psychologically a great deal older. The latter is reflected within my friendships/ career / interests etc. I am now concerned that I may jeopardise any future that may or may not transpire between us by disclosing what I have done, whilst conversely feeling that it would be wrong and immoral of me not to do so. I would greatly appreciate some guidance!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Suzanne replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for writing to Just Answer.

This is the exact reverse of most of the questions we get like this. Usually people are trying to shave off a few years in hopes of seeming more desirable.

If you have hopes that a relationship could grow with this man, I advise you to tell him right away. Don't grovel or make too many excuses. Say to him essentially what you wrote here, and tell him you increased your age because you find people your own age immature.

You may be surprised to find that he doesn't mind at all. It is often desirable to a man to be with a younger woman.

Do the right thing by telling him the truth the next time you see him.. I doubt you will lose the potential relationship over being younger that you put in your profile. There is no way not to tell him, if you hope to continue to see him. Sooner or later graduation year or some other telling detail will slip out, so better to be forthright

I wish you all the best in this budding relationship,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Suzanne, many thanks for your reply.


This is essentially what I had been planning to do. However, on Thursday (4 days after our first meeting and the first time we had been in contact since, aside from to say that we had enjoyed each other company and would like to meet again etc) I found out that he had broken his foot (I was already aware that it was causing him a problem after running the Great North Run the previous week) and subsequently our second date has had to be postponed as he is housebound. In your opinion would it be acceptable to wait until our next meeting, which may be a while as oppose to discussing it via text/ email?


I am also wondering, as this is my first real experience of 'dating', having ended a long term relationship of 4 years in May whether it is 'normal' to have little contact between dates? I am aware from conversation that he does not want to appear 'pushy' and also has many other commitments, as do I. If I'm honest I feel a little out of my comfort zone as upon meeting I found myself disclosing informatio which I would never normally dream of telling somebody that i had only just met (or some longer standing friends to for that matter) an feeling fairly comfortable doing so.

Expert:  Suzanne replied 7 years ago.
Sorry for the delay in responding--had to step out for a few hours.

Yes, it is fairly common for men to be able to tolerate a fair amount of time without communication, especially after only one date.

Your experience of "over-disclosing" on the first date is a common mistake people new to the dating world often make. There is something liberating about having someone's full attention focused on us, especially when the person is, essentially, a friendly stranger. However, this really isn't a good or wise idea. If you never see this person again, you have disclosed the intimate details of your life to someone to whom they mean nothing...and who may not feel any obligation to keep them in confidence.
Disclosing too early opens you up to assumptions or conclusions about your character, and what he can expect in a relationship with you. This can go either way, depending how intimate the details were. The fact that you felt comfortable disclosing does not necessarily mean that he was comfortable hearing those details.

It is much wiser for a woman to find out as many details about the man as she can before she begins to disclose. Some things about our pasts, especially when it concerns past relationships, are best kept private until there is some particular need to divulge.

Since you are new to the adult dating scene (as you would have been a teenager when your last relationship started), I would like to suggest a wonderful book for you to read:
Temptations of the Single Girl.

This book will help you avoid the most common mistakes women make in dating. I think it would be particularly helpful for you as you are trying to find older men to date. You have life experience behind you, but not in the dating world. While you are waiting to hear from this man, (it is important to see if he is attracted enough to contact you first--please fight the temptation to be the one to start making contact. If a woman makes herself too available, she loses value in the dating world. (Really---read the book). The book is written by a therapist, and will help you immensely.

Be careful... the dating world is both exciting and scary..
I wish you the best!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for your response and information. My previous statement was clearly misleading as my notion of 'over disclosure' related to answering questions posited regarding family ect which would by others probably be deemed 'normal', however for myself, responses required more explanation. I wouldn't dream of initiating contact with this man if he does not contact me. My origional question was whether you felt that if he does contact it would be acceptable to leave the discussion regarding age until a second meeting or state facts via phone/ email at the time of his contact?

Expert:  Suzanne replied 7 years ago.
Yes, I did interpret over-disclosure a bit differently. Thank you for the clarification.

I think telling him you are younger could wait until the second meeting. I would wait about a half hour or so into the date to bring it up. This will give him more of an opportunity to observe that you are "older than your years" --but don't wait any longer than the next time you see him.

I would suggest you list your correct age on your profile on the dating site, and just communicate with the older men who contact you. This is bound to come up again, and you can save yourself a lot of future worry by just being honest up-front.

Put a statement in your profile that you feel most comfortable with people at least 5 years older than you, or with a lot of life experience (or something to that effect).

But yes, I think telling him your true age will be best done in person.

I hope he contacts you soon!
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