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Ask Jen Helant Your Own Question
Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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I met someone and we both have feelings. However he doesn't

Customer Question

I met someone and we both have feelings. However he doesn't know I am six to seven years older than him. He likely thought I am a few years younger than him. Now is this age gap going to be an issue? Should I have a conversation with him about it, or just keep it low key like it is not a big deal? But let's say later one day he found out through some natural means and his reaction could be either something or no problem at all, regardless how should I handle the situation then? Should I always treated like this age thing is no big deal at all under all situations?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 2 years ago.
Hello. It isn't the " age thing" which is a problem, its honesty. You need to let him know. The longer it goes on, the worse it will be. The subject matter isn't as important as he will feel you lied to him and kept that lie going. If he thinks the age gap is a problem, this is something you should allow him to decide without deception. It also depends if it was an outright lie as far as he actually asked you your age and you lied by giving him a number or if you think he just assumes it. You should not keep a lie going. Even if his reaction is unfavorable, having the t***** *****fted off will be better in the long run. If it isn't a big deal to you, then that's great, but depending on what the circumstances are in which he believes you to be need to at least have a casual conversation about it at some point.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi if you read my original question, it is not about lie so I hope you don't assume or expand to anything without such info ever given. There is no honesty involved so the problem stays with "Is age a matter"?

But anyway just as I said he might be thinking I am younger than him. By specifically "have a conversation" over the age matter, it might make it look like it is a big deal when it might not be so. After all he probably liked me for my look and the feeling, not based on the age. Hence I asked the question "is this age gap going to be an issue? Should I have a conversation with him about it, or just keep it low key because it is not a big deal?"

So if you stay with my original question, which is emphasizing on whether I should keep it low key and natural or make it a matter and how to handle the situation when he found out my real age that would be great.

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 2 years ago.
It is absolutely impossible to guess on how someone will react to something. There are many people who date people 20 years older or younger with no problems, other people would never even consider it. Finding out by "natural means" makes no sense. Either you tell someone how old you are, or you don't. It is not possible for me to answer your question with the info given. Should you keep something low key like it's no big deal ? Well is it a big deal to you ? You can't assume how someone else will react. I know if I personally was in a situation where for whatever reason ( you did not answer MY question in order to give you a better idea of how to react about how he assumes you are younger- which would have been a GREAT help to me) I assumed someone was a certain age, then I found out later that it wasn't the case, I would probably be very upset that there was deception involved. I believe that basic information is something which should be out int he open form the beginning of a relationship. SO, how you should handle it has nothing to do with him because you can't guess his reaction. Treat it how you think it is. If its no big deal to you, then treat it as no big deal. If you feel you want to be honest with him about it then do that. I will always be on the side of honesty vs assumptions/deception/games whenever asked.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok I just want to clarify my question "Is age a matter?" is more meant for "in general", not particular to us. Do you think in general age is a matter for most people? Just like most of the time people would think compatibility is much more important than anything else, such as age, income etc.

The thing is because we never exchanged age info but I noticed there is some mistakes on my profile that put me at a younger age. So I don't even know if he ever paid much attention to that. After all looks are the first thing comes. I am just afraid trying particularly to clarify it might make a matter that he doesn't even care that much looks more pissy.

E.g. I might liked a guy from the pictures and I didn't really put that much thought into his age because his look already convinced me and I don't feel he looks old at all. But then he would seriously try to clarify it with me. Then it is like a lightening and I would think: oh why would you be trying to clarify it in such a serious way? Maybe there is something wrong...and it starts getting weird. Or maybe even start the distrust like "why you lied to me" etc. That is my concern.

There is one time, a guy already hit on me and later he tried to ask my age and I didn't want to tell him. Then at the bar when people check IDs upon entrance he looked into my card which is on the hand of the door man. He learned I am 5 years older than him. And earlier he guessed me at a younger age. It didn't really matter to him. No upset, not even any thought. He continued pursuing me like nothing happened.

That is why I feel letting him find out naturally (like somehow he heard it or saw it) and decide what he wants, rather than having a specific conversation geared toward it might be easier.

Once again, this topic has no honesty issue involved. It is a discussion of how to better convey the correct age info. No age info has been exchanged and only later I realiezed my age is wrong. His age could be wrong as well. As I mentioned earlier no assumption should be made outside of the info I gave. It is incorrect. I don't need to explain things outside of the question I am asking.

Expert:  Jen Helant replied 2 years ago.
I agree with Dr. Paige. Honestly is most important here. This may or may not be a big deal to him, but that is up to him to decide. It is not only about how you look when age is involved. He may think if the age may or may not impact your future together regarding having kids, getting sick, or etc. The point here is not the age, but honesty. It would not be weird or making a big deal about it if you tell him. You would just simply say that you realized your profile had a mistake and tell him your real age. It is not weird at all, but rather being honest. You can then go ahead and fix your profile page in order to not be deceptive. If you did not tell him and later he found out through natural means I believe he would be upset not because of the age difference, but because he would feel decieved. That would also cause him to question your honesty in other areas as well.

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