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Thursday, July 10, 2014 12:01 am

Is this deceit taken?

I’m a 54-year-old single man. I’ve discovered a troubling and apparently rampant trend among people around my age doing online dating – women not being honest about their age. I think the women doing this include the woman I started seeing, whom I otherwise like a lot. She listed her age as 55 but recently got flustered recalling the year she graduated from high school. I got suspicious and looked her up on people finder sites, which list her age as 57. Should I tell her, “Hey, I’ve been doing a little detective work, and your numbers don’t add up”? –Just Trying To Find An Honest Woman

After a certain point – the French tactfully call it “un certain age” – a woman’s birthday tends to come but once every two or three years. Sure, there are women who aren’t willing to compromise their ethics just to shave off a few years: my glamorous grandma, for example, who was 31 until the day she died – at 90.

I’m always a little surprised when anybody’s surprised that somebody they met on the Internet lied about something. In fact, as I advise in my new book, Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck, everyone on the Internet should be assumed to be lying about everything until proven otherwise. In other words, consider yourself lucky that she’s female. And a mammal.

I write often about our evolutionary imperatives, like how men evolved to lust after healthy, fertile women – all the better to help them pass on their genes. The features men consider beautiful – like youth, unwrinkled skin, and an hourglass figure – are actually indicators of a woman’s fertility. And the older and further away a woman gets from peak fertility the more these features fade and the less desirable she becomes to men. Sure, a woman may grow wiser with age, and she may be a perfectly wonderful and kind person, but as I note in my book, “The penis is not a philanthropic organization and will not get hard because a woman bought a homeless guy a sandwich.”

You could tell this woman you’ve caught her in a lie – if your goal is embarrassing her into liking you more. But it isn’t like she said she was 30 and turned out to be bumping up against 60. By the way, it isn’t just women who engage in attractiveness-improving fibbery. In the male camp, the lies include flashy cars beyond one’s means, liberal interpretations of 6’1”, Rogaine and the poor man’s Rogaine, spray-on “hair.”

And the reality is, whenever you think you could get serious with a person, you need to look at her character over time – comparing what she says with what she does – to figure out whether she’s trustworthy. As you’re doing that with this woman, consider taking a counterintuitive approach – calling up a little compassion for where she’s coming from. Chances are, she only lied because she figured out where all the honest women are: home alone being 57 instead of having a man like you spirit them off for a romantic weekend at Club Med Guantanamo to waterboard them about their real birthdate. 

©2014, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com). Weekly radio show: blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon. Order Amy Alkon’s new book, Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck (St. Martin’s Press, June 3, 2014).

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