She Lied About Her Age
Q: I've been dating a guy for 3 months. He has referred to me as his dream girl, said I was the most beautiful woman he ever dated, and that he connected with me in ways he has never connected with anyone. I felt strongly for him but was wary because he's in his late 20s and there is a 12-year age gap between us. I'm pursuing a career in the entertainment industry and can pass for my mid to late 20s. Lying about one's age in this business is very common, and I only tell people my age on a need-to-know basis. I did plan to tell him eventually, but wasn't ready to take the risk. Long story short, he searched online and figured out that I was older than I had told him.
Now, he has lied to me on occasion. In addition, he has slight anger/aggression issues (not towards me), and he is a little out there sexually. On more than one occasion, I tried to break up with him but he apologized and convinced me that things would be different. I apologized profusely about my own lie, explained my reasoning, also about how men are sometimes wary of women who are not married by a certain age. It was the most excruciating three-hour conversation. He said he feels like he doesn't even know me, that he doesn't know what else I have lied about, maybe we should just be friends, etc. We ended the conversation without closure. I haven't heard from him in four days. I want him back. Do you think there's any hope? -- Sandy, 40
Dr. Susan: My opinion? This was a doomed relationship from the start. You both lied, you already "tried" to break up several times (whatever that means), and now that he's soured on you, you want him back. I understand lying for professional reasons, though it's a sad commentary on our culture and what you think you have to do to get ahead. But to lie to someone you want to be intimate with? What did you expect him to feel when he found out? Did you really think he never would? And those anger/aggressive issues, even though they haven't shown up against you to this point, are a huge red flag for a relationship. Not to mention his own lies and excuses. Sounds to me like you have become so desperate that you were willing to tolerate all kinds of negative behavior just to avoid being alone. Maybe you ought to take some time to think through your approach. If you want to be with someone you can trust, you have to BE someone trustworthy. And that means in all things, age included.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.