Serious Question: When Did Men Stop Telling Their Age?

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July 19, 2013 ‐ By
Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Is it just me or is there a new breed of men walking around out here who’ve adopted women’s aversion to telling their age? We’ve all heard the sayings, “A lady never tells her age,” and “you never ask a woman her real age,” but it seems to me these sayings need to be updated, and lady and woman replaced with “nobody” because recently I’ve encountered just as many men as women who will not be honest about how old they are and I just don’t get it.

You know how when someone wishes you happy birthday and gets excited because you share the same astrological sign and are obviously in the same age group, your natural inclination is to ask how old they are? I made that “mistake,” apparently, when my birthday came around this spring and one of my fellow Taurus’s shouted me out and talked about having a dual celebration. I, innocently, asked how old he was turning, thinking we might even be sharing the same birth year, and that’s when instead of turning up, the energy turned down and he just shook his head and smiled.

Not knowing what that meant off hand, I asked one more time and was told, “I don’t tell my age.” Confused, I walked away thinking, perhaps you should stay away from all discussions about birth then. But when I had a similar experience at Happy Hour a few weeks later, I began questioning if a full-blown age complex epidemic was occurring among men. This time, I hadn’t even inquired about the guy’s age (because I already knew it), but he proceeded to tell me he doesn’t tell it — seemingly ever. When I said I already knew it, he questioned whether the age he previously gave me was even his real age, and at that point the idea of a guy — in his early 30s by the way — lying on his birth certificate was just too deep for me to psychoanalyze. Still, he went on to explain his reasoning that he tends to date older women  and doesn’t like when women automatically discount a younger man solely on the basis of his age and the pre-conceived notions that come along with that. And though I got it, being younger than him and not trying to get on, I didn’t understand why the birth year was still a mystery for me.

In asking around the office and my female friends, it’s been confirmed that I am far from the only woman who has encountered men who refuse to admit their age. Actually, admit isn’t the best word to use, because unlike these men, I see nothing incriminating about telling people my age, yet it would seem the XY gender thinks quite the opposite. For some women, the refusal to tell doesn’t seem to be a big deal as, to them, age is just one of the miscellaneous facts we can know about a person, like their hair or eye color. But as other ladies pointed out, if you lie by omission when it comes to something as partially negligible as your age, what else are you hiding?

It’s true, we all make assumptions about people and where we think they ought to be based on knowing how old they are, but do we not have that right? I would imagine if a woman was superficial enough, as some might say, to dismiss a man only because he’s so many years younger or older than her then it wasn’t a good match anyway. And while I fully acknowledge the double standard that allows women to withhold their age for fear of discrimination, but judges men who do the same, this age-denial trend among the opposite sex just reeks of this new millennial man who’s also falling behind in school, getting passed up by women in the workplace, and perhaps sitting in a nail salon getting pedicures on the weekend. I know that’s harsh, but we’ve all been told/experienced the phenom that men just aren’t men anymore. And when it comes to the idea of faking or ignoring one’s age, I’d just like to say, man up!

Have you noticed men seem to have age complexes these days and refuse to tell how old they are? What do you think about the trend? Does it bother you or do you not care about men’s ages anyway?

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  • Kealii

    I haven’t noticed that.