top of page

Degree of Dishonesty - Does a small fib warrant a breakup?

By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50

Many singles feel senior dating honesty is critical to trust in a relationship. The man who shared his story asked to remain anonymous so we’ll call him Herb. His saga begins on a barstool, where he met a woman. They got along well and decided to date. During the course of the conversation, she casually asked, “How old are you?” He said, “50.”

In reality, Herb had turned 51 a month earlier, but didn’t mention that to her. He later explained to me that since he’d been single for several years, he hardly kept track of his birthdays anymore and didn’t give it a second thought when he fudged his age by a month.

A week into the relationship she asked to see his wallet. Herb said, “I hesitated, not because of my date of birth, but because of the picture on my driver’s license. Instead, I showed her the rest of my wallet including my voter registration card that had my DOB on it.”

Herb said the relationship grew and was “great, despite a few hindrances,” which they managed to work through. “Two months into it we planned on taking a vacation, talked about marriage and kids in the future. All was well.”

That’s a pretty good track record for having met on a barstool. But—and there’s always that “but” in developing relationships—things changed.

Herb said, “One night at dinner she asked point blank how old I would turn this year. I am an honest person, but because I didn't think it was a big deal, I said 41.

“I got scared as I love her and didn’t know how to tell her the truth, if doing so would make me lose her. So I explained that I turned 51 but technically completed 50 as per my culture. I was being honest there. She got upset and wanted a straight answer as she is an attorney.”

She started aggressively interrogating poor Herb, who said, “I got more nervous, scared and embarrassed as I don’t lie and I had never lied to her (well, except that first night and again on the most recent night). I clarified and tried to tell her I’m not a liar and that I had no malice and gave her all the explanations. She forgave me and we went home and had a great evening.”

Whew! I thought Herb had blown it. That they had a “great” evening was a relief. Sounds like Herb saved the relationship—at least for that one night.

Herb continued: “The next day she started getting distant; I didn’t know why. By the weekend, she avoided contact with me. Then she called and said she wasn’t comfortable with the relationship and wanted to break up because I lied. I was in shock and begged her with the same explanation, that I didn’t think it was a big deal. I was embarrassed, scared and nervous.

“She said my not showing her the driver’s license and stating that my last birthday was my 50th were more lies. She was building a case against me like a lawyer as if I was a defendant on trial.

“She said she’d had a bad experience in a past relationship and had decided that if the next person lied, she’d walk out. No exceptions. I am trying to reason with her but she has already pronounced me guilty. What can I do?”

Herb mentioned that she’s not communicating with him. He feels his character is being judged by the incident and it’s not fair. He’s a hardworking, honest guy and this was an unintentional mistake; he didn’t tell her the truth because he feared he’d lose her.

He added, “Her excuse is that if I can lie about this petty thing, then I can lie about anything, but that's not true. She is walking out of a good relationship.

“I ran into her last night and tried to make conversation but she avoided me and then she told my buddy how upset she was and that it was over because I had lied. It was not about me being 50 or 51 but the fact when she caught me I did not come clean and squirmed around.”

Herb said, “How can someone who was a week ago in bed asking me to give her kids one day, not even talk?”

What we don’t know as outsiders is whether she called off the relationship because of Herb’s lie or if she just used that as an excuse. They both sound a bit dysfunctional, with her demanding to see his wallet and with him not wanting her to see his driver’s license picture.

This is another “case” for senior dating honesty, or in Herb’s case of dishonesty, a month off was 31 days too many.

bottom of page