Q: I recently met a girl on Tinder and we hit it off immediately. She’s totally my type — pretty, fun, outgoing, loves going to clubs — but I discovered after our second encounter that she’s younger than she said she was on her profile. She said she was 23, but she’s actually 18, which she confessed to me on our second date. I’m 30. The age difference isn’t that noticeable when we hang out. She is definitely more mature than I was at that age, and I’m probably not your average 30-year-old.
I met her parents, sister and brother-in-law recently (because we’re lesbians, so insert the lesbian stereotype here), and upon finding out my age, her mother actually called me a pedophile to my face. Her mother called me and apologized, but I’m still a little stuck on one thing: the lie. I really enjoy this girl’s company and can see a potential long-term relationship, but can’t stop fixating on it. Should I still be upset about the fact that she’s younger than she originally told me she is? Like, what else is she being untruthful to me about? I want to get past it but I’m stuck between thinking this is a big deal versus just letting it go as a minor detail and enjoying the relationship. I realize there’s more than a decade between our ages and sometimes that doesn’t matter when you feel a connection, but I honestly wouldn’t have connected with her on Tinder if I had known her real age. Should I keep going and see if this is real, or cut my losses?
A: Tinder, for the uninitiated, is a mobile dating app that has become wildly popular with pretty much every single person with a smartphone. Users create a quick and dirty profile with a few choice photos and indicate who they’re looking for (men, women, gay, straight). Using your location, Tinder then tells you who’s in your vicinity and you can choose to hit them up via the app. Tinder is heavily used on weekends when people are out having fun with their friends, and because of Tinder’s casual nature, it has sort of become synonymous with casual sex. Multiple Tinder dates in one night aren’t all that out of the ordinary, and little white lies are often overlooked in the realm of hooking up.
The little white lie in this case has become something bigger. Allow me to play devil’s advocate for a moment and point out that she probably lied for good reason. Stating her real age on Tinder likely would have attracted the wrong kind of attention. For one, she’s obviously interested in women who are more mature than those her age. Also, it sounds like she’s pretty secure with her sexuality, since she’s already out to her family. I’m sure she’s gotten her fair share of romantic offers from other women her age (and younger) who are still experimenting with their own sexuality. If I was in her shoes, I’d probably be tired of getting toyed with by girls who think they maybe sort of want to be gay, so I’d try to limit my exposure to them.
That being said, you still have cause for concern. White lies are status quo for a lot of 18-year-olds. The human brain isn’t fully developed at 18 — that comes at more like 26 — and some childish behavior is still going to happen at that age. She may look like an adult but she still thinks like a kid, which means consequences don’t always occur to her. Remember lying about dumb crap to your parents so you wouldn’t get in trouble? As if they’d never be able to figure out that you swiped the car keys and snuck out in the middle of the night, even though you didn’t have money to refill the tank and you left an empty Hot 100 bottle in the back seat? Kids are stupid, and your girlfriend is just now starting to grow out of that phase. Let the age thing go, but stay aware. If anything sets off your BS meter, call her on it. She’ll grow up a lot faster if she has to act like an adult.