Should I tell him I lied about my age?

My free profile wasn’t getting much attention, so I changed one detail (I subtracted eight years from my age) and started having better luck. My question is this: Should I tell the people I meet the truth, and if so, when? Should I wait until we are in a relationship?

Dating Dilemma

Dear Dilemma,

You can’t lie your way to true love. In the first place, you’re going to attract the wrong Romeos -people who are looking for partners younger than you. When those would-be suitors learn the truth, you will be exposed as a liar, and whatever trust exists between you will be destroyed. Personal ads are tough and hard to get right, but that’s no excuse for doing it wrong.

Start again from the beginning. You can come up with several fresh ways to say you are youthful or appear to be younger than your years, but better yet, honor the fact that you have other virtues. Tout those loud enough and you are sure to find someone who will listen.

Why did she stop emailing me and what should I do?

Confused

Dear Confused,

You’ve likely encountered a routine peccadillo of internet flirting on aultfrienedfinder. Every guy has experienced the same in offline situations with just as much lingering befuddlement: The babe talks to you enthusiastically for a half-hour, makes serious eye contact, touches your forearms and then — poof! — she moseys off and never comes back. You’re left replaying the video, trying to troubleshoot what went wrong. The same’s happened here; she tried you out, extracted the necessary details to satisfy her curiosity, had fun and then decided to flit away to the next interesting flower.

It’s very tempting to expect that a flurry of fun, provocative emails will lead to a phone call and a date, but many people don’t follow that game plan. They’re very happy to explore compatibility through written discussions and then move on if they don’t feel an extraordinary kismet of chemistry with the individual who’s drooling at the other keyboard.

Look, a friend of mine — an attractive blonde woman — posted her free profile and received exactly 86 emails from men (and a few women) during the first week. A triumph! An impossible feat! The constraints of employment and sleep allowed her to start email relationships with only the most interesting suitors, and among them, only the few gems have a good shot at seeing Ali in the flesh. So don’t feel so lousy.

To put closure on things, send her one last, innocuous “How’s your week going?” note. If her silence was caused by a freak bus accident, she’ll be glad to hear from you and will reply accordingly. If not, you’ll get a polite “No, thanks!” or no reply at all. That only leaves with thousands of other quality, single women to contact.

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