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Age stereotypes and dating: Should women hide their age?

In a society geared towards youth, double standards and ageism between the sexes is still alive and well today.

Will stereotypes, discrimination and double standards ever end in a decent society? Is true equality a lofty illusion that we aspire to, or is it achievable in small doses?

In the dating process there are many singling out factors used to narrow the field. Age is one of those factors.

Does singling out individuals in dating based on age, equal a form of discrimination? It certainly does in the professional world. This is the primary reason for laws to protect persons over age 40, from hiring discrimination.

Have you ever met someone that you liked as a person but felt that the age difference may be less than ideal or worse a deal breaker?

Any woman at any age who enjoys fitness and chooses a healthy lifestyle may have good health advantages. Add good genetics as measured by one's appearance in relation to one's age and these factors may further enhance a "youthful" appearance.

Political correctness aside, bottom line some women look younger than their age. Is this fact a licence to fudge the truth about one's age?

More often than not, when we are asked our age in any setting other than for health or professional purposes, the immediate answer is usually a question, "How old do I look?" After all what are the reasons for asking someone their age in any other scenario other than for labeling purposes, right?

In our society being labelled as a woman over 40, can actually diminish your dating circle.

The popular dating site Match.com examined the reasons why some older men prefer to date younger women. But what about older women who prefer to date younger men?

The difference of opinions are quite the polar opposite. Men claim that younger women are readily single and available while women their own age are married, divorced or in the process of divorcing.

Which leads to the second reason why older men prefer younger women. Less emotional baggage.

Men also view younger as free spirited and depending on how young the woman is, she may be less likely to want to settle down right away, making her the perfect target for men looking for a more carefree relationship without strings.

An ego stroke may play a role for some men, feeling that attracting a younger woman makes them "feel" younger and more desirable.

Older women with more life experience and career experience may have more success than their younger counterparts. Older men on the Match.com survey felt that younger women are easier to impress compared to women their own age.

In some cases women over 40- who hide their age are faced with a dilemma. Conceal their age in order to expand the number of men in their dating pool, or be forthcoming about their age and take what they can get, in this case whomever is interested in her particular age demographic.

Bottom line, lying about your age to deceive someone can backfire. If you develop feelings for the person you must tell him the truth and risk being rejected.

Your only hope is if the man develops feelings for you and does not care about your age. Be proud of who you are and embrace the aging process. Starting a relationship based on a lie could destroy a potentially promising romance.