Post # 1
I am 30 years old and most people guess that I am around 24. I know I realize that to most people this is NOT a problem, actually a blessing and a great thing. Yes, I agree that I love that I am aging well and have wrinkle-less skin, etc., but the problem comes in when it comes to both my work and love life. I realize that ten years from now I will probably be wishing I had this problem.
At work I have to work triple hard to be taken seriously. At least once people see my work and have worked with me for a bit they do see what I am capable of and then definitely take me more seriously. The problem is that people that do not know me or my work well instantly assume I am quite new out of undergrad. I have a masters degree and have worked at several different companies, so clearly this isn’t my first rodeo :)!
The even bigger problem is with my love life. Although I would say I am an average-ly attractive person, I look so young with my baby face that it makes it difficult to meet and date men around my age group. I once dated a guy about 4 years old than me and although we were in similar places in our lives, together we just looked so unmatched. What makes this extra tough for me is that I am in the place in my life where I really want to get married and have children, but to the outside world I look like I still have my training wheels on and am not in a real “adult” stage yet.
Is there anybody out there with this same “problem”? How did you overcome it?
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - Stillwell House
I am thinking you may not be ready for a serious relationship based on your one statement of concern about how you and your older beau appeared as a couple –“unmatched”.
If appearing awkward is your biggest concern over how someone makes you feel and relates to you… just saying…
Post # 4
@Hellish88: Well I should have added that we did not break up because of the assumed age difference, we actually ended up in a long distance relationship because we both went to different graduate school programs and we grew apart. I was just using that as an example of how my young appearance is perceived.
Post # 5
@pinkpeony9: I have this same problem. I’m 27 and look about 20. I’m 5’4, very slender, no boobs with a young face and kinda high pitched voice. I told a gym friend that I had gotten married and he was absolutely scandalized, saying, “WHAT. HOW OLD ARE YOU?” Sigh.
Anyways, I’m a chef. It’s a male dominated field, but luckily one where it’s impossible to fake experience. After 10 minutes, any new colleagues relax and let me do my thing. One thing I do is to have a serious demeanor, at least at first.
It also helps to present yourself professionally, though I’d guess you’re already doing that. Makeup helps when I’m out and about. For at work, it means my knives in order, clogs clean, hair up tight, and jacket neatly tucked with the sleeves folded up. And no makeup, for me at work.
For me, the worst is when people tell me I’m too young to be married. Well, too bad I’m already married. Plus I’m 27! I’ve decided that I will force the next person that says that to guess my age. DH is the same age but looks it. I’d try to forget about it and just date whoever you want!
Post # 6
i;m 32 and still get carded for alcohol and the occasional rated R movie. though the last time the movie thing happened was about 2-3 years ago.
i am taken seriously at work. my DH is 4 years older than me, looks his age, and no one questions our togetherness. we are very happy together.
i think you need to work on confidence. act like you belong and no one will question you.
Post # 7
I am older than my SO, and look at least 5 years younger than him. i know where you are coming from and there isn’t much you can do about it. I am in my mid thirties and still get picked as being mid twenties. At least in my work it doesn’t matter.
Post # 8
My friend is in the same spot as you. She is 24 and in a serious relationship with a 27 year old man and people think she is 16 or 17 years old because of her face and small stature. It certainly puts a strain on their relationship when people are giving him dirty looks for dating someone who looks 10 years younger than him! She also just found out she is pregnant so that’ll be even better for them in the public eye!
For her she wears certain makeup that will make her look a bit older and more mature, she also carefully selects her wardrobe as if she wears jeans and a sweater she looks like she is skipping her high school classes!
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
A friend and former coworker of mine had this problem all the time when we were working together. She was 36 working as a post-doc and people thought she was a high school intern (so like 16-17)! She really felt it was because she was petite and Asian in an area that had a very low Asian population. I think it just further motivated her to move back to her home state of CA.
Post # 10
@pinkpeony9: I am only 24, but get told ALL the time that I look like I’m in high school. I have a masters degree and a regular full-time job in my field, but everyone assumes Im an intern or something! I absolutely hate buying alcohol because of the hassle I get from the clerks. I have a valid NYS license (new yorks are almost impossible to fake) and I have a hard time EVERY time. Even going to R rated movies are a hassle (you only need to be 17!)
This wouldnt be such a big deal, but Im marrying someone older (30) and sometimes when we see people they think he is cradle robbing!
It is very, VERY frustrating to not be taken seriously because of your looks. I also get the eye rolls when I mention it because they “wish” they had my problem! ugh!
Post # 11
@pinkpeony9: Yes..I get that *ALL* the time. I am actually 37 and people think I am in my mid 20’s. Which meant people at work never took me seriously and that I must have been some young receptionist just starting out in the office world when in fact I had more than a decade experience under my belt in finance alone. I would always be spoken down to like I was an office junior and it really pissed me off! Also with men, my fiance is one of the first older men I’ve been with. All but one of my previous boyfriends has been younger than me, just because these guys always thought I was their age. But my fiance is 3 years older than me and he’s an attorney so I’m thinking people think he’s gotten some young bit of fluff for his arm :-/ It’s not the case at all! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised it really is a great compliment to be considered more than a decade younger than what I really am, and the look on people’s faces are priceless when I tell them my age and that I have a teenage daughter 😉
For reference (taken last year):
[photo removed at request of OP]
Post # 12
Ha! I feel you. I’m 27 and still get carded for everything from buying lighters to movie tickets. Although I have to say, I have noticed that there is a difference in how I am treated and taken seriously based upon how I present myself, both in appearance and behavior. I’ve never had much of an issue with work because I’m relatively assertive in work situations, but perhaps an outside of work example helps?
For instance, if I go to the grocery store and try to buy wine in yoga pants, wet hair and no makeup, I’ll get the third degree – as in asking for second form of ID or seriously questioning me to the point where I’m beet red and totally embarassed (depending on the checker). However, if I go in with full make-up, hair blown out and styled and dressed professionally, they might ask for ID but not necessarily.
I also admittedly have a bubbly personality which doesn’t help in trying to appear older, so sometimes I have to consciously remind myself to be more reserved in order to be taken more seriously. At the same time, I’m not trying to be someone that I’m not, so I generally only try curve my bubbliness when necessary and/or professionally appropriate.
Post # 13
I’m 35 and still get carded sometimes.
At work, it’s not so much of an issue because everyone in my immediate group knows how old I am and what my experience is. When getting a new job, they will see on my resume that I graduated college in 1999 and have been in the workforce since before then, so they can do the math. For my job, I had to undergo an assessment to prove I had the skills, so I think that helped me as well.
I haven’t had an issue with dating (that I’m aware of anyway). Have you tried an online dating site? When you sign up for online dating, you enter your age, so my dates have gone into it knowing how old I am.
My husband is only a year and a half older than me but has a full head of gray hair. We probably look odd together, but we’re happy, so we don’t care!
Post # 14
I get this a lot. Although I am only 24, some have mistaken me for high school or just out of high school age. When out with my sister, who is 14, I have been mistaken for one of her school friends..a few times lol.
I work with kids so the younger they are the less they notice it, but I have had some older kids guess my age at being as low as 16. Like others, the way you dress and makeup can really help. When I turned 23 I had just started at a new job so most of my coworkers didn’t know my age yet but were surprised to find I was only turning 23, most thought older and when I questioned them they said I carry myself with such maturity that they assumed I must be older than I looked.
As as far as your love life, you just can’t worry about what others think. You know when you’re matched with someone even if physically you’re “unmatched”. Easier said than done, I know, but once you stop worrying about it I think things just get better.
Post # 15
@Fizzy8: Your first paragraph describes me perfectly 🙂
@pinkpeony9: I can relate a bit as most people assume I am 17-20 (in which case I just agree lol). The only time it bothered me was at work where I felt I wasn’t always taken seriously. Worst case was when I went for an interview and the guy told me something along the lines of, “you’re too young and pretty to know anything about this.” He even had me take a test. This guy was an ass so I knew I didn’t want to work for someone like that, but I wanted to prove him wrong. I took it and got a way above average score, showed him, and walked out. I say just keep proving them wrong at work. I don’t have to worry about it now that I have my own business.
As far as personal life, always take it as a compliment when people say you look so young. Even if it’s not exactly meant as one, take it as such. My FI is 35 and still gets carded. The only time it bothers him is if he forgets his ID and they won’t let him buy a bottle of wine at the market.
You’ll find your Mr. Right soon enough and everything else will follow. 🙂
Post # 16
When I first started working I looked very young and people often didn’t realize I was a lawyer and thought I was a receptionist, student, etc. I counteracted it by always dressing seriously and older than maybe some people my age would, and keeping my hair conservatively styled, pearls, etc. If you look serious, people will take you seriously. If you’re dressed like a 20 year old they probably won’t.