When it comes to love, many people say age is just a number. But let's be real: Age really does matter when it comes to maturity level, interests, goals and physical ability.
While a guy a few years older than you may be at a very similar place in his life, someone who is over 20 years older may be looking for something completely different. This is why you need to find out how old he is ASAP.
But it's never fun to ask a guy his age. So that's where clever thinking comes in…
Here are 15 ways to find out how old your date really is without actually asking:
1. Stalk him on social media.
Social media is always a go-to. Look your guy up by his name and location on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see if there's any hint of an age on his profiles. (Facebook is usually your best bet since he has the option to put his birthday on there.)
If he's shy about his age online, it might mean he's on the older side.
2. Ask mutual friends.
During your social media stalking, you may have found out you have mutual friends.
If you're close with any of them, shoot them a message and ask what they know about him and his age. Your close friends should have your back.
3. Check LinkedIn.
When it comes to social-media stalking the new man in your life, LinkedIn may be the last thing that comes to mind. But it can actually reveal a lot.
Instead of just searching for his name on LinkedIn, try using the website's advanced search to enter details about his name, position, company, location and anything else you want know about him.
Once you're on his profile, scroll down to see when he graduated. A graduation year can be a big clue as to his age. You can also see how many years he's been working.
But be warned: Since it's LinkedIn, he'll get a notification saying you viewed his profile. Enter at your own risk.
4. Google him.
He may not be a social media kind of guy. While this makes finding out his age much more difficult, it doesn't mean all hope is lost. The almighty Google could have the answers.
Google his name and any other relevant information, like the company he works for or the city he lives in.
Make sure to put his full name inside quotations, like “Joe Smith." This way, Google will only bring up results that match his name exactly.
5. Search public records and data.
An easy way to find out how old he is to search public records and data. Websites like Intelius give you free, public access to basic information about people, including their age.
Just type in his name and location, and you're all set.
6. Analyze his name.
There's a lot more than you think in a name. In fact, you may actually be able to tell how old he is just by looking at name data (give or take a few decades).
If his name is Marshall, he may be in his late 30s, given the time that name was popular. If his name is Fred, he's probably on the older side for the same reason.
7. Bring up technology.
If the internet has failed you, it's time to get crafty. Technology is an easy way to draw out his age.
Bring up how quickly technology has been developed, and discuss the first type of phone you owned. If he still only uses a landline, you probably have reason to be concerned.
8. Discuss school memories.
Slyly bringing up school is one of the easiest ways to get to know his age. He may divulge what college was like with no computers or how drunk he got at his freshman year orientation a few years ago (whoops).
9. Ask about his friends.
We're typically drawn to people who are the same age as us, whether they are long-lasting friendships from college or new best friends from work.
He'll probably bring up his friends at some point during conversation. But if not, ask him what he likes to do for fun or start talking about your friends from school. He'll likely start talking about his friends, as well.
Keep an ear out for whether or not most of his friends have kids, if they're married and what they like to do together. This should give you a hint about how old they are, and by extension, how old he is.
10. Ask about his favorite music.
Music tends to come up naturally in conversion. But make sure to carefully listen to his favorite artists and genres.
If he's a big rock or old-school hip-hop lover, he could be on the older side. But if he's always talking about the Top 40 or the latest independent music, he's likely younger.
11. Ask about his health insurance.
Ask him about health insurance next time you're with him. You can bring it up by mentioning news or complaining about your own health insurance plan.
If he mentions Medicare, he's probably upwards of 65. (And if you can't tell he's 65, then I don't know what to tell you.)
You could look intelligent and suggest a plan for him, or you could run!
12. Talk politics.
You may not want to jump into the rocky world of politics when you're just starting to become interested in someone. However, it can tell you a ton about a guy's age.
Make sure to bring up your past observations when it comes to policy and news. Once you start talking about which presidents and policies you liked, he's likely to do the same and reveal how long he's been keeping an eye on the government.
It'll also give you insight as to whether or not you guys are compatible when it comes to the law of the land.
13. Ask about his parents.
Along with politics, this one can be a touchy subject. You should always start by talking about your own parents — how great they are, issues you've had with them in the past or simply the fact that you're planning to visit them soon.
If he seems interested, ask him about his parents. If they've died, things may seem a little awkward. But you were bound to find out sometime.
It can be a lot easier to ask him about his parent's age or estimate how old they are than to figure out his age.
14. Complain about your own age.
A great way to indirectly find out his age is to complain about your own age. Depending on what you're complaining about, he may say something like, “Right? We're getting so old” or “Just wait until you turn 50.”
15. Just ask.
If all else fails, just ask. Guys tend to be less sensitive about this topic than women are, anyway.
Asking can be as simple as you saying, “Hey, I just realized we've been talking for a while now, and I don't even know how old you are!”
Figuring out a guy's age without directly asking can be difficult, especially if he's shy about it.
Remember, while age can be important when it comes to dating, it should never be an all-or-nothing factor (unless one of you is under 18, of course).
If he's a lot older or younger than you, and you two are getting along, then just give it a shot!