Aging is nothing to be afraid of. We’re all destined for some wrinkles and greys, that’s just the natural process! Sometimes, men will try to fight the tides of time and turn the odds in their favor, and in doing so, make themselves look a little… well, old. It’s hard to hold onto youth, so avoid these pitfalls if you can.
Unkempt facial hair
Facial hair can be a core part of a man’s journey through life, whether it looks good or not. There are a lot of things to keep track of, and without good follicle grouping and even growing straight hair, you’re going to have to expend some effort to keep it in check.
Without a consistent beauty routine (that’s right, men need them too) you’re going to look untidy and haggard, both of which are signs of a man past his best years. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just invest in a decent quality trimmer and get handy with it.
A strict routine
Having your life in order is clearly an important part of adult life. Many successes are built upon a foundation of discipline and focus, but you’re also going to fail a fair amount, and sometimes that will be because you don’t learn from your mistakes.
If you’re unshaking in your routines, like what you eat, where you go, and what you do, you come across as a stubborn old man. Everybody knows the time, grouchy and rigid, constantly demanding life on their terms – and everybody hates them.
Covering your greys
Contrary to popular belief, attempting to mask your gray hairs can actually make you look older. Sheaths of jet-black hair dye are an obvious attempt at covering up those white strands, thus, trying to hide your age.
You are the age you are, and wearing it with confidence is the key to not looking older. A few errant grey hairs aren’t the end of the world, and they can look distinguished and sexy when worked into a head of styles, face-flattering hair.
Being stuck in the past
You don’t need to post TikToks about the newest trends in fabrics or stay read up on whatever Jenna Ortega is doing, but you do have to get your head around the fact that times change. Sometimes that will be in ways you don’t like or understand, and that’s okay.
Stuff like music, movies, and language change constantly. Trends come and go, but just because something wasn’t on the scene when the Smiths were big doesn’t make it bad. Living in “the good old days” is tempting, but don’t get too comfortable or you’ll never leave.
Using a handkerchief
You’ll notice nobody calls them handkerchiefs anymore. Most people would point to one and say “That’s a pocket square!” and they would be right to do it because it’s an accessory.
We live in the 21st century, a prosperous world filled with disposable tissues, so there is absolutely no excuse to carry around a practical snot rag. Do not use these as a serviette, you will give big Rudy Giuliani mopping the hair dye off of his bulging, sweaty face energy.
Following every popular trend
In the same way that insisting time stopped progressing past the ’80s will age you, being way too plugged in and hip gives off the idea you’re compensating for something. Skinny jeans are a popular example, with older men hopping on the trend to recapture their glam-tinged youths.
There are more focused and age-appropriate ways to keep up with the trends, and you can find them with a little research! Whether you’re into tailored looks, casual street fashion, or anything in between, there’s usually a way to stay current without losing your identity.
Ignoring nasal hair
To be absolutely fair to the fellas, it is a little ridiculous to draw attention to things as insignificant as nose hair… That being said, it does look particularly aging. There’s something about the coarseness and the fact they stick out from a dark cavern, it seems a little foreboding.
Men who have tried tweezing (or just ripping them out) a couple at a time will know it is an unviable long-term strategy – Men aren’t supposed to cry after all. Thankfully, a fairly cheap but good-quality nose strimmer will practically eliminate the issue, and keep you looking fresh.
Ignoring your skincare
The younger generation of men have had no trouble navigating the world of skincare, so there’s no excuse to cast it aside as a metrosexual fad from the early 2000s. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to include seven steps, a snail, and break the bank each time a 4ml bottle of tincture runs out.
The important parts are a cleanser matched to your skin type, which granted might take a little bit of trial and error, a reliable moisturizer, and do not ignore sun protection! From there you incorporate things like a retinol night cream or more personalized touches.
Not accepting hair loss
“No dude, it’s totally fine like my dad was bald by 20 and my great uncle had a mullet until he died at 70 so like, it skips me” – Come on, man. Guys lose their hair every day, sometimes it happens slowly over the years, and sometimes it comes on thick and fast.
There are hair loss treatments out the wazoo, but do any of them work? God knows, but is it worth the years spent analyzing your hairline in the bathroom mirror? A buzz cut will free you of these earthly worries, like a literal weight off your shoulders.
Wearing ‘comfy’ shoes outside
The guy at the store probably wasn’t lying when he said they look good on you, but that was 15 years ago and you have to let New Balance go. As we age, comfort becomes more and more important to us, and comfy looks have their place.
Your clumpy, albeit super ergonomic, stompers should never be making an appearance for anything more formal than a trip to the store, and certainly not paired with anything but joggers. Shoes tie an outfit together, you have to respect the game.
Not updating your wardrobe
Some people fall into an existential panic when they realize they might have to repeat yesterday’s outfit, and that is far more trouble than it’s worth. Having a few high-quality, season-appropriate items you can build a look around will minimize the kind of spending fast fashion dictates over time.
It also gives you an excuse to sort through and throw away any old or damaged pieces, so you don’t end up with a Narnia’s worth of chinos and logo T-shirts cluttering up your space.
Scruffiness can come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s an unkempt, messy hairstyle, holes in your t-shirts, or wearing a fraying sweater, it’s a dead giveaway of age. Most women will notice these imperfections pretty quickly.
The key thing to remember if you’re going for a purposely messy look is intentionality. It’s ridiculous, but you have to try quite hard to look like you haven’t tried at all. If you’re not willing to go the extra mile, then maybe it’s time to buy a new sweater.
Having loud opinions
From the smoky, rustic coffee shops of Enlightenment-era Paris to a first date with somebody you met through a cursed application, men love having capital O opinions. There’s nothing wrong with that! Clearly, you’re entitled to your own thoughts and beliefs.
You are dealing with another human, however, who has lived a life entirely independently of you, seen and experienced everything in their lives leading up to this moment with you. Maybe accept that conversation and debate are entirely separate things, for their sake.
There’s something deeply liberating about throwing your hands up in the air, saying “Well, I tried” and resigning yourself to defeat. It’s a deeply human trait, cavemen probably threw their clubs to the ground and had a nap in the bushes after scaring off whatever early antelopes looked like.
You can lose a battle now and again, but you’re still here, so the war continues. You always have a choice, you can always change and try something new, and that mindset is going to attract people, female or otherwise.
Going too flashy
Men’s fashion has become increasingly liberated in terms of fabrics, patterns, opacity, and pretty much everything. This is undeniably a good thing, it gives you more to experiment with so you can find what you like and dislike.
You have to keep things proportioned, though. A loud and flashy shirt might make a statement, but build the rest of the look around it. Mute it, accent it, and add depth and character all your own, instead of just signaling to the world you have entered your Tommy Bahama arc.
Buying a sports car
This is the classic, rite-of-passage mid-life crisis moment. The second you feel the need to recapture your youth, you’ve already sort of lost, but now that you know that you can funnel that line of unaffordable credit toward something else.
If you do actually need a new car, get something that works for your lifestyle. Function will always trump form, and your concerningly young dates will lose interest when you have to spend half its cost in two years for ridiculously specific part replacements and upkeep.
Having boring hobbies
What’s it to be: golf or watching football games? Apparently, those are the only two hobbies that men aged 40 plus tend to partake in. While you’re allowed to do what you enjoy, consider stepping outside of your comfort zone
There’s a whole wide world out there of fun stuff to do, take a dance class! Learn how to sail! Learn karate! Your life isn’t over just because you’re all grown up. Pick up an instrument, something that will get you out and socialize with people beyond your bubble.
Being bad with technology
You really don’t want to be reminding anybody of their grandparents, especially if you’re worried about looking old. Struggling with your phone’s interface (despite having had the device for three-plus years) is a sign of someone who’s on the older side.
Worse still is if you ask your romantic interest for help, it won’t be a deal breaker but wow will they have some ammo. Spend some time trying to get acquainted with your tech – you’ll suddenly be more with the times and look like a hackerman genius in front of everybody.
What exactly makes somebody boring will change from person to person, if your date suggests skydiving and that sounds a bit much to you, don’t worry, you’re still cool and justified in staying grounded.
Take a look around any restaurant. You’ll usually see the wife chatting away, with the husband staring off in the distance, counting down the minutes until he can return home. You have to stay engaged and active, have something to say, and ask questions! At the very least, be interested in her.
Having a beer belly
Overweight people have enough societal stigma as is, so much so that most doctors and sociologists agree, that fat shaming does more harm over time than gaining a few pounds. Beer just sits differently though, and we all know it.
The bloating associated with a night of heavy drinking is something most young people avoid thanks to their healthy metabolisms. While they’re blessed beyond belief, that does mean men who can’t hold in their liquor come across as aged. There’s nothing quite like a cold one, sadly.
Calling everyone a snowflake
It can’t be overstated how old complaining about wokeness makes you seem. The younger generation, for all their faults, are more caring and empathetic than those before them. They are bombarded with hellfire pretty much every day and they know they’re in it together.
Ironically, it’s this generation that seems to be the most offended by societal changes. Don’t fall into age-related stereotypes – omit the word “snowflake” from your vocabulary as soon as possible. Also, get off the internet and spend more time with your grandkids.
Having zero social life
It’s gender stereotypes at their best – older women go out with their gal pals to luncheons and the like, while men live a lone wolf type of lifestyle. If you want to come across as younger, you need to get out of the house once in a while!
Make some friends or take some classes, it can seem daunting at first, especially as you age. A lot of people out there are in the same situation as you, men and women, and the ones who don’t overthink it and dive in are already there waiting to meet you.
Being obsessed with work
There’s nothing wrong with building (or relishing in) a career. However, what does become an issue is when you put it above anything else in your life. Taking work calls on dates, replying to emails, and discussing work sales with your boo will immediately age you up.
Work is obviously a huge source of stress, it’s tied to our finances and livelihood so if you slip up, that’s no more dates. You should feel comfortable enough to talk about how work affects you but don’t use your 9-5 as a mine for good conversation points.
Neglecting your health
Many aspects of modern life aren’t exactly fantastic for our bodies. We’re too sedentary and all our food is pumped with sugary goo that kills you and doesn’t even fill you up. Eating junk food and living an inactive lifestyle will physically age you up.
Not getting enough vitamins in your system will give you a tired glaze behind your eyes, alongside bringing on extra wrinkles and creases. Women will notice these things as you start improving, but more importantly, so will you! It’s important to be comfortable with your skin.
Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is vitally important. If you don’t get enough, not only will you feel tired – you’ll look it, too. Sleep is the time your body uses to regenerate since it doesn’t have to waste energy moving legs and fuelling whatever antics the pancreas is up to.
Constantly yawning and yearning for your bed’s embrace will make you seem much older than you actually are. Aim for around eight hours a night to give yourself an edge on the competition, or you’ll have to get creative with your excuses when you fall asleep during movies.