After a first date that I can see isn't going to go anywhere based on a lack of physical attraction, how do I proceed decently?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (46 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
(Apologies in advance for the overly long and overthinking question, but this has really been nagging at me.)
A week ago I started IMing with a woman on OKCupid. Pretty standard situation: we're both in our mid-to-late 20s, living in the same city, single, similar career/interests/values. I found her quite pretty based on photos, but she told me she was "heavy" (her word) and asked if this was a problem. I couldn't tell based on the photos if this would be a problem. I told her, truthfully, that my standards about body type are very relaxed and that most women I've dated have been fairly voluptuous, Rubenesque, or whatever you want to call it. (I'm on the skinny side of average.)
Once I met her in person, I immediately knew she's too overweight to be attractive to me. I still consider her pretty, but more with a footnote of "if only she lost a lot of weight..." I realize how superficial this sounds, but I can't see any way that it would be a good thing for me to ignore this if I know in advance it would be fatal to any relationship that might develop. (Additionally, we're opposite genders but about the same height. I wouldn't normally consider this a serious problem, but I kept thinking: "let's face it, we don't look good together.")
I'm now feeling very guilty because, aside from this factor, we both had a very nice time. It was very long for a first date (we were surprised to notice that a whole 5 hours had passed), and we had consistently scintillating conversation. We kept discovering more and more things we have in common. I think she's a very nice and good person. (There was no physical contact; the date ended with a mutual "I had a really nice time.")
We haven't talked since then. But I'm trying to figure out how to proceed. We've been in such constant contact over IM that it would be conspicuous for me to block her. Currently, I have blocked her, but this seems cowardly. I could, of course, not answer her phone calls, but that would also seem cowardly. (We've been communicating mostly by IM, and occasionally by phone, text, and OKCupid's email system, but we don't have each other's real email addresses.)
What should I do?
I could just ignore her and hope she doesn't contact me. But I have the sense that she wants to keep things going. (She's very outgoing and direct, and she's told me she usually takes dating at a very fast pace).
From reading some other AskMe questions, the common advice seems to be that you should give a pleasant and vague answer like, "I had a nice time, but I don't think there's a spark/chemistry between us." Should I send her a message/IM saying this? However, considering that she herself told me before the date that she was afraid I'd be uninterested because she's "heavy," I'm worried she would follow up and ask if it's because of her weight. If so, should I answer honestly, or would that be too cruel? There are a couple other things that bothered me (she uses substances I disapprove of, and she seemed a bit too interested in hearing herself talk rather than listening to me), but if I'm honest, I have to admit that appearance is the main factor.
Another question: Was I an idiot for allowing the date to go on for hours and to seem outwardly interested in spending time with her and getting to know her? I suppose some would say I should have done the opposite - act uninterested and end things early - but I couldn't bring myself to do this rather than have the enjoyable evening that we had. Also, my ex-girlfriend and I ended a one-year relationship the day before this new woman and I started communicating, so I was admittedly relieved just to be going on a fun date with someone new. Anyway, is there a better way to deal with this dilemma?
I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts. Since I'm anonymous, I'd like to thank everyone in advance.
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