Should I (and if so, how should I) reveal to my upcoming quasi-blind quasi-date that I look different than he expects me to?
posted by mauvest to Human Relations (44 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I created an OKCupid profile about two years ago and had some good dating experiences. I stopped using the site when some health problems arose (plus a romantic heartbreak), and since then I've added about 30% to the weight I was in the head-and-shoulders picture of me on the site.
I've gotten the health issues mostly under control and am starting to lose weight now. I've successfully lost a significant amount of weight in the past, so I feel confident that I know how to do it, and thus very optimistic that I'll be back to my previous shape in a year or so. I have never been and will never be "skinny," or particularly athletic, and am at peace with that... but still, this isn't the difference of just an extra love handle or a single dress size.
I hadn't really planned on starting dating again anytime soon, but a few weeks ago I re-activated my profile while bored (and, admittedly, lustful), and started just poking around a little. As a result of that activity, I was "discovered" and contacted by an old college classmate who I haven't seen in 15+ years and who is apparently a fantastic "match" across every OKC dimension. We've emailed a handful of times with warm reminiscing as well as explicit flirting and some forward sexual innuendo (initiated by him and reciprocated by me). We never knew each other well, but it's a small school and there's often a kind of automatic feeling of connection among alumni, so I can't help but feel there's a bit of extra "oomph," and trust, between us than there might be for total strangers who meet via an online dating site. For what it's worth, he always came across as a smart, kind, interesting, good guy (and very physically attactive (to me))
Now we're planning to get together in three days, Friday night.
I think that an objective reader of our emails would say that Friday is a date, with the mutual hope that there is a physical if not also romantic relationship worth exploring. That said, there was also a clear underlying spirit of "of course we should grab a friendly drink and gossip about what our other classmates have been up to," more as a networking/buddy connection, no more significant than Facebook friend-ing, just in person.
In case it's useful as context, his profile says that he prefers "average" body types (the other three options were "slim"/"fuller figured"/"i don't care"), and he hasn't answered any of the questions that let you signal that someone being overweight is a dealbreaker, etc.. Also, I'm pretty sure he's a boob man, and I've certainly got those. On the other hand, he was a competitive athlete at school, is still extremely fit, and lists exercise as one of his "six things I can't live without."
Assuming we get along in person as well as we both currently expect we will, my ideal outcome would be that we develop an affectionate fuckbuddy relationship (even just a great one-night stand), and if I were more slim/fit, I'd think I had a really good shot at that. His profile indicates that he's ideally hoping to find a long-term relationship, but I know he still enjoys less-committed adult romps as well. Even with my current shape, I feel very confident about my sexual appeal, skills, and attitude.
I feel like my options are:
A. Just show up Friday, be confident, and go with the flow
B. Just show up Friday, but apologize at some point for the possible disconnect between my profile picture and reality and explain my health/body situation and outlook in high-level terms
C. Email or call him before Friday to say, hey, just wanted to mention that I didn't expect to be "found" on my outdated profile, so I hadn't updated my pictures, but FYI, I'm plump
D. Email or call him before Friday to clarify that I only want to meet up as friends, thereby taking any attraction issues/expectations off the table and being upfront that I'm not looking for a serious relationship
E. Say nothing directly, but try to communicate via my profile more accurate info about my appearance, e.g., change body type to Overweight or Curvy or Full Figured or something (I never know what the hell each is supposed to mean, guidance welcome), delete old photos and add a current-weight one, etc.. As a complicating factor, because we moved to "real" email almost right away, it appears that he hasn't looked at my profile in the past 10 days.
F. Cancel Friday, either explicitly telling him I don't think I'm ready for this, or just making up a white lie and fading away or maybe rescheduling for much later (I'll be doing a job rotation abroad all September)
G. Some approach I'm missing?
I have troubles with shame (in general, not just my body), and my M.O. in general has been to avoid emotional risk, vulnerability and judgment at almost all costs. I'm working on that, but I know it's not this guy's problem, nor can he fix it. Still, I'm scared.
So, wise metafilter, how do you think I should proceed to maximize happiness and minimize... the opposite? I'd truly appreciate any advice you can give.
(Also, if I go, what the hell should I wear??)