State: New York
Comment: Went out with a woman that I met online. She shows up at the restaurant where we agreed to meet and was much heavier than she was in her photos. I made the best of it, had a couple drinks, paid the tab and said goodbye. She had a beautiful face and was smart and interesting, but not for me. I think I could have gotten past the extra weight if she had posted more recent photos. She sent me an email the next day saying she had a fun time and hoped we could see each other again. I told her that it was nice to meet her but that I didn’t think we were a match. She responded and said she was confused and asked why I didn’t think we were a match. Normally I’d tell the woman what I’ve told other women and what they have told me – I didn’t feel a spark. In this case I wonder if I should be honest and tell her why. What do you think?
Well, first of all, I’m going to call you on your “I think I could get past her weight if she hadn’t lied” statement. Bottom line, if you had been attracted to her, the fact that she didn’t look like her photos wouldn’t have mattered. You’re trying to avoid people calling you out for “being shallow” by saying what a beautiful face she had.
You just don’t want to seem weightist. Which I understand. Personally, I don’t think you’re in the wrong for not being attracted enough to her. You like what you like. Just don’t try to dress it up. That makes you sound condescending and disingenuous. Moving on…
Here’s the thing about being overweight, and I’m speaking from experience here…when I was really overweight, I had no idea how overweight I was. I believed I looked the same as I had a few years before. It’s a combination of denial and illusion that keeps us in the dark. So this woman may not have intentionally mislead you. She might really believe she looks exactly like those photos. That’s why it’s always wise to select a few photos and then show them to friends – good friends, honest friends – and ask them to tell you if they accurately reflect how you look now.
Now, if she did know the pics were inaccurate…she did it because she wanted a chance. She just wanted a chance. That’s it. There was no malicious intent involved here.
I’m offering you these perspectives because I think you should tell her why you weren’t attracted to her. But I want the response to come from a place of empathy and compassion, not resentment.
We’ve all heard the “no chemistry” excuse. Like DMN has said, this is a matter of diplomacy. Most of us KNOW that there’s more to the story. We just don’t push the issue because it’s inappropriate and possibly going to be uncomfortable for us. But if someone is going to ask for the “real” reason..give it to them. Just don’t do it to hurt them. Do it to help them.
Several months back, when I was on OKC, I had a few dates with a guy. He was nice, sweet, etc. One night he was over and it was the “do or die” night. Third date, just a few make out sessions. Things progressed….he wanted to move things to bed. I said no. He asked why. And I told him.It’s not something a lot of men like to hear. But I told him. We spent the next couple hours polishing off wine and talking about it. We’re now good friends. He’s met someone. She’s awesome. Everybody is happy. I didn’t tell him to shame him. I told him because he wanted to know. I wasn’t the first. Now he was faced with the real possibility that how I and another woman had perceived him was how many other women had perceived him. He made some adjustments. He found who he was looking for.
I think I mentioned this before, but having a doctor read to me out loud my actual weight of 190 pounds was enough for me to say enough. I could ignore the creaky joints and tight clothes. I could not ignore the numbers on a scale. When I started having issues with my joints, and did a little family history research and found out that rheumatoid arthritis ran in my family, I had no choice but to lose weight. Working out for me isn’t just about staying a certain size. I have to do it in order to stay active. (I have this adorable “if I don’t get an official diagnosis then it isn’t real” mentality where I can some how ward off illnesses with my mind. I know. No lectures, please. When it comes to the family history of breast cancer I’m far more vigilant. )
Back to the OP.
Here’s why she’s asking you for a specific reason – she KNOWS what the reason is. It’s almost like she wants somebody to beat her over the head with the truth so she can either validate her negative belief system i.e. “men are shallow” OR she wants the push to lose weight but can’t give it to herself.
Now, how she takes the news isn’t your responsibility. if you know that you were coming from a genuine place when you gave her an answer, and you know you weren’t trying to hurt her, then her reaction is about her. Not you.
Tell her. Just be kind. It could change her whole dating experience. That is, if she’s ready – really ready – to hear it. Some times people have to hit rock bottom before they realize it’s time to make a change.