This will be a two parter. I was reading this post today and I was reminded of a conversation I had had about 4 years ago. The guy was someone I had met at a networking event. We exchanged numbers and set up a date for a few nights later. We ended up going to his gym and he taught me some boxing basics. (Fun date, I have to say.) Throughout the date, he brought up my blog. A lot. Enough that it made me uncomfortable. As he walked me to a cab, he told me that “if I wanted to” I could call him a specific alias when I wrote about him. That’s right. When. Not if. When.
I was an experiment to him. And, I’m sure, to many other men at that point in time. Compared to the story I linked to, I got off easy. The “honesty” in that guy’s words made me furious at the both of them. Him for saying it. Her for sharing it. People like that guy don’t deserve the additional attention.
In my scenario, the guy thought he was somehow being “different” by giving me permission to blog about him. What he was actually doing was revealing his true intentions. In the story written by the other blogger, the guy was playing the “honesty” card in the hopes it would score him some points. To top it off, he did the “you would be my first, baby” thing. Sure.Sure she would.
This happens to a lot of different people for many different reasons. They have something about them that is seen as “exotic” or “unique.” Maybe it’s their race or a specific fetish or proclivity. Or it’s their body type or looks. Whatever it is, the attraction isn’t based on who the person is. It’s based on the opportunity or experience that person might provide.
It took me a very long time to realize that being someone’s experiment wasn’t a good thing. It’s not a compliment. Once you realize it, it’s actually quite hurtful and embarrassing. Why embarrassing? Because we foolishly believed that that person liked us despite certain traits. Not because of them. Dating someone because they’re Asian or African American or Caucasian isn’t really an acceptable reason. If you have a specific fetish, then seek out people who are okay with being identified by that particular fetish. Don’t bamboozle them with the news after the fact. And don’t pretend like you don’t actually have a fetish and that there was something special about them that made you want to dip your toe into that particular pool. In short, don’t use people like that.
One more thing. If you do decide to take someone of a particular race, faith, orientation, occupation or body type for a spin, don’t you dare ever admit that you couldn’t cross that line and take things to another level because of that characteristic.
Now let’s get into the very delicate subject of whether or not you tell someone that you aren’t attracted to them should they ask why you don’t want to see them again. Personally, I don’t see a need for that unless the person clearly believes they look better than they do or you were mislead in some way. For example, the men and women are are so sure they look ten years younger than they are and say so in their profiles. Or the overweight people who describe themselves as curvy, average or athletic.
My friend K. sent me a profile of a woman from Match and asked me what I thought. She had about 12 photos. 10 of them were from the shoulders up. The other 2 were clearly taken a good 5 years ago. Her face in those photos compared to the head shots made it quite clear that she had put on a noticeable amount of weight. She chose “Average” as her body type. He decided to go out with her. When they met she was, as I predicted, quite heavier than the 2 full body shots she had posted. He was a gentleman and was polite and sat and had brunch with her and paid the bill. She contacted him the next day and said she’d love to go out again. He replied and told her that he thought she was very nice but that he didn’t feel they were a match. She wanted to know why.
“Tell her” I said. “Tell her so she doesn’t have to go through more of these experiences.”
He told her he felt her pictures were misleading. She asked how so. (Jesus, take a damn hint!) He said he felt she didn’t look like her photos. She said nobody had ever told her that. He said he wasn’t trying to be hurtful but felt he should be honest. She said he was rude. He stopped replying. She sent another text suggesting they give it another go. He said he wasn’t attracted to her. She stopped messaging him.He didn’t have to go further and tell her he found her overweight. She should have picked up on his subtle hints. Reading Social Cues is a something people have to make sure are in their Dating Toolboxes. Trust me. It will help you avoid many, many awkward conversations and situations like the ones discussed here.
Nobody likes being backed in to a corner like that. But sometimes honesty, and not diplomacy, is required. Honesty shouldn’t be used to shame someone into leaving you alone. It should be employed when you genuinely want to help someone.