I am 38 and from New York
After somewhat of a dating hiatus, I decided to get back out there and signed up for Ok Cupid. I put up three pictures…two are very clear, well lit head shots and one is a full body shot. I figured that would be enough to start and I could always put up more later.
A nice looking gentleman messaged me. We exchanged about two emails before he suggested we meet. He suggested we meet that day, but there was a snow storm, so I said no (why did he want to meet in a snow storm anyway?) He gave me his phone number and told me that it would be easier for us to chat via text rather than on the OK Cupid site. When he saw that I wasn’t quick to do this, he told me I could email him and we could make plans via email if I wasn’t comfortable giving him my phone number yet.
I emailed him. He said he was available to meet the next day.
That day we bantered back and forth minimally, I asked him the time and location for our meeting spot. He said he “had a few places in mind” but didn’t give me a specific location. He then asked if we could trade more pictures with each other. I told him that I would most likely post more pictures onto the OK Cupid site. He said I didn’t have to post to the site, that I could just email them directly to him.
I skirted that comment and confirmed that I would meet him later that evening.
He emailed yet again, and said that I should send him more pictures to prove that I “wasn’t 300 pounds, in a wheelchair and/or missing a leg”
I was completely confused and baffled. Didn’t I have a full body shot posted where I was perfectly upright, all limbs attached, with a clear indication that I wasn’t a fatty trying to hide behind weird camera angles? I’d say my body is good. Men seem to like it and compliment me on it. I have no issues with people seeing my body in pictures or in person. Besides, I had agreed to meet him almost immediately (within 2 days of our first online conversation)…so I don’t understand how he could suddenly think he was being “cat-fished” by a fat woman.
He claimed he was unable to view my full body shot and insisted that he was only able to see the one profile headshot. He asked again if I could just email the picture(s) to him directly. This seemed odd to me, so I adjusted my profile to reflect the full body shot and told him to go on the site to see my entire body and confirm I wasn’t fat. That was the last I heard from him.
Now, here is where I need some guidance because if this comes up again, I want to know how to handle it.
1. Is it safe and customary to email and/or text message people your pictures? I would have gladly posted many more pictures to the site upon request, but I didn’t feel comfortable sending my pictures to the random phone number or email of someone I have never meet. Am I paranoid? I am second guessing myself now…”should I have just sent him pictures like he asked?” “Am I being a stick in the mud?”
2. Second, am I missing something with his sudden paranoia? Why attempt to make plans with someone (twice) and then suddenly get paranoid that you need more photos? I am very confused about that. I thought that he had seen my photos and that’s why he was contacting me in the first place. If you need all this information to be comfortable about meeting a person, shouldn’t you get all that BEFORE you ask to meet them?
I am very new to the etiquette of online dating. I have yet to fully understand what makes you look normal, what makes you look like a “cat-fisher.” My current philosophy is “meet quickly after a few emails that establish mutual interest”. I don’t even really need a phone call, but I guess I could give the guy one if he needs it. I have no problems revealing very quickly in-person who I am. This is why I am baffled by this odd occurrence.
It’s not uncommon for people you meet online to ask to see more photos of you. The reason for this, as this uncouth douche revealed, is because they want to be sure that the pictures are accurate and reflective of how you look now. Because, see, to people like him the worst possible scenario would be to show up at the designated spot and have to endure the torture of being seen with a fattie boombalatty or uggo. The mere fact that he admitted this tells you the following:
- He has no faith in the online dating process.
- He’s weirdly proud of how shallow he is.
- He was not all that interested in the first place.
- He’s entitled.
He was probably bored and feeling antsy because of the snow and wanted to get out. He was pressuring you for photos to put you on the defensive and make you feel like you had something to prove to him. And since he’s “nice looking” I’m sure he’s often successful with that approach. When you’re a good looking person dating online, you have leverage. Heaven forbid this hunk be forced to grace someone unworthy with his presence.
He’s not paranoid. He’s just a dick. He likes making women jump through hoops for him. Because, see, he is really attractive. Women should know their place and realize that they must be up to snuff in order to merit his time and the whopping $50 he was likely to spend.
You were right not to reciprocate such foolish requests. You posted photos. If that wasn’t enough for him, then screw him. However, you should take that request as a hint that the pictures you do have do not give people enough of an idea of what you look like. So post a couple more, mainly full body shots. Our bodies are our bodies. Either someone is going to like them or they won’t. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for someone to want to know what someone looks like. I do think that it’s rude to request more. If the pictures you see aren’t enough, don’t respond to the profile or message. It’s that simple.
The more you refused to send him more pics, the more certain he was of his belief that that must mean your pics are old or fake. He also saw that he wasn’t getting what he wanted by using guilt and shame. The last woman this guy wants to be with is one who doesn’t feel grateful to have his attention.
People like that will never meet anybody they like. They’ll either alienate everybody with their annoying questions and requests or nobody will ever be good enough. It’s my belief that people set up all these steps in order to confirm their distorted perspective and negative attitude about dating. These people want to reject people. They want to find a flaw or problem. That way they can continue banging their drum about how awful online dating is and how deceptive men and women are. They will only encounter or end up with people they can manipulate and abuse. That’s what they want. They want someone beaten down enough to tolerate them and their crazy.
I will again repeat that nobody should be giving out their phone number until a date is set up, and even then wait until 24 hours or so before the date. If you need a phone conversation before you feel comfortable meeting, then have it after you set up the date. It’s way too easy to fall into a pattern of keeping everything electronic if you engage in a ton of emails and texts and phone calls.
As I have written countless times before, this kind of special snowflake nonsense should be ignored. If you do require multiple photos and phone calls and personal info that goes beyond phone number or email address before you’ll devote a whole hour to conversing with a stranger, take your profile down and stop dating.