Not that fish

Q: I am a member of plentyoffish.com, but I’ve never really gotten any hits that interested me. Well, I got 2 good matches and looking at the pictures, I went with the one that I thought was cuter. The one that I thought was cuter lived 45 minutes away, but I thought I’d take a chance and see how things went. She lived just across the state line, so she told me to meet her at the clubhouse of her apartment. I drove up to the clubhouse and as I drove up, my jaw dropped, the girl standing there was NOT the same girl I had seen in the pics. Her pics screamed confidence, sexiness, and a decent body. The woman standing in front of me looked awkward, timid, and that was definitely NOT the same face and body that I saw in the picture. They were similar, but she clearly had misled me (and every other guy) to what she really looked like. My guess was that the pictures were fairly old, at a time in her life when she was looking her hottest. I drove slower and slower, debating what I should do. My gut told me to run, how could I be on a date with someone who clearly intended to be misleading? I know I’m not Mr. Fine, but I’m real. And the pictures on my profile are recent ones of me, of course they’re the BEST ones. But, who DOESN’T post their best pics. The things that is not right is to post pics that no longer resemble you, or even worse, that AREN’T you. I drove around the complex debating it in my head, I felt bothered and not attracted to the woman I had just drove past. But, I am a man of my word, so I thought I’d stick it out. I wasn’t going to let it go though that she had deceived me, it was a sore point for me. When I came back around, I got out of the car and we did the cursory hug. She asked me what happened cause she had seen me drive past her. I quickly muttered something about not seeing her and changed the subject to ask her if she was excited about watching the Gators vs Alabama game. Her eyes lit up and her lips pursed spreading into a smile revealing an arrangement of bad, bad, bad teeth. I quickly turned away, I was big on having straight teeth and then I realized why she had a small, closed smile in the pics I saw her in. I wanted to bang my head into the steering wheel, I was not looking forward to this AT ALL. She noticed my gaze off into space and asked me if I was okay. I tried not to smile too big because I didn’t want her to smile back at me! I let her in the car and we headed off to the sports bar. As soon as we got there, I quickly ordered a beer. I was so ready for my beer goggles asap. After 5 drinks, I stared at her hoping the beer goggles were working, but to my dismay, I cringed again because the alcohol did nothing to help! The dinner went by in a blur and I hurried the server to grab the check. I was ready for all of it to be over. As we got up, she smiled at me and asked if I was okay to drive the long drive home or if I needed somewhere to crash. I screamed nooooooooooooo in my head, but glanced at her and said ‘I’m good.’ I sped back to her place and didn’t bother getting out this time. Then, the next day, we had the following chat on text:

HER: Are you alive?

ME: I’m laying in bed sick (I was out with friends but didn’t want to open the possibility of her meeting us)

HER: Do you need a nurse? 😉

ME: The game is on, gtg

A few hours later, we had another chat:

HER: Are you feeling better mister?

ME: Still feeling sick

HER: You never did say if you need a nurse?

I’m a good guy and when a date goes bad, both parties usually know it and it’s an unsaid thing, then we just vanish from each other lives. Apparently, it’s not working this time. How do I smoothly cut this one loose? And how can I have a better dating experience online?

A: Did you just ask me if I could be your nurse? Oh wait, that’s not me. Man, you lucky dog! You got a dedicated and determined woman there. Had it been me, I would’ve kept driving on and went straight back home or better yet go to the restaurant to watch the game by myself since the drive was so long!! Kudos to you for being a man of your word, although you suffered dearly for it. There is nothing worse but to be dragged through hours on a bad date. You should’ve faked sickness at the restaurant, although she may have insisted that you stay at her place. Not many ways out of that one. But what you could do from now on is to suggest MEETING at a local coffee shop (eliminates the awkwardness in the car). You could make it short, but extend it if the vibes are flowing. It doesn’t necessarily have to be coffee, it could be ice cream, Dairy Queen, yogurt, you get the picture. I also recommend exchanging a couple emails beforehand to get a feel for the other person. And ask semi-tough but informative questions. A couple good ones I like to use are: ‘If your friends and family could describe you, what would they say’ or ‘You are stranded on an island and you can only bring 5 items, what do you bring’ and ‘If you had to describe yourself only using negative words, what would you say’. That way you cut past all the ho hum questions of job, background, etc. You need to get down to the meat. And, as for how to let her down, I think ignoring is the best method. Time again and again, it works for others. Personally, I don’t like that method, but it gets the point across without confrontation. But, if you feel you must say something, just be upfront and honest. Let her know that you felt deceived by her false representation on the plentyoffish website and that you can’t be with someone who would do those kinds of things. Just go straight for the heart and give her the hard core truth, I guarantee you she’ll feel bad and back down. Otherwise if you use the normal approach of ‘I don’t think we’re a match’ and blah blah blah, you run the risk of having her come back. Sorry to hear of your misfortunes, but next time you need a nurse, throw a line over here. Deceit is never an easy thing and is unavoidable because some people just use it. But, keep it short and sweet the first time, continue to be honest, and don’t give up hope and you’ll navigate the online dating thing fine!

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