Dear Shallow Online,

Dear Marsha,
I am currently dabbling in the online dating scene – not to worry, I’m careful! However, I recently began chatting with a man who didn’t have any photos on his online profile.
I am not a shallow person, however, I don’t like not knowing who I’m talking to, even if it’s just a single photo. So I asked him to send me one, assuring him it wasn’t for shallow reasons, just that I felt safer having a face to the name. He sent me a photo….
To put things simply, I am less than attracted. I don’t know what to do! I’m not shallow: extra weight, slightly receding hairline, a gap between the teeth…I’m not going to eliminate someone based on those things – never. I am not perfect, I have physical flaws as well. 
But I am a firm believer that there has to be some attraction in order to even consider a relationship with someone. Am I a horrible person? And more importantly, how do I go about not being a complete jerk? I already let him know I recieved them, so it’s going to be awkward to not respond, plus, I’ll feel terrible knowing that he has at least an idea I’m not responding based on his looks. 
Just thinking that makes me feel like the worst person in the world. Can you please help me?

Thanks,

Shallow Online

Dear Shallow Online,

To some degree we are all a bit shallow. This does not make us bad people, this makes us human. Nearly everyone has personal preferences whether it is  dark hair, blonde hair, blue eyes, green eyes, heavy, skinny, younger, older, etc. etc.. Then we fall in love. When you are in Love with someone, those things we would normally consider flaws are no longer flaws at all. In fact they become invisible to us all together.

You stated that you have just recently started talking to him. Therefore I doubt that you have fallen for him yet. It should be quite easy to break away. You can do one of two things.

One is too drastic for my liking, but you can simply just not respond to him ever again and change your email address and all contact information to avoid him. If you choose this route, then please know that you are now an active part of destroying this mans ego. You will contribute to his lack of self esteem and possibly make things worse for him.

My preferred suggestion is to keep talking with him on friendly terms, being certain to steer away from any romantic or sexual conversations. Treat him as your good friend. Find differences between the two of you and feel free to point them out as they are discussed. For instance if one of you brings up a topic and he has one point of view, you can tell him that you strongly oppose his point of view because you see things differently.

Now you are going to be faced with 2 opportunities:

A. As you get to know him, you may find that you like him more and more until his attraction issues start to fade away and you love him for what is on the inside and find that even his outer beauty shines where it had once felt dark.

B. You will find that you are both two different people that would make excellent friends, but not anything more.

Either direction is a win win situation for you both.

Always,

Marsha

3 comments for “Dear Shallow Online,

  1. Roxanne Browning
    October 12, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Although you may be turned off by his appearance, don’t count him out yet. I once thought this one young man I had met was ugly and didn’t want to give him the time of day but I actually got to know him and we even got to the point that we discussed marrige. unfortunately the relationship did not work out, too much family interference. but I have never regretted out relationship. By the way, he was nothing that fit “my type”. in fact I am on my second marriage and neither of my husbands were “my type”. so give the guy a chance. you never know.

  2. Mel
    February 2, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    That was very good advice, Marsha! Thank you for what you do!

  3. India
    March 12, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    I would reject someone based on looks, so I guess Im shallow. But I also find certain people physically attractive and still don’t want to date them because theres no connection there. If you don’t want him based on his looks, that’s your choice.

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