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Sunday, January 13, 2013

SL Letter of the Day: Skin-to-Skin Contact

Posted by on Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Originally published August 6, 2009:

I met my girlfriend about three months ago on a social-networking website. The pictures made her look attractive and in shape. We texted each other nonstop for the first three months. This past weekend we met, and she didn't look anything like her pictures. However, we did still have sex twice. I'm about to start my freshman year in college, and I do not want to be tied down going into school. Breaking up with her will break her heart into pieces. I have no clue what I should do.

Epic State Of Confusion

My response after the jump...

You didn't meet your girlfriend three months ago, ESOC, you met this girl last weekend. And if she expects a lifetime commitment after posting misleading photos and exchanging text messages and a single weekend of sex, she isn't just asking to have her heart broken, her heart needs breaking. So you'll have to break it for her, ESOC, unless you're prepared to be with this woman for the next six or seven decades.

She'll conclude that the breakup has something to do with her looks, of course, and that fact will make your rejection hurt all the worse. Good. She set herself up for rejection when she posted misleading photographs on that social-networking website and forged an emotional connection with you under what amounts to false pretenses. Your rejection may convince her to post more-representative photos—honest photos—in the future.

Anyone looking for sex partners online is free, of course, to post misleading photos of mysterious provenance. But those who do this have no one to blame for their hurt feelings but themselves. If I may paraphrase the caption under a famous New Yorker cartoon: On the internet, no one knows—or has to know—that you're a dog. But when chatting becomes cyberdating, when romance may be in the offing, and a face-to-face meeting becomes inevitable, an exchange of better photos—or at least more-representative photos—is simple common sense and common courtesy.

And here's where you went wrong, ESOC: You fucked this girl. She naturally interpreted your willingness to fuck her as a sign that you didn't care about the discrepancy between her photos and her actual appearance. It's going to make the rejection she has coming more devastating than it needed to be.


Comments (31) RSS

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nocutename 1
Umm. Dan, what's with posting SLLOTD on Saurday and Sunday (yay!), but running letters from 2009?
Posted by nocutename on January 13, 2013 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 2
I will never understand texting as equating relationship. But then I never understood phone sex either. I'm old.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 13, 2013 at 10:30 AM · Report this
douchus 4
She's not going to assume the "break-up" is about her looks, Dan. She's going to assume it's because men are pigs and he just texted her for 3 months so he could fuck her then ditch her.

Dude who wrote the letter, TELL HER WHY you are ending it. Make sure she understands it's because you are not happy with her misrepresenting herself. Or try to at least. People can be delusional about these sorts of things sometimes.
Posted by douchus on January 13, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
I wonder if her heart really will be all that broken. (After three months? Of texting in high school?) Dude thinks pretty highly of himself.
Posted by statetheobvious on January 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM · Report this
Advice? Put this P.S. on the breakup speech: "I don't know why you didn't just post photos of you on that site. You look pretty nice." (Because she looked at least nice enough for him to still have sex with her.)

One more thing: Before assuming that your date whom you're seeing in person for the first time posted misleading photos on the Internet, make sure that the person you're looking at actually IS and not
Posted by DRF on January 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this
This is why I don't like picture exchanges and why I don't text/ email with anyone longer than 1 week before meeting in person. Just not worth it.
Posted by migrationist on January 13, 2013 at 11:40 AM · Report this
@8: I agree. If I see someone's online profile and they seem intriguing, I want to meet them pretty soon thereafter. Extended talking before meeting someone can give you false expectations of who they are and what they're really like.
Posted by alguna_rubia on January 13, 2013 at 11:45 AM · Report this
@3: Manipulating camera angles, lighting, and taking it on a good day are fine. What is not fine is putting up pictures that look nothing like you.

It's not shallow to not want to date someone you're not attracted to. And lying about what you look like is, in itself, not attractive.
Posted by alguna_rubia on January 13, 2013 at 11:53 AM · Report this
Social media dating is the new beer goggles.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on January 13, 2013 at 12:01 PM · Report this
Hmmm. Her photos weren't of someone else, so I'm unclear on exactly what her crime was. Posting pics from a year ago before she put on the pounds? Professionally photoshop'ed with higher cheekbone, no mono-brow, and all the acne magically removed? Or just good lighting and make-up?

I'll grant that she may have done any or all of those things, but it seems unlikely that a young girl who couldn't/didn't make herself presentable for the big in-person reveal would have so buffed her on-line persona.

More likely that a big part of what went down was a horny, hopeful young dude saw what he wanted to see (@11, "Social media is the new beer goggles." How true!).

She posts her best ever photo at her lowest ever weight. He hasn't learned that people look a lot less made up after rolling around in bed but will close his eyes and fuck her. Slightly deceptive. Slightly assholey. A good learning opportunity for each.
Posted by DAVIDinKENAI on January 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Puckerd Poop Chute 13
They have a new show on MTV called Catfish and it deals with this exact issue - getting people together when they have an online relationship. Nearly all of them end the same way - one or both have posted fake pics. Relationships rately work when it's based on lies
Posted by Puckerd Poop Chute on January 13, 2013 at 1:18 PM · Report this
If you want to break up with someone, though I am not sure you need to after just a weekend of sex, just fucking break up with them.
Posted by giffy on January 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM · Report this
"Today in people who need Dan's help because they got too attached too quickly."
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on January 13, 2013 at 1:55 PM · Report this
Sketch 16
@13 Yeah, but you have to realize the show shows a biased sample. If two people both posted true photos, either lied to the other and both seem reasonably sane, that episode would be boring as hell, so they don't get cast in the first place.

It's why you so often see total nutcases on Judge Judy--because small claims court is dead boring unless you handpick the cases.
Posted by Sketch on January 13, 2013 at 2:23 PM · Report this
eclexia 17
With all the generational change, and new dilemmas created by new media, it's a relief to me that 18-year old guys are still so horny that they stick their dicks places that they regret 5 minutes after shooting.
Posted by eclexia on January 13, 2013 at 2:25 PM · Report this
First off, all's fair in love and war. You venture out to find love and you will be hurt. It is just that way. You will run into people who will fuck you no matter what you look like and then bring up almost-post-mortem "well she fake-advertised" (dude, you weren't fucking a photo.) And you will run into people in this new internet age who false-advertise.

I don't think there's much to see here.
Posted by skyweaver on January 13, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 20
@17- 5 minutes!? More like 5 seconds. We're talkin' guys here.
Posted by OutInBumF on January 13, 2013 at 4:07 PM · Report this
harmonyak 21
@9: Yes, I totally agree. For me, online is a place to exchange emails so you can set up a meeting place/time, basically. The last thing I want to do is get into a months-long email exchange before I meet the person. It's too easy to edit your personality via texting/emailing.
Posted by harmonyak on January 13, 2013 at 4:10 PM · Report this
Off topic!
Dan, Pat Robertson is now answering letters presumably written to the advice columnist for Maxim. I love this. I want him to provide alternate answers to your letters too, and am hoping you will invite him to do so. Let the best sage win!…]
Posted by Phoebe on January 13, 2013 at 4:10 PM · Report this
This letter was sent to the 700 Club by some kid named "Maxim" - here's a link…
Posted by agony on January 13, 2013 at 5:29 PM · Report this
Ballard Pimp 24
Dan, please allow me to make a profound announcement: Guys who are 16-17-18 will fuck anything that will stand still long enough to fuck. It always comes as a surprise to me that this comes as a surprise to anyone.
Posted by Ballard Pimp on January 13, 2013 at 6:06 PM · Report this
rebeccax 25
I don't take him at his word when he said the pics didn't look like the real thing. He texted for 3 freaking months with no in-person contact. Something in those pics sparked a fantasy, and that's what he had in his mind's eye while he was emailing and texting. Of course she looked like a real person and not his fantasy material. The guy sounds like a douche with no dating skills, and she's probably too young to know the difference.
Posted by rebeccax on January 13, 2013 at 7:00 PM · Report this
Good point.
Posted by migrationist on January 13, 2013 at 9:39 PM · Report this
sissoucat 28
Very tellingly, LW wrote : "I'm about to start my freshman year in college, and I do not want to be tied down going into school"

The real problem is not the girl's pictures, which as #25 mentioned were probably not deceptive at all.

The problem is that he maintained a "relationship" for 3 months with a girl who, under the asumption that meeting and fucking would seal the deal on a LTR, did accept to meet and fuck . He knew beforehand of her asumption ("it would break her heart") and I bet he never told her that meeting and fucking would, in the best case, upgrade it to a FWB situation, but never to a LTR.

Now that the fucking's done, he suddenly remembers that a LTR was never on the table on his side, and invokes the pictures' inaccuracy to beg Dan on how to drop her without being seen as the POS that he is.

Answer : there's no way not to look like a POS when one behaves as one.

If you don't want to be a POS next time, email your prospective partners from the start that a LTR is not on the table. Don't be a lying manipulative asshole.
Posted by sissoucat on January 14, 2013 at 1:45 AM · Report this
One solution for this problem--webcam.

Forget about the static images--> webcam, real-time communication.
Posted by Falcor on January 14, 2013 at 3:14 AM · Report this
gttim 30
Always make a quick coffee meet as soon as possible! Only plan to be there for 20 minutes. IF they won't meet, let it go. If they are from out of state- why the hell are you thinking about dating somebody from out of state?
Posted by gttim on January 14, 2013 at 6:10 AM · Report this
On the one hand, I think, "what a douche".
On the other hand, I can recall a situation in my own youth where I faced a choice of sex or no sex with a woman in a comparable (but not parallel) situation where the choice was really "sex or say `no' which will be the same is kicking a fucking puppy in front of an orphan" and so sex to get past the problem now and discuss it later seemed the least cruel route to take. It was the stupid route to take, but I can recall being placed in an impossible situation by the girl in question but later I was the only one she felt had ANY moral responsibility for the sex that shouldn't have happened.

He should have said no, but I recall my own experience and wonder if demanding that of him was a counsel of perfection: he's not the only person with agency and responsibility here.
Posted by seeker6079 on January 14, 2013 at 7:55 AM · Report this
@25 Absolutely. I had a similar experience when I was eighteen. The pictures I had sent the guy weren't even especially flattering and in most of them I wasn't wearing makeup. When we met in person, he wanted to fool around, I turned him down for sex, and then suddenly he started whining that my pictures had misrepresented me and I didn't look the way he had expected.

When you're basing your ideas of somebody off of a still photograph and a lot of fantasy, the reality isn't going to match what you're expecting because you're not expecting reality. Meet up in person as soon as possible to avoid the crash of an elaborate fantasy.
Posted by Zuulabelle on January 14, 2013 at 9:32 AM · Report this
Dude, if you knew all along that you didn't want to be tied down going into college, you shouldn't have been engaging in behavior that amounts to escalating the relationship. (A three month online run-up to a weekend of sex counts as escalating. A weekend of fucking also counts as escalating all by itself. Oxytocin isn't a fairy tale.) Also, the fact that you knew you didn't want to be tied down means that the misleading pictures are a convenient excuse to pin the blame for the breakup on her after the fact, when you knew all along you didn't expect it to go anywhere. (I trust that you aren't about the make the argument that if only her face had matched her photos, everything would be fine, because then you wouldn't be mentioning wanting not to be tied down, you'd just be outraged about her false advertising.) If she is guilty of feeding you false photos, you are equally guilty of leading her down the garden path.

This does not mean that you owe her a relationship. Three months of texting and one weekend of sex is not a commitment. If something isn't going to work out, forcing it isn't going to help.

But she has every reason to be unhappy, even if your hands were completely clean, which they most definitely are not. And pointing an accusing finger at the photos is not going to help your situation at all. It isn't going to make the breakup any easier on her, and it isn't going to justify your case. It might teach her not to do that in the future, but the present situation is just going to have to be what it is. Both of you have things to answer for, and there is no convenient escape hatch.
Posted by avast2006 on January 14, 2013 at 2:14 PM · Report this
Oh, if only people didn’t suck it in for Facebook … if Aunt Marge hadn’t insisted on family photos from the “good side” of her face … if that psychopath I used to Skype with hadn’t smiled the first time …

Everyone does it … dab a little color to hide a blemish, a wrinkle, a grey hair or three … take ten to twenty snaps before we upload the best for color-smearing by Instagram … hire a cleaning lady (or Mom) to come over the morning before the “one” that might stay over …

Yet … all of us complain when WE’RE the one waking up next to someone a little lower on the bed notch caste system.

Why can’t we admit it? We’re all a little fascist when it comes to fucking. Take a “wahhh!” coupon and get over it. You’ve just been had by nature’s little plot to improve the gene pool.
Posted by Phantom on January 14, 2013 at 8:22 PM · Report this
@25 and @32 I think that is a key point. Whether someone *looks like their photo* is subjective anyway. I had this happen to me too in the early days of internet popularity. I wasn't stupid just a romantic who didn't realize just how shallow many people are. I was interested in him despite the fact I didn't consider him to be good-looking because I liked (my fantasy version of) his personality. I sent a few old pictures (and told him they were old) because that's all that I had handy and thought nothing of it because looks are not very important to me. He sent a bunch of pictures (and endless video and clippings of his band..... enough already.) They all revealed that he was as average looking as I was, in my opinion.

When we met, it was instantly obvious he had no real interest in me, since I didn't look like the hottie in his mind. He accused me of being false and phoney. I was too nice and non-confrontational to tell him the truth: I didn't think I had to be hot, since he's not. Not to mention I had way more going for me than him in every other area (IMHO).

Looks aside, it sounds like the letter writer misrepresented the nature of his feelings for the girl. Cut her lose quickly and painlessly as possible, so she can find someone who appreciates her. If you have to lie to someone to get them to sleep with you, you're a loser.
Posted by TheOtherWoman on January 16, 2013 at 8:38 PM · Report this

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