As I mentioned, one of my recent dates was with a younger guy (8 years younger, to be exact). I will admit to being uncomfortable with this, but I’m trying to be open-minded and get over it because I had fun on our date (and we’re going out again tonight).
At some point on our date he said, pretty much out of nowhere, “are you really 40?” As if that’s something I’d make up. I said yes and told him I’d just turned 40 a few weeks ago.
So then he said, very sweetly, that I looked good.
Now, I’ve finally gotten to the place where I can take a compliment without getting all weird. Finally. So when people say I look good for my age, I say thank you (graciously, I hope) and smile. And so I did. I thanked him and was getting ready to change the topic.
Then he repeated, ”You look good” and added “not just for 40. You’re prettier than your online pictures.”
Again, I thanked him. And then, for some dumbass reason I mentioned that I’d rather use average pictures of me, unglam. Instead of pictures that make me look better than I do on a normal day. That way no one is ever disappointed when I show up. And he said (as all guys do) that he was sick of meeting women who show up looking nothing like their pics because the ones they used are so posed and made-up. I started to worry that we’d be trapped in a long discussion of online dating (which I consider a bad topic for first dates).
Anyway, then he said something really smart. “Looks are pass/fail”. He’s either attracted to someone or he isn’t. And if he isn’t, he isn’t. He hopes that when he’s attracted to someone’s pictures it means he’d be attracted to them in person, but that’s not always the case (what with the make-up, posing, air-brushing, etc).
I’d have to agree with him on that, although I’d phrase it differently. Attraction, for me, is a pass/fail. I’m either attracted to a guy or not. And looks are a huge part of that attraction equation, but I also factor in the less obvious stuff – how a guy carries himself, how he treats the people around him…
And if he passes, he passes. If he fails, he fails. There’s not much I can do about it, either way. Which is why I think it’s freakin hysterical when people insinuate I should overlook my preferences because I “can’t afford to be picky anymore.” It’s pass/fail. And I’m not going to force myself to be with a guy who fails. I’d rather, um, not.
Tags: compliment, first date, guy, online dating profile picture, smile