A few weeks ago, I received a message from a guy on OkCupid. The guy didn’t have a picture but he seemed super interesting in his profile (that’s a rarity) so, against my better judgment, I thought what the hell and I responded. We exchanged a few messages and then moved to chat (OkCupid chat).
After our first conversation, I asked the guy if he had a picture. I hadn’t really bothered to ask again and I wish I had this great excuse why but I just didn’t. Then again, we were still just on OkCupid so I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.
I asked him again about the picture. He sort of dodged the question. I didn’t want to be totally pushy, but let’s all be honest here, a picture is kind of an important thing. So I asked him again. He seemed a little hesitant to answer and finally told me that he didn’t have a picture. I thought that was a little strange. I mean, we are in the digital age, isn’t it a little weird to not have a picture?
So, I told him that I honestly wouldn’t meet him without a picture. And I am pretty sure he wasn’t all that pleased with my response because he flipped out. He talked about how I was shallow and said it wasn’t just about looks. Then, he launched into a long spiel about how if I was really interested in meeting him, looks shouldn’t matter.
Honestly, I had a moment where I wondered if I was being a little shallow. I mean, this guy seemed super cool and I would have loved to meet him. If nothing else, we could have been friends. And, a new-to-New-York gal can always use more friends.
But, then I realized, it’s really not just about how cute this guy us (or isn’t). I mean if there was something terribly tragic about his looks I might want to be forewarned but that wouldn’t necessarily stop me from meeting him (and yes, I am totally serious about that). And, honestly it wouldn’t necessarily stop me from dating him (serious about that too). I am not saying that looks don’t matter because they do. But, what I am really looking for is a genuine attraction and connection with someone – mind, body, and soul.
All of that aside though, it’s partially about my comfort level and personal safety. Yes, I know there are no guarantees online. We all know I have met more than my share of crazies. (I even have a whole category for it). However, there are little things, like seeing a picture of the person that put my mind at ease a little. Meeting a person blindly from the internet just screams red flag to me – especially when it’s so easy to snap a picture and send it to someone. It just makes me think there is something this person doesn’t want to reveal (like they are actually a woman).
I am pretty sure I could think of plenty of reasons for wanting a picture but, really, who cares if one of them is to gauge the physical attraction? I mean, what’s so wrong about that? Part of it is just plain curiosity about what the guy looks like. And, part of it is because I want to meet someone I am attracted to. Yes, I am aware that you don’t really know if you are attracted to someone until you meet them in person. But, I also know that you can know if there is no chance at all that you’ll be attracted to that one.
Really, what is so wrong about that? I mean, when you hit on a person in a bar you generally choose a person you are attracted to. Why should the internet be any different?