Oh man, your life is MESSED UP right now.
Not that anyone asked us. But they can officially start.
Send Jilly your questions by filling out the form at the bottom of this post or right here, and she’ll send you a piece of her mind.
Because during those troubled times, it’s always important to ask yourself: What WOULD Jilly do?
I joined Ok Cupid because I want to date, but I’m busy after recently embarking on a new and exciting career. Now I’m a.) terrified of people recognizing me IRL, b.) not entirely sure my Truth About Me is even remotely accurate, but also c.) I really want to meet new people! I’m overwhelmed by trying to juggle my professional development with a meaningful personal life. Help!
This is kind of a three-parter, but really it’s all just one cri de coeur: how the fuck does one navigate internet dating?
While I’ve never personally dabbled in online romance, my sense is that it’s sometimes ugly, generally creep-filled, and often embarrassing … so you know, exactly the same as dating in the “real” world.
And, as in the real world, you’re going to spend a lot of time on people who wind up being duds after date one. Don’t be discouraged—at least online you find the folks (duds or delights) without having to suffer through dozens of bro nights out.
As far as the specifics, a.) I don’t think you need to worry.
Think of it this way: how many profiles do you scroll past before finding someone you want to message? And how many messages have you sent that never led to an offline date?
And, related to b.), how representative do you think these carefully-curated pictures are likely to be?
What I’m saying is, chances are you’ll never be recognized as “jugglequeen12″ on the street, and even if you are, that person probably won’t say a word to you. If s/he inexplicably does, just deal with it the way you would any awkward encounter: pretend you have an appointment and walk off in the opposite direction.
As far as b.), dating on- or offline comes down to one simple truth: we all lie about ourselves, often unintentionally.
You’re presenting a you that you hope is true, just like you do every morning that you wake up and choose the Doc Martens (I’m so punk) instead of the penny loafers (total WASP cred). People aren’t good at knowing themselves, and if the version you’ve put out there isn’t 100% irrefutably “true,” it’s probably not all that important—the IRL dates are still the point at which you REALLY determine whether someone is a match.
Of course you shouldn’t lie (that’s going to end poorly), and you shouldn’t stretch the truth until it’s threatening to break (don’t pretend you love camping because of one hot lumberjack),
but if you’ve pegged yourself wrong on some of the details (adventurous!), well, so has everyone else since the dawn of time.
Finally, online dating is a great way to meet people when you don’t have a lot of free time, but it shouldn’t be adding to your stress. If every new message gives you heart palpitations—and not of the ‘oooh, exciting,’ but more of the ‘jesus, now I have to fit THIS in variety—then you should hold off for now. After all, the point is to find someone (or many someones) who will enrich your life, not to create another stressful entry on your overlong to-do list. If that’s where you are, prioritize you—not you-as-half-a-couple—and don’t force the dating issue until you’re available emotionally, and more importantly, in space-time.
How do you tell someone her breath isn’t the best? Specifically, how do you tell your significant other of several years? Offering gum isn’t always workable, particularly when we’ve gotten in bed for the night. I don’t think it’s halitosis or anything serious–this isn’t always an issue, and when it is it’s not like I’m recoiling in horror. But it’s enough that at times I don’t feel like smooching up a storm. How do I gently bring this up without sounding like a dick (especially given that I’ve been living with this for a while)?
-Holding My Breath
As I see it, you have two options: hold your breath indefinitely, or suck it up once and just tell her, full-frontal honesty style.
Welcome to my band-aid theory of relationships.
Which path you take comes down to how sensitive you think your lady is. Certain long-term relationship facts are unpleasant, but unavoidable, and bad smells top the list. But just because we all know our shit does, in fact, stink, doesn’t mean it’s fun to hear about it from a loved one.
I can tell you that in my (multi-year) relationship, if he came to bed with stink-breath and started getting frisky, I’d probably stop to ask “did you forget to brush your teeth?” It might kill the moment, but if all I can think is “stink!” the moment’s already dead for half of us, anyway. And that’s the benefit of many years together; he knows one reference to bad breath doesn’t mean I hate him.
More importantly, the next time I probably wouldn’t have to ask.
I can also tell you we’ve both said “go back and close the bathroom door tighter” more than once. We’ve survived, and with far fewer room-permeating odors.
But if you think your s.o. can’t handle that kind of truth (or, more importantly, won’t be able to see it for what it is: a non-judgmental observation, not a personal attack), then bite your tongue…
…and smooch her neck.