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Can One Picture Ruin Great Conversation?

As usual, I’m feeling some kind of way.

I’ve finally accepted that in the online dating world, men assume you are a fat ogre if you don’t post more than four photos on your profile and if most of them are shots of your smiling face, you are by default, the mom from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

I do have one full body photo on my profile, which I felt is a sufficient representation of me, my size and my body type. I was feeling confident and my outfit was cute.

But I noticed that when I was talking to a fitness model/personal trainer who talked about his fitness regimen non stop, who seemed to be interested, everything came to a screeching halt when he asked me to send a full body photo of myself while I was at a New Year’s Eve party.

So, I took it, hit send. There wasn’t really a response. And then there weren’t any responses. He started fading me out politely with fewer and fewer messages, hellos, good mornings and how’s your day texts. I know that trick. I use that trick.

Deep down I knew I didn’t want a man who was that obsessed with the gym. I knew he was going to have unrealistic expectations of me and even if he found me attractive, he’d feel like I wasn’t working hard enough to improve myself. Because he’d ask me questions about what I was eating and if I had worked out. So I didn’t need that kind of pressure. I didn’t want a man that bad. And when I go to the gym, I want to do it for me. No one else. To make me feel good about myself.

But truth be told, I could use a little more help in that area. And it seems these days men who are in shape explicitly and implicitly say through words, and actions that the woman in their life should be as fit as they are. Not sure if it’s a fair standard, but people like what they like and want what they want.

This isn’t where the story ends though. I have been sending messages back and forth with a really cool guy who happens to do a lot of business on the West Coast. Last night, we talked on the phone into the wee hours of the morning. Which was a terrific sign to me. He was funny, he was charming, he was passionate about things and opinionated. Twice in the conversation he made jokes about me “beating the house” by meeting him and that I could call my family because he is the dude.

Keep in mind, I’ve heard this stuff before, but it was refreshing coming from him. So the discussion turned to why I only had two photos on the dating site. I told him I had more but I started to take them down slowly because I was considering giving up online dating for a nice long while. But I told him I didn’t have any problem sending him a few photos.

So I sent my cutest ones. And most are selfies from the chest up. He mentioned that I didn’t send a full body pic, so I went for broke, I sent the same New Year’s Photo that seemingly scared away Mr. Fitness Model. I took a deep breath, and hoped that on the strength of the nearly three-hour conversation we had and the several texts we shared throughout the day, he’d see something that Mr. Fitness Model didn’t.

He commented as I sent the previous photos. He mentioned my beautiful natural hair. I told him I was heading to bed, and sent the last.

Radio silence. So I stayed up with the sheets up to my neck and I waited 10, even 20 minutes to get a response.  A nice, a beautiful anything positive. And nothing.

So I wondered and wondered if one, it wasn’t a very flattering photo or these men don’t like my body type.

I told myself that I am attractive and beautiful and no one should need that much convincing.

I told myself that I did say I was going to bed, so maybe he would reserve his comments until the next day, when he said earlier he would indeed talk to me.

But did that change after that one photo? There’s the three-hour time difference. Surely he’ll say hello by lunch time east coast time.

I won’t be insecure. I won’t even ask him if he liked the photo or not. Didn’t he enjoy our conversation?

How did I end up in such a war with myself approaching 32? There are so many ways that I feel powerful and sexy and good about myself, and then in other ways I am so aware and it feels like my insecurities share my apartment and space like mooching roommates.

My cousin tells me I tend to think of the worst possible scenario and that I am not patient. So, I’m going to wait it out. And I may even post the one photo of myself that seems to be at the root of my rejection on the online site to see the reactions and if I’m nuts.

Welp, he’s online now. And hasn’t said anything. That might be my answer…

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