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On a Tuesday night I went out for a couple ofdrinks with some friends to a local tavern. I had been chatting online with this guy so I asked him if he wanted to meet us for a drink. His profile only had 1 picture of a rugged man with curly hair pulled back wearing a suit. The rest of his profile was pretty much the same song & dance as most others. He agreed to meet us at 8pm. My friends & I arrived at 7:30. At 8:15 he texts & says he’s on his way. I’m having a good time listening to music and having great conversations. Then my phone lights up 30 minutes later & he says he’s there. I look around and don’t see anyone. He continues to hide and text me from afar. I’m not up for a game of cat & mouse, so my friend goes to see if he is actually there. My friend does notice him from afar. He still doesn’t approach me though.

Why would you come all the way to meet someone & hide in the corner? I see him go off to the restroom so I decide to confront him when he exits. As I stand there & think of all the things I want to vent as to why he’s being so shady, the door opens he walks out & I’m speechless. His face explains it all.

All my built up frustration melts away and sadness fills in. I’m stunned and don’t know what to say. Instead of my plan of attack I back down & just ask why he hasn’t come over to say hi? As he tells some excuse, all his words fall to my deaf ears. He’s talking but I’m trying to grasp all the scars on his face. Multiple lacerations & deep wounds ran up and down the facial bones. His eyes are not quiet aligned and 1 more prominent than the other. Like a porcelain Greek statue shattered & put back together. He limps over to the table to sit with me & my friends.

We make small talk but yet no one is bringing up the elephant in the room. I finally ask if he was in an accident because I can’t hold it in any longer. He begins to tell me of a horrific car accident he was in. His speech is slurred while he tells the gruesome story, yet he has not been drinking any alcohol. He’s lucky to be alive.  I felt like I was in my own version of Vanilla Sky, trying to see the man who he was behind all the scars. Though what keeps going through my mind is why wouldn’t he said something to this effect in his online dating profile? There’s no box to check asking if you’ve been disfigured in an accident, yet that’s something you should mention. This brings a whole new concept to posting current photos of you on a dating website. Always portray an honest image of yourself or you will be setting yourself up for failure.

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.