Dating? Try Not to Be Shallow

Dating, as we all know, can be tricky. There are so many unwritten rules and we aren’t all reading from the same playbook so we don’t even know what all the rules are.  Here’s a rule that I think most people will agree with, even if we’re not always capable of following it:  when “judging” a prospective date, look below the surface and try not to get too hung up on the outside packaging.  This is much easier said than done.  I write about this in my new book, The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons for Living Happily Single and Childfree.

Excerpted from The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons for Living Happily Single and Childfree.  Copyright 2011.  All rights reserved.

Lesson 10:  Try not to be shallow.

I would really like to say here that I’ve learned to always look past the outer surface and focus on the person within. Let’s just say I’m still working on this one.

The event that created Lesson 10

As a single woman in these modern times, of course
I’ve done online dating. Lots of it.  It’s an 
opportunity to meet the widest range of men imaginable,
go out with men I might not ever have met, try out some
I might never have considered in ordinary circumstances,
and a way to make sure I could have a date whenever I

Nowadays, most people who are doing online dating post
a picture of themselves. All the matchmaking sites tell you
that you get 10 times more “hits” if you post a picture.
But in the early days, we didn’t do that. We more or less
described ourselves in our profiles and took it from there.
Internet dating was too new and it felt kind of creepy to
post a picture for the whole world to see. One evening, I
was contacted by what seemed like a very nice man. We
chatted online for a couple of weeks, eventually talking just
about every day; there was some real interest there and it
seemed like there might be some potential for something
interesting to happen.  
We made plans to finally meet one Friday evening on the

It was the hottest day of the year. We decided to meet for dinner at a
restaurant in my neighborhood.

As we talked about how we would recognize each other, we
realized that we were both wearing fairly nondescript outfits: jeans and a white T-shirt.  Rather than change clothes,
we tried to think of what we could do to make ourselves
recognizable to a stranger in a crowded restaurant. He suggested I put a flower in my hair. My hair was really short so
that wouldn’t work. I had the brilliant idea to tie a bright
pink sweater around my neck. It was a pretty sweater but I
felt a little foolish in 100 degree heat with a sweater.

When I got to
the restaurant, I couldn’t really pick him out of the crowd
because half the men in the place were wearing jeans and
a T-shirt. He recognized me, though, by my sweater and
approached me. In an instant, I started to feel like a real ass
and wondered if I was really shallow. I’m afraid I was. He had neglected to tell me he was an albino.

I was confused: should I have expected him to
mention that to me at some point during our weeks of
conversation?  Should it have mattered?  
 I was
annoyed at myself for feeling this way and I was annoyed
at him for leaving out this detail.  Plus, why was I walking
around in the scorching heat with a sweater?   
During the “how will we recognize each other” phase of our conversation, he could have easily said “I’ll be the albino at the bar.”   We had a pleasant enough dinner, but I wasn’t that interested.  We didn’t go out again.

Then, this story started to take on a life of its own. The
first few people I told this story to agreed they would probably have reacted the same way I did.  I felt like a real heel,
though, after talking to my friend, Pat. She thought I was
disgustingly small-minded and that I was just
plain wrong. How dare I think he should have told me
ahead of time, and how dare I have the audacity to lose
interest over something like this in a man I originally found
(somewhat) interesting. 

The first part of the statement was
the most intriguing. How much information -–and what
kind—do you owe your blind date? Should he have been
expected to tell me of his albinism?  What are the parameters?

I quickly learned that this is a great question to pose at
a dinner party because it always generates lively discussion with a range of responses.  Albinism is not a disease;
it doesn’t affect a person’s health or personality.  It doesn’t
impact anything, in fact, except a person’s melanin level, so
makes one look different from most of us.  But is that a valid reason for
not going out with someone?  How should the albino treat
it? Like it’s a fact of life and of no real consequence? Or
should he “warn” the person he’s meeting? 

Oh, don’t give me that look; what would you have done? 

NOTE: The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons for Living Happily Single and Childfree— has been published and is available here and  hereand on Amazon.

 And if you like “Spinsterlicious” and want to be notified of new posts, please subscribe “Via Email” in the box on the right. You’ll receive an email when there’s a new blog post. Or “Like” Spinsterlicious on Facebook. Just click the button at the top of this page. Or “Follow Me” on Twitter (button on the right). Whatever you do, don’t miss a Spinsterlicious update! 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Dating? Try Not to Be Shallow

  1. For all intents and purposes, there's just no established rule to be followed on dating. We have to realize that there are about 16 personality types or temperaments, each still possesses a difference of its own. The important factor to consider is basically how two people can connect on an intellectual level because that is all it takes to progress from dating to mating.

  2. You are interested in online dating, you want to meet your soulmate, but wondering how not to make a mistake? Read more and be confident.

  3. Another thing, too (now that I've gotten the chance to think more about this)…is that you are a person who doesn't like surprises, things like this in dating will be painful and feel like a “sting” to you. I only know because I've experienced it myself. I don't like surprises, appreciate knowing beforehand about things of this nature and I think this is a really important thing in dating.

    I suppose if you were to be working alongside the albino or whatever the situation is, at work or in another daily situation, you may be more warmed up to it, as you have the opportunity to interact with the person and get a feel for their personality in a more natural setting. But, just meeting someone new, there are so many expectations that we don't realize we put out there (even if we say we're not going to have any)…

    Anyway, that's my two cents.
    I'm definitely not giving you that “look” here. 😉

  4. I consider this an important detail that a potential date should know about/be aware of.

    I've experienced a couple similar scenarios with physical appearance that I thought of should have been forewarned about.

    I think it's best to be upfront about these things. If the person is scared off, it just wasn't meant to be.

    I'm sure for the person who has the “unique physical feature”, it's probably a lose lose situation. You tell them and they run or you don't tell them and they are scared away/disappointed. It's like you can't win.

    But for the person on the other end, again, I always believe in honesty and being upfront as possible in dating. Dating can be difficult and it's best to make it as easy as possible, not harder.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I agree, he should have told you that he's an albino. If I were in your situation, I would make a fake call and tell the albino that there's an emergency so I could I leave.

  7. Do any of you think that maybe because he was born an albino it perhaps didn't even factor into something he would consider bringing up? Maybe he is comfortable in his skin (no pun intended) to the point again, he would not have thought it being an issue. IF you enjoyed the “blind” side of your beginning to get to know one another, it obviously was such a deterrent to the “visual” side of the date, you never made it past that and sadly gave up on another chance with him. I began an online conversation with a man in Norway. 3 years later, he proposed. Never meeting him in person, people thought it weird that I had accepted. But, 3 years later, we are happily married. I am glad that our first face to face meeting at the airport in Norway didn't distract me to the point I used the return part of my round trip ticket 2 weeks later, and I stayed. He was tall, very skinny, and guant looking. But love and happiness brought out the SEXY in him. It wasn't until others pointed that out to me that I even noticed..hehehe. Some say he looks like the actor who plays Dr. Who. Wink blush
    Only you know if you feel and acted shallow. Let the rest of us NOT stand in judgement. Everyone reacts differently. We are albeit “only” human.

  8. It's complicated with a range of emotions and that old gut reaction we all have. I think my response might have been similar,in part because I was taken off guard. If he'd told me in advance I could have started the ate off without a sense of being jarred.
    I've met more than a few men who showed up years old, balder, shorter, etc… And, I guess men would say the same. I want honesty to be the prevailing theme of a relationship so I try to hold myself to that standard and expect if from the men I meet.

  9. Jana says:

    On a first meeting, you can't take anything personally because it's not about you. If I am meeting a man for the first time, then yes, anonymous, I do expect a black man to let me know he was black. I think you miss the point she is trying to make. What else is he hiding?

  10. Anonymous says:

    He needs to let you know his skin coloring? So you would have been shocked if a black man didn't tell you he was black? Is anything other than a caucasian with tan skin abnormal to you?

    I have dated all sorts of women and not cared about their appearance (apparently I should if these comments are the typical attitude from women), including a woman with no arms. What matters after messagining on the internet is if she portrays the same personality in real life. If she was funny online but shy in person I will soon be looking for the door.

  11. Smokie says:

    Should he have disclosed that he was an albino? Maybe. Probably. But, then, I have to try to see it from his point of view. I don't know what it's like to have some physical issue that people make fun of/don't understand/am turned off by. I don't know how many people had already rejected him due to his albinism. So, I guess I can't be mad at him for not telling you ahead of time.

    What would I have done? Been shocked (on the inside) but then I would have had tried to have a nice evening. I get the impression that his in person personality was not up to par. Sometimes an outstanding personality will, at the least, lead to a friendship.

    I once had an internet date with a guy who didn't tell me he had a short arm. I did feel some kind of way about him not disclosing that. I mean, tell me one of your arms is short. WARN ME. So hmm…. I see your point. LOL

  12. Michael Ann says:

    Totally agree, he should have mentioned it and he had the perfect opportunity to do so. It would have prepared you and I'm sure you would have been more open to dating him if he had been honest. It was as if he was hiding it. I wouldn't have trusted him after that.

  13. Belle Vierge says:

    I would have reacted the same way. I know there's the big question of what to share when. I have Crohn's disease. If a man can't handle that, there's no point in us going out. I have it written in my OKC profile. I still had no problem finding dates (and now a boyfriend!). Being albino might just be a physical thing, but he should have said it before the date, ESPECIALLY since y'all discussed how to find one another. I mean… it would have made things easier.

    Now, if he had revealed this in advance, and you decided not to go out with him, yes, that would have been shallow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *