Are You the Problem in Your Own Dating Life? Some Post-Valentines Day Cynicism

Navigating the complex world of online dating and all it entails

Megan Orr, Opinions Editor

Online dating is truly the new Wild West. From being sent dick pics by complete strangers to being called a “big girl” by a person you just met, it really is a minefield out there. In a recent Reddit AITA (AmItheAsshole?) thread, a young woman asked if she was the asshole for not disclosing her weight after her date messaged her afterwards saying, “just a headsup not everyone is into big girls, u should rly let guys know ahead of time so they dont get put on the spot. Just my advise. Hope u find what ur looking for, best wishes.”

There’s a lot to break down here. First of all, the grammar: not great. Second, this woman is 5’8 and 162 lbs, at least according to her post, so hardly a “big girl.” And finally, how rude! Seriously, he should have just ghosted her if he’s really that shallow. She should not listen to his “advise,” because it isn’t her responsibility to let someone know that she may not be exactly what they’re looking for, especially when it comes to weight and desirability, which is entirely subjective. It also seems that this particular comment is way more about him than it is about her.

As many of the other commenters pointed out, she isn’t overweight but she is taller than average, since the average height for women in North America is 5’4. As user errrrgh put it, “I think he’s subconsciously using the vague term big so that it seems he is calling her out on her weight, which in his fragile world is better than mentioning her height (which would imply he is ashamed of his height, since men in that world are so wrapped up in height).” However, if this was truly something he cared about, he maybe should have asked beforehand.

That’s the thing about online dating, even if you talk to them a lot before meeting in person, you really have no idea what you’re walking into. You could be missing chemistry in person or find their personality to be really boring or their voice annoying. Or, the real kicker, is that you could meet someone who seems really nice and perfect, but they’re actually a psycho. Online dating is a risky gamble: soulmate or serial killer? Either way, you won’t know until it’s too late.

The point is that if you are the asshole, then it’s your responsibility to figure out if the person you are meeting is going to be ‘up to your standards’, otherwise you’re wasting everyone’s time. Everyone has baggage and certain things that they are particular about, but it’s not someone else’s responsibility to disclose those specific details for you. If you know you can’t stand someone who smokes or if you prefer to date people that are also vegetarians, then say that. Don’t expect the person’s profile to read, ‘I am a smoker who eats meat,’ because that would be weird.

Maybe the best way to approach it is to assume that everyone is a lying asshole and make sure you clear up any deal breakers before you meet. Either way, it’s an absolute mess out there. Good luck and remember, ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’

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