Dear Amy: I have met some friends online especially since COVID. One of these friends is a guy I was attracted to.
He makes me laugh, he’s nice, and I have a really good time talking to him. Although we had been friends for almost a year, our communication was only through text messages. He had seen pictures of me; I had no idea what he looked like.
I don’t consider myself a superficial person. I’ve always believed it’s about the inside that counts.
Well, we finally video chatted last night, and I’m not attracted to him at all.
I tried to convince myself that the lack of attraction wasn’t a problem, but I couldn’t.
There’s nothing wrong with the way he looks, he’s just a lot older than I thought and drastically different than I imagined.
I feel like a horrible person and have been berating myself all day. How dare I suddenly dislike this great guy I used to be close to for such a small reason?
Honestly, I’m also embarrassed for involving my emotions without knowing anything about him.
I don’t want to hurt him, especially since the reason behind it is so petty and would be so damaging if he knew.
Am I a horrible woman?
Dear Prospect: This dynamic is exactly why I push for an in-person (or video meeting) ASAP when people are crushing online.
Start by watching every version of “Cyrano de Bergerac” you can access.
You are not petty, you are not terrible; you are human. (Have you never experienced gentle rejection due to a lack of attraction? This is a common and uncomfortable experience for anyone brave enough to swim in the dating pool.)
You are already friends with this man. Now that you’re broken up, you should take this relationship back to the friend zone.
Dear Amy: I am nearing the end of high school. My parents ask about my graduation plans.
I always made it clear that I wouldn’t walk to graduation. My family seems to assume I’ve changed my mind, but the thought of attending still makes me feel very uncomfortable.
For some context, I did not attend any other non-essential school events (prom, sporting events, etc.).
While I understand that graduation is an important milestone for some, it is not in my case. I will be studying in the same city with many of the same people from my high school.
I really don’t want my reluctance to go to graduation to escalate into “something” and cause more conflict.
Am I petulant? Should I stick to my guns or just suck it up?
Dear ungrateful: Given the choice, I always vote “stick to your guns” – unless the other choice is to “suck it up”, when this is a relatively short-lived option.
I understand and respect your choice over the years to skip events you know you wouldn’t enjoy. Legions of students and former students will agree with you.
At this point, however, one thing to keep in mind is that graduating isn’t for you; it’s for your parents. They don’t care about ball, games and plays at school. Maybe they care deeply about graduation.
One way to avoid the dreaded “thing” is to know your own mind and calmly accept the “thing”-related consequences that may result from your choice.
Sit down with your parents and gauge how much they care about this one event. If you notice that they do care, decide: Can you give your parents this little gift? If so, put on a cap and dress and walk the walk.
If not, maybe you can offer your parents a compromise and find another important way to celebrate the occasion that you can enjoy as a family. They want to congratulate you – and I hope you allow them.
Dear Amy: “Lost, Confused and Sad Daughter” is a young woman who faces a broken heart due to estrangement from her addicted mother.
Thank you for looking at this from her point of view.
I identified with her painful choice to break up with her mother. Yes, she will have to be a good parent to herself. I faced the same situation and want to assure Lost that things will get better.
Dear Leg Out There: Thank you for your compassionate response.
You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or write a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.