Ask Amy: Online match becomes a Cyrano situation

Dear Amy: I have met a number of friends online, especially since Covid.

One of these friends is a guy I became attracted to.

He makes me laugh, he’s kind, and I genuinely have a good time talking to him. Although we had been friends for the better part of a year, our communication was only over text.

While he had seen photos of me, I had no idea of what he looked like.

I don’t consider myself to be a shallow person. I have always believed it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Well, we finally video chatted last night, and I have no attraction to him at all. I tried convincing myself that the lack of attraction wasn’t a big deal, but I couldn’t do it.

There’s nothing wrong with the way he looks, he’s just a lot older than I thought and drastically different from what I pictured.

I feel like a terrible person and have been berating myself all day.

How dare I suddenly dislike this wonderful guy who I had a great connection with over such a tiny reason?

Honestly, I also feel embarrassed for having gotten my emotions involved 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 harmful if he knew.

Am I a terrible woman?

— Prospecting

Dear Prospecting: This dynamic is the very reason I push for in-person (or video meeting) as soon as possible, when people are crushing online.

Start by watching whatever version of “Cyrano” you can gain access to.

You aren’t being petty; you aren’t being terrible, you’re being human. (Have you never experienced a soft-rejection because of a lack of attraction? This is a common and awkward experience for anyone brave enough to swim in the dating pool.)

You’re already friends with this man. Now that you’ve de-crushed, you should guide this relationship back into the friend zone.

Dear Amy: I’m nearing the end of high school. My folks are asking about my graduation plans.

I’ve always made it clear that I would not walk at the graduation ceremony. My family seems to assume I’ve had a change of heart, but the thought of attending still makes me deeply uncomfortable.

For some context, I haven’t attended other nonessential school events, (prom, sports events, etc).

While I do understand that graduation is an important milestone for some, it isn’t in my case: I will go on to undergrad in the same town with many of the same people from my high school.

I really do not want my reluctance to go to the graduation ceremony to escalate this into “a thing” and cause more conflict.

Am I being petulant? Should I stick to my guns, or just suck it up?

— Ungrateful Grad

Dear Ungrateful: When given the choice, I always vote for “stick to your guns” — unless the other choice is to “suck it up,” when doing so is a possibility of a relatively brief duration.

I understand and respect your choice over the years to skip events that you know you wouldn’t enjoy. Legions of students and former students would agree with you.

However, at this juncture, one thing to keep in mind is that graduation is not for you; it’s for your parents. They don’t care about prom, games, and school plays. They might care very much about graduation.

One way to avoid the dreaded “thing” is to know your own mind and to calmly accept the “thing” related consequences that might flow from your choice. Sit down with your parents and gauge how much they care about this one event.

If you perceive that they do care, then decide: Are you able to give your folks this little gift? If so, then throw on a cap and gown and walk the walk.

If not, perhaps you could offer your folks a compromise and find another significant way to mark the occasion that you can enjoy as a family. They want to congratulate you — and I hope you’ll let them.

Dear Amy: “Lost, Confused and Sad Daughter” was a young person facing the heartbreak of estrangement from her addict mom.

Thank you for viewing this from her vantage point.

I identified with her painful choice to break from her mother. Yes, she will need to be a good parent to herself. I faced the same situation and want to assure Lost that it does get better.

— Been There

Dear Been There: Thank you for your compassionate response.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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