Dear Surly Amy,
i met this guy over the internet about 2 months ago. we have gotten very serious. iv’e sent him photos. he has sent me photos. we have fallen so much in-love. i guess i should cut to the chase. that’s not me in the photo. ive been dishonest about what i look like. he wants to see me. we have always discussed that looks don’t matter. i don’t know how to break it to him. also, he has mentioned me to his family and has showed the photos to them as well. so that’s a huge problem. ill not only be a fake to him, but to his family as well, making him look like a fool. i don’t know what to do or what to say i think about it all the time. i cry about it all the time. it hurts so bad. i really don’t know how to break it to him. i don’t like the way i look, and that’s why i was dishonest. i need help in letting him know that, that is not me. anything you can do to help me, would be greatly appreciated. thanks for your time. please help.
I’m going to cut to the chase here.
You are going to have to come clean and tell the truth.
I have been asked similar questions before about online relationships and the answer is always the same. If you ever hope to have an actual relationship in the meatspace you have to be honest about who you are online. You are going to have to tell him the truth.
I understand that temptation is strong to exaggerate who you. Some people go so far as to create a fake persona online but it is never a good idea. The truth as they say, always comes back and bites you on the ass.
If you are having serious self esteem problems like you say you are then I highly recommend seeking out professional therapy. Few of us are ever completely satisfied with who we are and society creates often unattainable ideals, especially with beauty standards for women. It is something many of us are upset by and have to learn to deal with. However, if your self-esteem problems are causing you to lie about yourself and to spend hours crying about it then that is abnormal behavior and I think you would truly benefit from some professional help. It’s ok, to be unhappy at times but know that you can find help. You may be suffering from a form of depression. You can learn to love and accept yourself. There is help out there.
None of us are perfect and beauty is subjective.
Part of what love is, is appreciating the imperfections we each have and accepting them as part of the whole package. What one person finds average another may find exquisite. You haven’t even given this person a chance to love your flaws.
If the person does not accept you for who you actually are then it was never an honest love to begin with. It was just an idea of love. If you are going to be in a healthy loving relationship you have to come from a place of honesty and you have to learn to accept and love yourself before anyone else ever can.
He will have a right to be hurt and upset.
You lied to him and that’s not ok. You are going to have to accept that. It’s time to tell the truth and deal with the consequences. If he really cares for you he will want to work through this and remain friends. If his love was based only on what he thought you looked like, then it wasn’t a healthy relationship to begin with.
You can not really say that you are in love with a person that you have never met in real life. You can love the idea of that someone but if you are expecting to have a physical relationship you will have to spend time together to see if there is physical chemistry between the two of you.
Remember that if this relationship doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. There are many people out there you have yet to meet that I am sure are capable of loving you for who you really are. You just have to give them a chance to do so.
Again, I recommend finding a professional therapist in your area and the practice of honesty. Hope things work out for you.
Got a question you would like some Surly-Skepchick advice on? Send it in! We won’t publish your real name, unless you want us to and creative pseudonyms get bonus points! Just use the contact link on the top left of the page.
*Photos by Johnny Skaare. Each photo was taken via the reflection of a beveled mirror with an ordinary phone camera.