Is Honesty The Best Policy?

I recently ran across an article that was psychologically fascinating to me. The headline reads “Woman Has A Romantic Evening with Her Tinder Date. Then He Texts Her to Tell Her She’s Fat.” Pretty terrible, right? And not just grammatically; fat shaming is a real problem with awful psychological repercussions. The problem is that the headline doesn’t tell the full story. Let’s take a closer look.

A man and a woman in the UK who met on Tinder got together for drinks and dinner and ended the evening with a nice stroll and a goodnight kiss. By both accounts, it was a lovely evening and the two genuinely enjoyed their time with one another. The next day he sent her a ridiculously long text complementing her humor, intelligence and even her looks. There’s just one problem. “My mind gets turned on by someone slimmer,” he wrote. “I would marry you like a shot if you were a slip of a girl because what you have in that mind of yours is utterly unique, and I really really love it.”

I’m sure these are the lines in the article that are meant to get me outraged with this man, but they didn’t. Would I enjoy a man saying these things to me? Of course not. No one wants to hear that someone doesn’t find them physically attractive, but I don’t see this dude as the villain they’re making him out to be.

My initial thought after reading those statements was, “That guy must be young. He’ll probably regret not giving her a shot when he grows up. How unfortunate.”

Let’s be honest, guys think with their dicks. That thing has the override button for any action determined by the brain or heart. Don’t get me wrong, I do not hold the opinion that men get a pass because of their libido, but when looking at the psychology, it’s influence can’t be ignored. As boys grow into real men, the balance of physical attraction to intelligence, humor, kindheartedness, etc. (all the things that actually matter) begins to even out, but the physical attraction still has to be there. And you can’t be appalled by that, ladies, because it works both ways. Sure, we may be more lenient when it comes to looks and we certainly factor personality into how attractive we find a guy, but you cannot maintain a relationship with a man you don’t find attractive. It’s okay. It’s how we’re engineered as human beings. And she admits that in her response, but more on that later. For now, this guy sounds woefully shallow.

But enough about him; let’s put ourselves into the girls’ shoes. That sucks. Although he wrapped all his statement in compliments, if I received that text, it would be upsetting. However, 1.) it’s his loss. Really, if he thinks I’m perfect in every way except my body, he’s losing out. Bodies fall apart. To make a decision based on something so temporary is foolish. And 2.) at least he was honest. We all want honesty, or at least we say we do.

But do you really want him to tell you how you look in that dress or are you asking because you want approval? If he says it’s not flattering, are you upset or appreciative?

I’m single, in my 30s and admittedly fat, so this is a situation I’m familiar with. I live this text conversation on a daily basis, which is precisely why I have a ton of guy friends, but no boyfriend. This guy had three options: silence, lies or truth. He chose truth. And although that truth reflects how shallow he is and is pretty hurtful, he told it anyway. Most guys I know would’ve taken the easier routes. He could’ve used the old “it’s not you, it’s me” line, which we all know is bull****. Or even worse, he could’ve gone silent. Silence is cruel. It leaves you to wonder what happened, and in most cases, women decide that they are the ones who did something wrong. Because of this man’s honesty, she didn’t have to wonder what happened. Now it’s up to her to choose her perspective – she’s overweight and that’s her fault or it truly is him, not her.

Now take a look at her response. After a paragraph saying she understands that you have to be attracted to a person (“We all have a good friend who we look at ruefully and think, ‘You’re lovely, but you just don’t tickle my pickle.’ We wish we were attracted to them, but our bodies and our brains don’t work like that. And that’s fine.”), she then tears him apart saying that the message was “uncalled for” and “nothing short of sadistic.” “Your tone is saccharine and condescending, but the forensic detail in which you express your disgust at my body is truly grotesque. The only possible objective for writing it is to wound me.”

I don’t agree. “Forensic detail” about her body? His comments seemed pretty vague to me, however they were not brief. I think in his struggle to not sound like a douche, he talked too long, actually making him appear more douchy. And if his goal was to wound her, I guarantee he wouldn’t have included all the complements. It simply would’ve said, “You’re fat. Gross. Lose my number. Bye, Felicia.”

She goes on to ask if he “targeted” her because she a strong woman with opinions and so on and so forth. Again, I don’t think any of it is an accurate reflection of the intent behind his text. And I don’t have to really wonder, he told her his intent. “I’m so disappointed in myself because I’ve genuinely not felt this way about anyone in ages, but I’m trying to be honest with you without sounding like a total knobhead.” A swing and a miss there, pal, but I get it. Then she gets into the real reason she posted her blog – the man’s daughter.

This guy apparently has a teenage daughter and the author says she posted his texts as a sort of wake up call. To convince him to encourage his daughter to “love, enjoy and care for her body,” which he absolutely should do. She, and every woman, is more than a set of hair, boobs and legs. As a father, it’s his job to ingrain in her all the qualities that really matter. I hope that he is doing that. However, at some point, his daughter is going to find herself in this situation. Some guy she likes will chose to not be with her for one of a million reasons, none of which will likely be her fault. That guy will then be faced with three choices: silence, lies or honesty. Which one would he, as a father, like the guy to choose?

Is honesty really the best policy?

Author’s note: in no way is my intention to slam the author. She seems like a lovely, intelligent person and she’s beautiful just the way she is. My goal was to present a different perspective. Hopefully I have done so respectfully.

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