– by Cecily Knobler, Live From Hollywood –
I’m a 26-year-old guy on Tinder and a couple of other dating sites. I really want to meet a great girl and have a real relationship rather than just hook up with one, (but I wouldn’t turn that down!) The thing is I have a slight disability with my left hand. I only have three fingers and I can’t grasp things with it. But I’m totally rand-hand-capable and none of this really affects my life. I’m told I’m really good looking and smart and all the other things girls seem to like. But this left hand thing seems to freak people out. So my question is: do I show this hand in my profile or just wait until they meet me?
~Right Hand Man
First let me say that while your particular issue is quite specific, this brings to mind a much larger question we can all relate to, and that is: how much should we reveal on our profiles? On the one hand, we all want to put our best foot forward. If you’re dating online, your profile is, after all, the first impression you’re giving prospective daters. So for example, I wouldn’t lead with, “Hi, I’m Cecily. I eat three pudding cups for breakfast every day and watch a lot of bad reality TV. Also, I tend to get bored with people easily and I pick little arguments just to keep things exciting. I don’t cook or hike, but I do enjoy tequila.” I suppose it might be refreshing to just put this all on the table, but I choose to keep these things hidden under layers of salon blow-outs and funny stories. Of course, eventually it all comes out. But how soon is too soon?
The same thing goes for our physical appearance. Should we snap a selfie while we have a cold, complete with dark circles and dirty hair? Or do we post a picture with the best lighting? Do we filter? Do we photoshop? Are we lying when we do this? Are we attempting to reel someone in under false pretenses?
These are questions so many of us deal with. I’ve heard crazy stories about friends going to meet a Tinder date, only to find the person is 20 years older and/or 30 pounds heavier than stated. And the thing is, I get it! I’m sure I don’t look exactly like my profile picture, mostly because I’m not gallivanting around in formalwear with my hair done up like a princess most of the time. But the key is finding the balance between trying to look our best and telling a complete lie.
Once, I met an interesting, good-looking guy on Match. We met up for a drink and as soon as he opened his mouth, I was struck by the deformity of his teeth. I’m not someone who puts a lot of emphasis on physical perfection, but this was rather jarring. After a while, I enjoyed his personality so much I stopped noticing his teeth. I’d have totally gone for another date, except he blew me off and never called again. But the point is, had I seen those teeth in his profile photo, I wouldn’t have accepted the date. That is just the cold, hard truth. (And if he’d seen my credit score, he’d probably not have gone out with me either.) But had he simply mentioned, “I’ve been told my smile could use some work,” I’d have been a little more prepared.
So perhaps a solution is not to feature your hand in your photo, but to mention it in a light, maybe even funny way. At the end of the day, you know the kind of woman you want to attract. And the right one will be so enamored by your “you-ness,” by the time she notices your lack of fingers, she’ll be so awestruck that she simply won’t care.
The bottom line is when filling out profiles, be honest with who you are. Don’t post photos from your prom (unless you’re under 21.) From there, you can only hope for the best and keep your fingers crossed, no matter how many fingers you have!