Wedding Woes

What are you supposed to do? Prudie doesn't know.

Dear Prudence,

Recently, a man told me minutes into our first date that he’d read my work. I’m a writer and have written for several well-known magazines, but I’m not famous—I just have a really uncommon first name. Because of this, it’s really easy to find me online. After we’d matched online, my date had Googled my name plus writer, found my website, and read half a dozen pieces I’ve written—including several personal essays about things like the death of a friend, or being intermittently homeless in my 20s.

This happens all the time. Once, someone waited months to confess that they’d not only read my work before meeting me but had intentionally peppered the conversation when we first met with niche things he knew I was interested in because I’d written about them. Unlike that guy, my recent date wasn’t trying to be manipulative. He felt embarrassed and offered to tell me a lot of personal stuff about himself so it would feel like we were both over-exposed and vulnerable. It worked—I walked away feeling like it was the best date I’d had in years. At least until he ghosted me, leaving me feeling like my work and I were being rejected. I know this is going to keep happening. What am I supposed to do when it does?

—Intimate in All the Wrong Ways

Re: What are you supposed to do? Prudie doesn't know.

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    If you write about things that are personal then this is not people reading your private journal.  

    Be prepared that people are going to Google you and elaborate on a first date to them the way you would to a publishing editor.  You don't need to bare your soul but don't be surprised that the internet works. 
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    Until you know someone, I’d say “I work in the journalism industry” or “I’m an editor”.  But that one could be a big spin. I would be very very basic about what you do for a living until familiarity is established. 
    But I’m also ridiculously single so don’t take my advice. 

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    Maybe start using a nickname for the first date or two that won't necessary make your unusual first name obvious?

    But this is just kind of the deal when you choose to publish under your own name. You could always start publishing under a nickname or pseudonym, but it's hard to tell whether that makes any sense at this point in your career. 
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    I'm a little confused by the letter.  I assume they don't mind being an open book (pun intended) or they wouldn't have submitted articles about their personal experiences to well known magazines, under their real name.

    So, yeah.  Shocker.  Potential dates look them up.  They should assume all of them do.

    Ghosting sucks, especially when it seems like everything went well.  But they are putting too much weight on it also being a rejection of their work.  The guy was still interested after reading it ahead of time.  For whatever reason, it was only after the date that he ghosted.  Which may have had nothing to do with the LW.

    They're also putting too much stock into how much they liked the date.  It was a first date.  That's it.  They don't know this guy at all, even if they shared very personal details about each other.  They need to stop acting like he's the "one that got away".
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Options
    Get a thicker skin 
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