“You clearly didn’t think this through, did you?” asked Archie.
“Noooo,” I said, shaking my head slowly. “No, I didn’t.”
“What’s going on? How was the date last night?” Lux appeared at my desk. She was holding a large Starbucks coffee and was still wearing her coat.
“The date was amazing,” Archie answered. “Like the best stranger first-date ever.”
“Really??” she asked. Her eyes were shining.
“Yes,” Archie continued. “They bonded over comedies from the 70s and their love of cheese and talked about her Fitbit and talked about their families and even have a lot of similar goals.”
“He even asked to see a picture of the cat,” I said sadly.
“And he’s totally allergic and doesn’t like them. So that’s a big deal,” Archie said. He took a sip from his own large Starbucks coffee.
I looked down at my thumb and picked at the smudged polish. “He said he’d just take Claritin.”
Lux shook her head. “So I don’t get it. What’s with the face? This is all great!”
“He’s asked her out again and sent his personal email.”
“It’s – ” Archie started.
“It’s got his full name in it,” I broke in, pointing at my laptop screen, which displayed Bradley’s message.
“Oh good,” she said. “Did you google him?”
“Of course I did.” I rolled my eyes at her. “And he’s exactly who he says he is.”
“That’s the problem,” said Archie.
The realization set in and the mood darkened.
“Oooh,” she breathed. “And you can’t send him your email because it has your last name and he’d google you and see the blog.”
“Exactly,” Archie said with resignation.
My date with Bradley had been great. Like really great. He was charming and attentive and a good listener. We’d laughed a lot, had a ton in common and I was able to keep my nerves in check and only looked awkwardly into the silent abyss twice. Of course, I’d then forfeited any points I’d gained from that by totally botching the end of the date. Bradley had walked me to my corner (I didn’t let him walk me to my actual apartment – Safety First) and when it had come time to say goodbye, I’d sort of swooped in for a graceless hug and then stumbled backwards. Then, giving a jaunty wave, had said, “Welp, talk to you later.” Then I’d turned on my heel and walked away hurriedly.
So I was pretty surprised when he’d responded that night to my thank you email with a request to get together again.
Of course, I’d accepted.
Then, I’d panicked.
I had always planned on telling a guy about the blog around the 4th date. I’d figured by then he’d know me well enough to not be shocked by all the, um, antics that are spelled out here. But I didn’t consider the fact that if someone knew my last name they’d find out about the blog in about .3 seconds. And let’s be frank. The information here is not what one would want to present to a potential suitor.
But on the other hand, as I sat with Bradley and he talked about himself and his life and his job and I talked about myself and my life and my other writing – the omission of the blog felt like a lie. And I didn’t like that feeling.
“Hide the crazy, Tracey,” Shannon always says. “In the beginning, hide the crazy.” And I agree with that wholeheartedly. But there’s no way for me to ‘hide the crazy’ anymore. It’s out there. For all to see.
I looked at Archie and Lux. “I do have an email account that has a fake last name that I use with guys I meet online who want to chat off the dating sites. Just so they don’t know who I am before we meet. You know, to prevent a weird stalker situation.”
“Perfect,” said Archie, with a wave of his cup. “Just send him that.”
“No,” Lux said adamantly. “What if you marry this guy?! And then the whole basis of your relationship is a lie!”
“Calm down,” Archie muttered. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.”
“Archie’s right,” I said. “Remember I told you about the last guy who asked me out for a second date? The one from six years ago?”
“You haven’t been on a second date in six years?” interjected Floyd, as he meandered by holding his large Starbucks coffee and a Ping-Pong paddle.
I threw him a withering glance. “Anyway. Yeah, he asked me out and then – ”
“The one who emailed you and said, ‘Upon further reflection, I’ve decided I don’t want a second date with you?'” Lux asked.
“Right, that’s the one,” I said. “Just because Bradley’s asked me out again, doesn’t mean it’s actually going to happen.”
“That’s true,” said Archie. He was engrossed in his phone now.
“Okay, let’s just say it does happen,” I said earnestly, because I really wanted it to. “Won’t it be weird if in a month I’m like, ‘Hey, so you know that person you’ve been emailing? She doesn’t exist. My real name is Tracey Stone. And I write an incredibly personal blog about my life. An YOU’RE in it! Ta Da!!'”
“Sounds good to me,” Archie murmured.
“Archie, you’re not even listening,” I reprimanded.
“Yes I am,” he said and lifted his head. “What.”
I opened my desk drawer and pulled out a pack of Advil. My head was swimming. “Oh and Lux, by the way, my fake identity is my first name and your last.”
She cocked her head to the side and smiled. “Aw, we’re sisters.”
I downed the Advil. Then I started to whimper. “If he reads the blog, he’ll find out how crazy I am.”
“It’s endearing,” Lux reassured.
“He’ll find out I smoke.”
Archie offered pragmatically, “Just put on the patch before you see him and say that you quit.”
“He’ll find out I drink too much.”
“All the bad drinking stuff is from when you were in a break up or during stressful times. It’s totally fine,” Lux said.
“Totally understandable,” said Archie, nodding.
“He’ll find out I cancelled on him because I had PMS.”
I put my head in my hands. “I’m screwed.” I then lifted my head and peeked out between my fingers. Neither of them would meet my eyes.
Clearly, I’d blogged myself into a corner.
I’ve asked a lot of my friends for their feedback on this. Here are some of the responses:
“Tell him! You should be proud of the blog! It’s wonderful!”
“You need to find a guy who likes you despite your faults, tell him.”
“NO. Don’t tell him right now. It’s way too much for a guy to take in.”
“You should have been upfront with him. Now he’ll think you’re sketchy for lying. It’s a lost cause. Forget about him.”
And then Zeke said something that really hit home for me. “I don’t know, Trace. But you WILL continually run into this problem with that brutally honest blog of yours. So you better figure out now how to handle it.”
He’s right. I need to figure it out now.
So let me ask you guys. What do you think I should do?
Should I tell Bradley the next time I see him?
Should I try to hide my identity and tell him when I know him better?
Moving forward – should I just tell the guy immediately?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Let’s figure this one out together. 🙂
32 thoughts on “Date Three. Part Two.”
Tell him Tracey.. the guy that you want will be so freaking proud to be with a talented writer like you, and will be so confident that he doesn’t care that you write about your dates!
Thank you Adriana! I hope you’re right – if not about him, then hopefully about someone else!
I think you should tell him that you have been feeling a little guilty because you gave him a fake last name BUT that the only reason is because you have a blog you’re embarassed for him to read just yet because it chronicles your personal life. This method allows you to be thruthful, gets the guilt off your mind AND keeps the blog away from his eyes…for now. It will make for great 2nd date conversation and once (if) you’re comfortable enough with him, allows you to choose when he has access while simultaneoupsly showing him “I trust/like you enough to share this part of my life with you”…….
Thank you J. This is a good plan. On the one hand, I feel like I am not required to divulge anything I don’t want to. But it also feels a little uncomfortable. I’ll have to see how it pans out.
First of all, the point about him finding out about the cancellation reason for the date had me rolling!
I do agree with hiding the crazy for a bit, but I also believe in not lying/deliberately misleading to start anything off. I wouldn’t send him an email from an account that makes him think you’re someone else. I would be more apt to tell him, but not in a way that it’s so serious.
Are you more worried about him reading all these things about you before date #2, or about him having reserved feelings about his dates posted on an awesome blog?
I’m not really that worried about writing about him – I can (and have) made it vague enough so that no one could know who he was. Also, I am careful not to quote him directly. I am more worried about the stuff before. If it ever comes to me having to tell him I will be totally casual about it. The less I downplay it, the better I think 🙂
The thing about someone who actually cares about you and getting to know you is, they’ll take all of you. They’ll choose to be a part of it. They’ll want to be a part of it. Sure, I’m idealistic and naive…but even the “crazy” should be a reason for both of you to laugh, not to cringe — the same goes for his “crazy”. If you like him, take the aggressive over the passive aggressive, or worse. For God’s sake, tell him about your writing (I agree with the comments above). A real man would have nothing to hide in his efforts to demonstrate he’s worthy of your attention, that includes if someone was to read some opaque details of it at the start of a relationship. Yes, that’s right — we still exist. Somewhere out there.
I love this Joe, thank you so much. If he reacts like you did, I will be a lucky lady 🙂
Hmm, am I the only one who thinks you shouldn’t tell him? It’s only a second date … and none of us would go to a second date and basically hand over our diary, which in a way is what you’re writing. I personally wouldn’t want to know too much up front about a guy I just met, because knowing myself, I would only interpret too much into the stories and in my head create an image which most likely would do the guy injustice.
I would rather want to find out gradually what he’s like, where he’s been in his life and I would also want him to be allowed to tell me as much as he wants at the time of his choosing and be comfortable enough around me to do so.
I also don’t see the problem with an Email that doesn’t show your last name. I would tell the truth in as much as that you write a blog under your real name and that you don’t feel comfortable with him reading it just yet, that it’s too private for the time being. Then, depending on how he reacts, you can take it from there and share a bit or leave it there. If he’s offended it’s his problem, because he should respect your feelings and wait until your comfortable enough around him to share those personal stories. Just my opinion though …
Whatever you decide on: Kudos for putting yourself out there! I know how hard it is and I admire you. All the luck in the world 🙂
Thank you Anja. These are really good points and I agree with a lot of them. That is why I am so conflicted!
Tracey, we are ALL crazy. You won’t feel comfy with him or yourself til you let it all out. I am hella lota crazy and my hubby knew date 2. He’ll appreciate it the honesty if he’s that great for you. Go get em!!!
Hahaha!! Thank you Kate. I know, we are birds of a feather in that respect 😉
I just googled you and the blog doesn’t come up until the second page half way down (you should get it indexed and do a better job with SEO). Do this might not be an issue.
“So this might not be an issue”
Thank you Darren. For some reason, other people have found it quicker – maybe they’ve put in Tracey Stone NYC or something. But that is good to know. Maybe it’s a moot point! 🙂 What is getting the blog indexed mean?
If you succeed in love this blog becomes a lot less interesting and you will likely lose readership.
Where are your loyalties, Tracey?!
That is an EXCELLENT point Paul!!
I agree with everyone who said just be honest. He will probably be flattered you wrote about him. And like your friend said we are all crazy! Seriously! No one is perfect and thank God! If he’s into you he will appreciate how talented you are to boot! And Trace it’s blog, I mean it’s not like he is going to google your name and see a mug shot of you or how you were once a guy! Remember we live in New York City…most people would sigh with relief that the craziest thing you’ve written about is having one too many drinks when you got your heart broken…
Thank you Cons – that’s also something for me to remember. This is NYC. People here are crazy. Some much more than me 😉
Give him your e-mail address and go with it. If he finds out about the blog, address it. You are a brave and fantastic writer. Own it. If he likes you and is worth it, he’ll work it out with you. Be yourself and let those around you appreciate it! Good luck, Trace. I’m rooting for you!
Thank you Michele! I’m excited to see how it all pans out.
Don’t hide behind anything, woman! If he’s right for you, he will accept all of you…isn’t that the point? Life is short….honesty always wins.
Thank you Monika! I just worry that it’s a little much to accept so early – it’s like ALL of me right away!
I think you should tell him…why not? If it goes array, he’ll never read it and we deserve to know about it 😉 and if the relationship has a future he’ll tell you what he’s ok with you writing about and what he’s not.
Thank you Jen! I’ve got lots to think about on this one 🙂
It’s true, if you want a relationship AND this blog, you’ve gotta come up with something, for this guy or a future one…
I’m with Anya – I don’t think you should lie, but neither do I think you should hand over your “diary” – apt analogy, I agree! You can have a hundred Google emails, you know – just create email@example.com. BUT if you hope this goes anywhere, he has to know SOMEthing – this is too much to withhold. I don’t know how men think (obvie), but if I were dating a guy who dumped this on me, it would be too much, and if I were dating a guy who withheld everything and later divulged it, I would not trust him.
I don’t see why you can’t explain that you have a VERY honest and personal (and important to you and your readers – YES, Paul) blog and, obvie, your dating life is part of it as well as parts of your life that, in a new romantic relationship, would come up naturally over the course of time and you hope he can wait for things to develop naturally AMD support your desire (need) to have this blog…blah, blah, blah…
Hmmm…maybe should have proofread before I posted…sorry!
Hahaha!! Thank you Elisabeth. I’ve been thinking over it a lot. To be honest, I really see all the sides. It’s a really interesting dilemma.