Originally Posted by aybojs
You're giving ratboy way too hard of a time here, I think (at least regarding his online dating experience). First, physical attraction is one of the defining factors in separating a romantic or sexual relationship from a platonic one. While looks aren't the only issue at hand and can be offset to some degree by personality traits, having a physically desirable partner is an essential part of a relationship. If someone doesn't find a prospective partner sexually attractive, he's simply not going to pursue romance with her (or vice versa), and the relationship can only, at best, reach a platonic level. And in ratboy's case, when it became clear that there was no chance of this happening, what good would it to do to stick around? At best, he would be leading her on by doing so, and that can be just as hurtful, if not moreso, than straight rejection.
Second, ratboy's observation about the major discrepancies between the picture he saw and the girl he met suggest that the girl in his story _was_ dishonest, which is a concerning flaw on its own. Especially when a relationship stems from an online selection process that allows for lots of embellishment, it is important that there is an honest representation about fundamental aspects of one's person. If a person can't be trusted for a remotely accurate portrayal of himself, what does that say about that person's attitude and character? I think you're placing way too much of a burden on ratboy to be a gentleman and waste his time on a fruitless errand after being deceived and none on the girl who misled him in a most unladylike fashion.
Why is it such a burden to treat another human being with respect and courtesy for a single evening? I honestly don't understand that. As far as the attraction thing goes, of course that's one of the definining characteristics of a romantic or sexual relationship. But the absence of that attraction needn't in any way dictate how one treats the other person (well, except for the obvious). Acting like a gentlemen would be "fruitless" only if one believes the "point" of so behaving is to gain favor with the other person.
I think what is troubling to several people is not that ratboy found her unattractive, but that there's an undercurrent of perhaps unwarranted resentment and hostility based on her "failure" to be attractive to him. While it may not have been his intention, it definitely echoes the weird undercurrent of hostility prevalent in some portions of male society against women who don't measure up to some porn-movie fantasy. E.g., "fat girls suck" comments and the like. (I actually suspect that d00ds who think it's cool to write/post/say such stuff would be equally hostile toward an attractive woman who did not share the attraction ("tight bitch", "lesbian", etc.) or who obviously was attracted to some other guy ("slut", etc.)
Female colleagues and friends who have pursued the online dating thing have commented on the random, hostile emails or messages or whatever from guys who go out of their way to tell them they're ugly, fat, or whatever. I've never understood that. (And I've digressed a bit and thus should make clear that I'm not suggesting that's the sort of thing ratboy would do.)
Anyway, I think you act like a gentleman because it's the right thing to do. Period.
But then, I've been out of the dating game for quite some time, so what the hell do i know?