Love Letters

I like him, but his selfies were misleading

The spark was there, but now I keep finding things to criticize.

I met a great guy through Tinder, and we had instant chemistry. We went out on our first date five days after matching on the app.

The date was far less awkward than most first dates, and we had a great time. We also got pretty intoxicated. I invited him home, and we had fun. This is not how I usually behave on a first date, but the chemistry was seriously there.

He has been nothing but a gentleman since then, and we are going on our second date tonight, which will be dinner at a trendy restaurant. He is doing everything right, and I do think I could like him. Here’s the kicker, and let me preface this by saying that I know I sound shallow: I hated his clothing choices on our date, we are the same height, and he is definitely shaped a little differently than his photos led me to believe.

I know I shouldn’t care about all of these stupid things, but they are bugging me. I’m 30 and need to quit being so picky or I will be single forever, but I can’t help but think that I am not that attracted to him physically. Could we have something real if that is the case? How do I move past this?


— Shallow

A. You had so much chemistry with this man that you brought him home on the first date. Yes, you were intoxicated, but it sounds like you had a really great time from start to finish. Something tells me that if you were truly repulsed by his wardrobe and appearance, the date would have been a lot more awkward.

Instead of rewriting the first date experience so that it was more about his clothing and height than the quality of the companionship, see him again with an open mind. Try to have fun. That’s what these first few meetups are all about.


After a third or fourth date — if you get there — you’ll be able decide whether some of his traits seem more important than others. That’s usually how it goes. You wind up obsessed with things like clothes . . . or you don’t see them at all.

For now, all you have to do is show up. Ask the big questions later.

— Meredith


You’re having second thoughts about whether the first date was as good as you remember, so you’re picking on things that weren’t perfect to test the memory. Go on the second date, and see how it goes. Maybe his personality is so great that it cancels out the normcore attire or the neckbeard. Or maybe it doesn’t. That’s what second, third and fourth dates are for. WIZEN

Go out again, without getting drunk, and see how it goes. STOPTHINKING

I think it’s not so much about her attraction, but what her friends, family, ex-boyfriends, and future wedding guests might think. She needs to ignore those voices and focus on what she wants. SARCASTICLAUREN

I only ever dated one guy with any real fashion sense. After a while he confessed that he only knew how to put together outfits because he imitated the characters on a TV show. He made me promise not to tell, so obviously I told my friends immediately, because it was adorable. ELLLEEM


Third date: Natick Mall. LILCHERUB

Meredith Goldstein’s novel “Chemistry Lessons” is now available. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to meredith.goldstein@globe.com.