I'll admit that I've got flaws. Sometimes, it's a bit more uncomfortable when I notice a flaw in someone else only to realize that I do the same thing from one degree or another.
It hurts when someone I know judges another person that I know based solely on a photograph. "Dude, your friend is totally hot!" or "He probably goes out all the time." or "He looks like the type of guy that will just kiss anyone." or even "He only dates hot guys, huh?"
How am I supposed to respond? The thing that bugs me about all of this is that the judging friend knows nothing about the other friend and yet all of these assumptions are made and are, at the very least, verbalized about him or her being shallow. Well hell, do I seem like the kind of guy that keeps close friendships with shallow people? I enjoy substance in friendships and in relationships so when someone else starts making judgements about these other friends of mine - well, i naturally feel and get pretty defensive.
You can't accurately determine a three-dimensional personality simply by looking at a two-dimensional photograph!
As pissed off as I can get when someone talks about my friends inappropriately, alas I must admit that I have done the very same thing . . . .
The trap of personal profiles on sites like MySpace or Friendster or Gay.com or Match.com or Date.com or Eharmony.com or GayHarmony.net or even at my beloved GayChristian.Net - the trap is the tendency to judge a person on limited information. I'll admit that I've done that. I make decisions about whether or not to read their profile based on their photo or whether or not to send them a message based on what they've written in their profile. There are times when I've crushed over a guy based on his picture or the way he articulated about himself in his profile or the things he's said in a couple of posts.
These are all two-dimensional experiences of a person and I've gotta remember that there is more substance to a person than what he portrays to me online. At some point, we can only really get to know what a person is actually like by actually talking with them. And even then, we are only beginning that process of getting to know them.
I guess right now I'm realizing that I don't want to be the shallow guy who worships a guy simply because he's hot. Frankly, a hot guy loses his hotness when he opens his mouth to reveal an ugly personality. I don't want to play the game of getting infatuated by fantasy and illusion. What's he really like? He's worth getting to know, not because he's cute (or not) but because he's an individual with a personality. If i'm honestly seeking to get to know someone in a potentially romantic context, someone who has substance and quality, then I want to discover that personality in as authentic a way as possible.
I want to go deeper. And sometimes, i've gotta shut off the hormones to do that.
You have an uncanny knack (and wonderful quality) of articulating stuff...ya' know that? Thank you for your wisdom.
Watch Shallow Hal, if you haven't already. Based on your comments here I know you'll appreciate its message.
You have an exellent point of view Eric! Your thoughts are much apprecaited...and i agree!!
You know what, though? It's ok with me Eric if people look at my pic from your site and say I'm hot and that I only date hot guys. I'm like SO used to it by now.
Eric (and everyone reading), you know that I'm TOTALLY kidding and that the above paragraph is total bull and just me being silly, right? Gosh I hope so. I'm SO not conceited... I'm not even self-confident... just silly
Eric, we want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Your blog is an inspiration and as we were looking at your photographs this morning - we came to realize how truly blessed you were with such a great circle of friends.
Have a great holiday.
Steve and Warren
Thanks so much for your comments! I appreciate it.
Brian - I miss you. I just miss you.
Zeke - I hope you and your family are well!
Bryan - How's Amish country?
Joon - You are hilarious! And no, i know you are NOT kidding because I know that everyone gets all hot every time they see that pic of you and me with the bug glasses at Disneyland. And they say, damn who is that sexy guy, and then i get all jealous and left out and I say, "hey, i'm in that picture too!" and they say, "oh yeah, but who is THAT guy?!" Sigh. It's hard being your friend.
NWGs - i'm so honored by your comments. I can sense the sincerity in it. Thank you!
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