i sent a fake picture of myself to someone online

dear heather,

I met this guy online. He’s amazing! But there’s a problem. I told him I was 16 but I’m only 15. And I sent him a fake picture of myself. I really like this guy and I want to continue talking to him online, but I don’t want to be dishonest with him anymore. What should I do?

Often, when people chat with others online they present an image of themselves closer to the other person’s fantasy than to their own reality. It sounds like this might be the case with you. Who knows? For this reason, it’s probably good not to form such a strong opinion about a person before you have met and spent time with him.I do wonder what made you decide to misrepresent yourself. If he is a lot older, the reluctance you felt in letting him know you were “only” 15 may be pointing to real issues–psychological and perhaps legal–brought about by the discrepancy in age and life experience. These are issues that you would both have to face eventually if you were ever to meet and embark on a relationship.

Also, consider this: If you sent a photo of someone else because you felt that you’re not attractive enough or he expressed a preference for another “type,” you might always be wondering whether he actually prefers the girl in the photo to you.

You can tell him the truth and see how he reacts, but the fact that you didn’t feel quite right being yourself in this situation is a clue that something is amiss. When your own behavior seems weird to you and you sense that you cannot be yourself–for whatever reason–then it may help to step back and give the situation a second look.

And one last thing, just a quick reminder that it’s always important to be safe online. Check out our internet safety page for more info.

take care,

Posted in: Everything Else, Help Me Heather