Are You Dating Him Or His "Representative"?

So I’m back in the online dating game and yesterday I had a date. I took a good look at Date Guy’s profile pics before we left so I would be able to find him in the crowded neighborhood where we met. He said he was 5 9”.  I wondered if he lied because a lot of guys will add a couple of extra inches.  I committed his favorite movies, things he can’t live without and religious preference to memory and off I went wondering whether I’d be meeting him or his representative.

Friends and I agree that it takes at least 1 – 3 months of dating before you get to find out who he really is.  Dating in the beginning is a well-crafted sell.  From his humorous yet sensitive profile - including pics at all the right angles - to his witty one-liners peppered throughout e-mail, it’s easy to be attracted to the guy that you think you’re going to get.

And then the real guy shows up, if not on the first date then little by little over time.

One of the (few) things I enjoy about getting older is that by this age, most guys want to get it all out on the table on the first date.  Conversations run deep; everything from family dysfunction and desire to procreate to religious practice and moral dilemmas.  Usually if can navigate those bumpy topics, you’re good to go.

Part of me thinks it’s great to get all the gnarly details on the table up front but part of thinks maybe it’s better to hold some things back, let him like you a little more.  What about the mystery?  Of course then you’re invested and worried about what you’re going to lose.  It also begs the question, if this is the conversation we’re starting with, what horrors are you holding back?

What do you think?  Are their any topics that are off limits on a first date?  How long do you think it takes before you’re meeting the “real” them?