"Do I Tell My Parents I Met My BF Online?" [Ask a Dude]

Hey Dude,
I met my current boyfriend on OkCupid. I kind of joined the site for fun, not to find a relationship, but when I found him, I knew it wasn’t just a casual hook up. He’s going to meet my parents next week, and I’m not sure if I should lie about how we met. I don’t think they’d be happy with finding out I met a random guy from the Internet. Any advice?
Ashamed Online Dater
Dear Ashamed Online Dater,
My dearest Ashamed Online Dater (Do you mind if I call you AOD?), online dating is not by any means a new concept. We are constantly bombarded by countless eHarmony commercials, or in your case, OkCupid advertisements.
There tends to be a lot of criticism surrounding online dating, especially amongst those of us in our early-mid 20’s. In many ways, online dating is viewed by millennials as a medium to be used only when someone can’t get laid in real life. In addition, online dating is viewed by our parents’ generation as something they can’t quite wrap their heads around either. However, their concerns stem from the ever-evolving technology of today and the safety surrounding such apps. With that said, their concerns (as well as yours) are understandable. I sympathize for your situation, but at the same time, I admire your ability to step out of what is considered the realm of “normal dating” and into something different.
In terms of your upcoming parent-boyfriend meeting, I always feel that honesty is the best approach to any situation. The last thing you want to do is to get caught in a lie or have them find out accidentally from someone else. While I do not know your parents, if they are anything like mine, they might be more offended that you felt the need to lie to them, than to know the truth about how you two first met. What’s worse is that if you lie and get caught, seeds of suspicion may very well become sewn deep within their minds. Thoughts such as: “Why would she lie to us?” “Why doesn’t she trust us?” “Is there something wrong with him?” “Is she lying about anything else?” “Is he a criminal?” “Could she be pregnant? (Gasp).” Your parents love you, and they will always be protective of you. No matter how old you get, you will always be their little girl. Save yourself the hassle and the stress; be honest with them, but have a plan.
Here are a few helpful tips that just might help you accomplish that:

1. Start with the good

Talk to your parents about all of his awesome qualities – I’m sure he has many, so this part shouldn’t be difficult. Explain to them all of the reasons that made you fall for him and all of the reasons that made you want him to be your boyfriend and not just a “casual hook up.” Don’t be afraid to talk him up – if you fell for him, then I’m sure your parents will as well.

2. Criticize other dating forms

Bring up a conversation regarding how hard dating is today, emphasizing all the negatives of this hookup culture we live in. Explain to them how hard it is to get to know someone in a loud crazy bar, where you can barely hear the person next to you. This would also be a good time to poke fun at some of the more hookup based dating apps, such as Tinder or Grindr (I think that’s for just men…). Not that there is anything wrong with Tinder (or Grindr). They certainly have their benefits (I’m assuming for the latter), but there’s also a stigma and reputation that you might not want your parents attaching to all forms of online dating. By knocking it, it may help you build a case on how legitimate something like OK Cupid actually is.

3. Keep it causal

When you finally do tell them, do so in a nonchalant kind of way. Don’t build up to it in a dramatic fashion, such as, “I have something important to tell you.” At this point, you would have already shown them how awesome he is, how organic the chemistry is between the two of you, and how normal your dating really is.
AOD, please do not worry or stress, and most importantly, please please do not be ashamed of online dating. Through the course of this blog post, you have allowed me to truly think about all the benefits you have gotten from meeting your boyfriend online. For starters, you were already matched based on your likes and dislikes, which in a bar or at the gym, most of us usually just go based off looks. Discovering each other’s interests tend to come much later, so you’re already ahead of the game. I hope you have found your true match AOD, I really hope you did. I wish you the best of luck in the weeks to come.
[Got a Dude itch you just can’t scratch? Sick of trying to come up with a not-totally-crazy-girl way to bring it up to your guy friends and get their take on things? Totally over over-analyzing the cryptic messages he leave on your Facebook Wall? We got your back, girlfriend. Send your question over to askthedude [at] collegecandy [dot] com. The Dude won’t sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or any other weird cliche that means lie to you. Like a nice, juicy hot dog, he’ll be 100% real beef, 100% of the time. So bring. it. on.]
Check out past Ask a Dude posts here.

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