Originally Posted by kaplods
You will never know exactly why he dropped off, unless he decides to write and tell you (odds are he won't). It could be he was disappointed with your photo, but there are also other possible reasons. Sure, he may have been uncomfortable with your weight, or perhaps your not being up front about it. Some guys are EXTREMELY put off by any sign of body-consciousness or dieting in a woman. They're terrified of being asked, "do I look fat..."
There are dozens of other reasons too. Just because he's fit doesn't mean he isn't a chubby chaser. Maybe you're too thin for him (and if he's self-conscious about his preferences, he's not going to tell you that). Maybe your legs or feet were too big or too small, or he hated your outfit.
It may not be your weight or appearance at all. He may have a wife or girlfriend who found out he was "looking online" or an ex he reconnected with." Or another relationship may have become more serious with someone else he was talking to online or met in person. Or he could be a fetishist, who always disappears once he gets a woman to send him a photo (there are guys out there who collect women's photos like baseball cards, and will do whatever it takes to get the kind of photos they want).
When I started dating hubby, I dropped off some of my online prospects. Sure it wasn't very kind to just stop replying, but there's no easy way to say "sorry Pal, I met someone I like better, and I know we'd gotten friendly, but I'm not really looking for any more platonic friends, right now. Sorry, oh and by the way, here's all the reasons I lost interest in you........"
I don't want to be on either side of that kind of conversation, written or not.
Although from being on both sides of that kind of communication, I can tell you that the "goodbye email" may seem more respectful, but it tends to backfire, so the "just disappear" strategy tends to feel safer. When I started online dating (more than 15 years ago) I would try to back out of relationships gracefully with a carefully worded, "thanks, but no thanks" letter or phone call, and they almost always became ugly - responded to with angry, even scary "how dare you" responses, some even threateningly so, or worse, pitiful, "I can change to be whatever you want" stalker responses - just as scary in a different way.
Just disappearing may be cowardly, but cowardice isn't exactly an uncommon reason for online dating in the first place, and just disappearing often feels safer than trying to word a diplomatic goodbye letter which the person probably will react to just as badly to as if you said "F***-off, Loser."
I see what you're saying. Most of those reasons could be ruled out by what I know of him from his Facebook profile - for example, his relationship status is still "single." Also he hasn't deleted me on Facebook. Also I guess it's possible that he collects pics and that's it, but it doesn't seem likely. I had sent him another pic of my head and shoulders earlier and he didn't stop talking to me then, and there are plenty of pics of my head and shoulders on Facebook, so he wouldn't need to ask me to send him one personally to have one.
The most likely explanation that I can think of based on everything I have seen is that he wasn't expecting me to be overweight, so he said he didn't care about my size because he didn't think it would be an issue anyway. After all, there are full length pics of me on Facebook from when I was a teenager, when I was a size 6 or so, and he probably thought that I must still be around that size. Then, when I turned out to be quite a bit larger than he expected, he just didn't know what to say so he didn't say anything. He didn't want to say anything mean or rude, so he opted for saying nothing at all. He probably didn't want to have the awkward conversation where he had to explain to me that I wasn't his type after all and he was no longer interested in me that way. It is cowardly, like you said, but I guess in a way it's understandable.
It's the not knowing that is the worst part, really. But maybe I should just let this go. Maybe I'll hear from him again someday, maybe we'll end up friends and laugh about this eventually. Time will tell, like with all things - I guess if I hear from him soon after posting thinner pics, I'll know that it was exactly what I thought. But anger doesn't really help anything - we never really know what's going through another person's head, and we've all done things that have hurt others, even without meaning to. It doesn't mean I'm unattractive or unworthy, all it means is that this guy wasn't the one for me. That's it.