Dr. Date: I’m meeting my crush/gaming partner IRL— but I forgot his real name

“I can’t just call him gamergod88 the whole time, right?”

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Dr. Date

Dear Dr. Date, 

Once upon a time, a girl and a boy were playing Fortnite together. Even though they were paired up randomly, they soon realized they worked great together and got along well. After a few games, they asked for the other’s phone number and fell in love. That’s a fairy tale, right? 

You get the point. As a girl who plays video games that use microphones to communicate, I get a lot of comments/harassment from the guys on my team. He seemed different, and I was single, so I took the risk.

Since then, we’ve been texting back and forth almost constantly throughout the day and I’m getting some serious vibes. We’re really starting to bond, and even have been sending pictures back and forth to make sure the other one was real. The best part is, we live in the same city!

I know all of this personal information about him and what he looks like, but the one thing he never shared is his name. Seriously, I’ve been calling him his gamertag in my head this entire time. He knows mine, so I’m sure we’ve said our names before and I just forgot, but I can’t figure out how to address it without seeming insensitive or stupid. We have plans to meet up next weekend and I can’t just call him gamergod88 the whole time! What do I do?

Sincerely,

Awkward IRL

Dear Awkward IRL,

Time to introduce my lovely readers to the world of internet stalking. You said he’s sent you pictures of himself. Since you had never seen him before, there’s a good chance those weren’t on-the-fly selfies, but the best pictures of him available. People tend to make said pictures their profile picture on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Reverse image search every photo, along with googling his gamertag (a lot of people use the same username for everything). This has the added bonus of making sure those photos are actually him, and not some random Instagram model from Los Angeles. 

Buuuuuut that’s a lot of work. You guys seem fairly close, so why don’t you just pass it off as a joke? Before you meet up (make sure to do that in a public place, by the way), tell him you plan on calling him either gamergod88 or his full, first-middle-last name throughout your time together. Then, mention to him you don’t think you’ve heard his full name before and ask what it is. Even if he had given you his name, it’s doubtful he said the whole thing, so it won’t come off as weird. Just don’t forget to google him after he tells you — ever seen the show Catfish?

Sincerely,

Dr. Date