30-Somethings - Weight and Online Dating

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08-10-2011, 07:33 PM
Does anyone have any advice for online dating when you're overweight? Like so many my self confidence is pretty low given my weight. I've been overweight for about 13 years and in that time I've made excuses for not dating mostly surrounding my weight. But recently, now that I'm in my mid thirties, I've had this longing to be 'normal'. By normal I mean the husband and 2.5 kids. But I know that there is no possibility of that happening without putting myself out there.

It's really hard to meet new people with my lifestyle so I decided to go down the internet dating route. I know a few people that have done it and been very successful. So about a year ago I started trying online dating off and on. I've done everything from match/eharmony to even some of the 'large and lovely' sites. And I've had absolutely no luck. I never get contacted or responses. I do believe that it's only fair to be up front about myself and my weight on sites by setting my profile correctly and submitting a photo. But I believe that my weight is the reason that I don't get contacted. I think that I have a good well thought out profile. I think that I'm average and not unattractive. I'm just overweight. And on the times when I didn't have a picture up (due to it being approved or something like that) I did get contacted, but no subsequent responses once I put my picture up.

Does anyone else have experiences like this? Do you think that online dating is more superficial than advertised? I always believe that it would open doors. Now it's just depressing me even more and discouraging me. I know that I need to lose weight in general for my health and outside of dating. But it would be nice to have a relationship to look forward to along the way. I just feel like there is no way to do that. Catch 22, lose weight to date, can't lose weight unless dating.

Does anyone have any advice on this process? Would it actually work for someone who's overweight?

08-10-2011, 07:41 PM
Online dating, and dating in general, is so exhausting, in my opinion. I feel your pain on that one, being an early 30s single woman. I think there are people who have a better attitude about it than I do and actually really enjoy it. LOL. I prefer to have my special person come knocking on my door, lol, but since that's not going to happen, I can share my thoughts on how to make it better. It won't really be any "fun" or produce any good partners unless one is confident and feels good about him/herself when starting to date. Having said all of this, I don't think it's necessary to reach goal weight or an arbitrary weight number to start. What's most important is to feel good about yourself and to be proud of who you are and what you can offer a great partner. If that isn't already there, online dating won't help. If anything, it will exacerbate your insecurities. So, feel good about you and your life, and then put yourself out there and enjoy it. If that means losing some weight, then do it. If that means working on other areas of your life, then do that. Also try other ways of meeting people - joining clubs, taking classes, pursuing hobbies. You never know where that special person may show up :-)

08-10-2011, 07:53 PM
I think online dating is ABSOLUTELY superficial and mentally exhausting. It almost comes off -- as do the people -- that they're on there for the wrong reasons (i.e. bootycalls, hoes in different area codes, etc.)

However, there are people out there that are in your shoes: they're looking for Mr/Mrs Right, but either have no public social time, or they rather face rejection/acceptance in the safety of their own home behind a computer screen.

I think putting a non-misleading picture of yourself on the site is a good thing. I just wouldn't talk about your weight on the "About Me" portion of your profile. Whether you're fat/skinny, being pessimistic and a "debbie downer" about your appearance is VERY unattractive. Not assuming you do this, just saying I'd avoid that at all costs. There are men out there, in all forms and settings, so don't let the experience you have had thus far with online dating deter you from your goals. Keep losing weight, hold your head up, and Mr. Right will come around.

08-10-2011, 08:00 PM
I am 34 and went the online dating route for a year or so before I met my current bf online. I found it actually to be a lot of fun and a good way to meet new people. I also know that in my case, I was tired of trying to meet people "by chance" or in bars, etc. Being that I was new to a rather small town, it was a great way for me to meet people. As far as your weight being an issue with it, it could be. But you have to remember that no matter what your weight is, there are people out there for everyone. What might be a thing of beauty to one person might not be even attractive to another. And when you are talking about the laws of attraction, we all know that they differ greatly.
When I was doing the online dating route, so was a good friend of mine. We are much different. I was brunette, a little larger framed, muscular, etc and she is tiny, blonde, petite. I actually got more responses and messages and I believe that a lot of it was due to the ad itself. Try looking at the online dating as a "getting to know you session". She was interested in a relationship but nothing else, let first impressions rule her mind, etc and she was quite abrupt with her ad. I wanted to meet new people, and get to know "friends" as much as I wanted someone special in my life.
That being said, I know people of all sizes that do online dating and all have had their ups and downs with it just like in the "normal" dating scene. My advice? Try some of the free dating sites, plentyoffish.com is a good one. And just have fun with it!!

08-10-2011, 08:09 PM
^agree. okcupid.com is a good one and is completely free, as well.

Mama Bee
08-10-2011, 08:57 PM
I was in the mindset of wanting to get on with life and meet a man and have 2.5 kids as well, but I wasn't confident enough to do such a thing, which made me feel like I was unready to date. I actually ended up meeting someone online in the midst of that mindset... not on a dating site but just on a general chat forum, and we hit it off. We did not send each other photos for awhile, after having talked on the chat, sent emails, and time on the phone. I was upfront about my weight and current weight loss attempt with him, and we did exchange photos... I even showed him photos from my higher weight. He didn't mind. Some guys don't. Surprisingly he only lived a couple hours away, and now we're married and our first baby is due in a couple months. He keeps telling me I don't have to worry about losing any more weight after the baby is born. He thinks I am huggable now... I don't agree... but anyway, he could honestly care less (and he is not an overweight man either).

I think you just have to wait for the right guy. I wouldn't put off looking for someone now if you're ready for it... you are on this site for a reason it seems to get healthier anyway, and it's only the physical appearance that would change. (And when you DO get married and have kids, your appearance is going to change over the years anyway... you don't want to be with someone who is going to love you based only on appearance... I mean what's he gonna do when you get stretch marks from being pregnant or grey hair?)

Have you tried searching out people on the sites perhaps, rather than just waiting for them to contact you first? That's another option.

08-11-2011, 01:22 PM
Online dating is a b*tch. Yes, it's superficial, but I don't think being over weight is a total no go for a lot of guys. I dabble in online dating from time to time, and I've tried them all. No matter what my weight (and I was always honest with pictures) I've always gotten responses and gone out on dates. Not saying I completely enjoyed myself the whole time, but I was getting out there and meeting people.

I've found that confidence is the key over anything else. A well-written profile will catch someone's attention, no matter what your weight is. I recently went back to my okcupid profile (created 7 years ago, when I was 22) and I was like holy crap...no wonder no one was talking to me...it just "reeked" of my insecurities.

On the sites that I was most successful with, I had my girl friends help me write the profile. It's nice to have the perspective/words of someone that isn't you in order to high light some of your best characteristics (it also helped to have a marketing major in my group of friends).

I'd say make a party out of it. Have some girlfriends over for healthy snacks and movies, and brainstorm on your profile.

If you're that concerned that it's your picture that's holding you back, maybe look into some of the sites that allow you to "hold" your picture until a certain point in the conversation. I think eHarmony allows you to do that.

08-11-2011, 08:11 PM
I reluctantly started online dating recently, and have found that it actually suits me! I have much more confidence approaching a man with a quick online email than I EVER did in a bar. And the rejection is much easier to take (less personal). Remember, your one goal here is to kiss a lot of frogs!! Figuratively or literally. It's been shown that the people who are happiest in love are those who've tried, and failed, more than most. A few thoughts:

Be honest about your weight. It's not a turnoff. Men love happy, confident women, not one body type.

Use a free site. Less pressure and more fun. My favorite wound up being OKCupid. It's a VERY active site!

Yes to above, on having friends help with your profile. Be sure to have a male friend chime in too. The balance of opinions will be good.

And lastly, there is NO shame in online dating. There are millions of awesome doctors, lawyers, firemen, math teachers, nurses, etc all online. All good people, and of all shapes and sizes. Just have fun! Meet people and enjoy it. I've made running buddies, one professional connection, and friends out of my dating "failures". If you're a bit shy (like me), online is fantastic because you KNOW these guys want to meet someone, and you can start really slow with lots of emails, then phone calls, THEN face to face.

08-12-2011, 12:56 AM
I have dated online since about 1998 before it was cool. I met my ex-husband on there, so that's not the best factual evidence that it is a good thing. :P Seriously, though, I've been a single mom since I was 21, minus my daughter having a stepdad for awhile. I work full time, am a student, and have 2 kids. There isn't really another option for me, other than online. I like the ability to be vulnerable to one another. Liars happen online. Liars happen in a bar. There are plenty of shallow people only looking for a hot night of sex or some pitiful extramarital affair. These people are online. They are in the bars. They are in church and the library. There's no perfect place to meet anyone, and all you can do is do it the way you feel comfortable doing so. For me, I'm a nurse. I was never surrounded with opportunities at work to get to know any men because well--- it's predominantly a female community, minus maybe 10% males who meander in.

The best thing to do is be honest. There are tons of men out there attracted to overweight women, "curvy" women, or whatever you choose to dub yourself. But whatever you do, be honest. You're more likely to make a more positive match if you don't hide things about who you are. Mysterious isn't really that hot when you're dating online. It's creepy. Withholding information makes you no better than any guy on there who is dishonest about his intentions. I've met a great deal of men online and then in real life. It's all a shopping trip. Whether you meet someone online or in person, you can date 5 different guys and none of them are right, or there's one that you like over the others. Doesn't matter how you meet them. We are all weeding out the trash to find the treasure.

Just keep hunting!

08-12-2011, 12:59 AM
I second OkCupid by the way. That's where I met my present beau and made several wonderful friends, as well.

Another piece of advice, and this is just my personal experience. Use a dating site that is not specific to size. Okcupid is great. Don't frequent plus size dating sites. These guys are freaky and creepy and it's more like fetish dating sites than anything else. Just my personal experience.

08-12-2011, 06:58 PM
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all of the advice!! Thanks also for recommending sites. I'm starting to look into them. I'm also going to re-evaluate my profile. I don't feel that I've been too insecure in it, but relooking at it from that perspective is probably a good idea. It's been awhile since I've written it and it probably needs freshening up. But I'll try to keep a positive outlook on it. In the end I do know (like mamma used to say) if they don't like me for my picture then I don't want to know them anyway. It's just a hard time consuming process and I have enough of those in my life just by trying to get healthy. So I probably also need to reassess whether I'm really in the right frame of mind to do this anyway. But hopefully this process will surprise me for the better.

08-13-2011, 12:09 AM
Another piece of advice, and this is just my personal experience. Use a dating site that is not specific to size. Okcupid is great. Don't frequent plus size dating sites. These guys are freaky and creepy and it's more like fetish dating sites than anything else. Just my personal experience.

I have to say that sounds like really.. really.. good advice :lol:

08-14-2011, 11:33 PM
I agree with much of the advise above. Try to have some fun with it and focus on the free sites. I have had success with okcupid and plenty of fish. I had less success with eharmony. I find it helps to tell them what you like. For example I like nerdy guys and I try to work that into my profile.

I am in my mid thirties, about 50 pounds heaver than you and just about 2 inches taller. I do not share my weight in my dating profile but I post at least three photos. One that is a head to toe, one that shows some cleavage and one that highlights my waist long hair. I take lots of pictures with a friend and choose the three that I find the most flattering. It is hard to find a good photo if you only take a few pictures. Think about what you consider to be your best features and highlight that. Good Luck!

08-15-2011, 01:43 AM
I met my husband through an ad I placed. It appeared in a local newspaper and on a website affiliated with the newspaper.

I had placed ads in plus sized dating magazines and online, and didn't get hardly any replies. Then I read a dating book (I wish I could remember which one) that had a chapter on how to write a personal ad that would draw attention (and the right kind of attention).

I don't remember all the advice, but the author said that most peope write too generic a profile/ad, because they want to appeal to the most people. Instead, it comes off as boring or meaningless and you don't stand out from the crowd.

The author also suggested that a woman spend twice as much space talking about what she wants in a partner, as she does describing who she is and what she has to offer. You WANT to sound choosy, because it will actually draw in a lot more responses.

It seemed counterintuitive, but I have to say that it did work. I got more responses to that ad, than to any of the dozens I'd written previously.

Some of the responses were creepy, but no more creepy than I'd experienced in real-life (I once had a guy rub up against me "accidentally" in a crowded bookstore. I assumed it was an accident the first two times, but when he kept doing it, and followed me throughout the store as I moved to get away from him, I realized it was NO accident. Then I high-tailed it out of there and ran for my car - as he chased after me telling me how beautiful my breasts were as I got into my car and sped off).

I really liked online dating, because I didn't share contact information until I had ruled out the major creepiness factor (and luckily, or so it seems, most of the creepiest of creeps can't hide their creepiness very well).

08-15-2011, 02:12 AM
I think it's a total double standard for guys. I have met a lot of guys online who advertise themselves as "Fit" or "athletic" body types that are 30-40 lbs. overweight. It totally annoys me when I show up to meet in person and while I have advertised myself as "overweight" they are totally turned off by me when I'm shocked that they look the way I do. Just be honest here. I also think its a cultural norm that men are expected to be a few lbs. overweight and it's "OK" but as soon as a woman has a few extra lbs on her she's undateable. I clearly have some body image issues I'm working on. LOL. What do you think?

08-15-2011, 11:25 AM
Online dating is like any other form of dating: It is what you make it to be! You can find losers and jerks in bars just as fast as you can find them online but it's whatever "scene" you are most comfortable with that matters. My only advice is to be completely honest via full length photo and what you write in your profile. Oh and I will also add that I met my Husband on POF and we'll be married 4 years this December:)

08-15-2011, 07:44 PM
I met the love of my life on Facebook in a Dallas Cowboys group. My weight didn't matter to him. He supports me 100%! There are nice guys out there, just have to weed through the bad ones to find them. Good luck!! :)

08-15-2011, 07:46 PM
^agree. okcupid.com is a good one and is completely free, as well.

i found my husband on okcupid when i was 300 pounds. i can't complain a bit about online dating :)

edit to add:

There are nice guys out there, just have to weed through the bad ones to find them. Good luck!! :)

this is so very true. any venue you use to meet someone, you're gonna have to kiss a bunch of frogs to find a prince. whether it's speed dating, internet dating, going out and about... you will find creepers and jerks, and genuine guys too. don't stress it too hard. i find the old saying about "it will find you when you least expect it" to be true. i met my husband about a month after a bad break up and swearing off guys forever. heh.

Just Sloan
08-24-2011, 06:13 PM
Great picture+Great profile= dating success!

Picture: I would always do 4 pictures (Or more if I could!) Two face shots from a few different angles and a few full body shots again, different angles. Always dressed up for a family function, a night out with the girls.. what have you. I was 300 pounds and knew how to work my angles. :)

Profile:Play up your positives! Don't forget to mention you're plus sized (never go into exact weight!) Some dudes can be...not bright and not realize you're plus, even though your pictures obviously show that you are. Keep it upbeat, fun, lively and interesting! You have one chance to catch a guys attention, Be the profile that stands out among a sea of other women!

08-24-2011, 06:35 PM
I think it's a total double standard for guys. I have met a lot of guys online who advertise themselves as "Fit" or "athletic" body types that are 30-40 lbs. overweight. It totally annoys me when I show up to meet in person and while I have advertised myself as "overweight" they are totally turned off by me when I'm shocked that they look the way I do. Just be honest here. I also think its a cultural norm that men are expected to be a few lbs. overweight and it's "OK" but as soon as a woman has a few extra lbs on her she's undateable. I clearly have some body image issues I'm working on. LOL. What do you think?

Women certainly have the pressure to stay more trim. Yes people like all shapes and sizes, but women overall are expected to stay smaller than men. It's really unfortunate!

09-05-2011, 06:16 PM
I agree with the posters who suggested including a few pictures and at least one recent body shot-that way you're giving the guy a chance and limiting the chances of the guy being surprised by your size when you meet.

But beware, a lot of guys online are not interested in looking for a relationship-they want a hookup or a friends with benefits situation. A lot of these guys will even pretend to be into you just long enough for you to start getting into them and then they'll change.

I guess 30 hits and we start hearing the clock ticking LOL. I'm in the same boat. I'd love to meet a great guy and get hitched (again, long story) and have kids. I feel like I have every other part of the little girl inside me's dream (great career, friends, trendy place) but prince charming is an elusive character.

09-12-2011, 12:49 AM
I met my husband 3 years ago this month on okcupid.com. We talked online for a week then met in person and now have an adorable 18 month old son. It can work but I think sometimes it's like spinning a roulette wheel. I never expected to have any luck with it but I kept trying and it ended up working out.