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Internet Dating: She Said


Internet dating may be the greatest show on earth. Or not.

TONI: Online dating services are the equivalent of the circus coming to town with a five-star freak show.

My first online date went like this: We met at a sports bar to watch the Super Bowl. He was the same height and weight as promised in his profile, and he looked the same as his picture. Good Start.

Then he pulled out his laptop computer. (Weird.) During the first half of the game, he attempted to show me pictures of all of his pets. (Weirder.) After he finished the pet parade, he matter-of-factly asked me if I'd like to engage in a sexual act with him in the parking lot during half time. (Weirdest!)

My second online date was with a man so completely different from his online height, weight and picture I didn't recognize him. When I mentioned that he looked different than his photo, he admitted it was 10 years old. Later in the night, he admired the fact that I didn't have "old lady hands" like his other dates.

Because I'm a glutton for punishment — and I had a one-year contract — I had a third online date. Apparently 5'10" is the new 6' because I could see the top of his head. Unfortunately, he was looking for a brunette Barbie doll who doesn't perspire, spends 14-plus hours a week grooming herself and loves to fish. Good luck with that.

I'm fairly attractive (aren't we all?) and enjoy normal stuff like barbecues, wine, pizza and a good comedy. I don't rock climb, compete in Ironman Triathlons, race in the Tour de France or fish.

Perhaps I'm asking for too much — someone with a great sense of humor who's comfortable in social situations and financially responsible. The husband of a dear friend told me that I need to lower my standards.

IRIS: I've been trying Internet dating for the past three years. None of the men I've met were ready to get involved. The allure of online dating is that there are so many fish in the sea, why settle? Even while we were dating, the men would search the computer for more women, sometimes even in front of me.

JILL: I've subscribed to several dating sites over the last 11 years, and I've found them all to be scams. The way it works is when you unsubscribe, they keep your profile in the system. That way, they can advertise that they have a lot more members than they actually have.

Since they don't remove your profile, men will continue to send flirts, views and messages thinking that you'll receive them. But if you want to access these messages, you have to extend your subscription, which is quite costly.

I couldn't understand why I only got a few responses to my profile since I'm told I'm attractive, not overweight and have a very young-looking body. In my photos, I posed in casual, career and dress up clothes. I sent hundreds of messages to men. Now I understand that some of them had probably cancelled their subscription. The others were either married, just wanted to play games or were bored with life.

Have you met people at religion specific dating sites, like JDate and ChristianMingle, who aren't that religion? Or have you met your partner through them? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to And check out my new website



12 Comments | Post Comment
Reading between the lines, Toni probably needs to get into better physical shape. She may need one of those make-overs. I'm not talking about anything surgical. Join a gym, firm up, lose a few pouunds, get a new hairstyle and some new clothes. Ask that good friend for some advice. Also consider expanding your personal interests. Once she has her weight down and confidence up, she should join The Tall Club. They have chapters all over, and there are lots of tall men looking for tall women there.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Madelyn
Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:38 AM
Madelyn, are you kidding? Where in the world did you get the idea that SHE is overweight and needs to work out more in order to appeal to the losers she doesn't even want to date? I have had similar experiences, which is why I hate online dating. Just because she doesn't want to date "adventure man", it doesn't mean she is fat, has an old hairstyle or old clothing. Your assumptions are insulting.

I have noticed, on many men's profiles, a laundry list of outdoor "adventure"-type of activities. It seems these men may be very selfish in their pursuit of these activities because there are sure a lot of them looking for dates. Either that or they check every single activity that they would like to do but don't actually do at all. This is not the way I want to live my life so I choose not to even consider these guys and she doesn't either. How does that make her fat and dowdy in your eyes?
Comment: #2
Posted by: Julie
Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:52 AM
OK, reading between the lines of L#1: All of her "likes" involve eating fattening food and pursuing sedeentary, indoor things like watching the comedy channel. All of her dislikes involve outdoor, physical activities. "Barby doll" is a favorite insult overweight women use. Thin women learn to cultivate a taste for fresh vegetables and fish. Also a woman with an active lifestyle is always looking for new sports to try. She knows how to have fun, and so she is fun to be around.

BTW, I'm a personal trainer, and I know how overweight women justify their inactive lifestyles. I also specialize in getting them out of their comfort zone to a healthier and happier lifestyle. She can start by taking a walk--discover the great outdoors right outside her own back door.
Comment: #3
Posted by: madelyn
Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:28 AM
Madelyn-- So someoen who "cultivates a taste for fresh vegetables and fish" is never allowed to enjoy a slice of pizza or attend a wine tasting? Not all active women are fun to be around. Some are self-righteous, self-absorbed bores, which is what you appear to be.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Mopdolly
Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:53 AM
Madalyn, very much disagree with your read on LW1, regardless of how much you think you "know" about overweight women and "justifications".

All the "fattening foods" LW mentioned were two items -- pizza and barbecue -- that are guy-friendly and not overly expensive -- code that: I don't have to be taken to only super-trendy restaurants or eat just macrobiotic stuff. It certainly didn't indicate that she doesn't have a taste for fresh veggies, only that she didn't want to come across as holier than thou in her online profile. She's not indicating a love of the symphony, opera or art galleries -- but for comedy -- for the exact same reason.

Just because she doesn''t compete in the Tour de France or triathlons doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy recreational biking -- or dancing, or hiking in state parks -- or that she doesn't go to the gym. You are reading very much into that, as with your belief that Barbie doll is some sort of code word used only by fat women to describe thin women. No offense, but you really need to broaden your frame of reference, because I heard "She's a Barbie doll" used by thin women 30 years ago to describe other women whose primary passions were hair, makeup, clothing and shoes and had zero thoughts on politics, literature, current events or scientific issues.

You seem to assume LW had only 3 dates to choose from in her time online, when there's nothing to support that. She CHOSE to go only on 3 dates, but says nothing about the number of men who expressed interest that she chose not to follow up on (and most people on dating sites do NOT follow up on everyone who expresses interest).

I think there's much more to support the idea that LW is past 40 (reference: Her 2nd date's comment that most of his dates had "old lady hands"--an unusual remark I've never seen mentioned before!) than there is to suggest that she is overweight. I don't think the increasing rate of obesity in this country, and someone's lack of online dating success, are REMOTELY enough evidence to conclude that she needs to lose weight or isn't physically active.

Comment: #5
Posted by: hedgehog
Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:08 PM
"Unfortunately, he was looking for a brunette Barbie doll who doesn't perspire, spends 14-plus hours a week grooming herself and loves to fish. Good luck with that." I doubt, very much, that he actually said that. If he acted uninterested, that is what she inferred. Why? Most likely because she thinks she isn't slim or particularly well-groomed.

'"I don't rock climb, compete in Ironman Triathlons, race in the Tour de France or fish." I'm sticking by this one. She exaggerates all physical activity to its illogical extreme then turns up her nose. People who do enjoy sports and the outdoors don't talk like that.

Also she has the victim mentality that is so characteristic of overweight women. Everything is always everybody else's fault, and everything just happens to them. Hard to know which comes first, the weight or the victim mentality, but the two really go together.

Comment: #6
Posted by: Madelyn
Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:19 PM
How you get she think she is slim from "Barbie doll who doesn't perspire" or thinks she isn't "particularly well-groomed" from her description is beyond me. And I enjoy sports and the outdoors, but I don't rock climb, compete in Ironman Triathlons, race in the Tour de France or fish, either. Those were specifically chosen as contrasts to the "normal stuff".

No, he perhaps didn't use those words to her, but it is VERY possible that sometime during the date he pointed out other attractive women or talked about an actress that was his type.

You're really reading an awful lot into very little here.
Comment: #7
Posted by: hedgehog
Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:38 AM
And again -- nowhere does LW say these were the ONLY three dates she had to choose from. They were the only three she agreed to MEET.

I've watched my sis on dating sites in a medium sized town. She is slim, but past 40, and she gets a LOT of flirts and messages. She doesn't follow up on all of them, because not all of them appeal to her. It certainly sounds like LW is not going out with everyone who is expressing interest, given that her friend's husband said she was too picky.

Comment: #8
Posted by: hedgehog
Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:44 AM
LW1: What I got out of Toni's letter was that her second date was looking for an ideal, rather than a real woman. When I was online dating, I remember reading one profile that particularly struck me. The man stated that he was looking for a 5'8" green-eyed blonde! Good luck with that! Some of these men seem to think they can order their perfect woman from a menu when they are online dating. I remember sorting through a lot of profiles from men who like to go camping and fishing. I prefer to vacation where there are hotels with real beds and hot showers. I've been having a lot better luck since I cancelled my subscription to a popular site and took up salsa dancing!
Comment: #9
Posted by: PuaHone
Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:26 AM
Some of these men seem to think they can order their perfect woman from a menu when they are online dating.
Exactly. Like we're all in stock in a warehouse somewhere!

I do think the most successful users I've seen on internet dating sites tend to think of them more as internet MEETING sites, even though they are marketed very heavily as "find your soulmate" (gag) or "find romance!" Tough for any relationship to live up to that kind of expectation and hype.

Traditionally, relationships happen organically by being in common with someone regularly -- at work, at the gym, volunteering, at a class, and your salsa dancing fits neatly into that. A low-pressure way to interact regularly with people who could turn into dating partners or could remain simply classmates.

Comment: #10
Posted by: hedgehog
Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:43 AM
I am 50 and not even that slim and I get asked out on dates, even by guys more than 10 years younger than me. But it's just not that easy to find Mr. Right.
I agree that the person who "read between the lines" about LW1 was probably just making things up. In fact, I suspect Madelyn is really a guy who loves to criticize overwieght women. Not many women are named Madelyn these days, plus the person sounds so judgemental and defensive, i think it is a guy.
It is certainly annoying that overwieght, unnatractive, immature men for some reason all think that they deserve a "babe."
Comment: #11
Posted by: Mary
Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:20 PM
Sorry, Mary, but I am a woman, not even confused, who is trying to help another woman. I knew it would make all the other women on this blog mad when I mentioned the weight issue, because it is not politically correct. Yet the fact is that it's really important. If you're less than 20 lbs overweight, the men don't even notice it. Past that point, the heavier a woman is, the more it's a barrier. I've heard men say they're not interested in overweight women because it's indicative of a sedentary lifestyle that they don't want to share.

Why did LW#1's friend's husband tell her to lower her standards? Criticism rarely comes in a constructive manner, and you should look for a hidden truth. Somehow he probably meant well, as I do, too.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Madelyn
Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:05 AM
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