Several years ago, when I first registered this blog, I thought that I would write about my adventures in Middle-Aged-Dating-Land. I have been uncoupled since December 2007, never married, no children. My experiences with internet dating go back to 1993 - and, no, that is NOT a typo!
One would think I would give up after 21 years with no luck, and I have gone long stretches with hiding my profile(s) on whatever internet dating site(s) I've been working with, only to once again decide to test the waters.
That's an apt metaphor since I've mostly been active on Plenty of Fish, but I've also tried Lava Life, Match, OK Cupid and a tiny Toronto-based site called Casual Kiss. I have been rejected by eHarmony TWICE! (Which probably isn't a bad thing.)
(The stories I could tell about my emails from Casual Kiss alone could entertain you for hours; I'm sure most of them were scam-related.)
In addition to perusing profiles, I've spent a lot of time these past two decades reading the forums of several of those dating sites, old Usenet newsgroups, and blogs - those published by dating sites, those written by so-called dating "experts" and those written by the average person.
As time passes, one fact has become glaringly obvious: when it comes to men, how a woman LOOKS is paramount!
It is the rare man who will consider dating a woman who is outside of the "norm" of North American "beauty standards", i.e. young, pretty and thin.
Public post after public post by men in several countries of many ages, races, income and education levels have driven that point home to me. And to countless of other women of size (and, now, age).
The perception of the dating scene for overweight women in general, and
especially overweight middle-aged women, is basically that you are NOT
ALLOWED to say "no". After all, this man has paid attention to you
and you're an awful FAT girl who barely gets attention, you should be
grateful for the attention and have sex with that guy. And it is about sex, because these men aren't looking at you for anything long term, they certainly wouldn't want to be seen in public with you.
A very small sampling of my emails over the past few years are revealing (I've left them intact):
Very nice skin. You look very lovely. I am pretty active and fit. I might be a good influence.
if you look a little deeper and overlook my facial hair, I am sure I
can overlook some extra weight. Find your face absolutlely beautiful.
Your eyes do look a little crazy .. Are you crazy? Just curious.
wow no wander u been on here here 3 years you will die a lonely old
lady hope a cat sneezes on you.thank god u never had kids ,now go get a
you sound like a real bitch, why would anyone want to contact you.
There was the one from a man who said he was going to a concert at the JLC and would I be interested in giving him a massage before the show. When I declined, the vitriol was swift and disgusting.
And one from a woman telling me that I "owe it" to men to post a full-length picture of my body so they know I'm not lying about my weight, despite the fact that I lay it all out on the line in my profile.
That is the tip of a big iceberg...
and yet, I continue to put myself out there.
I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment!