Frus-dating.

For a while I've been using the #WTFOkCupid hash tag to document some of my frustration with the kind of guys that I attract via online...

For a while I've been using the #WTFOkCupid hash tag to document some of my frustration with the kind of guys that I attract via online dating. (I thought about consolidating my experiences with Match as well as OkCupid under the #FGvWDates hashtag, but then other people started using #WTFOkCupid to share some of their interesting messages.  Hilarity ensued.)

At first, I was considerate -- blurring out the faces and/or screennames of the offenders, and then I figured that if they didn't care about how they presented themselves to me, I wouldn't care about protecting their reputations.  I should be careful to note, that I don't need anyone to defend me or attack the men.  I can take care of myself, but I just want to defend myself that I'm not the only reason that I'm single.

The other day I got into a Twitter conversation with Ms. Plus Size Princess herself and Deepinky about how some men fetishize having sex with larger women, and how others think that they're "tossing a bone" when they offer to have sex with us (what charity!).   And it got me thinking in general....

I've gotten lots of dating advice lately about my standards (the things I need or want out of a partner, and how flexible I am regarding those needs/wants) my expectations (how a man presents himself, how he reveals himself to either meet or not meet certain standards), and how to present myself (apparently I'm intimidating).  My expectations are pretty low and generally are about etiquette -- (1) don't be a jerk, (2) respect me and my time, and (3) be who you say you are.  I've discussed my standards before, and by-in-large I think I'm pretty flexible (except re smoking cause it's gross).  Most of them have to do with a man's character.  I do have some aesthetic preferences, but there's one I'm particularly inflexible about -- height.  I like a guy that's taller than I am.

These jerkwads (yep, there's more than one) aren't the only ones that are telling me that I need to manage my expectations (um, they're as low as they get) and reconsider my standards (which again, are pretty flexible and are pretty understandable, imho).  To this I say

PLLLLBBBBBBTTTTTTT!!!!

This is where I'd like to hear some feedback -- because in my experience, all my gorgeous and fit/thin* friends seem to get different advice than I do:  people tell them "don't worry, the right guy will turn up, have faith" and they tell me (the amazing, but fat girl) "you're lucky to get what you get."  Erm, what? I think this attitude even bears out regarding how guys** treat me (I don't know about you other ladies) -- they'll date the thin/pretty girl, but the larger girl is the one he keeps on the down low.  

I know the whole "fuck buddy"/"inability to have an adult relationship" culture of my generation is also a factor in all of this, but I really resent both notions:  (1) that because I'm larger I don't deserve to have my needs and/or wants satisfied (and/or that someone who is a 10*** has the right to ask for what they want/need but not me (I don't know what my number is, nor do I care); and (2) that because I'm larger I should allow a man to treat me less than the way I deserve to be treated (that is, don't be a jerk, respect me and my time, be who you say you are).  

I think Fei-Fei said it best -- "I'd rather be single than settle." 

I think it really pisses people off that I have the confidence to say that.  I know what I bring to the table.  I'm all that and a bag of chips.  My milkshake does bring all the boys to the yard. I am sexy and I know it.
It's okay if someone doesn't think I deserve to have standards or expectations; they don't have to live my life or sleep in my bed.

I have faith that the right guy will see me as a tame kitten (vs. intimidating), rise to my standards, and meet my expectations.  He wants to be that man for me cause what he gets in return will be priceless (me!).


*Disclaimer 1:  I know you gorgeous, fit/thin girls also have problems dating -- please let me know if you experience any biases because of your appearance.  I'd like to know the flipside of this coin.
** Disclaimer 2:  I know that not all guys are like this.
*** Disclaimer 3:  But there are guys like this, this, this, this, and this.  Dare I go on? 

Also:  thanks for this story, Fei:  www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/fashion/the-end-of-courtship.html 

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19 comments

  1. Oh, you're fine, sweetheart -- every woman wants a man to be taller than she is and have some modicum of intelligence (if she herself is educated, as are you and I). I think the realization that if you're not a model, you shouldn't hold out for a model is a good one -- there are so few of us who are models -- but that's a realization you need to have whether you're a man or a woman, fat or thin, short or tall, and so on.

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  2. *Take what I say with a grain of salt... I am not the be-all-end-all of relationships, but I do have quite a bit of experience, and this approach worked for me*

    First and foremost, good for you. You already appear to have the best attitude possible in building a decent relationship. Strength of character, the refusal to lower your expectations, and the ability to be self-sufficient are the strongest foundations you can have. You know who you are, you know what you want. Without that strength, you could end up lowering your expectations (which would result in a relationship that will never satisfy you) or worse, ending up in a codependent relationship where you find you literally need the other person to get by, despite the slow hell it becomes. So keep it up.

    Second, never stop improving yourself... be it making yourself a healthier person, hitting the gym, reading, taking classes, etc. A person who never stops trying to improve themselves shows an outward value to others. If you're willing to invest in yourself, others will want to invest in you, too.

    Now when it comes to actually meeting others, I am under the personal belief that for any one person, only about 5% (or less) of other people are dateable at all. Let alone being the right person, the fraction of people we are even remotely compatible with is so small. The only way to combat this is with pure numbers. Get out there. Approach people. Go online. Go out to parks, bookstores, bars, etc. Just put yourself out there and try to meet as many people as humanly possible. Will you get shot down? Absolutely. Will you run into a lot of jerks? Without a doubt. (Hence why you need the strength of character) But if the person you're looking for is 1 in a million... then you have to go out and meet a million people to find them. And doing it one at a time or waiting for them to come to you will waste a lot of time...

    When I met my wife I was already dating three other women. I was not a jerk about it, though. I was very honest and upfront about my intentions to all of them. They all knew that the others existed. I found myself gravitating to my wife more than the others, as she seemed more compatible to me. Eventually, we made it exclusive, and once I realized I had found the one for me, I asked her to marry me. We've been together for 10 years now (total marriage + dating) and I can count the number of arguments we've had on one hand. We communicate, we're devoted to each other, we share interests. However, we are also both separate people. We have different interests. We share a lot of friends, but we have different friends, too. We're both self-sufficient, which only makes us as a couple stronger.

    So yes, be your self-sufficient & strong self and don't relax your wants and needs. There is someone out there... you just have to persevere, kiss a boatload of frogs, and keep going until you find them.

    Your homework: The next time you go out to a bar or the supermarket or bookstore or something, introduce yourself to 5-10 different people. Numbers. Finding love isn't about winning the lottery, it's about turning the odds in your favor.

    In my experience, this applies to literally all people. Fat/thin, short/tall, male/female, by the way. The 5% rule is universal.

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  3. I have to agree with Ocho re the numbers game...

    And second, I suggest not talking about/focusing on/paying any attention to those who inspire frustration. What you pay attention to grows. And if you're going to spend time giving a # to those whom you're frustrated, you're just going to get more of the same!

    Defensiveness does not attract what you want.

    Focus on what you want. Pay attention to what you want. Talk about what you want...keep it positive girlfriend! ;-)

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  4. Katie: I don't think I'm asking for a model. I hope that I didn't give that impression. All the same, if some hottie McModelPants was like "FGvW, you're all I've ever wanted, be my boo" I wouldn't then say "well, society doesn't think I deserve you." All that matters is the attraction between the two people...

    Ocho: Truer words, man... truer words... "And doing it one at a time or waiting for them to come to you will waste a lot of time..." I know that I post lots of my horror stories, but that's cause I like to play the non-horror stories close to my chest. I don't want to spoil something that may bear fruit because I've talked about it online. Regarding your numbers game, for instance... I've emailed 9 guys, only 1 guy wrote me anything with substance (the rest were just "Hey!" or "Sup?" emails). I email lots of guys on OkCupid and have great conversations, and even a few dates. When I'm out with friends, I'm the social chatty one meeting people. And if a guy asks me out, I'm usually game to say yes if he gives me a date/time/location and a reason to say yes (i.e., more than just "hey!" or "sup?").

    I just really dislike these minimal effort attempts of wooing me. In the animal kingdom (and before the sexual revolution), it was up to the man to put his best foot forward to attract the attention of his mate. (dig this bird: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-6c7lVxFhw) I deserve woo and I resent anyone who says I should settle for scraps.

    KCLA: Ever hear someone say "if i weren't laughing I'd be crying"? Well these douchebags represent a very small percentage of my time and effort, but they also represent the most hilarity. They remind me that I'm 100% within my rights to say "no" and that I'm not beholden to them. But I hear what you're saying about injecting more positive energy into the process.

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  5. I got Bart, so be confident: he'll turn up one day.

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  6. Jack: Right back atcha.

    Gudrun: I think "Bart got you" is the better way of putting it :)

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  7. Oh, I wasn't saying that you gave off the impression that you wanted a model; rather, I was trying to speak in generalities about not ONLY swinging for the proverbial fences, no matter who you are.

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  8. Also, for the record, I went out with pretty much EVERY MAN IN DC from 2009 to 2011. Fat, thin, tall, short, dumb, educated, rich, poor and everything in between. I lowered my standards, raised them and then lowered them again and raised them again.

    Ultimately, I ended up with a guy who is taller than me, just as smart as me, and fits a million other little criteria I didn't even know I had.

    So, I really WOULD recommend taking the "scorched earth" approach to dating because it keeps you covering ground (playing the numbers game, as has been suggestion) and keeps you learning about yourself to know what is ACTUALLY a deal-breaker and what can go by the wayside.

    Keep searching -- he's out there!

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  9. I think it's very strange that women are hurt when a guy says "I want a woman to weigh less than me" but think it's okay to say "I want a guy who's taller than me."

    We can't have it both ways.

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  10. I only met creeps when I used match.com 4 years ago.... Like seriously sick guys... The last one was 1. Married, 2. Very Physically aggressive/dominating and 3. A Convicted Pimp (technically owned an escort service butttt like that makes a difference)... Luckily I met the Hubs shortly there after while I was working onsite for one of my company's clients... But the creeper kept texting and calling so I ended up blocking his number for a while... I still worry that I might bump into him near my work but thankfully I haven't yet...

    Keep trying Hun... No need to settle!
    @seelaurarun

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  11. I just wanted to comment on the tall thing. I think my husband is pretty much prefect, out of my league (I'm not putting myself down, but he's wonderful and kind and looks like Michael J Fox and even has a high-paying job). But he is short. That is fine with me, I'm even shorter. But I honestly believe that some other girl would have snapped him up long before I came along if he was 5'10" instead of 5'6". I got so lucky!

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  12. Katie: Like I said to you on Twitter -- even if you swing for the fences and end up short, you might be able to get an in-field home run. You never know. But if you go up to the plate convinced that you don't deserve to hit at all....

    I do like the "scortched" earth policy -- but I don't get asked out on many dates and guys usually don't say yes if I ask them out. So that's a difficult hurdle.

    Becky: Height can't change, but weight can. I think one is a preference and the other is a preference+judgment. Most guys can't tell how much a girl weighs. I know -- I give guys license to guess my weight at bars and if they guess my weight within 5 lbs, I'll buy them a drink. I have only had to do that once and the guy was a boxer (someone who is trained to know how to size people up). But I think they get notions of what a perfect girl's size is and then feed off of that. Me? I grew up with a tall dad and have dated tall men. I like standing on my toes to kiss someone.

    Laura: I'm very horrified. I have no idea how to respond to that other than saying that I hope you got a restraining order. Ugh.. Congrats on hubs, though!

    Natalie: I'm not trying to say short guys can't be handsome or good people... I'm just saying that they won't get my attention 90% of the time. The other 10% is usually because I know them and they've charmed their way into my heart. I've dated guys my height and that was okay. I've dated guys shorter, and it just wasn't my thing. de gustibus non est disputandum

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  13. I have had the same philosophy all my life about 'standards' and 'expectations'... this goes for life and not just dating... if you are truly honest with yourself about what you want and what you need when you set these things, then don't worry or let anyone talk you into changing them. That won't make you happy. There is a person for everyone and you will find that person. They will delight in the fact they make you happy just as much as you delight in the fact you are what makes them happy. Waiting is awful, I know it is. Waiting is the worst and it can make you doubt things... but it's part of life unfortunately. The best we can hope to do I think, is to be as graceful as possible about it. For me, that occasionally means having a crying fit, but I do it gracefully. :grins:

    I was told by family and friends (never you though) that my expectations were unrealistic for what I wanted in a husband. I knew what I wanted and would accept though. I also got him. Know what you want, he'll come along. :)

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  14. Crystal: The waiting isn't really awful. I use that time to know myself and to indulge my hobbies and interests. But you're right about the graceful bit. I think a touch of grace is always useful. You totally got him -- and he got you :)

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  15. I love this post because I can relate 100%! I am currently on match.com and it is...interesting. I really haven't gotten anyone being mean or rude but I do get the perverted comments here and there. It's annoying because I feel like men do that to us adorably cute chubby girls because they think we would jump at anything.

    News flash. Not gunna happen. It took me a long time to realize what I deserved in a man. Geeze I was with an awful person for 3 years just because he called me beautiful at 315lbs and I didn't think I could do better. Well I broke up with him and I CAN do better! I love that you have standards and you should never settle. I'm 28 and I don't care if it takes me until I'm 40 to find someone I deserve. I would rather have a good relationship with myself than a bad relationship with a man.

    Also...I really hope your friends don't really say things to you like this "you're lucky to get what you get." I would punch one of my friends if they ever said that to me! And that is SO not true. You're a beauty.

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  16. Julie: You nailed it -- "I would rather have a good relationship with myself than a bad relationship with a man."

    My friends don't say that I'm lucky to get what I get directly -- but a few have said that my standards are too high. I don't think my standards are too high, especially when you look at what my standards actually are....

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  17. First let me say that I was engaged when I was 300 lbs. I was around 250 when I re-entered the dating scene in 2012 (after my 10 year relationship ended). So the fact of my weight or being a "big girl" has never been a negative factor. Now I'm not saying that I haven't ever been told "But you have such a pretty face" either :)
    I joined Match.com after I decided I was ready to enter the dating world again. Disclaimer: I waited until I was over all of my relationship ending issues. Ten years and infidelity is something to work through. I'll suggest that nobody take your old bagage out with you. Bottom line: allow yourself to work through any of your personal issues before you begin dating.

    While on Match, I met some "insert sarcasm here" real winners. The kind of winners that are 42 years old, still live with their Momma, don't have a license, don't have a real job, and a several DUIs. The kind of winners that their house smells like dog piss cause they're too lazy to get off their ass, pause their PS3 & take the dog outside.
    I'm rambling, but I did meet the guy that I've been dating for the last six months on Match.com. We talked for a while via Match messaging and texting before agreeing to meet. His ex was also unfaithful so it's a definite positive for someone to understand where you are coming from on certain things (aka...being slow to pull the commitment trigger).

    I guess what I'm saying is, don't ever apologize for having your own standards & not compromising them. Some men are just intimidated by a strong, confident woman who knows what she wants. Especially when she knows she doesn't want to deal with their Bulls#@t

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  18. Oh my goodness. I have been using ok cupid for at least a year now and yes all there are are creeps. The last guy that I met from the site basically told me that it was my fault that I was single because I was obese and that I should consider lap band surgery. Not that it was any of his business but I have lost a total of 30 lbs in that last year and am still working on losing more that I gained after my divorce. I didn't let me deter me. I just said good bye and let him know that even though he clearly wanted to make this my fault I was not lowering myself to his level to bring up his faults. I find it that because I want a specific type of guy that I have to be a certain size. I find it insulting that this is what it has come to. Be thin or you don't get a cowboy (i am southern and cowboys are kind of my thing) But still I keep going.. getting healthy and taking a break from dating.. Good for you for standing up for yourself! I love your blog!

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