I’ve had an online dating profile in one form or another for … well… a long time. And generally, I don’t get much attention, which compared to what some women experience is something of a relief. But when I do get attention, be it the generic “I’d like to meet you” sorts of features on many sites or an actual message from an actual person (allegedly) I find that I just don’t meet people I’d like to sit near on the bus let alone become intimate with. I’m not talking about appearance or anything superficial, I’m talking directly about personality.
My friends will attest that I have a long standing track record of not really being terribly particular about appearances. Sure, there are certain traits that I find more attractive than others, but that’s never held me back from dating someone who was a complete opposite of what I would subjectively find attractive. Because it’s just not that important to me that the person I fall in love with look like the hunk of my dreams. So when I say I’m talking about personality being a problem, it’s genuinely a personality problem.
Let me give you some examples. P. contacted me on a dating site, and nearly immediately wanted to switch to texting from messaging through the site’s email. He didn’t want to publicly post a photo of himself, but wanted to send me a photo. I agreed, and he promptly sent me a photo… just an average looking guy. Then he wanted a “better” photo of me. I learned long ago not to post photos of myself from the neck down. I’ve got an extremely ample bust and that just draws all kinds of creepers. So when a man asks for a better photo, I know he means that he wants a picture of me that shows my figure. Fair enough. So I send the most recent head to toe shot of myself I have in my phone, one of me in a new dress I just bought recently. It’s pretty provocative. It also very clearly shows that I am a fat woman and not ashamed of it. He immediately wanted to see “more”. “More” is a very vague way of asking me to send more revealing photos. I declined and let him know that I wasn’t after casual dating or casual sex. I’m genuinely looking for a relationship. And frankly, if I were looking for casual sex, I have plenty of options with men I already know and trust to treat me with respect and affection. I’m comfortable with myself and my sexuality and my choices. Random internet dude seemed shocked that I wasn’t falling all over myself to accept his offer.
I almost prefer this type. They’re not trying to hide who and what they are. And much as I hate this assumption that I as a fat woman would jump on any opportunity for a man who expresses a genuine desire for my body, he is at least honest that he finds me sexually attractive and is open about wanting something casual. He doesn’t want a serious relationship, he doesn’t want to pretend to be interested in my interests or my friends or my life. There’s a time and place for arrangements like that. It’s not what I’m after. And when I declined, he moved on without feeling the need to insult me on his way out the proverbial door. I respect that. I have deeper problems with his desire to sleep with fat women but not date them, but he is at least honest with himself and with the women he contacts.
Worse though, in my mind, are the men who do pretend to be interested in a relationship. C. contacted me the same day P. did, but made every effort to differentiate himself from “those other guys”. And with the fresh example of P. in my mind, I fell for C.’s game hook line and sinker. He made a comment near the beginning that was inappropriate, but seemed genuinely repentant when I called him on it. We chatted for a couple of days, went on one brief date, and continued chatting and talking on the phone for several more days. Some of our conversations got quite intense. But there were warning signs that I wasn’t ignoring as our conversations progressed. He seemed to have zero social life. He wanted to be in near constant contact with me by IM, text, or phone…to a point that it was becoming inconvenient to do anything in my real life. If I took a minute or two to reply because I was doing something else, he became anxious and would send multiple messages trying to get my attention. He seemed aimless in his life, and remarked that I seemed very hard working simply by mentioning the normal day to day things that I was trying to get done while he was monopolizing my time. C. made a number of comments about himself that pointed strongly to a very poor self esteem.
Then he began doing things that were just too manipulative and potentially signs of emotionally abusive nature. At the end of an intense phone conversation, he would hang up abruptly then claim that he had heard a man’s voice in my background. The first time I had Pandora on in the background so I assumed he heard an ad and scrambled to explain and ensure that he wasn’t angry with me. But when he did the same thing again the next night I suspected that this was just a ruse. When I expressed that I was very wary of continuing our association due to the things I mentioned above, he was alternately apologetic and accepting. But he wanted to go on essentially as we had been, but as “friends”. I firmly declined. Then he sent this (before reading the next paragraph, please understand that this is a direct quote from his text message, I’ve only corrected some minor spelling for readability. It’s quite explicit, degrading, and includes some foul language. I debated censoring it or just summarizing, but that would imply that his words have the power to harm me.)
Well all I can say is I just wanted to use you. You have freak hair on your face under your double roll chin. Your gut hangs down in to your pants. I don’t know how you shave that nasty cunt. You’re so dang fat how do you wipe your ass. I was just going to use you. You’re so fucking ugly. LOL take care you fat slut.
A couple of points I’d like to make. He never saw me nude. Not even any moderately revealing photos. I was very clear about my body type in our initial conversations, before we even exchanged phone numbers. I also explained that I’m body positive, practice Health at Every Size, and don’t do the whole dieting thing. We had a whole conversation about how he found plus size women more attractive. Not that it matters, but I do have PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome), a hormone imbalance that does cause me to grow hair in places that is considered unfeminine. For the most part I try to find ways to look more socially acceptable, even going as far as having treatments done that are expensive and painful or using products that I can never be sure aren’t going to set off a nasty allergic reaction that could permanently scar me. That’s a whole layer of effed up I don’t want to delve into right now.
The crux of this though is that I didn’t want him, so all of these things that were non-issues just a day ago are suddenly the most disgusting thing he can think of. He has to reassure himself twice that he only intended to use me. I’m not sure how he intended to gratify his desires with a woman he found so repulsive, but that’s his neurosis, not mine.
Is it any wonder that while I do still have two online dating profiles on free sites, I chose never to initiate contact with anyone? When this is the sort of treatment I receive from men who contact me, I’m sure you can imagine the sort of response I get when I take the time to message someone first. I’ve come to consider simply never receiving a reply a polite response. It becomes difficult to really believe anyone who expresses interest in me. I end up spending the first couple of weeks of getting to know someone wondering when their true feelings will come out.