Online Dating: Bait and Switch?

I like the idea of online dating. In theory, it’s a great way to get to know someone without judgment, but the judgment still happens eventually. It’s delayed, but it’s also inevitable.  Can someone really like me before they see me?

At some point, typically in the beginning, you exchange photos, and if you make it through that, there’s still the question of whether or not you’ll have chemistry in person.  It’s scary to know that someone might like everything about you except the way you look.

Over the years, I’ve given thought to joining sites like match.com, but I’m far too insecure for that. Sure, I post about the details of my life (including, but not limited to my weight, eating habits and emotions) on the internet. People judge me here too, but I’m not looking for a significant other.

The thought of meeting a single, tall, brainy, emotionally available type who likes Scrabble, reading, travel, going to the gym and eating dessert sometimes seems reasonable to me, but it’s hard to find him, at least in part, because I spend the majority of my time at school, the gym, with friends and at home.

We live in the digital age, and I have often wondered whether or not The Future Mr. Kenz is sitting in a coffee shop somewhere, surfing the net too.  That possibility is almost enough for me to sign up for a dating website.  After all, I’ve met some incredible people online in the past.  Why wouldn’t I do it again now?

Well…When I decided to give it a try recently, everything was going well until I got the section on which I had to describe myself.  “Um, well…I’m smart, active, well-groomed, love animals, museums and traveling; I wear dresses and cute shoes…Oh, and I’m obese.”  And while sites try to make it easy, describing my weight as “a few extra pounds” just doesn’t suffice.  And describing myself as a “BBW” doesn’t cut it either because I definitely do not want to attract a man who has a “BBW” fetish, and those men certainly exist.

The bottom line is that whether I meet someone online or in a traditional sense, my desire is to meet someone who likes me in spite of my size.  It does happen occasionally , but I don’t really know if posting a profile on a dating website will increase the chances of that. After all, my body is still the first thing they’ll see (hello, photos.)  Then again, maybe putting myself out there will lead to something good.  It’s hard to know without trying, but I just don’t think I’m prepared to face my fears on this, at least for now.

This post is not about hating myself or thinking that I don’t deserve love.  I know that I deserve to be loved now just as much as smaller people, and after a few extremely difficult years, I remember what it’s like to feel wanted.  I no longer feel broken, and I’m enjoying life as a single girl in my little city.  I just wonder if there’s a spectacular guy outside of my regular circles who might complement my life if I’m open to it.

Have you ever dated online?  If so, how was it?  Would you do it again?  Do you think it’s easier to meet someone online first than it is to meet in a tradition sense?

 

34 thoughts on “Online Dating: Bait and Switch?

  1. I met my husband on Yahoo Personals, so it obviously worked for me. When we finally got around to meeting in person (he let me choose when I was ready) he came over early to find me barefoot & no makeup, chasing my naked 4 year old around after her bath. He said he knew then he was going to marry me.

    In my case, it was the only way I would have met him. he only lived 15 minutes away, but I was a single mom so my life revolved around work, daycare & the grocery store.

    So I say go for it! You never know unless you try!

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      • I’ve been dating recently, and it’s not really something I feel like doing at this point. It’s definitely something worth considering though, and hearing your story makes it seem like an even better idea.

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  2. I met my hubby online. I am glad that I did it, because without having tried that, I never would have met the most wonderful guy in the world!!

    I would suggest that regardless of your weight, you’ll be judged when you meet the “match” for the first time. It could be that he doesn’t like your haircut, or your nose reminds him of an ex-girlfriend. You can be rejected at any size. While you don’t have to sign up on any dating site, if having a significant other is something that you want a lot right now, I’d say try it out. But I know life can also be great without a significant other – many people are happily single, and that’s okay too.

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    • I really enjoy the freedom that comes from dating around lately…especially now that I’m living in the heart of the city by myself. It’s just something that kind of lingers on my mind regularly. I’ve thought about it, and I guess by talking about it, I’m trying to decide whether or not it’s a good idea. Hearing people have experiences similar to yours makes me think it might be a good idea at some point.

      And you’re right…I didn’t mean judged only because of weight…just that it happens regardless so online doesn’t necessarily seem easier.

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  3. I met my bf online and we are coming up on our three year anniversary together! I had to go through a lot of weirdos and a couple jerks before I found him but it was totally worth it and the online thing is actually a really great way to get to know people without putting in too much time/effort/emotions if it isn’t a right match- he got to know my personality, what I like/don’t like and we really connected before we even met for the first time. I always tell people to give it a shot!

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  4. I met my husband online at PlentyofFish.com. While I’m so glad that I did because he’s an amazing guy, there were A LOT of guys I went on dates with before I found him. And although I felt like I “knew” him after so many months of talking online, it is really easy to only see the sides of the person they want you to see. If nothing else online dating is a way to meet a lot of new people (and weed through a lot of people).

    Ladies: I have a feeling the post about the man who thought she was too old to wear blue nail polish, have kids or start a new career was about Lance. I could be wrong though.

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    • You’re incorrect, thankfully, about the blue nail polish, etc. I’ve just tried not to talk much about my dating life lately because there are a few folks who get far too involved in my dating life via my blog. If I don’t discuss it, I won’t have to deal with those people. It’s just hard because I feel so close to so many of you…

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  5. I think you should absolutely try online dating. I’ve done it a few times and though I never came out of the experience with a husband, I met some great guys and had a lot of fun dating.

    My suggestion is to put honest pictures of yourself online. Using a site like eHarmony or Match, they’ll see your picture and a few snippets about you. Many, many guys will not be turned off by your current size and will see your gorgeous face and bubbly personality and want to get to you know you.

    I think the danger is if you just put headshots or deceiving pictures. Just show an honest picture (including a few full body shots) of where you are at today and you’ll get guys that want to get to know YOU right where you are today!

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  6. I met my boyfriend of almost 3 years online when i was around 260lbs and before I met him I online dates for a couple years and had a lot of fun! I met some great guys and not so great ones. I found it awkward putting “a few extra pounds” on my profile, when I knew I was obese. Obese just sounds so bad, so instead I made sure to put one or two full body shots on my profile. This way they knew what they were getting (for lack of better words) and there shouldn’t be any surprises.. at least not on their end. I think you should totally go for it! Just be honest, post recent pictures and have fun! :)

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  7. I met my husband on PlentyofFish and had done A LOT of internet dating before that. I made sure that I had a few pictures up that accurately showed my size and picked whatever descriptor felt right.

    While there are definitely fetishists out there, I thankfully didn’t end up meeting any. My husband has dated various shapes and sizes. It all came down to who we were together and, of course, chemistry.

    I think part of the trick of online dating is to go into it with a positive attitude. Think of each date as a new, potentially fun, experience. People sometimes put too much pressure on themselves and the person they are meeting by investing way too much in the person before the first date. Even if the person turns out to be a dud, it’s a good way to narrow down what you don’t want and to have some practice at meeting new people!

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  8. I technically met my husband on FB through a mutual friend who set us up and actually officiated our wedding last July.

    I think meeting someone online can be great but its not for everyone. For me though, I think it was great. I was/am pretty shy and reserved and the whole bar scene was not me or my husbands style. I think as a shy person it was just a lot easier to have that foot in the door before we met so we had things to talk about.

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  9. Oh online dating… I have been on several different sites, from OKCupid to JDate over the past few years. I’ve had luck, met two amazing guys on OKC, but I had to go on plenty of awkward dates with others before finding them. There are definitely great guys out there online and there are plenty of crazies as well. I think it is always worth a shot since I find it difficult to meet people in the real world. These days I try to keep an open mind and remember that it is good to meet new people (and get free dinner).

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  10. I met my husband through eHarmony. It was an amazing experience. I, too, am obese. I was in a very empowering time of my life, and I didn’t want a bunch of BS. I wanted some control. Let me tell ya…being able to be the one to call a few shots feels good. Somebody rubs you the wrong way or makes you uncomfortable, you can click him out of your life. They don’t have your e-mail address or know where you live…your communications are facilitated by eHarmony, so when you click him away, he’s gone and can’t do anything about it. Once you get into the open communication part where your not answering pick-and-choose questions…put it out there! Make that one of the first things you reveal, that you’re overweight. If he clicks you away, so what? You get many, many introductions, so why not thin the herd right out of the gate? If he’s ok with your weight from the get go, and he’ll obviously realize you’re an honest soul or you wouldn’t have put it out there, then maybe there’s a really good chance this guy might be the one, or at least a finalist! That was my case. When I told him I was overweight in our very first open communication, I anxiously awaited his response to see if he’d address it, or whether I’d get clicked out of his life for good. His response made me cry…not because he deleted me, but because he DIDN’T, and what he chose to say made me cry…He said, “There’s more to beauty than that, and from what I know so far, I think you’re beautiful.” The first time he wanted to meet in person, I was over the moon! But then I got scared the day of and tried to talk him out of it; he was coming from out of state to take me to lunch. I said, “Don’t you think it’s a little crazy to drive so far for a ‘maybe’?” He said, “No. I’d be crazy NOT to.” He proposed 6 months later. We’ve been married 7 years April 15.

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  11. I second EHarmony! I felt way more in control and met the love of my life!
    Your profile is not there for all to see, only your matches.
    I did meet one dud. I posted an extremely recent and accurate picture of myself and went on the date. I was 5ft2 and 135 pounds and the guy said “You would be really hot if you lost 15 pounds”…..yep… what a jerk. Here is the thing, Kenlie, you are GORGEOUS RIGHT NOW! Any guy would be super lucky to have you! I showed my boyfriend your picture and he thinks you are
    beautiful!!!!!!

    Good luck! Be careful! Have Fun!!!

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  12. I met my husband eight years ago online, and we’ve been married for almost five years. I am definitely for online dating, obviously! I say, go for it!

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  13. Online dating IS scary. I was up front and honest about my weight loss and lifestyle because I knew I wanted to attract a man who would encourage and be involved with it.

    And you know my story. :) I met Mr. B online, called him a beer snob, and married his cute face.

    Go for it Kenz!

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  14. As I say there is a lid for every pot. I am married to the man of my dreams, my best friend and the sexiest man I know. Oh and yes I met him on eharmony! You may not meet him right away but be strong and keep trying!

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  15. I did the online thing waaaay back when I was dating & thought it was a great way to go- can filter people based on common interests/values + you have access to so many more people that you could ever meet in real life. I did meet my husband at a singles event & we had some funny stories about online dating (my profile) that made for a good laugh.

    I think you should go for it- put yourself out there, acknowledge your journey & how you are on a path to a healthier mind+body. Good luck!

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  16. I did the online dating thing years ago, and honestly, it was pretty bad. I ended up with two types of guys- the BBW fetishists, who only cared that I was big, and the hopelessly awkward computer nerds with a great monitor tan who literally could not say a single word to me in person once we met. No winners and I met plenty, most of which we had great online chemistry.

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  17. I met my boyfriend online, and if we hadn’t met online we wouldn’t have met any other way. We lived (at the time) in different towns, didn’t have any social contacts in common (so no meeting through friends), and considering that he has two kids and I have a business to run, unless I started hanging around at playgrounds 45 minutes from my then-home, we weren’t likely to ever meet.

    That said, when we met online I was in the process of deleting my account. I got plenty of responses from Mr. Wrongs regarding the size of my breasts. The most hurtful were the ones who would meet me in person and either act like I’d deceived them (and I had plenty of full-body pictures on my profile, deception wasn’t an option for me) or who subscribed to the myth that because I’m overweight I must have no self-esteem/ be willing to do anything or be treated like crap in order to not sit home on Friday nights. There was something about my now-boyfriend’s first message to me. I could tell he was seeing me as a person and that my appearance (while he admitted finding me attractive) was secondary to the things he read in my profile.

    I have had a long struggle with weight loss and I wasn’t proud of my weight when I posted a profile online. I left weight out of it, because the right partner for me wasn’t going to care what my weight was. You’re right- “a few extra pounds” wasn’t accurate, and I don’t want the BBW fetish crowd after me, either (I don’t plan on being a BBW forever so if that’s what attracted a man, what would happen as I shed the pounds and would he encourage me to do so?). The right partner for me was going to understand that my weight is a work in progress and that I have so much more to offer than a number on the scale, and the right partner wasn’t going to assume that because I’m overweight I must sit home in my sweat pants crying into a bag of potato chips. The right partner was going to get to know the person under all of this weight and be my cheerleader as I take steps to change it. I know it sounds cliche or easier said than done. The first step to putting up a profile was believing that that man exists, and being willing to suffer the fools who don’t fill that description. The beauty of online dating is the “delete” button and the ability to easily ignore people who turn out to be what I’m not looking for. Power meant not having to respond, and it’s a lot easier to ignore a message online than it is to get away from a creep at the bar.

    I found that online dating gave me not only a great way to weed out jerks, it gave me a great way to filter for common interests and basic compatibility and in the unlikely event that the relationship I’m in doesn’t work out, I’d go right back to online dating.

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  18. I think it probably makes sense for a lot of people. I just do not like the impersonal communications. I am not even a fan of talking on the phone, because most communication is body language and I feel blind if I cannot see those signals. It really is amazing younger people are going the opposite direction with “texting” where they cannot even hear the voice.

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  19. I did some online dating about 10 years ago. I met a few duds, one guy who I ended up considering dangerous, and made a couple of really good friends. I took a break from dating for a couple of years, and decided to start the new year with a new profile on Yahoo personals. The very first profile I saw belonged to my now husband! We’d lived 10 miles apart for 20 years and would never have met if not for online dating.

    I think the key is to not spend too much time corresponding online before meeting in person. It’s easy to let your imagination/feelings get out of hand with prolonged e-mailing and phone calls, and it can be very disheartening to meet and have there be no chemistry. After that happened once, I tried to meet in person within two weeks (always in public, driving myself).

    All in all, it was a good experience, and I would do it again if I hadn’t married the love of my life. ;-)
    I say go for it!

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  20. I have only dated online. I am pretty picky and I just do not meet enough people on a daily basis to meet the right type of persons. And I really do not want to go some place just because it is a meet market. Online dating might not be perfect, but it is a lot more efficient than the traditional method.

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  21. I met my husband on match.com. I had tried POF, eHarmony and lavalife previously and found tools. Match.com at the time had the option to click “queen-sized” so I did that and put up an honest picture of myself that I loved.

    I liked match.com because I got to review profiles as well (and I found my husband before he found me), with eHarmony they send you their matches, which I didn’t enjoy as much.

    We have been together for 5 years, and married for 3. If it wasn’t for the dating I did online, I don’t think I would have been ready to ask for what I needed, and ended up getting.

    I say do what you are comfortable with right now, and when you’re ready for more you’ll be in a good place to ask and receive it.

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  22. I’ll be honest, online dating was not for me at all. Every man I have dated was someone I already knew from school, work, mutual acquaintances, etc. I went on one blind date set up by a former roommate, and was so uncomfortable (although he was a nice guy) that I just didn’t want to do that any more. It was really important to me to have some context for a guy beyond what he wrote down on an online profile. I wanted independent verification. :) Now, that did mean that my dating life wasn’t as active as people who were willing to do the online thing. It was a trade-off I was willing to make.

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  23. So I decided to start online dating about 5 years ago after ending a long relationship. It was so entertaining that I started documenting my dates, one guy at a time, on a blog. You can find it at DatesWithKate.com. There is also a podcast, dating advice, etc.

    My opinion on it, after meeting over 100 guys is, although it takes some time to weed through people, is that it is the best way to meet men. I don’t do it anymore – because of my site – and I really do miss it. It can actually be kind of fun (!!!). Really. :) If you need any help/advice I would be happy to do so.

    Kate

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  24. My husband and I met on Match.com. I, like you, had a busy life – I worked, went salsa dancing weekly, hung out with friends and family, went to the gym regularly, etc. I loved my life but was “meeting” the same people over and over, so I decided online dating was the most logical way for me to meet more people without having to change my life *just* to meet someone new. In other words, Match and eHarmony made way more sense to me than just joining a [fill in the blank] club *just* for the sake of meeting new guys. I did online dating for about 2 years and 2 really good relationships (including my DH!) came out of it for me. But yeah…lots of guys wouldn’t even consider making contact due to my weight. I guess I realized that if a guy was superficial enough that they would rule out any woman based *solely* on her size, I didn’t care to meet him, either!

    Only you know whether it’s the right choice for you, either now or in the future. But given your circumstances (busy, happy, full life), it seems like it might be the most efficient way to keep meeting new people – including people you would not have a way of meeting “in real life.”

    Oh, one word of advice, though? Don’t e-mail and talk on the phone for weeks and weeks before meeting in person. I had a loose “rule” for myself that if we were in touch for 2 weeks without an actual date on the calendar, I moved on. I wasn’t interested in a “virtual” relationship, nor did I want to get emotionally invested in someone without knowing if the chemistry would be there *in person.* That was important to me.

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  25. I met my husband in an AOL chatroom circa 2001. We talked on the internet for two weeks before I gave him my phone number. We talked on the phone for a year and a half before we met in person. He moved from Virginia Beach, VA to Indiana to be with me. We are happily married with two daughters.

    I think because our only way of communication was via phone we knew so much more about each other when we met. We met in person as friends but he was already in love with me and after meeting in person I knew that he was the one.

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  26. I’m really sad that you’re saying you want to meet someone who is attracted to you, but you don’t want to meet someone who has a “BBW fetish.”
    People either think your body type is sexy, or they think they can’t do better.

    I know which type of person I’d rather have.

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    • Personally, I don’t believe that the world is as black and white as you’re suggesting it is. There’s a lot of in-between. A guy who has a BBW fetish is objectifying me (and likely hoping that I’ll stay that way) whereas someone who has an understanding of my goals (where I am and where I’m going) is much more likely to like me just because I’m Kenlie.

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